THE PEACE TREATY THAT ENDS THE GREAT WAR
We all know that WW1 was a devastating conflict for all countries that left the world in a vulnerable, dysfunctional state. Germany agreed and signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 and is now ratified today; January 20th 1920. This is one of the most important peace treaties that brought World War One to an end! One of the prompts the treaty presented was that Germany was responsible to pay for all loss and reparations to damaged countries. If the accused, Germany, is found guilty and found that they violated customs of war, then they will be sentenced to “punishments laid by law”. Germany had the right to defense and a counsel while on trial. The Treaty of Versailles also created the league of nations and the Mandate system for governing the surrendered land of Germany. In simple terms the Treaty of Versailles ended WW1 and created a way in which Germany can attain controlled power along with other countries. This treaty had clauses that ensured Germany would have limitations to army and power. It was founded by the Allied Powers of the US, France, Great Britain, and Italy when the peace conference was held; January 18th, 1919. During this conference it was also established that food must be shipped to blockaded countries and the armies of every country needed to be put to a halt, The future of the countries was also considered and the Allied powers allowed some modification to be made.
During this Great War, the Central Powers included Germany, Austria- Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. The most talked about and arguably the most important cause of World War 1 was Germany. The central powers were presented the Treaty of Versailles and when signed was forced to pay for all reperations caused by the war.
A great war between large powers of Europe has sparked into what is now being called a “World War” after the war has started, the Allied and Central powers are far into battle over the European territories. The Allied powers, consisting of France, Russia, and britain, are fighting on the Serbians behalf. The Central powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy are seeking revenge on Serbia for the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Austria-Hungary showed their power and alliances by using Germany as a force to back down the Russians war machine the Serbians had as a strong ally. The Austrians, along with the Germans, were conducting independent searches and using strong military force. The German army had high capabilities and new technology scaring the Russians and Serbians. The Serbians reached out to Russia for military aid and the czar of Russia answered. Worried the Germans would use this as an excuse to attack the Balkan Peninsula, a strategic area for an attack on the Russians. This fear of a war on the Balkans persuaded Russia into mobilizing their army to help the Serbians as well as prepare for themselves. On July 25, the Austrians declared war on Serbia in which Russia rallied to Serbia’s help. Soon after germany declared war on Russia and launched an attack on Russia’s ally, France, crossing through the neutral, Belgium, violating the neutrality and springing Great britain into action as Belgium’s ally.
THE ALLIED POWERS
Austria-Hungary has declared war on Serbia on June 28, provoking Russia into mobilizing on the Austrian attack. Germany, an ally of Austria, has declared war on Russia and started an advance on Russia’s ally, France. But moving through Belgium to attack violated the neutrality of the country introducing Belgium’s ally, Britain, into the war. The Allied powers, consisting of Russia, France, and great Britain, were not all allies outside of this war. Britain has not promised any military support for the allies yet, but has ruled it will not attack any of the other allies. Russia, a great military power, is fighting to protect its ally, the Serbians, from an attack by Austria-Hungary and the German war machine. Their original ally, France is being invaded by Germany at the moment through Belgium. France is under attack and is expected to be the area of main battles for this war as germany is focusing on them as an enemy.
Joseph Joffre (January 12, 1852 - January 3, 1931) was a General and Commander in Chief of the French Forces during this past war. He was in many battles including the first battle of Marne, the German attack on Verdun, as well as many other defenses against the German attacks. He became a leader of the Supreme War Council in 1918 and retired from the military in 1919. He then resided in Paris where he passed away and was buried.
Henry Horne (February 19, 1861 - August 14, 1929) was a military officer in the British Army. Being the son of a Major in the British army he was thrust into the Royal Military Academy at the age of 19. From there he exceeded many ranks to become a British Artillery Officer. He was the only Artillery Officer to ever command an army. After the war he was promoted to the head of the Eastern Command in 1919 and retired from the army in 1923. He was appointed Master Gunner of St. James Park, and honorary position he would hold until his death.
TECHNOLOGY AND INVENTIONS THAT CAME OUT OF THE WAR
The first was caused more death than all wars before it. The reason for it was the 20th century firepower. Some inventions that came out from the war where the machine guns, tanks, flamethrowers, airplanes, and submarines.
war strategist were trained to rely on large numbers of professional foot soldiers who could engage in hand-to-hand combat. Little did they know about the machine gunners waiting for them. When a line of british soldiers came within 1,000 yards of a defensive line, the machine gun proved its effectiveness. They were mounted on wheeled carts, to allow more mobility, and could fire up to 500 rounds per minute unlike the rifle that could only shoot one bullet at a time.
The poisonous gas was invented in April 22, 1915 because Germans couldn’t penetrate the Allied trenches along the Western Front with their artillery or with waves of machine gunners. A German airplane dropped canisters in no-man’s-land. When they hit the ground they released yellowish green fumes that slowly wafted towards the French and African troops. As soon as the fumes reached the soldiers they realized the cloud was poisonous gas. One french doctor stated: “i had the impression that i was looking through green glasses… i spat blood and suffered from dizziness. We all thought we were lost.” over time both sides quickly made gas mask, the first ones were made from chemically treated cotton pads that they held over their noses and mouths. By the end both sides wore respirators with charcoal filters.
