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An Unpredicted New kind Of Warfare.

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Firouz Daneshvar IBS History September 11th, 2003 Block F An Unpredicted New kind Of Warfare World war one continued for four years across a vast and stretching from the English Channel to the northern Swiss border. In 1914 the prediction was that the war would be over by Christmas. At the beginning of the war, The Germans thought they could capture France before invading Russia therefore preventing a war on two fronts. But because of the failure of tactics they couldn't succeed, and this was one of the main reasons the war lasted for such a long period. It was no longer each side trying to capture the other in the war but stopping the enemies movements in trench warfare and using new technology to soften up enemy, if it didn't back fire. Defense was now the key to winning the war and was far superior than the offensive. The trenches were hard to capture by advancing troops because of increasing firepower from machine guns. Crossing no-mans land was committing suicide for the troops as machine guns could inflict enormous damage on advancing infantry. The realization of the advantage of defense resulted in the enhanced rate of advancing technology. ...read more.


But the first Mark I tank was a weak and variable weapon. It was used at the Somme in 1916 but neither their performance nor numbers could help win the battle. It was not until Cambrai in 1917 that tanks were used on a large scale. They crunched their way over the barbed wire and German trenches creating a huge hole in the German defenses. A General on horseback commanded his armies in battle up until 1914. After 1914 telephones were working. Battles could be safely won from far away behind a desk. But though this development in communications may seem a great success, but telephones in reality were useless in attack, because the commanders didn't have a good perspective of the war and didn't know everything as they would be if they were sitting on horse and overlooking the battle which led to troops often pulling back because of lack of communications and broad view of the battle. In 1914 neither the French nor the British armies were trained for trench warfare. They had to adapt which took them several years and accounted for several of their failures and delays. French generals felt infantry charges were a necessity to win the war despite the huge advances in technology. ...read more.


Germany spread its men out over many of the fronts not only in the eastern front, but also in the Western Front. One argument is that if perhaps they had concentrated on only one front they may have had a chance of success as opposed to spreading out the troops over a large area. The deadlock ended in 1918 when it was broken by eventual collapse of the central powers. It was ultimately attrition that proved the crucial decider but it was a series of events and inventions that had not happened before which gave way to the end result. The submarine campaign was important as it brought America into the war with fresh troops and much needed resources and resulted in a huge blow to the German morale. In conclusion, there was no one true reason for deadlock on the western front, but that it was due to several problems. Technology advanced too rapidly, generals were not adequately trained for trench warfare. As one quote would say "The great war was fought with 20th century weapons and 19th century tactics". The war was able to be kept going due to the fact they were both vastly industrialized economies and neither side was able to eliminate the other since and the governments of both sides directed the industries towards mass production of uniforms, ammunitions, ships, explosives etc... ...read more.

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