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During the war advancements toward trenches were made that helped improve the working conditions like adding extra support lines to the trenches. The three most common trench lines included in these trenches were called the front-line, the support line, and the reserve line.
These additional trench lines provided more support to the front position when needed. Each one had a specific duty where soldiers would spend from roughly four days in and rotate afterwards. The extra lines made it more difficult for the enemy to break the lines of their trenches and further advance in attacking our soldiers and also provided an escape when one line could have been taken over by the enemy.
Trenches were built in a unique design, often referred to a zigzag pattern. The reasoning behind the zigzag pattern was to reduce the effects of the attacks made by the enemy and to prevent the whole trench from being ruined. Trenches were dug six or seven deep below ground to shield troops and allow the troops to fire their weapons.
The deeper the trench the more coverage soldiers had from air raids, bombs, and enemy troops and the trench could hold more soldiers and supplies. Other attributes to the trenches included barbed wire, boardwalks, alarm bells, and sand bags that prevented the sides from collapsing. Certain spaces were also included as well in the trenches for first aid posts, communication equipment, and headquarter posts.
These posts offered immediate medical treatment when the soldiers were injured. Constructing the trenches was difficult and took a lot of hard work but an important key to survival and had to be built carefully.
Their own military experience in the wars against Austria and France seemed more relevant and compelling. These wars were both short. They were also instrumental. In the Germans sought to replicate the success of their Prussian predecessors. They aimed to fight a 'cabinet war' on the Bismarckian model. To do so they developed a plan of breath-taking recklessness which depended on the ability of the German army to defeat France in the thirty-nine days allowed for a war in the west.
Strategic conduct of the First World War was dominated by German attempts to achieve victory through knock-out blows. Erich von Falkenhayn, German commander-in-chief from September until August , was almost alone in his belief that Germany could obtain an outcome to the war satisfactory to its interests and those of its allies without winning smashing victories of total annihilation. His bloody attempt to win the war by attrition at Verdun in did little to recommend the strategy to his fellow countrymen.
The preference for knock-out blows remained. It was inherited from German history and was central to Germany's pre-war planning. Pre-war German strategy was haunted by the fear of a war on two fronts, against France in the west and Russia in the east.
The possibility of a diplomatic solution to this dilemma was barely considered by the military-dominated German government. A military solution was sought instead. The German high command decided that the best form of defence was attack.
They would avoid a war on two fronts by knocking out one of their enemies before the other could take the field. The enemy with the slowest military mobilization was Russia. The French army would be in the field first. France was therefore chosen to receive the first blow. Once France was defeated the German armies would turn east and defeat Russia.
The Schlieffen Plan rested on two assumptions: By the first assumption was untrue: Russia put an army into the field in fifteen days. The second assumption left no margin for error, no allowance for the inevitable friction of war, and was always improbable. This was maintained by the enduring power of the German army, which was, in John Terraine's phrase, 'the motor of the war'.
The German army was a potent instrument. It had played a historic role in the emergence of the German state. It enjoyed enormous prestige. It was able to recruit men of talent and dedication as officers and NCOs. As a result it was well trained and well led. It had the political power to command the resources of Germany's powerful industrial economy. Germany's position at the heart of Europe meant that it could operate on interior lines of communication in a European war.
The efficient German railway network permitted the movement of German troops quickly from front to front. The superior speed of the locomotive over the ship frustrated Allied attempts to use their command of the sea to operate effectively against the periphery of the Central Powers. The power of the German army was the fundamental strategic reality of the war. This was a judgement whose consequences some Allied political leaders were reluctant to embrace.
The German army suffered from two important strategic difficulties. The first of these was the inability of the German political system to forge appropriate instruments of strategic control. The second was Great Britain. German government rested on the tortured personality of the Kaiser. It was riven by intrigue and indecision. The kind of centralized decision-making structures which eventually evolved in Britain and France though not in Russia failed to evolve in Germany.
