• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In 1914 the First World War, or the Great War, broke out in Europe.

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework Chris Grindrod 11SRH In 1914 the First World War, or the Great War, broke out in Europe. It involved the two main alliances of Europe at the time; one alliance was the triple entente with Germany, Austro-Hungary and Serbia, the other alliance, the triple alliances, had Britain, France and Russia creating a ring of steel around Germany. This war of attrition was to take the lives of 8.5 million combatants and would change the way warfare was conducted and portrayed forever, it would involve 65 million men from 30 countries around the globe and Russia and America would emerge as the two great superpowers of the 20th century. After the war there would be great criticism of the allied generals, the British and French generals came under particular fire from their countries leaders. The British prime minister of the time famously said "Haig is brilliant up to the top of his army boots", when he was commenting on the British general Sir Douglas Haig. Another famous quote came from two defeated German offices, one is supposed to have said "The British fight like lions" where his colleague replied "yes, but they are led by donkeys" Since then historians have argued whether this was an accurate interpretation of the conduct of British generals. ...read more.


This left each division with sixty-four machine guns, but even by the end of the war there was only forty two to a division. During the Great War many areas of technology improved a great deal. Manned flight, flamethrowers, gas warfare and tank warfare were at the forefront of British technological advances. Before the war aircraft were used for reconnaissance and the RFC, or the Royal Flying Corps, consisted of 4 battle squadrons, one of which was a balloon squadron, which had been in operation since 1881. In the early days of the war the RFC was still being used for reconnaissance and there was no hostility between enemy aircrew, until in early 1915 when a French airmen pulled his revolver out and took a pot shot at a German aircraft but left him uninjured. Since then both armies took an active interest in improving the quality and fire power of their aircraft, in 1915 a French engineer managed to combine the propeller and machine guns mechanisms on an aircraft to make the gun fire in between each propeller. In the air the allies were certainly the underdog until the British army began to design new planes such as the Bristol Fighter, Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Camel, S.E.5 and Airco DH-2 and then the death tolls started to decline among British pilots. ...read more.


The German army had been preparing for this war for nearly a decade before war was declared and when it was, the British Generals had to use a relatively inexperienced army made up of men from other professions and they had only 100,000 professional soldiers and these men were nearly wiped out in the first battle of Ypres. The Generals themselves were inexperienced in this type of warfare as well, they had been used to battling armies in the colonies that didn't use guns so cavalry regiments were still needed and artillery was less useful, but now it was the other way round and cavalry regiment had to be used in support and artillery played a much more important factor, many of the Generals were reluctant to use cavalry less as well because many of them were ex-cavalry officers so this may have affected their thinking as well. I think that Haig and the other Generals adapted as quickly as they could have considering what type of warfare they had been used to and what type of warfare they expected so the title 'donkeys' is an unfair interpretation of the conduct of British Generals in World War One. 00GrindrodC ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * Under normal circumstances the murder of the Arch Duke would have passed without major repercussions, but the build-up of alliances and the consequent heightening of tensions turned what was a political matter into an international tragedy. * The Austrian government had been looking for an excuse to crush Serbia, which stood in their way in the Balkans.

  2. Why was Germany Defeated in the First World War?

    A lot of people were recruited at first via conscription however the very high casualty rate required more recruits which severely affected the home front. In 1916, Germany was the first country to introduce the rationing of bread. Corn supplies had to be confiscated by the authorities and distributed evenly.

  1. Why Was The Great War Not Over By Christmas 1914?

    France and Russia, who had been allies since the Franco-Russian Treaty of 1894. The German answer to this war on two fronts (Germany is situated between France and Russia) was to attack France first before Russia was ready. General Schlieffen's plan was to defeat France within six weeks by attacking through Belgium.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The military and security articles of the May 17 Agreement between the Israeli and Lebanese governments called for an abolition of the state of war between the two countries, security arrangements to ensure the sanctity of Israel's northern border, integration of Major Haddad's SLA into the regular Lebanese Army, and Israeli withdrawal.

  1. Post-Cold War Realities

    hegemony in the Middle East region. The U.S. and Israel, on the other hand, insist that the reactors and Russian nuclear technical help are assisting Iran?s clandestine nuclear weapons program and increasing regional instability. They argue that for a country with 5% of the world's oil and 14% of the natural gas reserves, its combined oil

  2. The First World War

    If this rifle was in the hands of a trained British soldier it could accurately fire 25 rounds per minute. This rifle did contribute to a stalemate developing on the western front because these rifles could give covering fire and pin down forces on both sides.

  1. In what way was World War 2 due to the failure of the victors ...

    It was suggested that startling imperialism of the Western powers and the nationalism in this new era were the driving force behind international conflicts toward 19th century and also 20th century. In 1875, nationalism in Eastern Europe caused by Bulgarian Crisis stroke "Eastern Question" and it entirely destroyed the relation between Austrian Empire and Russian Empire.

  2. 'Germany started the First World War

    3 Within Fischer's second book, War of Illusions: German policies from 1911 to 1914, he outlines the idea that the main reasons for Germany's involvement in the War was not due to the 'primacy of external policy', which entailed that all decisions regarding foreign policy was principally determined by geography or in order to maintain the balance of power.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work