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104 Cards in this Set

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First Battle of the Aisne
September 1914; French offensive against the Germans.
Germans occupy the east bank of the Aisne River outside of Paris; they are entrenched in NE France.
The French launch an offensive to take back the bank - they are unsuccessful, suffering great losses.
A stalemate around Paris ensues: Germans can't take Paris, the French can't push the Germans out of France.
Where were trenches rarely used?
In Flanders and Argonne (low-lying land, lots of water)
Parapet vs. Parados
Parapet: the front wall of the trench, topped with sandbags, facing enemy trenches.
Parados: the back wall of the trench.
"Defense Indepth"
1915 (?) First used by the French as a tactic for trench warfare.
Didn't put the all the troops in the front line trenches (which often resulted in huge casualties with little effort on the part of the enemy).
Used "active" and "passive" zones: the active zones were heavily manned, while the passive zones were sparsely manned.
This cut down the casualty rates as 2/3 of the troops were not in the front lines.
The Germans eventually adopted this tactic; the British never did.
6th Royal Warurickshire Regiment
In 1915, this British regiment suffered a 100% casualty rate, setting a record for the British military.
In war, someone is getting killed all the time, even when active, planned combat is not occurring.
"Blighty" or bonne blessure
A wound that doesn't permanently maim a man, but requires that he be sent home (away from the front) to recover.
As morale crumbled among the troops (especially the French), men began wishing for this type of wound. This desire showed how bad trench conditions were - men would rather be wounded and hospitalized than on the front lines.
Gas gangrene
Common in Flanders; an infection around a wound caused by a baccilus found in horse intestines.
The fertilizer in Flanders contained this baccilus and caused many cases of gas gangrene in the troops stationed there.
Gas gangrene caused the area around the wound to swell, and at first, the affected area was amputated, and sometimes resulted in death. Later, the French developed the technique of debridement, which involved cutting the infected flesh away to prevent the infection from spreading.
French medical innovation: surgeons were told to classify three types of injuries:
1. Immediately need surgery (life-threatening).
2. Stable (could be taken to rear line medical facilities)
3. Fatal
Shell Shock
A psychological condition resulting from stress of war, ex: constant bombardment, fear of death, etc.
Caused hysterical fears, fatigue, giddiness, headaches, and left men incapable of fulfilling their military duties.
Through much of the war, shell shock was not diagnosed as a psychological condition. It was often believed to be cowardice, and enlisted men were shot for their cowardice.
Officers were often treated better and sent to a hospital in Scotland.
Battle of Neuve Chapelle
March 1915; British offensive near Ypres, an attempt to disrupt the German defenses by taking Aubers Ridge.
Offensive is lead by Sir Douglas Haig, and was planned in complete secrecy (Germans were unaware).
British succeeded in breaking through the German lines, but were unsuccessful for the following reasons:
-lack of artillery support
-communication lines were
-the Brits ended up firing
their artillery when there was no resistance (the Germans were so surprised that they retreated, and the Brits fired artillery on empty trenches).
British officers on the field don't have the power to make decisions in battle, and with the lack of communication, the offensive went as was pre-planned.
This allowed the Germans time to regroup and launch a counterattack.
13,000 dead on both sides, and no breakthrough was achieved.
Second Battle of Ypres
March-April 1915; last 1915 German offensive in the west before shifting forces to the eastern front.
Falkenhayn's goals for the offensive:
1. Mask the movement of German troops to the east.
2. Head off the oncoming Allied offensive
3. Try out chlorine gas (Falkenhayn didn't put much stock in this).

