FIRST MODERN CONFLICT World War I was describe as the first modern war, largely because it was the first war in which advanced machines guns, chemical warfare, tanks, attack warfare and submarine were widely used. It was also the first total war, where nations mobilized all their available resources for the war effort. Many people, mainly young men, lost their lives, a lot of villages, cities were destroyed and turned into dust. However, WWI was also a catalyst for great change…. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS: 1) What were two main forces engaged in the conflict? 2) Name same of the main causes of the world conflict. The Schlieffen Plan The Schlieffen Plan was an operational plan used by the Germans to take over France and Belgium and carried out in August 1914. It was devised by and named after German Field Marshal Count Alfred von Schlieffen. He developed a plan back in 1905 to ensure Germany could fight and win a major war in continental Europe. Plan outlined the stages of an offensive against France. Desperate to avoid fighting on two fronts, against the French and Russia. By implementing this plan Germany violated Belgium’s neutrality and pressed on France. Battle of Marne, 6 -12 Sep 1914 The Battle of Marne (river in France) was fought between Germany and allies of Britain and France. As the Germany advanced their armies became sprung out and large gap grew between them. The Allies took advantage of this gap and charged between the armies splitting the German forces. Then they attacked from all sides confusing the Germans. On the 12th Sep, the Allies successfully pushed the Germans back across the river, so they were forced to retreat. The Germans "dug in" to avoid losing any more ground. The Allies were unable to break through this line of defense, and also began to dig protective trenches. What began as a temporary strategy evolved into one of the main features of the war at the Western Front What was the Western Front? The Western Front referred to the line of fighting stretching from the North to the Swiss Frontier with France. This dig in line of fortified trenches was referred to as the Western Front. The Alliance was on one side and the Entente on the other. It moved little during the war, which either side unable to make much progress. Trench Warfare was a type of fighting during WWI in which both sides dug trenches that were protected by mines and barbed wire. Tr e n c h e s How extensive were the trenches? If laid end-to-end, WWI trenches would stretch some 25,000 miles. Trench conditions Life In the trenches was difficult because they were dirty, muddy and flooded in bad weather. These conditions caused some soldiers to develop medical problems such as trench foot. Many men killed in the trenches were buried almost where they fell. These corpses, as well as the food scraps that littered the trenches, attracted rats. What was life like in the trenches? • Soldiers were regularly rotated through a basic sequence: fighting in the front line a period of time in the support line a brief rest period begin this cycle again • Men repaired shell-damaged walls, removed standing water, created new latrines, moved supplies, etc. • During rest periods men were free to nap, read, or write letters home, etc.