World War I




World War I
The Causes of the War

OK, in a nutshell, World War I’s cause went as far back as the early 1800s. People controlled by other nations began to evolve people’s feelings of nationalism. The French Revolution of 1789 brought a new feeling to the word Nationalism. People who spoke French, German, Italian, ext. felt that they should have a separate government in a country where everyone spoke the same language. Unfortunately, we can’t please everyone and this demand they had was something impossible that could be done.

As time passed people began to establish war cults or military alliances. The members from these groups would discriminate and verbally abuse the people, which didn’t speak their language. Warmongers criticized at foreign ways of doing things. Sometimes newspaper stories help spread publicity. Some German leaders strongly urged commercial & political expansion to the east, mostly in Asia.

II- Military Alliances

Military alliances were another of the many causes of World War I. When the German Empire was united in 1871, Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck hoped for a period of international peace. He looked for allies to support Germany. It was then that in 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary & Italy signed a treaty called, “ The Triple Alliance.” The treaty was made to protect them from attacks from France or Russia. Germany & Italy feared France & Austria-Hungary feared Russia.

The three members of the alliance formed a powerful block in central Europe. Unfortunately, Austria-Hungary & Italy were not very friendly. They argued mostly over land and/or territory that Italy thought they should have. So, both countries competed to see who would take control of the Adriatic Sea first. When the war broke out in 1914, Italy didn’t keep their word about the contract they had agreed to in the treaty. It turns out they had made a secret treaty with France in 1902. As a result of that they had to remain neutral then declared war on Austria-Hungary.

After the Triple Alliance formed, the rest of the countries in Europe saw that they were at a disadvantage. The disadvantage was that if there ever was an international crisis, Great Britain, France & Russia would have to fight for themselves but the Triple Alliance would have the advantage of acting together as one. Then in 1894, France signed a defensive alliance with Russia. Then only by itself was Great Britain. Soon after they faced naval rivalry & growing mercenary with Germany. In 1904, Great Britain & France reached a cordial understanding or how you would say in French, “Entente Cordial.”

By the terms in the agreement, they settled all the disagreements they had about almost anything & everything. Most important being colonies. Both nations became partners. Then France succeeded in bringing Britain and Russia together. In 1907 the two nations signed the Anglo-Russian Entente,” it was kind of like the cordial agreement that linked France, Russia & Great Britain was called “The Triple Entente.”



Men, Battlefronts & Strategy

I- Strategy of the War

The chief of the German general staff Count Alfred Von Schlieffen planned a very little simple strategy in 1905 and changed it in 1912. His plan was that German armies were to crush France in a campaign by going through Belgium, which was neutral. Now, the Germans were planning to crush Russia, then planned to make Britain surrender. Then they would sweep into Asia & yes, they would try and conquer them too. This guy expected a 2 front war & planned that Austria-Hungary and some small German force in East Prussia would take the eastern front. But no. The Allied strategy called for attacks by the French armies in Lorraine upon the start of the war. OK, so the plan was that. On the Eastern front it would be Russia trying to invade Germany through East Prussia and attack Austria-Hungary in Galicia. They hoped to strike westward at Germany while the Allied Armies went east.

The War

I- The US enters WWI (1917, 4th year)

Early in 1917, the Central Powers, which consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany & the Ottoman Empire, were at a strong position. They had in control Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, most of Belgium & Northern France. Then, yes, the USA entered the war. And so the tables began to turn in favor