First World War erupts

First World War erupts



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Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The “Great War” that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.

On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austria-Hungary declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention.

READ MORE: Outbreak of World War I

On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital of Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.

READ MORE: Life in the Trenches of World War I

The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front–the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium–the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition.

In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916. The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganized Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany. In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favor. Bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with an imminent invasion, Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in November 1918.

World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict—the Treaty of Versailles of 1919—forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.

READ MORE: Why Kaiser Wilhelm Was Never Tried for Starting World War I


Making History: The First World War

Covering one of the most catastrophic events in human history, Making History: The First World War offers a strategic level experience in a turn-based global game of conflict. It’s a war between the Great Powers of the age, each straddling to one degree or another, the old world and the new.

This is the moment when the industrialization of warfare became fully realized and the Great Powers mobilized their entire nations for total war. The introduction of new weapons with massive destructive power driven by machine era technology and mass production led to the death of many millions and the collapse of several storied empires.

Making History: The First World War is a game of conquest and economic management. Players make all the governing decisions for their nation. Historic events are there to direct the game along a WWI timeline providing the historical context and drama associated with the era. However as with any Making History game, it’s players who make history and create brand new worlds.

As the leader of France, fight to survive the continental ambitions of the German Empire. Play Germany and instigate Russian social unrest that might knock them out of the war early. Can you keep the Ottoman Empire from being partitioned? Will simmering ethnic nationalism cause Austria-Hungary to collapse and usher forth new nations in Central Europe? Use the most powerful navy on earth to maintain your vast colonial empire as the leader of the United Kingdom. Each nation you choose to play comes with a different set of strategic challenges.

LANGUAGES

SYSTEMS

Games are sold as digital downloads.

Licenses are available for Steam or Non-Steam General License.

FEATURE LIST

Strategic Level Gameplay

The game map is divided up into over 2000 land and water regions covering all the continents and seas. Play as any independent nation of the WWI era and control your nation’s economy, military and domestic policies.

Govern and establish colonies, protectorates and puppet states. Liberate and give independence to conquered nations.

Infrastructure Expansion

Prospect, expand and exploit the strategic resources needed to feed an industrialized economy. Build railroads to move commodities and speed the movement of troops to the frontlines. Construct Fortresses, Trenches and Coastal Batteries to defend your nation from attack.

Your cities are key industrial assets that can simultaneously produce multiple output types. They generate wealth for your government, supplies for your people and steel for your military. Order your city to establish new factories, centers of research and health and a variety of manufacturing facilities.

Prepare for war by training manpower resources in times of peace. Mobilize your trained reserves at the right moment to get an advantage on your enemies. When the fighting ends, demobilize your units to a lower strength allowing manpower to return to work.

Bombard your enemies from afar, then invade with Infantry and armor. Use observation balloons and aircraft to increase artillery accuracy. Deploy submarines and naval mines to sink and harass the enemies navy. Dig deep trench networks and defend your ground with machine gun units.

Regional Demographics

Each region has a defined identity representing nationality, culture, religion and multiple ethnicities. Governing support is tied to policies and the ideology of the population. High levels of radicalism can lead to unrest and revolutions.

Use the World Market to trade for needed supplies and sell your commodities to increase your income. Initiate a policy of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare against your enemies trade paths to interdict and sink their merchant fleets.

Hundreds of scripted events associated with the important moments and events during the war. Alternative historical paths are also covered that allow players to explore many what-if outcomes.

Expand your nation’s knowledge in Science, industry and military production with a detailed Research Tree covering technologies from Pre-Industrial to Machine Age.

Establish relations with new nations, provide financial aid and sign treaties to increase your diplomatic influence.

Each nation has a unique set of units that closely represent the uniforms and equipment of in the first decades of the 20th century.

MODES

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

WINDOWS

OS: Windows 10 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP with Service Pack 2
Processor: Pentium 4 or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 256 MB DirectX 9.0c-Compliant, Shader 2.0 3D Video Card
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
Other Requirements: Windows-Compliant Keyboard & Mouse


The First World War

IN 1914, a war began in Europe which soon engulfed almost the entire world. The damage caused by this war had no precedent in history. In the earlier wars, the civilian populations were not generally involved and the casualties were generally confined to the warring armies. The war which began in 1914 was a total war in which all the resources of the warring states were mobilized. It affected the economy of the entire world the casualties suffered by the civilian population from bombing of the civilian areas and the famines and epidemics, caused by the war far exceeded those suffered by the armies. In its impact also, the war had no precedent. It marked a turning point in world history. The battles of the war were fought in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Because of the unprecedented extent of its spread and its total nature, it is known as the First World War.


