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  1. en.wikipedia.org › wiki › World_war_iWorld War I - Wikipedia

    World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a international conflict that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the United States and Turkey, and was also fought in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

  2. Map of the world with the participants in World War I in 1917. Allies in green, Central Powers in orange, and the neutral countries are in grey. The identification of the causes of World War I remains controversial. World War I began in the Balkans on July 28, 1914 and hostilities ended on November 11, 1918, leaving 17 million dead and 25 million ...

    • Beginning
    • Germany vs Russia
    • Britain vs Germany
    • Turkey
    • Bulgaria vs Serbia and Greece
    • Russian Revolution
    • Important Events in The War
    • Trench Warfare
    • Airplanes
    • USA vs Germany

    By 1914, trouble was on the rise in Europe. Many countries feared invasion from the other. For example, Germany was becoming increasingly powerful, and the British saw this as a threat to the British Empire. The countries formed alliances to protect themselves, but this divided them into two groups. Germany and Austria-Hungary had been allies since 1879. They had then formed the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882. France and Russia became allies in 1894. They then joined with Britain to form the Triple Entente. In 1908, Austria-Hungary had taken over Bosnia, a region next to Serbia. Some people living in Bosnia were Serbian, and wanted the area to be part of Serbia. One of these was the Black Hand organization. They sent men to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria when he visited Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. They all failed to kill him with grenades while he passed through a large crowd. But one of them, a Serbian student named Gavrilo Princip, shot him and his pregnant wife...

    Germany was allied with Austria-Hungary. Russia was allied with Serbia. The German government was afraid that because Austria-Hungary had attacked Serbia, Russia would attack Austria-Hungary to help Serbia. Because of this, Germany felt it had to help Austria-Hungary by attacking Russia first, before it could attack Austria-Hungary. The problem was that Russia was also friends with France, and the Germans thought the French might attack them to help Russia. So the Germans decided that they could win the war if they attacked France first, and quickly. They could mobilize very quickly. They had a list of all the men who had to join the army, and where those men had to go, and the times of every train that would carry those men to where they would have to fight. France was doing the same thing, but could not do it as quickly. The Germans thought that if they attacked France first, they could 'knock France' out of the war before Russia could attack them. Russia had a big army, but Germa...

    Britain was allied with Belgium, and became quickly involved in the war. Britain had promised to protect Belgian neutrality. Germany passed through Belgium to reach Paris before Russia could mobilize and open up a second front against them. On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war against Germany in support of Belgium. Britain had the biggest empire (it ruled over a quarter of the world). If Germany conquered France, it might take Britain and France's coloniesand become the most powerful and biggest empire in the world. Britain was also worried about Germany's growing military power. Germany was developing its large army into one of the most powerful in the world. The British Army was quite small. The British Royal Navy was the largest and best in the world, and in the 19th century that was enough to keep other naval powers from attacking. Germany was a land power, and Britain was a sea power. But now the Germans were building a large navy. This was seen as a threat to Britain. Howev...

    The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) went into the war because it was secretly allied to Germany and two Turkish warships manned by German Navy personnel bombarded Russian towns. Britain also fought against Turkey because the Ottoman Empire was supporting Germany. Britain did not have any animosity towards the Turks. However, by fighting the Turks in the Mesopotamia region (in what is now called Iraq), in the Arabian Peninsula and other places, Britain was able to defeat them with help from the British Indian Army. Later, after the War ended, Britain was able to get some areas from the old Turkish empire which was breaking up, and to add them to the British Empire. Greece went into the war because its leader supported the Allied cause. Greece and Serbia had become independent, but many Greeks still lived in lands that were once Greek but were now in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Having recently won the Balkan Wars, the Greeks especially wanted to control other land to the north that was under...

    Bulgaria, like Greece and Serbia, was owned by Turkey before Bulgaria broke away from Turkey. Bulgaria claimed a lot of Turkish land as belonging to Bulgaria. The Serbians and Greeks felt cheated because they felt the land belonged to Greece or Serbia. The Greeks and Serbians took back the land which angered Bulgaria and led to the country becoming allies with Turkey. They declared war on Serbia and Greece, but Bulgaria lost this war.

    The Russian Revolution makes Russia fight Germany and the Bolsheviks at the same time. Russia surrendered to Germany due to the fact that the Russians were fighting against the Soviets as well. It needed to get out of the war, so they payed Germany lots of German marks to make them stop fighting between them so they could focus on fighting the Soviets.