Chlorine gas was released into the French reservist units, and they fled. However, Falkenhayn lacked sufficient troops to fill the hole, and Canadian troops were able to move up and close the hole.
Once again, heavy losses, no progress.
Chlorine gas
First used in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915.
Allies believed the Germans wouldn't violate the Hague Convention (1899) which forbade the use of chemical weapons. This is why upper level officials weren't concerned when the front line troops reported seeing the Germans moving canisters around the front.
After Ypres, French developers turned to the development of chemical weapons to use in warfare.
Second Battle of Artois
May-June 1915; a French offensive to take Vimy Ridge.
The French believe this will give them control over the Douai area, which would allow them to cut the German supply lines.
French offensive is led by General Henri-Philippi Petain, and they successfully capture Vimy Ridge. However, lack of communication resulted in no reinforcements for the French. The Germans were able to regroup and recapture the ridge.
= no progress (again)
General Henri-Phillipe Petain
Led French offensive at at Vimy Ridge (Second Battle of Artois) in 1915 and commanded the French defensive action at Verdun in 1916.
1915 British offensive
Marked the first use of the "Kitchener armies;" lots of green troops were sent over the top. The officers had little confidence in the troops, forcing them to march in large, tight packs that were easily targeted by German machine guns.
This was a "last-ditch" effort by the British; used "Division of the Royal Guards," which included the last of the British troops gathered from around the world (colonies, ect.)
British are unsuccessful, suffering huge losses. Sir John French and Rene Viviani are fired after Artois and Loos.
The failures cause the Allies to begin to look for other locations to make the breakthrough. Allied attention then turns to Turkey.
Second Battle of Champagne
1915; French offensive against the German lines at Champagne.
General Marchand and his colonial troops are killed as a result of bad communication between troops on the ground and top command.
French infantry breaks the 2nd line of the German defenses, but the Germans regroup and push the French out.
SMS Goben and SMS Breslay
1914; German warships commanded by Admiral Wilhelm Souchon.
The ships shelled Allied battleships in the Mediterranean, then sailed into Turkish ports for shelter.
1915; the strait through which the Brits planned to attack the Turks.
The plan was to take Dardenelles, capture Constantinople, then gain access to the Black Sea.
It didn't work.
Gallipoli peninsula
1915; combined land/water attack on Turkey by the Allied forces.
Led by Sir Ian Hamilton, resulted in huge losses and no gain.
The Brits lost Aussie loyalty; Aussies no longer considered themselves British--Aussie nationalism grows.
In addition, Sir John Fisher and Winston Churchill were both fired following the failure at Gallipoli.
ANZAC cove
The cove the ANZAC troops landed in during the failed 1915 attack on the Gallipoli peninsula.
The troops had landed in the wrong place, and the terrain was extremely difficult to get through.
By the time the troops began climbing out of the cove, the Turk forces had assembled and began mowing the troops down as they ascended the cove.
The NZ forces suffered a 141% casualty rate, and Australian losses were even higher.
The Brits lost the loyalty of Australia after this offensive.
General Mustafa Kemal
1915; commanded Turkish troops during the Allied attack on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Gave the orders to shoot the ANZAC troops as they climbed out of ANZAC cove.
Successfully commanded Turkish troops when the Allies attacked again in August.
Charles Monro
1915; replaced Sir Ian Hamilton as the commander of Allied troops in the Turkish offensive.
Asks Kitchener to come see the conditions the men are fighting in in Turkey.
Kitchener is appalled, ordering a retreat for all troops in the Gallipoli operation. This is their only success. All Allied troops were out of Turkey by January 1916.
Treaty of London
April 1915; secretive treaty between the Brits/French and the Italians.
The treaty was used to entice the Italians into entering WWI on the side of the Allies.
The Brits/French promise to give Trentino and areas on the Adriatic Sea (Serbian lands) to the Italians if they enter the war as Allies.
The diplomacy is very secretive; the Serbians don't know their allies are promising Serbian land to another country.
Count Luigi Cadorna
1915; commanded early Italian attacks in WWI
Orders the First Battle of the Isonzo, even though the Italian forces are unprepared = huge casualties.
AH garrison; in 1915, HL plans attacks through East Prussia and Galacia to break the Russian lines and save the garrison at Przemysl.
Carpathian Mountains
1915; an AH offensive against the Russians in the Carpathian mountains.
The Russians successfully counterattack and capture Przemysl. Only winter stops them from advancing to Cracow.
General August von Mackensen
1915; Led AH/German troops against Russians in Gorlice-Tarnow.
The Russian 3rd army is nearly decimated, and Russia appears to be on the verge of collapse.
Important Russian stronghold captured by AH/German forces in the summer of 1915.
By the end of 1915, a 300 mile stretch of Russia had been lost to the Germans.
Allied disaster: Serbia, 1915
Germans ally with Bulgaria in 1915 (ruled by Czar Ferdinand), surrounding Serbia.
Bulgarian/AH offensive launched against Serbia in October 1915. Serbs led by Radomir Putnik, are eventually forced to retreat over mountains to the Adriatic Sea.
At the coast, the Brits and Italians evacuate the Serbian troops and bring them to Corfu (Greek island taken by the French) to be reequipped.
Once reequipped, Serbs join French forces in Salonika, Greece.
Battle of Verdun
1916; German offensive at the French fort of Verdun, on the Meuse River.
French are deprived of German intelligence (spies were cut off), and Germans manage to gather forces undetected during the winter of 1915-16.
Germans begin attack with heavy artillery, severing French communication and supply lines.
The German infantry, led by Crown Prince William and General von Knobelsdorf, was ordered to take the two main French forts, Ft. Douamont and Ft. Vaux.
Driant had to defend Verdun with two divisions of the French light artillery. Driant is KIA, but the French hold Verdun.
Driant is replaced by Petain, who is ordered to not let Verdun fall.
Petain takes personal control of the artillery, using it in shortage of infantry men. He uses trucks to transport infantry and supplies to and from Verdun; a Vietnamese regiment is ordered to keep the road open for the trucks to pass through.
Petain orders a rotation of troops in and out of Verdun to keep up morale; in all, 75% of French forces are rotated through Verdun.
The German offensive is pretty unsuccessful. Eventually they take Hill 304 and Fort Vaux.
The Germans use phosgene gas on the French artillery section, and Petain asks for a retreat, but command refuses.
In June, due to exhaustion among the troops and the pressure being put on the Germans by the British at the Somme, the Germans are forced to take the pressure off Verdun.
