Machine guns and Rifles - Class Notes for Mr.Guerriero

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Transcript Machine guns and Rifles - Class Notes for Mr.Guerriero

War 1
 The image above is a bottle of chlorine
 Chlorine gas was first used by the
Germans at the Second battle of Ypres
in 1915.
 This gas effected a soldier’s vision,
burned the skin and made it very
difficult to breathe.
 Overall, it was not a effective as the
Germans wanted.
 It could be easily beaten by a damp
cloth over one’s face.
The war to end all wars
 World War 1 (WW1) began on June
28, 1914.
It was given the name “The war to
end all wars”
Young men were happy to join their
countries’ military.
Many believed that with new
technology the war would be over in
a few months.
No one expected the war to turn out
as it did.
 An armistice (cease fire) was signed
and scheduled for November 11, 1918
at 11:00 am.
The last soldier killed was Canadian
G.L. Price. He was shot by a German
sniper and died Nov. 11, 1918 at
10:58 am.
In total approximately 65 million men
were deployed.
Roughly 16 million were killed and an
additional 21 million were wounded.
With a total cost in the hundreds of
billions of dollars.
Causes of World War 1
 After the colonization of Africa many
European nations built up their armies
and created new weapons.
 This boom in military was due to the
tensions that were left in Europe after
the division of Africa.
 Countries were preparing for war, all
they needed was a reason.
 There were two main causes for the
start of WW1.
Cause #1: Alliances
 Due to the tensions after the division
of Africa, European nations formed
 The goal of these alliances was to
offer protection and ensure peace.
 Leaders felt that these alliances
would keep all countries “in line,” due
to the alliances’ combined power.
 This idea failed. It was these alliances
that brought the entire world into
 There were two major alliances.
1. Triple Alliance (Central Powers):
Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy
Triple Entente (Allied Powers):
France, Russia, Great Britain
By the start of the war 1914 Italy
had left the Triple alliance and the
Ottoman Empire took its place.
Italy joined the Allied Powers
Serbia a “break off nation” of
Austria-Hungary had an alliance with
Cause #2: Assassination
 On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz
Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian
throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo
 Ferdinand’s wife (Princess Sophie)
was also assassinated.
 The killer was Gavrillo Princip a Serb
and member of the Black Hand.
 The Black Hand was a terrorist group
with a goal to unite all Slavs/ Serbs
and claim their land from Austria.
 Ferdinand and his wife were on their
way to see those injured by a grenade
in an earlier assassination attempt.
Most of Ferdinand’s motorcade had
continued out of the city.
Despite warnings Ferdinand continued
towards the hospital.
The assassins were trained in Serbia.
It was later discovered by Austrian
officials that the Serbian government
had supplied the Black Hand with
money and weapons.
The start of the Great War
 The death of Franz Ferdinand and his
wife deeply upset Austrian officials.
 Austria-Hungary declared war on
Serbia on July 28, 1914.
 Due to it’s alliance Russia declared
war on Austria one day later.
 On Aug. 1 Germany declares war on
Russia and France declares war on
 Aug. 3 Germany declares war on
 Aug. 4 Germany enters neutral
Belgium. This forces Britain to
declare war on Germany.
 It took 38 days from the
assassination of Ferdinand for the
world to go into total war.
 In total there were approximately
150 countries and colonies involved
in WW1.
Schlieffen Plan
 The Schlieffen Plan was a plan for
war used by the Germans in WW1.
This plan called for a quick defeat of
France, 6 weeks.
This would be done by rushing all
troops to France.
Once victorious use the rail roads to
ship all German soldiers into Russia.
The purpose was not to separate
German forces on two fronts.
 The Germans relied on speed and
surprise in order to insure victory over
 The Schlieffen Plan called for German
forces to move through Belgium to get
to France.
 This move brought Britain into the war.
 The Schlieffen Plan had major flaws; it
assumed that there would be little fight
from Belgium and France.
 Also that it would take 6 weeks for
Russia to mobilize.
Early Resistance
 The Schlieffen Plan called for the quick
defeat of Belgium and France.
However, quick mobilization of Russian
and French forces posed a problem.
The Battle of the Frontiers (1914) in
Russia and Battle of Tannenberg (1914)
in Belgium slowed down Germany.
Numerous small battles in Belgium also
slowed down Germany.
German did not expect this type of
resistance from Belgium.
The first battle of the Marne
(Sept. 7, 1914)
 German army advanced through
northern France and were closing in
on Paris.
French launched a counterattack
along the Marne River east of Paris.
2 million men fought on a battle-front
that stretched over 100 km.
The French managed to push back
250,000 French lives were lost.
 It was this battle that caused the
Schlieffen Plan to fail.
A New kind of Warfare
 Word of Germany’s invasion of Belgium
quickly spread to France and other
European nations.
French troops mobilized to meet
approaching German divisions.
French wore bright red coats and
heavy brass helmets.
Many soldiers carried flags and played
German troops wore gray uniforms as
camouflage on the battlefield.
 French war strategy was outdated:
 Marched row by row onto the battlefield
 Prepared for close combat by mounting
bayonets to their rifles.
 The Germans, however, had machine
guns, and mowed down 15,000 French
troops per day.
The war reaches a stalemate
 The First Battle of the Marne ended in a
Both French and German soldiers dug
trenches to defend their positions and
seek protection.
By late 1914, massive systems of trenches
stretched across Western and Eastern
The battle lines known as the Western
Front extended from Switzerland to the
North Sea.
In the east the stretched from Riga,
Latvia to Northern Romania.
Trench Life
 Soldiers lived in the trenches.
 They ate, slept, and went to the
bathroom in the same position all the
 The sounds of gunfire, explosions,
and screams of pain were constant.
 Soldiers had to stay with their heads
down at all times.
