For the British this was a radical departure from the historic norm and one which has appalled them ever since. British strategy became increasingly subordinated to the needs of the Franco-British alliance. The British fought the war as they had to, not as they wanted to. The British way in warfare envisaged a largely naval war.
A naval blockade would weaken Germany economically. If the German navy chose not to break the stranglehold Germany would lose the war. If it did choose to fight it would be annihilated. British maritime superiority would be confirmed. Neutral opinion would be cowed. Fresh allies would be encouraged into the fight. The blockade would be waged with greater ruthlessness. Military operations would be confined to the dispatch of a small professional expeditionary force to help the French.
Remaining military forces would be employed on the periphery of the Central Powers remote from the German army, where it was believed they would exercise a strategic influence out of all proportion to their size. The British never really fought the war they envisaged. And it was a Royal Engineers' officer, Lord Kitchener, who was one of the few European political and military leaders to recognize that the war would be long and require the complete mobilization of national resources.
Kitchener was appointed Secretary of State for War on 5 August He doubted whether the French and the Russians were strong enough to defeat Germany without massive British military reinforcement.
He immediately sought to raise a mass citizen army. There was an overwhelming popular response to his call to arms. Kitchener envisaged this new British army taking the field in after the French and Russian armies had rendered the German army ripe for defeat. They would be 'the last million men'.
They would win the war and decide the peace. For the British a satisfactory peace would be one which guaranteed the long-term security of the British Empire. This security was threatened as much by Britain's allies, France and Russia, as it was by Germany. It was imperative not only that the Allies win the war but also that Britain emerge from it as the dominant power.
Kitchener's expectations were disappointed. By it was the French army which was ripe for defeat, not the German. But the obligations of the French alliance were inescapable. The British could not afford to acquiesce in a French defeat. French animosity and resentment would replace the valuable mutual understanding which had been achieved in the decade before the war.
The French had a great capacity for making imperial mischief. And so did the Russians. If they were abandoned they would have every reason for doing so. There seemed no choice. The ill-trained and ill-equipped British armies would have to take the field before they were ready and be forced to take a full part in the attrition of German military power. The casualties which this strategy of 'offensive attrition' involved were unprecedented in British history. They were also unacceptable to some British political leaders.
They looked to use it elsewhere, against Germany's allies in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Balkans. Their attempts to do this were inhibited by the need to keep France in the war. This could only be done in France and by fighting the German army. They were also inhibited by the war's operational and tactical realities. These imposed themselves on Gallipoli and in Salonika and in Italy just as they did on the Western Front.
Attempts to implement an Allied grand strategy enjoyed some success. Allied political and military leaders met regularly. At Chantilly in December and December they determined to stretch the German army to its limits by simultaneous offensive action on the western, eastern, and Italian fronts. Franco-British co-operation was especially close. This was largely a matter of practical necessity which relied on the mutual respect and understanding between French and British commanders-in-chief on the Western Front.
The system worked well until the German Spring Offensive of threatened to divide the Allies. Only then was it replaced by a more formal structure.
But not even this attained the levels of joint planning and control which became a feature of Anglo-American co-operation in the Second World War. Allied grand strategy was conceptually sound. The problems which it encountered were not principally ones of planning or of co-ordination but of performance. Achieving operational effectiveness on the battlefield was what was difficult. This has given the war, especially the war in the west, its enduring image of boneheaded commanders wantonly sacrificing the lives of their men in fruitless pursuit of impossibly grandiose strategic designs.
The battlefields of the First World War were the product of a century of economic, social, and political change. Europe in was more populous, more wealthy, and more coherently organized than ever before. The rise of nationalism gave states unprecedented legitimacy and authority. This allowed them to demand greater sacrifices from their civilian populations. Improvements in agriculture reduced the numbers needed to work on the land and provided a surplus of males of military age.
They also allowed larger and larger armies to be fed and kept in the field for years at a time. Changes in administrative practice brought about by the electric telegraph, the telephone, the typewriter, and the growth of railways allowed these armies to be assembled and deployed quickly.
Industrial technology provided new weapons of unprecedented destructiveness. Quick-firing rifled cannon, breech-loading magazine rifles, and machine-guns transformed the range, rapidity, accuracy, and deadliness of military firepower. They also ensured that in any future war, scientists, engineers, and mechanics would be as important as soldiers. These changes did much to make the First World War the first 'modern war'.
But it did not begin as one. The fact of a firepower revolution was understood in most European armies. The consequences of it were not. The experience of the Russo-Japanese War appeared to offer a human solution to the problems of the technological battlefield. Victory would go to the side with the best-trained, most disciplined army, commanded by generals of iron resolution, prepared to maintain the offensive in the face of huge losses.
