World war 1



Allies: the armies, primarily, of Britain, France, Russia and America.

Armistice: November 1918 – an agreed cease-fire in the war that proved to be the end of the war

ANZAC’s: force from Australia and New Zealand. Suffered badly at Gallipoli.

B Beatty, David: Admiral in the British Navy; fought at Jutland.

Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of: signed between Russia and Germany. It took Russia out of the war in 1917 and took huge amounts of Russian land away from the country.

British Expeditionary Force (BEF): the professional army of Britain that went to France in 1914. Referred to as “contemptible” by Kaiser Wilhelm II. 100,000 soldiers were hastily sent to France at the start of the war but the BEF had lost 50,000 men by December 1914. Fought on the Battle of Mons. 

C Caporetto, Battle of: a battle in north Italy that lead to the destruction of the Italian Army

Central Powers: Germany, Austria and Turkey

Conscription: introduced in 1916 in Britain. So many men had been killed that volunteers simply did not make up the loss. Conscription is where men of a certain age had to join the military (health permitting). Others became conscientious objectors.  

Chlorine: one of the poison gases used during the war.

Court Martial: a military court to try soldiers. It had the right to pass the death sentence.

D Dreadnought: the name given to a new ‘breed’ of ship in the British navy. The first of these new super-large battleships was launched in 1906 and lead to a naval race between Britain and Germany. This naval race was one of the long term causes of World War One. E Execution: usually for cowardice in the face of the enemy. 332 British soldiers were executed in the war. A campaign is still running to get these men officially forgiven as “shell shock”  victims but was not recognised by the military then as a genuine reason for failing in your duty. F Foch, Ferdinand: Generalissimo of Allied forces in 1918.

Front Line: the area of trenches nearest to the enemy

G Gallipolli, Battle of: Winston Churchill’s plan to relieve the fighting in western Europe was an attack in Turkey. It proved to be a disaster for the ANZAC’s – Australian and New Zealand forces who suffered very bad casualties. H Haig, Field Marshall: commander of British forces at the Somme. His leadership during this battle has its supporters and critics. I Infantry: soldiers who fought on foot. Took many casualties from machine gun fire, poison gas and poor and out-of-date tactics. Suffered trench warfare. J Joffre, Joseph: senior French army commander

Jutland, Battle of: the only major naval battle of the war. No conclusive outcome though Britain claimed a victory.

K Kaiser: Germany’s king – William II. Spelt Wilhelm in German.

Kitchener: Minister of War and in one of the most famous posters of all time – “Your country needs


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