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The First World War Revision Notes

History Notes > Roads to Modernity 1789-1945 Notes

This is an extract of our The First World War Revision document, which we sell as part of our Roads to Modernity 1789-1945 Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Nottingham students.

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The First World War Revision Lecture: The Outbreak of War:Initial reaction was patriotismJingoism?Rush to enlistOverriding response, however, was resignation

A war of movement:Cult of the offensiveBattle of the FrontiersAttempts at a swift and decisive victory o

Schlieffen PlanInitial French gains reversed by German counter-offensivesFor the French it was a war of good vs. evil'Over by Christmas'?Military leaders anticipated a long war o

Moltke - "[Germany must] prepare... for a long campaign, with numerous tough, protracted battles"


Kitchener, Haig and Joffre anticipated a long war


Due to the enlargement of land armies in the years preceding the outbreak of war it would be a long struggle


Military advances had bolstered defensive weaponry far more than offensiveo

Machine gun

Paradoxically the notion of stalemate along the front increased the fervour of belief in the cult of the offensive

Miracle of the Marne:Over 1 million men on each sideAllied offensive; force Germans across the Marne and thus protect ParisGerman counter-attack

HISTORY REVISIONFrench sixth army stretchedUtilised taxis to transport reserve troops to the front lineThe Germans entrenched themselves after retreating 40 miles10-11 September 1914 - allies won the battle of the Marne o

Optimism was retained

The Eastern Front:Russia was slow to mobilise; supply lines stretchedNevertheless 6 million troops mobilisedRussian 1st and 2nd armies to invade East PrussiaHindenburg and Ludendorff masterminded the overwhelming German victory against the Russians at the battle of Tannenberg o

Tannenberg provided the Germans with morale and heroes


Russians realised how futile the attempt at a swift victory was

1915 - A 'World War':German successes in the East force a Russian retreatStalemate on the western frontOther theatres - Gallipoli, Italian fighting in the alpsColonial troops were integral, especially in the British military effort oIndians

Activity of German U-boats, and the British blockade, made the war a worldwide phenomenon

1916 - Verdun & the Somme:By 1916 both sides acknowledged that the war would ultimately be won on the western frontGerman assault on VerdunSuccessful defence - led by Petain o

Becomes symbolic to the French defensive effort


Petain becomes a national hero


Half a million deaths


Strategic system of warfare remained unchanged

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