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The Western Front

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Introduction

The Western Front It was a battle zone in World War I between Germany and its enemies, France and Britain, extending as lines of trenches from Nieuport on the Belgian coast through Ypres, Arras, Albert, Soissons, and Rheims to Verdun, constructed by both Germany and the Allies. For over three years neither side advanced far from their defensive positions. During the period of trench warfare there were a number of significant changes. Poison gas was used by Germany at Ypres, Belgium April 1915 and tanks were used by Britain on the River Somme in Sept 1916. A German offensive in the spring of 1918 enabled the troops to reach the Marne River. By summer the Allies were advancing all along the front and the Germans were driven back into Belgium. Western Front 1914: The initial German operations were conducted according to the carefully prepared Schlieffen Plan. This involved massing their greatest strength on the right wing, which would swing down through Belgium, pivoting on the Ardennes while the left flank would fight defensively, falling back if necessary. This would bring the French armies out of their prepared positions and extend their lines of communication, making a smashing blow through Belgium and northern France. The German aim was to capture Paris and cut the lines of supply to the French armies in the east who by this time would be heavily committed and would find themselves trapped between the German defences to their front and the successful German armies in their rear. The French would then be quickly forced to surrender and Germany could turn its attention to dealing with a now isolated Russia, the real object of the German war effort. ...read more.

Middle

By Nov, it was obvious the campaign had been an expensive failure and the Allies began the difficult task of evacuating Gallipoli; the final embarkation's from Suvla and Anzac took place 18-19 Dec. The evacuation of Cape Helles was completed by 8 Jan 1916. An estimated 36,000 Commonwealth troops died during the nine-month campaign. World War 1:Gallipoli campaign Feb 19, 1915: First Allied naval bombardment. Feb 25: Second Allied naval bombardment. March 18: Allied naval attempt to force The Narrows. Apr 25: Allied landings at Helles and Anzac. Apr 28-June 4: First, Second and Third Battles of Krithia. Aug 6: Allied landings at Suvla Bay. Dec 19-20: Allied evacuation of Anzac and Suvla. Jan 8, 1916: Allied evacuation of Helles. War at sea 1914: Allied control of the seas did not ensure complete protection of all coasts from German raids, but it did ensure freedom of movement for the Allies at sea, and more importantly allowed the Allies to receive supplies from anywhere in the world, while denying the Central Powers access to the world markets. The German High Sea Fleet had withdrawn to its bases on the outbreak of war, and the German plan was to wear down the British navy by a war of attrition with submarines and mines. The first serious British naval action during the war was the battle of Heligoland Bight 28 Aug, in which three German light cruisers and a destroyer were sunk, including the cruisers Mainz and Koeln. 1916: The major sea action of the year was the Battle of Jutland, 31 May, in which the British Grand Fleet clashed with the German High Sea Fleet. Although the battle was in itself indecisive, both sides claimed victory: the Germans because they sank more ships than they lost, and the British because the German High Seas Fleet never ventured outside harbour for the rest of the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beginning of trench warfare. Oct-Nov: First Battle of Ypres. Britain declared war on Turkey. 1915 April-May: Gallipoli offensive launched by British and dominion troops against Turkish forces. Second Battle of Ypres. First use of poison gas by Germans. Italy joined war against Austria. German submarine sank ocean liner Lusitania on 7 May, later helping to bring USA into the war. Aug-Sept: Warsaw evacuated by the Russians. Battle of Tarnopol. Tsar Nicholas II took supreme control of Russian forces. 1916 Jan: Final evacuation of British and dominion troops from Gallipoli. Feb: German offensive against Verdun began, with huge losses for little territorial gain. May: Naval battle of Jutland between British and German imperial fleets ended inconclusively, but put a stop to further German naval participation in the war. July-Nov: First Battle of the Somme, a sustained Anglo-French offensive which won little territory and lost a huge number of lives. Aug: Hindenburg and Ludendorff took command of the German armed forces. Romania entered the war against Austria. Sept: Early tanks used by British on Western Front. Nov: Nivelle replaced Joffre as commander of French forces. Dec: French recapture Verdun. Austrians occupied Bucharest. 1917 Feb: Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare. March-April: Germans retreated to Siegfried Line on Western Front. April-May: USA entered the war against Germany. Nivelle replaced by Petain. July-Nov: Third Ypres offensive including Battle of Passchendaele. Oct-Nov: Battle of Caporetto, Italian troops defeated by Austrians. 1918 Jan: US President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed `Fourteen Points' as a basis for peace settlement. March: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Sept: Hindenburg and Ludendorff called for an armistice. Oct: Armistice offered on the basis of the `Fourteen Points'. Nov: Austria-Hungary signed armistice with Allies. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany went into exile. Germany agreed armistice. Fighting on Western Front stopped. 1919 Jan: Peace conference opened at Versailles. May: Demands presented to Germany. June: Germany signed peace treaty at Versailles. Meheriar Hossain ...read more.

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