French General Nivelle takes over Verdun, with General Mangin as his second in command. French counterattack is launched at Verdun, with many casualties.
Results of Verdun:
1. German: Falkenhayn is fired, HL takes over; the Germans cannot launch another major offensive until 1918.
2. French: Joffre promoted, and Nivelle takes over; French can't launch another offensive until 1917; causes great morale problems (mutinies in French armies later in war).
Verdun was the greatest battle of the war until the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Lt. Colonel Emile Driant
1916; only French officer to suspect a German attack on Verdun.
Mounts a political campaign about the deficiencies at Verdun, and his efforts convince Joffre to send some additional troops to Verdun, giving the French a chance.
Leads two divisions of French light artillery during the initial German offensive at Verdun; is KIA and replaced by Petain.
Operation Gericht
1916; The German code name for the offensive at Verdun.
Offensive was mounted in complete secrecy, and the Germans had a 3 to 1 numerical superiority over the French.
The Germans were ordered to begin with an artillery bombardment, then to send in the infantry to take the two main forts: Douaumont and Vaux.
Battle of the Somme
July-Nov. 1916; mainly British offensive against the German trenches at the Somme.
The offensive was initially delayed, as the British were trying to build their armies up after the BEF was nearly decimated in 1914 and 1915. In addition, Britain was dealing with an artillery shortage. The French were delayed by the German offensive at Verdun, which required huge numbers of French soldiers to defend Verdun.
To take the pressure off the French at Verdun, the Brits launched the offensive at the Somme before they were completely ready. Many of the British troops were still green (Pals Batallions, Kitchener armies), and the Brits lacked the explosive artillery necessary to break through into the German bunkers.
The offensive was led by Sir Douglas Haig (the French infantry was led by General Marie Emile Fayolle).
The French infantry initially makes relatively good progress, but the Brits don't and are eventually losing ~a division per day.
The Somme marked the first use of the tank (by the Brits), but most broke down before they could do any real damage.
The Brits gave up in November 1916, with very few, mainly insignificant gains against the Germans. Huge casualties were incurred on both sides, making the Somme the greatest battle of the war to date.
Trentino offensive
May-June 1916; offensive by the AH against the Italians.
Led by Conrad von Hortenzendorff, devised as a way to break through the Italian lines. The AH would attack the Italians on two fronts, one in the Trentino and one on the Isonzo River.
Von Hortenzendorff decided to launch the main attack through the Trentino, where the Italians would be unprepared, and the AH troops could break through the Italian lines, capture the rail hub in Padua (which supplied the Italian army), then push on to capture Venice.
The AH offensive is launched in May 1916, and they succeed in surprising the Italians on the front in Trentino. The AH army manages to break the Italian lines and heads towards the Adriatic Sea. However, lack of manpower/reserve forces causes the offensive to be stopped and pushed back before reaching the sea.
This failed offensive lead the Italians to believe that the AH were weak on the Isonzo River. This belief gave the Italians confidence to launch a massive attack on the AH in the 6th Battle of the Isonzo.
In addition, von Hortenzendorff's removal of troops from the Eastern front produced a weak area in Galacia, where the Russians launched their successful Brusilov offensive.
Sir Douglas Haig
Commanded the British offensive at Neuve Chappelle in 1915 and the Allied (mainly British) offensive at the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916.
Conrad von Hortenzendorff
1916; Commander of the AH forces on the Italian front in 1916.
Von Hortenzendorff orchestrated the Trentino offensive, determining the Trentino as the best place to break Italy's defensive lines and move on to capture Venice. He was wrong.
6th Battle of Isonzo
August 1916; offensive by the Italians against the AH.
Primarily planned on the belief that AH forces were weak on the Isonzo. Italian officers were led to believe this after the failed AH offensive at the Trentino, which invested such large numbers of AH troops that the Italians assumed troops must have been removed from the Isonzo front.
The Italians were somewhat successful, capturing Gorizia and making some minor breaks in the AH line. However, German reinforcements were sent in to stabilize the line, and the Italians were unable to claim a major breakthrough.
Lake Narotch offensive
March 1916; military offensive launched by the Russians against the Germans.
The offensive was primarily used as a way to divert some German attention from the attack on Verdun.
The Russians possessed numerical superiority and appeared to be well off at first. However, spring set in earlier than was expected, and the ice thawed. Russian troops had to wade through marshes and mud to get to the planned attack points. The Russian advance was slowed considerably.
The slow advance allowed the Germans to gather and strengthen their forces. The Russians gained very little from the offensive. The failure devastated many Russian officers.
Brusilov offensive
June-Sept. 1916; Russian offensive against the AH forces in Galacia (where von Hortenzendorff had removed troops to support his Trentino offensive).
The attack is a large victory for the Russians. As morale crumbles in the AH army, entire units willingly surrender to the Russians. Several Czech units even leave the AH army and join the Russian ranks. German troops are forced to come in and strengthen the AH lines.
The Russians are able to open up a 20 (?) mile stretch in the AH defensive lines. Yay Russians.
Joined the war on the side of the Allies in 1916, after agreeing to the Treaty of Bucharest.
However, Romania was unprepared for war. Many of its generals were rather inexperienced and made strategic errors. Instead of attacking Bulgaria as the Allies (FR.BR.RU.) suggested, Romanian armies mounted an offensive into AH.
In response, the Germans (under Falkenhayn and von Mackensen) attack Romania. At the same time, Bulgarian forces open an offensive into Romania, forcing the Romanians to fight a two front war.
In addition, the Russians could only supply 50,000 men (of the 200,000 promised) to help the Romanians, and Sarrail was unable to break through to Romania from the Italian front.
Treaty of Bucharest
Aug. 17, 1916; treaty between Romania and the Allies (technically, Britain, France, and Russia).
The treaty was used as a way to entice the Romanians to enter the war on the side of the Allies.
The treaty promised that, in light of an Allied victory, Romania would receive substantial territory from AH. Some of the lands included Transylvania and Banat of Temsval.
The Banat of Temsval was part of the Serbian lands. As in the Treaty of London, the Serbs were unaware that their allies were promising their lands to other countries.
