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HSC

STUDY BUDDY 1

Modern History Core Study Contents Page




War on the Western Front.2-14

- The reasons for stalemate on the Western Front2-5

- The nature of trench warfare and life in the trenches..5-9

- Overview of strategies and tactics to break the stalemate..9-12
- Changing Attitudes of Allied and German Soldiers to the War Over
Time..12-14

The Home Fronts in Britain and Germany..14-20
- Total war and its social and economic impact on civilians in Britain and
Germany.14-16
- Recruitment, conscription, censorship and propaganda in Britain and
Germany.17-18
- The variety of attitudes to the war and how they changed over time in
Britain and Germany..18-20
- The impact of the war on womens lives and experiences in
Britain..21-22


Turning Points....22-24

- Impacts of the entry of the USA and of the Russian withdrawal..22-23

- Ludendorffs spring offensive and the allied response...23-24

Allied Victory...24-29

- Events leading to the Armistice, 1918..24-25

- Reasons for the Allied victory and German collapse...25-26
- The roles and differing goals of Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson in
creating the treaty of Versailles...26-29




















1

War on the Western Front


THE REASONS FOR THE STALEMATE ON THE WESTERN FRONT

When Russia began mobilising its troops, 5 Germ armies advanced quickly, in keeping with Schlieffen
Plan, aiming to capture F in 6 weeks + avoid fighting a war on two fronts.
- Germ commander, von Moltke worries strict implementation of plan= leave Germ armies
vulnerable in battle vs. Russia + on Germanys border w/ Alsace + Lorraine
o Deviated from plan- ordering troops to these areas
weakened impact of Germ armies in France
created communication difficulties between armies
- When war breaks out France implement Plan 17 + advance into Alsace + Lorraine
- Changes to implementation of Schlieffen undermined its effectiveness
o Plan call for 5 Germ armies advance through Belgium + Luxembourg to attack from
the north
o First Germ army would move as far west as possible then east to encircle Paris
o General Von Kluck concerned about long distance separating his army from others
sent soldiers east instead of west
Not encircle as originally intended
Left Germ vulnerable to attack from French army retreating
o Belgian, French + British responses prevented the fulfilment of the Schlieffen Plan
Belgian troops provide strong resistance/ delaying Germ at Liege for nearly
a week
B arrive quickly + surprised Germ at the Battle of Mons
th
4 Sept onwards- B+F vs. Germ in the Battle of the Marne
(Germ troops exhausted: suffered in stifling August heat; malnourished coz
food supplies hadnt kept pace of initially rapid advance; weary coz of long
distances required to walk)
Germ retreat from River Marne in mid Sep- cost quick victory over F
B+F went on the offensive- attempt to outflank Germ forces in race to
secure territory on way to English Channel
Germ began to build trenches. B+ F followed Expected to resume war of movement in summer but
development of trench warfare ended the war or movement
Knew French desperate to retrieve Alsace + Lorraine that they had lost in 1870-71
- Delib kept forces guarding eastern provinces weak. Hope to encourage F attack enable
surprise Germ attack in north
- Planned that troops not used in Alsace-Lorraine would support main attack in north
o 90% Germ forces in west invade France through Belgium + Holland
- Success depended on 3 things:
o Army in north had to be very large + guard Alsace-Lorraine
o Soldiers in northern army cover 35 km a day therefore need excellent logistics (the
ability to keep troops in battle supplied w/ food, ammunition + other needs
o Assumed Russia take at least 3 months to prepare army
- Schlieffen died in 1913 + General von Moltke took over
o Lacked nerve to take all troops he needed from Alsace-Lorraine
o Instead of using 90% of his troops in northern army used 60%
o Afraid southern army not committed to hold back determined French attack on
Alsace-Lorrain unless more men
o Decided to send 100 000 troops to Eastern Front because Russians had mobilised in
6 weeks/ not 12
The Outcome
- Advancing too quickly + supplies couldnt keep up/troops exhausted
- German 60km from Paris- British counter-attacked along River Marne
- Battle of the Marne (5-10 September) most important battle of war
o Saved Paris + ruined Schlieffen Plant

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o Meant Germ have to fight French + Russians simultaneously
Stalemate
Allies drove Germans back from Marne to the river Aisne. Here both sides dug in + pattern for war set
- Series of trenches stretching from Belgian coast to Swiss Border (700km) dug
Trench Warfare: Stalemate
- Cavalry played no useful part + infantry attacks offered only target practice for the defenders
- Trenches v. difficult to capture because of the three line system
- Each trench protected by rows of barbed wire- up to 30m deep
- Each section have fire-step from which soldier fired + briefly observed enemy trench
- Trenches zigzagged so if enemy capture one- not able to fire down its length/shape
restricted impact of explosions
- Men dug trenches into No Mans Land to listen out for mining parties or enemy patrols at
night (called saps)
- During enemy artillery bombardments troops could take cover in underground bunkers
o Germans up to 15m below ground + well constructed coz prepared to fight a
defensive war
o British + French could not afford defensive war
Had to attack to dive Germ out of France + Belgium
Mining Operations
Purpose of saps was to place listening posts in them.
- Both sides used mines in war
- Explosives packed at ends underground tunnels. Tunnel sealed send force of explosion
upwards
- Mine explodes complementing enemy attack= total confusion
pre-war expectations of the nature of modern warfare
Military staff had faith in the idea of the knockout blow + in the importance of speed + mobility.
British commander Sir John French All my thoughts, all my prospective planswere concentrated
upon a war of movement + manoeuvre.
Military leaders formulated complex mobilisation plans. They were needed coz each nations armed
forced + logistical support systems huge. Key to success of mobilisation= nations railway network
(war by timetable).
Germanys mobilisation plan soon involved action vs. both Russia in the easy + France in the west.
the Battle of the Marne
THE COURSE OF THE BATTLE
Moltke ordered forces to move to east of Paris General von Lucks First Army vulnerable as right
flank was exposed. Gen Joffre, French commander ordered attack on Klucks army. When Kluck saw
danger- decided to retreat creating gap between First Army + Second Army. Brit troops prepared to
move into gap + encircle Klucks army. Germ Sixth Army had been defeated + rumours of Brit +
Russian troops in Belgium. Result: Germ High Command order general retreat from River Marne to
River Aisne.
Failure Germs proceeded to dig in at River Aisne.
the race to the sea
Between Sep + Nov, both sides attempted series of outflanking movements. Aim to get around back
of enemys forces + gain control of Channel ports.
65 000 Belgian troops in Antwerp. 12 000 British troops sent for support. On 7 Nov Germ began
bombardment of port of Antwerp. Belgian troops were withdrawn to the west.
Race to the sea achieved little breakthrough. W/ each outflanking action, troops dug into positions.
Gradually line of trenches formed. Race end Oct-Nov w/ First Battle of Ypres.
Battle ebbed + flowed for about a month. By 21 Oct Germs had regained territory Allies had taken.
31 Oct- broke into British lines at Gheluvelt. First Battle of Ypres ended 11 November
the establishment of the Western Front
Ypres denied Germs French Channel ports however Brits in real sense not victorious. Ypres= marked
the culmination of the creation of the Western Front. Line of trenches either side of Western Front
stretching from English Channel to the Swiss Frontier. Strengthened, expanded + deepened daily.
REASONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE STALEMATE
Faults in the strategies + implementation of the Schlieffen Plan

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Too much reliance on speed of movement


Unexpected strong resistance by Belgians + British
Desperate defence by French in some sectors
Failure to realise that, once of railways, speed of army determined by foot
Strict deadline 42 days for conflict inflexible + unrealistic
Germ did not expect Russian attack in under eight weeks
Commanders not prepared to commit to full implementation of the plan
Moltke weakened the right wing + strengthened the left
Troops diverted to Eastern Front
Launched major offensives rather than holding positions
Commanders on right moved toward Paris from east rather than west; exposing right wing at
Marne
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Invasion of Belgium- Brit involvement + supply of key resistance at Mons + Ypres
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Fail secure Channel ports below Nieuport- lines of communication between B+F remain open
in war
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Ordering troops onto defensive= intro strategy which Germ not trained for
Problems with the implementation of Plan XVII
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French underestimate numbers of Germ soldiers/ assume wouldnt launch offensive through
Belgium
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When launch offensive through A+L insufficiently organised + not strong enough
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Insufficient forces on left
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Failure to coordinate effectively w/ Brit + Belgians regarding offensives
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Lack numerical superiority in battles
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Level officer training poor- unable to coordinate artillery to protect infantry vs. defensive fire
Tactical + strategic problems
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When no rail installed- inability for rapid rate of advance; delayed due to insufficient track +
station management; track sabotage
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Beyond rail- depend on foot + horses. Muddy conditions Oct-Nov- slow movement
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Cavalry support on battlefield difficult- machinery= virtually impossible
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Rapid pace took toll on soldiers= exhaustion so that some welcomed opp to dig in
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Nature of modern battlefield= more likely to fail than commanders believed. Felt morale
overcome advantages of defensive fire. Underestimated ability of machine guns + defensive
artillery.
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Education + training of generals convinced them simple strategies + moral fortitude
overcome obstacles. Prepared for huge casualties as war over quickly
Problems in communications
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High Command situated many kms behind fighting. Military telephones laid but reg cut by
artillery. Runners used- slow progress/became casualties. Carrier pigeon- delay 24-48 hours
o Reactions + orders vague- difficult to interpret= confusion
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F commanders more time near front- more effective communication but problems w/ BEF.
Translation difficult. Sir John French disliked/mistrusted French commanders. E.g. reluctance
French to order BEF into gaps gave time for Germ to withdraw to the Aisne
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Delay + confusion on battlefield as word of mouth + signal flags used
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No way for infantry + artillery to maintain communications throughout battle
The role of commanders
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Incapable of successfully pursuing offensives. Could organise counter-attacks leading to
successful defence- recipe for stalemate
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Moltke errors showed unsuitability for pressures of command + lack of trust in Schlieffen
Plan. Permitted alternatives but no manpower or materials to ensure their success. Little
coordination of Germ forces. Keen to pass on responsibility
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Falkenhayn took view war = long drawn-out affair + therefore Germ engage in long period of
defence while preparing for great offensive. At least one year to accumulate necessary
resources
REASONS FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE STALEMATE


Battles focused on attrition (wearing down) than achieving breakthrough + resumption of a war of
movement.
The stalemate continued until 1918 because:

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mechanisms of trench warfare- barbed wire, artillery + machine gun fire- were more suited
to defence + a war of attrition than to offence
the continuation of trench warfare made the cavalry charges impractical
the reconnaissance of enemy positions was poor
opposing armies had equivalent access to reinforcements + supplies through railway
networks
neither side developed a method/weapon of warfare that would force resumption
movement
Advantage given to entrenched defenders, e.g. machine guns. Ammunition quota 4-5 hours,
single machine gun could hold up 2 battalions- 2000 men. Frontal attacks on trenches=costly
Rapid development of heavily defended trench systems neither side could outflank (go
around or attack from the side)
Trenches= temporary expedient until forces were replenished + able to adopt a strategy of
movement/offense again. Soldiers on Western Front- accustomed to trench warfare

THE NATURE OF TRENCH WARFARE & LIFE IN THE TRENCHES


DEALING WITH EXPERIENCES OF ALLIED & GERMAN SOLDIERS


THREE-LINE TRENCH SYSTEM Front line (for attack/defence), support (retreat during bombardment) &
reserve trenches (wait for call to battle). Slightly deeper than av mans height & 1.5 m wide. Distance
between trench lines varied, area that separated them no mans land.
Trenches ran from English Channel to the Swiss border, 780 kilometres
Germs defence in depth & could have up to 10 lines of trenches. Intend to stay built
more permanent defences e.g. proper revetting, deep concrete bunkers, elab drainage
systems
Frontline trench: from here attacks launched/ repelled. Crenellations (kinks) every 10-20m (zigzag or
square-toothed appearance) minimised impact of shell landing in trench, prevented attackers from
having clear line of fire down whole length of trench
Support trench: up to 200m behind frontline, held soldiers ready to move up in defence & support.
Medical stations, supply depots, command posts
Reserve trench: 600m behind front line, dugouts for reserves
No Mans Land: Area could be 8-10 km wide or as narrow as 50m. Full of deep craters & combination
of mud, heavy rain & artillery bombardment made if fearful quagmire difficult to walk through.
Hazardous often mined. At night small groups raid opposing trenches victims to sniper fire. Fear
of being stranded out there wounded/ left to die.
Strong point: scattered slit trenches for specialist weapons
Communication trenches: allow movement of men & equipment
Saps & listening posts: extended out into no mans land- listening & observation
Ideal trench was up to 2-4 m deep & 2 m wide. FEATURES:
Sandbags: reinforce the trench in places. Parapets were used at the front & parados at the back
Firing step: allow soldiers to fire through loopholes or between sandbags
Revetment: trench walls often reinforced w/ materials varying from corrugated iron to wooden
planks
Dugouts: accommodation for officers. Could provide effective shelter during artillery bombardment
Duckboards wooden ladder-like structures, provide firm footing.
Basic tactical principles behind three-line trench system inc major killing zone relegated as no mans
land, trenches provisions of sufficient protection to allow defenders use machine-guns & rifles
effective, 3 lines to ensure position unlikely to be taken in one trench fell
The condition of any trench system depended on:
How long & how quickly it had been established
Whether the generals viewed it as temporary or permanent
The nature of the ground where it was located
Specific military goals at different times

Individ nations manned trenches differently: e.g. 1916- Germ commanders Hindenburg & Ludendorff,
begin development of the Hindenburg line, a believably impregnable trench system. Implemented
1917. Betw 5 & 7 lines of trenches w/ two thirds behind the front line
METHODS OF TRENCH WARFARE Took 10 times as many men to mount attack on enemy trench as
did to defend it. Every battle unique: determined by land, the weather, timing, skills of commanders
& other human factors yet most of war common features:
Massive artillery bombardments of enemy positions aim soften up opposing front line &
drive defenders out
Use of infantry to defend existing entrenched positions & infantry advances over the top
armed mainly w/ rifles, bayonets & grenades, against entrenched opponents. Met w/
machine gun fire. If reached other side- barbed wire could be intangible mess if hit w/
artillery. Impossible to navigate. Hand-to hand fighting as defenders try keep trenches.
Result: massive casualties yet fail to achieve sig breakthrough.
WEAPONRY War dominated by rapid technological developments. Existing weapons operate more
quickly, accurately & effectively. Others made increasingly bigger. Ventured into chemical & biological
areas. Artillery tactics increased in sophistication. Creeping barrages attempted to protect troops as
moved forward by providing advancing screen of cover. Box barrages support trench-raiding teams by
creating safe area into which advancing troops move.
WEAPON
USE
EFFECTIVENESS
Artillery

Artillery bombardments for


attack & defence.

