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What led to the Great War?

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What led to the Great War? Continual trouble in the Balkans led to the formation of several complicated military alliances throughout Europe.The continent was eventually split into two groups. Britain, France and later Russia joined to form the Entente Cordiale; Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. In 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Serbia, activating the alliance agreements.

First Austria declared war on Serbia, Russia sided with Serbia, and then Germany declared war on Russia. Germany invaded Belgium, bringing the British and French into the conflict.The British, French and Russians became known as the Allies, while their opponents were the Central Powers.

Most European countries joined one of the opposing sides which were called the Central Pow ers and the Allies.

The Great War of 1914-18 brought the first appearance of armoured tanks in battle. They were able to break through enemy lines and create openings for troops to advance through. The use of tanks earlier could have shortened the war by years and helped save millions of lives.

What was different about World War I?

World War I, or the Great War, was the first mechanized war in history. In the beginning the fighting was similar to wars fought during the previous century. Mounted cavalry charged enemy lines but were cut down by fire from the recently developed machine-guns. No modern tactics had been developed to handle battles between armies spread across whole countries.

The battlefields became deadlocked, with few advances. The troops dug deep trenches. About 10 million men died in battles, which usually gained an advance of about one kilometre. Another 20 million men were wounded.

Which new weapons were introduced in the Great War?

Some new and terrifying weapons were introduced during World War I, changing the whole style of warfare. Aircraft were used for the first time to observe the enemy and to locate suitable targets for the long-range artillery. Later, fighter planes began to shoot down the spotters, introducing aerial warfare. Aircraft and Zeppelin airships were used as bombers.

The most terrifying new weapon was poison gas, which was used by both sides. It caused millions of deaths and terrible suffering.Tanks made their first appearance, having been invented to break through enemy lines and barbed wire.

If the generals had used tanks earlier, followed by a massive attack, the whole course of the war would have been shortened and many lives would have been saved.
The recently developed aeroplane was first used for observation, but was soon fitted with weapons to attack other aircraft. The public followed the exploits of 'aces' on either side, counting their victories over the enemy.

Why did Russia pull out of World War I?

In 1905 there had been an unsuccessful uprising in Russia against the rule of the tsar. Riots broke out again in 1917, when people protested about the lack of food and fuel that were being diverted to the troops. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, eventually took over and the tsar and his family were murdered. The new Communist government began peace negotiations with Germany.

The Versailles Treaty ended World War I, but its terms were so severe that Germany suffered economic collapse and this caused resentment that was to build up and eventually contribute to the causes of World War II.


Tags: military, war



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 04 January '12


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