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WW1-planning for war, major battles. War at sea and in the air.

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Introduction

WORLD WAR ONE Preparations for War 1914 France - Improving trains so that soldiers could be taken wherever they were needed. Germany - General Schlieffen had drawn up a plan in 1905; most of the troops would be sent to knock out the French before the Russians had time to attack. Then once the knockout blow to France the troops would concentrate on Russia The main fear was attack on two fronts, Schlieffen worked out that it would take Russia at least six weeks for Russia to mobilize her armies and prepare for war. In these six weeks he thought that Germany could beat France by a surprise attack through Belgium and another through Alsace-Lorraine. They based their calculations on a few factors: * They thought small neutral Belgium wouldn't put up much of a fight. * They thought Britain at worst would send a small army. * They thought Russia would be slow and take six weeks. * They thought the French army would concentrate on Alsace-Lorraine instead of trying to head off the German troops coming through Belgium. The main problem with the plan was that Britain gyaranteed Belgiums neutrality with the Treaty of London. Britain might enter the war if Belgium was attacked. ...read more.

Middle

The allies attacked the south of Ypres and sent the Germans away. In November 1918 they agreed to surrender. The Somme In France, Verdun held a huge place in the nation's heart and the French commanders thought that if it was lost all morale would be lost. In the battle both Germany and France lost half a million men. France begged Britain to go along with the plans to launch a joint attack on the Somme to relieve the pressure on Verdun. The first day saw the worst British losses in history; 60,000 casualties of which 20,000 were dead. The Somme Offensive, 1916 Bombardments: In the week before the attack they fired more shells than in the first year of war, about 1.5 million. They hoped the shrapnel shells would cut the barbed wire. Mines: Mines were set to blow just before attack to destroy strong points. The Attack: On the 1st July. 4 am: 60,000 British troops were lined up in the trenches. By 6 25 the final barrage started. At 7 20 the Hawthorne mine was blown and another at 7 30. The barrage lifted and the infantry attack began along the 18 mile front with an 8 mile wide French assault on the right of the British line. ...read more.

Conclusion

The RAF soon dominated the skies and built big new planes to bomb Berlin, a plan only stopped by Germanys surrender. Even after all this work and hype, the air wars never broke the trench dreadlock below. The Sea War Britain thought it could break the stalemate with its navy which was huge - twice the size of Germanys. Our navy couldn't be risked in battle though as we are an island and we need it to get any supplies or troops anywhere. It also acted as a deterrent against attack. Germany on the other hand didn't need a Navy quite so much, with its land power it hardly needed a Navy and it also wasn't an island, it could get to most places by vehicle or marching. Instead of fighting with the ships, the Royal Navy set up blockades. These were across the northern and southern exits to the North Sea (Scotland and Dover). This kept navy away from Atlantic trade routes, and stopped her merchant fleet trading with the wider world. With this in place our trade could grow and prosper but Germanys would go short of imported raw materials and there would be food shortages. The Germans roamed around in a small area of the North Sea, if the British ships found out they would rush over to intercept them, this lead to small battles like Heligoland Bight (august 1914) and Dogger Bank (January 1915) of which the British won both. ...read more.

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