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

World War 1 Questions

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Matthew Herrndorf Mr. Howe IB1 History 2/5/2003 World War 1 Questions 1 a) The phrase "Western Front" refers to the fighting zone that existed in France and Flanders. It was the area where most of the British fighting took place as well as the French, and it was by far the most important area for those two countries. After the initial battles in 1914, the Western Front became an area where both sides held an entrenched line that ran from Nieuport, on the Belgian coast through the Somme and Champagne and into the Swiss border. The entrenched line ran approximately 400 miles long, and in the beginning of the war, Britain held about 20 miles, which was later stretched into 120 miles as the war progressed. There were continuous battles that occurred on the western front, and the sentiment that existed was that the best way to defeat the enemy was to "turn the flank" of the enemy, thus was the reason the trench lines ran so long. 1b) There are several reasons for which trench warfare developed early on the Western Front. As the war started with massive offensives led by the Germans against France, as they were implementing the Schlieffen Plan, which called for the quick destruction of France. However, during the battle of the Marne, the French 6th army forced back the Germans approximately 40 miles to the north of the river Aisne. From there, both the Germans and the French took up the belief that the most effective strategy would be to outflank the opponent in order to get behind them. Both armies moved north, as Germany slowly took some territories, namely Antwerp, and then a large-scale battle raged at Messines and Ypres, however after several weeks that had both sides experience tremendous casualties, the realization came that the Western Front would not be won in one large offensive, and instead the armies focused their attentions on building very strong defensive structures, namely a system of interconnected trenches, from which opponents could be seen and fired upon, but no attack could be launched. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, near the end of the war, Austria-Hungary was rendered a practically non-beneficial ally, as they experienced serious problems with the defections of various nationalities, namely the Czechs and the Yugoslavians whom had declared their independence from the monarch. And although the Russians experienced serious internal turmoil that led to their surrender, the Entente made up for the loss when the U.S. joined them. By the year 1918, the Germans were understandably depleted, and had few options to pursue. Their only option was to launch a massive offensive in order to end the war as soon as possible. Though the offensive was extremely successful, the defenses that had been built up for the four years of the war proved to be too strong too penetrate. The Germans were forced to retreat, and when the Entente counter attacked, the Germans put up very little resistance as huge numbers were captured in 1918. Finally, the Germans had entered the war with huge hope resting on the shoulders of the Schlieffen Plan. It was expected that the plan would have tremendous success, and the Germans were confident they could defeat the Russians so long as it was a single front war. However, because the plan was thrown of course, and eventually derailed near Paris, the Germans were faced with the problem of having to fight a war on two fronts. Though they proved to be very capable and successful, the two fronts took its toll on the Germans as they were forced into a stalemate for four years. Had the Germans successfully orchestrated the Schlieffen plan, there is a good chance the Central Powers would have emerged successful in the war, however, when the plan was halted, Germany became engaged in a war where there were too many different factors working against them. 3. The reason for which the generally assumed durations of the wars were proved incorrect is primarily due to the fact people had no real reference point for which to compare lengths, and thus guessed wildly. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the beginning it was clear they would have a much better chance fighting on the Eastern Front then the Western Front. By 1917, the Germans had done so much damage to the Russian army, with at least 3 million deaths, that the Russians could no longer go on. Civil unrest became too much, and the October Revolution began in Russia, in which the government was overthrown. The Russians then proceeded to surrender to the Germans, giving up huge territory as well as huge numbers of people in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Germans fortunes were so successful on the Eastern Front because Russia could no longer continue with the war effort. The Western Front proved to be too much for the Germans. In 1918, they were forced to attack in an attempt to win over the Western Front before another large reinforcement Americans arrived. However, after several significant gains, they were stopped by the French and the Americans at the Marne. It had been their last large push, as they were forced to retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Soon after the Entente launched an extremely successful counter attack that lead to control of the Western Front, as the Germans were so badly weakened. Germany had very little option but to launch their offensive, as they believed they would stand no chance with basically no allies, with the exception of Turkey and Bulgaria, though those two powers were ineffective. The Western Front was simply too much for the Germans to overcome. The fortunes of the Germans on the Eastern and Western Fronts were different for a multitude of reasons; however the opponents that lay on each front played a large role. The Russians proved to be incapable of sustaining their war effort, and internal problems combined with Germany forced them to surrender by 1917. The Western Front was to well defended for Germany's final push, and the Entente took control. Germany simply had too much to overcome in their attempt to win on the Western Front. ...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. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    The new technology helped kill the enemy, the blockade caused mayhem in Germany and lots of people died, the failure of the of offensive meant that the Germans could no longer win the war, so to a certain extend they are all equally important.

  2. How Significant were the Normandy landings in Defeating Germany in World War Two?

    This brings me on to the fact that it is a commemorative article produced for a magazine on the 50th anniversary. An editor who briefly researched the events of D-day produced this article and probably doesn't particularly focus on this subject matter.

  1. Why did World War 1 end so quickly after the years of stalemate?

    It can be no coincidence that Lundendorff decided that Germany could not keep going on the very day that Bulgaria decided to seek an armistice (25th September). At about the same time General Allenby advanced against the Turks in Palestine.

  2. American History.

    Other immediatists, who shared Garrison's moral intensity and firm belief in? the evil inherent in slavery, rallied around the American Anti-Slavery Society (1833). By contrast, gradualists felt that impulsive action would jeopardize peace and order. Opposition to abolition actually ended up helping immediatists - events such?

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    they were facing at all times and to do all they could to help the war effort. Posters, wireless broadcasts and films asked them to save all that they could. One piece of coal less a day, one potato less for a meal, only five inches of water in a

  2. The First World War - questions and answers on the Schlieffen plan, and the ...

    The German Keiser called them a "contemptible little army". The Battle of Marne was a 5 day success, whereby they protected the Germans from having control over Paris and forcing them to retreat to the river Aisne. The Battle of Ypres was 'The Race to Sea', where each side 'dashed

  1. Africa and the role they played during both of the world wars.

    The Germans landed on Sept, 19, but there first attacks failed. Whilst, that was happening a Boer revolt was put down by the South African government and with that, the Germans , basically, lost all chance in this conflict. The South Africans went on to capture Windhoek (the capital city)

  2. Vietnam Sources Questions

    Source I is more helpful. It shows an American soldier wounded by what is probably a punji trap or some varient. It is an example of a method used by the Vietcong to wound American soldiers in a war of attrition to dishearten Americans.

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