World War One Key Events

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  • World War One- Key Events
    • Trench Warfare
      • This type of warfare was relatively knew. It involved hundreds of miles of trenches being dug across Europe with the aim of protecting soldiers from enemy shelling.
      • The soldiers lived in poor conditions in the trenches. Trench foot developed which is where soldiers feet started to rot due to the bacteria, mud, and constant moisture.
      • Generals struggled to keep up with the ever developing technology such as machine guns and tanks and many were criticised for this.
      • The war began with cavalry charges and open battles however it soon became clear that this was useless against modern weapons.
    • The Gallipoli Campaign
      • By February 1915 the Western Front was at stalemate.
      • The Russians were being threatened by the Turks at Caucasus so soldiers from the British Empire went to help them.
      • The British planned a naval campaign centred around the Gallipoli peninsula in the Dardanelles to divert troops from Caucasus.
      • 6 British ships were destroyed/ damaged by bad weather before arriving.
      • The Turks knew of the British plan so increased their numbers before they arrived.
      • The aim of the campaign was to get Turkey out of the war and to get the Balkan States to join the allies.
      • Heat and disease made conditions unbearable for the soldiers and the campaign failed.
      • In December 1915 the campaign was abandoned. 300,000 Turkish and 214,000 Allies were killed.
    • The Battle of Verdun- February-July 1916
      • In February 1916, German General von Falkenhayn decided that the key to winning the war was Western France.
      • General von Falkenhayn knew that the French would use many soldiers to protect the fortress town of Verdun.
      • Falkenhayn thought he could overpower the French and damage their army. However, the French were well led and prepared.
      • Throughout March and April the land near Verdun changed hands many times, with the French being led by General Petain.
      • In July 1916, the Allies began the Somme offensive and the battle came to an end. The Somme offensive was started partly to relieve the French.
      • Approximately 400,000 soldiers form each side were killed. By October, Verdun and the surrounding areas were back in French hands.
    • The Battle of the Somme- July-November 1916
      • The first day of the Somme offensive was the worst ever in British military history with 20,000 dead and 20,000 injured.
      • British General Haig refused to change his tactics. Men were instructed to slowly walk over 'No Mans Land' resulting in many being killed by German machine guns.
      • The aim was to take over 15 miles of trenches but by November they had only advanced 5 miles.
      • 420,000 British soldiers, 195,000 French soldiers and 650,000 German soldiers died.
    • The End of the War
      • The war ended when Germany surrendered on 11th November 1918.
      • 8 million soldiers and 9 million civilians died.
      • The Treaty of Versailles.
        • The Treaty was made on 28th June 1919 to punish Germany for losing the war.
        • It was signed at the Palace of Versailles in France after 6 months of negotiations.
        • Germany were banned form the talks, and the treaty angered the German people.


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