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Denis Smyth (169)

World War I

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Denis Smyth

9) WWI The Origins of the First World War: Part II February 5 • Germans created international climate and Eastern Question exaggerated tension ◦ successor of Ottoman empire not Russia andAustria-Hungary- Balkanization of the Balkans • Pig War in Serbia- tariffs in Serbian pork toAustria ◦ Austrians in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Serb population) during Russo- Turkish war ▪ had allowed Russia to fight onAustrian lands in exchange ▪ understood in international affairs thatAustria to keep Bosnia-Herzegovina ◦ but suddenly, Russia claimed thatAustria illegally annexing Bosnia-Herzegovina ◦ from DualAlliance, Germany had guaranteed to protectAustria in case of Russian aggression - but in Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis,Austria actually the aggressor • German chancellor Bulow to Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis -“our position would indeed be dangerous if Austria lost confidence and turned away. Germany's support has to be open” ◦ Austria invasion of Serbia for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Russia intervenes for Serbia • only by pre-emptive attack would Germany prevent defeat ◦ Balkan question changed from an occasion for war to a hair trigger for it • Germany threatened Russia with war if it didn't back off, backed off due to recent exhaustion fndm war with Japan - if Russia backed down again, wouldn't be regarded as great power • 2 Moroccan Crisis 1911- caused by the stupidity of France ◦ France occupied capital of Morocco- Germany stop them- Franco-German deteriorated ◦ British “French gain in Morocco stupid and dishonest. But vital interest for us to support her on this occasion in the same way Germans supportedAustrian policy in 1908 in Bosnia” • Anglo-French relations from Entente Cordiale changed ◦ Nov 1912- exchange of letters- Britain and France to act together in military action ▪ division of naval labour between Britain and France although no formal alliance • France gave all its fleets to British naval control alongAtlantic coast ▪ Churchill “We have all the obligations of an alliance without its advantages” • Oct 1912- league of Balkan states attack forces of Ottoman Empire and afflict serious defeats ◦ following year, fight with themselves over spoils of victory - Serbia the victor and gains ◦ according to Von Holsendoff (Austrian)- WWI caused by this and not the assassination ▪ “2 principals in sharp conflict: 1) maintenance ofAustria as conglomerate of various nationalities 2) rise of independent national states claiming ethnic territories” • 28 June 1914- member of the Blackhand assassinatedArchduke Franz Ferdinand and wife ◦ when Tsar heard of it “Serbia must be supported” ◦ Austria still cautious- asked Germany to ensure support-received blank check- do whatever ◦ Germany's only ally in EuropeAustria • Austrians gave ultimatum to Belgrade - demanded Serbian demilitarization and investigation ◦ Serbia's skillful reply on 25 July 1940 - met all the demands except essential ones • 28 July- Austria declared war and ensued massive bombardment on Belgrade ◦ French and Russian armies are not complete • 1 Aug 1914- Germany declared war on Russia, on 3 Aug on France • Britain- couldn't afford to see France wiped off the continent for commercial reasons ◦ but popular reaction- Britain claimed neutrality-would go to war if neutral Belgium attacked • Sir Edward Grey “lights are going out in Europe and we will never see them on in our lifetime” The Great War 1914-1918 Part 1 February 11 • Sep 1919- Chancellor Hollweg- general aim of the war- “security for the German Empire to the West and the East for the conceivable future. France must be so weakened that it can never rise again as a great power. Russia must be pushed back from the German frontier as far as possible. ▪ world war I a struggle for global domination- to equip itself, should destroy world order • armies unprecedented size -but % of casualties similar to previous great wars (eg. Napoleonic) • “All Quiet in the Western Front”- made WWI infamous- war supposed to end by Christmas • Schlieffen Plan - Moltke's failure to quickly shift German army from France to Russia ◦ plan to attack Belgium while France mobilizing • Joffre- ill- abused French attack against Germany - BEF saved the day • Stalemate- no room to manoeuvre -Firepower- too much concentration in small area • May- June 1915- Joffre's march intoAntwerp 13 divisions against 4 divisions of Germany- fail • Artois/Champagne Sep 1914- 200 0000 French vs 84 000 Germans- allied Failure • Eastern front- wider space, smaller army, but still no decisive victory- too few forces in area ◦ Tannenberg- Germany decisively defeated Russians ▪ due to Russian inadequacy (orders over radio, poor equipment) • Firepower over mobility -machine guns, barbed wire- advantage to defence ◦ ie. Verdun- road to Paris- poorly defended but German planning threadbare ▪ started with explosives in Germany-every 3 seconds something exploded-700 000 killed • though US not in war yet fought on French side-historical debt duringAmerican War ▪ tested French will to survive- constantly