!Need help with WWI report!?
2007-03-04 09:56:38 UTC
It's about WWI prior to the US' entrance. So far I have included:

-Murder of Franz Ferdinand
-Secret Treaties between Nations
-Allies and Central Powers
-German invading Belgium
-The Battle of the Marne
-The Battle of the Mons
-Italy's Entrance
-Introduction of new weaponry
-Introduction of Aerial Combat
-The Red Baron
-The Battle of Somme

What else do I need to add ????
Five answers:
2007-03-08 08:57:28 UTC

I. The Great War, the war to end all wars

A. most important event in 20th century Western history

1. rise of communism and fascism directly related to war and settlement

2. it brought the end of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires

3. it saw the introduction of nearly all the significant weapons systems of the century

a. tanks

b. submarines

c. fighter planes and bombers

d. but not missiles or aircraft carriers

4. it introduced massive civilian bombings and shelling to terrorize

B. though deaths and number of countries involved were larger in WWII, WWI was worse

1. showed the horror and futility of total war

2. crushed the optimism of pre-war years and opened the century of extremes

3. significant for muddled beginnings, vagueness, lack of goals, hopelessness

C. it is not possible to know what might have been, history is both too complicated and too random, but surely things in 20th c. would have been much different without it

1. but for WWI, there would have been no Nazi movement in Germany, thus no WWII

2. but for the chaos in Russia, the tiny Bolshevik faction could not have gained power, so no Soviet Union

3. had this not happened, the capitalist-communist conflict that dominates this century would not have happened

4. without this, no Cold War would have grown out of WWII

5. without that, no Korean conflict, no Vietnam war

6. please note carefully that I am not saying that everything would have been perfect

a. but everything surely would have been very different

b. and quite likely far less bloody and brutalizing and horrifying

c. even the race for atomic weaponry would have been delayed for decades, maybe forever

d. but humans seem always able to find things to fight about--religion, land, oil, etc.

e. had there been no WWI, we would have killed each other anyway

f. but the tragedy of that war stamped its mark on the rest of the century

II. Causes

A. WWI was the result of a series of highly complex, interrelated circumstances each understandable and morally defensible in its own terms

1. leaders were indecisive and weak, but not evil or rapacious

2. at critical times in critical places, popular will seemed to favor war

3. circumstances that should have been corrected decades earlier trapped people

4. it is really only hindsight that makes it all seems so futile and stupidly wasteful

5. as a matter of principle, war should always be avoided by states

a. not because of the moral superiority of pacifism

b. but because war is always too expensive for what is gained

c. in both human and material terms war is grossly inefficient

d. and because of the power of the process itself, goals necessarily change

e. and, therefore, what was originally sought can hardly ever be achieved

f. the sacrifices demanded by war justify ever more extreme measures

B. in the case of WWI, these observations are reinforced by many examples

1. Russia and Austria-Hungary entered the war because they feared annihilation if they didn’t; both empires were destroyed by the war

2. Britain entered the war because it felt its empire was under threat; the destruction and demoralization of the war greatly accelerated the end of the British empire

3. Germany sought to secure its place among the powerful and ended up accepting a humiliating peace treaty and suffering almost total economic collapse

4. the first major entry of the U.S. into world affairs triggered an isolationist backlash that brought its idealistic president almost total defeat in the peace he shaped

C. among the major causes of the war usually cited by authorities was the alliance system

1. progressive, modern Germany tied itself to backwards, doomed Austria

2. democratic GB and France tied themselves to autocratic, decaying Russia

3. the complexities of nationalist politics in the A-H empire meant that things that were minor in world terms led to a major war

4. otoh, if Germany had been absolutely certain that GB would enter, if there had been no vagueness in GB’s commitment to F and R, there might have been no war

5. similarly, if A-H could have known for certain that R would come to the aid of the Serbs, it might not have pressed the point

6. of course, this is all speculation; there are rarely any certainties in diplomacy, and probably cannot be, but it might not have been the strength of the alliances but their weakness that brought war

