World War I


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World War I
Tensions Build: 1900 ­ 1914,
Anglo-German Naval Rivalry,
Great cause of tension, 1898.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar Britain rules the waves unchallenged.
Britain navy number1 in world.
1898: Kaiser ordered new Germany navy built.
Britain felt vulnerable despite being number 1.
Britain's navy spread all over the world.
Germany navy concentrated in North Sea, near Britain.
Britain suspicious of Germany's claim to need a navy.
Germany saw things differently.
Germany needed navy to protect growing foreign trade (almost as large as Britain's trade).
Felt Britain was overreacting.
Britain not convinced by Germany explanations.
1906: HMS Dreadnought launched; revolutionary.
1908: Germany responded with own `Dreadnought' class.
Naval race was on!
Profile: Kaiser Wilhelm II,
Born 1861: badly withered left arm, possible slight brain damage resulting in hearing and attention span deficits.
Stern, unloving family and strict education.
Kaiser at 27 years old w. Germany growing rapidly.
Famous for energy, enthusiasm, unpredictability.
Intelligent, but had explosive temper, mood swings.
Keen on military, appointing officers to most government posts.
Wanted Germany to be greatest power of Europe, recognized as number 1 by older states on continent.
Liked physical exercise and practical jokes.
Closely involved with Germany's war plans.
Supported Austria Hungary against Serbia in 1914.
1918: Abdicated and self-exiled to neutral Netherlands.
1941: Died in Netherlands.
The Arms Race on Land,
Europe becomes several armed camps.
Anglo-German naval rivalry just part of larger arms race.
Germany most militaristic.
Kaiser surrounded himself with military advisors.
Staged military rallies and parades.
Loved being seen in uniform.
Involved himself in military planning.
All nations militaristic to some extent.
Military glorified in schools across Europe.
Nationalism stressed.
`Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori'.
`Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country'.
Plans for War,
Europe felt war was `bound to come'.
All countries made detailed plans for war.
Army not biggest, but best trained.
Germany faced 2-front war with Russia and France.
Schlieffen Plan: Quickly attack and defeat France, then attack slower-mobilizing Russia.
Plan R: Hold off Russia until Schlieffen Plan worked while attacking Serbia in the south.

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Army badly equipped but huge.
Overwhelm Germany and Austria Hungary with sheer numbers.
Plan 17: Large attack along Germany border.
Great Britain,
Small, professional army (150,000) sent to France while navy blockades Triple Alliance/Central Powers.
This was a secret plan that Germany didn't know about!
All plans had three things in common.
They believed the war would be quick.
Assumption: No country could afford $$$ of prolonged war (didn't consider possible sale of war bonds or loans to keep war
going).…read more

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Austria Hungary wanted to destroy or control independent nation-states representing the same nationalities as people within
Austria Hungary.
1908: First Balkan Crisis,
Austria Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Many Serbs in region hoped to join Serbia.
Austria Hungary feared expanding power of Serbia.
Russia and Serbia protested.
Both threatened to take action.
Germany backed Austria Hungary, facing down Russia and Serbia.
Russia and Serbia backed down.
Austria Hungary confident that Germany would back future standoffs with Russia/Serbia.
Austria Hungary confident that Russia would back down.…read more


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