Product details

Listening Length 33 hours and 34 minutes
Author Martin Gilbert
Narrator Roger Clark
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date May 12, 2020
Publisher Tantor Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B087DRXJ1V
Best Sellers Rank #13,660 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#10 in World War I History (Audible Books & Originals)
#29 in World War I History (Books)
#737 in World History (Books)

The Oxford English Dictionary cited the first known usage in the English language to a Scottish newspaper, The People's Journal, in 1848: "A war among the great powers is now necessarily a world-war." The term "world war" is used by Karl Marx and his associate, Friedrich Engels, [2] in a series of articles published around 1850 called The Class Struggles in France. Rasmus B. Anderson in 1889 described an episode in Teutonic mythology as a "world war" (Swedish: världskrig), justifying this description by a line in an Old Norse epic poem, "Völuspá: folcvig fyrst I heimi" ("The first great war in the world".) [3] German writer August Wilhelm Otto Niemann had used the term "world war" in the title of his anti-British novel, Der Weltkrieg: Deutsche Träume (The World War: German Dreams) in 1904, published in English as The Coming Conquest of England.

The term "first world war" was first used in September 1914 by German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who claimed that "there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared 'European War' . will become the first world war in the full sense of the word", [4] citing a wire service report in The Indianapolis Star on 20 September 1914. In English, the term "First World War" had been used by Charles à Court Repington, as a title for his memoirs (published in 1920) he had noted his discussion on the matter with a Major Johnstone of Harvard University in his diary entry of September 10, 1918. [5]

The term "World War I" was coined by Time magazine on page 28b of its June 12, 1939 issue. In the same article, on page 32, the term "World War II" was first used speculatively to describe the upcoming war. The first use for the actual war came in its issue of September 11, 1939. [6] One week earlier, on September 4, the day after France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad used the term on its front page, saying "The Second World War broke out yesterday at 11 a.m." [7]

Speculative fiction authors had been noting the concept of a Second World War in 1919 and 1920, when Milo Hastings wrote his dystopian novel, City of Endless Night.

Other languages have also adopted the "world war" terminology, for example in French: "world war" is translated as guerre mondiale, in German: Weltkrieg (which, prior to the war, had been used in the more abstract meaning of a global conflict), in Italian: guerra mondiale, in Spanish and Portuguese: guerra mundial, in Danish and Norwegian: verdenskrig, and in Russian: мировая война (mirovaya voyna.)

World War I occurred from 1914 to 1918. In terms of human technological history, the scale of World War I was enabled by the technological advances of the second industrial revolution and the resulting globalization that allowed global power projection and mass production of military hardware. It had been recognized that the complex system of opposing military alliances (the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires against the British, Russian, and French Empires) was likely, if war broke out, to lead to a worldwide conflict. That caused a very minute conflict between two countries to have the potential to set off a domino effect of alliances, triggering a world war. The fact that the powers involved had large overseas empires virtually guaranteed that such a war would be worldwide, as the colonies' resources would be a crucial strategic factor. The same strategic considerations also ensured that the combatants would strike at each other's colonies, thus spreading the wars far more widely than those of pre-Columbian times.

War crimes were perpetrated in World War I. Chemical weapons were used in the war despite the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 having outlawed the use of such weapons in warfare. The Ottoman Empire was responsible for the Armenian genocide, the murder of more than 1,000,000 Armenians during the First World War, as well as the other late Ottoman genocides.

The Second World War occurred from 1939 to 1945 and is the only conflict in which nuclear weapons have been used both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the Japanese Empire, were devastated by atomic bombs dropped by the United States. Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, was responsible for genocides, most notably the Holocaust, the killing of about 6,000,000 Jews and 11,000,000 others persecuted by the Nazis, including Romani people and homosexuals. [8] The United States, the Soviet Union, and Canada deported and interned minority groups within their own borders and, largely because of the conflict, many ethnic Germans were later expelled from Eastern Europe. Japan was responsible for attacking neutral nations without a declaration of war, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is also known for its brutal treatment and killing of Allied prisoners of war and the inhabitants of Asia. It also used Asians as forced laborers and was responsible for the Nanking massacre in which 250,000 civilians were brutally murdered by Japanese troops. Noncombatants suffered at least as badly as or worse than combatants, and the distinction between combatants and noncombatants was often blurred by the belligerents of total war in both conflicts. [9]

