Stalemate Schlieffen Plan As soon as the war started the Schlieffen Plan was put into operation. The Belgian army fought very bravely and delayed the German advance and bought time for British and French troops to mobilise. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) led by Sir John French, slowed the German advance at Mons on 23rd August. Small but well trained force of professional soldiers led by Lieutenant-General Haig and were using Lee Enfield 303 bolt action rifles which they could fire quickly and accurately. The Germans even believed that they had machine guns they were so good. However, the British were hugely outnumbered. Some German troops were transferred from the Western Front to the Eastern Front because the Russians had mobilised quicker than expected. France launched a direct attack on Germany through Alsace Lorraine. The French lost over 200 000 men in 12 days. Revision Task: List from 1 4 the most important reasons for why the Schlieffen plan failed. 1 being most important, 4 being least. Battle of Marne The German Supreme Commander Moltke pulled 100 000 troops away from the Western front because the Russians had mobilised far quicker than expected and already invaded Germany. Von Kluck, marched straight to Paris, so. France diverted troops to Paris by rail and taxi. The German army was weary and overstretched. The combined British and French forces were able to stop the German advance along the line of the River Marne. They then counterattacked and pushed the Germans back to the River Aisne. But they couldnt drive them out completely. Neither side could make any progress, and by
8th September troops on both sides were digging trenches to protect themselves from snipers and shell fire.. Revision Task: Highlight the key people, places and facts. Summarise into 20 words the events and 10 words to summarise the outcomes Events Outcomes Race to the Sea The German generals realised that they could not break through the enemy lines. They decided to try to outflank (get around the end of) the enemys lines. The charge began on 12th October. It became known as the race to the sea. As the Germans charged west towards the sea, the British and French moved troops to block them whenever it seemed that the Germans were about to break through the allies were able to get there first. Revision Task: Write your own definition of RACE TO THE SEA: Western Front Conditions in the trenches Living and fighting in the trenches of the First World War was similar for soldiers on both sides. Trenches were constructed as the best means of protecting a military position and soldiers against enemy shells and snipers Tactics New and more deadly weapons such as shells, mines and mortars completely changed the tactics used by both sides. Cavalry charges were replaced with infantry charges. Generals on both sides tried different ways to make the infantry charge more effective. The evidence does not support the view that lives were thrown away in meaningless charges. Troops were given gas masks and better steel helmets and camouflage was introduced. Routines Trench warfare had a routine. New trenches had to be dug and old ones repaired. Infantry made patrols into no mans land or raided enemy trenches to capture prisoners for valuable information
Sappers were ex miners who had to dig tunnels below enemy trenches and place huge mines there. A Soldiers life Sanitation was poor. Millions of men and thousands of horses made an appalling smell. Soldiers were infested with lice and rats were a soldiers greatest pest and thousands of soldiers suffered from trench foot which came from standing in water for hours or days. In a month they would spend 3 days on the front lines Discipline was important only 3080 were condemned to death for not following orders and only 346 actually had the sentence carried out Soldiers spent 60% of their time outside trenches so in their spare time went sight seeing or joined sports clubs. Officers had higher death rates (17%) then ordinary men (12%) Revision Task: Highlight only key words, people and facts Turn Tactics, Routines and a Soldier's life into pictures and 6 important statistics Western Front Technology Revision Task: Highlight the advantages in one colour and disadvantages in another. Write Artillery - Artillery bombardments caused more casualties than any other weapon. Its functions down one sentence per weapon. were to destroy enemy positions so they could be captured and to destroy enemy guns. At the start of the war they lacked accuracy, but by the end of the war it was much more powerful and also more accurate. They became more effective after 1916, because British industry was supplying enough guns and shells for the weapon to be used effectively. Machine guns - Machine guns at the start of the war were very large and heavy so they were not very useful in an attack on an enemies trench. However, they were devastatingly effective as a defensive weapon. A machine gun could fire eight bullets a second or more and each trench would have a number of machine guns. The machine gun made it inevitable that any attack would be easily cut down. E.g. Battle of the Somme. The light machine guns became very effective in actions like the capture of St Quentin Canal in 1918. Poison gas First use was in April 1915 by the Germans in the shape of chlorine. Gas attacks on
