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  • World War I: A New Kind of Warfare

  • First World War General Overview

    Following the July Crisis, war began in early August 1914

    It was expected to be quick.over by Christmas

    Romantic / chivalry men signed up eager for adventure

    A war of movement was expected..stalemate occurred with trench warfare

    No one knew the problems associated with industrialized warfare.19th century tactics were ineffective against modern weapons such as the machine gun

    War lasted for 4 years..approx 9 million soldiers / 20 million civilians would die

  • First World War Opening Moves

    Prior to 1914, all major countries (Russia, France, Germany) had developed very detailed and calculated war plans that would be implemented should war ever erupt.

    For Germany, it was surrounded by countries of the Triple Entente, so a war plan was needed to deal with the possibility of war on two fronts (France in the West & Russia in the East)

    We can use the map on the next slide to describe how Germanys geographic location in Europe influenced its pre-World War I war plan


  • First World War Opening Moves

    The German plan was to quickly knock

    France out of the war & capture Paris

    before British & Russia forces could be

    mobilized & brought into action

    To accomplish this Germany decided to

    invade neutral Belgium, sweep through

    northeastern France & capture Paris,

    knocking France out of the war in only 6

    weeksSchlieffen Plan

    This plan brought Britain into the

    conflict in defense of neutral Belgium &

    it responded by sending forces to

    Northern France

  • The Race to the Sea, Fall 1914

    By September 1914 the German plan had failed, British & French forces stopped the Germans just outside of Paris. France was saved!!

    The Race to the Sea now began as both sides attempted to control the ports along the English Channel

    Both sides also now began to dig in over the next few months to consolidate their positions TRENCH WARFARE had arrived!

    The Outbreak of War (Interactive Map)

  • A New Kind of Warfare

    The war on the Western Front was a new kind of warfare.

    No one had experienced a war like it before. The generals

    plan had not allowed for it. Everyone had to adapt.

    What distinguished this war from previous ones?

    Trench Warfare

    Dominated by artillery

    Cavalry became outdated

    Dominated by infantry

    Industrialized Warfare

  • Trench Warfare

    Both sides began to construct deep trenches protected by

    machine guns & barbed wire.

    Parallel lines of trenches soon stretched from the English

    Channel to Switzerland

    Opposing forces were only separated by 25m in some areas.

    Trench warfare dominated the Western Front battlefields of


  • Activity #1: Trench Organization

    Front-line : This was the firing-and-attack trench (closest to the enemy)

    Support : This trench contained men & supplies that could immediately assist those on the front line

    Reserve : This trench contained men & supplies that were available in emergencies should the first trenches be overrun.

    Communication : Connected the various trenches & allowed movement of messages, supplies, & men

    among the trenches


  • No Mans Land

    The space between the allied &

    enemy front line trenches

    Characterized with destroyed

    military equipment &

    vegetation, mud-soaked craters,

    rotting corpses, & barbed wire

    Night-time Trench raids were


    Snipers were a constant threat

  • First World War Trenches

    The front line trench was supported by much stronger

    reserve trenches and linked by communication trenches.

    German trenches were usually stronger and better

    constructed than allied trenches.

    As the Germans invaded Belgium and France they quickly

    captured the higher ground and built their trenches in those


  • First World War Trenches

    Many of their dugouts and machine gun posts were

    reinforced with concrete which provided a stronger defence

    against artillery bombardment.

    The British and Allied trenches were often filled with water

    and mud because they were constructed in the low-lying


  • Activity #2: Copy & Label the Cross section


  • 2. Artillery

    It was the key weapon of

    WWI which caused more

    casualties than any other


    Fear most by the soldiers

    Shrapnel shells

  • 2. Artillery

    The area around Ypres,

    Belgium experienced the

    devastating effects of artillery


    The Menin Gate stands there

    today as a reminder of the

    men who have no known

    grave (over 55,000 British &

    Empire dead)

    Thiepval on the Somme has

    over 70,000

  • The following shows a series of aerial photographs of Passchendaele taken before, during, and after the battle in 1917.

    As you view the photos, think about the following

    How has the use of artillery physically changed the town and surrounding landscape?

    In what ways were soldiers impacted by this destruction?

  • 3. Cavalry

    Traditionally, Cavalry forces provided

    speed & mobility to armies

    Cavalry Charge

    The emergence of artillery, barbed

    wire, machine guns, & trench warfare in

    WWI, however, rendered cavalry

    virtually useless

    Animals were too vulnerable for frontal

    assaults & were mainly concentrated on

    transportation/supply duties

    Tanks became the new cavalry as the

    war progressed

  • 4. Infantry

    Foot soldier who formed the

    backbone of the army

    Infantry Charge replaced

    the Cavalry Charge

    Carried a variety of

    equipment into battle

  • 4. Infantry Charge

    The attacking sides artillery

    bombarded the frontline trenches

    of the enemy in the days / weeks

    prior to the attack.

    As soon as the barrage lifted

    (stopped), attacking

    troops would go over the

    top of their trenches to


  • 4. Infantry Charge

    The defenders now attempted to

    hold their positions & destroy the

    attacking forces with machine gun

    fire & other weapons available

    If enemy trenches were captured,

    they had to be held against strong

    enemy counter-attack.a very

    difficult task

  • 4. Infantry Charge

    The machine gun was devastatingly effective defending a trench

    against the infantry charge.

    Firing 8 10 bullets / min, this weapon made frontal assaults on

    trenches very costly

    The theory was that if enough soldiers charged then no matter how

    many were killed or wounded on the way, there would still be

    enough men alive to capture the machine guns in the enemy


    July 1st, 1916Battle of the Somme

  • Trench Warfare Simulation

    Now you will build on your knowledge of trench warfare by

    completing a simulation from the Canadian War museum

    Over the Top is an interactive adventure game that allows YOU to

    experience life in the trenches during the First World War. As a

    young Canadian soldier stationed somewhere along the Western

    Front in the late Fall of 1916, you will live through some of the

    excitement, despair, brutality and sheer horror of trench warfare.

    Complete the following activity for homework, to be submitted for

    next class.

  • Trench Warfare

    Complete the letter writing activity contained in your workbook

  • 5. New Weapons

    As countries militarized & prepared for war, new

    technologies appeared which introduced the world to the

    dark side of the Industrial Revolution

    All of the following first appeared during WWI

    Machine Guns, Tanks, Airplanes, Submarines, Poisonous Gas