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Section II: The War is Fought (Pages 618-623) This section is about: How new technology and fighting methods led to a long, drawn out war with heavy losses sustained by the armies of many nations. How the entrance into war by fresh troops from the United States led Germany to seek an end to the fighting. We know there’s a “Great War” in Europe Today we see what that has to do with the United States. Look at the Main Ideas on page 618. Look at the “Critical Question” on the bottom of page 622 (keep thinking about that). The War is Fought / The War Unfolds The Great War was the first war to include most of the nations of the world. Battles were fought in many countries, on every ocean, and for the first time, in the skies. Newer and deadlier weapons were also changing the nature of warfare. Military Resources and Strategy In just a few days Austria Hungary bombed Serbia. Russia mobilized it’s troops. Austria-Hungary gathered it’s troops on the Russian border. Germany gave Russia 12 hours to stop moving it’s troops. Germany gave France 18 hours to announce it was staying neutral. Russia and France ignored Germany. Germany declared war on Russia. France mobilized it’s troops. Germany demanded Belgium let their troops pass through to France. Germany declared war on France and Belgium. Britain declared war on Germany (to back Belgium). The Allies Had more troops. But the Russians were slow. The Central Powers Germany had superior railroads, a large, well trained army, and a good navy. Germany had been planning strategy for 5 years. They knew they’d probably have to fight on two fronts. They were going to use: “the Schlieffen Plan” – Northern France first and then Russia. A New Kind of War Many new weapons were used for the first time in the Great War. Machine guns Giant Cannons First armored tanks Fighter Planes Bombs dropped from planes Unterseeboats (German U-Boats) Poison Gas Trench Warfare The War From 1914 to 1916 For Germany, the war starting in Belgium was more about geography than politics. Belgium had good, flat land - and lots of railroads. They were also in the center of Europe and directly on the way to Paris. The Western Front By early September (in two months), the Germans were 15 miles from Paris. But they were stopped at the Marne River. The Germans now couldn’t get a quick French victory. The fighting reached a stalemate – with neither side gaining an advantage Both sides “dug in” with trench warfare – digging trenches and ditches - also with barbed wire for protection. This trench warfare was fought over a 400 mile stretch in France. The area in between the two sides was called “no-mans-land” because no-one ever controlled it (and everything in the area was destroyed – buildings, roads, and even the trees and grass. ………………… The Germans tried a second attack – in northwest Belgium. On the first day of the attack, the French soldiers were first distracted by a grayish-green vapor. They had no experience with this vapor – but it was poison gas. Many suffered terrible pain and death (92,000 deaths, 1.2 million casualties). The Germans kept attacking and next tried a 6 mile stretch of land near Verdun. After 10 more months of fighting, the French had stopped the Germans from advancing with the rallying cry: “they shall not pass.” The Eastern Front There was also fighting at the same time near Poland and Russia. Russia is so big, it took a lot of German soldiers to try and take their land. The Germans and Austrians did win some battles on the Eastern Front. Russia had 4 times as many soldiers as the Germans – but bad officers. Russia had poor leaders (they even gave orders on open radios) and poorly trained soldiers, Russian soldiers didn’t have enough food, and their soldiers were just getting tired of fighting. In two battles in a row, more than 350,000 Russians were captured – and their fighting equipment was taken/destroyed. Global Involvement Most of the war was in Europe, but… There was some fighting in Asia and Africa, usually involving colonies of the countries fighting in Europe. Fighting on the Sea Great Britain and Germany both set up sea blockades to cut off each other’s supplies (including food). On May 7th, 1915, the Germans sank the British ship “Lusitania” (with 100 Americans on board). The Germans killed more Americans in 1916 (on the Sussex). President Wilson told Germany we’d break off ties with them if they didn’t stop shooting at ships with Americans. The United States Gets Involved President Wilson had kept the U.S. out of the war, but… In 1917, the Germans resumed “unrestricted submarine warfare” – sinking 5 American ships in a month. And, the British intercepted a message from Germany to Mexico (The Zimmerman Telegram). In it Germany promised if Mexico helped them fight the Americans, they’d get the land back that they last in their war with the U.S. (The MexicanAmerican War). Americans were furious. ………………. On April 2nd, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany – in order to “make the world safe for democracy.” On April 6th, war was declared. It took until about 1918 to get our soldiers to Europe, but 1.2 million Americans helped the Allies. Clashes in Russia The Russians were tired of fighting and signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers in March, 1918. Russia was now out of the war. The agreement was that they’d give up: 30% of their farmlands 50% of their industry 90% of their coal mines German could now go back and concentrate on the fighting on the Western Front.