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

In 1915 a British Newspaper printed a letter from a 'Lady Reader' who claimed, "The women of Britain will tolerate no such cry

Extracts from this document...


In 1915 a British Newspaper printed a letter from a 'Lady Reader' who claimed, "The women of Britain will tolerate no such cry as Peace." Do you think that the young men of Britain would agree with the Lady Reader during the Great War, 1914-1918? In August 1914 Great Britain declared war on the Germany because on 4 August Germany invaded Belgium. Britain had a treaty with Belgium dating back to 1839 so the British Foreign Minister Lord Grey felt justified in Britain honouring this treaty. The invasion of Belgium forced the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia) to declare war on the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). There had been a build up of pressure in Europe after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophie on 18 June 1914 in Sarajevo. He was assassinated by a Slav called Princip who wanted Serbia, an influential state in the area, to be independent. Austria-Hungary, which had thousands of Serbs in its empire who also wanted to be independent, saw this as a chance to crush Serbia and they declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914. Russia was friendly with Serbia because it had a long history of rivalry with Austria-Hungary and both Russian's and Serbs were Slavs so Russia felt that they had to help Serbia. Russia mobilised its troops but Germany, who had a treaty with Austria-Hungary, warned Russia not to help the Serbs. When it was reported that Russia had trespassed on German soil in 1 August 1914, Germany declared war on Russia. Russia had a treaty with France and Britain which meant that Germany was stuck in the middle between France and Russia and would be fighting the war in two fronts. There was also a lot of tension between Britain and Germany before war was declared. Only a generation before, Germany and Britain had been united, usually against the French. ...read more.


The generals had no idea how to defend against machine guns since they were trained in the kind of warfare that had been seen in the Crimea and the Boer War, including cavalry charges on horseback. The way this war was being fought, with a regular supply of new soldiers, with machine guns that didn't call for accurate fire, with barbed wire across no man's land, was completely different to anything that had gone before. Both sides' generals had no other answer than to dig trenches. A full frontal attack by either side could prove fatal although the French and British troops had the hardest task. They needed to retake land whereas the Germans only had to stay in their trenches and defend it. In November 1914, soldiers found themselves fighting from trenches. However, the conditions were far from perfect. Millions of men and thousands of horses lived close together and the sanitation arrangements were makeshift. In the summer, when the weather was hot, dusty and dry, the smell was appalling due to a combination of rotting corpses, sewage and unwashed soldiers. In wet weather spent much of their time up to their ankles or knees in water. Thousands suffered from 'trench foot', caused by standing in water for hours or days. As one soldier described it "Your feet swell up two or three times their normal size and go completely dead. You could stick a bayonet into them and not feel a thing. If you are fortunate enough not to lose your feet and the swelling begins to go down...it is then that the agony begins." Some men had to have their legs amputated because of trench foot but some got amputated because of frostbite in the winter, as the trenches offered little protection from the cold. The trenches were also infested by rats, which were described as huge, fat 'corpse' rats that thrived on the dead bodies and the rubbish created by the armies. ...read more.


However, the scene on the Western Front was the opposite. David Jones wrote, "He would not be killed...no one else in the battalion would be killed...A thrill of almost painful exultation went through him...Then with a worse, almost unmendable pang, he thought of the millions of men of many nations, who were gone forever, rotting in desolate battlefields and graveyards all over the world...Would they dare to maffick [celebrate wildly] in London and Paris? Probably. Well let them. Perhaps the men's quietness and lack of demonstration meant they too felt this....The only victory that had resulted was in fact the victory of life over death, of stupidity over intelligence, of hatred over humanity. It must never happen again, never, never." Even though the British soldiers had fought loyally, many of them had lost faith in their generals. As Private J A Hooper said, "Towards the end of the war we were so fed up we couldn't even sing 'God Save the King' on church parade. 'Never mind the bloody King,' we used to say, 'he was safe enough. It should have been God save us.' They realised they had been lied to. The idea that the Germans were beasts, an idea the newspapers had made out at the beginning of the war, was not understood to be false. Many British soldiers saw them as no different from them. Many people also began to question why the war had started at all. Everyone had been affected by the war. Families had been torn apart through death; a whole generation of men were lost forever. Even the men who had survived were never the same. Many of them were disabled, or shell-shocked, and all of them had seen things that no-one should see. They had scars inside and out. Four years after the Lady Reader's comment, no one would have agreed with her. World War One was the war to end all wars, although it never really ended. ?? ?? ?? ?? Helen McGuire Page 1 of 9 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Does the film 'The Battle of The Somme' provide us with a realistic picture ...

    3 star(s)

    In addition various sources imply that food was often stolen because soldiers were so hungry. Overall I feel that the evidence clearly indicates that the film provides quite a realistic view of the amount of Equipment and Supplies because more sources agree that the British had enough supplies and plenty of firearms.

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

    In fact they had the effect of exhausting the German soldiers, which made final defeat all the more certain. Operation Michael * On 21 March 1918 the Germans launched a massive surprise attack on the Allied forces at St.

  1. In what ways did the Second World War affect the lives of ordinary people ...

    The ministry of food production headed by lord Woolton, created novelty dishes like "Woolton pie" and published amusing poems that carried the serious message of "waste not, want not". They were intended to persuade people of the importance of rationing without causing worry or dispiriting people by the reasons.

  2. US President George Bush labelled Iran and Iraq as part of an "axis of ...

    These states are not alone. A very recent US congressional brief stated that although the US is "unable to maintain an international consensus for strict enforcement off all applicable UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq, it has largely succeeded in preventing Iraq from re-emerging as an immediate threat to the region"70.

  1. The great Patriotic war - From incompetence to victory.

    Voroshilov would not allow the German side of the war game to have a qualitative advantage or surprise attack.viii This, as history has shown, was precisely what happened six years later. Tukhachevskii stated that Germany's preparations for war made it imperative that the defense of the Soviet western frontiers be

  2. United Nations: The Wounded Dove

    Here are some positive remarks given by people who have worked with the UN or have encountered them within their country. "I am a former employee of the UN. I was a member of an international civil aviation organization technical assistance mission to the Saudi Arabian Presidency for Civil Aviation.

  1. How did the War change life in Britain?

    They played a key role in the British sectors of the front during early German attacks when the British were very stretched. Recruitment When the war broke out, Britain only had a small trained army; it needs a much bigger one without delay.

  2. How did World War II affect the lives of civilians in Wales and Britain?

    'Some children from poor areas have become unrecognisable.' This was due to the un-relenting supply of food in the country; a resultant problem of this was that the child needed 'A larger gas Mask'. This was one of the many problems that faced the hosts and evacuees during the war.

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