World War I- The Birth of the Modern Era
-Outbreak of War
July 1914- Austria-Hungary‟s gov. is unhappy. Their entire foreign policy is trying to convince
the rest of Europe they should exist. Regionally instable.
1908- AH annexed Bosnia-Serbia wanted it. Geurrilla/terrorist war had been going on since 1903
June 28, 1914- Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are in Sarajevo, Bosnia to meet
soldiers/visit hospitals. They made a wrong turn, had to flip around. Gavrilo Princips, his
assassin from the Union of Death, gets a second chance after he didn‟t have the nerve to pull the
trigger last time. He kills them both. (terrorism as a Russian/Italian invention 1870‟s) The AH is
pissed, but the good thing is the assassination gives them a good reason to invade Serbia and
solve their issue there.
Bismarck‟s triple alliance from 1882 (Germany, Italy, Austria) complicates things. Britain,
france and Russia shortly after formed their own alliance- Entente (1907). Entente Powers v.
Central Powers. Theory-keeps a balance of power.
AH sends minister Count Berchtold and Franz Baron Conrad to Berlin to ask for support againsth
Serbia. Germany agrees. AH believes Princeps is affiliated with Serb government. July 19 -
Letter sent to Serbians with a series of demands. Some are reasonable, and then one floors them-
the right to comb through their national records. Not meeting these demands meant war. The
Serbs are given 48 hours to comply. Their feelings can be summed up as “No. Fucking. Way.
All of Europe know this is going to get big. Alliance system will fall into war like dominos.
Russia feels need to help Serbia due to ethnic ties and therefore Entente must get involved.
July 28,1914- AH declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilizes it‟s military.
July 29- AH is bombing Belgrade from ships on Danube River.
Aug 1- Germany Declares War on Russia. Aug 3- Germany declares war on France (preemptive)
“ “ Inaugurates Schlieffen Plan.
Alfred Von Schlieffen- German military stratagist, Relizes an attach from the west and east
simultaneously would wipe them out. A two-front war must be avoided. So first, destroy French,
then chase Russians. So they must march through neutral Belgium. Except the Belgians ain‟t
putting up with that shit. So they start fighting the krauts and slow them down.
A TWO FRONT WAR.
East-same warfare as in the past. Russians aren‟t winning, but they have heaps of people to keep
the Germans busy. By 1917 1.3 Million Russians will die.
Western Front- embodies the war experience. Changes pop culture,gender politics, balance of
power,everything. So the French are chilling in 300 miles of trenches. The germans dig it (some
for themselves). Trenches have gotten more sophisticated, but they aren‟t a luxury hotel by any
means. There‟s a lot of rain. That means a lot of mud, and walking in that all the time means
infection like Trench Foot, which means amputation. Absolutely boring without a battle to