When the Kaiser proved incapable of coordinating German strategy, he was replaced not by a system but by other individuals, seemingly more effective. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg radiated calm and inspired confidence. This gave him the appearance of a great man but without the substance.
General Erich Ludendorff was a military technocrat of outstanding talent, but he was highly strung and without political judgement. In his offensive strategy brought Germany to ruin. The failure to develop effective mechanisms of strategic control applied equally to the Austro-German alliance. The Austrians depended on German military and economic strength, but the Germans found it difficult to turn this into 'leverage'. Austria was willing to take German help but not German advice.
Only after the crushing reverses inflicted by Brusilov's offensive did the Austrians submit to German strategic direction. By then it was almost certainly too late. Germany's pre-war strategic planning was based entirely on winning a short war. British belligerency made this unlikely. The British were a naval rather than a military power. They could not be defeated by the German army, at least not quickly.
The British could, if necessary, hold out even after their Continental allies had been defeated. They might even have chosen to do this. They had in the past and they would again in the not-too-distant future. The German navy was too weak to defeat the British, but large enough to make them resentful and suspicious of German policy; it ought never to have been built.
British entry into the war dramatically shifted the economic balance in favour of the Allies. Britain was one of the world's great industrial powers. Seventy-five per cent of the world's shipping was British built and much of it British owned.
London was the world's greatest money and commodities market. British access to world supplies of food and credit and to imperial resources of manpower made them a formidable enemy, despite the 'contemptible little army' which was all they could put into the field on the outbreak of war. From about mid onwards British economic, industrial, and manpower resources began to be fully mobilized.
Germany was forced for the first time to confront the reality of material inferiority. Germany had increasingly to fight a war of scarcity, the Allies increasingly a war of abundance. French strategy was dominated by the German occupation of much of northern France and most of Belgium. At its closest point the German line was less than 40 miles from Paris.
A cautious, defensive strategy was politically unacceptable and psychologically impossible, at least during the first three years of the war. During and France sacrificed enormous numbers of men in the attempt to evict the Germans. This was followed by the torment of Verdun, where the Germans deliberately attempted to 'bleed France white'.
French fears of military inferiority were confirmed. If France was to prevail its allies would have to contribute in kind. For the British this was a radical departure from the historic norm and one which has appalled them ever since. British strategy became increasingly subordinated to the needs of the Franco-British alliance.
The British fought the war as they had to, not as they wanted to. The British way in warfare envisaged a largely naval war. A naval blockade would weaken Germany economically. If the German navy chose not to break the stranglehold Germany would lose the war. If it did choose to fight it would be annihilated. British maritime superiority would be confirmed.
Neutral opinion would be cowed. Fresh allies would be encouraged into the fight. The blockade would be waged with greater ruthlessness. Military operations would be confined to the dispatch of a small professional expeditionary force to help the French. Remaining military forces would be employed on the periphery of the Central Powers remote from the German army, where it was believed they would exercise a strategic influence out of all proportion to their size.
The British never really fought the war they envisaged. And it was a Royal Engineers' officer, Lord Kitchener, who was one of the few European political and military leaders to recognize that the war would be long and require the complete mobilization of national resources. Kitchener was appointed Secretary of State for War on 5 August He doubted whether the French and the Russians were strong enough to defeat Germany without massive British military reinforcement.
He immediately sought to raise a mass citizen army. There was an overwhelming popular response to his call to arms. Kitchener envisaged this new British army taking the field in after the French and Russian armies had rendered the German army ripe for defeat. They would be 'the last million men'. They would win the war and decide the peace.
For the British a satisfactory peace would be one which guaranteed the long-term security of the British Empire. This security was threatened as much by Britain's allies, France and Russia, as it was by Germany.
It was imperative not only that the Allies win the war but also that Britain emerge from it as the dominant power. Kitchener's expectations were disappointed.
By it was the French army which was ripe for defeat, not the German. But the obligations of the French alliance were inescapable. The British could not afford to acquiesce in a French defeat. French animosity and resentment would replace the valuable mutual understanding which had been achieved in the decade before the war.
