July 28, 1914- Russia mobilized against Austria-
Hungary (last act of diplomacy and first act of war)
July 30, 1914- Russia issues full mobilization orders
against Austria-Hungary and Germany.
August 1, 1914- Germany declares war on Russia.
August 3, 1914- Germany declares war on France.
Chain reaction ensues and by the end of the first week
of war, 44 declarations of war and mobilization orders
The Allied Powers (the
Allies) consisted of Great
Britain, France and
would include Japan and
The Central Powers
(named for their central
location in Europe)
Hungary, Bulgaria and
the Ottoman Empire.
Created by General
Alfred Graf von
Schlieffen, the plan
solved the problem
of a two front war
with Russia in the
East and France in
the West. Plan
called for a fast
of France and quick
victorious on the
western front, troops
could be diverted to
Russia in the east.
A quick campaign could be won in the west against
The capture of a nation’s capital would result in an
The slow movement of Russian troops to the eastern
front due to the lack of railroads.
These assumptions would prove false because they did
not take into consideration military technologies, the
size of various armies, the difficulty of terrain and the
popular effects of nationalism.
September 3, 1914
Under General Helmuth von Moltke, the Germans were
on the outskirts of Paris.
French received intelligence on German movements and
planned an attack in the valley of the Marne River.
In order to get every available soldier to the front,
General Joseph Joffre ordered more than 600 Parisian
taxis to ferry the troops to the front.
After 4 days of fighting, the Germans ordered retreat.
A quick victory on the Western Front is no longer
possible and a stalemate settles.
A system of parallel trenches stretched from the
North Sea to the Swiss boarder.
Trench systems on the
front lines were made up
of 3 parallel lines
fire trench- about 4
ft deep and built up
with sandbags so the
men could stand.
The bottom of the
trench ran a drainage
runnel leading to
sump pumps and
covered with lengths
of wooden ladder
Located about 20
yards from firing
trench, it was a clear
path for the quick
movement of troops
to needed points on
the trench line.
More complex with
stores and mortar
positions located at
the end of short lead
Dug outs were where
refuge could be
found by the soldiers
and were made
homey with pictures,
and news from
New military technologies changed the way that wars were
fought and made the Great War, a war of attrition.
On seeing the approach of the greenish-grey gas cloud during the Battle of Ypres,
word was passed among the Canadian troops to urinate on their handkerchiefs and
place these over their noses and mouths. The Germans were using chlorine gas.