World War One Context

  • Created by: Anaiya17
  • Created on: 27-05-18 14:36

The Start Of The War

Many of the large countries in Europe had a defense alliance. Countries in the alliance would also have to enter the war.

Britain, France, Ireland, and Russia were an alliance called Triple Entente.
Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary which was known as the Central Powers.

On June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated this triggered a series of events which lead to WW1 breaking out.

Austria-Hungary threatened was on Serbia this was because a Serbian terrorist group called The Black Hand had killed Franz Ferdinand using a Bosnian man named Gavrilo Princip.

Germany sided with Austria-Hungary and Russia sided with Serbia.

August 3, 1914, Germany also declared war on France.

German troops marched to France on August 4, 1914. They chose a route which went through Belguim, and because Britain had agreed to keep Belgium neutral, they declared war on Germany.

Britain and Germany fought on August 23, 1914.

The Battle of Mons took place in Belguim and this was the first of many battles between the British and German troops on the Western Front.

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Promote recruitment

Poster of Lord Kitchener's (Secretary State of war) heavily moustached face and intimidating finger imploring the British population that 'Your Country Needs YOU'.

British propaganda posters often employed the religious symbolism of St George slaying the (German) dragon.

British recruitment changer in tone, from appealing to an individual's honour to 'mobilisation by shame'.

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Enlisting into the army

The first weekend of the war in 1914, 100 men an hour (3,000 a day) signed up to join the armed forces

54 million posters

8 million personal letters

12,000 meetings

20,000 speeches delivered by military spokesmen

By the end of 1914, 1,186,337 men had enlisted.

Men lied about their age, boys as young as 13/14

Conscription was introduced in 1916 

People who refused to fight on moral or religious grounds were called conscientious objectors.

Their consciences would not allow them to kill.

Conscientious objectors had to appear before a kind of court, called a Tribunal, to explain why they would not go to war.

(Conscription - When a military needs people to fight in a war, but there aren't enough volunteers, sometimes they'll begin conscription, which is a law that says if you are able to fight, you have to fight.)

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Battle of the Somme

Frist day of the battle, July 1st, 1916 was the bloodiest and remains worst in British Army's history.

Britains first-day casualties, 19,240 died

60% of British officers who were involved on the first day lost their lives.

The battle lasted 141 days, from July 1st to November 18th, 1916.

419,654 dead, missing or wounded.

72,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers died at Somme with no known graves and whose names are recorded on the British memorial at Thiepval.

The battle was ultimately a strategic victory.

Hurt the Germans badly and brought America into the war.

Battle was an important step towards Allied victory in 1918.

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Seigfried Sassoon

Remembered for his angry and compassionate poems.

wrote horror, and brutality of trench warfare and contemptuously satirized generals, politicians and churchmen for their incompetence and blind support for the war.

Sassoon served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, seeing action in France in late 1915.

Received a Military Cross for bringing back a wounded soldier during heavy fire.

After being wounded in action he wrote an open letter of protest to the war department, refusing to fight anymore.

The letter was read in the House of Commons.

He expected to be court-martialled for his protest.

Poet, Robert Graves, argues he was suffering from shell-shock and needed medical treatment.

In 1917, Sassoon was hospitalised.

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Wilfred Owen

Composed all his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918.

November 1918 he was killed in action at age of 25 one week before the Armistice.

Having endured such experiences from January to April, Owen was sent to a series of hospitals between May 1st and June 26th, 1917 because of severe headaches but was eventually diagnosed with shell shock.

In spite of strong desire to remain in England to protest the continuation of the war, finally returned to comrades in the trenches.

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The Aftermath

Allied countries wanted to ensure that there was peace for a long time.

Treaty of Versailles The leaders of the USA, Great Britain and France met to decide what should happen next.

Germany, Austria and Hungary were not invited.

France wanted to punish Germany.

The USA wanted to make sure there was peace for a long time.

Great Britain wanted to keep the peace but also to make Germany pay for what they owed.

Other countries' leaders met them in Versailles, in France, once they made their minds up.

the agreement was called Treaty of Versailles.

Germany had to accept total blame for starting the war.

Some places that Germany used to own, like Alsace-Lorraine, would not belong to them anymore.

Banned Germany from joining up with Austria or having and an army of more than 100,000 men.

Not allowed to have submarines or an air force at all.

Germany had to pay 132 billion gold marks (Germany's currency before the Euro) to repair the damage.

Britain also had money problems, they borrowed lots of money during the war to pay for weapons an machinery.

Many still suffered from shell shock or were disabled.

Training centres were set up to re-train ex-servicemen in new jobs in the community, such as cobblers, electricians and jewellers.

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