Artillery bombardments cause 60% all casualties.


Preceded major attack.
Machine guns
Effective vs infantry attack; firing 8 bullets/s.
Weight (30-60kg) limited portability. Often jam
Poison gas
F tear gas grenades Aug
Blindness or slow & painful death weapon could
including
1914, shrap shells late 1914. cause feared. Failed have sig impact on battle
nd
chlorine gas,
Germ chlorine gas 1915 2
outcomes- impinged instead on troop morale.
mustard gas &
Battle of Ypres Allied
Less effective as improved protection.
diphosgene
armies adopt gas weaponry Dangerous & unpredictable: wind easily blow gas
back vs. users
Rifles
Standard infantry weapon.
Easy to transport. Effectiveness depend on skill of
user. Couldnt maintain level skill & accuracy as
become reliant on non-professional soldiers.
Efficiently used w/ group firing simultaneously.
On move=couldnt fire accurately. Snipers=
marksmen w/ function of identifying &
eliminating key targets- officers.
st
Tanks
1 used by B at the Somme. Initially- limited value as v slow, liable to break
Not til Battle of Cambrai
down, poor manoeuvrability (only forwards
(Nov 1917) that value
direction), uncomfortable for occupants. Early
obvious.
1917- effectively crash through enemy lines.
TYPES OF GAS First type- chlorine (Germ Apr 1915) Immediate choking & then stripped lining of
lungs; Victims die from suffocation; Disadvantages: could be seen & effect immediate.
By end 1915 18 times more deadly discovery which couldnt be seen: Phosgene. 24hr later spasms of
vomiting appear & last 48 hours. Lungs fill w/ yellow liquid then victim die from drowning
Gas masks intro 1916: Effective but no counter-measure vs. Germ gas used in 1917: mustard gas.
Mustard gas wasnt that deadly: 2% died. Attacked skin surface causing intense burning, swelling of
eyes, blindness & choking heavy doses cause exposed flesh to be eaten away.
Development of gas mask meant after 1916 only 3% gassed soldiers died & 93% returned to duty
RECONNAISSANCE Aircraft= new weapon w/ very little offensive use or attacking weapons. Valuable
for reconnaissance/spying missions over enemy lines; occasional bombing of troops. Useful service as
spotters: told the artillery how accurate their fire was & changes needed
THE TANK Key tech development. Increasingly effective & important factors in turning wars tide.
Took sev years for tanks to achieve potential & to be accepted by wartime commanders. British War
st
Minister Lord Kitchener described it as a pretty mechanical toy. 1 tank, the British Mark I appeared
early 1916. Terrified Germs initially but for 2 years ineffective.

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Major purpose= break through enemy barbed wire, clear trenches, destroy machine-gun
posts. Infantry then follow through
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Max speed 6km/hour
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Protected by 10mm steel armour & could carry 4 machine-guns or two cannon
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Some had fascine (large bundle of wooden stakes) to drop to cross trench
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Crew of eight who faced problems e.g. breaking down, moving slowly, being stuck in mud
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Losses very high w/ 6 left after 5 days but initial breakthrough achieved
1916- used singly or at best in twos & threes. At Cambrai on 20 November 1917 a massed Allied tank
attack 400 Mark IV tanks

Life in the trenches: experiences of Allied & German soldiers



Soldiers: trad working class youth w/ little education. Changed as war progressed, classes &
backgrounds volunteered or were conscripted.
NCOs: non commissioned officers- sergeants/corporals
Junior officers: upper class, education inc training + leadership decisions. Better rations, accomm in
dug outs. Entitled to more frequent leave; highest death toll. As progressed men from all backgrounds
Senior officers: the more senior the more distant from the front line. Prestigious but safe jobs at
headquarters. Cont upper class gentlemen. Remoteness in terms of distance/social class- reason
seemed to be so little influenced by horrendous casualties their decisions created.
SOLDIERS EXPERIENCE Rotated in/out of front to keep men as fresh as possible. Soldiers spent
different amounts of time in each of different sections of trench system. Commonly:
o 15% time in front line trench
o 20% in support trench
o 30% in the reserve trench
o 20% in a rest area
o 15%: activities such as training, travel, leave & hospitalisation
Work mess or latrine duty, assist w/ loading/delivery of food & ammunition to front line. Transporting
food major problem, affected freshness & nutritional value. 8 days for bread loaf reach front
Reserve & support trench duty: waiting- performed many same duties as in front.
Frontline duty: daily routine
STAND TO- hour before dawn soldiers on firing shelf, weapon loaded, bayonet fixed
STAND DOWN after sunrise issue of black rum. Breakfast- tea, bacon, bread. Soldiers cleaned
weapons, trench repairs, letter writing.
STAND TO hour before sundown
STAND DOWN after sundown issue of rum. Night activities- repair barbed wire, patrolling no
mans land, raiding enemy trenches, bringing up supplies
Rest: troops out of front line given rest period. Showers, better food, opp for entertainment, news &
parcels from home. Often- manual labour- supplies unloaded, supply dumps moved
Leave: soldier given short leave to go home (Aus went to England)
Hospitalisation: dressing stations then hospital. A blighty= wound srs enough to have soldier sent
back to England. If recovered- sent back to front.
Feelings of boredom, comradeship, extreme discomfort, endurance & fear. Wait for action. Hard &
often dangerous physical labour. Hunger, thirst, disease, poor sanitary conditions. Mental strain of
staying alert for grenades, shells, gas attacks, sniper fire
FRONTLINE AGGRESSION W/out action still dangerous. Commanders insisted on soldiers maintain
aggressive attitude towards enemy. Weapons & tactics inc grenades e.g. 1916- orders to harass
Germans in every possible way. Patrols & raids on reg basis. 1/3 all casualties in normal daily routine.
CASUALTIES
7000 men killed/wounded on each side every day of war. Only 1/3 soldiers on WF fighting in
trenches, overall casualties 56%, 12% killed. Infantry accounted for majority.
Wounds septic in 6 hours. Gangrene fatal 44% cases
Disease rampant in crowded/unsanitary conditions. Trench fever contracted from lice that
infested uniforms. Poor nutrition, dampness, exposure. Infectious diseases diarrhoea,
dysentery, typhus & influenza. Most hospital admissions however from cold, damp.
Strain of constant fear, lack of sleep= increasing casualties from mental illness. Randomness
& unpredictability of destruction in technological world where no skill/bravery made any

apparent difference- unhealthy fatalism. During war B identified 80 000 suffering from shell
shock (psychological/ emotional condition caused by prolonged experience of artillery
st
barrages). Condition not readily indentified/accepted. 1 - treated as cowardice/malingering.
BATTLE Most didnt look forward to battle but accepted it. In part sense of duty encourage go over
the top: loyal to fellow soldiers: comradeship (desire not let pals down though cowardice v powerful)
Artillery shells were the weapon soldiers feared the most. Biggest cause of casualty & effect of an
exploding shell on human body was terrible. After Battle: Burial parties quickly organised. Corpses
could become cause of disease if not buried soon afterwards e.g. maggots. The Wounded: brought
back to the regimental aid post for emergency treatment. From here Advanced Dressing Station. At
Casualty Clearing Station was by ambulance. Here doctors carried out surgery. Infection of wound=
major reason for death from injury as dirt & fragments of uniform driven into the flesh by the bullet
or piece of shrapnel & often gangrene resulted (caused flesh to rot amputation)
DANGERS Trenches always potentially dangerous. Noise of shellfire= deafening & sniperfire= ongoing
threat. Soldiers attempt to cop a blighty so temp escape dangers/stress of front line. Shell shock
represented huge psychological impact of constant exposure to shellfire & fears associated w/ it.
Military commanders view as attempt by cowardly to escape military service. Shell-shocked soldiers
sometimes deserted orders & even suicided. Many unsympathetic punishments e.g. increased front
line duty, court martial, execution.
TRENCH RATIONS By 1916 impact of blockades meant Allied & Germ commanders struggled provide
soldiers w/ good diets in terms of both meat & calorie intake. B daily ration inc corned beef, days-old
bread & stale biscuits. By 1917 bread made from turnips & pea soup= staple. Hot food transported
from field kitchens arrived cold/at best lukewarm. Complain: officers dined well by comparison.
HEALTH & SANITATION ISSUES Humour helped to keep troops sane. Sausages known as barkers coz
of supposedly high dog-meat content in them. Cheese called bung coz of constipation it caused. Pair
st
of rats able to produce 800 additional rats/year attacks on bodies. 1 winter- B army deal w/ 20
000 cases of trench foot. Problem arose from: long periods of time spent w/ feet, socks & boots
underwater in unsanitary conditions. Feet swell inside the boot, cutting off circulation & rot. Feet go
numb, skin turn blue & once gangrene set in- amputation necessary. Suffered continual infestations
of body lice & spare time discuss & implement de-lousing strategies for getting rid of chats. 2/3
visits/month to communal washing facilities. Constant scratching to relieve terrible itching. Lice cause
intense pain & high temperatures associated w/ trench fever. Dysentery resulted from poor
sanitation of latrines (communal toilet pits). Fighting= no time to dig new ones use shell holes.
Inadequate water supplies meant drinking contaminated water. Dysentery- soldiers die as a result of
dehydration. Water at bottom of trench developed into putrid concoction of human & military
detritus (disintegrated material; debris). Stench, smell of cordite (explosive) & gas induced vomiting.
Height of battle- no choice but to urinate & excrete where stood. Diarrhoea & dysentery common
ailments. Decomposing bodies float on surface of water til safe time to deal w/ them. Attracted flies.
Combined effect of this effluent was to create ideal conditions for disease. Denis Winter points out-
common diseases measles, mumps, diphtheria no worse rate than civilian life. Far higher rates of
ailments- frostbite, meningitis, tuberculosis & venereal disease. Poor sanitation & limited medical
facilities- high rate of infection. Pre-antibiotics age- infection led to gangrene.
Mud incessant & all-pervasive nature. Affected whole existence- what they ate & drank, how they
breathed, what they wore, how they walked, their health. Northeastern F & Belgium frequent
rain, combined w/ clay of trenches & constant artillery bombardments- muddy quagmires.
Lice torment host. Bred voraciously & proved resistant to forms of control. Men never became used
to them. Constant biting- scratch continually which caused skin to break & sores to develop
(dangerous in unhygienic trenches). Boils, impetigo, ulcers developed.
Rats that infected WF Known as trench rats or corpse rats. Vermin the size of small dogs. Did not
limit interests to the dead e.g. sleeping soldier.
Gas gangrene soils of northern F contain manure w/ bacillus in it (bacterium that produces spores
(germ cells) in presence of oxygen). If contact wound caused condition gas gangrene.
The cold Winter known to fall to -15. Unbelievable hardship. Winter describes it as being a soldiers
greatest enemy. Impossible to escape. & combined w/ wet- unbearable. Frostbite infection,
gangrene & amputation. Cold= sleep almost impossible.
Shell shock Military authorities adamantly refused to recognise shell shock accusing those displaying
symptoms of malingering (pretending illness) & cowardice. Manifested in following ways:

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Some became violent & angry & had to be physically restrained
Some turned inwards & totally refused to communicate
Some gaze out blankly
Others shake, mumble, slobber
Generals WF commanders rarely ventured anywhere near front. Remained ignorant of true nature of
trench life. No mud, lice, cold, or pestilence. Safely ensconced in their French chateau- delights
vintage French wine & elegant French cuisine. Behaviour increased the distance between commander
& private & increased resentment felt by men at front.

