World War One and Its Aftermath

World War One and Its Aftermath

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World War One and Its Aftermath

Period 1 - The Scheiffen Plan - how it created a Stalemate

* The plan was developed by German chief of Staff General Von
Schlieffen in 1905

* It was developed due to the development of the Anglo-Russian
alliance, and the plan meant to eliminate the chance of Germany
fighting as War on two fronts.

* The German Schlieffen Plan looked to a quick War - 'Home before
the leaves fall'

The Aims of the Plan

* Its objectives were to attack France first and take Paris within
6weeks, and then turn against Russia who were believed to be the
greater and more difficult enemy, yet the slowest to mobilise.

* The British weren't believed to participate in the war and
therefore weren't thought of when making the plan

* The plan depended on speed and surprise - using railways, which
involved an attack through the countries of Holland and Belgium.

* This attack through Belgium and Holland surprised the French, who
believed if and attack came from the Germans it would be fought at
Alsace on the frano-german border, not to the north of their

The French Plan - Plan 17 in 1913

* The French had not believed the Schlieffen Plan had existed, and
therefore made their own plan that involved the majority of the
French troops deployed near the frano-german border, which left 2
thirds of the border with Belgium undefended.

* This left the opening for the Germans and the success of the
schlieffen plan.

2nd period - The Failure of The Schlieffen Plan

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Why did the Schlieffen Plan Fail

* The Invasiion of Belgium added the British expeditionary force
(BEF) and the Belgium armies to the German enemies

* The british entered the fray on August 21st - At the battle of
Mons, on the 23rd of August they held up Von Klucks first German
army for a day inflicting severe German loses

* As the Germans proceeded in France, Von Moltke (Commander of the
German Army) strengthened the left wing, at the expense of the

* The Russians, mobilising more quickly and efficiently than
expected poised such a threat to east Prussia (largest German
State) that Von Moltke decided to withdraw two corps to send east,
a fatal alteration to the original Schlieffen Plan

* Von Moltke decided to drive the French south-east, thus cutting
them off from paris

* At this pt French troops stationed in paris were able to attack
the Flanks on Von Klucks forces. When Von Klucks turned towards
Paris a gap of 12 miles opened up between his force and Von Bulow
2nd army, a gap exploited by the British and the French at the
battle of Marne

Results Of the Initial Advance

* The schlieffen plan had failed

* The Germans forward movement, or momentum was lost, due to the
timetable of the schlieffen plan being abandoned, ammunition
reserves being dropped, the big guns were showing wear, men were
tired, casualties weren't replaced and railways and bridges were
destroyed by the retreating forces

* Trenches were dug to protect soldiers during winter.

* The trenches extended from the channel to Switzerland - 750km

* A stalemate situation developed - trench warfare was an effective
form of defence, and neither side could advance very far.

* Cauualties were great - 250 000 men dead, Britains regular army

* Germans occupied most of Belgium, and the industrial areas of
France in the North and east. The French lost resources - its iron
ore, most of its coal fields and great deal of heavy industry

In summing up

1. The schlieffen plan was aimed at the rapid defeat of France

2. The Schieffen plan Failed

3. The 'war of movement' ended at the Battle of Marne September 1914

4. Trench systems were established

5. A stalemate developed

Attempts to Break the stalemate

* Major Battles


* January 1915 - naval attack on Gallipoli

* April 1915 - landings at Galipoli


* February - December 1916 - Battle of Verdun (German offensive)

* July - November 1916 - Battle of the Somme ( British offensive)


* April - May - Battle of the Aisne (French Offensive)

* July - November - 3rd Ypres (British)


* March - Germany's spring offensive

* New Weapons


* April 1915 - Gas (Germans)

* September 1916 - Tanks (British)

* Naval and economic strategies


* 1915 onwards - British naval blockade on German ports (No
supplies were going into Germany - they couldn't support
themselves agriculturally.

* 1917 January - Reintroduction of Germany's unrestricted
submarine warfare (Moving ships thought to have supplies to
nearest ports)

* Other Factors


* April 1917 - The US enter the war

The Battle Of Verdun

* From the failure of the Schlieffen Plan (the development of the
trench warfare) to the spring of 1918 the germans launched only
one offensive - Verdun

* The Germans believed the best way to strike at its principle enemy
(Britain) was to launch decisive blows against France

* Verdun was a heavily fortified town

* Verdun was symbolic to the French - War of 1870 it was the last
place to fall to the Prussians

* By attacking Verdun, General Falkenhayn believe the French would
reinforce troops in the area, and therefore making the french
occupied trenches weaker

* The attack began in February 1916

* The Germans made an initial advance

* Two thirds of the French army were committed to the battle.

* Toward the end of the battle the French counter-attacked and
regained the forts they had lost

* An 11 month battle saw no progress on either side - and drastic
loses for both as well

Factors that contributed to the failure of the German break-through at

* The town held symbolic roots to the French (battle in 1870 against
Prussia) and therefore the French focused two thirds of it army at
the battle.

* Casualties were very high (Germans 433, 000 men, French 542, 000

* The Germans had to draw away men with the emergence of the British
offensive at the Somme, therefore the attacking force at Verdun
was weaker)

German victory

* Either side won nor lost, yet each suffered heavy casualties. The
French army's heavy loses, plus mutinies and desertion, saw them
cease as an effective force.

The Battle of the Somme

* The Battle of the Somme was a combined plan by the British and
French to attack the German front line in the middle of 1916

* The battle ground was situated adjacent to the River Somme, where
the French and the British lines met

* The Germans in February 1916 conducted their own offensive at
Verdun to the south east, which shattered the plans for Somme

* The French held Verdun with 2/3rds of their army and thus
weakening the force at the Somme

* While the French battled at Verdun, they appealed to the British
to conduct an offensive elsewhere on the front, to draw the
Germans away.

* General Haig prepared his in-experienced army for an offensive
against the Germans at The Somme in June 1916

* The Somme was chosen because it was where the French and the
British line met, not because it was a good place to mount an

* In fact it was quite dangerous, in that the Germans held a
position that was easily defended and heavily fortified.

* The Germans were on a ridge that overlooked the British forces

The Plan

* The British would attack the German front line with an artillery
barrage, which was expected to destroy all enemy troops

* The allied forces would move forward and take the german trenches

* This assault was thought to create a gap in which Calvary could
pass though behind enemy lines

* Haig hoped that the offensive would draw the Germans away from
their offensive at Verdun.

* The british 4th army was to conduct the battle which was made up
of 12 infantry divisions and 7 in reserve.

* This army was composed of 519 324 men, which mostly were
volunteers with little training and no experience

The battle takes place

* The bombardment started on 24th of june, which saw 1437 howiter
guns firing 1508 652 shells in 7 days.

* The 'Zero hour' was originally set for 29th june, but heavy ran
delayed the offensive

* 7:30 on the 1st of july 1916 was 'Zero hour' which was two hours
after dawn and gave the German a good view of the advancing force
and perfect conditions for their machine gunners

* On the first day the British suffered 60,000 casualties

* Re-enforcements from Verdun proved greater defence for the Germans

* The Battle degenerated into a war of attrition

* During August and September the British were averaging 5000
casualties per day.

