World War One Essay, Research Paper
There were many reasons as to why ww1 began. The long term causes were imperial and economic rivalry between britain and germany. Britain was jealous of germany because germany’s strength was growing- it was producing more iron and steel than Britain. Germanys navy was growing and its empire was expanding. germany was jealous of britains empire and wealth. it also feared the fact that unfriendly countries (france and russia) were on its eastern and western borders.
because of all this rivalry, Britain decided to make an alliance with france and russia. this was called the ”triple entente”. this meant that if any country tried to attack them, the rest of the entente wouldbackthem up. Germany already had an alliance called the ”triple alliance” with italy and austria-hungary (then 2 countries.
most historians agree that by 1914, britain and germany were looking for anexcuse to start a war and settle things once and for all. no-one expected a long war, just to see who was the strongest. on june 28 1914, they found their excuse. thiswas the ’spark’. the Austria-hungarian heir ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND was asasinated by a serb nationlist GAVRILO PRINCIP.
ausria-hungary blamed serbia and declared war on them. russia said they would defend serbia which prompted germany to order russia not to help serbia. russia declined so germany declared war on russia and started to move its army towards france and Belgium. The French army was put on alert ready for a german invasion. france already disliked germany and wanted revenge after, in 1871, France lost two of its regions (Alsace and Lorraine) to Germany as a result of a war and wanted them back. Germany declared war on france and invaded belgium. it was ordered to leave britain by Britain so when germany refused, britain declared war on germany. to complete the picture, austria-hungary then declared war on russia. This is how it became a european war. it became a world war because germany and britain had many other countries in their empires who weren’t necessarily in europe. these countries also used ww1 as an opportunity to fight for their own reasons and to clear things up once and for all. tis meant that the casualties would be worldwide.
in order to try and win, germany came up with a plan called the SCHLIEFFEN PLAN. this meant that they would invade france via neutral belgium. this plan failed which resulted in the start of trench warfare.
trenches provided excellent protection from enemy fire. the food in the trenches was unhealthy because it was open to mud and dirty water. also there were no facilities to cook the food. the downfall of the trenches was that it wasnt good forattacking which meant better weapons were needed to try and win the war.
weapon destruction had increases dramatically during ww1 with the introduction of new and more powerful weapons. machine guns,aeroplanes long range artillary, tanks, poison gases and grenades designed to explode with splintering metal flying everywhere were some of the weapons used in combat.
the enthusiasm of which soldiers had joined up with had dies dowm an people gradually began to realise the destruction being caused so some people were CONSCRIPTED.
the war of movement had been replaced by a deadlock. on the western front, more than 2 million soldiers were involved in the war. As the weather got colder and wetter, they faced each other over miles of increasingly muddy land which had been churned up by shell fire. both sided began to dig more trenches to protect thwm from enemy machine gun fire. despite millions of casualties, neither army would move more than 10 miles backwards or forwards until well into 1918 which caused even more casualties.
during ww1, 20 million people had died. 9 million died in combat. therewere lots ofcasualties because ww1 was a total war which meant it affected soldiers as well as civilians. there were over 200,000 dead soldiers in the british empire of which 1/3 were indian.
ww1 was often known as the ”great war” or ”the war to end all wars” because the stupidity and violence of the war was so horrific that people thought nothing like this would ever happen again. the war then ended with the signing of the ”treaty of versailles”thisis one of the reasons why the war went on for so long. despite world hpoesthat the end of the war would restore peace on apermanent basi, ww1 actually provided the basis for an even more devastating conflict-ww2