The outcome of the war had a profound effect on the course of world history. The old European empires collapsed or were dismantled as a direct result of the wars' crushing costs and, in some cases, their fall was caused by the defeat of imperial powers. The United States became firmly established as the dominant global superpower, along with its ideological foe, the Soviet Union, in close competition. The two superpowers exerted political influence over most of the world's nation-states for decades after the end of the Second World War. The modern international security, economic, and diplomatic system was created in the aftermath of the wars. [10]

Institutions such as the United Nations were established to collectivize international affairs, with the explicit goal of preventing another outbreak of general war. The wars had also greatly changed the course of daily life. Technologies developed during wartime had a profound effect on peacetime life as well, such as by advances in jet aircraft, penicillin, nuclear energy, and electronic computers. [11]

Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, there has been a widespread and prolonged fear of a potential Third World War between nuclear-armed powers. The Third World War is generally considered a successor to the Second World War [12] and it is often suggested to become a nuclear war at some point during the said Third World War, devastating in its nature and likely much more violent than both the First and Second World Wars in 1947, Albert Einstein commented that "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." [13] [14] It has been anticipated and planned for by military and civil authorities and it has also been explored in fiction in many countries. Concepts have ranged from purely-conventional scenarios to the limited use of nuclear weapons, to the destruction of the planet's surface.

Various former government officials, politicians, authors, and military leaders (including James Woolsey, [15] Alexandre de Marenches, [16] Eliot Cohen, [17] and Subcomandante Marcos [18] ) have attempted to apply the labels of the "Third World War" and the "Fourth World War" to various past and present global wars since the end of the Second World War, such as the Cold War and the War on Terror respectively. Among these are former American, French, and Mexican government officials, military leaders, politicians, and authors. Despite their efforts, none of the wars have commonly been deemed world wars.

Wars which have been described as "World War Zero" by some historians include the Seven Years' War [19] and the onset of the Late Bronze Age collapse. [20]

The Second Congo War (1998–2003) involved nine nations and led to ongoing low-intensity warfare despite an official peace and the first democratic elections in 2006. It has often been referred to as "Africa's World War". [21] During the early-21st century the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War and their worldwide spillovers are sometimes described as proxy wars waged between the United States and Russia, [22] [23] [24] [25] which led some commentators to characterize the situation as a "proto-world war" with nearly a dozen countries embroiled in two overlapping conflicts. [26]

Wars with higher death tolls than the First World War Edit

The two world wars of the 20th century had caused unprecedented casualties and destruction across the theaters of conflict. [27] There have been several wars that occurred with as many or more deaths than in the First World War (16,563,868–40,000,000), including:

Estimated death tolls
Event Lowest
estimate
Highest
estimate
Location From To Duration (years)
Three Kingdoms 36,000,000 [28] 40,000,000 [29] China 184 280 96
An Lushan Rebellion 13,000,000 [30] 36,000,000 [31] China 755 763 9
Mongol conquests 30,000,000 [32] 40,000,000 [30] Eurasia 1206 1324 118
Conquests of Timur 15,000,000 [33] 20,000,000 [33] Asia 1369 1405 37
Qing dynasty conquest of the Ming dynasty 25,000,000 [34] 25,000,000 China 1616 1662 47
Taiping Rebellion 20,000,000 [35] 100,000,000 [36] [37] [38] China 1851 1864 14
World War II 40,000,000 [39] 85,000,000 [40] Global 1939 1945 6

Wars spanning multiple continents Edit

There have been numerous wars spanning two or more continents throughout history, including:


This document was written by Stephen Tonge. I am most grateful to have his kind permission to include it on the web site.

Europe Before 1914: the Main Powers

Triple Entente

Tsar Nicholas II (1894-1917)
Monarchy

Triple Alliance

The direct cause of WWI was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. However historians feel that a number of factors contributed to the rivalry between the Great powers that allowed war on such a wide-scale to break out.

A major historical debate still rages about who has the ultimate responsibility for the outbreak of war. Germany and Austria are usually regarded as the main culprits. However unlike World War Two there is no one easily identifiable bad guy!