* Haig renewed attacks in late September, again in October and twice
in November

* The Battleground turned into a sea of mud because of rain.

Winter at the Somme - Life in The Trenches

* Mud


* The winter of 1916-1917 was the harshest in France for 40years

* The rain that started in October, mixed with the churned
ground and created a landscape of mud

* Men in the front lines found they could avoid the mud by
remaining immobile, but it was the ration parties, rum
detailers, stretcher bearers, and messengers that ploughed
along the communication line, who found movement hardest and
suffered the most

* It some cases horse were lost after they became fully
submerged in the mud, and many men suffered stretched muscles
and broken backs when they were trying to be retrieved from
the mud

* Several disease suffered by the men due to constantly having
feet in water, included trench feet, and as the temperature
decrease frost bite also became a great problem

* Snow


* Early in 1917 snow began to fall at the Somme

* This improved the mud problem as the cold conditions froze the
ground, yet it created it own problems

* The cases of frostbite increase, and whole wards were taken by
men with frostbite

* The transport of rations to the front had not become any
easier, an therefore men lost all energy because they weren't
getting enough food

* Conditions became so bad that eating, drinking and indeed
living became a hard task, and men prayed to be wounded so
they could be sent to the 'blighty'

* Gas Gangrene


* Was a horrible disease that was caused when a injury was
exposed to gas contaminated ground.

* The bacteria once in the body ate away at the skin, causing a
bubbling affect

* The only way to cure the disease was to amputate the limb or
body part that was effected

Why the British didn't achieve a Break Through

* The Germans had an advantage of being in heavily fortified
trenches on a ridge above the allied forces, and it was easily

* The shells that bombarded the German front line were unreliable
and most were only shrapnel shells that didn't penetrate the
German dugout up to 12 metres deep.

* The 7 day bombardment didn't have the desired effects - low
casualties among the Germans

* Most of the barb wire in front of the German lines remained intact
- another obstacle for the advancing troops

* Most of the German force survived the early bombardment because
they had created dugouts that protected from even the most
heaviest shells

* The British forces were told to walk the No mans land - Germans
were believed to be killed

* The lack of French participation - most were in Verdun

* The Germans had re-enforcements coming from Verdun - create better
defence. 30 divisions

* 60,000 casualties on the first day - reduce moral, and british
aspirations of winning

* The German machine gunners were trained

* Tanks appeared for the first time, but really only succeeded to
scare the Germans - they proved very unreliable

Achivements out of the Somme

* The offensive at the Somme degenerated the German forces In Verdun

* Tanks were first used though they proved a disappointment because
they were unreliable and too slow

* The British won territory 32 km wide, 10 kms deep but didn't
create a break-through

List of Casualties

* British around 420,000

* Germans 450,000

* French 194,000 -

The 3rd Battle of Ypres - 1917

The Battle

* The Ground chosen by Haig was poor because it was under constant
gaze of the Germans

* A long artillery bombardment was necessary

* The military bombardment - started on 18th july 1917

* There was an original progress made that saw vital observation
points captured

* Rain came

* The Germans counter-attacked and force the british back in some

* With the battle field cover in mud, little progress on either side
could be made

* The salient (Loop in front line where the british had gained
ground) was now a sea of mud.

* Haig transferred lead role to Plumer

* Plumer's planning gave the british some successes

* Took place in the wettest summer and Autumn in Yrs

The 3rd battle of Ypres in 1917 was a failure because :

* Planning for the battle was ambitious to say the least

* Failure of communication between the commanding officers led to a
mix up in plans for the battle - (Haig)

* Haig not passing command over to Plumer until movement was almost

* The water table was close to the surface, and with it destroyed by
the military bombardment, when rain came the ground quickly turned
the battle field into a floodland

* With the fragile drainage system destroyed, any rapid military
movement was out of the question.

* The British army only advance 5 miles in 3months

* The 3rd battle of Ypres is remembered as a symbol of the horrors
of the First World War


* Men drowned in mud liquid

* Conditions were horrible

* The BEF had only advanced 5 miles with 250,000 casulaties

* Only few strategic objectives were met

* Mustard produced 90% of the gas casualties

The Effects of Gas

* Two things men feared greatly - Artillery fire and Gas

* Gas shock was as frequent as shell shock

* Gas horns would be honked on average 2-3 times a night, and for
miles around scared soldier woke up in wild pandemonium

* The Germans led the way in Gas developments

* The method of despatching gas was through cylinders in the clouds
up to July 1916, then in shells and mortar canisters


* Tear gas came first in January 1915


* First used in April 1915

* Wasn't as ineffective as gases that came later in the war

* It was easy to see and smell so it was easy to avoid

* Brought death by destroying alveoli of the lungs

* A victim cannot breath, and drowns in the water generated by the
degenerated lungs


* Developed in December 1915

* A derivative of Chlorine, that had 18 times it power and couldn't
be seen

* It didn't effect it victim immediately

* It smell of mouldy hay, and produce a slight sensation of

* The it produced swallow breathing, retching, a pulse up to 120,
and a ashen face

* The victims then discharged yellow liquid from the lungs each hour

* It was said (By Belhaven) that Phosgene victim were dreadful to


* Developed in July 1917

* Its aim was to harass but kill

* It was an oily brown liquid, that looked like sherry and smelt of
onions, garlic, radishes

* No sunlight, dry soil allowed mustard gas to evaporate in the soil
and lay awaiting for unsuspecting soldiers

* The effect felt 2-3 hrs after exposure

* Mucus and sneezing developed, eyelids would swell and close, and
burnind sensation in the throat

* Where bare skin had been exposed, moist red patches developed,
which became blisters

* Severe headaches, rise in pulse, and temperature and pneumonia

* The side effects above can be caused by only one part of gas in a
million parts of air

* More severe cases saw men cough up mucous membrane, lose there
genitals, and be burnt right through the bone

Why Gas didn't Prove to be an effective Offensive Weapon, despite its
appalling impact

* It was unpredictable, and could disadvantage the army who gas it
had been.

* Quick wind changes could see gas move in wrong direction, even
into allied trenches

* It didn't dissipate easily, and would hang at the bottom of your
or enemy trenches and shell holes in no-mans land

* The facts above contributed to the unpredictability of gas and
therefore provided reason why it wasn't a good offensive weapon

The response to Gas

* Within a week of chlorine first used, the british had 1/3rd of a
million gas helmets made


* These where made of black gauze rags, tied at the back, held
by the teeth and soaked in a chemical agent to disperse gas

* Two months later an improved version - army shirt material,
mica for eyepieces

* Only in 1917 a effective gas helmet was made - the box
respirator. The chemicals neutralized all gases.

Technology and Tactics

* The stalemate was initially caused by the development of defensive
weapons during the industrial revolution

* Defence on either side was aided by


* Rapid firing bolt-action magazine

* The machine gun

* Heavy artillery with new explosives

* The use of trains provided the defensive side with an advantage
because men could be transported to the front quicker than men on
the offensive side that had to advance by walking.