Once soldiers crossed no-man’s-land and entered enemy trenches, new weapons were needed. Flamethrowers were short-ranged weapons that squirted pressurized streams of a burning mix of gas and oil. Stationary and portable ones were made. They could literally blow a wall of flame into trenches or passageways in fortifications, burning alive all those inside. They were especially good at clearing trenches. The drawback to these weapons was their enormous fuel requirements. Though effective, they wouldn’t be fully developed until the second World War.
Prototypes of tanks were proposed as early as 1907, it was not until no-man’s-land was thoroughly blood soaked that a navy committee formed to build the first tank. It was the MK 1 prototype, built in Britain in 1915 and effectively called “big willie” and entered the battlefield on September 15, 1916. It was 26ft. long, 28 ton tank and required a crew of eight to maneuver it as it only lumbered at 3 m/h. Tanks went through several prototypes after that. The MK IV won the tank the place it deserved in offensive attacks. By war’s end, tanks had become a promising part of modern warfare.
The germans were forced into retreat at the Battle of the Marne but their weapons were mostly for defense; what they needed was a safe place to hide so they could shoot the allies. They maid trenches as a result, they were 10 ft. deep and could protect soldiers and effectively halt the enemy. They both dug trenches but the main one was the zigzag patterns. They protected against attacks. Supporting trenches were also dug as protected pathways for communication with HQ and routes for supplies. Some were open to the air while others had wooden covers or were actually dug underground. Canadian general Sir Edwin said to his soldiers, “Do not expose your heads, and do not look around corners, unless for a purpose… the man who does so is stupid… If you put your head over the parapet without orders, they will hit that head.”
ASSASSINATION OF THE ARCHDUKE
On June 28, 1914 Franz and Sophie were touring Sarajevo in an open car, with little security. As they were on way Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic, was the first to try and assassinate them by throwing a bomb at their car. It rolled off the back of the vehicle and wounded an officer and some bystanders. Later on they decided to pay a visit to the injured officer the archduke’s procession took a wrong turn at the junction, where one of Cabrinovic’s cohorts, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, happened to be loitering. Seen his opportunity, he fired at the car at point-blank range shooting both Franz and Sophie.
THE BATTLE OF GALLIPOLI 1915-1916
The Allies were against the central powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The first battles in World War I starts, the attack on Gallipoli benefited the allies (Great Britain and Russia) as they defeat the Ottomans in their first major campaign. However Germany and Austria-Hungary blocks Russian land routes. Making it harder for the Allies to transport goods and weapons to Russia. Meanwhile Churchill and Kitchener hoped that if the Gallipoli Campaign went well Countries like Greece, Romania, and Italy can abandon their neutral relationship against the Ottomans and fight alongside the Allies. Which can greatly benefit the Allies and outnumber the Ottomans. So Churchill pushed for the attack on Gallipoli and the British government agreed alongside France. Now with more reinforcements the Allies plan was go on sea and bomb the Capital of the Ottoman Empire (February 19, 1915). The Allies were successful at the start knowing that they were outnumbering the Ottoman Empire and previous wars had weakened the Empire. The Allies attacked again (April 20, 1915) in Gallipoli with the British and France. Both the Ottoman Empire and Allies could not get any progress as both armies could not get any advantage, this had continued until June where both had made no progress and was closing near a draw. During December 1915 and January 1916 happened, the Allies withdraw giving the Ottomans the victory for the Battle of Gallipoli.
Many of the Allies Soldier died during the Battle of Gallipoli, about 130,000 people died during the battle. The Ottoman Empire continued defending their land and Russia was seriously injured. The Allies failed to capture Dardanelles which made them unable to give supplies to Russia. Russia now in a crisis started the Russian Revolution in 1917 due to shortage of supplies which was partly the Allies fault for not being able to capture Dardanelles . Great Britain and France discontinued any attack on the Ottoman Empire and decided to move on to defending the Western Front and the Middle East for any invaders. The Allies have now lost Great Britain and France to battle with and Russia is in it’s own war.
WHY DID THE RUSSIANS LEAVE THE WAR?
During Russia’s time in WWI with the Allies, Russia had a hard time converting into a military based country. Invaders like Germany attacked Russia borders which caused a massive deficit in the Russian army. This has caused Russia to go to war with less people than it required, this of course caused major damage and losses to the Russian army and with the Allies hundreds of miles away like France. Russia had to learn how to be independent to defeat Germany, so they started to grow agriculture and gained more soldiers. However they’re trade system, horrible work conditions and growing populations caused many Russians to face starvation. This caused the Russian Revolution in March 1917. Protest happened like demand of food which even caused some soldiers to join the ones who protested. This had marked the absence of Russia in WWI as they were isolated from any help, Allies failed to transport to Russia and Germany had stripped Russia of its resources and pride. The revolution ended in Nov, 1917 with Lenin taking control of Russia and making peace with Germany, well until the Civil War.