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What was the Schlieffen Plan?

-To have a surprise attack on France by going through Belgium then defeating the French in 6 weeks
-as Russia would be slow to mobilize their armies, they'd have time to move to that front to fight them
-Britain wasn't expected to join the war


Why was the Schlieffen plan made?

To avoid fighting a war on two fronts


Who came up with the Schlieffen plan?

Von Schlieffen


What actually happened with the Schlieffen Plan?

- The Belgian army slowed down the German army
- Britain joined the war
- didn't reach or defeat the French in the 6 weeks
-Russia moved faster than expected


What happened at the Battle of Mons?

-the BEF led by sir john french was sent over to France
- well led by Lieutenant General Douglas Haig and were using Lee Enfield rifles that could shoot accurately
- they had some initial successes
- but had to pull back as they were greatly outnumbered
- though managed to slow the Germans down


What happened at the Battle of Marne?

- germans had to send 100,000 troops to fight against Russia
- then they decided to go straight to Paris
- french troops immediately sent there by trains, foot, and taxis
- french and British troops stopped Germans from entering Paris but couldn't push them out of France


What were the consequences of the Battle of Marne?

- neither side could make any progress so they dug trenches
- stalemate was beginning


How did stalemate begin?

-German generals decided to try and go around the enemy's lines as they couldn't break them
- the race to the sea began


What were the conditions like in the trenches?

- it was disciplined
- soldiers produced humourous newspapers
- lots received luxuries from home
- they also received letters and parcels
- soldiers were infested with lice though
- trenchfoot was common


What was the "over the top" attack?

- would start with an artillery bombardment
- followed by an infantry charge
-attempting to take the enemy trench


Describe the development of artillery in the war

-at the start of the war, they weren't very accurate
- in the end, they became very powerful
- also, the tactics became much more sophisticated


Describe the development of machine guns in the war

- at the start, they were very heavy though were still very destructive as they could mow down a whole brigade in minutes
- in the end, lightweight machine guns developed
-it was a futuristic weapon


Describe the development of poison gas

- at the start, it was used to disable enemy troops
- scientists on both sides perfected lethal gases such as mustard gas
- mustard gas burned, blinded and slowly killed victims


Describe the development of tanks

- used at Battle of the Somme for the first time by the British
- at first not very reliable and moved at a walking pace
- by November 1917 tanks achieved great successes


describe the development of aircraft

- in 1914, they were extremely primitive, unreliable and highly dangerous
- pilots had pistols on them to attack other pilots at first
- in 1915, machine guns were attached to the planes
- in 1918, air battles were common
- planes helped slow down German advances
- planes also played a part in the Hundred Days


Why did the Verdun, 1916, happen?

- the German commander FALKENHAYN decided to "bleed France white"


What is the significance of Verdun?

- the first major battle for aircraft
-large defensive war
- brought British assault forward


What were the events and consequences of Verdun?

Germany used a new gun "the flamethrower"
- they fired 2 million shells in the 8-hour bombardment in Feb but it didn't go as planned
-France tried to gain airspace to gain insight on the German artillery
- the French failed to recapture lost land
-became very close to breaking

- by July 700,000 men died
-both sides suffered roughly equal losses


Why did the Battle of the Somme, 1916, happen?

- the aim was to take the pressure off the French


What were the events of the first day of the Battle of the Somme?

- after a week-long artillery bombardment, Lochnager mine was detonated starting the battle
- British overestimated their bombardment and decided to walk over no man's land
- in fact, Germans had dug deep trenches and had ferocious barbed wire defenses so they managed to survive and ended up mowing down the infantry charge


What were the consequences of the first day of the Battle of the Somme?

- 57,000 British casualties, 20, 000 dead
- the bloodiest day in British military history
- the inflexibility of British commanders meant the Schwaben redoubt was lost to germans


How did tactics change over the whole of the battle of the Somme?

-radical changes made for the British like inflexible commanders removed and the responsibility was given to commanders on the ground
-dawn starts stopped as it meant counter attacks could happen
- the creeping barrage introduced
- tanks used
- air observation improved


What were the consequences of the tactic changes in the battle of the Somme?

- creeping barrage worked incredibly well
- tanks surprised germans


What was the significance of the battle of the Somme?

- relived the French and allowed them to get their lost land back and to undo everything germans did
- Britain gained thiepval ( huge morale hit for germans)
- by end of July 80,000 germans wounded, captured, dead


Why did the battle of Passchendaele (31 July - 6 nov 1917) happen?

Haig wanted a British attack in Flanders( Belgium)


What happened at the battle of Passchendaele?

- on 7th June 19 mines were exploded at the same time killing about 10,000 Germans at Messines Ridge + took 3 hours for British to take over German trenches
- firing 4. 5 million shells for two weeks churned up the ground and ruined the drainage system
- the ground turned into a heavy bog as the heaviest rain for 30 years fell in the next few days
- thick mud clogged up rifles and demobilized tanks


What was the significance of the battle of Passchendaele?

showed how weather dependent technology was meaning it wasn't always reliable


What was the British Blockade and what did it do?

german ships were blocked at their own ports and no other ship could reach them so essential supplies were blocked from getting there


what was the significance of the British Blockade?

it practically "starved Germany into submission"


Why was there an attack on Gallipoli?