The treaty also included that Russia would send 200,000 troops to aid on the Romanian front. In addition, the French would send its troops up from Salonika to Romania.
Too bad Romania didn't really help at all.
Early grenades used by the British in 1914ish.
Consisted of empty jam cans filled with nails and explosives. An external fuse was lit, and the can was thrown at the enemy.
Jampots were very unreliable and could not be used in the rain.
Early grenades used by the British in 1914ish.
Consisted of an 8 inch pipe loaded with explosives wired to a long stick with a fuse.
Like the jampot, the hairbrush could not be used in the rain and was highly unreliable.
Egg grenade
Shrapnel grenade used by the Germans in 1917.
Used a friction primer, and fragmented upon exploding.
The internal fuse allowed it to be used in wet conditions.
Stick grenade
Highly explosive grenade used by the Germans in 1915.
Used an internal fuse, allowing it to be used in wet conditions.
More explosive than the egg grenade.
Mill's bomb
Grenade developed by the British around 1915.
The Brits (working off the Belgian model) were the first to develop and mass produce a hand grenade with an internal fuse.
The Mill's bomb resembled the traditional "pineapple" grenade shape.
Stokes Mortar
Mortar developed by the British in 1915.
Produced in the response to the need for high-angle artillery weapons that were still light and maneuverable.
The Stokes Mortar was the most advanced of it's kind in 1915, and was used to fire shells into enemy trenches.
The Mortar had a range of 250 yards, weighed about 70 lbs, and could fire 20 to 30 rounds per minute.
Mortar gave the Allies a temporary advantage over the Germans, until the Germans developed their own similar artillery.
Winston Churchill
Head of Admirality in Britain in 1915.
Saw the importance of armored vehicles in land warfare. Churchill used the naval budget to fund the development of tanks.
In 1916, William Foster Co. developed the first tank, the Mark I, a prototype. Mark II was developed soon after and used on the Somme.
Tanks gave the Allies considerable advantage over the Germans (as tanks became more advanced; at first, they tended to break down).
Tanks also helped transform modern warfare. Trenches were no longer useful as method of warfare, because tanks could roll right into them.
Nov. 20, 1917; British offensive against German forces at Cambrai.
The offensive at Cambrai marks the first time tanks were used as they are in modern warfare.
The British attacked the Germans using Mark IV tanks. The infantry marched behind 400 tanks, which led the offensive.
The offensive was quite sucessful, with the Brits opening an 8 mile gap in the German lines.
This use of the tank began to mark the end of trench warfare. Tanks would simply roll through the trenches and fire at the soldiers.
Aug. 20, 1917; British offensive against the Germans in Amiens.
Known as a "black day" for the German army. The British used the Mark V against the German trenchs, and entire German units broke and ran.
This offensive showed the advantage gained by armored vehicles and the disadvantage the Germans were at not having them.
Renault 7
Tank developed by the French in 1916.
This 7 ton tank was used by the French and consequently, by the Americans, who were supplied by the French.
The Renault 7 was faster than the British Mark tanks and was the first to possess a fully manuverable turet. The turet was equipped with a canon and could perform a 360 degree turn.
The Renault 7 showed how quickly warfare was evolving, and the emphasis the Allies placed on the development of armored vehicles.
Tanks developed by the Germans in 1917.
The A7V was an enormous tank, weighing 33 tons and powered by two engines. It's size made it slow and rather difficult to maneuver.
The Germans never really developed an efficient tank. They were better at manipulating captured Brit tanks.
The Germans failed to put enough effort into producing advanced tanks, and in 1918, Allied tanks began shattering the German lines.
Fritz Haber
Head of the German chemical warfare industry in 1915.
The Germans were the first to violate the Hague Treaty of 1899 (?) and use chemical weapons in WWI.
The Germans introduced the use of chlorine gas in the Ypres Salient (on the French).
However, the Germans underestimated the Allies' ability to reproduce similar weapons, and soon found themselves the target of chemical weapons.
Chlorine, phosgene, and mustard
Chemical weapons developed and used in WWI.
All of the gases were developed by the Germans, but they were soon reproduced and used by the Allies as well.
The use of chemical weapons violated the Hague Treaty of 1899, which was signed by the Brits, French, and Germans.
Chlorine gas was first used by the Germans in 1915 the Ypres Salient, against French troops. The Allies were unprepared, as they did not believe that the Germans would go so far as to violate the treaty. Chlorine gas poisoning causes death by asphixiation over a number of days.
Phosgene gas was introduced by the Germans in 1915, and it was used against the French at Verdun.
Mustard gas was developed by the Germans in 1917. It was a blistering agent that was able to rot flesh it came into contact with. When inhaled, it caused respiratory problems.
The effects of mustard gas were not always immediately apparent. Symptoms would sometimes develop days after.
Men who survived WWI would often have lifelong respiratory problems caused by the mustard gas.
Gas never achieved the great breakthrough as the Germans hoped it would. As the war dragged on, the Germans began to use gas in the most advantageous manner, as a way to slow the enemy while the Germans retreated.
Hydrogen cyanide
Hydrogen cyanide was one of the chemical weapons the French developed but didn't use during the war.
The French chemical industry was more advanced that the Germans ever knew. The French possessed hydrogen cyanide gas and biological weapons, but the democracy voted not to use them, finding it too inhumane.
Box respirator
Gas mask developed by the Brits in 1916.
The Germans had a slightly better model, but the British model was nearly as good and was used widely by the Allies.
The respirator filtered the air the men breathed, protecting them from inhaling the dangerous gas.
Two basic aircrafts in WWI
1. "Lighter than air" craft
Usually in the form of observation balloons, used largely for observing the enemy. However, as artillery became more advanced, the balloons became vunerable to enemy fire from the ground.
German Count Ferdinand Zepplin perfected the dirigible, which became the most advanced "lighter than air" craft used in WWI.
2. "Heavier than air" crafts
Essentially, these were airplanes. Rarely used in the beginning of the war, but were constantly being advanced and upgraded, and were eventually used in bomb raids later in the war.
"Lighter than air" craft produced by the German Count Ferdinand Zepplin.
The dirigible was powered by an engine and kept in the air using hydrogen gas. It was used primarily for observation, but was also used in the bombing of London during WWI.
The dirigible had a long range and could fly 10,000 feet above ground level.
Disadvantages of the dirigible:
-It moved very slowly, making it vunerable to enemy fire.
-If the hydrogen gas tank was punctured by enemy fire, the dirigible would explode.

