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The Great War.docx

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HIST 215
Sarah Waurechen

The Great War THE CHANGING NATURE OF WAR • broad front: from English Channel to Switz. • trenches block rapid victory ◦ frozen front • new weapons ◦ poison gas ◦ hand grenades ◦ flame throwers ◦ tanks ◦ mil. airplanes ◦ subs • unparalleled total mobilization of the home front Trench Warfare • trenches, protected by barbed wire + sandbags • supplemented by support trenches • linked by communication trenches • became more elaborate ◦ electricity ◦ certain minimal level of comfort • boredom suppressors ◦ theatre entertainers ◦ reading • use periscope to look across safely • lice, mice, starving rats, VD • cold and wind ◦ Germans hadn't equipped men with adequate protection from cold • shell shock (psychological) • massive attacks preceded by intensive bombardment of enemy positions ◦ clearly tell when next attack will happen • most effective weapon: machine gun • mustard gas attack by Germans burns the lungs ◦ followed by gas masks War in the Air and on the Seas • airplanes became weapons of combat • fly info back to HQ • finally discovered they could mount machine guns on planes to attack each other midair • Paris and London bombed a lot, as well as Rhineland German cities • seas relatively quiet ◦ owned by Br. navy • German Dreadnoughts (battleships) stayed in port ◦ trapped in Mediterranean at the start of the war ◦ turned over to Turks until Turkey joined Central Powers ◦ British blockaded Ger. ports • sub warfare ◦ Ger. used this most (fleet) ◦ tried to force Br. out of war by sinking its ships and preventing supplies from getting to them ◦ later pulled the US into the war (stupid German move) Support from the Home Front • produce enough guns and shells • enthusiasm increases with hatred of enemy • propaganda ◦ Ger. shows war as fight for Ger. culture ◦ Br. shows defense of law, liberty and progress ◦ Fr. shows Ger. evil for invading
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