D. another frequently discussed cause of WWI was the arms race, esp. the naval build up

1. GB and Germany had for decades engaged in very public efforts to build ever more and larger, more powerful ships--the great battleships

2. this development even had a theory behind it in the writings of an American, Alfred Thayer Mahan

a. in books and lectures and personal meetings with world naval and political leaders in the 1890s, Mahan had promoted his notion that whoever controls the seas wins wars

b. his books were translated into all major Western languages and distributed in huge numbers among military circles

c. his most important book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, first appeared in 1890 and went through at least 14 editions

d. Mahan died in 1914, before the fruits of his labors were fully realized

e. Mahan’s influence demonstrates one of the truisms of life, the military is always prepared to win the previous war

3. many critics have argued that once these massive, destructive ships were built they had to be used

a. not just to justify their cost and consumption of resources

b. but also because they were intended for use, the military leadership saw them not just as deterrents, but as actual weapons systems

c. and their mere existence heightened the atmosphere for war

d. when int relations & domestic unrest create tension, segments of leadership & populace alike see such weapons systems as means of clearing the air--to the simple minded, ambiguity is worse than mass destruction

4. however, what these new weapons lacked was the capacity for true universal destruction

a. certainly they were more powerful and far-reaching than anything yet developed by mankind, but still they were only horrific by comparison, not absolutely

b. the destruction of humanity had been foretold when the long bow replaced the cross bow as the weapon of choice

c. and again when cannons and firearms nudged out swords, arrows, and clubs

d. repeating rifles and revolvers seemed also, in their time, to herald universal disaster

e. but we now know that even the great ships of the early 20th century brought nothing of the kind

f. for those who lived on the plains of Kansas, Saskatchewan, or Argentina, the steppes of the Caucasus, and the mountain wilds of all continents, sea power was no direct threat

g. it would be another 30 years before we were to have the kinds of weapons that really do pose the ultimate threat of human survival, and, so far, they have only been used once

h. in 1914, weapons available were not yet powerful enough to scare people into sanity

E. so if it wasn’t these things, what was it?

1. first, it was a Russia and its government so weakened by failure to modernize that only desperate measures seemed to offer any hope

a. Russia had experienced a failed revolution in 1905 which left nothing resolved

b. it had also suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Japan in 1905-06, exposing to the world the inadequacy and backwardness of its military

c. the tsar and his ruling class, especially the military leadership, had not responded to these events by forcing the country into the 20th century--Generals Mud and Winter

d. having fallen so low in its own self-esteem and in the eyes of the world, Russia felt it necessary to back the Serbs fully in the Sarajevo crisis--defenders of the Slavs (*)

e. and having fallen so far behind the Germans in modernization of military forces, Russia had to start mobilizing first, even before a declaration of war, for any hope of survival

2. second, it was a Germany led by blustering, insecure Kaiser who insisted on winning a place in the sun for his country, despite costs and risks

a. Germany in 1914 was economically powerfully, politically secure, and internationally without much influence

b. when its ally, A-H, got itself into a bind over the Archduke’s assassination, the Kaiser approved giving total support--the infamous "blank check"

c. having committed itself to this, Germany faced the very real possibility of a two-front war

d. the German general staff had years earlier prepared for this, the Schlieffen plan

e. this plan called for a quick strike to the west to knock out France, then a turn to the east to face Russia, not a bad plan

f. except that it meant that Germany had to move swiftly and had to pass through neutral Belgium on its way to France

g. thus were the Germans the first belligerent to invade another country, Belgium on 2 Aug

