Scott Rimkus, September 18, 1914
Leading up to WWI for a Long Time?
The obvious start of World War One was when Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary on July 28. This event was major but European countries were building up for this event for a long time in the making. One cause of WWI was Militarism. European countries had been building up their military because of other countries like how the British and Germans both competed to have the greatest navy making their navy stronger, but also influencing other countries to improve their navy in order to stay on par with the stronger countries. Another large cause of WWI was because of Alliances. Many alliances were created between 1879 and 1914. This was very significant because if one country attacked another, both countries allying countries were forced to help out. The two largest alliances were The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, the other large alliance being The Triple Entente between Britain, France, and Russia. The third major cause was Imperialism. In the 1900’s Britain and France controlled large amounts of land in other continents. Many other countries wanted this land and its resources for themselves creating tension on the borders. The last major build up to WWI is Nationalism. Nationalism is the belief that your country is superior to all other countries. This made countries like Germany aggressive in order to prove this.It also made country leaders arrogant and ignorant to other countries abilities and they didn’t discern who they could beat. In total, while WWI was started by one event, Europe had been leading up to it for a while before.
Reason Why Russia Left WWI
The July Offensive, led by General Alexei Brusilov, was an attack. Initially the Russian Army made advances and on the first day of the offensive took 10,000 prisoners. However, low morale, poor supply lines and the rapid arrival of German reserves from the Western Front slowed the advance and on 16th July the offensive was brought to an end. Soldiers on the Eastern Front were dismayed at the news and regiments began to refuse to move to the front line. There was a rapid increase in the number of men deserting and by the autumn of 1917 an estimated 2 million men had unofficially left the army. Some of these soldiers returned to their homes and used their weapons to seize land from the nobility. Manor houses were burnt down and in some cases wealthy landowners were murdered. Kerensky and the Provisional Government issued warnings but were powerless to stop the redistribution of land in the countryside. In the end of 1917 Russia left the war surrendering countries of Ukraine, Finland, Poland and a few others. Russia also changed its government to a new style, invented by Karl Marx, called Communism.
The Battle for Cambrai
General Julian Byng led a British force of nine infantry divisions, five cavalry General Julian Byng led a British force of nine infantry divisions, five cavalry divisions and three tanks brigades in the battle of Cambrai that surprised the German units on November 20, 1917. British tanks and infantry overwhelmed the German defenses on the first day but on November 30, the Germans led a counterattack and took back most of the land that was lost. This is the first ever great tank assault in history and, of equal importance, first preregistration of artillery for an offensive attack. J.F.C Fuller and H.J. Elles came up with the idea of a tank raid in the Cambrai sector. Headquarters agreed and the nine infantry divisions, five cavalry divisions, and the three brigades of tanks were made available for the offensive attack. The success of the Cambrai attack was threefold. First some 376 Mark IV fight tanks committed to the assault, they crushed lanes of wires and protected the infantry as they advanced. Second, the artillery was able to do counter battery and suppression work. This worked because the guns’ target had been plotted on the maps beforehand. Third, because of the first two reasons, the Cambrai invasion was a complete surprise. By nightfall, two to three miles had been achieved. However, cavalry exploitation was slow to develop and even though more gains were made in the next nine days, the German troops halted the attack and regained some land that was lost.
Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States have finally come together and formed the Allied Powers to fight the German war machine. Archduke Ferdinand has been assassinated on June 28, 1914 and sparked an up rage in Austria-Hungary. This started the First World war where the Allies and the Central powers fight for dominance. After the Assassination, Austria declared war against Serbia and one by one, countries began to take sides. At first, the United States was neutral but the Germans were sinking our ships that supplied Britain which contained food, and supplies from reaching there. The Germans even sunk a passenger ship killing 128 Americans and later sunk a French ship.