OVERVIEW OF STRATEGIES & TACTICS TO BREAK THE


STALEMATE INCLUDING KEY BATTLES: Verdun, the Somme,
Passchendaele

ATTEMPTS TO BREAK THE STALEMATE








MAJOR OFFENSIVES W/ notable exceptions (e.g. Verdun) Germ remained on defensive til 1918
Offensive strategy forced upon Allies coz Germ occupying territory that B&F wanted to reclaim
Strategy req large frontal attacks w/ gen plans: artillery bombardment (destroy enemy
defences); infantry advance to deal w/ surviving enemy, take over trenches, breakthrough;
cavalry charge complete breakthrough & ride behind & between enemy lines cleaning out
& rolling up trench lines
1914-1917 failed to achieve sig breakthrough; Did capture enemy trenches but problem of
holding them. Small breakthrough place men in salient difficult to defend- attacked on 3
sides.
Generals responsible for assaults condemned for seemingly callous disregard of casualties
that resulted. Hindsight judgements usually harsh.
NEW WEAPONS Improvements in artillery- neither side gained sig advantage. Tank developed in large
no# only by B. Single tank carry same equip as 1000 men. 1916- unreliable, break down, get bogged.
July1918- technical improvement & better tactical use effective assault weapon replacing cavalry
forever. Distinct advantage
NEW TACTICS
B developed creeping barrage. Instead of waiting for artillery barrage to stop, infantry
advance just behind where own artillery shells landing. Timing & accuracy of artillery
effective
1918- Germ used specially trained storm troopers who advanced in small groups rather than
massed attacks. Quickly moved past frontline trenches causing confusion in rear. Helped to
break stalemate.
Late 1918 Allies combined creeping barrage w/ tanks & planes to support advancing infantry.
WEAK POINT STRATEGIES, NIBBLING TACTICS & MAJOR OFFENSIVES Gen convinced breakthrough
possible w/ increase in firepower, men & resources. Politicians didnt agree. Alternative Allied weak
pt strat aim stabilise fighting on WF while attacking weak pts in Central Powers in Turkey & AH. Major
offensives launched e.g. Gallipoli. By end 1915 fighting in such areas= stalemate.
1916- ATTRITION & MASS ATTACKS Allies returned to Westerner strategy. Other fronts coordinated
to support main attack. Objective= attrition.
VERDUN Falkenhayn launch major offensive 21 Feb, initially successful. Used small group infiltration
tactics to capture Fort Douaumont on 25 Feb & more attacks March-July. Soon realised quick victory
impossible tactics to bleed the F white. Fort Vaux fell on 7 June but F survived. Appointment Gen
Petain to reorganise defence= crucial. Ordered they shall not pass. Defence assumed the greatest
symbolic proportions.
THE SOMME Haig launch Brit assault to act in support of defence of Verdun. 7-day prelim
bombardment began 24 June57 000 casualties first day. Waves of walking men were faced by 100
machine guns..
THE NIVELLE OFFENSIVE Germ WF defence began Feb & March w/ 30km w/drawal to prepared
defensive position- impregnable Hindenburg Line. Nivelle Offensive launched 16 April. By 9 May
completely failed. F Army broken, May- wracked by mutinies. Nivelles replacement, Petain, restored

order. Role of F soldiers reduced from here. Commanders couldnt risk further offensive action for yr-
only guarantee soldiers hold line
PASSCHENDAELE Haig: opp achieve victory & sought to divert tension from disorganised F lines.
Ground ruined by heavy early artillery & rain- hard for progress. Some want call off advance, Haig
delayed it. Heavy October rain- ground impassable & mud= major fear. Haig pushed on. Offensive
called off w/ capture of Passchendaele village 6 Nov. Advanced 8 kilometres.
BATTLE OF CAMBRAI Haig ignore ^^ pressure from home to limit actions & attacked Cambrai 20 Nov.
st
Hoped further grind down Germ while relieving pressure from F. Planned by Tank Corps, 1 real sign
of B tactical innovation. As guns fired, troops attacked immediately, covered by shells of creeping
barrage. Massed tanks used. 476 rolled forward in front of infantry, 9km in one day.
WEAPONS & TACTICS
(ARTILLERY) 1915 PREPARATORY BOMBARDMENT Gunners fire in support of troops; fire upon enemy
front lines prior to attack. Germ learnt counter bombardments by sparsely manning front lines then
quickly moving reserves in time to turn back attackers. Shrapnel did little more than further tangle
wire stranding troops.
1916 CREEPING OR ROLLING BARRAGE Late 1915. Guns firing on pre-set barrage lines for set number
st
nd
of minutes in support of attack. 1 barrage coincide w/ enemy front line, 2 - support, third- reserve.
Infantry wave moved forwards 100-150m behind line of fire. Too much shrapnel & too few heavy
guns for tactic to work properly. Enemy wait in dugouts for barrage to pass. Prepare defence.
BOX BARRAGES 1918 Box-shaped curtain created around attacking troops e.g. raids.
DEFENCE IN DEPTH Germ manpower decreasing. System of defence temp yield ground to enemy in
order to lure into series of well-planned killing zones. Extremely successful vs. wave assaults. F Army
adopted this 1917. Brit more reluctant. Ultimately, Allies adoption of this allowed them to absorb
final Germ offensives & use their tanks & motor vehicles to turn war back into war of movement.
INFILTRATION TACTICS Germ develop form of small group fire & manoeuvre tactics. Infantry trained
as storm troopers armed w/ sub-machine-guns & grenades. Storm troops eliminate enemy by
bypassing strong-pts targeting artillery batteries, headquarters, supply depots. Once past front &
support trenches, normal infantry bomb & gun strong pts
VERDUN 1916: the attempt to bleed the F white
21 February- 18 December 1916. Longest battle of war engineered in response to goal of German
commander, General Erich Falkenhayn to bleed the F white.
GOALS & TACTICS Fortified F garrison at Verdun= source F national pride; little military value. Last
town defeated in Franco-Prussian war. Blow to F morale if fell in Germ hands. Falkenhayn determine
to exploit Verduns symbolic value by & force F to fight lengthy battle. Attrition destroy F ability to
continue fighting. Verduns location (on F salient)
rd
NATURE OF FIGHTING Attack began 21 Feb w/ massive Germ artillery bombardment. End 3 day, F
retreated to w/in 8km of Verdun. Petain assumed command of Verdun on 24 February. Reversed
policy of withdrawal & ordered reinforcements from WF. 78% of F infantry regiments served at
Verdun. Mincing machine of F army. Petain org work teams to maintain the Sacred Way between
Verdun & its supply depot. Trucks carrying men, munitions & supplies were crucial to ability to hold
th
Verdun. End of Feb- F halted Germ advance- lost Fort Douaumont 25 Feb. Germ troops advancing
quicker than artillery needed to protect them high casualties.
Verdun motto They shall not pass became inspirational catchcry in propaganda attempts to boost F
morale.
May 1916- Germ intro diphosgene gas. After 3-month siege, gained control of Fort Vaux on 7 June.
Verdun drain both F & Germ resources. F near breaking pt try diversion of Germ troops w/ Somme.
July onwards- Germ struggle as need to send 15 Germ divisions to counter Russian offensive on
Eastern Front & B-led offensive on the Somme. By mid-Dec had recaptured most land taken.
SIGNIFICANCE Ended 18 Dec w/ neither side having many military gains, both sustaining very high
cost in casualties. F- 378000 & Germ 337 000
THE SOMME 1916: the issue of leadership


July-Nov 1916, B-led attempt break through Germ defences, partly as attrition, partly quest for
victory.
GOALS & TACTICS Part of strategy Allies agreed to at conference at Chantilly (Dec 1915) of engaging
Central Powers in simultaneous battles on all fronts mid 1916. Demands on F at Verdun change this.
Haig & deputy Gen Rawlinson took over planning of battle. Aim force Germ to w/draw troops
from Verdun. Tactics= mixture of frontal assaults aimed at achieving a breakthrough & attrition.

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HSC STUDY BUDDY 1


1
Gen Haig debatable motives. Break through Germ lines decisively but w/in few weeks realised no
chance. In despatch 23 Dec 1916 Haig argue Somme= great success coz 3 original aims achieved:
-
to relieve pressure off F at Verdun
-
to prevent Germ from transferring troops to east to fight Russians
-
to wear down Germ forces in west
i.e. intention all along one of attrition. Now know Haig changed diary entries for later publication to
cover up failure. Orig aim breakthrough.
THE NATURE & CONSEQUENCES OF FIGHTING 24 June Allied troops began 5 day artillery
bombardment. Bad weather meant contd for 7days. 1 July, 13 Brit infantry divisions & 11 F went over
the top. Haig ordered soldiers advance at walking pace in wave formations along 40km front towards
supposedly destroyed Germ trenches. Artillery failed to destroy barbed wire protection. Poor quality
shellsareas unaffected & heavily fortified dug-outs protected Germs. Soldiers advanced into non-
stop barrage of Germ fire. Easy targets & attempts to pass through barbed wire= entanglement.
Battlefield communications poor & hours passed before leaders learned of scale of disaster.
Remembered as worst day in history of B-led forces. 20 000 Allied troops died, 40 000 wounded. Haig
sanction use of new tactics- August that of creeping barrage. Aim achieve breakthrough by utilising
dust clouds from artillery bombardment to provide greater protection for infantry advancing in
frontal assault. Weak as had to be precisely timed & coordinated & didnt allow for flexibility e.g.
need to advance 50metres/minute & if too fast- victims of own fire. Couldnt keep pace w/ artillery
giving Germs time to resume their positions
TANKS B intro tank 15 Dec maintained hope of progress. Tanks passed over barbed wire & w/stood
machine gun fire but too slow & unreliable to make sig difference. 2/3 of 49 tanks reached start pt &
of these 2/3 went into action where many became bogged. Late Nov onset of winter, Haig called a
halt at the Somme.
SIGNIFICANCE 1 mil Allied & Germ soldiers were dead w/ Allies gaining 12 km. Captain von Hentig
described the BotS as the muddy grave of the German field army. Military historian Gary Sheffield
argued that the battle cost the Germ army the war. Historiographical debate over Haigs leadership.
Critics: foolhardy commander- slow to utilise new ideas e.g. poor understanding of trench warfare &
little respect for lives of men who effectively used as cannon fodder. Others praise his success in
building up strength of B forces & willingness to employ new methods of fighting that eventually
helped Allies win the war. Once B failed achieve initial breakthrough Haig justified continuation of
battle in terms of attrition. Very costly for Germ: 600 000 casualties inc best junior officials.
Ludendorff who replaced Falkenhayn later claim Germ never able replace quality infantry lost
here. Germ commander paid tribute to B troops here calling them lions led by donkeys.
PASSCHENDAELE 1917: the war of mud
Haig aimed to shorten Allied lines in Ypres salient & knock out Germ sub bases in Belgium. Since
Nivelle Offensive, F wracked by mutiny- imperative Germ got no hint of this. Important- act before
threatened Russian withdrawal from war freed up mil Germ troops.
GOALS & TACTICS 1917 Allies attempt breakthrough Germ lines in Belgium & gain control of Germ
railway junction at Roules. Successful plan capture Germ naval bases at Ostende &Zeebrugge
(Followed concern about threat to Allied shipping from Germ U-boats). Engaging Germ= draw
pressure off F army. Haig believed scheme= opp to defeat Germ; Germ army suffering low morale/on
verge of collapse
NATURE & CONSEQUENCES To gain objective- Allies need control of village of Passchendaele near
Ypres. Germ artillery gunners held high ground above the Ypres salient on the Messines Ridge. Prelim
attack began 7 June w/ mass & carefully targeted artillery bombardment Allies gain foothold on
Germ-controlled Messines Ridge. Artillery shelling of Germ defences prior to 31 July attack. Land
around Passchendaele= reclaimed swamp. After heavy bombardments waist-high liquid mud.
August rain worsened & deep shell craters filled w/ water joining to form lakes of slimy water. Aerial
reconnaissance impossible. Tanks not work.
14 week period- Allies 10 attempts breakthrough to Passchendaele. Late August= little gain/huge
casualties. Crossing no mans land= walking w/ full kit on duckboards. Troops drowned. September
1917- Gen Plumer implements bite & hold tactic (Proceeding through small gains & moving from shell
hole- shell hole to gain territory). Mid October- casualties 100 000 & Allies exhausted. Germ upper
th
hand w/ troop reinforcements from EF & use of mustard gas. Fight til 6 Nov (Canadians took
Passchendaele).

