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Transcript
World War I: Battles & Technology
EQ: How was WWI fought?
COMBATANTS OF WWI
(Triple Alliance)Central
Powers
Germany
(Triple Entente)Allied
Powers
Russia
Austria-Hungary
Ottoman Empire
Bulgaria
France
World War I
Great Britain
Italy
Japan
United States (1917)
Why was WWI a Stalemate?
• What’s a stalemate?
–Neither side can make a move to win
• Both sides of the war threw arms
and troops in to win but…………
• Millions die without gaining ground.
WHY?
Precursor to Battle of Verdun
• After two years of warfare, Germans realize they
can’t break through the Allied lines in France.
• German General Falkenhayn proposes a war of
attrition against the French Army.
• A war of attrition is about killing more people
than you lose. Example: Can’t take the hill? Then
kill as many as you can and one day you will.
– Attack a position the French can’t afford to lose
– Kill as many French troops as possible
The Battle of Verdun
• February 21, 1916 –
December 18, 1916
• One of the most costly
battles of WWI.
• Germans attempt to
conquer key French city
of Verdun.
• Would have opened
Paris up to invasion.
New Tactics
• Germans attack with
flame throwers for the
first time.
– Flame throwers used to
clear French out of
trenches
• German troops begin
attack with grenades
instead of rifles
• Manage to move forward
three miles in a day.
• New types of poison gas
introduced by Germans.
Results
• French Casualties
– 550000 dead
• German Casualties
– 434000 dead
• British begin battle of
the Somme to relieve
French army at Verdun.
• Neither French or
German army gains an
advantage.
Significance
• French hold Verdun thanks to forts
– Convinced that a system of fixed heavy forts is the best
defense (will not work for the French in WWII… ask me
why)
• WWI becomes a war of attrition. Armies fight
lengthy battles, with very high casualties.
Trench Warfare
Trench Warfare – type of fighting during World
War I in which both sides dug trenches protected
by mines and barbed wire
• Trenches were dug from English Channel to
Switzerland
• 6,250 miles
• 6 to 8 feet deep
• Immobilized both sides for 4 years
THE TRENCH SYSTEM
Layout:
• 1st: No Man’s Land
• 2nd: Barbed wire,
mines, etc.
• 3rd: Front line
• 4th: Communication
trench
• 5th: Support
trenches
LIFE IN THE TRENCHES
• Elaborate systems
of defense
– barbed wire
– Concrete machine
gun nests
– Mortar batteries
– Troops lived in holes
underground
• Boredom
– Soldiers read to
pass the time
– Sarah Bernhardt
came out to the
front to read
poetry to the
soldiers
“Death is Everywhere”
• “We all had on us the stench
of dead bodies.” Death
numbed the soldier’s minds.
• Shell shock (mental anguish)
• Psychological devastation
• “Never such innocence again”
• Bitterness towards aristocratic
officers whose lives were
never in danger
WWI WEAPONRY
The countries fighting grew more and
more desperate to break the
stalemate. The war of attrition led to
more terrifying ways to kill humans
What new weapons were used in WWI?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Machine gun
Poison gas (Mustard gas)
• Carried by the wind
• Burned out soldier’s lungs
• Deadly in the trenches
where it would
sit at the bottom
Submarine
Airplane
Tank
Hand grenades
Flame Throwers
Why these weapons? Why now?
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION!!!
New Technologies of WWI
• Tanks
• Initially used for
breaking through
barbed wire between
trenches.
• Armed with small guns,
and machine guns
Artillery
• Germans produce
massive guns for
shelling French lines.
• Some fire shells as large
as 1000 pounds,
• The “Paris Gun” is able
to fire shells over 75
miles.
Poisonous Gas
• Poisonous gasses
like mustard gas used
by both sides.
• Fired by artillery into
opposing lines.
• Hundreds of
thousands die due to
exposure.
German submarines, called U-boats,
torpedoed enemy ships and neutral
ships trading with the enemy.
Air Combat
• Airplanes initially used
only for observation.
• Enemy airplanes armed
with machine guns to
shoot down observation
planes.
• Eventually planes used
to drop bombs on
enemy positions.