Below are some of the main long-term causes that are identified by historians:-

The System of Alliances

Before 1914 Europe's main powers were divided into two armed camps by a series of alliances. These were

  • The Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy (1882)
  • The Triple Entente of Britain, Russia and France (1907)

Although these alliances were defensive in nature, they meant that any conflict between one country from each alliance was bound to involve the other countries. The fact that Germany faced a war on two fronts greatly influenced her actions during the July Crisis.

By 1914 Italy was only a nominal member of the Triple Alliance. She had concluded a secret treaty with France by which she promised to stay neutral if Germany attacked France and when war broke out she stayed out. This meant that Germany had only one dependable ally, Austria-Hungary.

The main rivalries between the powers were:

  • Germany and France over Alsace. This division made an alliance between both countries impossible.
  • Russia and Austria over the Balkans.
  • Britain and Germany over their navies and economic power.

“The alliances created an excessively rigid diplomatic framework, within which relatively small detonators could produce huge explosions” (A.J.P. Taylor)

Militarism

In all of the Great powers, military spending increased greatly in the years prior to the war. All except Britain had conscription. Over 85% of men of military age in France and 50% in Germany had served in the army or navy. France had the highest proportion of its population in the army.

The armies of both France and Germany had more than doubled between 1870 and 1914. The rivalry between the powers led to a building up of weapons and an increase in distrust.

Colonial rivalry had led to a naval arms race between Britain and Germany. This had seriously worsened relations between both countries. The British-German dispute also led to greater naval co-operation between Britain and France.

In 1880 Germany had 88.000 tonnes of military shipping, Britain 650,000 by 1910 the figures were 964,000 and 2,174,000 respectively.

The launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906 made matters worse. This ship was fast, heavily armoured with powerful guns and it made all previous battleships obsolete.

Nationalism

Allied to this growing militarism was an intense nationalism in most of the Great powers. Weltpolitik or the desire for world power status was very popular in Germany. The French desire for revenge over Alsace and Lorraine was very strong. In Britain Imperialism and support for the Empire was very evident. This nationalism meant that there was little resistance to war in these countries. Many welcomed what they thought would be a short, victorious war. For example the outbreak of war was greeted by cheering crowds in Berlin, Vienna and Paris. As A P J Taylor wrote “the people of Europe leapt willingly into war.”

Because of the nature of the Alliances most countries had war plans that involved rapid movement of troops when war broke out. This made it very difficult to stop mobilisation of troops once it had begun and gave the military in each country a very important role in any decision-making. For example the Kaiser lost control of events and said to his generals when they made the decision to mobilise "Gentlemen, you will regret this."

The famous German war plan, the Schlieffen Plan, relied on the quick movement of troops and the assumption that once Germany found itself at war with Russia, it would also be at war with France.

  • Concentrating German forces on an attempt to take Paris and so defeat France.
  • When that was achieved troops would be transferred to attack Russia. This is the most famous plan as it came very close to success.

It also meant that once Germany declared war on Russia in August 1914, she would also have to attack France. However in invading France, Belgium's neutrality was violated and this brought Britain into the war.

France had her own plan called Plan XVII (which Niall Ferguson described as “mad strategy”) and so also did Russia (Plan G) and Austria-Hungary (Plans R and B).

All of these plans assumed the co-operation of their respective allies.

Once the first steps towards mobilisation were taken, everyone assumed that it would be fatal to stand still while their potential enemies moved forward.

The Crises before 1914

Between 1900 and 1914 there had been three major crises between the great powers. These crises exposed the differences between the powers and reinforced the hostility between them.

Two were over Morocco (1905, 1911) and the other was over the Austrian annexation of Bosnia (1908).

In 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the Moroccan port of Tangier and denounced French influence in Morocco. The move was designed to test the strength of the recent Anglo-French entente. The visit provoked an international crisis, which was resolved in France's favour at the Algeciras Conference, 1906.

The result was to bring France and Britain closer together. Edward VII called the German actions "the most mischievous and uncalled for event which the German Emperor has been engaged in since he came to the throne."

This crisis erupted when the Germans sent the gunboat "Panther" to the Moroccan port of Agadir, to protect German citizens there. Germany claimed that the French had ignored the terms of the Algeciras Conference. This provoked a major war scare in Britain until the Germans agreed to leave Morocco to the French in return for rights in the Congo. Many Germans felt that they had been humiliated and that their government had backed down.