11

SIGNIFICANCE Last major WWI campaign of attrition tactics. Symbolised futility of WF fighting. Allies-
300 000 casualties & Germ 260 000. Belgian ports not captured. Allies taken territory & technically
claim victory but Germ afford to concede land & gains no opp for further advance.
Passchendaele synonymous for pointless slaughter but maybe essential to ensure Allied war
effort didnt collapse. Haig criticised for prolonging attacks after heavy casualty rate & intolerable
conditions became obvious. Inflexible, poor tactician unable or refused to modify plans as
eventualities changed. Damage Germ war effort e.g. sustain pressure on eco. Gen von Kuhl wore
down the Germ strength to a degree at which the damage could no longer be repaired.
By 1915- war of attrition but still attempts to break stalemate in various forms:
-
WF Allied & Germ gens visions of dramatic breakthrough. Feb 1916- Nov 1918 bloody
campaigns
-
Attempts to break stalemate by launching attacks in other theatres of war, hope of
weakening enemys overall ability e.g. Germ unrestricted submarine campaign aimed to
starve B into submission. B same aim w/ blockade of Germ
-
Promotion of peace negotiations
NON-WESTERN FRONT ATTEMPTS TO END THE STALEMATE Most Allied leaders believe war won on
WF but didnt stop from attempts weaken Central Powers. Planned attack CPs soft underbelly i.e.
Germ allies in south-eastern Europe inc. attack on Gallipoli peninsula & the Dardanelles. Total failure,
evacuated Dec 1915
NAVAL WARFARE Few naval battles during war. From outset, B imposed tight naval blockade on
Germ. Prevent importation of essential food & supplies of RMs. Sig strains appear on HF by late 1916-
eventually major factor in Germs demise. Germ naval unrestricted submarine warfare aim deny B
essential food & RM imports by sinking merchant ships travelling to B. 1915- Germ subs sank 259 Brit
merchant ships. 1916- 436. 1917- B HF facing serious shortages. Impact of policy, reinstated Feb 1917
following American protests= bring US into war
WARTIME DIPLOMACY By end of war Central Powers technically at war w/ more than 30 countries.
Nations persuaded to enter war in hope of making gains in post-war settlement. Allies hoped
involving more nations vs. Germ & allies further weaken their war effort. Italy sign 1915 Treaty of
London. Hope gain territory from Austria after war fought long, bloody campaign along Austro-
Italian front. Other countries technically at war w/ Germ but only impact on Germ capacity to fight
was to capture Germ colonies in Africa & Pacific
ATTEMPTS TO ACHIEVE PEACE Efforts made to bring Allied & Germ leaders to conference table all
failed. Pope Benedict XV issued formal Papal Peace Notice 1917 presenting plan for peace e.g. called
for reduction of arms, freedom of seas. Wilson rejected: only when Germ gov overthrown could
peace come. 1915 International Womens Peace Party created & ignored. Wilson Jan 1918 announced
Fourteen Points as possible basis for peace once war ended

CHANGING ATTITUDES OF ALLIED AND GERMAN SOLDIERS TO


THE WAR OVER TIME
AUGUST 1914 ENTHUSIASM AT WARS OUTBREAK Most march willingly towards war. Believed their
nations to be superior to their enemies; might & right on their sides. Motivation from peer
pressure, sense of adventure, employment opportunities, desire to escape family problems. January
1916- gov intro conscription: Most single, fit men 18-41 had to serve in armed services; Extended
in March to married men; In December 1915 55 000 volunteers as opposed to 436 000 in
September 1914. Tiny minority opposed war coz of their beliefs. Conscientious objectors= men
who wouldnt fight on the grounds of conscience e.g. object coz of religious views: pacifist
Christians (e.g. Quakers) oppose violence in all circumstances or socialists refused to kill fellow
workers. Some partook in services that did not involve combat. Small minority refused to do
anything that would help the war- called absolutists & were sent to do hard labour in prison
1914 CHRISTMAS TRUCE War modified nationalistic, pro-war attitudes creating shared sense of
empathy among soldiers. Longed to experience comforts, goodwill & camaraderie associated w/
Christmas. Agreed cease-fires took place along 2/3s of the front between the B & Germs. 25th
Dec- Germ sing carols Silent Night encouraging Allied response. Met in no mans land-
exchanged gifts of cigarettes & showed family photos. Not official- not approved by the High
Commands of either side. Fewer examples of such truces between French & Germ. Though
further Christmas truces- never as many as in 1914 because High Commands tried to stop them:

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3
Generals realised made harder to kill enemy. British High Command withdrew regiments
involved in 1914 truce from front line. Bs Sir John French was not pleased by news of Christmas
truce B commanders maintain discipline by ordering regular artillery bombardments & trench
raids. Commanders recog danger of fraternisation- difficult to get them to keep fighting & had it
banned. Orders were issued to ensure sniping, trench raids, bomb throwing continuous.
Aggressive attitude along frontline prevented later fraternisation. Still, as war dragged on soldiers
respect each other for shared experiences. Feeling of live &let live pervade some sections of WF yet
many Frenchmen felt bitter towards the Germans (la revenche)
1915 DISILLUSIONMENT war no longer assoc w/ idea of glory, national greatness. Focused on
coping w/ harsh realities of trench warfare: make fun of hardships rather than focusing on grim reality
1915 LIONS LED BY DONKEYS Post-war English speakers refer to soldier-commander relationship as
lions led by donkeys. Officers privileged, incompetent & uncaring of how many lives lost. 1916
battles change soldiers attitudes. Question leadershipquestioning why there & who was the enemy
1917 MUD & MUTINY Nivelle Offensive had devastating & lasting impact on F morale. Troops
mutinied, refusing cont suicidal frontal attacks. Military failure hostility towards autocratic &
inflexible discipline. French responded by sacking Nivelle. Improved food supplies & provided longer
leave entitlements. French no longer rely on infantry- temporarily abandon offensives.
1918 VICTORY & DEFEAT War weariness result from longevity of war, its apparent futility, increased
difficulties maintaining soldiers supples as HF at/near collapse. Rising mutinous behaviour/desertion.
1918- Germ HF no longer able/willing support war effort. Soldier morale weak: Q why no peace. On
leave: join anti-war protests. Late 1918- clear Germ facing defeat, nation on brink of revolution
A LAND FIT FOR HEROES Home- difficult to adjust to everyday life, felt efforts not sufficiently recog
or rewarded. Shared wartime experience creates sense of camaraderie among soldiers but isolated
them from societies. Gov failed create what B termed a land fit for heroes. Defeated nations
burdened w/ eco demands of peace treaties, reconstruction. Soldiers betrayed as lacking reparations.
Struggle to address working-class ex-soldiers expectations that gov provide improved quality of life &
opportunities. NO DESIRE TO REVISIT MILITARY!!!
BRITAIN
EARLY ENTHUSIASTIC REPONSES Overwhelmingly supportive. No trad of conscription or maintenance
of standing army. In euphoric atmosphere of Aug 1914 didnt matter. Recruiting stations bombarded
w/ young men. Desire to volunteer transcended class lines e.g. privileged Oxford student dropped
studies as eagerly as young boilermaker dropped apprenticeship. Sign on for King & country.
Teenagers added years to ages. World in 1914 differed from today. Sincere, deep-seated acceptance
of notions of patriotism, nationalism, respect for king, honour; Young men accepted urging of fathers.
st
Some= opp for 1 reg-paying job in yrs as pre-1914 rising unemployment. Women in gen supported
war effort. Radical suffragette movement of Emmeline Pankhurst suspended its campaign for the
vote to work for war effort. Gov keenly used women in recruitment propaganda. Appeal of
volunteering desire to impress the fair sex. 1914- high physical standards for recruits. Acceptance
meant a young man being ack as one of nations elite. Explanation for popular reaction largely
ignorance; few had any realisation of nature of modern warfare. Only military activity- glorious
colonial conflicts in India, SA. Described rapturously in a Boys Own Annual style romantic appeal.
Genuine fear war over by Christmas; concern miss opportunity. Idealistic not realist. Prop
masterful job in convincing population of justice of cause i.e. good vs. evil. Evil Germ brutally pushed
giant military machine into innocent, peace-loving, neutral Belgium. Barbaric invading force mete out
unbelievable atrocities upon gentle people. B- duty-bound to come to assistance coz of legal
obligation which Germ dismissed as scrap of paper. Atrocity stories in press create feeling of
outrage vs. Germ
GROWING OPPOSITION Futility of war, senseless & massive slaughter lessen troop morale. Real TP
st
Battle of the Somme w/ carnage inc 20 000 dead 1 day. Enormous loss of life; lists of wounded,
physical & psychological not kept from HFs. Soldiers who died= volunteer members of Kitcheners
New Army who had responded to recruitment campaigns after 1914 decimation of orig BEF. Civilian
volunteers regarded as innocents; death not seen as occupational hazard. Recruitment figures
dropped srsly low, by end 1916 gov forced to intro conscription. Lack of compassion shown by
generals from distant chateaux didnt help. Likes of Haig never visited men at front. Appearance of
disillusionment & war-weariness. Hatred of Germs so prevalent 1914-15 lessening. Siegfried Sassoon
I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence & liberation has now become a war

13

of aggression & conquest... I have seen & endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be
a party to prolonging those sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil & unjust.
War-weariness in B army never reached levels of other armies e.g. late 1916- Russian army exp mass
desertion, mutiny. B mutiny at Etaples nothing more than brawl following shooting of corporal. End of
war greet by men w/ relief & resignation. Slow pace of demobilisation inflamed many.
GERMANY
EARLY ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSES Massive & widespread enthusiasm for expected short & exciting
adventure. Gov did best to convince Germ people of justice of cause. Germ had conscription,
voluntary recruitment not issue. Little to suggest authorities wouldve experienced more difficulty
recruiting men than B: same motivations: patriotism, honour, duty, peer pressure, girls, income. Germ
prop had more difficult job to do convincing its people of righteousness of its cause:
-
Germ being encircled, entrapped by Entente powers. War not aggressive- defence measure
-
Belgian obstinacy events in Belgium. Belgian priests shot Germ soldiers as knelt to pray
-
Many germ people as convinced of evil of British atrocities as Brit became of Germ
GROWING OPPOSITION Food shortages havoc in Germ ports. March 1917- major strikes in Kiel,
soon followed by strikes at the Imperial & Torpedo shipyards. Wilhelmshaven: in Aug 500 sailors
disobeyed orders, deserted vessels. Other massive mutinies in Nov 1918 toppled imperial regime.
Germ soldiers feelings of disillusionment & war-weariness. Lost hundreds. Question purpose of
carnage. Germ soldier more embittered that B counterpart. Went into battle w/ knowledge that HF
collapsing. 1917- parts facing starvation.
REVOLUTION 3 Nov sailors at Kiel mutinied. Workers & soldiers councils appeared. 9 Nov the Kaiser
forced to abdicate. Fled to Netherlands. Republic declared; 10 Nov Council of Peoples Commissioners
estab. Council revolutionary socialist gov. 11 Nov germ signed Armistice ending war.

CHANGING ATTITUDES TO THE WAR OVER TIME
- Nation under jurisdiction of DORA (Defence of the Realm Act)
- Upon wars declaration, street celebration throughout Great Britain and Europe as a whole
- Believed war would be over by Christmas & young men rushed to answer the call to arms
- Didnt join risk being targeted as cowards, handed white feathers, refused service
- Enthusiasm didnt last: After Battle of the Marne- obvious no quick victory, trench warfare
took its hold War weariness set in
- Gov couldnt hide fact that many had been killed; return of wounded soldiers to London rail
stations late at night didnt detract from the knowledge that casualties were horrendous
- War led to inflation, poorer families couldnt afford increased food prices
- Germ U-boat campaign- food shortages; hit home when gov intro rationing Feb 1918
- Nearly everything was directed to war effort- fuel short supply

The Home Fronts in Britain and Germany


TOTAL WAR & ITS SOCIAL & ECONOMIC IMPACT ON CIVILIANS IN
BAIN & GERMANY
War= product of industrial age. Mobilise eco, social & polit systems for waging of total war effort.
Harnessed power of patriotism & citizenship. Personal sacrifices-War loans. Military superiority from
production of increasingly sophisticated explosives, firearms & artillery combined w/ innovative
developments in communications (electric telegraph, telephones, radio). Pre-war military planning
hadnt pictured attrition.
TOTAL WAR: Complete dedication of nations resources & people to war effort, involving:
-
Gov control over means of production, communications & marketing of nations resources
-
Gov direction of nations labour resources
-
Gov taking on functions previously wouldnt consider
-
Mobilisation of previously unused resources, e.g. female labour
-
Gov control of allocation of scarce resources
Led gov into non-economic areas of control of the population, conscription, propaganda, censorship,
security

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5
BRITAIN HOME FRONT Changed previous notions of HF not being affected by nations involvement in
foreign war. National security seemed important. Soldiers at home. B gov- laws & regulations to
provide authorities w/ power to restrict peoples lives & transform peacetime communities into
military support units. At outbreak gov business as usual policy. Liberal principles of laissez-faire
(minimal gov interference) gave way to state intervention & protection. B organised for total war
slower than germ. Reasons:
Germ= authoritarian form of gov w/ appearance of democracy but not practice. Conscription
an accepted part of life thus easy to widen gov controls. Germ gov faced little opposition. B
was a parliamentary democracy w/ a free press & strong union movement. Gov controls
quickly put in place but did not assume organisation for total war in 1914.
In B believed war over quickly. Official response to war was business as usual.
Misunderstanding in B about nature of war. Believed rapid war of movement. Not require
enormous levels of artillery & munitions.
DORA 1914 Defence of the Realm Act expressed change of home front & total war for B. Entitled
gov to regulate any aspect of life of any person seen to impact on course of war. Suspended civil
rights & put B under virtual martial law. DORAs scope gradually increased to encompass control over
wide range of activities.
Imprison w/out trial
Cut social activities (sport/entertainment)
Intro daylight savings
Cut levels of alcohol consumption
Shortcomings in economy emerged. Inadequately prepared for mass production. Reliant on raw
materials obtained from empire dependent on sea lanes (shipping routes). Gov power to buy
goods at rock-bottom prices & to requisition all forms of transport. War production suffering coz of
alcohol= belief. 1915- pub opening hours limited, beer prices increased & alcohol content of beer &
spirits reduced. 1916- gov intro daylight saving in hope of increasing number of daylight working
hours.
SHELL SHORTAGES Gov policy of business as usual challenged 1915 w/ shortage of shells scandal.
Times & Daily Mail newspapers publish B Commander in Chiefs view that shortage of munitions led
to failure of B offensive at Neuve Chapelle. B Munitions factories only produced 2mil rounds of shells.
By wars end 187mil sent to F. Kitchener discredited & blamed for inefficiency in production of B
munitions. No support of War Cabinet. Resolved May 1915: under leadership of Asquith new gov
created Ministry of Munitions w/ Lloyd George as head. Brought end to laissez-faire. 1915 Munitions
Act ack business as usual couldnt cont. Scandal began extension of gov control into new areas e.g.
conscription 1916, price control 1917, Rationing 1918
TRADE UNIONS Trade unionists renounced strikes & active campaigns in support of war effort.
Endorsed gov commitment fight til victory. Initial widespread commitment by industrial relations
strained. 1914-18 trade union membership doubled to 8mil. 1915- 3mil working days lost to strikes.
Demands of war eco= longer hours w/out extra pay & gen deterioration in workers rights&
conditions. Inflation (rise in prices & cost of living). Unrest heightened by accusations of war
profiteering. LG try bring bosses & trade union leaders together. To maximise production need to
prevent strikes & limit strict rules unions placed on working practices. Sought to break down complex
tasks into simpler ones (dilution) so less-skilled workers e.g. women could work. Unions not like
dilution as believed lead to long-term fall in wages so LG promised only last for duration of war.
Unions not have all their own way. Men could be fined & even imprisoned for lateness, absenteeism,
striking. Working hours increased, leisure activities outside of work were curtailed & restrictions on
where people could work. Success of recruitment drive In 1914 (over 1 mil by end of year)= shortage
in skilled labour in industry & agriculture. Gov held meeting w/ unions. Munitions of War Act 1915:
-
Strikes banned in industries vital to munitions production
-
Labour disputes settled by voluntary arbitration
-
Ministry of Munitions control wages/working conditions on factories involved in vital war
production
-
Munition workers bound to place of employment by leaving certificate requirement- only
change jobs if permission from employers
RATIONING Germ use unrestricted U-boat warfare to isolate B eco by halting her supply of essential
goods. End 1916 destroying 300 000 tonnes imports/mth. Merchant ships targeted. 1917 used