* Lack of commuication hindered commanders of armies in that they
had trouble organising

* Mass transport depended on trains. Cars were too slow

* The major technological advancements of WW1 include


* Improved fire power of infantry


* Grenades

* Light artillery that infantry could control themselves

* Development of better and lighter machine guns

* Improve air warfare


* Planes could fly at 110km/hr and at altitudes of 3000m,
and by the end of the war those figures had doubled

* Planes were first used for observation, and by the end of
the war 10-50 planes would participate in dogfights
(machine guns were used)

* The British established its own independently commanded
flying Corps

* Tanks


* Were initially unreliable and clumsy

* By 1917 tanks had began to so some effectiveness in

* Radio - great technological advancement


* "power buzzer" system which used long land lines - could
only transfer morse code

* The Germans used speech radio first, then by the Canadians
on the allied side. They had a short range and liable for

* The 'thermionic valve' was developed which improved the
range and quality of radio sets (these became common in

* Development of Predicted fire


* 32 million maps were printed, and artillery positions and
targets were placed on them in an accuracy of 15 metres

* Instead of ranging each gun in turn, and having observers
report on accuracy, the plotters could refer to the maps
to get an accuracy position of targets

New technology - Tanks

* First used in the battle of the Somme in 1916

* They had terrible technical limitations.


* They were clumsy, weighing 14 tonnes,

* Very thin armour (6 - 12mm thick), of soft metal that had been
case hardened

* Engines were underpowered - max speed of 6km/hr on dry level

* Engines were situated in the crew space and made conditions
hot, noisy and uncomfortable

* No internal or external communications (except carrier pigeon)

* Four men were initially needed to drive the tank


* Two with the levers at the front and two for the clutch

* If the tank needed to be moved it had to stop - dog clutch on
one side disengaged and the vehicle ran on the other track -
made the tank very vulnerable

* Flakes of metal broke lose from the inside when hit by bullets on
the outside which were a danger to operators


* The operators went to wearing masks and chain mail for
protection - hindered movement

* The Mark 4 was faster, could turn whilst moving and was seen in
the successful action at the battle of Cambrai in November 1917


* These tanks moved over the wide German trenches by the use of
fascines (75 bundles of brushwood) at the front of the tank
held under pressure

* The Mark 5 proved to be the first really successful tank in 1918.
Even then it was vulnerable


* In the British success at Amiens in 1918, 409 tanks were lost
in 5 days

Why did the advancement in Technology contribute to the breakthrough
of 1918

* By using all the technological advancements create before or
during the war it enabled the allied forces to break the German
armies, which of course led to the signing of the Armistice.


* For example


* John Monash, an Australian, saw the success at the battle
of Hamel, July 4th 1918 as a result of careful planning of
the battle using the array of advancements in technology,
such as tanks, artillery, gas, machine guns, and planes

The quote

'A perfected modern battle plan is like nothing so much as a score for
an orchestral composition, where the various arms and units are the
instruments and the tasks they perform are their respective musical
phrases' sums up the question

Trench Warfare

* The feature of the Western front that most effected the way the
war was fought was the development of Trench Warfare

* Because there was no certain victory in 1914, both sides dug
trenches, which greatly hindered any forward movement on either

* They faced each other through-out the war and continuously
attacked each other to try and break the stalemate that developed
in 1914.

Paste the cross - sectional diagram of a trench here

From the source sheets 'going over the top' and 'An Australian attack
on the Somme' we can deducted a basic strategy pf Trench warfare

* Artillery blazed for day, even weeks before a battle commenced -
this was meant to destroy enemies, their trenches and the barb
wire that was in front of them

* When the battle commenced, soldiers had to run over heavily
mutilated ground into barb wire that was rarely blown up by
artillery fire -


* While under machine gun fire,

* As well as contending with enemy artillery fire and normal
rifle fire

* The shelled area - 'No Mans Land' hindered any forward movement

* Most men became exhausted and couldn't advance more than

* The element of surprise had been lost


* Railways lines and roads had to be extended to cope with large
amount of supplies, observation planes and spies soon found
out that a battle was probably planned

* Men were two legged pack horses - they carried a mass of supplies
which usually included


* Three days rations - supplies including food was impossible to
send up to a recently gained trench

* Wore entrenching tools

* Carried ammunition around their necks

* Plus a rifle and bayonets - and they were expected to fight
hand-to-hand if need be

* Gas helmets, normal helmets + coats and backpacks

The effects Trench Warfare had on a Man

* Tension effected people in different ways

* Some wanted to go up over into battle, some were too scared but
did anyway because they would be seen as a coward

* Most men preyed for the day they were relieved

* Some men went mad with the constant fear of death

The effects of the Bombardment of Shells

* Artillery bombardment was one of the great fears of the men


* Shell shock was due to the constant bombardment, and many were

* In one example of the horrors of artillery bombardment, an
Australian division took seven weeks of shelling


* One NCO remembered 'it was impossible to hear anything'

* Seven weeks the shelling went on almost continuously


* Men were buried in trenches

* Some crouched in crevasses, and were blown to oblivion

* Dead and dying lay everywhere

* Some were simply blown to pieces where they stood

Raiding Enemy Trenches

* The two types of raiding include


* Reconnaissance missions


* Usually made by and officer and two soldiers for the
British or up to six for the Germans

* They snuck stealthily over no-mans land from dusk to dawn
(Observers were told firstly that raiding parties were

* They crawled forward slowly on their bellies, 10metres or
so at a time - and stay in that spot for 10 minute or so

* The small area of no-mans lands took a painstakingly long

* One they reached the trenched they contended with the barb
wire and when sure that no-one was in the trench snuck in

* The idea of the Reconnaissance missions was to gain info
about the layout of trenches and grab any thing that may
be of interest to intelligence officers

* A typical raid that involves masses of men


* These were preferably done during the early hours of the

* They were very unpopular for the normal soldier - nothing
was more nerve racking

* They were unpopular because few succeeded faultlessly -
always great loses of life

* Some raids saw men sneaking up on trenches under artillery
fire, and once stopped were close to raid the trenches
before men came up from dugouts

Photographic Study on Aspects of trench Warfare

* Physical Structure of Trenches


* The Trench system along the Western front were highly

* Some were small and uncomfortable (Just wholes in the ground)
and others very fairly elaborate (Dugouts under the ground
used for sleeping quarters for men - and hiding spots for men
when the trenches were under heavy barrage)

* Some trenches were wide and others small - most of the front
lines were jagged to protect against machine gun fire along
km's of the trench systems

* Walls were supported by sandbags, or wooden panels.

* Most were deep enough to stand up

* The trenches were constructed in 2-3 lines - the front line,
then reserve lines behind it. They were connected by
communication lines

* Weapons and Equipment


* Weapons included large, heavy machine guns, rifle and
bayonets, grenades - night raiding parties used clubs, maces
and knives to a quick and silent kill and others such as the
hobnailed cudgel and hand pistols

* Equipment included gas and metal helmets, mirrors, digging
implements, smokes, food, backpacks, rations and even a bugle
for some Australians

* Artillery guns were huge, barely mobile, and most of the time

* Battle Landscapes


* Shell crates created a bare and barren area in no mans land,
and dotted the landscape surrounding the trench systems.

