Events of the First World War

  • First World War began in July, 1914 and lasted until November 1918.
  • The two opposing alliances were – Allied Powers (Russia, England, France, Belgium and Serbia) and Central Powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria).
  • USA, Italy, Romania and Greece joined the Allied Powers in course of the war.
  • On the Western Front, Germany was following the Schlieffen Plan intended to swiftly capture Belgium for ports and then Paris to defeat France using the German army.
  • The Battle of Marne halted German advances on Paris and pushed the Germans back to River Aisne.
  • In the Battles of Ypres (1914), the British troops saved the ports surrounding the English Channel from falling into the hands of the German army.  
  • The British launched the Battle of Somme to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun.
  • David Llyod George succeeded Asquith as the British Prime Minister and centralised the British war efforts by setting up a war cabinet.
  • His war effort paid off as the British managed to seize Vimy Ridge near Arras.
  • England also suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Passchendaele.
  • The war on Eastern Front began with Russian invasion of East Prussia and Austria.
  • The Germans defeated the Russians twice at the Battle Tannenburg and Masurian Lake in 1914.
  • The outbreak of Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 took the Russians out of the First World War.
  • The new government under Lenin made peace with Germany by signing the Treaty of Brest Litovsk in 1918.
  • In the South East Front, the Central Powers were dealing with countries like Italy, Serbia, Greece and Romania.
  • United States was following the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 when the First World War began.
  • The sinking of Lusitania caused much international tension and was one of the reasons for the United States to join the war.
  • German army had run short of food and fuel due to the effective Allied blockade at the sea.
  • German submarines failed to have much effect on convoys protected by British and American destroyers.
  • Germany was let down by her allies.
  • Entry of USA also changed the course of war.

 

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