The two Turkish provinces had been administered by Austria since the Congress of Berlin. Austria annexed Bosnia after tricking Russia during negotiations between their respective foreign ministers. The action outraged Serbia as there was a large Serbian population in Bosnia. There was a crisis among the Great powers and it brought Europe to the brink of war. Russia bowed to German pressure when they supported Austria and they agreed to the annexation. However she was determined not to be humiliated again.

The effects of these crises had been a hardening of attitudes and an increase in distrust between the different European powers. It led to a strengthening of the different alliances:

  • Britain and France during the Moroccan Crises
  • Austria and Germany during the Bosnian crisis.

The Eastern Question and The Balkans

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century the Ottoman Empire had lost land in the Balkans to the peoples who lived there.
The great powers were also interested in extending their influence in the region. Austrian and Russian relations were poor over their rivalry in the Balkans.

Both hoped to expand there at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. Another important factor was the growth of Slav nationalism among the people who lived there, especially Serbia.

Russia encouraged Slav nationalism while Austria worried that this nationalism could undermine her empire. Russia supported Serbia which was very bitter at the annexation of Bosnia and saw herself as Serbia’s protector.

As a result of the Balkan Wars (1912 - 1913) Serbia had doubled in size and there was growing demands for the union of south Slavs (Yugoslavism) under the leadership of Serbia. Austria had a large south Slav population in the provinces of Slovenia, Croatia, the Banat and Bosnia. Austria was very alarmed at the growing power of Serbia. She felt Serbia could weaken her own Empire.

The Austrians decided that they would have to wage a preventative war against Serbia in order to destroy her growing power. They were waiting for the correct pretext (excuse).When Franz Ferdinand was shot the Austrians saw this as the perfect opportunity to destroy Serbia. But when she attacked Serbia, Russia came to her aid and the war spread.

Domestic issues

Modern historians have drawn attention to the influence of internal politics on the actions of the Great Powers. Socialism had become a very popular political creed in Germany, Austria, Russia Italy and France.

The ruling class in some of these countries hoped that a short victorious war would put an end to class differences and reduce the support for socialism that threatened the existing order.

Other domestic issues that the war drew attention from were:

  • It defused the near civil war situation in Ireland “The one bright spot in this hateful war” (Asquith).
  • The crisis over income tax and the length of military service (France)
  • The unpopularity of the Tsar (Russia).

Underlying the assumptions of all the Great Powers during the July Crisis was the belief that if war did break out it would be a short one. Many in Britain felt that the war would be over by Christmas.

Few predicted the bloodiest war so far seen in history that would lead to:

  • The abdication of the Tsar and a Communist revolution in Russia
  • The fall of the Kaiser's regime in Germany
  • The collapse of Austria-Hungary
  • The end of the Turkish Empire.

Main Events of "The July Crisis"

Mobilisation: preparing the army for war.

Austria presented Serbia with an ultimatum and she was given 48 hours to reply. Although the text was approved on the July 19 it was decided to delay its presentation until the state visit of the French President and Prime Minister to Russia was finished. This was done to prevent the French and Russians from co-ordinating their response. It was presented when the French delegation had left Russia and was at sea.

The Serbs agreed to all of the Austrian demands bar one. The Austrians were so surprised by the humility of the Serbian reply that the foreign minister hid it for 2 days from the Germans. The Kaiser commented that the reply was “a great moral victory for Vienna, but with it, every reason for war disappears."

It must be remembered that once the military machine mobilised the generals took over from the diplomats. James Joll wrote “once the Russians had mobilised the military machine took over from the diplomats.

In German military thinking, once she was at war with Russia, war with France was unavoidable. The Schlieffen plan now came into operation. This involved a concentration of German forces on an attack on France. Delay could be fatal.

Britain declared war on Germany.

World War One had begun.

Lloyd George later remarked that at this time Europe “stumbled and staggered into war”

Leaving Cert Questions: The Causes of World War One

2003 / 1993 “The Causes of World War I were many and complex” Discuss

  • The system of Alliances
  • Militarism / War Plans
  • The Balkans
  • The influence of the different crises prior to 1914 on Great Power relations
  • Domestic Issues (e.g. Home Rule Crisis in Ireland)
  • The July Crisis

1998 Treat as the causes of World War I 1914-1918

Websites

Excellent website dedicated to the First World War.
Article from the BBC history website about the causes of the War. Excellent links to other articles about the war.
Student oriented website from the National Archives in Britain.
Very informative micro site from Channel 4.