The bombing raids in London brought the war to the civilian populations. As the war continued, both sides began to attack civilians as a way to break down morale within the countries, in the hope that the enemy would be forced to surrender.
"Heavier than air" crafts
Airplanes were scarce at the onset of the war, and the ones the military had were used mainly for observation. Aerial observation alerted the French that the German Schlieffen Plan was going to bring the German flank in front of Paris. This information allowed the French to plan a strategic offensive in the Battle of the Marne.
As aircrafts began being shot down by enemy pilots, it became imperative to equip the planes with some sort of firepower.
Eventually, a gun was placed directly in front of the pilot, behind the propeller. The plane was equipped with a synthesizer that only allowed bullets to be fired when there was no propeller in the way.
Airplane engine designed by the French.

This was regarded as the best airplane engine developed during WWI, and it was used to power French, British, and American planes.

The French used this engine to power the SPAD XII airplane.
Fokker D VII
Airplane developed by the Germans in 1918ish.

Fokkers had the best airplane structure out of all the planes developed in WWI. It would have given the Germans considerable advantage had they been developed earlier in the war.
In the armistice in 1918, the Allies demanded that the Germans turn all their Fokker planes over to the Allies.
Roland Garros
1888-1918; French aviator

Developed the synchronizer in fighter planes. This allowed the gun to be placed in its most advantageous position, directly in front of the pilot, behind the propeller.
The Germans eventually perfected the sychronizer in their Eindekker planes.
Albatross D3
1916-17; Plane designed by the Germans

After being nearly blown out of the sky by the French Nieuport and British Dehavilland planes, the Germans developed the fastest plane to date, the Albatross D3.
The Albatross D3 could go up to 100mph, and gave the Germans dominance in the skies in 1916 and 1917.
Italian plane used in 1917ish.

Good at clearing the Alps, and can carry 1200lbs of bombs.
Vice Adm. Graf von Spee
German admiral in 1914; led German Pacific squadron based in Tsintas.
In Aug. 1914, left China and entered the Pacific Ocean to engage the British S. American fleet near Chile. The Germans effectively knock out that section of the British fleet.
Against the advice of his captains, von Spee sailed with his fleet to Falkland to take the British ports. However, the Brits beat the Germans to Falkland and attacked the retreating Germans. Von Spee and his division were destroyed.
Eventually, the Brits manage to knock out most of Germany's naval power in WWI.
SMS Emden, SMS Karlsruh, SMS Koenigsburg
1914; German battleships

After the Battle of Falkland Islands, individual German battleships continued to attack Allied ships.
The SMS Emden sank 17 Allied ships in the Indian Ocean before being sunk.
The SMS Karlsruh was sunk in 1916 (?).
The SMS Koenigsburg raided African waters until it was sunk. The guns from the ship were carried into Africa and used by the colonial German armies under von Lettow-Vorbeck.
Battle of Heligoland Bight
28 Aug. 1914; British offensive against the German fleet at Heligoland Bight.
Heligoland Bight was a strategic location for the Germans. The Kiel Canal allowed them to pass between the Atlantic, where they fought the British, and the Baltic Sea, where they engaged the Russians. Then the entire German fleet was never fully exposed to the Brits' Grand Fleet.
The Brits goal was to launch a light raid that would temporarily distract the Germans and help bottle up the fleet. This distraction would allow the Brits to continue transporting troops to Belgium to help Albert I without German interference.
The Brit offensive was led by Commodore Sir Reginald Tryrwhitt. A second party was sent out as well, led by Sir David Beatty. In the fog of the sea, the Brit navy was temporarily confused, because the first fleet hadn't been alerted to the fact that more Brit ships had been sent out to aid them.
However, the Brit did achieve their goal. Both sides suffered casualties, and the battle made both sides pledge to be more cautious in using the full force of their navies.
The Battle of Heligoland Bight made officials on both sides rethink their strategies for naval warfare.
Adm. Sir David Beatty
1914; British admiral