Russia needed supplies and the British saw that if they gained access to the Black Sea they could get to Russia much easier


Why did the Gallipoli campaign seem like a good idea?

Britain had the most powerful navy


What happened at Gallipoli?

In March warships began their assault and bombarded strong forts

In April a harshly assembled force of brits, the French and ANZAC troops attacked Helles Beach


What went wrong at Gallipoli?

Turkey was well defended and strengthened by Germans and the shells and mines fired by them doomed the warships
In the heat the corpses decayed and caused a lot of disease and many casualties


What happened in December during the Gallipoli campaign

It became clear that there was no prospect of success so the allies pulled out


How did the Germans fight back to the blockade?

They used U-boats(submarines) and sank ships carrying supplies to Britain


What happened in 1915 with the U-boats?

A German U-boat sank a British liner (Lusitania) killing 1198 citizens including 128 US citizens


How did the Kaiser respond to what happened in 1915 with the U-boats?

As the killing of US citizens angered the US government and the Kaiser didn’t want the US to join the war it made the Kaiser stop attacking American ships


What happened in 1917 with the U-Boats?

Germans became so desperate that they started attacking American ships again ultimately leading America to declare war on Germany


What were convoys?

Where merchant ships travelled in groups but protected by destroyers


When was the battle of Jutland?

It started on the 31st May 1916


What was the significance of the convoy system?

it helped allied shipping


What were the new developments in technology regarding the war at sea?

-sea mines
-submarine nets


What did the new developments do?

They helped to destroy enemy shipping


In the battle of Jutland who had the initial advantage and why?

germany because their fleets had powerful guns and the British squadron under vice-admiral Beatty was under great pressure


In the battle of Jutland, how did the British get rescued?

The other part of the grand fleet under Jellicoe arrived


In the battle of Jutland, how many losses were there?

Britain lost 14 ships and 6,000 soldiers
Germany lost 13 ships and 2,500 soldiers


What were the consequences of the Battle of Jutland?

germany lost less but they never came out of their ports again leaving Britain to control the sea for the rest of the war


What were the consequences of America joining the war

- psychological blow to Germany
- The USA had the 3rd largest navy
- The USA willing to lend money to Britain
- The USA had a lot of manpower


Why did Russia leave the war?

A second revolution (Bolshevik revolution) brought a communist government who decided to make peace and withdraw


What were the consequences of Russia leaving the war?

Germany’s troops could now all focus on the western front
The terms of the great were harsh; it caused Russia to lose a lot of land


How had developments in aircraft hinder Germany’s war effort?

As Britain had better search lights, anti Aircraft guns and better planes, German aircraft couldn’t attack England


What were the problems facing Germany in 1918?

-The allies’ blockade had starved the country
- allies gained 50,00 troops, Heavy guns and tanks from America
- allies’ tactics developed


What was the Ludendorff Offensive?

A plan that was made up as Germans realised before the Americans fully join in, this was their only chance to defeat the allies


What was the plan of the Ludendorff offensive?

-start with a bombardment
-Instead of an infantry charge, to use storm troops


Describe what “storm troops” mean

smaller bands of specially trained and lightly equipped soldiers who struck during a heavy fog


What were the initial successes of the Ludendorff offensive?

-Germans gained 64km
- broke through allied lines
-21,000 allied prisoners captured
-Allied communication lines and positions destroyed


How did the allies respond?

-Counter attacked on the 8th August with The Hundred Days
- by September they had reached the Hindenburg line (heavily defended German line)


Why did the Hundred Days go well?

- at this time well equipped and fed troops had come from America
-tanks and, aircraft and artillery had improved


Why did the Ludendorff offensive fail?

-German army had no reserves
- the army of 1918 weren’t as good as 1914
-German soldiers held up during advances to loot villages for food
-huge losses


What was happening by November 1918 in Germany?

-Riots in many cities
-generals wanted kaiser to give more power to politicians so they could negotiate a fair end to war


What was the impact of the blockade on Germany?

Number of deaths rose from 88,000 to 294,000 in 3 years


What happened on the 9th November 1918?

Germany became a republic


When was the armistice signed and by who?

On 11th November by German delegates including Ebert


What were some of the terms of the armistice?

-Germany to pay For all costs
- severe reduction of army, navy and Air Force
-territory occupied to be given back
-allies prisoners released


Who gave the terms of the armistice?

Marshal Foch (French chief) when he met with the German delegates


How did Douglas Haig contribute to Germany’s defeat?

-Captured nearly 200,000 prisoners
- working under Foch, led british army against German army


How did Marshal Foch contribute to Germanys defeat?

-Spearheaded the planning that halted the German offensive
-planned with Haig the counter attack