15

destroyers (small fast warships) to herd merchant ships into convoys, protection vs. U-boats. Poor
harvests 1916. People converted any area that could grow food into veg gardens & kept chickens.
Wars end: extra 3mil acres farming land.
1918- Gov use DORA to intro rationing tighter control of distribution of basic goods. Meat, sugar,
butter initially. Gov issued ration cards req citizens to register w/ butcher/grocer. Wasting of food=
act punishable by fines. DORA prevented people from giving bread to horses/ chickens.
GERMAN HOME FRONT Appeared most prepared for war: massive manufacturing sector, reserves of
iron & coal. Self-sufficient in food production but imported huge quantities of vital RMs to feed
industries. Power of germ economy relied on trade w/ European community.
WAR ECONOMY 1914- Germ polit groups broadly supportive of war effort, Germ industrialist, Walter
Rathenau appointed economic director. Under him, Department of RMs (KRA) model of cooperation
betw Germ industry & gov. Run by businessmen who monitored& controlled use & allocation of RMs.
Key RMs declared emergency materialsplaced under KRA control. Shortages ersatz goods. Sub
potatoes, turnips, rye for bread making- 1918 sawdust & chalk. Aluminium extracted from clays &
replaced copper in electrical fittings & munitions. 1918- G producing synthetic rubber. Extract
Nitrogen from atmosphere to produce nitrates essential for explosives production. Imported 50%&
RMs & 33% food needs. Blockade took 80% export market. 1916 Hindenburg est Supreme War Office
& forced the Patriotic Auxiliary Service Law- gov able to call up men 17-60 for labour. 1916 WUMBA
took control of countrys iron, coal, steel.
FINANCING WAR 1915: costing Germ 3bil Reichsmarks/month. Gov receiving 16% from taxation.
Minister of Finance Helferrich ordered Reichsbank print more notes & became patriotic duty to
subscribe to war bonds. Combination of unfettered use of printing presses & massive borrowing
rapidly increased inflationdebt. B issued war savings certifications & sold war bonds. Gov increased
taxation greatly. Income tax rose 150% in 3 successive budgets. Many indirect taxes introduced
CIVILIANS & SUPPLIES B succeeded in cutting off vital supplies & RMs from Germ army & devastating
HF eco. 1915: working & living conditions deteriorate rapidly. 1916- basic goods v short supply, food
prices doubled, cost of living rose. Undermined patriotism & unity of Germ. Organisations
representing farmers & merchants purchased entire supply of essential goods & determined how
food sold to public. Mass famine & starvation. Alarming no# diseases related to malnutrition. 1917-
rations for civilians provide daily calorie requirements. Resorted to black market to obtain supplies
to stay alive. Law& order began break down. Turnips became staple diet w/ failure of potato crop.
Turnip winterdeclining morale & health of civilian workforce drop production levels. Coal
distribution failed w/out heating/cooking facilities. Gov respond imposing more rules & formal
controls. 1916 War Food Office 258 new laws. 1916- public outrage & deprivation= civil unrest.
Final failure of 1918 Ludendorff Offensive paralysed. Germ Men & materials ran out, starvation
death. Sep 1918 loss of morale on HF complete & Germ war effort defeated. Calls for political
revolution. Nov 1918- Bavaria declared independence from Germ. Kaiser abdicated, elections to form
new Germ Republic.
TOTAL WAR ORGANISATION Historians dont agree on effectiveness. Some impressed w/ Germ ecos
ability to keep war going so long w/ blockade & enemy strength. Others: Helferrich irresponsibly
raised funds growth of Germ indebtness & onset inflation. Criticisms hardly justified. All gov (except
American) relied on deficit financing & ended war in debt.
BRITAIN
Centralisation of eco through Ministry of
Munitions & other bodies
Increased regulation of daily life
Food shortages & rationings but no starvation
Industrial unrest & strikes but no revolution
Political leadership was effective

GERMANY
Effective centralisation of eco through KRA & later
Supreme War Office
High regulation of daily life: all adult men under
National Service Law
Severe food shortagesreal hardship, some
starvation
Industrial unrest developing from 1916; revolution
1918
Effective power passed to the military; poor
management of HF

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RECRUITMENT, CONSCRIPTION, CENSORSHIP AND PROPAGANDA


IN BRITAIN AND GERMANY
RECRUITMENT Germ large, fully professional army. B relied on volunteer army. Recruitment no#s
didnt keep pace w/ increasing rate of casualties & increasing reluctance to join conscription.
Known as Kitcheners Army (minister of war). B&G desperate for recruits late war. Germ began
conscripting teenage boys/elderly men.
CENSORSHIP & PROPAGANDA Control & manipulation of info became preoccupation of gov. Limit
amount bad info available to civilian population as to maintain morale. Allows gov to control & shape
peoples attitudes. Argument: maintain public morale or a means of protecting image & reputation of
the army leaders. Also issue of security- believed in infiltration by spies. Vilification of enemy more
willing kill at front & at home- more willing to tolerate hardship. Atrocity stories concocted increase
hatred. B used to encourage people to buy war bonds. Prop involves use of ideas to persuade people
to believe certain things/behave certain way.
The Bryce Commission Stories of atrocities committed by Germ against gallant little Belgium led
many to enlist. Report by Lord Bryce (May 1915) told of the rape of 20 Belgian girls & of how 8
soldiers bayoneted a 2yr old. Bryce committee didnt interview a single witness- reports supposedly
based on 1200 statements from Belgian refugees in Britain- no trace.
Soap Factory Myth Successful piece of B prop. April 1917 The Times ran story about Germ melting
down human corpses to extract glycerine for soap.
RECRUITMENT & CONSCRIPTION IN BRITAIN
EARLY RECRUITMENT EFFORTS Aug 1914 Brit professional army 20 div; French 74; Germ 94. Assumed
voluntary signing up ensure an enlistment rate of 100 000/month. Enthusiastic. Competition to enter
as army set high physical standards= elite. As losses mounted enlistment declined. Physical standards
gradually removed. July 1915- height req 168- 157 & age bracket widened from 19-30 to 19-40.
Recruitment campaigns more radical. Lord Kitchener- urgent appeal for more men realising increasing
recruitment= imperative. Recruitment campaign of public meetings, bands playing military music,
posters. Public institutions of all sort mobilised to aid recruitment. Churches delivered weekly
sermons encouraging men to enlist & do duty. Womens suffrage movement involved. Present white
feathers (sign of cowardice) to men of enlistment age not in uniform. August madness= 30 000 men
enlisting every day. Organised in units known as New Army or Kitcheners Men. Heavy casualties=
hard to find replacements. Reluctant to intro conscription/ instead Derby Scheme. Called upon me
18-41 to attest their willingness to serve when required. Failed; closed Dec
CONSCRIPTION Desperate need for numbers led to First Military Service Bill Jan 1916. Called all single
men & childless widowers 18-40. Men in essential services, clergymen, medically unfit, conchies
exempt. May 1916 Second Military Service Act- all men liable for service regardless of marital status.
CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS 16000 registered conchies during war. Stated for reasons (relig belief,
moral revulsion at killing) not submit to being conscripted. Seen as slackers, traitors, cowards. Severe
treatment esp in prison. Some: non-combatant roles inc stretcher bearers. Refuse any connection w/
army= absolutists.
CENSORSHIP & PROPAGANDA IN BRITAIN Aims= convince audience of a p.o.v. not balanced, fair,
rational.
PURPOSE OF BRITISH PROPAGANDA Promote patriotic war support, encourage enlistment. Emphasise
Germ responsibility for war e.g. poor Belgium, alleged Germ atrocities. B= defending civilisation from
barbarism.
METHODS OF PROPAGANDA Simple & appeal to low intellectual level. Not logical/ informed.
Uses stereotypes- Germ savages who rape women, murder priests.
Selective in use of material (censorship).
Frequently lies. Victories concocted; atrocities invented
Repetitive. More repeated= more likely to be believed.
Makes strong assertions.
ORGANISATION OF PROPAGANDA Official gov branch at wars start- Secret War Propaganda Bureau.
Later- Department of Information then LGs Ministry of Information.
NEWSPAPERS All areas of newspaper built up prop msg. Cartoons present war in heroic/adventurous
manner. Germ inhuman brutes & stupid. Photographs rigged, set up, posed for. War stories in Boys
Own Annual adventure style. Make light of wars dangers & maintain HF support. Billboard posters-

17

potent form of prop. Simple message play on emotions. Documentary films show Brit troops training,
at camp, being shipped to France. Image always of enthusiasm, efficient leadership, excellent
organisation.
CHURCH & PROPAGANDA Est churches e.g. Church of England support war. Selfless sacrificeway to
salvation. Germ depicted as un-Christian. God on our side. B prop more effective than Germs in
neutral countries Germ subject to moral blockade.
...IN GERMANY Conscription= accepted part of Germ life. Martial law declared 31 July 1914. Reason
for mass pro-war response= tight hold kept on press pre 1914. No understanding of reality of war.
ANTI-BRITISH PROPAGANDA Didnt have to promote recruitment. Prop severely anti-British tone.
Encouraged to drive English things from lives- no English, names change. Ernst Lissaur poem Hymn or
Hate. Earned him Iron Cross. we love as one, we hate as one/ w have one foe and one alone-/
England
DEFENSIVE GERM PROPAGANDA Germ had invaded neutral Belgium & also F. B prop made much of
this aggression & easy job convincing people of justice of defeating invaders of poor, innocent
Belgium. Germ prop worked to justify Gov actions. Argued invasion as part of SP= defensive response
to aggression from Entente. Encirclement sought destruction of Germ power. Germ soldiers=
heroes defending Fatherland from invasion.
CENSORSHIP Prop not as effective as Bs. However 1918- genuine shock when discovered Germs
losses. Tightly controlled info. Not even info about peace move, low troop morale, casualties,
desertions.
ORGANISATION OF PROPAGANDA & THE PRESS Germ authorities fail at proper organisation. B
understood importance of prop & had regulatory bodies. Germ didnt. Military instead own service-
German War News. Germ newspapers indulged in atrocity story. Belgian priests accused from firing
behind their altars when Germ enter Churches. Belgian civilians mutilate bodies of wounded troops
EFFECTIVENESS OF GERMAN PROPAGANDA B able to connect to ordinary citizens. Germ tended to
use elitist figures e.g. intellectuals, military authorities to transmit its messages. Use of tone= no
connection. Not as effective in influencing international opinion. Defence of Germ culture mixed w/
racial prejudice.
.