Led small Brit naval force in Battle of Heligoland Bight. Also, led Brits to victory against the Germans in Dogger Bank.
Led British scouting party in the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
Vice Adm. Franz von Hipper
1914; German Vice Admiral

Convinced German Emperor and Adm. Frederich von Ingenohl that the German fleet couldn't wait cautiously in its ports for the Brit Grand Fleet to attack. The Emperor and Adm. von Ingenohl feared losing the entire German fleet in a massive sea battle with the Brit Grand Fleet. However, von Hipper believed the German navy needed to go out and launch some strategic attacks on the Brits.
Von Hipper begins conducting raids on the Brit coast, hoping to force the Grand Fleet to come out and engage the German navy. He hoped the public would demand that the navy address the issue of German raids.
The Brits realized what von Hipper was doing, and tried to hold off as long as possible. Finally, they felt they must respond, and Britain brought the Grand Fleet out to confront von Hipper. However, no confrontation occurred.
Von Hipper was also chosen to lead the German scouting party in the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
Dogger Bank
1915(?); The Brit fleet, led by Beatty succeeds in damaging two German cruisers.
A British victory.
Battle of Jutland (Skaggerak)
31 May 1916; German strategic offensive against British navy

Known as the greatest naval battle in WWI. Also, the last battle to be fought exclusively using battleships.
Adm. Scheer sent von Hipper out to raid the British coast, in the hopes that the outcry from the British public would force the Brits to send their fleet out to stop von Hipper. Then, von Hipper was to engage the Brits as long as he could, then retreat. When the British followed them, they would find the High Seas Fleet waiting for them.
However, the Brits possessed German naval codes and were able to anticipate German naval tactics. The Brits sent out the full Grand Fleet (72 ships), led by Adm. Jellicoe. In addition, Beatty was sent out ahead with a scouting force consisting of 52 scouting ships.
The Germans also had two groups. Von Hipper led the scouting party with 40 ships, then Adm. Scheer waited to engage the Brits with the main German force (59 ships, 16 dreadnoughts).
The two scouting parties encountered and engaged each other. Beatty begins to retreat back, hoping to lure von Hipper into a battle with the full Grand Fleet. However, von Hipper realizes this and goes north instead.
Eventually, the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet encounter each other. When Scheer realizes his force will be engaging the entire British Grand Fleet, he realizes that to keep his fleet relatively intact, they must retreat.
The German force turns and retreats, firing torpedos in their wake.
Jellicoe decides not to subject his ships to torpedo fire in order to chase the Germans. The British fleet returns to port as well.
Both sides won. The Germans proved their seamanship, gunnery and manueverability was superior to the British in battle. However, the Brits returned with their fleet relatively intact. In addition, the Germans never again attempted to leave port and launch a major naval offensive against the British Grand Fleet for the rest of the war.
This battle reflected the changing future of naval warfare. The Germans realized they couldn't outnumber the Brits in battleships. After the Battle of Jutland, the Germans turned their attention from the war at sea in battleships to submarine warfare.
Adm. Reinhard Scheer
1916; Admiral of the German navy

Became new German commander in 1916. Scheer realized the German navy, although extremely well-trained and efficient, could never defeat Britain in an outright battle between the High Seas Fleet and the Grand Fleet. The Brits had numerical superiority and could sustain a much greater number of losses than the Germans. In order to beat the British navy, Scheer decides to "whittle down" their numbers using strategic raids and smaller battles.
Commanded German High Seas Fleet in the Battle of Jutland.
Adm. Sir John Jellicoe
1916; Commander of the British fleet in the Battle of Jutland.
Made the decision not to follow and decimate the German fleet when they retreated.
S.S. Gulflight
1915; US ship sunk by German submarines

Germany placed its naval focus on submarine warfare, and began to practice unrestricted submarine warfare in the waters surrounding Britain. The area was declared a warzone, and the Germans warned that any ships in those waters would be sunk.
Bethman-Holweg worried that practicing this type of warfare would anger neutral countries. He was especially worried about the powerful United States.
When German subs began to hit American ships entering British waters, they began the series of events that brought the US into the war.
S.S. Lusitania
1915; British passenger liner sunk by German submarines.

The Lusitania was one of the fastest, most luxurious passenger liners in the world. German subs torpedoed the liner and it sank extremely quickly.
The sinking resulted in the death of 1200 civilians, including 128 Americans.
The US government protested the attack, but did not threaten war. The Allied countries saw this event as more evidence of German barbary.
However, there was an internal explosion when the Lusitania was hit, which may have indicated the presence of gunpowder or other explosive war materials. In addition, in Jane's Fighting Ships, the Lusitania was listed as an auxillary British cruiser. This evidence creates some doubt about the innocence of the liner.
S.S. Arabic
Aug. 1915; US ship sunk by the Germans in their unrestricted submarine warfare

Again, the US government protested, but did not threaten war. The Germans lied, saying they would stop their unrestricted sub warfare. In actuality, the Germans just moved more of their subs toward the Meditterranean to avoid targeting American vessels.
S.S. Sussex
1915(?); American ship torpedoed by German submarines

