ww1 notes ww1.me

World War I
Conditions in Europe in early
• Ripe with nationalism(Germany and Italy
brimming with pride)
• France steamed over the Franco-Prussian
War defeat
• Russia sponsoring a movement of all Slavic
• Balkans are a ticking time bomb
• Secret, entangling, alliances
for war
• People from all sides rush to enlist in their
respective armies
• artwork depicts fervor
• Professionals and college students drop
everything to enlist
• June 28, 1914 -- Arch Duke Franz
Ferdinand of Serbia and his wife Sophia
make plans to be in parade in Bosnian
capital, Sarajevo.
• Bosnia, on June 28, 1912, had won its
independence from the Ottoman Empire
that had controlled it since 1389, but
Austro-Hungary had tried to control it.
Assassination planned
• A nationalist, terrorist-esque group called
the Black Hand make plans to kill the Arch
Duke and his wife during the parade
• After crazy chain of events and
coincidences, 19 year-old Garilo Princip,
assassinates Franz Ferdinand and his wife.
News Hits!!! Incredible chain of
events ensue
• Austria demands that Serbia crack down on
all “anti-Austria” behavior -- Serbia refuses
• Austria declares war on Serbia.
• Germany gives Austria a “blank check”
• Russia asks Austria to back down in support
of its, “Slavic” neighbor.
• Austria refuses, Russia begins to mobilize
for war
• Germany declares war on Russia
• Russia turns to France and asks for help-France grants Russia a “blank check”
• Germany declares war on France
• Italy and Great Britain are neutral for the
time being.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
• Back in Germany, General Alfred von
Schlieffen had devised a plan (just in case),
to avoid a two-front war.
• Von Schlieffen Plan: go through Belgium,
around France’s front line, and quickly take
control of France before the backwards
Russia could mobilize.
• August 3, 1914 -- Germany invades
Belgium and Great Britain declares war on
Trench Warfare
• Germans race through Belgium, (despite a
treaty to honor its neutrality), and into
• Russia mobilizes and quickly wins a few
small victories in East Prussia.
• Germany pulls troops from France to
defend its backside.
• Trenches are dug between France and
Germany that will barely move over the
course of four ugly years.
• 1800’s strategy takes on 20th century
• The result is carnage never seen before.
Trench warfare
Desolation of
battle fields
Hole from exploded
mines in 1916,
Battle of the Somme