* Forests, towns etc were reduced to rubble where battles had
taken place

* Devastated, obliterated

* Problems for The Troops


* Shell craters severely hindered any forward movement of troops

* Gas attack were one of the mens worst fears, and they happen
about 3-4times a night

* Mud - at battles such as a Ypres, 3rd hindered any forward
movement, and men broke backs were trying to be retrieved, and
some even drowned

* Factors such as unreliable Equipment, heavy packs, carrying
ammunition in battles + trench digging implements created
problems for the troops and hindered hand-to-hand battles
which often happened in large scale battles

Life In The Trenches

* Was generally boring, and only occasionally men saw the terror of
desperate battle

* There were certain sectors along the front that were relatively
quiet, and only on occasions saw harsh battles

* Even on normally busy sectors, if the enemy did want to fight they
would keep fighting to a minimum, and it would quieten down - for
example Germans from the Saxon regions, held up a sign saying
'Don't shoot, we are Saxons' - The british welcomed this advice
and the front became quiet

* General Monash (Australian commander) stated that


* 'The big question is the food and ammunition supplies, and the
lack therewith……it takes a couple of thousand men and horses
with hundreds of wagons + 118 huge motor lorries to transport
the supplies to the front, and for 20,000 men

* He also said that men in the front line need hot food 'coffee,
oxo, porridges' etc and they could not cook it themselves due
to the smoke they would produce

* Provisions for the German army became a great problem as the war
went on due to the naval blockade by Britain on the German ports
in the north sea

* An average day in the trenches


* began with 'stand to' before dawn which was preparation for an
attack - this was followed by 'morning hate' where both side
fire furiously at each other

* - in this instant most men kept their head low anyway - dusk
came and the 'stand to' was repeated followed by 'evening

Food in Trench life

* Most of the food eaten by the troops in the trenches were canned
and unappetizing


* Fresh food was a source of excitement

* Often the supply was limited and sometimes there was none for
days - men needed it because of the energy they exhumed

* Bully beef and bread, often without butter or jam was the most
common food

* Water was limited and men sometimes reverted to boiling rain
water from the bottom of trench holes

* Soldiers were promised one half loaf of bread, but never got
it - and sometime not even one piece

* Soldiers were provided with biscuits that were extraordinarily
hard, and men reverted to soaking smash fragments for days,
then heat and drain and eat mixed with condensed milk

The staff

* The soldiers always complained about their staff officers - they
believed they were out of touch with the needs of the men,
especially the regimental officers

More Problems for The Troops

* Psychological


* Men suffered Psychological problems due to the horrible
conditions that they were subject to. Being around dead
bodies, the stench, the constant bombardment, the constant
fear of death also contributed to some people becoming mad

* Many men could be seen crying and sobbing with nerve totally
gone, others just sat in a state of silliness. Men also went
crazy and ran the lengths of No mans land into enemy trenches,
some lost their memory and some tried to shoot their own men
and even themselves

* Lice and rats -


* Lice became an annoyance to the men that had already suffered
a lot during the war. Men spent days in the front line and
during that time lice became a great problem. Once back in
billets their clothes were washed in a boiler, which killed
the lice, but left the eggs - once back on the front the eggs
hatch and again became an epidemic

* Rats flourish in the trenches as they began to lose condition
- the rats feed on the bodies of dead men, and they became
immune to humans and therefore became less afraid - they were
also numerous behind the front in billet

* Casualties and Sickness


* Being declared sick or wounded decided whether you receive a
pension or not


* Wounded men were men that had been injured by weapons of
the enemy - these men received a pension

* Sick men were had wounds or sicknesses that were inflicted
by yourself or men on your side - they didn't get a
pension - these injuries included being shot by friendly
fire, a premature powder blast or broken legs from
advancing in battle

* In the british army the number of men that were declared non
battle casualties outnumbered the battle casualties shown in
the statistics after the war. They outnumbered by about 25%

* Battle Casualties


* Some of the most common battle casualties included being
wounded or killed by shells from enemy artillery fire, or
being hit from enemy bullets whether it be machine gun or
rifle fire

Attrition Warfare

* The inability of both sides to break through the oppositions
trench systems into open country resulted in a new type of battle
- Attrition warfare

* The object of Attrition warfare was to inflicted as many enemy
casualties as possible regardless of your casualties - to wear
down the enemy

Total War

* 'Total war' was a new kind of warfare, where the whole population
became involved in the war effort


* It was the organization or mobilisation of all sectors of
society to support the war effort

* The term 'home front was used to describe the domestic scene
away from warfare

* Their contribution was so important that it was said they worked
on the 'home front', as the soldiers fought on the 'battle front'

* Total war was developed in response to the break-down of the 'war
of movement' and the establishment of the 'War of Attrition'

* Attrition warfare involved the production of huge quantities of
war materials - and to meet these demands, all resources were
diverted to the war effort

The effects of Total War

* Power and influence of the government -


* Increase in the role and power of government over the

* For example Lloyd George, minister of Munitions, had great
power and he could control the requisitions of raw material,
directly control factories, and close off all union activities
- all to help the production of arms and ammunition supplies

* DORA (Defence Of the Realm Act) gave the government the right
to employ censorship to newspapers and mail. Censorship
gradually increased as problems arose - including the right to
arrest suspected spies without trial

* Food shortages -


* Shortage of food fuel and consumer goods

* Agricultural labourers were in short supplies, due to men
conscription in to armies and moving to work in factories,
food production decreased.

* In both Germany and Britain a high percentage of food was
imported. Therefore as blockades were employed, food needed to
come from within - and production was too slow to provide for
its people and soldiers

* Treatment of Aliens


* Harsh treatment of 'Enemy Aliens'

* As anti-German feelings rose in the British people and vice
versa, civilians became wary of people they believed to be of
the enemy decent

* 'Enemy Aliens' were arrested under the defence of Realm Act
(DORA) and were put in prison camps for the duration of the

* Propaganda


* Use of government propaganda aimed at civilians

* Used to gain support for the war of all civilians.