Americans were killed in the explosion, and this time, Wilson threatened to cut off diplomatic relations with Germany if Germany did not stop its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
The Germans stopped this method of warfare. They feared the US entering the war on the side of the Allies.
Hindenburg & Ludendorff
1917; took control of the German government/military

HL demanded that the unrestricted sub warfare be resumed. They calculated that if German subs could sink 600,000 tons of shipping to Britain per month, they could starve the British out of the war before the Americans could enter the war.
In February of 1917, the Germans resumed their unrestricted sub warfare. The United States entered WWI on the side of the Allies in April.
Tsetze fly
War in Africa (began in 1914)

As the war spilled out of Europe, colonial troops were enlisted to defend German and Turkish colonies.
The African front was a war of movement. However, the troops had no motorized vehicles or railroads to carry war supplies. In addition, the tsetze fly was prevalent, and they carried sleeping sickness that infected horses and oxen. Therefore, it was difficult to find animals to carry the war materials as well. Most war supplies were carried by the men themselves, across the desert.
Quinine – malaria
Colonial wars in Africa

Disease was a great problem in the colonial armies. Malaria was very prevalent, and most divisions could not move out without a supply of quinine. Without it, they would lose too many men to malaria.
1914; German colony in Africa

Allies attacked Togoland because there were few German troops there, and they wanted to take control of the radio lines in that colony.
In Aug. 1914, the Germans surrendered Togoland to the Allies.
1914; Brit colonial offensive against the Germans in African colony of Camaroon

The Brits wanted to capture the radio transmitter in Camaroon, so they launched an offensive on the coast.
The Germans retreated from the coast to the interior, where they managed to hold off the Brits until 1916.
SW Africa (Namibia)
1914 (?); German colony invaded by the Union of Africa, commanded by Louis Botha and Jan Smuts

The Union of Africa expected a quick victory. However, the Germans used propaganda on the Boer troops which caused many of them to begin fighting for the Germans.
Eventually, the Brits were able to claim victory over the Germans in SW Africa.
German East Africa
1915 (?) The main battle of the colonial war in Africa, between Germans and Allied colonial armies

Few German troops were in place in German East Africa, so the Germans had to call in native troops, called askaris, to join in the division they called Schutztruppe. The division was led by General Lettow-Vorbeck.
Lettow-Vorbeck was able to hold out against the 100,000 Allied troops to the end of the war. The Schutztruppe were not supplied by Germany. They lived mainly on the land and stolen supplies from the Allies. They also captured and used Allied weapons. Lettow-Vorbeck was the only undefeated German general of WWI.
Gen. Paul von Lettow – Vorbeck
1870-1964; only undefeated general in the German army in WWI

Von Lettow-Vorbeck commanded the Schutztruppe, a colonial army in German East Africa. He was not racist, believing the best man would win, despite the color of his skin. He was an excellent leader and strategist.
Von Lettow-Vorbeck's troops were able to hold out in Africa against 100,000 Allied troops. They used stolen Allied supplies and weapons as well as the ones salvaged from the SMS Koenigsberg.
Von Lettow was one of the greatest generals of WWI. His troops continued holding off the Allies until two weeks after the armistice, when a British soldier waved a white flag to signal the end of the war.
Tsingtao, China
1914ish; Japanese invade and capture Tsingtao, China for the Allies.
This marked the end of Japan's main role in WWI. Japan did aid with convoys in the Pacific, but they generally attended to their own agenda.
Japan pushed into Asia with imperialistic aspirations.
Twenty-one Demands
Japan gave China 21 Demands, with the threat of war if the demands were not met.
The Japanese wanted to seize German territories in China, to take Manchuria and Mongolia, and to dominate the Chinese coal mines.
The US protested Japan's imperialistic motives, but threatened nothing.
1917; the Allies asked Japan to send forces into Vladivostock so the Czech legion troops could be transported (via the Trans-Siberian Railroad) to the Western Front.
The Japanese move in with troops and settlers, essentially occupying Vladivostock.
This action showed Japan's imperialistic motivations in WWI.
Czech Legion
1917; Czech forces that fought with the Russian army in WWI

The Allies transported the Czech Legion out of Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railroad to fight on the Western front.
Japan was called in to secure the port at Vladivostock for the Czech transport. They moved in and essentially occupyed it, hinting at motives that went beyond helping the Allies.
1914-1917; present day Iraq, invaded by the Brits at the onset of WWI

The Brits wanted to use the abundant oil in Iraq to fuel their military. By the end of 1914, the Brits had captured Bosra and moved further into Mesopotamia.
By 1915, the Brit gov't wanted a win in Mesopotamia against the Turks. Commander Nixon was sent in to move up the Tigris and Euphrates River further into Iraq. Nixon accomplished this by summer 1915.
General Townshend ordered by Nixon to go up the river further and capture Baghdad. However, the Brits encountered strong Turkish resistance at Ctesiphon. The Brits suffered a 50% casualty rate and were forced to retreat. The Turks chased them, eventually capturing all the Brit troops and forcing them on a "death march" to the Turkish base.
In 1917, Brit General William Marshall captured Baghdad, and the Brits maintained a presence in the M.E. until 1958 (Iraqi revolution).
General Charles Townshend
1915; Brit general in Mesopotamia

Ordered by Commander Nixon to move Brit troops up the Tigris and Euphrates River to capture Baghdad.
Nixon's troops encountered strong Turkish resistance at Ctesiphon. The Brits suffered a 50% casualty rate and were forced to retreat.
The Turks chased the British troops, eventually forcing them to surrender. The survivors of Townshend's regiment were captured and forced on a "death march" to the Turkish base.
General William Marshall
1917; British general sent to achieve British victory in Mesopotamia

Marshall's troops captured Baghdad in 1917. Consequently, a British presence remained in the M.E. until the Iraqi revolution in 1958.
Suez Canal
1915-16ish; the Turks wanted to capture the British-occupyed Suez Canal.