As a result the opening battles of the war were closer in conception and execution to those of the Napoleonic era than to the battles of onwards. It is difficult to say exactly when 'modern' war began, but it was apparent by the end of that pre-war assumptions were false. Well-trained, highly disciplined French, German, and Russian soldiers of high morale were repeatedly flung into battle by commanders of iron resolve.
The results were barren of strategic achievement. The human costs were immense. The 'human solution' was not enough. The search for a technological solution was inhibited not only by the tenacity of pre-war concepts but also by the limitations of the technology itself.
The principal instrument of education was artillery. And the mode of instruction was experience. Shell-fire was merciless to troops in the open. The response was to get out of the open and into the ground. Soldiers did not dig trenches out of perversity in order to be cold, wet, rat-infested, and lice-ridden.
They dug them in order to survive. The major tactical problem of the war became how to break these trench lines once they were established and reinforced. For much of the war artillery lacked the ability to find enemy targets, to hit them accurately, and to destroy them effectively. Contemporary technology failed to provide a man-portable wireless.
Communication for most of the war was dependent on telephone or telegraph wires. These were always broken by shell-fire and difficult to protect. Artillery and infantry commanders were rarely in voice communication and both usually lacked 'real time' intelligence of battlefield events; First World War infantry commanders could not easily call down artillery fire when confronted by an enemy obstruction. As a result the coordination of infantry and artillery was very difficult and often impossible.
Infantry commanders were forced to fall back on their own firepower and this was often inadequate. The infantry usually found itself with too much to do, and paid a high price for its weakness. Artillery was not only a major part of the problem, however. It was also a major part of the solution. During Allied artillery on the western front emerged as a formidable weapon. Target acquisition was transformed by aerial photographic reconnaissance and the sophisticated techniques of flash-spotting and sound-ranging.
These allowed mathematically predicted fire, or map-shooting. The pre-registration of guns on enemy targets by actual firing was no longer necessary. The possibility of surprise returned to the battlefield. Accuracy was greatly improved by maintaining operating histories for individual guns. Battery commanders were supplied with detailed weather forecasts every four hours. Each gun could now be individually calibrated according to its own peculiarities and according to wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity.
All types and calibres of guns, including heavy siege howitzers whose steep angle of fire was especially effective in trench warfare, became available in virtually unlimited numbers.
Munitions were also improved. Poison gas shells became available for the first time in large numbers. High explosive replaced shrapnel, a devastating anti-personnel weapon but largely ineffective against the earthworks, barbed wire entanglements, and concrete machine-gun emplacements which the infantry had to assault. Instantaneous percussion fuses concentrated the explosive effect of shells more effectively against barbed wire and reduced the cratering of the battlefield which had often rendered the forward movement of supplies and reinforcements difficult if not impossible.
Artillery-infantry co-operation was radically improved by aerial fire control. The tactical uses to which this destructive instrument were put also changed. In , , and for much of artillery was used principally to kill enemy soldiers. It always did so, sometimes in large numbers. But it always spared some, even in front-line trenches. These were often enough, as during the first day of the Battle of the Somme 1 July , to inflict disastrous casualties on attacking infantry and bring an entire offensive to a halt.
From the autumn of and during , however, artillery was principally used to suppress enemy defences. Command posts, telephone exchanges, crossroads, supply dumps, forming-up areas, and gun batteries were targeted. Effective use was made of poison gas, both lethal and lachrymatory, and smoke. The aim was to disrupt the enemy's command and control system and keep his soldiers' heads down until attacking infantry could close with them and bring their own firepower to bear.
The attacking infantry were also transformed. In the British soldier went to war dressed like a gamekeeper in a soft cap, armed only with rifle and bayonet.
In he went into battle dressed like an industrial worker in a steel helmet, protected by a respirator against poison gas, armed with automatic weapons and mortars, supported by tanks and ground-attack aircraft, and preceded by a creeping artillery barrage of crushing intensity.
Firepower replaced manpower as the instrument of victory. This represented a revolution in the conduct of war. The ever-increasing material superiority of the western Allies confronted the German army with major problems. Its response was organizational. As early as even the weakly armed British proved that they could always break into the German front-line trenches.
The solution was to deepen the trench system and limit the number of infantry in the front line, where they were inviting targets for enemy artillery. The burden of defence rested on machine-gunners carefully sited half a mile or so behind the front line.
From the autumn of the Germans took these changes to their logical conclusion by instituting a system of 'elastic defence in depth'.
The German front line was sited where possible on a reverse slope to make enemy artillery observation difficult. A formal front-line trench system was abandoned. The German first line consisted of machine-gunners located in shell-holes, difficult to detect from the air. Their job was to disrupt an enemy infantry assault. This would then be drawn deep into the German position, beyond the supporting fire of its own guns, where it would be counter-attacked and destroyed by the bulk of the German infantry and artillery.