* Since it was the first time it had been used in warfare, it
was very successful in creating 'hatred' of the enemies

* Air Raids


* German air raids with Zeppelins, brought the war to the

* As the Zeppelins were a close reality for many Britian people,
they were used as propaganda tools

* Women in The Work force


* Other Effects include


* Barriers between classes were reduced

* Changes to social habits

* Absence of men aged 18 - 45 - undermine family structure

The German Home Front

* German had imported 2/3rd of the countries food requirements
before the war, and when the war started it wasn't long till
German food supplies started to dwindle - The reasons for this


* The British Naval blockade stoped imported foodstuff

* Nitrogen used in agriculture as fertilizer was converted to
nitrates for use in the munition industry

* The blockade prevented the importing of fertilizers and
agricultural implements

* Mobilization restricted the availability of farm labourers

* The winter of 1916-17 contributed to poor harvests

* Rationing of breads, fats, milk and butter was introduced early in
the war, but in 1917 there was a constant worry among the people
whether they would obtain their rations

* In 1917 the bread rations were 200grams, but when there was
question to reduce the ration, strike flared up amongst the people

* There was not a fair distribution of rations - and some big firms
cornered a supply of food to give to its workers

* Heavy workers were given extra rations but still received less
than half the necessary intake of calories

* Trainloads of supplies went missing as they were taken by local
and state workers

* The Germans substituted foods for example


* Bread - Kriegsbrot (mixture of rye and potato)

* Coffee - made from roasted barley, rye, chicory, and figs

* Egg - maize and potato

* Pepper - ashes

* The problems that Germans encountered in maintaining food supplies
must be taken into account when analysing the reasons of Germany's


* Hunger contributed to mutiny and low morale within the army

* Food problems contributed to the increase in infant deaths

* Increase of tuberculosis

* With soap scarce, lice became a problem

Increase in Government Control

* German govt established control over everyday life


* Rationing was introduced

* Hrs of sale for particular goods restricted

* Restrictions in lengths of dresses - save materials

* Censorship of the press - for example not free to discuss the
July crisis, and in 1918 Germans on the Home front couldn't
believe they had lost the war

* In 1916 the Kriegsauit (Supreme War Office) established control of
civilian labour, manufacturing and transport

* A Patriotic service law was passed which provided that all German
males 17-60 were liable to be called up for labour service in
areas directed by the Kriegsauit

* Force labour was also introduced which saw people from occupied
countries and POW's working in agriculture

* Women were also employed both in light and heavy industries


* The allied blockade also created shortages in clothing, leather,
wool, copper, rubber, minerals, and agriculture fertilizers

Harvesting All Available Resources

* The Raw Material Department was established in 1914, to buy up
supplies of metals, and resell these to manufacturers for war


* The production of Synthetic products

* Children were organised to collect materials for recycling

The issue of Recruitment In Britain


* Britain had traditionally relied on a small standing army of
100,000 volunteers, and its navy for its defence

* When the war broke out, there was a rush to enlist when volunteers
were called for -


* One million men had enlisted by the end of 1914

* 3 million had enlisted in the first yr of the war

* 5 million men by May 1915


* Despite the success of voluntary recruitment, high casualty rates
saw British generals constantly demanding more men

* There was three series of events that saw conscription introduced


* In October 1915 a law was introduced whereby 18-40 yr olds
were called to register - many key industry labourers were
exempted - widespread dissatisfaction

* As a consequences, on January 5th 1916, the military service
bill was introduced that saw single men & childless widowers
aged between 18-49

* In May 1916 conscription was extended to all men of serving

* There were of course objectors to this and many accepted service
in France and Belgium in Non-combatant Corps - about 1300 refused
any war related work and were sent to prison or prison farms


Recruitment - Conscription

* In Germany recruitment was never an issue - as conscriptions laws
had been in place from before the war


* When the war started Germany already had a standing army -
they then mobilised the reserve army, and called up those who
they had been rejected in earlier training

* Because Germany already had conscription laws at the start of
the war, this led to the increasing difficulties in the last
yrs of the war to reinforcing the army


* The newest recruits were those that were coming of age

* Propaganda


* There was no need for recruiting campaign in Germany, because
of the conscription laws

* Propaganda was still used in Germany for a 'hate campaign'
against Britain

* It was also used to encourage Germans to


* Subscribe to war loans

* German soldiers were portrayed as medieval knights
committed to a holy cause


* The presentation of a one sided view of an issue - the deliberate
attempts to convince people of a particular set of ideas


* Propaganda was used for a number of purposes by the government on
the home front


* Encourage recruitment

* Boost morale of civilians and troops

* Encourage hatred of the enemy

* Encourage financial investment for war effort - bonds and

* II acceptance and support of various restrictions - eg

* II participation in the war effort

* Propaganda was also used to promote anti-govt ideas


* To oppose conscription

* Promote industrial action by workers

Types of Propaganda

* These included


* Films -


* Scenes of carnage and misery and reference to heavy
casualties were avoided

* Newspapers


* Used to condemn enemy soldiers - invented atrocity stories
as apart of 'hate campaigns'

* Stress the courage of soldiers, and the excitement in

* Cartoons and Illustrations - showed the enemy as Barbaric
or incompetent

* Posters


* Usually contained little detail - and had a simple message
that was designed to appeal to the emotions of the reader
not the intellect

* Sermons


* Churches were used to show that god supported the war and
that gave comfort to those who were had mixed feelings -
gave the war a sense of righteousness to the war effort

* Schools


* Lessons to continue the 'hate campaign'

* Also had updates on battles and emphasises the heroism of
country soldiers

* Books and Magazines


* Carried pro-war propaganda - in children's books and in
adult magazines

* Meetings, speeches and Marches

* Music - songs and military bands


* Had strong emotional appeal

* Postcards


* Most popular poked fun at incompetent enemies

Who used Propaganda?

* Governments

* Groups formed in opposition of the governments policies - though
these people had to face the power of the government - arrests and
imprisonments faced those who opposed their governments too openly


* Censorship was imposed to control what the public was to know - to
maintain support from the people the horrors of war had to be

* In Germany severe censorship prevented the expression of

British Propaganda Programs

* This was one area where the british and her allies gained an early
advantage over the germans

* Propaganda was largely undertaken by the government and
organization derived from the govt.

* They appealed to


* The ruthless behaviour of the German Armies in Belgium

* The use of U-boats


* They had a wealth of references in which to draw on a
picture of the Germans as inhuman, or as bullies and

* British Propaganda, both written and pictorial, employed a
varieties of techniques such as


* The war as a moral crusade


* Germany and the Kaiser represented all that was evil

* Rudyard Kipling wrote that the world was split in two
divisions 'human beings and Germans

* They used atrocity stories


* Used stories that show Germans as commiting murderous acts
and crimes against humanity


* Such as the sinking of the Lusitania

* Posters and Cartoons


* Created positive feelings about your own side and negative
images of the enemy

German Propaganda

* Compared to the British propaganda effort, German propaganda lack

* It was largely undertaken by a number of private groups

* The military set up its own news source for propaganda as it was
unhappy with the domestic propaganda effort

* Like the british the germans sought to justify the war


* They stated that the British sort to deny Germany her true and
deserved position of greatness


* In both German and Britain, censorship was employed by the
governments to prevent any derogatory News from the war to reach
to citizens, and thus this helped maintained support for the war


* As long as people didn't know what was happening at the battle
front, the horrors anf agony - it was believed support would
be maintained

* Throughout the war the vast majority of newspapers and churchmen,
in all combatant countries, supported the governments efforts to
expand the war effort


* Those that opposed government policies, and expressed their
view risked being seized by police

Changing Attitudes to the War

* When the war first started in 1914 it was greeted by the vast
majority of people with support and enthusiasm


* Some saw the war as a chance to prove themselves

* Some believed that the war was a natural part of the cycle of
human civilization - nationalism was ripe - prove themselves
better by victory in the war

* Men saw participation and perhaps death in the war as a means
of proving moral courage and personal sacrifice

* Most people believed the war to be over by Christmas, and no-one
expected the war to develop as it did