These materials may be freely used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with applicable statutory allowances and distribution to students.
Re-publication in any form is subject to written permission.


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  • Leonhard, Jörn (2018). Pandora's Box: A History of the First World War. London and Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN978-0-78643-935-5 .
  • Liddell-Hart, Basil H. (1970). History of the First World War (3rd (1973) ed.). Trowbridge: Redwood Burn Ltd.
  • Liddell-Hart, Basil H. (2012). World War I in Outline. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing. 978-1-59416-161-2
  • Morrow Jr., John H.. The Great War: An Imperial History (2003), covers British Empire excerpt and text search
  • Meyer, Gerald J (2006). A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918. Random House. ISBN978-0-553-80354-9 .
  • Neiberg, Michael S. (2005). Fighting the Great War: A Global History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN978-0-674-01696-5 . OCLC56592292.
  • Philpott, William (2014). War of Attrition: Fighting the First World War. New York: Overlook Press. 978-1-46830-268-4
  • Robbins, Keith. The First World War (1993), very short overview
  • Simkins, Peter, Geoffrey Jukes, and Michael Hickey (2003). The First World War: The War to End All Wars. Foreword by Hew Strachan. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. 978-1-84176-738-3 . Cataclysm: The First World War As Political Tragedy (2004) major reinterpretation, 560pp
  • Stokesbury, James. A Short History of World War I (1981)
  • Storey, William K. (2010). First World War: A Concise Global History. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 978-0-74254-146-7 . The First World War: Volume I: To Arms (2004): a major scholarly synthesis. Thorough coverage of 1914–16 1245pp . The First World War (2004): a 385pp overview
  • Strohn, Matthias, ed. (2013). World War I Companion. Osprey Publishing. 978-1-78200-188-1
  • Tucker, Spencer C. (1998). Great War, 1914–18. London: UCL Press. 978-1-85728-391-4
  • Winter, J. M. The Experience of World War I (2nd ed 2005), topical essays

Primary sources and year books Edit

  • Collins, Ross F. ed. World War I: Primary Documents on Events from 1914 to 1919 (2007) 425pp excerpt also online at Questia
  • Gooch, G. P. Recent Revelations Of European Diplomacy (1940), 475pp summarizes memoirs of major participants
  • Gooch, G. P. & Harold Temperley, eds. British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914 Volume XI, the Outbreak of War Foreign Office Documents (1926) online
  • French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The French Yellow Book: Diplomatic Documents (1914)
  • Hazell's Annual for 1916 (1916), worldwide events of 1915 640pp online worldwide coverage of 1915 events emphasis on Great Britain , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs for year 1914, 913pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 791pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 938pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 904 pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 904 pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 744pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 844 pp , Comprehensive coverage of world and national affairs, 848 pp

Countries on both sides of the conflict published official histories, including the following:


55b. Years of Escalation: 1965-68


Along with Agent Orange, the substance known as napalm was used to clear forest growth as well as inflict heavy damages upon North Vietnamese forces. Essentially gasoline in gel form, napalm was extremely flammable and resulted in devastating fires.

It was David vs. Goliath, with U.S. playing Goliath.

On August 2, 1964, gunboats of North Vietnam allegedly fired on ships of the United States Navy stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin . They had been sailing 10 miles off the coast of North Vietnam in support of the South Vietnamese navy.

When reports that further firing occurred on August 4, President Johnson quickly asked Congress to respond. With nearly unanimous consent, members of the Senate and House empowered Johnson to "take all necessary measures" to repel North Vietnamese aggression. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution gave the President a "blank check" to wage the war in Vietnam as he saw fit. After Lyndon Johnson was elected President in his own right that November, he chose escalate the conflict.

Operation Rolling Thunder

In February 1965, the United States began a long program of sustained bombing of North Vietnamese targets known as Operation Rolling Thunder . At first only military targets were hit, but as months turned into years, civilian targets were pummeled as well.

The United States also bombed the Ho Chi Minh trail, a supply line used by the North Vietnamese to aid the Vietcong . The trail meandered through Laos and Cambodia, so the bombing was kept secret from the Congress and the American people. More bombs rained down on Vietnam than the Allies used on the Axis powers during the whole of World War II.

Additional sorties delivered defoliating agents such as Agent Orange and napalm to remove the jungle cover utilized by the Vietcong. The intense bombardment did little to deter the communists. They continued to use the Ho Chi Minh trail despite the grave risk. The burrowed underground, building 30,000 miles of tunnel networks to keep supply lines open.

