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World War I
Fronts, Technologies and
        Total War
Multiple Layers of Causality
• Alliances and Strategic Competition
• Nationalism, Imperialism and the instabilities
  of pseudo-democracy
• Industrialism and commercial competition
• Regional (Balkan) Instability and unresolved
  issues
• Bad decisions in moments of crisis.
Big Picture
Outbreak of War
• 28 June 1914, Bosnian Nationalist assassinates
  Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, heirs to
  the Austrian throne
• Serbia's involvement assumed. Austrians already
  considering military action against Serbia.
• Germany takes "calculated risk" to support ally and
  weaken Russian position in Balkans.
• Serbians concede most Austrian demands, but
  Austria declares war prior to military mobilization
• Russians mobilize in reaction, with French support
• Austria begins mobilizing against Russia
• Word that Russian mobilization has begun arrived one
minute before German mobilization announced.

Schlieffen Plan:
• 1 August, Germans occupy Luxembourg;
• 3 August, Germans violate Belgian neutrality, triggering
British defense agreement and British public opinion.
• The plan was to turn south; Defeat of France expected to
take 6 weeks, while Russia is held off.
• German generals and field commanders failed "narrowly" to
carry it out.
Schlieffen Plan
Course of the War
"Home Front": Total War
• Full investment of modern bureaucratic state and
  private resources within the nation.
• Total mobilization of people, industry.
• Rationing of essentials and non-essentials.
• Shift to female factory labor, and employment even
  for middle-class women; freedom of behavior for
  women, due to situation and stresses.
• Morale-building
Western Front: "No Man's Land"
•   Machine Gun
•   Trenches
•   Barbed Wire
•   Poison Gas
•   Airplanes and Airships
•   Telephone and Radio
•   Infiltration Units
•   Tanks
•   Instant Potatoes and Safety Razors
Eastern Front
• Dangers of Radio
• Diesel Mobility
• Fomenting Insurrection
Ocean Front
• Blockade
• Submarine Warfare
• Aerial Attacks
Public Diplomacy
• Propaganda
   – Highlighting enemy atrocities
   – Building morale at home
• Strategic Alliances: Japan, Italy
   – Mexico (Zimmerman Telegram)
• Fomenting Insurrection
   – Lenin in Russia
   – Irish Easter Uprising
   – Lawrence of Arabia
• Wilson's 14 Points
Wilson's Fourteen Points
1, open diplomacy           10, Austria-Hungarians given "freest
2, freedom of the seas      opportunity of autonomous
3, freedom of trade         development"
4, arms reductions          11, realignment of Balkans "along
5, colonial self-           historically established lines of
determination;              allegiance and nationality"
6-8, German evacuation      12, division of Ottoman empire into
from Russia, Belgium,       Turkish and self-determining peoples
France, including Franco-   13, independent Poland
Prussian War losses         14, "a general association of nations ...
9, Italian national         affording mutual guarantees of political
unification                 independence and territorial integrity
                            to great and small states alike."
Ending the War
•   Russian Revolution
•   US involvement
•   German Resource Exhaustion
•   Paris Peace Settlement, aka Versailles Treaties
    – German War Guilt
    – Reparations
    – Disbanded German Military
    – Demilitarized French Border
• Breakup of Empires and Mandate System
After the War

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World War I: Total War, Fronts and Technologies

  • 1. World War I Fronts, Technologies and Total War
  • 2. Multiple Layers of Causality • Alliances and Strategic Competition • Nationalism, Imperialism and the instabilities of pseudo-democracy • Industrialism and commercial competition • Regional (Balkan) Instability and unresolved issues • Bad decisions in moments of crisis.
  • 4. Outbreak of War • 28 June 1914, Bosnian Nationalist assassinates Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, heirs to the Austrian throne • Serbia's involvement assumed. Austrians already considering military action against Serbia. • Germany takes "calculated risk" to support ally and weaken Russian position in Balkans. • Serbians concede most Austrian demands, but Austria declares war prior to military mobilization
  • 5. • Russians mobilize in reaction, with French support • Austria begins mobilizing against Russia • Word that Russian mobilization has begun arrived one minute before German mobilization announced. Schlieffen Plan: • 1 August, Germans occupy Luxembourg; • 3 August, Germans violate Belgian neutrality, triggering British defense agreement and British public opinion. • The plan was to turn south; Defeat of France expected to take 6 weeks, while Russia is held off. • German generals and field commanders failed "narrowly" to carry it out.
  • 8. "Home Front": Total War • Full investment of modern bureaucratic state and private resources within the nation. • Total mobilization of people, industry. • Rationing of essentials and non-essentials. • Shift to female factory labor, and employment even for middle-class women; freedom of behavior for women, due to situation and stresses. • Morale-building
  • 9. Western Front: "No Man's Land" • Machine Gun • Trenches • Barbed Wire • Poison Gas • Airplanes and Airships • Telephone and Radio • Infiltration Units • Tanks • Instant Potatoes and Safety Razors
  • 10. Eastern Front • Dangers of Radio • Diesel Mobility • Fomenting Insurrection
  • 11. Ocean Front • Blockade • Submarine Warfare • Aerial Attacks
  • 12. Public Diplomacy • Propaganda – Highlighting enemy atrocities – Building morale at home • Strategic Alliances: Japan, Italy – Mexico (Zimmerman Telegram) • Fomenting Insurrection – Lenin in Russia – Irish Easter Uprising – Lawrence of Arabia • Wilson's 14 Points
  • 13. Wilson's Fourteen Points 1, open diplomacy 10, Austria-Hungarians given "freest 2, freedom of the seas opportunity of autonomous 3, freedom of trade development" 4, arms reductions 11, realignment of Balkans "along 5, colonial self- historically established lines of determination; allegiance and nationality" 6-8, German evacuation 12, division of Ottoman empire into from Russia, Belgium, Turkish and self-determining peoples France, including Franco- 13, independent Poland Prussian War losses 14, "a general association of nations ... 9, Italian national affording mutual guarantees of political unification independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike."
  • 14. Ending the War • Russian Revolution • US involvement • German Resource Exhaustion • Paris Peace Settlement, aka Versailles Treaties – German War Guilt – Reparations – Disbanded German Military – Demilitarized French Border • Breakup of Empires and Mandate System