both sides became a common feature. New gases such as mustard were very effective as it could slowly kill the victim over four to five weeks. Tanks - British invention supported by Winston Churchill (head of the navy). It was used for the first time at the Battle of the Somme. They advanced ahead of the infantry crushing barded wire and fired machine guns on the enemy. Good for British morale as Germans were alarmed by this invention. The first were however slow and not easy to move. More than half of them broke down before they got to the German trenches. It wasnt until November 1917 that they were used effectively. However, by 1918, German forces had built armour piercing machine gun bullets. Aircraft 1914 aeroplanes were very primitive and unreliable. Soon their speed and mobility were used for reconnaissance work over trenches. Dogfights were battles fought in the air. By 1915 they had fitted machine guns. The Flying corps had gone from 37 planes to 23000. Verdun February 1916 the German commander Falkenhyn came up with the idea of a war of attrition wear down the enemy until they surrender. He wanted to bleed the French white The tactic failed in that both sides suffered roughly equal losses. For six months both sides sent men and resources into this battle. Attacks were followed by counter attacks and by July 1916 some 700 000 had fallen. The French, led by General Petain, held out, but by the summer of 1916 they were close to breaking. The huge losses had weakened both sides, but the Germans had greater resources. The French army was near breaking point. Somme To relieve the pressure, the British led by Field Marshall Douglas Haig launched an attack at the Somme in July 1916. After a week long artillery bombardment of German troops the British soldiers advanced. On the first day there were 57 000 casualties, by November 1916 it was 1.2 million men. Tactics at the Somme were criticised as men were ordered to walk across no mans land carrying heavy packs. The Germans were in concrete bunkers so less effected by the shell fire Back in Britain, politicians and the general public were horrified at the losses. Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts and places. Create an acrostic poem (doesnt need to
rhyme V E R D U N Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts, dates and places. LOOK/COVER/WRITE/CHECK Passchendaele/ Third Battle of Ypres Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts and Started in July 1917 illustrates how new places. Write a sentence next to each fact/place technology could become hopelessly outmanoeuvred by weather conditions. The British detonated huge mines at Messines which destroyed the German artillery positions and killed 10 000 German soldiers at a stroke. However, the infantry advance which followed became bogged down with heavy rain creating nightmare conditions, particularly around the 10 000 ruined village of Passchendaele. Even when tanks were used at Cambrai in November 1917 it was the same story: 350 tanks made good progress but couldnt keep the ground they captured. Estimated casualties were nearly a quarter of a Cambrai million on Allied side. 350 250 000 Wider War: The War on other fronts Gallipoli Revision Task: Create a mind map identifying With the western front in deadlock, Winston
why Gallipoli was such a failure Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty came up with a plan to open up another front to shorten the war. Capture the Turkish capital, Constantinople, and force Turkey to surrender Reopen a supply route to Russia Encourage the neutral countries of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania join the war on the side of the Allies. In Feb. 1915, British navy failed to get through the Darnenelles. The fleet retreated. In April British and ANZAC troops landed on the peninsula. They were pinned down by Turkish machine guns. In August, the Allies attacked again, this time landing at Sulva Bay. By delaying their advance, the Allies gave the Turks the chance to regroup and no further advance was made. Many Allied troops died of disease, dysentery and hunger. War at Sea Revision Task: Summarise the aims of the War British and German navies were the most powerful in at Sea. the world and control of the high seas would be an important factor in the final outcome of the war. The aim of the Royal navy was to keep shipping lanes free from German attack, blockade German ports, and resupply British troops in the colonies. The German navy aimed to disrupt Britains food and munitions supplies and protect German colonies. Minor clashes Before 1916 there were only a few clashes. In 1914, German raiders bombarded Scarborough. In 1915, another group of German vessels clashed with the British near Dogger Bank in the North Sea. In the Pacific region, German ships were sunk at the Battle of Coronel in November 1914 and Falkland Islands in December 1916. Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts and places. Draw a picture to remember Scarborough, Dogger Bank, Battle of Coronel and Falkland Islands Battle of Jutland End of May 1916, Admirals Hipper and von Sheer led the German high seas Fleet to the North Sea. They aimed to destroy British Grand Fleet by tempting the British ships into a trap. Britain were able to decode their messages. On 31 st May 1916 they had a battle off the coast of Jutland in Denmark. The outcome of the battle was indecisive, both sides claimed victory. Germany lost 11 ships and 2500 men, whilst Britain lost 14 ships and 6 000 men. Although the German casualties were less, the German fleet never set sail into the North Sea again.
Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts and places. Summarise into the boxes without looking at the card. War against submarines. Britain depended on keeping supply lines across the sea safe. Early on German submarines only targeted Allied merchant ships, but by February 1915 they announced they would attack any ship suspected of carrying supplies to Britain. This Lusitania was sunk by the German submarines in 1917, killing 100 Americans on board. This caused greater tension between America and Germany. After the sinking of the Lusitania Germany called off unrestricted submarine warfare, but in 1916 it started again. The Germans aim was to prevent essential supplies getting to Britain and they almost succeeded. By June 1917, Britain lost 500 000 tons of shipping. At one point, it was estimated that London had only six weeks supply of food left. By 1917 new technology helped fight against the U boat The British developed the convoy system to protect merchant vessels Nets and mines were used, particularly the English channel. Q boats (disguised merchant ships_ were developed to trick U boats to attack. Germany was successfully blockaded and led to their surrender in Nov. 1918 Revision Task: Highlight the key people, facts and places. Create a mind map summarising the successes and limitations of submarine warfare Aims Events Outcome
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