* As the war dragged on - yr after yr changes in attitudes

* Men at the battle front came to see it as futile, the war a
senseless slaughter

* Splits developed in society


* Those who opposed the war, or conscription and they who still
believed in the war

* In Germany, the strains imposed by the war - led to revolutionary
acts and the collapse of the Kaiser's government, and the eventual
military dictatorship

* In Britain Lloyd George, from 1916 maintained the governments
authority, and the people accepted conscription

Early attitudes: Linked to Enthusiasm

* A way of achieving spiritual renewal

* A glorious adventure

* Opportunities for the highest recognition in courageousness and
noble sacrifices to be developed

* A way of proving racial and cultural superiority

Later Attitudes: Development of War weariness

* Wasteful senseless sacrifices

* Grief at huge casualties and personal loses

* The acceptance of restrictions

* Opposition to increasing demands and restrictions - eg

* Growth of notable objections

* Opposition of war profiteers - increase in strike action

* Development of revolutionary ideas and activities in the working

* As the war dragged on people - both soldiers and civilians
developed war weariness


* Soldiers began seeing the war as a senseless slaughter - they
were sick of being around death - and watching men die grossly
of Gas etc


* They longed for peace

* They were exhausted, tired and fatigued, exposure to the
conditions - deadened any sensation of life out of men

* Civilians - became wearied with continuous restrictions being
put in place


* They were in constant fear that the next telegram boy
might bring bad news

The Christmas truce

* The Christmas truce occurred during the first Christmas of the war
- Unofficial truces took place along the western front - mainly
were British and German Lines opposed


* Enemies sang Christmas carols to each other

* Other accounts state that men met their opponents in No-mans
land shook hands, exchanged cigarettes and even played soocer

* As propaganda hate campaigns had not fully developed, and the war
had been going for a short time - british and German men held no
great animosity with each other

War weariness in Britain

* The reintroduction of the Germans unrestricted submarine warfare
in 1917 caused critical food shortages in Britain.

* In the last two years of the war Britain suffered from shortages
of food - importing food had decreased and many people began to
steal food (taking more than their share in rationing)

* Items such as sugar, tea, butter, margarine, lard, dripping, milk,
bacon, pork, condensed milk, rice, spirits and Australian wines

* Citizens where encouraged to cultivate vacant land - railway
embankments, tennis courts, rubbish tips were used to grow food

* As a result of the shortages the price of food had risen
dramatically - up to 110% in Britain and 446% in Germany


* People were encouraged to use anything around the house that
might be valuable to the war effort - eg bones and grease -
made munitions and artificial manure - waste proved to be a
source of revenue

* Civilians - became wearied with continuous restrictions being put
in place


* They were in constant fear that the next telegram boy might
bring bad news

War Weariness In Germany

* The main factors that contributed to war weariness in German


* Food shortages caused by


* Naval blockade employed by Britain - effectively stopped
any imported food into Britain

* Labour shortages in Agriculture - men of to war, and men
and women moved to work in munition factories

* Black markets - taken rations from the people

* Rise in food and living Prices

* Increaing doubt that people would receive their rationing of such
foods as meat, potatoes, milk, sugar, butter and soap - people
were forced to eat 'war bread' (Made of rye and potato)


* The govt proposals to reduce bread rations sparked strikes in
April 1917

* Also shortages of other basic commodities such as - clothes,
cotton, leather, wool and even soap

* Decreasing morale as the war continued


* Eg - naval mutiny in mid 1917 - sailors were hungry and
frustrated over naval inaction and weary of harsh discipline

* 1917 was a crucial yr that saw bad conditions in Germany increase


* Restrictions on lighting and fires, due to a shortage of coal

War Weariness - Peace Overtures

The Impact of War on Womens lives and Experiences

* The changes of British women during World War One include


* Financially Independent - women worked to support their

* Socially Independence - relaxed behaviour became more


* Women smoked in public

* Cut their hair

* Wore shorter skirts and went out unchaperoned

* Class barriers reduced - women of all classes worked beside each
other - war work and volunteering

* A step toward equality of men and women - although in most working
places women were paid as much as their men counterparts

* Due to the conscription laws passed in 1916, the role of women
increased dramatically


* Millions of women were employed in munition factories

* Some women obtained employment for the first time

* Increased involvement in society

* Women also took part in as non-combatant soldiers - helping as
electricians, gas drill instructors, wireless telegraphists,
coders and decoders

* Although women were essential to the war effort, problems arose
over payment - they received less then their men counterparts -
unions weren't interested and men were complaining that women were
taking their jobs

* Munition factories were dangerous and unpleasant


* Some were nicknamed 'canaries' due to chemical poisoning
turning their skin yellow

* Incidences in munition factories resulted in over 200 deaths

Reasons for Allied Victory

* The alliance lined up against Germany, was too powerful as a whole
to resist

* One the war settle to a war of attrition, Germany lost it
advantages of surprise and it large highly trained army

* Allies able to muster superior economic, material, and human
resources to help the war effort

* The allied powers, especially Britain, were superior to the
Germans in naval power


* Blockade put in place by Britain of Germany - all German trade
with the outside world ceased

* Human Resources (soldiers) of the allies exceeded that of the
Germans and her allies


* The allies - 41 188 810 soldiers mobilised

* The Central Powers - 22 850 000 soldiers mobilised

* The allied superiority in human resources only became decisive
after yrs of trench warfare


* The US involvement - new US soldiers enabled the more
experienced British to rest


* 200 000 American troops by the end of 1917 - 250 000 more
arriving each month

* The Germans had limited reserves of men to call on - problems
in finding reserves

* The Tank -


* The tank gave the allies a winning advantage when the conflict
entered the final stage in 1918

* British industrial capacity gave them an overwhelming


* The allies had produced ~ 7200 tanks by the end of the
war, as opposed the Germans 20

Post War Soldier and Civilian Expectations

* Peace in November 1918 brought with it widespread hopes for the
achievement of a better world

* Soldiers returned home with high hopes of a more secure future,
stable jobs, better housing, increased wages and a higher standard
of living


* However a vast sum of money had been spent financing the war.
Industry had been severely disrupted and valuable overseas
markets were lost

* It was therefore difficult to fulfil the promises of a
brighter future

* Women who had earned greater independence and respect during the
war were forced back into their traditional roles during the


* The Restoration Of Pre-War Practices Act, passed in August
1919 stated that 'Any rule, practice or custom departed from
during the war is to be restored'

* At the end of 1918, three of the major allied countries held


* Many people had suffered during the war, and therefore there
was a great call to 'Make Germany Pay'

* Slogans during the elections fought on this basis - popular
slogans included 'Hang the Kaiser', and 'Vote for the man who
won the war'

* Lloyd George capitalised on his popularity, and pledged to
create a 'fit country for heroes to live in' and proposed to
demand 'the whole cost of the war' from Germany

* It was the pledge to 'make Germany pay' that aroused interests
within the public

* They believed that Germany should pay Britains war costs,
German leaders should be tried as war criminals and German
nationals within Britain should be expelled permanently