This system allowed the Germans to survive against an Allied manpower superiority of more than 3: The German system required intelligent and well-trained as well as brave soldiers to make it work. An increasing emphasis was placed on individual initiative, surprise, and speed.
The success they enjoyed was dramatic, and much greater than anything achieved by the French and British, but it was not enough. Attacking German infantry could not maintain the momentum and inflict upon enemy commanders the kind of moral paralysis achieved by German armoured forces in The Allied line held and exhausted German infantry were eventually forced back by the accumulating weight and increasing sophistication of Allied material technology.
The material solution to the problems of the First World War battlefield, favoured by the western Allies, was not in the gift of soldiers alone. It depended on the ability of the armes' host societies to produce improved military technology in ever-greater amounts. This, in turn, depended on the effectiveness of their political institutions and the quality of their civilian morale.
It was a contest at which the liberal democracies of France and Great Britain and eventually the United States of America proved more adept than the authoritarian regimes of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia. The 'modern war' fought from onwards resolved itself simply into a demand for more: Some of the demands were contradictory.
More men meant more men for the armies and more men for the factories. This collection of World War I essay questions has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors.
These questions can also be used for short answer responses, research tasks, homework and revision activities. If you would like to suggest a question for this page, please contact Alpha History. What were the outcomes of the Franco-Prussian War of ? How did these outcomes shape late 19th and early 20th century European relations?
How did its problems affect or concern major European powers? Compare and contrast the British, French and German Empires at the beginning of the 20th century. Explain how militarism shaped and affected politics, economics and society in Germany to How democratic and representative was German government during this period? Discuss three alliances of the 19th and early 20th centuries, describing how each alliance affected European relations. Identify and discuss the three most significant factors leading to the outbreak of World War I.
What were the sources or reasons for Anglo-German tension prior to ? Investigate the relationship between Serbia and Austria-Hungary in the years prior to Why was Serbian nationalism worrying for Austro-Hungarian leaders? Austria considered Serbia wholly responsible for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.
To what extent was the Serbian government truly responsible? It is often said that the alliance system made a major war inevitable. Did alliances alone compel European nations to war after June — or were other factors involved?
What attempts did European diplomats make to negotiate and avoid war, and why did these attempts fail? Explain how Britain became entangled in the road to war in mid Focusing on three different countries, describe how the press and the public responded to declarations of war in August Investigate anti-war sentiment in Which groups and individuals wrote, spoke or campaigned against war?
What arguments did they put forward? Explain why the small nation of Belgium became so crucial, both in July and August What were its objectives and how prepared was it for a major war? What were the outcomes of the Battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in ?
What did these battles reveal about the Russian military? What happened at the first Battle of the Marne in ? What were the outcomes of this battle and what influence did it have on the rest of the war?
Compare the Western Front and Eastern Front as theatres of war. What were the similarities and differences in warfare on these two fronts? How did naval power and the war on the seas shape the course of World War I? Its flag consists of three colored, horizontal stripes. The colors are black, red, and orange. It has been a united country for only ten years. It became divided during World War II after only 74 years of unification Many agreed that there were to be no more wars hence a treaty was signed.
After Germany had surrende Far more devastating than car wrecks, violent crimes or natural disasters, is the tragedy that we call war. More men have lost their lives, broken their dreams and shattered their hope than is possible to fathom. But far more than death stalks the battlefields.
A host of terrors, including homesickness, lonlieness, and the loss of innocence play major roles in soldier's lives. In history classes today elementary, high school, and some in the college or university level as well our teachers rarely give us an in-depth look at events, instead they just give us a quick scan of what happened, when, and why the events mentioned are important. I have yet to have had a history teacher get deep into the subject matter of a certain event, or chain of events as I would like More Trouble Than Good.
In a miserably failed attempt to stop the already ongoing violence during world war one, and prevent further conflict in the region, the Treaty of Versailles was proposed by ex-president Woodrow Wilson. Such treaty — not using the term according to its stipulated meaning — set cruel rules and pointers that would only produce more violence and terror. The Treaty of Versailles was a do Many historians have disputed over the origins of World War I, who started it, who is to blame for the outbreak of the war?
And there are no accurate answers to the questions. To support the statement "Germany was responsible for the outbreak of World War I" to a full extent is During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there were many technological advances that changed the way war was looked upon. War was no longer two opposing groups meeting in a field for a prearranged fight. It had evolved into a strategic game where the stronger your toys, the better your team fought.