 A soldier’s weapon was always at
their side.
 The smell in the trenches was a mixture
of human waste, rotting bodies,
ammunition, and mildew.
Along with this the trenches were
usually filled with water (between the
soldiers ankle and knee).
This water caused a very common
problem “trench foot”.
Trench foot was the result of a soldier’s
foot constantly being under cold, dirty
Amputation was the only solution in
severe cases
 Soldiers had to share the trench
with millions of insects and bacteria.
Frogs and snakes were common as
Lice became a huge problem. It was
responsible for “trench fever.”
Rats were very common. They fed
on the flesh of dead bodies.
Moreover, it was not uncommon for
rats to bite or begin to feed on living
soldiers as well.
Trench Warfare
 Both Allied and German created a
system of trenches.
Constant bombardment and rifle fire
hit the walls of the trenches.
Machine guns were always standing
guard to prevent enemy attacks.
Territory was gained by opposing
soldiers taking over enemy trenches.
Soldiers went “over the top” into an
area called “no man’s land.”
 No man’s land was the area between two
systems of trenches.
 It was usually filled with barbed wire,
bodies, and bomb craters.
Attacking soldiers were usually shot down
by enemy machine guns and artillery.
These attacks did not gain much territory
for either side.
Both sides lost and gained territory
throughout the war.
For this reason WW1 ended in a
New weapons of war
Poisonous Gas
 German military scientists
experimented with gas as a weapon.
 Gas in battle was risky: Soldiers
didn’t know how much to use, and
wind changes could backfire the gas.
 The first gas attack was in 1915 at
Second battle of Ypres. Chlorine gas
was used.
 This gas affected a soldier’s lungs
and vision.
 Eventually Phosgene and Mustard gas
began being used.
 Both of these gases affected the lungs
and other internal organs.
 However, with these gases little could
be done to save soldiers once the gas
entered their bodies.
 Unlike chlorine gas, phosgene and
mustard gas were colorless.
 Mustard gas had severe external
symptoms such as blisters and burnt
 British forces developed armored
tanks to move into no-man’s-land.
 Tanks were able to move over barbed
wire and bomb craters with ease.
 They could also withstand machine
gun fire.
 These tanks had limited success
because many got stuck in the mud.
 Germans soon found ways to destroy
the tanks with artillery fire.
 Planes were used to map and to
attack trenches.
 Planes first dropped heavy objects
on the enemy.
 Soon guns and bombs were
mounted on planes.
 Skilled pilots fought in air battles
called dogfights.
 The most famous fighter pilot of all
time was the Red Baron.
U-Boats (undersea boats)
 Germany developed small submarines
called U-boats to strike to attack allied
 In February 1915 the German
government declared the waters
around Great Britain a war zone,
threatening to destroy all enemy ships.
 This was in response to a British
blockade near the German coast.
 Many nations were angry that the
Germans used u-boats. They felt it
violated the “rules of war”
 Germany specifically warned the U.S. that
neutral ships will be attacked.
 This angered the Americans, and
President Wilson believed it violated the
laws of neutrality.
 On May 7, 1915 the Germans sank the
RMS Lusitania. Although this was a British
ship it had nearly 200 Americans on board
 President Woodrow Wilson held Germany
accountable for American losses.
 This was one of the main reasons why the
United States entered WW1.
 Were used by German submarines
to sink ships.
 Torpedoes were very similar to
artillery shells but had a larger
explosive charge.
 These were large balloons otherwise
known as blimps.
 They were primarily used for
 They were eventually fitted with
bombs and machine guns.
 These were very slow and could be
shot out of the sky very easily.
 They were also filled with a highly
flammable gas.
Machine guns and Rifles
 Machine guns and rifles were much
more powerful then earlier guns.
 Machine guns had the ability to fire
up to 500 bullets per minute.
 These guns had enough power to
cut down full sized trees and go
through cement walls.
 Furthermore, these weapons were
very easy to reload, which
ultimately meant more casualties.
The US Enters the War
 Wilson kept the US neutral as long as
 However, after the Lusitania and other
German atrocities the US declared war
on April 6, 1917.
 With the participation of the United
States, it gave the allies a much
needed boost in manpower and
 This was a key event in ending the war
The End of the Great War
 The involvement of the Americans
proved too much for Germany and
its allies.
 The Germans made one last major
offensive on July 15, 1918.
 The battle has been dubbed the
Second Battle of the Marne.
 The Germans were defeated,
suffering nearly 150 000 casualties.
44 French divisions,
8 American divisions,
4 British divisions,
2 Italian divisions,
408 heavy guns,
360 field batteries
95,165 French dead
or wounded,
16,552 British dead or
12,000 American
dead or wounded
52 divisions,
609 heavy guns,
1,047 field batteries
139,000 dead or
29,367 captured,
793 guns lost
 The allies continued their advance
and pushed the Germans to Sedan.
A small town on the Belgian border.
 The German army would not
recover from the 2nd Battle of the
 With major military loses, failing
economy, and food shortages,
Germany asks for an armistice.
 Armistice: Not a surrender but a
cease fire.
The Paris Peace Conference
 Woodrow Wilson (USA), David Lloyd
George (Brit), Georges Clemenceau
(Fra), and Vittorio Orlando (Ita),
wanted peace.
 These men (leaders of the allies)
came to be known as the “Big Four”
 They invited 32 nations to this
 Germany and its allies were not
The Treaty of Versailles
 Shortly after the Paris Conference a
treaty was signed between the Allies
and Germany.
 Germany and its allies had to:
1. Disarm
2. Pay 33 billion dollars in war
reparations to the Allies
3. Take sole responsibility for the start
of the war
4. Lost all colonies
 This treaty also created the League
of Nations.
 This was an organization of
countries to prevent another global
war and promote peace.