surrounded and circulated all soldiers ◦ British army- large concentration of field artillery on Somme- July 1916- fail ▪ general Haig- bombarded ememy-in principle not a bad plan • but at this stage didn't have enough heavy artillery- met by German machine guns • Turkey entered war on side of Germany • Italy- broke TripleAlliance and joined Western powers- 2 new fronts • Churchill- thought could take Turkey/Balkan area and launch allied attack ◦ Gallipoli Campaign Feb-Mar 1915- British amphibious attack but poorly planned - lost • Oct 1915 Salonika-Allies to save Serbia- overrun byAustria-Hungary ◦ Anglo-French troops going to save Serbia but blocked by Bulgarians • result- if WWI ever to end, would have to be done on Western Front- new tactics, technology The Great War 1914-1918: Part 2 • Russian Great army 1916- still locked in - Britain- became focus of animosity for Germany • German submarine tactic- unrestrained submarine warfare-effective naval blockade ◦ strike all ships associated with Britain in trade including neutral- starve into submission • tactic to distractAmerica during war- offered Mexico alliance against US ◦ 19 June 1917- Zimmerman (German foreign minister) telegram ▪ there could only be peace if US restored previous Mexican lands- rejected ◦ telegram intercepted by London and sent to US president Woodrow Wilson ▪ would've gone to war anyway because German sinking US merchant ships • US warApr 1917-Germany positive that US won't intervene in war and of no consequence ◦ by summer 1918- largest allied military forceAmerican • though initially ships destroyed, development of sonar etc.American convoys- campaign failed • Apr 1917-Allied forces launched campaign in Chemin des Dames ◦ Apr 9th- Canadians at Vimy Ridge, British some victory ◦ but couldn't maintain momentum-mass French mutiny army but nationalism- still fought on • June 7 1917- 3 battle in Ypres and Caporetto-Italian failure failure • Dec 1916- Lloyd George PM -previous minister of munitions- ambition for producing arms • Bolshevik- Bread, land, and Peace turned to Peace at any price ◦ Lenin- German terms harsh but should accept- 2 million desertions and failing state security • German winning at Eastern Front- deploy them to West but left 50 divisions for colonization st • Spring 1918- 1 time superiority of German numbers against allied-192 divisions vs 169 allied ◦ 1917- Germans had spread gas in Ypres - but Britain found effective gas masks • Tanks British- but relatively new and ineffective ,war 3D- air crafts- but in reality no big effect • late 1917- German experiment with storm troopers ◦ elites equipped with hand grenades-small groups make way for larger troops to go through • 21 Mar- 4Apr 1918- German hole 14 miles through Western front -but ran out of steam • 2 major offence- Americans didn't know enough about Western front, but great sacrifices • 18 July- midAugust 1918Amiens - SirArthur Currie- refused orders from Haig and Foch ◦ seek different way-struck at different points along Western front-series of local attacks • late Sep 1918- whole Western front moving eastwards • 27-9 Sep 1918- Allies assaulted most fortified German front Hindenburg line- use of explosives • Nov 9 1918- Kaiser abdicated and Germany sought armistice- peace at Nov 11 1918 at 11am The Great War 1914-18: Part 3 February 25 • Britain, France, Russia Sept 1914 only official agreement- wouldn't conclude separate peace • Russian contribution had saved Paris -Eastern front engaged German forces • Mar 1915- Britain said if the Entente won, would allow Russian encroachment of Turkey and the Straits- needed Russian army for France • Britain and France also gains inAsia Minor (Middle East) ◦ Sykes-Picot agreement May 1916 -large part of Turkish Empire carved without consulting ▪ France- to get Syria, Britain- Transjordinia, Southern Palestine,Arabia • New diplomacy -if ordinary people have to make so many sacrifices for diplomats' policies, they should have a say in the policies - French mutinies in 1917, Russian Revolutions in 1917 • all belligerents should build order on self-determination and commit to end of war • 23 Nov 1917- Russia seeking armistice with Germany ◦ published secret agreements with West to grab Turkish lands – embarrassed Western powers • Britain and France- turned to an unsoiled and unembarrassed associate power – US ◦ asked Wilson to come up with a possible program for the New Diplomacy • 8 Jan 1918- 14 points- practical program in which war could end ◦ new machinery for international relations- formal institution- League of Nations • Brest-Litovsk Treaty- harsher than Treaty of Versailles ◦ Russia lost 1 million square miles of territory- included almost all coal, oil 3/4 iron ore deposits, 1/2 industry, 1/3 agriculture, 1/3 population ◦ Lenin to Parliament -“must sign this shameful peace in order to save the world revolution” • Wilson's further agreements - Balance of power discredited forever, establishment of reign of law based on consent of the governed, Equality of Nations whether great or small • Wilson's vision- gradually feed in virtues to rogue states- would take time but eventually prevail ◦ built into the LN- included economic sanction, combi
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