The industrial revolution had changed the way war was engaged, fought, and ended. There are many things that contributed to the start of WW1. The war began in but the bitter feelings and tensions between countries had started much earlier For 20 years, the nations of Europe had been making alliances. It was thought that alliances would promote peace. Each country would be protected by others in case of war. The danger of the alliances was that an argument b Compare and contrast the U. The underlying causes of the war was the nationalism that was found throughout Europe in the 19th and 20th century.
There was political and economic rivalry among the nations. But the main "shot" that started the war was on June 28, Although it was seen as a European war, the Australia government decided that Australia should support its 'Mother Country', Britain. The prime-minister at the time, Joseph Cook, stated Australia's position: To fight, you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of national life, infecting the Congress, the courts, the policeman on the The answer to this seemingly simple question is not elementary.
There was more to the onset of the war then the event of an Austrian prince being murdered in Serbia, as is what most people consider to be the cause of World War I. Furthermore, the effects of the war wer This was a totally justifiable demand on the part of the victorious powers. The Treaty of Versailles was enacted into history in June with Germany forced to accept sole responsibility for causing World War They were right in a way.
The societies could not support a long war unchanged. The First World War left no aspect of Europ How the Treaty of Versailles Effected Germany Essay submitted by Unknown When World War I ended on November 11, , peace talks went on for months due to the Allied leaders wanting to punish the enemy and "dividing the spoils of war. The issue that took the most time were t No one was immune to the effects of this global conflict and each country was affected in various ways.
However, one area of relative comparison can be noted in the experiences of Causes of WWI Essay submitted by Unknown The First World War had many causes; the historians probably have not yet discovered and discussed all of them so there might be more causes than what we know now.
The spark of the Great War was the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife by a Serbian natio During the First World War, many people were accused of being spies and helping the enemy. One of them, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, has gone down in history as one of the most legendary women of all time. Using the pseudonym Mata Hari, Margaretha led a career as an exotic dancer, was accused of spying for the Germans, did spy for the French and was executed before a firing squad.
Ferrell is a chronology of every aspect of the first World War and the period in which it took place. Ferrell wrote this book to provide an unbiased dissertation of one of the scariest events in the history of the United States and the entire world. Morris, Ferrell was pr They had therefore worked out a plan, years earlier, to deal with this problem. It was called the Schlie Trench Warfare Every aspect of the war, is ugly and brutal. The worst aspect of this war was trench warfare.
This trench warfare was so horrific, it cause many people to loose their minds, or even worse, loose their lives. There were many things that made this style of fighting brutal; the 3 significant ones are the fighting conditions they had to live in, the poor supplies they had to re West Civ Study Guide chap.
Who were the Allied Powers and the Central Powers? What were the major causes of the war? In the s Germany, under a dictatorship lead by Adolf Hitler, started expanding their rule. Each of the major world powers England, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States gave a response to this expansion.
England preferred being in "splendid isolation," or being safe on their island. Conservative Stanley Baldwin promoted "splendid isolation" when he was prime minister of Britain The writer did a great job of showing us what war is really like. The movie also displayed the reality of war. For instance, it showed the parades in the streets when the soldiers were going off to war.
The teachers were really pressuring and encouraging the students to join the wa The causes of World War I. World War I like many other events in history, occured in wake and equally influential events that led to a single outcome. Yet, there was one major cause of this war. Although there were some little insignifacant causese of this war. Some historians have argued that imperialism should bear the responsability, while others claim that natio
World War I is considered by some, the first man-made catastrophe of the twentieth century. Many scholars still debate the underlying causes of World War I. There are many things that contributed to the war. The causes and effects of the war changed the lives of many people. Many of the effects of the war are still evident in today.
Effects of World War I On Germany World War I had a devastating effect on the entire world. Germany however, might have suffered the most from a war that claimed the lives of 9 million combatants. Germany lost more men in this war than any other nation involved.
World War I essay questions This collection of World War I essay questions has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors. These questions can also be used for short answer responses, research tasks, homework and revision activities. Essay on World War I. World War I was the first major war involving many countries. One of these countries was Serbia, which wanted their independence from Austria-Hungary. This anger that built up over time in Serbia and it lead to the killing of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary Francis Ferdinand, and his wife by Gavrillo Princip, a Serbian.
- World War I, known as the Great War prior to World War II, was a global war which began in Europe on July and ended on November 11, The Central Power, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, were at war with the Allies, Great Britain, France, and Russia. World War I was one of the greatest wars know to history, it became known to many as "The Great War because of the great impact felt thought out the world. It was the first globally destructive conflict that the Western Civilization constructed; it has been the focus of numerous analyses which produced different explanations, interpretations and reexaminations of the countless reasons that led to the start of the War.