The strategic location of the canal opened the WWI front in Arabia and Palestine. British troops were moved in to protect the Suez Canal. If the Turks captured it, they could cut British communication lines.
In 1916, the Brits pushed their defensive lines out into present-day Palestine. To do so, they had move troops and communication lines over the Sinai peninsula, a difficult task.
Eventually, the base protecting the Suez Canal became a base for British expansion into the M.E.
Hussein Ibn-Ali
1852-1931; Leader of Arab nationalism

Hussein was a member of the Hashemite family and the Grand Sharif of Mecca. He was at the head of the Arab desire for independence from the Turks.
Hussein was suspicious of British intentions when the Brits offered to aid the Arabs in their fight for independence.
Sir Henry MacMahon became the British administrator in the Arabian peninsula. In 1915, he promised British support to the Arabs in a revolution.
Hussein was right to be suspicious of British motives. In secret treaties, such as the Sykes-Picot treaty (1916) and the Balfoun Declaration (1917), the Brits began promising Arab land to other Allied countries as well as to Britain's Jewish population.
Sykes-Pecot Treaty
1916; secret treaty between the British and the French

In the treaty, the Brits and French split up Arab lands among themselves in the event of an Allied victory.
This went against Britain's promise to help the Arabs achieve their independence against the Turks.
Balfoun Declaration
1917; promise to the Jews in Britain

The Jews were suffering from abundant anti-Semitism in Europe, and the Zionist movement was spreading. To appease the Jews in Britain, the British government promised to create a Jewish homeland after the war.
Britain had already promised some of that land to the French and Arabs. This was further evidence that Britain was not concerned with consistency in treaties, only with winning the war.
Colonel T.E. Lawrence
1915; British commander sent to the Arabian peninsula to aid in the fight for Arab independence

Also known theatrically as "Lawrence of Arabia." He was sent in to work for the British intelligence operation in Egypt. Then, Lawrence was sent in as a liason to Hussein and Emir Faisal. Lawrence realized the best combat method for the Arabs to use was mobile guerrilla warfare. They could attack the unsuspecting Turkish troops, then ride away on their camels before the modern Turkish army could mobilize.
In 1917, at the Battle at Aqaba, Lawrence was able to surprise the Turks using a land attack (the Turks had expected a naval attack and were heavily guarding the coast). Lawrence's troops captured Aqaba, which allowed the British to capture part of the Turkish railroad.
In 1918, Lawrence and his Arab troops captured Damascus, the main Turkish base, before General Allenby's British troops were even able to get there. This victory allowed the Brits to essentially take over the Middle Eastern front.
General Sir Edmund Allenby
1917ish; British general sent to expand the British foothold in present-day Palestine.

Allenby was a calvary officer who won the respect of his troops by exposing himself the enemy fire (not directing battle from way behind the front line).
In 1917, Allenby and his troops captured Jerusalem with the goal of capturing the Turkish base at Damascus.
His offensive was aided by Lawrence's Arab troops, who were drawing Turkish forces into the desert, away from the British soldiers.
In 1918, Lawrence and his troops captured Damascus a few hours ahead of the arrival of Allenby's troops.
Declaration of Paris
1856; an international declaration that stated that blockades used in wartime must be "obligatory and defensive".

Essentially, blockades must be kept close to the coast. This was violated by both the British and the Germans in WWI.
The British established a distant blockade blocking German shipping. This surprised the Germans, who expected the Brits to create a close blockade. The distant blockade prevented the Germans from keeping the majority of their naval forces in port and sending out small raiding parties to systematically break down the British fleet, as the Germans had planned.
The Germans established unrestricted submarine warfare around Britain. This blockade also violated the Declaration of Paris.
London Naval Conference
1909; an international conference that maintained that wartime blockades could not blockade commodities used exclusively by civilians.
However, both the Brits and Germans violated this conference, with disasterous results for both countries.
Albert Thomas
1915ish; French munitions ambassador

Helped France become the Allied "arsenal of democracy." Was a socialist thinker, which gained him the loyalty of French workers.
Count Tisza
1916ish; Hungarian prime minister

Count Tisza refused to supply Austria with wheat (from Hungary's farms) at prices lower than other European countries were willing to pay. As a result, Austria had to enforce extreme rationing, and near the end of the war, Austrians were starving.
Hindenberg Program
Policy instituted in Germany in 1916 by HL.

The Hindenberg Program placed the economy under the supervision of the federal government. The financial leaders in Germany protested this government control. It also instituted the auxillary services act, which provided the government with the ability to draft men not in the army to work in war/munitions factories.