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WWI WWI Presentation Transcript

  • MURDER IN SARAJEVO Sunday 28 June 1914 was a bright sunny day in Sarajevo. People were preparing for a royal visit from Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Crowds lined the streets and waited for the procession of cars to appear. Hidden among the crowds were, however, six teenage terrorists sworn to kill the Archduke for they hated both Austria and the very Archduke […] […] but then as the cars passed the Cumurja Bridge, Cabrinovic threw his bomb, swallowed his poison and jumped into the river. The Archduke saw the bomb coming and threw it off his car, but it exploded under the car behind, injuring several people […] The police dragged Cabrinovic out of the river: his cyanide was old had not worked […] […]The Archduke was driven to the Town Hall, where he demanded to be taken to visit the bomb victims in hospitals. Fearing more terrorists, the officials decided to take a new route to avoid the crowds […] Princip, one the unharmed terrorists, saw the car, pulled an automatic pistol and fired two shots at a range of just 3 or 4 metres. One bullet pierced the Archduke’s neck and the other ricocheted off the car into his wife’s stomach.
  • 23 July • Austria blamed Serbia for the death of Franz Ferdinand and sent it an ultimatum. 28 July • Austria declared war on Serbia and shelled its capital, Belgrade. 29 July • The Russian Army got ready to help Serbia defend itself against the Austrian attack. Germany warned Russia not to help the Serbs. 1 August • Germany declared war on Russia. It also began to move its army towards France and Belgium. 2 August • The French army was put on a war footing ready to fight any German invasion. 3 August • Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Britain ordered Germany to withdraw from Belgium. 4 August • With the Germans still in Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany. 6 August • Austria declared war on Russia.
  • The Alliances In 1914 the six most powerful countries in Europe were divided into opposing ALLIANCES: The Central Powers or Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy), formed in 1882 and the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia), formed in 1907.
  • Germany • Before 1870 Germany was a collection of small independent states of which Prussia was the most powerful. In 1870 the Prussian statesman Bismarck won a war against France, after which he united the many German states into a new powerful German empire. The new Germany was especially successful in industry. By 1914 German industry had overtaken Britain’s and was second in the world only to that of the USA. Austria-Hungary • Austria-Hungary was a sprawling empire in central Europe. It was made up of people of different ethnic groups: Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs and many others. Each group had its own customs and language. Many of these groups wanted independence from AustriaHungary. In the north the Czech people wanted to rule themselves, the Slav people in the south-west (esp. the Croats) wanted their own state and the Serbs living the south wanted to be joined to the neighboring state of Serbia. By 1914 the main concern of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary was how to keep this fragmented empire together. Italy • Like Germany, Italy was formed from a collection of smaller states. At first, its main concern was to get its government established, buy by 1914 the country was settled and was looking to ‘flex its muscles’. Like some other European powers, Italy wanted to set up colonies and build up an overseas empire. With this aim in mind, Italy joined Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance.
  • Britain • In the 19th century Britain had tried not to get involved in European politics. Its attitude became known as ‘splendid isolation’ as it concentrated on its huge overseas empire. For most of the 19th century, Britain had regarded France and Russia as its tow most dangerous rivals. However, by the early 1900s the picture had began to change. • France and Britain had reached a number of agreements about the colonies in North Africa. Russia was defeated in a war against Japan in 1904 and this had weakened Russia so Britain was less concerned about it. But above all, Britain was worried about Germany for the German Kaiser had made it clear that he wanted Germany to have an empire and a strong navy, which was a serious threat to the British. France • France had been defeated by Germany in a short war in 1870. Since then, Germany had built up a powerful army and strong industries. France was worried about the growing power of Germany, so the French had also built up their industries and armies and developed a strong a close friendship with Russia. Russia • Russia was by far the largest of all the six powers, but was also the most backward. The country was almost entirely agricultural, although loans from France had helped Russia to develop some industries. • Russia shared France’s worries about the growing power of Germany. It had also a long history of rivalry with Austria-Hungary. This was one reason why Russia was so friendly with Serbia.
  • The Balance of Power Politicians at the time called this system of alliances the Balance of Power. They believed that the size of power of the two alliances would prevent either side from starting a war.
  • The • Anglo-German naval rivalry: One of the most significant causes of tension in Europe was the naval rivalry which developed after 1900. Ever since the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Britain had ruled the seas without any challenge. This changed after the new Kaiser announced his intention to build a powerful German navy. Tension • Britain felt threatened by this. Germany’s navy was much smaller than Britain’s but the British navy was spread all over the world, protecting the British empire. Germany didn’t have much of an empire. Why did it need a navy? Apparently the Kaiser and his admirals felt that Germany needed a navy to protect its growing trade. Builds • Britain was not convinced by what the Germans said. In fact, in 1906 Britain raised the stakes in the naval race by launching HMS Dreadnought, the first of a new class of warships. Germans responded by building its own ‘Dreadnoughts’.
  • THE BALKANS were a very unstable area because Different nationalities were mixed together. The area had been ruled by Turkey for many centuries, but Turkish were now in decline. The new governments which had been set up in place of Turkish rule were regularly in dispute with each other. The great powers, Russia and Austria bordered the countries in this region. Both wanted to control the area because it gave them access to the Mediterranean.
  • Soldiers on the Western front went trough an enormous range of experiences, from extreme boredom to the appalling stress of an enemy bombardment or attack. Oddly enough, attacks were the exception rather than the rule. Soldiers spent much more time on guard, repairing trenches, or just trying to rest or sleep. Soldiers spent three days at the front line then three days in support trenches, followed by three more days in the front line then three days off behind the lines. However in a major assault soldiers could be in the front line for much longer. When the enemy was not around many soldiers even took up correspondence to pass the hours. Millions of men and thousands of horses lived together. Sanitation arrangements were makeshift. In the summer the smell of the trenches was appalling owing to a combination of rotting corpses, sewage and unwashed soldiers. The soldiers were also infested with lice or ‘chats’. In summer, the trenches were hot, dusty and smelly. In wet weather many suffered from ‘trench foot’. In winter the trenches offered little protection and many soldiers got frostbite. The trenches were also infested with rats: some accounts speak of cats and dogs killed by rats in overwhelming numbers.