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World War I
1914 - 1918

The Great War” “The War To End All Wars” “The War For Humanity & Freedom”




  • Europe After Berlin Conference, 1878

  • Where the War Began

  • Four Dynasties Ruled Europe

    • Hanover

    • Romanov

    • Hohenzollern

    • Hapsburg



  • The Beginning

    • Sarajevo, June 28, 1914

    • Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated

      • Gavrilo Princip

      • The Black Hand

    • Austria’s Demands

      • Count Leopold Von Berchtold

    • Wilhelm’s Blank Check

    • Serbia Called on Russia



  • Fundamental Causes

    • Nationalism

    • Imperialism

    • Militarism

    • The Alliance System

      • Central Powers or Triple Alliance

      • Triple Entente or the Allies



  • Assassination in Sarajevo

  • Count Leopold Von Berchtold

  • Marshall, “regard him well, for Berchtold, not Kaiser Wilhelm II, is the deep-dyed villain of the 1914 summer’s tragedy. While others, by their gross blunders or failure to act contributed to the ruin,

  • Berchtold is unique. He betrayed the peace deliberately by lying, deceiving, dougle-dealing, and committing folly unequaled!!” [Marshall, American Heritage History of World War 1]



  • The Alliance System

    • Central Powers or Triple Alliance

    • Triple Entente or the Allies

Mobilization – WWI Doomsday Machine

  • Gen. Obruchev, “ the mobilization of France and Russia would be followed by positive results, by acts of war”

  • Gen. Boisdeffre, “mobilization is the declaration of war”

  • Dobrorolskii, “ mobilization, once chosen, everything is settled; there is no going back, it determines mechanically the beginnig of the war.”

  • Mobilization = War

  • The legend/myth is that Germany started WW1

  • The reality is that due to political deception, shenanigans, secrecy and outright lies [Von Berchtold, et al]

  • Germany was the LAST to mobilize!!

    • Russia was the first - by 2 weeks.

    • This action forced Germany mobilize!!

    • Then the “Plans” kicked in!!

    • [McMeekin, July 1914]

  • Alliances - Pre 1914

The Plan(s)

  • Mobilization – WWI Doomsday Machine

    • Alliances - Pre 1914

    • Everyone had a Plan

      • Russia/Austria/Serbia

      • France had Plan XVII

      • Germany had the Schlieffen Plan

  • The Schlieffen Plan

    • Developed by Count Von Schlieffen in 1905

    • Modified by General Von Moltke after 1912

    • Von Moltke’s Modification of the Schliffen Plan



  • Who Declared War on Whom – the Guns of August

  • Alliances & Road to War

  • Combatants by 1918



  • ALLIES



    • France

    • British Empire

    • (UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, etc.)

    • Russia

    • Italy

    • United States

    • Belgium

    • Serbia

    • Montenegro

    • Rumania

    • Greece

    • Portugal

    • Japan

    • San Marino

    • Cuba

    • Panama

    • Siam

    • China

    • Brazil

    • Peru



  • CENTRAL POWERS

    • Germany

    • Austria-Hungary

    • Turkey

    • Bulgaria



  • Military Aspects of the War

    • Worldwide Involvement

    • New Weapons

      • Machine Gun

      • Submarine

      • Aeroplane

      • Tank

      • Poison Gas [Chlorine, Phosgene, Mustard]

      • Naval Warfare

  • 1914-1918 - Stalemate & Trenches

  • Americans in Europe

  • German Surrender



  • Why America Entered the War

    • Allied Propaganda

    • Hostility toward Germany

    • American Economic Interests

    • American Idealism

    • American Security

      • Zimmerman Telegram

      • Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    • The Zimmerman Telegram

    • Zimmerman Telegram

    • The S.S. Lusitania: 1916



  • Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    • Development & Use of the Submarine

    • German Blockade of England

    • 1915 – Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

    • May 1916 – Sussex Pledge

    • 1917 Russian Revolution

    • February 1917 – Resumption of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    • U.S. Warned Germany against this move

    • March 1917 – U-Boats sink 4 U.S. ships:

      • S.S. Healdton - S. S. Illinois

      • S.S. City of Memphis - S.S. Vigilante

  • April 6, 1917 – U.S. Declared war on Germany



  • The Home Front

    • Mobilizing Manpower

    • Mobilizing Industry

    • Mobilizing Transportation

    • Mobilizing Farmers

    • Mobilizing Natural Resources

    • Mobilizing Finance

    • Mobilizing Public Opinion

  • American Expeditionary Force [AEF]

    • First troops to Europe Late in 1917

    • Gen. John J. Pershing Commanded A.E.F.

    • Kept U.S. troops (“Doughboys” “Sammies” “Yanks”) out of British & French Units

    • March 3, 1918 =Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    • June, 1918 = Massive German Offensive

    • July, 1918 = U.S. troops fight at the Marne, Belleau Wood & Chateau-Thierry

    • September, 1918 = St. Mihiel Salient

    • October, 1918 = Meuse Argonne

    • November 11, 1918 = War Ends

    • Marines at Belleau Wood
      Earned nickname – “Devil Dogs”


    • American Battles 1918

    • 11:00 am,November 11th, 1918 [11/11/11, 1918]



  • The Peace

    • Wilson’s Fourteen Points

    • Treaty of Versailles

    • Created by the “Big Four”

    • Losers weren’t invited

    • Designed to punish the losers

    • Wilson’s Fourteen Points

    • Treaty of Versailles

    • Territorial Changes

    • Colonial Losses

    • Disarmament

    • Germany had to accept war guilt

    • Germany had to pay reparations

    • League of Nations

    • United States Rejected the Treaty

    • Politics

    • Isolationist Attitudes

    • U.S. signed separate treaties

    • U.S. refused to join League of Nations



  • Results of the War - Social

    • 10 million soldiers killed, 20 million wounded

    • Millions of civilians died

    • World left with legacy of hatred, intolerance and extreme nationalism



  • Results of the War - Economic

    • Cost of War = $350 Billion + (1918 dollars)

    • Paying for the war brought heavy taxation and lower standard of living to Europe

    • International trade suffered because of trade barriers

    • Seeds of the Great World Depression planted

    • U.S. changes from debtor to creditor nation



  • Results of the War - Political

    • Three major European and one Middle Eastern dynasties disappeared

    • Nine new nations created in central Europe

    • Russia turned to communism – U.S.S.R.

    • Russia, Italy and Germany eventually turned to dictatorship

    • League of Nations established

    • United States emerged as leading (but reluctant) world power

    • Issues that caused the war were not resolved

    • 20 years later same nations at war again

    • Europe After WW I




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