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World War One Essay

1397 words - 6 pages

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World War 1

On Sunday, June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, an 18-year-old Serbian named Gavrilo Princip, shot and killed Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Duchess Sophie while they were driving in an open car. Princip belonged to a sercet terror society, called the Black Hand, that wanted to rid Bosnia of Austrian rule and unite it with Serbia. The assassination led to the first World War. This terrible conflict latsed over 4 years, involved over 30 nations, and ...view middle of the document...

Another factor that increased the rivalry in Europe was imperialism. Before World War 1, Africa and parts of Asia were areas of conflict between the European countries. This was because of the raw materials these areas could provide. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in conflict that helped start World War I.

Militarism means that the army and military forces are given a high profile by the government. The division between European countries and militarism, or a policy of glorying military power and keeping an army prepared for war, led to an arms race between the main countries, another cause of World War I. The armies of both France and Germany had more than doubled between 1870 and 1914, and there was fierce competition between Britain and Germany for mastery of the seas.

In the fall of 1914, a series of battles occured in the region of northern France known as the Western Front. During this time a German general, named Alfred Graf von Schlieffen, had drawn up a plan, called the Schlieffen Plan, which called for attacking and defeating France in the west and rushing to fight Russia in the east. By early September, German troops had reached the outskirts of Paris. But, on September 5, the Allies attacked the Germans northeast of Paris, in the valley of Marne River. The Germans retreated after four days of fighting. The Battle of the Marne was an important battle because the French and British forces were able to stop the Schlieffen plan for a quick victory. However, the German army was not beaten, and its successful retreat ended all hope of a short war.

By early 1915, armies on the Western Front began digging long trenches to protect themselves from opposing armies. This became known as trench warfare where soldiers fought each other from trenches. New technology, such as machine guns, poison gas, tanks, and submarines, allowed armies to wipe out each other more quickly.

War was also going on in a region known as the Eastern Front, which strecthed along the Russian and German border. In this region, the Russian and the Serbs fought the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. Here, the Russians lost many lives. Near the town of Tannenberg, the Germans defeated the Russians killing over 30,000 Russian soldiers. In September 1914, after defeating the Austrians twice, the Russians were defaeted by the Austrians pushing them out of Austria-Hungary. By 1916, Russia was near collapse. Russia was less industrialized than the other European countries, but they had a large population which allowed their army to rebuilt its ranks.

In Feburary 1915, the Allies made an effort to take the Dardanelles strait, which led to the Ottoman capital Constantinople. Taking over this region, would allow them to defeat the Turks and make a supply line to Russia. This became known as the Gallipoli campaign. The Gallipoli peninsula was attacked by British, French, Australian, and New Zealand troops. By May, the...

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