    Most people thought the war would be short. They thought the armies would move around quickly to attack each other and one would defeat the other without too many people getting killed. They thought the war would be about brave soldiers — they did not understand how war had changed. Only a few people, for example Lord Kitchenersaid that the war would take a long time. In the beginning of the war, Italy was in the Central Powers. But then Italy changed the side of the Entente Powers because they had promised land across the Adriatic sea. Germany's generals had decided that the best way to defeat France was to go through Belgium using a plan called the Schlieffen Plan. This was invented by the German Army Chief of Staff, Alfred Von Schlieffen. They could then attack the French army at the north side and the south side at the same time. The German Army went into Belgium on August the 4th. On the same day, Great Britainstarted a war on Germany, because Britain was a friend of Belgium. T...

    Trench warfare killed great numbers of soldiers. New weapons, such as machine guns, and long-range artillery had an increased rate of fire that cut down huge numbers of soldiers during mass charges, a tactic leftover from older warfare. The men on both sides took spades and dug holes, because they did not want to be killed. The holes joined up into trenches, until the lines of trenches went all the way from Switzerland to the North Sea. In front of the trenches, there was barbed wire that cut anyone who tried to climb over it, and land mines that blew up anyone who tried to cross. Late in the war, poison gaswas also an important weapon. The new machine guns, artillery, trenches and mines made it very difficult to attack. The generals had fought many wars without these, so they ordered their armies to attack in the old style of marching in rows- allowing the enemy to shoot them down easily. At the Battle of the Somme in 1916 60,000 British men died in a single day. It was one of the...

    Airplanes were first used extensively in World War I. Airplanes were not used very much in fighting before World War I. It was the first war to use airplanes as weapons. Airplanes were first used for reconnaissance, to take pictures of enemy land and to direct artillery. Generals, military leaders, were using airplanes as an important part of their attack plans at the end of the war. World War I showed that airplanes could be important war weapons. Airplanes in World War I were made of wood and canvas, a type of rough cloth. They did not last for a long time. They could not fly very fast at the beginning of the war. They could only fly up to 116 kilometers per hour, or 72 miles per hour. At the end of the war they could fly up to 222 kilometres per hour (138 miles per hour). But they could not fly as fast as planes today. Guns were put on planes for the first time during the war. Pilots, people who fly the plane, used the guns to shoot enemy planes. One pilot used metal sheets, piec...

    The German leaders decided to use submarines. These submarines were named U-boats, from the German word Unterseeboot (meaning underwater boat). The U-boats attacked passenger ships such as RMS Lusitania carrying civilians to the United Kingdom. They did not follow the laws of war, because the British would be able to easily destroy them if they did. America was selling weapons to Germany's enemies but not to Germany, thus not being neutral ("neutral" means to not take a side during a conflict). Many American and British noncombatants were killed by the submarines. Germany also wrote a secret telegram note to Mexico in code suggesting that the two countries work together to attack the United States. This note is called the Zimmerman Telegram because it was sent by Arthur Zimmerman. It offered Mexico land in the southwestern United States that the United States took in previous wars. Spies from the United Kingdom found out about the note and told the United States. American people bec...

    • Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, China, Indian Ocean, North and South Atlantic Ocean
  3. Battle of Jisr Benat Yakub, a phase of the Capture of Damascus. Battle of the Canal du Nord, a phase of the Battle of the Hindenburg Line. Fifth Battle of Ypres (also known as Advance on Flanders), a phase of the Battle of the Hindenburg Line. Battle of St. Quentin Canal, a phase of the Hundred Days Offensive.

    • Beginning
    • Neutrality
    • Public Opinion
    • Preparedness Movement
    • War Declared
    • Home Front
    • Motor Vehicles
    • American Military
    • After The War
    • See Also

    The American entry into World War I came on April 6, 1917, after a year long effort by President Woodrow Wilson to get the United States into the war.[citation needed] Apart from an Anglophile element urging early support for the British, American public opinion sentiment for neutrality was particularly strong among Irish Americans, German Americans and Scandinavian Americans, as well as among church leaders and among women in general. On the other hand, even before World War I had broken out, American opinion had been more negative toward Germany than towards any other country in Europe. Over time, especially after reports of atrocities in Belgium in 1914 and following the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania in 1915, the American people increasingly came to see Germanyas the aggressor. As U.S. President, it was Wilson who made the key policy decisions over foreign affairs: while the country was at peace, the domestic economy ran on a laissez-faire basis, with American bank...

