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Europe’s longest sustained peace in centuries tookafter the Franco-Prussian War ended in 1871 Industrialization and militarization of majorEuropean powers (Great Britain, France, Germany)increased animosity Tension mounted…On the Path to TotalWar
It Begins… June 28, 1914 Archbishop FranzFerdinand, heir to theAustro-Hungarian throne,and his wife Sophie areassassinated in Sarajevo bySerb nationalist GavriloPrincip Austria-Hungary retaliatesagainst the nationalistfactions in Serbia, and givesthe country an ultimatum.
Austria-Hungary (AH)declares war onSerbiaRussia’s treatywith Serbiaforces them todeclare war onAHGermany’salliance with AHforces them todeclare war onRussiaFrance’s alliancewith Russiacauses them todeclare war onGermanyGermany invadesBelgium (neutral)for easier accessto FranceBritain’s treatywith Francerequires theCommonwealthto declare war onGermanyThings escalate
The Ottomanempire allies withAH and Germany.Japan allies withBritain. Italy(eventually) sideswith the GB.German U-Boatsbegin a blockade ofGreat BritainUnited Statesdeclares itsneutrality.The Lusitania issunk, killing 128Americans. U.S.warns them to stopunrestricted subattacks.Germany limitsattacks temporarily,but restarts inFebruary 1917U.S. Congressdeclares war onGermany in April1917… and escalate
Battle of Tennenberg: Germany’s most successful battle on the EasternFront Poor planning by Russia caused high casualties: almost 250,000Russian deaths Significant because it reduced support for Russian involvement inthe conflict Battle of Gallipoli: Allies attempt to take the Gallipoli peninsula fromthe Ottomans Poor planning led to an unsuccessful campaign Battle of Verdun: Longest battle of the War Ended in a draw More than one million casualtiesEarly Major Battles
Why such high casualties? First mechanized war Artillery, airplanes,tanks, submarines Trench Warfare An estimated 1/3 ofAllied casualties tookplace in the trenches Disease, infestationcaused constantmedical issues
The Battle of Passchendaele: Small gains for theAllies, at a cost of 700,000 lives The March Offensive: German Blitzkrieg In an attempt to push the British out of France beforethey receive U.S. assistance, the Germans begin anaggressive campaign Artillery cannot keep pace with infantry, so initialsuccess turns into failure with high casualties.The tide turns…
British on American forces successfully push backagainst the German Blitzkrieg on all fronts Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates the German throne onNovember 9, 1918 Germany and the Allies sign an armistice onNovember 11, 1918, effectively ending the warResolution
Paris Peace Conference: The Allies establish thepeace terms for the Central Powers through a seriesof treaties. The Treaty of Versailles: Officially ended the war withGermany Placed strict economic penalties on Germany throughreparations Restricted size and scope of German military Reestablished borders of 1871, and stripped Germany ofits colonial holdings.The Aftermath
The League of Nations was established at the ParisPeace Conference Four “Great Powers” (U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy)established the League of Nations with the goal ofmaintaining world peace Responsible for “managing” the former OttomanEmpire and German coloniesThe Aftermath
Peace? The burden of reparations anddomestic problems plagued thenew Weimar Republic. Germans blamed the Treaty ofVersailles The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin,overthrew Tsar Nicholas II. Gained support because ofRussia’s involvement in WWI Started to establish communistgovernment throughout Russia Gained full control of thecountry at the end of theRussian Revolution in 1921 Established the Soviet Union“The Bolshevik”Boris Kustodiev, 1920