New Kind of War The new technology of the Modern Age will prove to make World War I more deadly than any previous war. Examples: automobiles Airplane Tank Early radio Machine guns Heavy artillery Poison gas Submarines
Trench Warfare Strategy where each side prepares to hold its ground by digging in and setting up fortifications
Trench quality ranged from simple holes in the ground, to complex networks with rooms for sleeping and eating. Trenches were cold, wet, dirty, filled with rats, and soldiers were forced to stay in them for weeks at a time.
No Man’s Land The area between the trenches of opposing forces Filled with barbed wire, craters, dead bodies Armies would charge out of their trenches, over No Man’s Land and into the enemy trenches to kill the other side’s troops at close range
Tactics and Technology Armies used airplanes to gather information, shoot down enemy planes, and fire on trenches U-boats, or German submarines were used to sink Allied shipping boats. British and French forces developed the tank to assist in infantry attacks on trenches
Military Deadlock By late 1914, the war had become a STALEMATE – a situation where neither side can win a clear victory Massive battles would be fought with staggering amounts of death, only to move the battle lines a few miles in either direction. Read page 330, both paragraphs
From Wikipedia: The Battle of the Somme became one of the largest battles of the First World War and continued from 1 July to 18 November 1916. By the time the winter set in and fighting had receded, more than 1.5 million casualties had been suffered by the forces involved. It is now understood to have been one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded. It is difficult to declare the Battle of the Somme a victory for either side. The British had gained only two miles and lost about 420,000 soldiers in the process, meaning that a centimeter cost about two men.
American Involvement Americans had immigrated from all parts of Europe, so some supported the Allies, while others supported the Central Powers President Wilson declared that the United States would stay neutral – not get involved
“Official” neutrality did not stop American businesses from selling weapons to European Powers – both sides in fact We sold more to the Allies though, and Germany eventually catches on that we weren’t quite ‘neutral’ – so they began to sink our merchant ships Then they sank the passenger liner Lusitania, killing about 1,200 people including 128 Americans READ – 332 middle of the page “In May 1915”
Sussex Pledge Germany sinks another passenger ship – the Sussex – less than a year after the Lusitania. President Wilson is angry but gets Germany to promise that it will not sink ships “without warning and without saving human lives.” Wilson is seen as a peacemaker, and wins re-election with that reputation. (US Presidents serve for 4 years, no more than twice in their lives)
U.S.A. Joins the Conflict Feb. 17th, 1917 Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare US cuts off diplomatic relations Then the US intercepts the Zimmerman Telegram from Germany to Mexico
Although Mexico has little love for the United States, the decline the offer – why? German financial support would not be able to reach Mexico in any way No way to control the English speaking US citizens if they were successful Probably can’t win a war against the US Can barely hold together their own government as it is, let alone wage a war. (section 10.4)
Declaration United States declares war on Germany on April 6th, 1917 – three years after the war had started in Europe. Wilson promises to “keep the world safe for democracy.”