    After the war began in 1914, the United States proclaimed a policy of neutralitydespite President Woodrow Wilson's antipathies against Germany. When the German U-boat U-20 sank the British liner Lusitania on 7 May 1915 with 128 US citizens aboard, Wilson demanded an end to German attacks on passenger ships, and warned that the USA would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare in violation of "American rights" and of "international and obligations." Wilson's Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, resigned, believing that the President's protests against the German use of U-boat attacks conflicted with America's official commitment to neutrality. On the other hand, Wilson came under pressure from war hawks led by former president Theodore Roosevelt, who denounced German acts as "piracy", and from British delegations under Cecil Spring Rice and Sir Edward Grey. U.S. Public opinion reacted with outrage to the suspected German sabotage of Black Tom in Jersey City, New Jersey on...

    American public opinion was divided, with most Americans until early 1917 largely of the opinion that the United States should stay out of the war. Opinion changed gradually, partly in response to German actions in Belgium and the Lusitania, partly as German Americanslost influence, and partly in response to Wilson's position that America had to play a role to make the world safe for democracy. In the general public, there was little if any support for entering the war on the side of Germany. The great majority of German Americans, as well as Scandinavian Americans, wanted the United States to remain neutral; however, at the outbreak of war, thousands of US citizens had tried to enlist in the German army. The Irish Catholic community, based in the large cities and often in control of the Democratic Party apparatus, was strongly hostile to helping Britain in any way, especially after the Easter uprising of 1916 in Ireland. Most of the Protestant church leaders in the United States, r...

    By 1915, Americans were paying much more attention to the war. The sinking of the Lusitania aroused furious denunciations of German brutality. By 1915, in Eastern cities a new "Preparedness" movement emerged. It argued that the United States needed to build up immediately strong naval and land forces for defensive purposes; an unspoken assumption was that America would fight sooner or later. The driving forces behind Preparedness were all Republicans, notably General Leonard Wood, ex-president Theodore Roosevelt, and former secretaries of war Elihu Root and Henry Stimson; they enlisted many of the nation's most prominent bankers, industrialists, lawyers and scions of prominent families. Indeed, there emerged an "Atlanticist" foreign policy establishment, a group of influential Americans drawn primarily from upper-class lawyers, bankers, academics, and politicians of the Northeast, committed to a strand of Anglophile internationalism. The Preparedness movement had what political scie...

    In January 1917, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in hopes of forcing Britain to begin peace talks. The German Foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann invited revolution-torn Mexico to join the war as Germany's ally against the United States if the United States declared war on Germany in the Zimmermann Telegram. In return, the Germans would send Mexico money and help it recover the territories of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona that Mexico lost during the Mexican–American War 70 years earlier. British intelligence intercepted the telegram and passed the information on to Washington. Wilson released the Zimmerman note to the public and Americans saw it as a casus belli—a justification for war. At first, Wilson tried to maintain neutrality while fighting off the submarines by arming American merchant ships with guns powerful enough to sink German submarines on the surface (but useless when the U-boatswere under water). After submarines sank seven US merchant ships, Wilson fin...

    The home front required a systematic mobilization of the entire population and the entire economy to produce the soldiers, food supplies, munitions, and money needed to win the war. It took a year to reach a satisfactory state. Although the war had already raged for two years, Washington had avoided planning, or even recognition of the problems that the British and other Allies had to solve on their home fronts. As a result, the level of confusion was high at first. Finally efficiency was achieved in 1918. The war came in the midst of the Progressive Era, when efficiency and expertise were highly valued. Therefore, the federal government set up a multitude of temporary agencies with 50,000 to 1,000,000 new employees to bring together the expertise necessary to redirect the economy into the production of munitions and food necessary for the war, as well as for propaganda purposes.

    Before the American entry into the war, many American-made heavy four-wheel drive trucks, notably made by Four Wheel Drive (FWD) Auto Company, and Jeffery / Nash Quads, were already serving in foreign militaries, bought by Great Britain, France and Russia. When the war started, motor vehicles had begun to replace horses and pulled wagons, but on the European muddy roads and battlefields, two-wheel drive trucks got stuck all the time, and the leading allied countries could not produce 4WD trucks in the numbers they needed. The U.S. Army wanted to replace four-mule teams used for hauling standard 11⁄2 U.S. ton (3000 lb / 1.36 metric ton) loads with trucks, and requested proposals from companies in late 1912. This led the Thomas B. Jeffery Company to develop a competent four-wheel drive, 11⁄2short ton capacity truck by July 1913: the "Quad". The Jeffery Quad truck, and from the company's take-over by Nash Motors after 1916, the Nash Quad, greatly assisted the World War I efforts of sev...