THE VARIETY OF ATTITUDES TO THE WAR AND HOW THEY


CHANGED OVER TIME
BRITAIN










EARLY RESPONSE Welcomed war, gov little difficulty encouraging enlistment. Only early opposition
from socialists & a few determined pacifists. HF support strong in 1915 as gov placing few extra
demands on domestic population
APPEARANCE OF OPPOSITION Slaughters of 1916 & 17real doubts & opposition. Begin express
frustrations
Troops sickened by continual carnage & wars apparent futility; generals lack compassion
worsen
HF: growing war-weariness as casualty lists in newspapers lengthened, shortages increased,
great demands on workforce
Zeppelin raids & attacks bringing war home to ordinary citizens
Germs unrestricted submarine warfare campaign led to severe shortages & result in intro of
rationing
Opposition of war never achieved same levels as other nations. E.g. In Russia the Tsars gov lost all
support early 1917 & collapsed in face of March Revolution. Regime of the Kaiser disintegrated:
revolution & mutiny.
GROWTH OF OPPOSITION Early opposition from groups e.g. the Workers Socialist Foundation.
Socialists groups argue B workers had no business killing Germ workers. Working class should unite
vs. capitalist threat. The No Conscription Fellowship sought to assist those who refused to serve in the
army. Attacked by police & male leaders imprisoned. Opp from those who opposed massive amount
of money being spent on futile war. Evidence of lack of growing opposition seen in v small no#
conchies (received little sympathy). LG allowed conchies to be dealt w/ mildly, although harsh
treatment for absolutists. 80% conchies allowed some exemption from forces- others non-combatant
roles. 71 die in prison from mistreatment & torture. Labour groups opposed war on fundamental

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9
socialist principles. Series international actions seeking to achieve peace e.g. meeting of women in
Netherlands 1915 led to creation of International Womens Peace Party. 1917- Pope Benedict XV
issued Papal Peace Not aimed to force powers to negotiating table (fail as American President
Wilsons reject, Germ & B vaguely respond). May 1915- sinking of British liner Lusitania prompted
anti-Germ riots in London. Germs living in B became enemy aliens deported, interned or
restricted from movement. BotS a TP for attitudes. Public mood also affected by shortages of
essential items, war profiteering, long working hours, bombing raids & B losses at sea.
LLOYD GEORGES HANDLING OF DISSENT Strikes symptom of growing opp. 1917 688. LG realise strike
movement not opp to war, rather protest vs pressures war had engendered e.g. changing work
practices, dilution & inflation. Intro measures to help workers & satisfy womens aspirations. Wages
increased & women promised the vote.
WHY SO LITTLE ANTI-WAR DISSENT?
Eco strain far less than others. Largely result navys ability to maintain adequate supply of
food to HF
Under LG leadership, gov paid greater attention to needs of workers on HF more
cooperation from organised labour
B prop v effective in maintaining genuine support for the justice of the Allied cause
Winter suggests lack of massive HF dissent result of B having highly disciplined industrial
labour force Resulted partly from class-based nature of society. Lower classes knew place &
accepted instructions
GERMANY
EARLY RESPONSE Eagerness; genuine patriotic support of gov; feeling of euphoria at prospect of war.
Belief over by Christmas. 1914 opp limited & mute as most support war & gov authoritarian in nature.
Middle-class German Peace Society opposed war but quickly disappeared. Most socialists join
patriotic rush to support gov
GROWTH OF OPPOSITION Feeling of war-weariness quicker to develop & far stronger. Result of
longevity of war; casualties; apparent futility. Shortages & decreasing quality in available goods.
Inflation rampant standard of living much lower. Upper-class access to black market- easier.
Working class mortality rates rose. Deteriorated working conditions but little attention to workers
welfare. Growing discontent reflected in press despite censorship. Large scale opp not til 1918. Loss
of commitment to war effort in 1916/7. In Germ, evident in strike action by workers, peace
demonstration attended by 30 000 in Frankfurt, food riots in over 30 cities, increasing protests & Q. of
Germ war aims, emergence of srs political unrest.
STRIKE MOVEMENT Far more & larger strikes than B. Worsened during turnip winter 1916. Jan 1918-
1 mil on strike. Responded w/ martial law & give ringleaders front line duties.
REVOLUTION Since 1916 effectively been military dictatorship under control of Ludendorff &
Hindenburg. Sep 1918- clear to militarists war lost. Stigma of defeat & predictably harsh peace
settlement Ludendorff hoped would be the govs responsibility, not militarys. By end of Oct asked for
armistice, Ludendorff dismissed. On 3 Nov sailors at Kiel mutinied & workers & soldiers councils
spread. 9 Nov- Kaiser abdicated. W/in 2 days republic declared & imperial regime gone. 11 Nov- Germ
signed armistice.



THE IMPACT OF THE WAR ON WOMENS LIVES AND EXPERIENCES IN BRITAIN
1918 750 000 in war production. Munitionettes worked w/ TNT nicknamed canaries(chemical
discolouring of skin). Entered other areas to do their bit. 30 000 women demonstrated in London
1915 demanding right to serve. Branches of armed services allow women take on non-combatant
roles of men. 1 of largest womens organisations: Voluntary Aid Detachment: nurses, cooks, maids,
clerks, drivers.
PRE-1914 Upper-class women didnt work, few after war. Working-class work to survive. Domestic
service as maids, teachers, nurses, typists & sales assistants in up-market department stores. In some
cases, teaching, marriage meant not working. As many as 11% worked. War- greater variety of jobs,
most lost post-war.
CHANGES AFTER WAR Most long-lasting change for middle-class women. Post-war better prospects
for careers in higher professions- lawyers, accountants, doctors. 1911 women 6% of those in higher

19

st

professions: 1951 only 8%. 1919- Oxford Uni allowed women to study degrees for 1 time. Sex
Disqualification (Removal) Act end ban on married women working as doctors, solicitors & civil
servants. Lady Astor first to take seat in parliament in 1919 (not first elected). 1918- Women 30+ gain
vote. Improvements meant little to working-class.
THE RIGHT TO SERVE War breaks out= gov reluctant allow women involvement in jobs vacated by
men. Emmeline Pankhurst (suffragette) campaigned vigorously w/ daughter to involve women in war
effort, org The Right to Serve procession in 1915: 60 000 female participants. Gov forced to change
mindallow women into male jobs as only way to sustain production. Filled many jobs, some
dangerous e.g. shipyards, drove trams, buses & ambulances; 48 000 land labourers in Womens Land
Army; farm work 210 000 vacancies
July 1918- 80% munitions produced by females. Conditions in factories tough w/ shifts 12 hours long.
Work dangerous, 200 munitionettes killed during war. Many contract TNT poisoning. Skin yellow
tinge. No shortage of willing women. Pay 2-3x that earned in domestic services.
st
OUTSIDE MUNITIONS At 1 contribution= voluntary work. Free buffets at railway stations, private
homes for men on leave. Nursing most acceptable form of war work for middle & upper class. 1918-
Womens Land Army 16 000. Not a popular choice: pay low, poor accommodation. Also work as
blacksmiths, managers, ambulance drivers. Transport roles & jobs vacated by men. Moved into offices
& banks & worked as clerks & tellers. Roles still off limits e.g. iron & steel industry.
st
POST-WAR CLEAR OUT 1 18months post-war some 600 000 women left jobs- most voluntarily.
Accepted had been filling in for their menfolk at the front. of the new women workers taken on
during war still had their jobs as late as April 1920. Eco slump 1920-21 widespread clear out.
SOCIAL IMPACT Wore less restrictive clothes; cut hemlines & hair, dancing. Changed moral standards
appear in increased divorce rate. Improved position in society. Greater self-respect. War freed
middle-class women from restraints of the home. Working class life remained hard & demanding. Left
many w/ restless feeling. More confidence in own abilities. 1920s new gen mainly middle-class young
women challenge trad ideas about feminine behaviour: socialised w/ men on equal term, smoked in
public & drank in pubs. Trad view: time great opp & freedom. Took out of confines of domesticity,
made higher pay possible, got vote, recog as essential part of economy. View of revolutionary impact
too simplistic. Extension of vote= limited measure. At wars beginning female employment fell. Many
households diminish domestic services, production of luxury textile products fell. Most munitions
workers switched from another job & outside munitions little changed. Women seen unreliable &
difficult to train= not wanted union opposition to females. Post-war encouraged to return home or
to trad jobs. 1921 employment rates no higher than 1914. Sex Discrimination Removal Act did make
easier for women to work in professions but benefit only middle class. Idea that experiences had
liberated women & destroyed old sex-role stereotypes=misleading. Attitudes to role of women
reverted to trad images. In escaping wars horror, sought to re-estab sense of security through old
cultural & social norms.
NURSING Women quickly recruited into trad nursing jobs. 23 000 close to fighting, 15 000 volunteers
assistants in Volunteer Aid Detachments. Work= hard & unpleasant
WOMENS SERVICES Gov initially resist demands; 1917- gave in. Est of Womens Army Auxiliary Corps
(WAAC), Womens Royal Naval Service (WRNS), Womens Royal Air Force (WRAF). Here assumed
clerical & admin jobs done by men. Enabled non-combatant jobs freeing up men. Women in WAAC
worked as clerks, telephonists, cooks, drivers but no full military status. Enrolled, not enlisted. Not
given ranks.
WOMEN & TRADE UNIONS Trade union representatives not keen on idea of women in workforce.
Disapproved LGs idea of dilution feared if unskilled women enter factories, status of workers perm
damaged. Fought attempts at equal pay. Some women did unionise & went on strike for better pay.
1918- 383 trade unions w/ female members & 36 for women only. War stimulated womens
consciousness of their value.
WAR & FEMALE SUFFRAGE When war declared suffragettes suspended campaign. Some argue as a
result of vital war role the gov rewarded them w/ vote. Not supported by evidence
Factor preventing vote e.g. WSPU (Womens social & Political Union) violence removed by
1918
Worldwide trend toward female suffrage. Women had vote in NZ, Aus & some of America.
The Act of Parliament that gave vote in 1918= conservative measure. 30& who were
householders or wives of householders. Women who could vote generally middle class,
married, not young.

20

HSC STUDY BUDDY 2


1


THE IMPACT OF THE WAR ON WOMENS LIVES AND
EXPERIENCES IN BRITAIN
1918 750 000 in war production. Munitionettes worked w/ TNT nicknamed canaries(chemical
discolouring of skin). Entered other areas to do their bit. 30 000 women demonstrated in London
1915 demanding right to serve. Branches of armed services allow women take on non-combatant
roles of men. 1 of largest womens organisations: Voluntary Aid Detachment: nurses, cooks, maids,
clerks, drivers.
PRE-1914 Upper-class women didnt work, few after war. Working-class work to survive. Domestic
service as maids, teachers, nurses, typists & sales assistants in up-market department stores. In some
cases, teaching, marriage meant not working. As many as 11% worked. War- greater variety of jobs,
most lost post-war.
CHANGES AFTER WAR Most long-lasting change for middle-class women. Post-war better prospects
for careers in higher professions- lawyers, accountants, doctors. 1911 women 6% of those in higher
st
professions: 1951 only 8%. 1919- Oxford Uni allowed women to study degrees for 1 time. Sex
Disqualification (Removal) Act end ban on married women working as doctors, solicitors & civil
servants. Lady Astor first to take seat in parliament in 1919 (not first elected). 1918- Women 30+ gain
vote. Improvements meant little to working-class.
THE RIGHT TO SERVE War breaks out= gov reluctant allow women involvement in jobs vacated by
men. Emmeline Pankhurst (suffragette) campaigned vigorously w/ daughter to involve women in war
effort, org The Right to Serve procession in 1915: 60 000 female participants. Gov forced to change
mindallow women into male jobs as only way to sustain production. Filled many jobs, some
dangerous e.g. shipyards, drove trams, buses & ambulances; 48 000 land labourers in Womens Land
Army; farm work 210 000 vacancies
July 1918- 80% munitions produced by females. Conditions in factories tough w/ shifts 12 hours long.
Work dangerous, 200 munitionettes killed during war. Many contract TNT poisoning. Skin yellow
tinge. No shortage of willing women. Pay 2-3x that earned in domestic services.
st
OUTSIDE MUNITIONS At 1 contribution= voluntary work. Free buffets at railway stations, private
homes for men on leave. Nursing most acceptable form of war work for middle & upper class. 1918-
Womens Land Army 16 000. Not a popular choice: pay low, poor accommodation. Also work as
blacksmiths, managers, ambulance drivers. Transport roles & jobs vacated by men. Moved into offices
& banks & worked as clerks & tellers. Roles still off limits e.g. iron & steel industry.
st
POST-WAR CLEAR OUT 1 18months post-war some 600 000 women left jobs- most voluntarily.
Accepted had been filling in for their menfolk at the front. of the new women workers taken on
during war still had their jobs as late as April 1920. Eco slump 1920-21 widespread clear out.
SOCIAL IMPACT Wore less restrictive clothes; cut hemlines & hair, dancing. Changed moral standards
appear in increased divorce rate. Improved position in society. Greater self-respect. War freed
middle-class women from restraints of the home. Working class life remained hard & demanding. Left
many w/ restless feeling. More confidence in own abilities. 1920s new gen mainly middle-class young
women challenge trad ideas about feminine behaviour: socialised w/ men on equal term, smoked in
public & drank in pubs. Trad view: time great opp & freedom. Took out of confines of domesticity,
made higher pay possible, got vote, recog as essential part of economy. View of revolutionary impact
too simplistic. Extension of vote= limited measure. At wars beginning female employment fell. Many
households diminish domestic services, production of luxury textile products fell. Most munitions
workers switched from another job & outside munitions little changed. Women seen unreliable &
difficult to train= not wanted union opposition to females. Post-war encouraged to return home or
to trad jobs. 1921 employment rates no higher than 1914. Sex Discrimination Removal Act did make
easier for women to work in professions but benefit only middle class. Idea that experiences had
liberated women & destroyed old sex-role stereotypes=misleading. Attitudes to role of women
reverted to trad images. In escaping wars horror, sought to re-estab sense of security through old
cultural & social norms.
NURSING Women quickly recruited into trad nursing jobs. 23 000 close to fighting, 15 000 volunteers
assistants in Volunteer Aid Detachments. Work= hard & unpleasant

21

WOMENS SERVICES Gov initially resist demands; 1917- gave in. Est of Womens Army Auxiliary Corps
(WAAC), Womens Royal Naval Service (WRNS), Womens Royal Air Force (WRAF). Here assumed
clerical & admin jobs done by men. Enabled non-combatant jobs freeing up men. Women in WAAC
worked as clerks, telephonists, cooks, drivers but no full military status. Enrolled, not enlisted. Not
given ranks.
WOMEN & TRADE UNIONS Trade union representatives not keen on idea of women in workforce.
Disapproved LGs idea of dilution feared if unskilled women enter factories, status of workers perm
damaged. Fought attempts at equal pay. Some women did unionise & went on strike for better pay.
1918- 383 trade unions w/ female members & 36 for women only. War stimulated womens
consciousness of their value.
WAR & FEMALE SUFFRAGE When war declared suffragettes suspended campaign. Some argue as a
result of vital war role the gov rewarded them w/ vote. Not supported by evidence
Factor preventing vote e.g. WSPU (Womens social & Political Union) violence removed by
1918
Worldwide trend toward female suffrage. Women had vote in NZ, Aus & some of America.
The Act of Parliament that gave vote in 1918= conservative measure. 30& who were
householders or wives of householders. Women who could vote generally middle class,
married, not young.