* The war had been won at a huge cost to both the people and economy
of Britain


* 750 000 Soldiers were dead and a further 1 500 000 had been

* Britain was also deeply in debt, having spent 9 billion pounds
on the war


* 1 billion to creditors in the US

* Britain had also lent 1.7 billion to its allies - 560
million to Russia which would never be repaid

* The societal change that happened during the war, was expected by
women and members of the lower classes to remain the same


* The class barrier gaps had grow smaller

* Women and lower class workers had gained fairer rights during
the war

* Though many politicians from before the war, want the return
to pre-war way of things

* Post-war Veterans were united in their demands for the pension,
bonus payments and special facilities for treatment of the war

Post War Economic difficulties

* Britains foreign trade had been ruined by war

* Many of its pre-war markets had spread to other parts of the
world, and therefore, Britain lost its power as the most powerful
industrial country in the world


* Many countries before the war had depended upon British
exports for industrial products, including Steel, coal but
during the war, these products were used solely for the war
effort - eg BHP developed in Australia

* Britains exports of coal, which had been once its main source of
revenue, began to fade due to competition from other countries,
and the increasing use of oil and electricity

* Britain pay a veterans pension, and disability pension for which


* As late as 1938, over 500 000 former soldiers were still
receiving the disability pension

* Britain were required to repay their loan, in which they had
received from the US

* Money that had been lent to Russia (over 500million pounds) would
never been seen again, due to the Revolution in 1917 - the
Bolsheviks believed that the debt was that of the Czar's

* With the decreasing need for the factory workers, due to the
failing industrial system, unemployment rose dramatically - relief
payments (the dole) was given


* Drained the government budget

Post war disillusionment

* Womens rights -


* Women emerged from the war with an improved social status -
though by 1920 two-thirds of women who had employment during
the war had left

* There wasn't equal pay for women

* Legislation


* Women over 30 gained the right to vote

* Women wage earners became eligible for the National
insurance benefits

* Nursing was granted full professional status

* Education


* 1918 education act - provided benefits and opportunities to
more british children

* Returned Servicemen and economic expectations


* Demoblisation - was a shamble


* Many ex servicemen returned home to poor housing, dead end
jobs or no jobs at all

Peacemaking attempts

* The Stockholm conference


* Attempts to bring peace about with Russia and Germany

* The Pope


* Proposed peace to all the belligerents, in the order that all
territories should be returned to rightful owners

The roles and different goals of Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson
at the Paris peace conference

The Paris peace conference

* Location: Paris/Versailles -


* This is significant because it was held in a victorious
country - French had suffered the most and they were keen to
spell there anger on Germany who had little choice but to
accept the treaty

* Timing: Jan-Jun 1919 - The war time emotion was still very evident

* The major Personalities


* Clemenceau (the French political leader - equivalent to the
British prime minister)


* At the age of 77, he has seen Germany invade his country
twice (1870 and 1914) and was determined it would never
happen again

* Clemenceau wanted to weaken Germany by reducing it size:
he wanted territory in the east to go to Poland, and in
the west, French would regain Alsace-Lorraine, and also
take the Rhineland (the land lying west of the river Rhine

* Believed in the severe punishment of the Germans - the
strength of Germany both economically and militarily
should be severely weakened

* Wanted security for Future France

* He also supported the idea that Germany should suffer
large reparations (payment for damage done during the war)

* Woodrow Wilson


* He wanted to seek a peace that was fair and just

* Before the war he had propose a statement of liberal war
aims (fourteen pts) that included the establishment of the
league of Nations (it was rejected by the two other allied

* He favour self-determination - (the right of people to
rule themselves)

* He opposed the annexation of German colonies by the
victorious powers

* Wanted to limit any reparations against Germany

* Imperialism shouldn't continue - it and Nationalism led to
tension between powers before the war

* Disapproved of the French efforts to dismember Germany

* Lloyd George


* Priorities in the fate of German colonies and reparations

* Wanted Germany to pay, but he didn't want to totally
destroy Germany as Britain, traditionally, had never
favoured a powerful France dominating western Europe

* He wanted to moderate the anti-German demands

* He became increasingly uneasy about the terms in the
treaty - he feared that the final treaty would be too
severe, and German would turn to bolshevism and seek
retribution against the allies

* The Fontainebleau memorandum contained the thoughts of
Lloyd George on the direction of the negotiations


* German should pay an annual sum, for a fixed number of
yrs that would disappear with the generation that made
the war

* Nationalities should be allocated to their motherland
- the proposal to place 2 million Germans under Polish
rule alarmed him

* Germany should be admitted to the league of Nations

The clashes between the 'Big Three'

* Clemenceau and Lloyd were often irritated by Wilsons assumed air
of moral superiority

* There were many alliances between the three men over different
areas of the treaty -


* For example Lloyd and Wilson were allied against Clemenceau
over the detachment of the Rhineland

The Roles played by the 'Big Three'

* Clemenceau


* Clemenceau fought hard and tried his best to impose on Germany
a punitive settlement

* Quote from AJ, Grant and Temperley


* Clemenceau 'was strong and wise'…'Moreover in debate he
had a readiness and even a tact and delicacy which were at
times invaluable'

* Clemenceau got a lot of want he wanted into the treaty - this
was due to the damage done in France and Clemenceau's strong
personality and tactful debating skills

* Ultimately Clemenceau failed to achieve his goal of security -
his hope of separating the Rhineland from Germany was wiped
when George and Wilson would not allow it - they said it would
be another Alsace-Lorraine in reverse

* Wilson


* Wilson was inexperienced in diplomacy and proved no match for
George and Clemenceau - He had little understanding of
European politics

* Wilsons nature was not suited to the international diplomacy.
He was arrogant, obstinate and unwilling to bend

* He was let down by the US system of government - he didn't
have the backing of the senate - who was need to ratify the
treaty in order for American to be included -

* Many of the 14 pts were ignored, though the league of nations
was accepted

* Lloyd George (info from Ken Webb)


* Many historians believe that Llyod George was a conciliator to
the idealist Wilson and the uncompromising Clemenceau - while
at the same time making sure British interests were looked

* He had to do a 'balance act' (Ken Webb) - he had to satisfy
the hounding British public (who wanted Germany to Suffer) and
also he hoped to create a lasting peace

* He had pressure on him - '370 members of Parliament' sent him
a telegram demand he make Germany pay

* He believed that the world economy should be rebuilt - the
powerhouse of the pre-war European economy had come from
Germany - thus it was in Britains interest to rebuild the
Germany economy, not destroy It

* He managed to prevent the separation of the Rhineland from

The Treaty of Versailles

* The aim of the Treaty of Versailles was to weaken Germany
territorially, economically and militarily

* Germany had a chance to respond to the treaty terms in May, but
the treaty-making process was a case of sign or else face invasion

* Germany was forced to sign the Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors at
the Palace of Versailles on the 28th June 1919

* Territorial Provisions


* Germany lost ~13% of its territory - which include


* Eupen and Malmedy was given to Belgium

* North Schleswig was given to Denmark

* Memel became Lithuania's access to the sea

* Danzig was placed under League of Nations control -
provided a new port for the new Polish state