    As late as 1917, the United States maintained only a small army, one which was in fact smaller than those of thirteen of the states already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 4 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918, about 2 million US soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917, Congress gave US citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end, Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before US troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup. Beginning with the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, the first major battle involving the American Expeditionary Forces, the leaders of t...

    The government promptly ended wartime contracts, ended the draft, and started to bring home its troops from Europe as fast as transport became available. However, there was no GI Bill or financial or educational benefits for veterans, and the lack became a major political issue, especially for the large veterans' groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the new American Legion.The readjustment period was marked by soaring unemployment, massive strikes, and race riots in 1919. The public demanded a return to "normalcy", and repudiated Wilson with the election of conservative Republican Warren G. Harding.

    • The Early Years of War
    • The Dawn of Air Combat
    • The Fokker Scourge
    • Verdun and The Somme
    • Bloody April
    • 1918 – The Spring Offensive
    • Impact
    • Anti-Aircraft Weaponry
    • Bombing and Reconnaissance
    • Strategic Bombing

    At the 1911 meeting of the Institute of International Law in Madrid, legislation was proposed to limit the use of aeroplanes to reconnaissance missions and banning them from being used as platforms for weapons. This legislation was rooted in a fear that aeroplanes would be used to attack undefended cities, violating Article 69 of the Den Hague Reglement (the set of international laws governing warfare). At the start of the war, there was some debate over the usefulness of aircraft in warfare. Many senior officers, in particular, remained sceptical. However the initial campaigns of 1914 proved that cavalry could no longer provide the reconnaissance expected by their generals, in the face of the greatly increased firepower of twentieth century armies, and it was quickly realised that aircraftcould at least locate the enemy, even if early air reconnaissance was hampered by the newness of the techniques involved. Early skepticism and low expectations quickly turned to unrealistic demand...

    As Dickson had predicted, initially air combat was extremely rare, and definitely subordinate to reconnaissance. There are even stories of the crew of rival reconnaissance aircraft exchanging nothing more belligerent than smiles and waves. This soon progressed to throwing grenades, and other objects – even grappling hooks. The first aircraft brought down by another was an Austrian reconnaissance aircraft rammed on 8 September 1914 by Russian pilot Pyotr Nesterov in Galicia in the Eastern Front. Both planes crashed as the result of the attack killing all occupants. Eventually pilots began firing handheld firearms at enemy aircraft, however pistols were too inaccurate and the single shot rifles too unlikely to score a hit. On October 5, 1914, French pilot Louis Quenaultopened fire on a German aircraft with a machine gun for the first time and the era of air combat was under way as more and more aircraft were fitted with machine guns.

    The first purpose-designed fighter aircraft included the British Vickers F.B.5, and machine guns were also fitted to several French types, such as the Morane-Saulnier L and N. Initially the German Air Service lagged behind the Allies in this respect, but this was soon to change dramatically. In July 1915 the Fokker E.I, the first aircraft to enter service with a "synchronisation gear" which enabled a machine gun to fire through the arc of the propeller without striking its blades, became operational. This gave an important advantage over other contemporary fighter aircraft. This aircraft and its immediate successors, collectively known as the Eindecker (German for "monoplane") – for the first time supplied an effective equivalent to Allied fighters. Two German military aviators, Leutnants Otto Parschau and Kurt Wintgens, worked for the Fokker firm during the spring of 1915, demonstrating the revolutionary feature of the forward-firing synchronised machine gun to the embryonic force...

    Creating new units was easier than producing aircraft to equip them, and training pilots to man them. When the Battle of the Somme started in July 1916, most ordinary RFC squadrons were still equipped with planes that proved easy targets for the Fokker. New types such as the Sopwith 1½ Strutterhad to be transferred from production intended for the RNAS. Even more seriously, replacement pilots were being sent to France with pitifully few flying hours. Nonetheless, air superiority and an "offensive" strategy facilitated the greatly increased involvement of the RFC in the battle itself, in what was known at the time as "trench strafing" – in modern terms, close support. For the rest of the war, this became a regular routine, with both attacking and defending infantry in a land battle being constantly liable to attack by machine guns and light bombs from the air. At this time, counter fire from the ground was far less effective than it became later, when the necessary techniques of defl...