Turning Points
IMPACTS OF THE ENTRY OF THE USA AND OF THE RUSSIAN
WITHDRAWAL
1917 marked 2 t.p. in course of war:
1. In April the US broke its policy of isolationism + entered war on Allied side
2. In Nov, Russias Bol party, having staged successful revolution, fulfil promise- w/draw Russia
from war
Isolationism: a principle of foreign policy that avoided direct involvement in European affairs
IMPACT OF THE RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL 1914 Russia had largest army but plagued w/ srs internal
problems. War on EF began 17 Aug 1914 when Russia launched full-scale offensive on Prussia.
Russias logistical (organisation behind transport, supply, movement of troops) inadequacy. Difficult
to supply + maintain massive army= great strain on total war effort. Brutal toll of lives + terrible
suffering= rebellion. In 1915 Russia lost 2 mil. Economic collapse at home + soldiers sent to death=
discontent. Support for the Tsar + war disintegrated. By Feb 1917- demoralised army 8 mil casualties
w/ 1 mil desertions. Tsars authority collapsed + gov in revolution. 2 March 1917 Tsar abdicated. New
Provisional Gov which honoured military obligations to B+F allies. Russian population didnt support
nd
this. Transferred loyalty to Govs Bolshevik opponents who promised end to war. October 1917 2
revolution gave Bolsheviks power. Leader Lenin called for separate peace, signing armistice w/ Germ
in Dec.
TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK Ended war on EF. Lenin demanded peace w/out annexations (territories
lost through takeover) or indemnities + based on Russias right to self-determination. Germ dictated
harsh condition for peacenot accepted. On 18 Feb 1918 Germ resume advance on Russia +
Bolsheviks forced to accept punishment meted out by Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Treaty= national
humiliation for Russia who lost of its European territory (Georgia, Finland + Ukraine independent
but in Germ zone of influence. Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia more direct Germ control).
Russian collapse window of opp as no longer 2-front war enabled Germ to shift military divs (1
mil men) + resources to WF. Eastern victory gave Germ High Command confidence to drive wedge
between B+F + force B back to English Channel
IMPACT OF THE UNITED STATES ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR I At outbreak America declared
neutrality. Isolationism reinforced idea of European conflict. 2 months prior to entry President Wilson
addressed Senate appealing for settlement of European conflict based on peace w/out victory.
Wilson embraced idea of democratic peace believing mediation. Rejected. 1917- Germ declared
unrestricted submarine warfare on merchant ships. Betw Feb-March ships sunk to deprive B of food +

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HSC STUDY BUDDY 2


3
munitions. April 196 sunk. Supply lines + sea routes secured when convoy system estab w/ support by
US destroyers.
Convoy: an armed force or formation of ships that acts as an escort for protection
On 2 April, Wilson appeared before American Congress asking them to make the world safe for
democracy by declaring war vs. Germ. 6 Apr declare war on Germ. Massive industrial + economic
resources now available to Allied war effort. Factors that finally culminated in American involvement
were:
Anti-Germ feeling that came from U-boat sinking of Brit liner Lusitania on 8 May 1915, 1924
lives lost, 128 of them Americans
Unrestricted warfare infringing the freedom of the seas + loss of further American lives.
Germ declared this 1 Feb 1917, 2 days later America broke off diplomatic relations w/ Germ
Large sums of money loaned by Americans to Brit. Germ victory wouldve involved financial
loss
Allied propaganda presenting Germ as aggressor
Release of the Zimmerman telegram- Germ attempt to negotiate alliance w/ Mexico + Jap
vs. US. Arthur Zimmerman, Germ ambassador to Mexico proposed a Mexican + Germ
alliance in event of war between America + Germ
w/ Germ victory the former Mexican territories of Arizona, New Mexico + Texas= restored to
Mexico
THE IMPACT OF THE AMERICAN ENTRY INTO THE WAR No immediate military or eco impact. Allies
long relied on American industry for maintaining war effort. 1915- 1/3 shells used by Brit made in
North A. Much of LGs reorganisation of munitions depended on American machine tools. Beginning
of 1917- US small army 160 000, 25 000 stationed overseas. By Oct 1918- 4mil w/ 2mil transported to
France + 1.3 at the front. Few saw action til mid-1918. Entry had immediate impact on morale. Feeling
war now won. Germs attitude= now face might of worlds strongest economy whod eventually have
unlimited men to relieve B+F. American navy= immediate effect on course of war e.g. instigate
convoy system enabled safe crossing of Atlantic. By mid-1918 American forces fully involved in action.
Key role in counteroffensive. May + June helped to hold back final surges of Ludendorffs attacks.
Mid-July 275 000 involve in Second Battle of the Marne. August= began to act as independent entity.

LUDENDORFFS SPRING OFFENSIVE AND THE ALLIED RESPONSE

THE GERMAN SPRING OFFENSIVE, MARCH-JULY 1918


LUDENDORFFS DECISION Believed that longer war dragged on the better the Allied chance of victory.
Germ only victorious if acted before full power of US brought in. Germ also showing strains on home
front- shortages made worse by continuing Allied naval blockade + increasing industrial + political
unrest. Early 1918= opp. Plan designed to draw Allied forces away from Channel ports (lifeline of B
supplies), capture the ports + then destroy Allied communications. 2 key elements to germ assault
Rapid surprise attacks of storm units- small squads of elite shock troops
The Feuerwalze, intensive + overwhelming artillery + infantry bombardment of enemy
command + communications, artillery + front line; reserves used to exploit gap created by
creeping barrage.
THE GERMAN ATTACK Operation Michael began early hours 21 March starting w/ Battle of Picardy vs.
British. Germ High Command launched its massive assault at the point where British + French sectors
joined together having advantage of more men. New infiltration tactics.
-
21 March launched after v. heavy but short 5-hour artillery barrage from half-past 4 in
morning
-
troops infiltrate in small numbers where most damage done
-
shock troops made for Brit artillery + eliminated these rest of troops advance/ not
gunned
-
First day- made 8km advance + Germ came w/in 60km of Paris in late May but casualties
equalled that of the defenders + troops exhausted
-
Had moved too fast to be protected by own artillery
Doullens Conference 26 March: document gave F General Foch authority to coordinate all Allied
forces. Germ launched another attack at Battle of Lys. 11 April- Haig announced that no ground must
be given. By late April offensive had captured 1000 guns, almost 100 000 prisoners. More land than all

23

Allied attacks of war had managed. 27 May- Third Battle of the Aisne began. Following day Americans
fight at Battle of Cantigny. Contd advance til late June but Germ supplies running short + US presence
felt. June 9 Germ attacked at Battle of the Matz. Final phase of Germ offensive mid-July w/ Second
Battle of the Marne. Germs made only tactical gains, not strategic ones. By late July advance was
petering out. Ludendorffs gamble w/ 1 mil casualties not paid off. Lacking reserves + supplies now
had to face counter offensive. Late July Allies recapture Chateau-Thierry + early August cross the
Somme. Paris= saved. In just few weeks Allies taken 130 000 Germ prisoners, 2000 heavy guns, 14
000 machine guns
THE ALLIED COUNTEROFFENSIVE, AUGUST-NOVEMBER 1918 8 Aug- Allies launch massive
counterattack on Germs at Amiens. Germs taken by surprise as Allied tanks + infantry advance.
Ludendorff 8 August was the black day of the German army... Their success had been too easy...the
morale of the German army was no longer what it had been.
Gen Foch ordered F troops under Mangin to attack salient near Soissons. Germ forced to w/draw at
cost of 30 000 prisoners. Foch realise Germ fully stretched. Tactic- hit enemy at diff points
consecutively= no recovery.
In Aug- Haig attacked near Amiens, 20 000 Germ prisoners
12 Sep American forces hit salient of St Mihiel near Verdun
26 Sep American forces launch successful campaign in Meuse-Argonne area
27 Sep-17 Oct Haig attack Hindenburg Lines strongest points
28 Sep- 14 Oct Belgians attack near Ypres
French struck Germ positions in Ardennes
Sep- Foch aim surprise Germ tactically w/ concentrated use of tanks + strategically w/
coordinated, simultaneous attacks vs. exhausted, retreating Germ forces
Ludendorff now advise gov to put out peace feelers. Explanation to the Reichstag Each fresh day the
enemy nears his goal + becomes less inclined to conclude a peace which will be tolerable to us.
Allied forces for the first time, under control of single commander, Frances Marshall Foch.
-
Worked together according to common plan
-
Exhausted Germ troops, faced by fresh Americans + 600+ tanks- gave up
o Hadnt time to strengthen defences in areas just occupied, surrendering in huge
numbers deciding war couldnt be won
o Army couldve fought on but didnt want to. HF crippled
-
Kaiser Wilhelm gave up throne of Germ on 9 November + new civilian gov accepted an
armistice at 11 oclock in the morning of 11 November


Allied Victory
EVENTS LEADING TO THE ARMISTICE, 1918

TECHNOLOGY AND TACTICS New warfare= tank technology= fight w/ flexibility. Principle of holding
ground + defending front line no longer critical.
-
Tanks advance across trenches to break attrition
-
aeroplanes to gather vital intelligence info, drop supplies + bomb enemy
formations/communications
-
superior varieties of shells- carry shrapnel, gas, explosive
-
artillery= greater accuracy
-
Allied home front proved worth in 1918
o After initial retreat of Spring Offensive, loss of life + armaments, home front deliver
tanks, mortars, shells, guns; July 1918= more guns than beginning of offensive + well
fed + supplied.
COLLAPSE OF GERMAN MORALE food shortages, years of hardship + realisation of defeat on WF. War
weariness + sustained Allied propaganda= exhaustion. Discipline broke down as rates of desertion
increase + hungry soldiers scavenge to supply themselves. Tactics of Spring Offensive cost mil lives
so Germ boys recruited. July- Ludendorff almost forced to postpone attack coz so many fallen ill +
died from Spanish flu.
THE ALLIED COUNTER-OFFENSIVE New tactics at Battle of Hamel on 4 July, American Independence
Day. W/in 2 hours village of Hamel capture, 1000+ Germ prisoners. Commenced w/ surprise

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HSC STUDY BUDDY 2


5
bombardment by 600 guns, followed by 60 Mark V tanks combined w/ specially trained infantry
heavily armed w/ Lewis Guns + grenade throwing rifles. Allied aircraft strafed (attacked w/ heavy,
persistent machine gun fire) + bombed enemy front lines while gas + high explosive barrage provided
defence vs. German countermove.
BATTLE OF AMIENS 8 Aug Germ suffer black day shattered Germ resistance. Began as massed
tank operation: 552 vehicles moved secretly into place, noise drowned out by sound of 800 aircraft
overhead. Field guns shield infantry; heavy artillery blast enemy lines w/ HE. Germ outnumbered 2:1.
rd
By midafternoon Allies had adv 13 km. By end of 3 day- 24000 Germ prisoners + mass surrender.
Reportedly Ludendorff said There is no more hope for the offensive, the generals have lost their
foothold
Ludendorff recommend pursue policy of attrition so agreeable to commencing negotiations for peace.
Still controlled large areas of French + Belgian territory (bargaining).
THE FINAL OFFENSIVE Germs had no rest. Supreme Allied commander Foch determined to rupture
last Germ line of defence, gave orders for final offensive 3 Sep. Mid-Sep Allies forces press forward
along length of Hindenburg Line. Gained valuable strategic positions from which commence final +
decisive breakthrough. Planned for 26 Sep w/ American army driving into Argonne. 28 Sep- attacked
th
Flanders + on 29 advanced on Somme. Brit Fourth Army broke through powerful Hindenburg line by
st
end of 1 day. Germ defeated.
THE DEFEAT OF THE CENTRAL POWERS Germs allies were collapsing. 29 Sep, Allied forces invade
Bulgaria who sued for peace + given armistice w/ severe terms. Turkey lost Damascus + Aleppo. Allies
destroy army of Ottoman Empire + Turkey capitulated 30 Oct whilst Austria sued for armistice.
st
Czechoslovaks declare independence 21 Oc, following week Yugoslavs. 1 step of separation of
Austria + Hungary. Ludendorff + Hindenburg sought audience w/ Kaiser Wilhelm II, advised arrange
Germs armistice as early as possible.
27 Oct Ludendorff resign + Germ gov attempt to reform constitution in hope of more democratic
parliamentary regime may obtain more favourable peace terms. 9 Nov revolution in Berlin causes
abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II. New republican gov declared. Keen to end war.
5:30am 11 Nov reps of Allied powers finalise negotiations for armistice w/ Germ new civilian Gov.
Radio broadcast direct armies to cease firing at 11. War came to end. Allied lost 5mil, Central powers
3 mil.

