THE GREAT WAR 1914-18: PART TWO
Battle of the Somme was a shock for both sides. German thought British were less a threat than French
on land. They were shocked by British effort. Propaganda target for German offensive.
The Germans launched a campaign of unrestricted warfare, strangling sea-born links of Britain to the
rest of the world. Lay siege on the country and kill their war effort.
The fallout of countries affected by the unrestricted warfare, the German efforts had to guess how many
ships they needed to sink to get the intended target of starving Britain.
Both their amount of ships to be sunk and the need of u-boats was miscalculated.
They didn't take into account that Britain would react. The British used counter measures, convoys,
explosives to destroy u-boats, and they broke the intelligence system and misguided the revealed u-
boats. The British beat and overcame the deadly u-boat.
What helped the British was American involvement, another huge miscalculation.American
belligerency may be provoked, but the Germans thought they could sink Britain faster thanAmerica's
military might. Before 1914, there was no air capacity, navy, or proper army. They would need a long
time to mobilize. The Germans never expected them to rise the way they did.
Germans knew Mexicans had problems with the U.S, and was promised by Germany a return of its
territory, on the condition that it declared war on the U.S (Zimmerman Telegram). It should have been
secure, but the British were tapping even the secure line, they broke the cipher and they promptly
delivered it to the White House as an act of war against the U.S.
President Wilson was not amused. The submarine warfare pushed him onApril 2, 1914 to declare war.
The Mexicans cleverly ignored the deal...
Lusitania incident also convinced Wilson to declare war on the Central powers.
The immediate movement of theAmericans to the front wasn't too huge, “Laffayette we are here”.
BUT it was very much international pressures that brought them out.
1. AllAmerican destroyers and merchant vessels brought Britain necessary goods, they were
employed after the declaration of war without a second thought.
2. Germany fatal mistake, they left a large German fleet anchored in U.S. They were seized as
contraband and they contributed to sending the U.S army abroad.
Submarine offensive had failed. One camp had to restore mobility and crack the western front.
1917 was the same as before. Nivelle, Spring offensive turned out to be a disaster, large mutiny in the
French lines. Petain was in charge of the front now, no more costly offensive he decided, in response to
VIMY RIDGE- Canadians capture it, French fail to take advantage of the situation.
Third battle at YPRES. British made counter-battle, counter-fire, but it ended the same way of
stalemate for Hage and the BritishArmy. He wrongly persisted in pushing an offensive through enemy
Canadian division pushed through PSSCHENDAELE RIDGE but the win was costly, Haig decided to
Italy joinedAllies, left the Central powers. Italians made slow go on the mountainous terrain inAustria
Battle of Caporetto, Italians driven back 80 miles, only to be saved by British and French units to hold
their ground against a jointAustrian and German attack.
The Crisis in the Somme had political effects, as many other battles. This battle brought Lloyd George
to power in the British government.
Ministry of Munitions created in response to dud shells and weapons, make sure they work and ensure
Tiny group of civil servants mobilizing Britain for war. Th