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OUTBREAK OF WAR: EFFECT ON POLITICS
Kaiser: "I know no parties anymore, only Germans".
Socialists in the Reichstag also voted for the war credits (money for the war).
Political divisions of the pre-war era were over.
Reichstag passed an enabling act:
Burgfrieden: Siege of a castle where all the defenders put their divisions aside in the name
of survival.
Reinforced the pre-war institutional structures.
Bundersrat was to rule the Home Front by emergency legislation.
Ministry of War took over the bureaucratic running of war ­ much strengthened by the
traditional bureaucracy.…read more

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1914- UNLEASHING SCHLIEFFEN PLAN
Blueprint for a victory on two fronts, knocking out France before turning on
Russia.
August: Advance was strong despite meeting fierce resistance from British ­
however supplies were not able to keep up pace.
In the East Hindenburg and Ludenforff became folk Heroes for their commanding
the great victories.
End of Sept: (Defining moment in war) Stalemate ensued. Germany's best
opportunity for military victory had passed.…read more

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1915: ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY
Debate resulted within command on which front to focus on: East or the
Western front.
Decision to attack in the East = Threw the Russians back 250miles.
Despite the massive Russian losses, they were not thrown out of the war.
Key became to knock the Allies out on the Western front.
Despite the fact America was close to coming into the war because of the sinking of the
passenger ship the Lusitania.
By the end of 1915 German armies were spread across Europe and in Asia
and Africa.…read more

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WAR EFFECT ON FOOD SUPPLIES
Germans ordered a submarine blockade of England, to which the English
responded by seizing all food stuff presumed to be heading towards Germany.
Before the war Germany imported 25% of the food it needed:
Military taking priority over transport meant that supplies to the cities were
hit.
State takes over the distribution of food:
However there were complex supply chains and bureaucracy.
The War Food Office was not able to exert effective control over all the other
organisations and agencies.
Example of bad decisions: Kill all the pigs because they eat grain which is needed =
shortage of Pork and fertiliser which would have an adverse effect on food production.…read more

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SHORTAGE OF LABOUR
Mobilisation in 1914 dried the countryside up of it's labour
By end of 1914 half of the agricultural workforce had been called up (had an
immediate impact on Grain production).
Conservative nature of the establishment = women were not considered in
terms of conscription and or the armed forces.
However many women were working in the munitions factories, many decided to
do war work because it was better paid.
Shortage of particular foodstuffs led to German's consuming many
substitutive foodstuffs.
Black market flourished.…read more

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