Published on March 6, 2014
WWI Chapter 14 Sec. 3 A Bloody Conflict WWI proved to be unlike previous wars in many ways. New technology made WWI a more impersonal war, as well as a far more deadlier one.
• On the Western Front, troops dug a network of trenches that stretched from the English Channel to the Swiss border. The space between the opposing trenches was known as no man’s land. To break through enemy lines, both sides began with massive artillery barrages. Then bayonet wielding soldiers would run out of their trenches, and race across no man’s land and throw grenades into the other trench. The results were devastating. Hundreds of thousands of men were killed.
• Symbol for the futility of war Trench warfare has become a powerful symbol of the futility of war. Its image is of young men going "over the top" (over the parapet of the trench, to attack the enemy trench line) into a maelstrom of fire leading to certain death, typified by the first day of the Somme (on which the British suffered 57,000 casualties) or the grinding slaughter in the mud of Passchendaele. To the French, the equivalent is the attrition of the Battle of Verdun in which they suffered 380,000 casualties.
New Technology • Machine Gun– Good for defense—600 bullets a minute—could stop an advance but heavy machine guns required teams of up to eight men to move them, maintain them, and keep them supplied with ammunition. This made them impractical for offensive maneuvers, contributing to the stalemate on the Western Front.
Chemical Warfare Chlorine -A large enough dose could kill, but the gas was easy to detect by scent and sight. Phosgene- first used in December 1915, was the ultimate killing gas of World War I—it was 18 times more powerful than chlorine and much more difficult to detect. Mustard gas -- hard to detect and lingered on the surface of the battlefield and so could inflict casualties over a long period. The burns it produced were so horrific that a casualty resulting from mustard gas exposure was unlikely to be fit to fight again.
Tanks • First were very slow and cumbersome, mechanically unreliable and fairly easy to destroy. But they could roll over barbed wire and trenches. The British improved them and improved tanks and tactics allowed them to break through enemy lines to become a significant element of warfare.
The Flame Thrower • New and improved- smaller, lightweight- a single person could carry and spray burning fuel on the victims. Effective in attacks on nearby trenches but could not be fired long distance.
Airplanes • Brought war into the sky. First used to scout out enemy lines, then improved for fighting and bombing. In time, a device that times the firing of a machine gun with the rotation of a planes propeller. The Germans created a high flying, gas filled airship called Zeppelins. Not very precise and slow moving
Great films over WWI • • • • • • • The Lost Battalion http://youtu.be/RTED0RSS8T8 All Quiet on the Western Front http://youtu.be/DX1PW2n8POg Merry Christmas http://youtu.be/2Mso-MkU1oI http://youtu.be/p05E_ohaQGk
Russia Leaves the War • In 1917 riots broke out in Russia over the government’s handling of the war and the scarcity of food and fuel. Czar Nicholas II abdicated his throne. The Bolsheviks, a group of communists, soon came to power. First thing the leader, Vladimir Lenin did was pull Russia out of the war. With the Eastern Front settled, Germany was now free to concentrate its forces in the west.
End of the War • In March of 1918, the Germans launched a massive attack along the Western Front. By June they were less than 40 miles from Paris. American troops played an important role in containing the German offensive. The French and American forces held them back.
• With the German drive stalled, the Allied forces ordered massive counter attacks all along the front. American troops drove back German forces at the battle of Saint-Michael. Then in the Argonne Forest, the Allied forces under the command of General Black Jack Pershing assembled over 600,000 American troops, some 40,000 tones of supplies and roughly 4,000 artillery pieces for the most massive attack in American history. Slowly one German position after another began to fall.
• Heavy casualties on both sides. But by early November of 1918, German defenses had been shattered. • At the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, Germany signed an armistice or cease fire, that ended the war.
Treaty of Versailles • In January 1919, a peace conference began in Paris to try to resolve the complicated issues arising from WWI. • All leaders of the countries involved were present except Germany. • The Big Four-US, Britain, France and Italy
Fourteen Points • President Wilson wanted a fair peace policy. His plan became know as the Fourteen Points—Wilson’s plan for lasting peace • --end to secret agreements (alliances) • --freedom of the seas • --reduction of armaments • --self determination for ethnic groups
League of Nations • The most important part of his plan was a peacekeeping organization called A League of Nations. • Everyone else at the peace talks thought that Wilson’s plan was too easy on Germany—they wanted Germany to paid reparations—war damages—because they said it had started the war. The Treaty of Versailles was written without many of Wilson’s hopes. In the end the US did not ratify the treaty. Congress did not like the League of Nations idea
WWI Results • Dissolution of 4 empires—Russian Empire, Ottoman Empire, German Empire and AustriaHungary. • 9 new countries were formed out of these— Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia
Before and After
http://youtu.be/GPFjToKuZQM And the Band Played… • When I was a young man I carried my pack And I lived the free life of a rover From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback I waltzed my Matilda all over Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun And they sent me away to the war And the band played Waltzing Matilda As we sailed away from the quay And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers We sailed off to Gallipoli How well I remember that terrible day the blood stained the sand and the water And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well He us with bullets, he rained us with shells And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell Nearly blew us right back to Australia But the band played Waltzing Matilda As we stopped to bury our slain And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs Then started all over again Now those In mad world of blood, death and fire And for weeks I kept myself alive Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit And when I woke up in my hospital bed And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead Never knew there were worse things than dying no more I'll go waltzing Matilda the green far and near For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs No more waltzing Matilda for me :
• So they collected the cripples, the wounded maimed And they shipped us back home to Australia , the blind insane Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay I looked at the place where legs used to be And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me To grieve and to mourn and to pity And the band played Waltzing Matilda As they carried us down the gangway But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared turned all their faces away And now every April I sit on my porch And I watch the parade pass before me my old comrades, how proudly they march Reliving dreams of past glory The forgotten heroes a forgotten war And the young people ask , "What are they marching for?" And I ask myself the same question And the band plays Waltzing Matilda And the old men answer to the call But year after year their numbers get fewer Some day no one will march there at all Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda Who'll a-waltzing Matilda with me? [ Lyrics from:
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