Germany 1914-19

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What was the significance of the Battle of the Marne?
The Germans were forced to retreat, the Schlieffen Plan had failed meaning the Germans were unable to achieve a quick-victory
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When did unrestricted submarine warfare begin?
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When were the Battles of Verdun and Somme? why were they significant?
1916; the losses suffered undermined Falkenhayn and he was replaced by Hindenburg and Ludendorff, Germany had failed to break out of the deadlock by 1916
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Why did Germany fail to exploit the collapse of Russia?
Supreme Command kept 1.5million men on the Eastern Front to maintain control, these could have kept the momentum of German advance
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When did USA enter the war?
April 1917
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When was unrestricted submarine warfare restarted?
February 1917
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When was the 'black day' of the German army?
8 August 1918
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How was German war economy a factor in its defeat in war?
Germany was unprepared for the economic costs of prolonged war, the economy was dislocated, which wrecked the governments finances and increased social tension
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What was Burgfriede?
A political truce, agreed between all political parties and the laws for necessary loans to finance the war were passed unanimously
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How successful was the Burgfriede in Germany?
It lasted over the first two years of war, where the government faced no opposition from the public or Reichstag
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What were the economic consequences of war?
German banks and export industries were disrupted, Germany's capacity to produce enough food was limited, the ability to import raw materials was curtailed
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Why did Germany become a military dictatorship?
The Kaiser exercised no real power he became a figurehead, Bethmann did not having popular backing, the Kaiser's unreliability making him and his government more isolated and unable to resist the interference of the military
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How was the emergence of Hindenburg and Ludendorff a turning point?
it weakened the authority of the Kaiser and the Chancellor, the Supreme Command started to exert powerful influence over all German events
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What is the significance of the 'silent dictatorship'?
Several opportunities for a negotiated peace were turned down, the Auxiliary Service Law was introduced to militarise society, Bethmann was forced out of office
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What was the total of Germany's war dead?
1.8million (16% of those conscripted)
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What caused discontent on the home front to grow?
Inflation, food and fuel shortages, civilian deaths from starvation and hyperthermia, infant mortality which increased by over 50% and the flu epidemic which killed between 20-40million Europeans
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In what ways was Germany divided over the issue of war aims?
On one hand there were those who believed Germany was fighting a defensive war, and on the other there were those who argued for Siegfriede, a victory peace
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Why was the pursuit of Siegfriede seen as essential in order to maintain the status quo at home?
It was feared that unless Germany achieved a decisive victory with territorial gains and compensation from the defeated countries, it would prove impossible to prevent Germany from undergoing great change
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What was the peace resolution of July 1917?
Following the speech of a Centre Party deputy, in which he publicly declared that a negotiated peace was necessary, a peace resolution was passed in the Reichstag by 212 votes to 126, however nothing was achieved by this
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Why did Ludendorff support constitutional reform?
He wanted to secure the best possible peace terms and believed the Allies would be more sympathetic to a democratic regime, he hoped to prevent the outbreak of political revolutionary disturbances, he saw the need to shift responsibility for defeat
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Where lies the origins of the 'stab in the back' myth?
Ludendorff shifted responsibility for defeat from conservative forces and the military to the civilian gov.
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What constitutional reforms transformed Germany into a parliamentary democracy?
Wilhelm gave up powers over the military & Reichstag, the Chancellor was made accountable to the Reichstag
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Why did the October reform fail?
They were not radical enough to impress the German people
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In November 1918 popular discontent turned into a more fundamental revolutionary movement, the disturbances were prompted by...
the realisation by soldiers that the war was lost & nothing was to be gained by continuing, the sense of national shock at defeat, increasing anger over socio-economic conditions
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What was the fundamental aim of the SPD?
To create a socialist republic, committed to parliamentary democracy, it rejected communism
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In what ways was the left-wing movement divided?
The SPD was a moderate socialist party, the Spartacus League & USPD in contrast stood on the extreme left - the disagreement was between parliamentary democracy and revolutionary democracy
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What were the main problems faced by Ebert's coalition gov.?
Inflation, shortages, the flu epidemic, strikes, German communists, workers' and soldiers' councils, nationalists, the army, freikorps, allied blockade, peace terms and demobilisation
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What was the basis of the Ebert-Groener agreement?
the Supreme Army Command agreed to support the provisional government and to use troops to maintain stability in return for opposition of revolutionary socialism
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What was the basis of the Stinnes-Legien agreement?
a deal where the trade unions made a commitment not to interfere with private ownership in return for workers committees, an 8-hour working day and legal recognition
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Why did the left wing movement split?
USPD members of the gov. resigned over the shooting of spartacists by soldiers but really the split emerged because USPD desired to introduce fundamental social and economic changes
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Why did the Spartacist revolt in Jan 1919 fail?
While strong on policies, the Spartacists were detached from political realities
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Was the election a success for democracy?
the high turn-out of 83% suggested faith in the idea of democracy, 76.1% of the votes went to pro-democratic parties, the solid vote for 3 main democratic parties made it straightforward to form a coalition gov.
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How fundamental were the changes brought about by the German revolution?
The German Revolution did not go much further than the October reforms and society was left untouched by events as there was no attempt to reform the civil service
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When did unrestricted submarine warfare begin?



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When were the Battles of Verdun and Somme? why were they significant?


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Why did Germany fail to exploit the collapse of Russia?


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When did USA enter the war?


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