* Posen (western Prussia) was handed to Poland - corridor to
the sea

* Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France

* The Rhineland area was demilitarised for 50km east of the
Rhine river - allies would administer this area for 15 yrs

* Through the German eyes the principle of self determination
seemed to be granted to all nationalities except Germans - the
treaty forced Germans to live under Czech, Polish, French, and
Lithuanian rule

* Military provisions


* The army was limited to 100000 men

* Germans weren't allowed any tanks or heavy artillery

* Couldn't have an air force

* The navy was greatly reduced - very severe limitations

* The navel base at Heligoland was destroyed

* Colonial Provisions -


* The Germans were determined to be unworthy of colonies - they
were given to other powers as mandates

* War Guilt


* The clause of the treaty that angered the Germans most was
Clause 231 - which blamed Germany for the war and all the
damage that the war had bought

* The Economic provisions


* Massive reparation were to be paid by Germany to the allies
for the damage inflicted during the war - the value of the
reparations was determined by the Reparations commissions
after the treaty was sign -


* In 1921 (28th August) the Germans were told they had to
pay 6.6 billion pounds ($40 billion) - France was to
receive 52% of this amount, Britain 22%

* Belgium and France were to receive large amounts of German
machinery, locomotives and rolling stock

* Germans had to supply the allies with large amounts of Coal -


* This included 20.3 million tonnes to France for 5 yrs and
thereafter 8.1 million indefinitely

Evaluating the Treaty

* The treaty was very hard for Germany, and many Germans were
angered and humiliated with many of the clauses within the treaty
i.e. parts of Germany given to other countries,

* France benefited the most from the treaty - from this we can
conclude that Clemenceau was very good in diplomacy - he could get
a lot of what he wanted

The success of 'The Big Three'

* Clemenceau was relatively successful in gaining significant
benefits for France, in areas military and especially in
territorial and economic provisions


* Although he was denied the Rhineland for France, it was

* The numbers and power of the German army were decreased
significantly -


* The army size was restricted to 100 000 men, and was also
denied heavy artillery, or any tanks and air force and
severely restricted in the navy

* The French benefited from the reparations decided by the
Commission of 1921


* ~ $20 million to go to France

* Receive 20.3 million tonnes p.a of coal for 5 yrs and
thereafter 8.1 million tonnes p.a indefinitely

* Wilson


* Most of Wilson's 14 pts were omitted from the treaty of


* Except the league of Nations

* Wilson believed that he could work toward the ideals of his 14
pt in the League of Nations - but the US didn't ratify the
treaty (senate didn't pass it) and therefore the US wasn't
included in the League of Nations

* Lloyd George


* Because of the severe reparations on Germany, he could dwell
the British public - he could say they had made Germany pay

* He was still worried that Germany had been split up - worried
about the Bolshivism

* 'For Lloyd George, the treaty was an opportunity to … create a
continent whose future problems could be adjusted without
malice' Martin Gilbert 'The treaty of Versailles'

Reparations (extracts from Gilbert) - 'Spotlight on a key issue -
Reparations' sheet

* In German occupied France nearly 300 000 houses were destroyed, 6
000 factories stripped of their machinery, important textile mills
were smashed, 2 000 breweries were destroyed

* During the German retreat, the Germans burned and looted on a
massive scale, destroying 1 000 miles of railway line, blowing up
1 000 bridges, and looting thousands of houses

* They took half a million cows, half a million sheep, and 300 000
horses and donkeys

* After the war the French had to pull up over 300 million meters of
barbed wire, and fill in over 250 million cubic meters of trenches
- much of the agricultural land was rendered useless

* It was therefore with cause that France fought to make Germany pay
for the damage done in France - the French were determined to
secure these reparations from Germany

* The British were as equally determined


* The Germans had torpedoed five hospital ships - this action
inflamed the British public - calls for Germany to pay

* Britain lost nearly 8 million tonnes of commercial shipping

* The British wanted financial reparations, as opposed to the
property lose of France and Belgium


* This category in the Treaty was under War pensions -

Note: The pre-armistice agreement required Germany to compensate for
ALL damage done by the aggression of Germany by land, sea and air to
the civilian populations of the allies

The US firmly opposed the idea that Germany should pay war costs

The League of Nations

* The Purpose of the League


* Wilson believed that if the league of nations had existed
before the war, physical confrontation could have been avoided

* The idea of the league was to bring differences between
nations to a peace settlement

* Its main aim was the prevention of war


* Article 10 - aimed to provided collective security for
members in the event of aggression - it was hoped that
potential aggressors would refrain from violence if they
were afraid to face the combined league of Nations force

* Article 12 - provided arbitration (settlement through
decision of 3rd party)


* This would encourage nations in disagreement to seek
the verdict of an impartial umpire

* Article 16 - provided for member nations to apply sanctions
against a possible aggressors - it was hoped that, faced with
possible economic strangulation, an aggressor would cease

* Membership of the league


* The League was made up of the assembly, council and
secretariat plus many associate organizations such as the
Health organization, the international labour organization etc


* Assembly - contained all league members (countries)
allowed only three delegates

* Council - was the leagues executive committee - comprised
of the major powers - Britain, France, Italy and japan

* Secretariat - the leagues permenant body of officials who
ensured the day-to-day running of the organization

* The Leagues level of Success during the 20's


* 1921 - Resolved a conflicted between Finland and Sweden to the
satisfaction of both sides

* 1921 - Yugoslavia invaded Albania - but when threatened with
sanctions quickly withdrew

* Settled the administration in Danzig (once German, the Polish
sea port)

* Membership didn't reflect the true balance of power in the
world - it relied on Britain and France (the war had left as
second rate powers)


* The USA never joined, Germany joined in 1926 and the
Soviet Union not until 1934 - there was not league army to
enforce the decisions it might make

* Voting had to be unanimous - this meant that one single nation
could prevent league action

* The league was incapable of retaliating against real powers

The Generals

* How were British Generals regarded


* The British generals, bar the exception of Kitchener, lacked
the personality of their French counterparts, and didn't share
the same level of devotion to their troops

* Newspapers, magazines and postcards promote the heroic figures
of the British and French generals for the public to admire

* There are several views held by modern historians about the
roles and success of the British generals


* Some say that tactics of the Generals became unimportant
during WW1 - it was the way the allies blocked the Germans
sources of supplies that won them the war

* Others oppose this, and state that German could have won
the war if the Schlieffen plan was followed correctly -
but General Moltke altered the plan, and as a consequence
the German forces didn't encircle Paris to the east - thus
not blocking supplies from sea ports



Politicians were also critical of the way British Generals had
conducted the assaults - they were concerned that so many lives had
been lost for a very small gain

The German army was defeated

Politicians accused Generals sending soldiers out to fight in
impossible conditions

Letters home and diaries it seems that during the war, bitterness
towards the Generals were not widespread

The British casualties in WW2 were less than half those suffered in
the Great War - this strengthened the views of historians that the
Great War had been mis-managed by uncaring leaders

Many soldiers admit that their war experiences were very localised and
this prevents them from making wider criticisms
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