3. the other powers, none of whom was blameless, come next in order of responsibility

a. France proved unable to restrain the Russians

b. A-H was slow, obtuse, and diplomatically incompetent

c. GB thought it could be the dominant world power and not get involved (*)

d. the U.S. had very little to do with things in the beginning

III. The events

A. Sarajevo

1. on 28 June 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria visited Saravejo

a. the Serbs had been semi-autonomous for several years, but unable to control a indigenous anti-Austria revolutionary group, the Black Hand

b. the date was the 525th anniversary of the defeat of Serbian forces by Ottoman Turks (*)

c. one very young Black Hand member, 19-year old Gavrilo Princip, seized a chance to redeem Serbian honor by murdering someone who had little to do with Serbia’s plight

d. when the Archduke’s route through the city was altered, Princip quite fortuitously found himself in position to fire on the royal car

e. the Archduke was killed

2. at first it seemed not much would follow

a. the Serb government apologized and vowed to get to the bottom of things

b. the Austrians blustered some, but the Archduke really wasn’t very important and the empire had other problems

c. the world was little alarmed, and had the Austrians attacked swiftly, demanded redress, and backed their demands with a minor show of force, it all might have passed

B. the lead up

1. but A-H did not act swiftly

a. instead it temporized, wrung its hands, and let things get out of control

b. first a mild note was drafted to be sent to the Serbs

c. then a stronger one, as allies were consulted, consequences measured

d. finally, late in July, a very strong note was intended to provoke the Serbs

2. however, by then to long a time had passed and circumstances took over

a. fearing sudden defeat if it didn’t get started first, Russia began partial mobilization of its outmoded, poorly mechanized, and widely scattered army on 24 July

b. thus supported. A-H declared war on Serbia on 28 July despite a conciliatory response to their last note

c. whereupon, on 30 July, Russia upgraded to a general mobilization

d. on 1 Aug, Germany and Russia declared war on one another; on same day, France ordered general mobilization

e. on 2 Aug, Germany entered Belgium without a declaration of war to get started with the Schlieffen plan

f. on 3 Aug, Germany somewhat belatedly declared war on France, but on that same day GB declared war on Germany as a result of the violation of Belgian neutrality

g. finally, and way late, given its central role in the whole affair, on 6 Aug A-H declared war on Russia

C. this did the war to end all wars come about

1. it really wasn’t much of a world war

a. outside of Europe, only the lands of the British Empire were involved

b. and, late in the day, the United States, and our role was pivotal

2. but it was to prove tremendously important for the entire world

3. and it lasted a long, long time

2007-03-04 13:31:17 UTC
In fact the Battle of Mons (it is not the Mons since it is a Belgian village, not a river) is only a stopgap battle like the battle of the Frontiers.

More important are the battle for Liége where the Germans remarked that the Belgian did resist (they thought that the Belgians would not fight) and the French gained valuable time.

The attrocities in many village in Belgium towards civilians by the Germans, especially Leuven which gave the British the morale justification and motivation to go into war.

On the battle field, the major battle of the Yser (little river where the Belgians held out against the Germans, the different battles for Ieper (in English Ypers) : these battle where very important to prevent the Germans from reached the vital harbours on the channel.

If you mention, the Somme, Ypres is has important (if not even more important.

Do not forget Verdun where the French fought with immense courage.

The Eastern front is also important with the Battle of Tannenberg, the Russian Revolution which took the Russians out of the war so that the Germans could launch their ultime offensive in spring 1918 and broke almost the Allied lines.

What about the Dardanelles (in Turkye) ?

New weapons : armored cars (in which the Belgians where pionneers, tanks, gas (first used in Steenstraete near Ypres), Big Berta (huge guns) which destroyed the Belgians and French fortress, Airplanes, terror bombing by airplanes and Zeppelins, U-boat, ...
2016-03-29 03:21:00 UTC
Good luck with your assignment. WWI vets will be hard to find and almost dead and gone from this earth, but if Ya have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will meet them in heaven with Jesus and God the Father some day.
2007-03-04 10:09:14 UTC

Wilson re-elected November 7 on the slogan "He kept us out of war."

December 7: David Lloyd George takes over as Prime Minister of England

December 31: Rasputin assassinated


January 19: Zimmerman Telegram

March 15: Nicholas II abdicates in Russia

Otherwise, you've covered things pretty well.
2007-03-04 10:09:10 UTC
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