Directions: Read the following passages. After each passage refer back to the “wwi simulation Guide” to answer brief questions. Use the reading to answer the questions, but the most important part is making educated decisions! Introduction



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WWI Simulation Readings

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Directions: Read the following passages. After each passage refer back to the “WWI Simulation Guide” to answer brief questions. Use the reading to answer the questions, but the most important part is making educated decisions!

Introduction:

World War One (1914-18) was perhaps the most important event of the 20th Century. It claimed the lives of over 20 million people. It destroyed empires and turned the USA into a superpower. It also gave birth to the Nazi party, which led to the horrors of World War Two and the Holocaust. These events produced the Cold War and the Middle East Conflict.

This simulation will help you understand the causes of World War One. You will take the role of Kaiser Wilhelm II, ruler of Germany. You will decide how to react to the problems you face. You can then compare what you did to what really happened and decide for yourself why the war started.

The Alliance System:

In 1890, there are 6 major states in Europe: Germany, Austria, Russia, France, Britain and Italy.


France hates Germany, because in 1871 Germany seized Alsace-Lorraine from France after winning the Franco-Prussian War. Since then, France has built a massive line of fortifications along her German border.

To protect herself, Germany has formed an alliance with Austria and Russia (the "Dreikaiserbund" or "Three Emperors' League"). Germany and Austria also have an alliance with Italy (the "Triple Alliance").

Britain, as an island nation, has so far refused to take sides at all.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Austria or Russia:

In 1890, when Wilhelm II becomes Kaiser of Germany, Austria and Russia are arguing over who should control the Balkans. The Balkans is the name given to the area of Europe bordering Turkey. Turkey has ruled the Balkans for centuries, but is now too weak to hold on to them (she is known as the "Sick Man of Europe").

The argument between Austria and Russia about who should control the Balkans means that the Dreikaiserbund is falling apart. Germany will have to choose whether to continue her friendship with Austria, or with Russia.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

The Alliance System / Arms Race

The Kaiser rejected the Russians and instead strengthened his ties with Austria and Italy (the "Triple Alliance"). In response, Russia quickly formed an alliance with France [in1894]. This scares Germany, because it means she has enemies both in the West (France) and in the East (Russia). The idea of a "war on two fronts" is very scary.

Germany decides to try to form an alliance with Britain. France and Russia are then more likely to leave Germany alone.

To put pressure on Britain, Germany passes two laws (18971900) which authorize a massive expansion of the Navy. Britain sees this as a direct threat to her Empire, whose defense depends on British control of the seas ("Britannia rules the waves"!).



  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

The Naval Race

The Kaiser felt that Britain was the only major country in Europe without an alliance, so he could demand a high price for his friendship. So, he carried on building up his navy and announced that Germany wanted an Empire of her own ("A Place in the Sun" as he described it in 1901). Also, he said that if Britain signed an alliance with Germany, she would also have to sign an alliance with Italy and Austria too.

Britain rejected these terms and instead reached the "Entente Cordiale" (friendly understanding) with France in 1904. This alarmed Germany. France was now an ally with both Britain and with Russia!


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

War Plans

It is 1905. France has formed alliances with both Britain and with Russia. Germany has alliances with Austria and Italy, but is starting to feel "encircled".

Germany draws up war plans to deal with a possible war on two fronts. She bears in mind that:
▪ The Russian army is much larger than the French.
▪ The Russian army will take three times as long to mobilise as the French.
▪ France has fortified a number of her cities along the German border.
▪ Belgium has had an alliance with Britain since the 1830s.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

War Plans 2

The Kaiser decided he would defeat France by sending his army through Belgium, then attack Russia.

The top secret "Schlieffen Plan" of 1905 argued that because Russia and France were allies, war with either would mean war with both. So, when Germany found herself at war with either one, she should move like lightning: first, defeat France by sending her army through Belgium, then unleash the whole German army on Russia. In this way, Germansy could avoid the nightmare of a "war on two fronts".

The danger of this plan was that it relied on "striking the first blow": Germany would declare war straight away when a crisis developed rather than waste time trying to find a peaceful solution.



  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Growing Anglo-German Tension

In 1906, Britain launched a brand new style of battleship – the Dreadnought – and spent millions of pounds trying to stay ahead in the "naval race" with Germany. The British people resented having to pay heavy taxes to pay for these ships, and anti-German feeling grew.

In 1907, Britain signed an alliance with Russia, creating a "Triple Entente" of Russia, France and Britain to matched the "Triple Alliance" of Germany, Austria and Italy.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Tensions with Britain: The Daily Telegraph

A British newspaper called the Daily Telegraph wants to interview the Kaiser. He sees this as a great way of getting his points across to the British public.

You are going to make a statement. The options of what you will say are in the questions.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Tensions with Britain: The Daily Telegraph II

The Kaiser in fact included all four statements in the famous Daily Telegraph interview!:



a.”I am a friend of England”

b. “It is one of my dearest wishes to live on the best of terms with England”

c. “You English are mad, mad, mad as March hares”

d. “Germany must have a powerful fleet”

He said he was a "friend of England" but lost his temper remembering how Britain refused his offer of an alliance. Calling the British "Mad as March Hares" did not go down well in Britain – German shops had their windows broken!



  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Tension with Russia: The Bosnian Crisis

The Daily Telegraph interview destroys all hope of an alliance between Germany and Britain.

So Germany relies upon Austria, her most loyal ally. The problem with this is that Austria is arguing with mighty Russia about who should control the Balkans. The Balkans is the name given to the area of Europe bordering Turkey. 

In 1908 Austria seizes control of Bosnia, a key Balkan state. Russia is appalled and there is a danger that the Triple Entente(Russia, France and Britain) could find herself at war with the Triple Alliance (Austria, Germany and Italy). 



  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Tension with Russia: The Bosnian Crisis Pt. II

The Kaiser gave a "blank cheque" to Austria, promising them his full support. So, France and Britain backed down, and so did Russia (still weak from her defeat in the Russo-Japanese War). 

Germany and Austria were overjoyed, but Russia wanted revenge as soon as she got strong again.


  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

Assassination at Sarajevo, Bosnia

It is 28th June 1914. News comes through that the Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, has been assassinated in Bosnia by a Serbian terrorist group called the “Black Hand”.

Austria snatched control of Bosnia from under the nose of Serbiain 1908. Since then, relations between Austria and Serbia have been very bad.

Austria wants to attack Serbia to sort them out once and for all. 



  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

The Will-Nicky Telegrams

On 29th July, Austria started bombing Serbia. This was dangerous – Germany was an ally of Austria, and Russia was an ally of Serbia, so there was a real danger of the war spreading across Europe.

On 30th July, Russia starts to mobilize her army. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Tsar Nicholas of Russia exchange messages (the "Willy-Nicky Telegrams") trying to sort things out.

  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

On 31st July…
Germany asked Russia to demobilize. Russia replied that only Austria was being threatened, not Germany.
Germany then asked France to promise not to get involved, but France did not reply.
Germany and France then both asked Britain whose side she was on, but Britain refused to get involved.

  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.

War is Declared

Germany declared war on Russia on 1st August. The Kaiser did not want to declare war on France as well, but his generals told him he had no choice: France was an ally of Russia and would attack Germany from the West, creating a “War on Two Fronts”. 



So, on 3rd August, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany declared war on France. Britain immediately promised to defend Belgian neutrality. Despite this, Germany marched into Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan. On 4th August, Britain declared war on Germany. World War One had begun.

  • Now answer questions on “The Alliance System” in your packet.


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