Ground Troops


Often unable to see the enemy through the dense growth of Vietnam's jungles, the U.S. military sprayed a chemical herbicide known as "Agent Orange" in an attempt to destroy the trees. Currently, debate rages on whether or not exposure to this compound is responsible for disease and disability in many Vietnam veterans.

It soon became clear to General William Westmoreland , the American military commander, that combat troops would be necessary to root out the enemy. Beginning in March 1965, when the first American combat troops waded ashore at Danang, the United States began "search and destroy" missions.

One of the most confounding problems faced by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam was identifying the enemy. The same Vietnamese peasant who waved hello in the daytime might be a VC guerrilla fighter by night. The United States could not indiscriminately kill South Vietnamese peasants. Any mistake resulted in a dead ally and an angrier population.

Search and destroy missions were conducted by moving into a village and inspecting for any signs of Vietcong support. If any evidence was found, the troops would conduct a "Zippo raid" by torching the village to the ground and confiscating discovered munitions. Most efforts were fruitless, as the VC proved adept at covering their tracks. The enemy surrounded and confounded the Americans but direct confrontation was rare.


The media played an important part in shaping the public's opinion towards the conflict in Vietnam. Television brought the horrors of war into millions of homes, as did photos like this one of a young Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm bombing.

By the end of 1965, there were American 189,000 troops stationed in Vietnam. At the end of the following year, that number doubled. Casualty reports steadily increased. Unlike World War II, there few major ground battles.

Most Vietnamese attacks were by ambush or night skirmishes. Many Americans died by stepping on landmines or by triggering booby traps . Although Vietnamese body counts were higher, Americans were dying at rate of approximately 100 per week through 1967. By the end of that year there were nearly 500,000 American combat troops stationed in Vietnam.

General Westmoreland promised a settlement soon, but the end was not in sight.


The Only Way Is Onwards

24 Tuesday Apr 2018

We have come to the end of our blogs covering the running of the First World War by the Secret Elites in London and then, as the money-power flexed its muscle, America. The whole expose is recorded in Prolonging the Agony, which is now available through Amazon and can be ordered by quality bookshops.

Though this is by no means the end of the line, we will take a break from the weekly blogs but hope to release occasional pieces as evidence is slowly unmasked across the world.

Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way, to our regular readers whose encouragement and contributions we greatly appreciated. You guys care was we do. Where circumstances allow point doubters to our blogs or either of the major works, Hidden History, The Secret Origins of the First World War and, just released, Prolonging the Agony, How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WW1 by Three-and-a-Half Years.

Take care in a world where we are still lied to by governments, as was the case one hundred years ago.

Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor

Like this:


Lived experience

I have also sought to investigate the human dimension of the war experience. At the core of the story are the personal experiences of individual human beings, caught up in cataclysmic events which changed not just the world, but which affected and altered them, too, in ways at which we sometimes can only guess.

It is one of the boons of military history that armies generally keep very good records, but these are often limited to the soldiers themselves. The fallen in many cases have had their fate painstakingly recorded, most notably in the carefully-tended war graves and memorials of the major belligerent powers.

This is perhaps as it should be, but the concentration on active combatants which characterises so many explorations of the war also serves to deflect attention from the shadowy masses of noncombatants, without whom the armies simply could not function.

Many (though by no means all) of these men and women were very reluctant participants in the conflict, but we need to include them in any comprehensive exploration of the war. Among them were huge numbers carried thousands of miles to the battle zone, from India, Africa and East Asia, for example, to the Western Front. They too deserve their history.

A final theme of my study, almost unavoidable now that we are marking the centenary of the conflict, is the “memory” of the war.

Spread across the world there are monuments to remind us of the war. Many of these are state memorials – like the graves of Unknown Warriors brought home to represent all their fallen comrades – which aim to embed the rituals of commemoration into a public and national narrative of dedication and service.

Some are remote and not much cared for or visited, like the Northern Rhodesia monument by the Victoria Falls in Zambia, or the Habsburg cemeteries behind the old Isonzo front in Slovenia.

And some, perhaps, are not yet built, nor may they ever be, for there are many hundreds and thousands of casualties of the Great War – men, women and children – who have no memorial at all.


This is a version of a paper that will be presented at The First World War: Local, Global and Imperial Perspectives at the University of Newcastle later this month. Details here.


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