    The first half of 1917 was a successful period for the jagdstaffeln and the much larger RFC suffered significantly higher casualties than their opponents. While new Allied fighters such as the Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Triplane, and SPAD S.VII were coming into service, at this stage their numbers were small, and suffered from inferior firepower: all three were armed with just a single synchronised Vickers machine gun. On the other hand, the jagdstaffeln were in the process of replacing their early motley array of equipment with Albatros D-series aircraft, armed with twin synchronised MG08s. The D.I and D.II of late 1916 were succeeded by the new Albatros D.III, which was, in spite of structural difficulties, "the best fighting scout on the Western Front" at the time. Meanwhile, most RFC two-seater squadrons still flew the BE.2e, a very minor improvement on the BE.2c, and still fundamentally unsuited to air-to-air combat. This culminated in the rout of April 1917, known as "Bloody April"....

    The surrender of the Russians and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, and the resulting release of troops from the Eastern Front gave the Germans a "last chance" of winning the war before the Americans could become effectively involved. This resulted in the last great German offensive of the war, the "Spring Offensive", which opened on 21 March. The main attack fell on the British front on the assumption that defeat of the British army would result in the surrender of the mutiny-weakened French. In the air, the battle was marked by the carefully coordinated use of the Schlachtstaffeln or "battle flights", equipped with the light CL class two seaters built by the Halberstadt and Hannover firms, that had proved so effective in the German counter-attack in early October's Battle of Cambrai. The new German fighter aircraft, notably the Fokker D.VII, that might have revived German air superiority in time for this battle had not however reached the Jagdstaffeln in sufficient number...

    By war's end, the impact of aerial missions on the ground war was in retrospect mainly tactical; strategic bombing, in particular, was still very rudimentary indeed. This was partly due to its restricted funding and use, as it was, after all, a new technology. On the other hand, the artillery, which had perhaps the greatest effect of any military arm in this war, was in very large part as devastating as it was due to the availability of aerial photography and aerial "spotting" by balloon and aircraft. By 1917 weather bad enough to restrict flying was considered as good as "putting the gunner's eyes out". Some, such as then-Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, commander of all American air combat units in France, claimed, "[T]he only damage that has come to [Germany] has been through the air".Mitchell was famously controversial in his view that the future of war was not on the ground or at sea, but in the air. During the course of the War, German aircraft losses accounted to 27,637 by a...

    Though aircraft still functioned as vehicles of observation, increasingly they were used as a weapon in themselves. Dog fights erupted in the skies over the front lines, and aircraft went down in flames. From this air-to-air combat, the need grew for better aircraft and gun armament. Aside from machine guns, air-to-air rockets were also used, such as the Le Prieur rocket against balloons and airships. Recoilless rifles and autocannons were also attempted, but they pushed early fighters to unsafe limits while bringing negligible returns, with the German Becker 20mm autocannon being fitted to a few twin-engined Luftstreitkräfte G-series medium bombers for offensive needs, and at least one late-war Kaiserliche Marine zeppelin for defense – the uniquely armed SPAD S.XII single-seat fighter carried one Vickers machine gun and a special, hand-operated semi-automatic 37mm gun firing through a hollow propeller shaft. Another innovation was air-to-air bombing if a fighter had been fortunate...

    As the stalemate developed on the ground, with both sides unable to advance even a few hundred yards without a major battle and thousands of casualties, aircraft became greatly valued for their role gathering intelligence on enemy positions and bombing the enemy's supplies behind the trench lines. Large aircraft with a pilot and an observer were used to scout enemy positions and bomb their supply bases. Because they were large and slow, these aircraft made easy targets for enemy fighter aircraft. As a result, both sides used fighter aircraft to both attack the enemy's two-seat aircraft and protect their own while carrying out their missions. While the two-seat bombers and reconnaissance aircraft were slow and vulnerable, they were not defenseless. Two-seaters had the advantage of both forward- and rearward-firing guns. Typically, the pilot controlled fixed guns behind the propeller, similar to guns in a fighter aircraft, while the observer controlled one with which he could cover th...

    The first aerial bombardment of civilians occurred during World War I. In the opening weeks of the war, zeppelins bombed Liège, Antwerp, and Warsaw, and other cities, including Paris and Bucharest, were targeted, In January 1915 the Germans began a bombing campaign against England that was to last until 1918, initially using airships. There were 19 raids in 1915, in which 37 tons of bombs were dropped, killing 181 people and injuring 455. Raids continued in 1916. London was accidentally bombed in May, and in July, the Kaiser allowed directed raids against urban centres. There were 23 airship raids in 1916 in which 125 tons of ordnance were dropped, killing 293 people and injuring 691. Gradually British air defenses improved. In 1917 and 1918 there were only eleven Zeppelin raids against England, and the final raid occurred on 5 August 1918, resulting in the death of Peter Strasser, commander of the German Naval Airship Department. By the end of the war, 54 airship raids had been und...

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