World war one revision notes

extensive revision notes for world war one

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First world war
how and why it was fought
cause of war
there were many reasons for Britain joining the first world war, these included if France lost
against Germany than this would harm British interest, Britain also couldn't let such an
aggressive country control Europe. War wasn't inevitable but because Germany declares war
on Russia, than France it definitely gave the impression of inevitability. Britain also had to
defend Belgium as Germany would have to march through there to get to France.
How and why did tench warfare evolve?
The scene is set
4 British infantry divisions and 1 cavalry division 80,00 men, 30,00 horses 315 guns were
dispatched to France. The army was commanded by Sir John French. They were
concentrated at the Belgium frontier. The French were commanded by General Lanrezac.
Germany had three main armies, 1st army led by Von Kluck , 2nd Von Bulow. The 2nd fought
with the French at the Sambre river, French lost and had to retreat.
as the French retreated, the British moved into Belgium. They took the mining town of Mons.
They fought with the 1st German army under Von Kluck. The British expeditionary force (BEF)
suffered 1,600 casualties, French retreated again, so the British pulled back to the river
Marne where another French army was. This retreat had a large effect on moral. The French
commander-in-chief field marshal Joffre started a counter attack.
Race to the sea
the Germans attacked with a large force, almost breaking the French. But as they moved
past Paris it left their flank vulnerable to a counter-attack. The German commander-in-chief
feared encirclement and therefore pulled his army back to the north of river Aisne. The
British then attacked the Germans, but had no look at removing them from the river Aisne.
The allies tried to flank and so did the Germans this led them into the Belgium army. So the
British moved towards Ypres to help the Belgium Army to keep control of that area of
Belgium. This gave British ports and supplies. Reinforcements of British soldiers were now
sent to France. The Germans attempted to reach the ports one last time on 20 October 1914
(the first battle of Ypres) and attacked Ypres. Both Germans and British suffered many loses.
By the end of the year most of northern France and Belgium was occupied by the Germans.
Trenches spanned from the channel to the swiss border. The only option was a head on
assault. By the the end of the year the BEF suffered 245,197 casualties and the Indian army
became divided.
second battle of Ypres
the British suffered a shortage of shells and heavy guns. The new armies needed time to
train, British secretary of state of war, lord Kitchener didn't want to use them too soon. The
territorial division and Canadian division arrived and they were to hold the Germans of in the
second battle of Ypres. Poisoned gas was used by the Germans but the allied forces managed
to hold the line. Troops were now also being dispatched to the Ottoman empire as they had
joined the Germans.
a new Commander-in-Chief was now appointed in charge of the BEF General Sir Douglas Haig
who replaced John French. Haig now commanded five armies, hundreds and thousands of
men. They needed hundreds of ammunitions, in one 24 hour period 943,947 shells were fired.

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He knew
artillery was vital to the war.
Defeating the Germans.
There were many issues when fighting the Germans:
· they used smokeless powder,machine guns, rapidly
firing accurate artillery. This gave them both
advantage to offence and defence.
· Germans had constructed a series of complex series
of trench fortifications.
· Germans occupied most of France
· barbed wire made trawling through trenches
These were extremely hard for Haig to overcome.…read more

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Belgium ports were key to stop the submarine warfare starving
British imports. Britain also need land behind German coasts. Preliminary to the attack was a
plan to seize Messines Ridge, south of Ypres, there was a bombardment and they gained the
ridge. The main attack was 31 July it was a creeping barrage which penetrated enemy
positions. But rained caused planned assaults to stop. Due to this rain and shell damage it
was made into a swamp. Many drowned in the mud.…read more

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· conscripted
a usually British infantry division was about 19600 men. But this was usually not the case due
to injuries and lack of replacements. Eventually there were five armies.
There actual structure is there is 1 army corps which is lead by a lieutenant general, 2 or
more of the corps makes an army.
lee Enfield rifle
· basic but excellent weapon
· 15 rounds of 303.…read more

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British pay was not great but it was better than the French. Pay increased the higher skilled
you were. For 1 shilling a soldiers could buy 70 cigarettes. Good and clothing were free. And
a lot of pay was sent home to dependants.
Life behind the line
rotation of units from front lines to reserve positions helped morale. This was only practised
by the British armies. But this meant soldiers never fully learnt their trench positions.…read more

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The problem with this some towns lost vast numbers of citizens as they
died together.Voluntary or 'voluntary'
volunteering is obviously something you choose to do, a lot of men actually did volunteer for
the army. But many were advised to 'volunteer' or told by bosses they were expected to
volunteer. Recruiters were often shady as they were paid for each man that enlisted so would
ignore certain details e.g. age. And when payment decreased they got shadier targeting
drunks.…read more

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The first aid nursing yeomanry (FANYS)
was a group of women who would rescue injured men from the battlefield. There was only
116 FANYs as it was dangerous.
because women were taking over man in the UK, the government rethought about letting
them onto the front lines. So it was decided women would replace men in administrative
work, releasing men to fight. The women's auxiliary army corps (WAACS) was made they
undertook many jobs such as clerks, in structures.…read more

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By raising a fear of people secretly being German this made people more eager to end the
war. There were German spies living in Britain and British intelligence knew of them and
when war was started they were arrested. Some imprisoned or shot. People now were
continuously 'spy spotting' .
German propaganda
even more stories were spread of Germans doing terrible atrocities usually with women and
children. Some stories did have some truth rape was used and human shields.…read more

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Miners demanded increase pay permanently and the government had to obey just so
they would start work again. Due to this many thought the state should control mines but the
liberal dependant on donations by mine owners. But due to DORA the mines became state
controlled, still remanded privately own, but they had a fixed profit.
Transport industry.
It is obviously essential in war time to move troops,civilians,material and goods effectively
from Britain to overseas.…read more

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By 1928 a lot of the investments have been restored.
Women also had new opportunities in telecommunications and service industries.
Social effects.
Due to rationing this created queuing. British summer time was permanently introduced.
Cigarettes became popular as they were easier and tax was too pricey on cigars. Alcohol
consumption fell due to tax. Class divisions still existed but were becoming fuzzy as they
served together in the war. Women now took more control of their futures.
Political effects.…read more


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