Wilson exploring peace-making role for much of war. 1917 promote idea peace without
victory little appeal to warring countries. 8 Jan 1918 Fourteen Points as basis for world
peace
Ludendorffs Peace Offensives March-July dominate Germ affairs. Germ military
interested in peace on their terms + try force Allies to accept if win enough territory or
threaten victory
Forced consider Wilson demand: evacuate occupied territory + install new gov before
could be peace. Choice now seemed just peace based on Wilsons proposal or punitive
peace at hands of vengeful B+F
Oct 1918 Germ High Command request politicians seek armistice + peace negotiations
based on Wilsons proposal
9 Nov Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated + new provisional gov formed w/ Social Democrat
leader Friedrich Ebert as head


REASONS FOR THE ALLIED VICTORY AND GERMAN
COLLAPSE
Allies success
- Command structure allowed more efficient organisation of resources & ability to direct
highly coordinated & well-prepd counter-offence. 1918- greater skill & leadership in
coordination of infantry, armour, artillery, aircraft ops. Ludendorff looked for scapegoats &
appeared indecisive
- Appointment of Foch as Commander-in-Chief of all Allied forces 1918. Contribute to a unity
of purpose & planning, organised allocation of resources. Smooth over national

25

differences to impose his will. Leadership style encourage flexibility: allow gens devise
own strats best suit local conditions
- Massed tank formations used to provide cover & mobile armoured fire support; aircraft
strafe & bomb enemy; combinations of these w/ artillery effective
- Factories provided weaponry & more sophisticated tech for breaking stalemate/maintaining
counter-attack. Mass production of machine guns, large no# tanks= troop protection
- Allied nations achieve greater industrial/agricultural output & drew on vast resources of B&F
empires
- B naval supremacy. U-boat warfare failed to break naval blockade denied supplies
- American alliance= troop reinforcements at critical time, Germ manpower stretched &
morale low. Also financial support, strengthened Allied resource, Germs allies = burden.
- Final victory result of Allied strategic advantages- more personnel & equipment, greater
industrial & agricultural capacity, denial of supplies to Central Powers through blockade
Germ Defeat
- Allies draw on vast resources e.g. American financial & material support directed more
towards Allies
- Political disasters e.g. invading neutral Belgium & USW alienated neutrals from Germ &
bought US into war. Allied prop more effective in rallying world sympathy for their cause
- Support by Germs allies Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria= largely ineffectual. No
breakthroughs
- Forced to fight 2-front war
- Couldnt match combined economic & military might of Allies; economy couldnt keep
army supplied
- Entry of US in April 1917= Germ face strength & wealth of great power
- Strains on home front lower morale
Allies final victory from adv of being able to draw on more personnel, equip & supplies. Defeat
not inevitable; late as mid-1918 Germ still attain victory. Longer war dragged on= less chance
LONG-TERM FACTORS THAT GAVE THE ALLIES ADVANTAGE IN FIGHTING A WAR OF
ATTRITION
FAILURE OF THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN Failed 2-fronts. Armies, supplies & transport always
divided. Even after Russian w/drawal= army of occupation needed in east.
SUPERIORITY OF ALLIED ECONOMIC & MILITARY RESOURCES Allied & Germ economic strength
gen equally matched. Allies became able to call on eco & military strength of British Empire,
French Empire, Russia, Italy, US. Germ only had own resources & 3 minor parties.
ALLIED BLOCKADE Germ maintain army as result of organisation on HF, gov controls,
exploitation of occupied territories resources & develop of ersatz products. 1914- Allies impose
tight blockade causing enormous hardship for Germ eco. Lack key imports- limits on Germ
economys ability to supply armies. HF strain.
STRAINS ON THE GERMAN HOME FRONT Inflation, shortage of essentials; evidence of inequality
of suffering= resentment. Casualty list= disillusionment & war-weariness. Major strikes. War
production weakened; domestic morale dropped.
ENTRY OF UNITED STATES Allied morale lifts, Germ fell. American forces major part Allied
counter offensive
FACTORS THAT CAUSED RAPID COLLAPSE OF GERMANY TOWARDS END 1918
EXHAUSTION OF GERMAN ARMY Ludendorffs massive Spring Offensive= more territory than
Allies managed in 3 years. Ludendorffs final desperate throw of the dice didnt break Allied
forces. B&F take advantage of American troops when Germ no reserves & resorting to
conscripting young boys/ old men. Allied forces bountifully supplied w/ munitions. Germ
industry nearing state of collapse. Army exhausted.
ARRIVAL OF THE AMERICANS By July 1918= Germ numerical superiority disappearing. Major
effect in Allied counteroffensive.
IMPROVED ALLIED GENERALSHIP 1918- Allies poor performing gens removed & replaced by
junior officials- gained exp in field. Skilfully combined shrewd tactics w/ logistical planning &
tech know-how. United commandcombine tanks, artillery, aircraft. Mass tank formations gave
Allied counteroffensive edge
LUDENDORFFS ROLE IN DEFEAT Failure develop tank warfare: no contingency plans should
offensive fail. Foch argued Ludendorff had no large-scale strategic plan called his 1918 tactics
buffalo tactics that lessened impact that grand offensive could have. Buffalo struck out widely

26

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7
into one place then another w/out thought. When became exhausted it was attacked. Analogy-
Germ forces quickly broke while H.F. collapsed into violence, mutiny, revolution


THE ROLES AND DIFFERING GOALS OF CLEMENCEAU, LLOYD
GEORGE AND WILSON IN CREATING THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES
BACKGROUND TO THE PEACE CONFERENCE
HUMAN DIMENSION 10 mil died on battlefield; civilian losses 8 mil. Mils uffer psychological
effects Allied gov whipped up hatred now impossible to turn off. Clemenceau & LG aware
people expected punishment
ECONOMIC DIMENSION Yrs of eco growth & reconstruction needed. Immediate aftermath-
Europes eco at pt of collapse. Germ eco exhausted & large inflation rise. Clemenceau convinced
Germ pay for Frances recovery.
PEACEMAKERS HANDS WERE TIED Decisions already taken or promises made limited what
delegates could do. End of WWI saw collapse German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian & Ottoman
empires. Various national subject groups moved to set up own govs, seize territory, draw own
frontiers. During war treaties signed to encourage neutral states to enter. Often promise grants of
land after war. Expected honouring. Italy had signed 1915 Treaty of London & came to collect
South Tyrol, Trieste, the Dalmation coast. Big 3 subject to their electorates, level of political
support, strength of national economies
FUNCTIONING OF PEACE CONFERENCE Closeness of conference to war= emotions & hatreds still
fresh. Choice of Paris ill-advised. Allowed Clemenceau to dominate proceedings: tough F line
towards Germ predominated.
THE LEADERS As popularly elected leaders= subject to pressures & desires of
parliaments/electorates.
WILSON Idealist w/ noble ideas about just peace & internationalist era. US entry major material &
psychological impact & tipped balance vs Germrapturous welcome in France. Little
understanding of nature of European politics & what war meant to B&F. Nature (obstinate,
arrogant) not suitable to international diplomacy. Major reason for failure= paradoxical nature of
his position. Lead strongest nation, internationally respected yet polit position weak. Party had
no no#s in Senate. Absence from US= losing touch w/ public opinion. Between 1918-1920
increasingly isolationist. Didnt want to be in LON- dragged into more European conflict. Senate
refused to ratify Paris Peace Settlement & never joined LON
CLEMENCEAU Tough, ruthless. No-nonsense old man w/ a volcanic temperament. Tried impose
on Germ a punitive settlement. Ultimately failed gain goal of security. Hoped to separate
Rhineland from Germ; Wilson & LG not allow (saw creation of another Alsace-Lorraine in
reverse). Instead demilitarised & offered support should Germ ever invade France. Primary goals
to ensure wartime alliance contd into peacetime alliance that defend position of F; ensure Germ
disarmed. Insisted Treaty signed in Hall of Mirrors
LLOYD GEORGE Realist. Torn betw promise of Germ punishment made in election campaign,
draconian measures proposed by Clemenceau, idealism of Wilson & need to restore Bs economic &
diplomatic position
TREATY OF VERSAILLES Terms of armistice express Allies determination Germ should accept
responsibility for WWI. Paris Peace Conference: reps of victors judge defeated. No delegates of new
Bolshevik gov attend. Terms designed to punish & contain Germ power. Germ was
Deprived of 6 mil people & 13 % of European territory
o France reclaim Alsace-Lorraine & rights to work coalmines of Saar Basin for 15 years
o Danzig estab as free city
o City of Memel given to Lithuania
Not permitted to have tanks, heavy artillery, poison gas, naval or military air force
Forbidden to have conscription for military service, bulk of navy surrendered to Allies
o Army restricted to max 100 000 personnel, navy to 15 000
o Production of arms supervised by Allied Commission
Permitted only 70 tonnage of naval vessels; Submarines & dreadnoughts forbidden
Forced to demilitarise Rhineland to ensure French security; Allied forces occupy for 15 yrs

27

Denied overseas investments & colonies; Germ declared colonially unworthy so China, the
Pacific Ocean & Africa confiscated & given to Allies as territories under mandate from League
of Nations
Forbidden union w/ Austria to prevent potential means of forming greater Germ
Forced to accept blame for war according to Article 231 (the war guilt clause) committed
Germ to paying reparations (compensation in money paid by a defeated nation for damage
& injury)
ROLES & DIFFERING GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS 3 major statesmen (B PM LG, Premier Clemenceau
of F & President Wilson). PM of Italy attended but resigned coz demands for Germ colonial
possessions in Africa rejected. Jap influence confined to Asia-Pacific settlements. Relations betw 3
close to breaking pt. Early on LG & Wilson came to understanding treaty should address issues of
universal justice & deliver compensation for Allied war cost & suffering: Reasonable peace. Wilson
depicted as naive humanitarian. LG not personally in favour of imposing harsh peace on Germ but had
recently won election where had publicly committed to make Germ pay forced to pursue as
punishment. Clemenceau insists Germ remain potential threat & severe measures justified to ensure
Germ disarmament & future security of F: Revenge & reparations. Address to US Congress (Jan 1918)
Wilson proposed 14 pts as gen principles forming basis of WWI settlement. Many Germs claimed had
agreed to armistice in belief Wilsons 14 points enshrined w/in treaty. During negotiations, forced to
sacrifice ideals, refused to compromise vision for LON. Wilson view LON= open forum for discussion
of international disputes & abolition of secret treaties. International aggression dealt w/ by collective
security & joint action. Big Three lacked common goals & unity of purpose. Climate of distrust. April
1919 peace settlement delegates unanimously accept principles underlying League which was then
assigned responsibility of administering many of peace treaty provisions. Treaty left legacy of bitter
resentment. Germ delegates forced sign treaty regarded as diktat- punishment dictated to Germ. LG
believed terms too severe & jeopardise future peace & stability of Europe. Reps who signed treaty did
so under great protest. Signed 28 June 1919.
1919 PARIS PEACE SETTLEMENT Comprised 5 treaties each named after area in which signed.
The Treaty of Versailles signed w/ Germ; Treaty of St Germaine signed w/ Austria; Treaty of
Neuilly signed w/ Bulgaria; Treaty of Trianon signed w/ Hungary; Treaty of Sevres signed w/
Turkey, replaced by Treaty of Lausanne 1923
TREATY OF VERSAILLES Hall of Mirrors at Palace of Versailles sig as here, in 1871, Germ empire
declared following Fs defeat in Franco-Prussian War. Treaty aim weaken Germ territorially,
economically, militarily.
Military provisions Treaty attempted to break Germ military power & prevent from launching
another invasion
No submarines or airforce
Rhineland demilitarised
Volunteer army of 100 000
Economic provisions sought to break Germs economic strength:
Reparations: Clause 231 blamed Ger for war & justified Allies seeking compensation
Saar coalfields to F for 15yrs & huge quantities of RMs given to Allies
Belgium & France receive large amounts of Germ machinery, locomotives, rolling stock
Germ had to supply Allies w/ large amounts of coal
Colonial provisions: deemed unworthy of having colonial possessions. Given to other powers as
mandates e.g. Aus got New Guinea; Britain- German East Africa. Aim to prepare ex-Germ colonies
for eventual statehood.
Territorial terms: Alsace & Lorraine returned to F; Sudetenland & 3mil Germs given to
Czechoslovakia. unrestricted F access to Saar coal (8% Germ output before 1914); ALL colonies
lost
War guilt: clause 231 anger Germ. Blamed for war & damage it had brought. Germ people found it
humiliating.
Reparations: did not contain total for reparations- to be worked out by Reparations Commission.
Informed Germ of final amount on 28 April 1921. US$40 billion. France 52%, Brit 22%, Italy 10%,
Belgium 8% & others 8%. Argued as unfair & impossible for Germ to pay. Made first payment in
1921 thanks to loan from London. 1922- announced couldnt pay instalment. Gradually scaled
down. End 1932
Too lenient to cripple Germ but severe enoughenormous resentment- not found lasting
peace

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9

Wilson gave way to harsher demands of Clemenceau but insisted on LON. US never joined
League ensure= largely powerless body
B want economically viable Germ & didnt want to defend harsher aspects of Versailles when
Germ recovered & demand change.


Personality

Home Front
Influence

Wilson
Genuinely internationalist
vision; limited appreciation
of complexity of European
disputes
Didnt have strong support
at home; isolationism
undermined his own
internationalism

Security

Offered F security guarantee


but not ratified by US
Congress. LON safeguard all
nations vs. aggression

Nationalism &
Internationalism

Gave way to B&F but


insisted on est of LON

Reparations

Recog pay reparations


according to its capacity to
pay

Lloyd George
Practical politician;
influenced by HF & need
for compromise

Clemenceau
Fierce French patriot;
sought revenge

End of 1918 won a


khaki election,
highlighting victory in
war; strong mood to
make Germany pay
Once Germ navy
destroyed, B little to
fear; sought a stable
Europe

F suffered more than B &


stronger pressure to
punish & weaken Germ

In carving up Germ &


Turkeys colonies betw
them, B&F following
own national interest
Sought reparations
partly to pay US war
loans

Germ long-term threat.


Sought weaken Germ by
est Rhineland border
region as sep state;
blocked

Demanded rep to cover


war damage, pensions,
debt; designed to punish
& weaken Germ

29