The French had a great capacity for making imperial mischief. And so did the Russians. If they were abandoned they would have every reason for doing so. There seemed no choice.
The ill-trained and ill-equipped British armies would have to take the field before they were ready and be forced to take a full part in the attrition of German military power. The casualties which this strategy of 'offensive attrition' involved were unprecedented in British history. They were also unacceptable to some British political leaders. They looked to use it elsewhere, against Germany's allies in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Balkans.
Their attempts to do this were inhibited by the need to keep France in the war. This could only be done in France and by fighting the German army. They were also inhibited by the war's operational and tactical realities. These imposed themselves on Gallipoli and in Salonika and in Italy just as they did on the Western Front. Attempts to implement an Allied grand strategy enjoyed some success.
Allied political and military leaders met regularly. At Chantilly in December and December they determined to stretch the German army to its limits by simultaneous offensive action on the western, eastern, and Italian fronts. Franco-British co-operation was especially close. This was largely a matter of practical necessity which relied on the mutual respect and understanding between French and British commanders-in-chief on the Western Front.
The system worked well until the German Spring Offensive of threatened to divide the Allies. Only then was it replaced by a more formal structure. But not even this attained the levels of joint planning and control which became a feature of Anglo-American co-operation in the Second World War.
Allied grand strategy was conceptually sound. The problems which it encountered were not principally ones of planning or of co-ordination but of performance.
Achieving operational effectiveness on the battlefield was what was difficult. This has given the war, especially the war in the west, its enduring image of boneheaded commanders wantonly sacrificing the lives of their men in fruitless pursuit of impossibly grandiose strategic designs.
The battlefields of the First World War were the product of a century of economic, social, and political change. Europe in was more populous, more wealthy, and more coherently organized than ever before.
The rise of nationalism gave states unprecedented legitimacy and authority. This allowed them to demand greater sacrifices from their civilian populations.
Improvements in agriculture reduced the numbers needed to work on the land and provided a surplus of males of military age. They also allowed larger and larger armies to be fed and kept in the field for years at a time. Changes in administrative practice brought about by the electric telegraph, the telephone, the typewriter, and the growth of railways allowed these armies to be assembled and deployed quickly. Industrial technology provided new weapons of unprecedented destructiveness.
Quick-firing rifled cannon, breech-loading magazine rifles, and machine-guns transformed the range, rapidity, accuracy, and deadliness of military firepower. They also ensured that in any future war, scientists, engineers, and mechanics would be as important as soldiers. These changes did much to make the First World War the first 'modern war'.
But it did not begin as one. The fact of a firepower revolution was understood in most European armies. The consequences of it were not. The experience of the Russo-Japanese War appeared to offer a human solution to the problems of the technological battlefield. Victory would go to the side with the best-trained, most disciplined army, commanded by generals of iron resolution, prepared to maintain the offensive in the face of huge losses.
As a result the opening battles of the war were closer in conception and execution to those of the Napoleonic era than to the battles of onwards.
World War I essays / What Were The Couses For The World War I World War I was a military conflict from to It began as a local European war between Austria - Hungary and Serbia on July 28,
- World War I, known as the Great War prior to World War II, was a global war which began in Europe on July and ended on November 11, The Central Power, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, were at war .
The Main Cause of WW1 Essay; The Main Cause of WW1 Essay. Words 5 Pages. Show More. World War I, also known as the First World War, was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July and lasted until 11 November From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II, it was called simply the World War or . World War I began as a European conflict, only gradually did it develop into a world war (Ross, 6). The growing tensions between the European countries were caused by militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism.
Five Main Cause Why World War I Happen Essay Words | 3 Pages World War One killed 9,, soldiers, 21,, soldiers got . The First World War redrew the map of Europe and the Middle East. Four great empires, the Romanov, the Hohenzollern, the Habsburg, and the Ottoman, were defeated and collapsed. They were replaced by a number of weak .