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This course seeks to explain why and how the war was fought, and to understand why its legacy remains relevant almost a century after it began. As the centenary of its outbreak approaches, the First World War still attracts undiminished interest and evokes intense emotions. The carnage of the trenches and the suspicion of futility continue to exert a terrible fascination for commentators both academic and popular.
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Indeed, the flow of publications and media outputs about the war shows no sign of abating. This course, while not overlooking fundamental moral or ideological dilemmas posed by the First World War, focuses on examining the claim that it was the first genuinely global, total and modern war. Listen to Sheila Tremlett talking about the course:. For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here. We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations at times that are convenient to you as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.
To participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books: Ian F. Beckett, The Great War , 2nd. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting both course assignments and actively participating in the course forums. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes. This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet.
You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Carl Wade originally studied history at Jesus College, Cambridge. This course aims to: Study the First World War from a variety of perspectives — military, political, economic, social and cultural. It will introduce students to the debates surrounding the War as the first global, total and modern conflict, and analyse the meaning of these concepts. Scroll down to learn about the causes of World War 1, major battles, its end, treaties, and aftermath.
The date chosen for the inspection was a national day in Bosnia. The Black Hand supplied a group of students with weapons for an assassination attempt to mark the occasion. A Serbian nationalist student, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, when their open car stopped at a corner on its way out of the town.
Although Russia was allied with Serbia, Germany did not believe that she would mobilise and offered to support Austria if necessary. However, Russia did mobilise and, through their alliance with France, called on the French to mobilise.
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German troops poured into Belgium as directed under the Schleiffen Plan, drawn up in The British foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey, sent an ultimatum to Germany demanding their withdrawal from the neutral Belgium. However, because of the differences in railway gauge between Russia and Prussia it was difficult for the Russians to get supplies through to their men. The ensuing battle was a heavy defeat for the Russians with thousands of men killed and , taken prisoner.
Although the Germans won the battle, 13, men were killed. Although the Germans were unable to defeat the army completely, over , Russians were taken prisoner.
The Belgians put up a good fight destroying railway lines to slow the transport of German supplies. Despite a French counter-attack that saw the deaths of many Frenchmen on the battlefields at Ardennes, the Germans continued to march into France. They were eventually halted by the allies at the river Marne. British troops had advanced from the northern coast of France to the Belgian town of Mons. Although they initially held off the Germans, they were soon forced to retreat. By Christmas, all hopes that the war would be over had gone and the holiday saw men of both sides digging themselves into the trenches of theWestern Front.
Dec Zeppelins The first Zeppelins appeared over the English coast. The Germans moderated their U-boat campaign. The gas, fired by the Germans claimed many British casualties. Feb Zeppelin bombing Zeppelin airships dropped bombs on Yarmouth.
The British navy responded by attacking Turkish forts in the Dardenelles. Unfortunately the success was not followed up and the mission was a failure. He rejoined the army as a battalion commander. April Zeppelins The use of airships by the Germans increased. Zeppelins began attacking London. They were also used for naval reconnaissance, to attack London and smaller balloons were used for reconnaissance along the Western Front.
They were only stopped when the introduction of aeroplanes shot them down. April Romania enter the war Romania joined the war on the side of the Allies. But within a few months was occupied by Germans and Austrians. German forces, confined to port by a British naval blockade, came out in the hope of splitting the British fleet and destroying it ship by ship. The German ships did a great deal of damage to British ships before once again withdrawing and the British Admiral Jellicoe decided not to give chase.
Although British losses were heavier than the German, the battle had alarmed both the Kaiser and the German Admiral Scheer and they decided to keep their fleet consigned to harbour for the remainder of the war. The Germans hoped that by making raids on London and the South East, the British Air Force would be forced into protecting the home front rather than attacking the German air force. His war cabinet, unlike that of his predecessor, met every day. However, there was considerable disagreement among the members of the Cabinet, especially between Lloyd George and his war secretary, Sir Douglas Haig.
Lloyd George suspected Haig of squandering life needlessly and was suspicious of his demands for more men and freedom of action in the field. Although the fighting continued for nine months, the battle was inconclusive. Casualties were enormous on both sides with the Germans losing , men and the French , The five month long battle saw the deaths of , British soldiers 60, on the first day , , French soldiers and , German soldiers all for a total land gain of just 25 miles.
Haig was assured that the appointment was for one operation only and that if he felt the British army was being misused by the Frenchman he could appeal to the British government. July — Nov W. Haig protested to the British government and advocated trying his own scheme for a breakthrough.
At the resulting battle of Passchendale, Haig broke his promise to call off the battle if the first stage failed because he did not want to lose face with the government.
World War 1: A Comprehensive Overview of the Great War
Churchill was duly appointed Minister of Munitions. British and French reinforcements were sent to hold the line. All allied or neutral ships were to be sunk on sight and in one month almost a million tons of shipping was sunk. Neutral countries became reluctant to ship goods to Britain and Lloyd George ordered all ships carrying provisions to Britain to be given a convoy. Nov W. Front Cambrai The British took a large force of tanks across the barbed wire and machine gun posts at Cambrai.
The terms of the treaty were harsh: Russia had to surrender Poland, the Ukraine and other regions. They had to stop all Socialist propaganda directed at Germany and pay million roubles for the repatriation of Russian prisoners. At the same time the news came through that the allies had broken through from Salonika and forced Bulgaria to sue for peace. The terms of the armistice treaty allowed the allies access to the Dardenelles.
The first world war began in August This event was, however, simply the trigger that set off declarations of war.
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An alliance is an agreement made between two or more countries to give each other help if it is needed. When an alliance is signed, those countries become known as Allies. A number of alliances had been signed by countries between the years and These were important because they meant that some countries had no option but to declare war if one of their allies.
Imperialism is when a country takes over new lands or countries and makes them subject to their rule. Note the contrast in the map below.
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Militarism means that the army and military forces are given a high profile by the government. The armies of both France and Germany had more than doubled between and and there was fierce competition between Britain and Germany for mastery of the seas. The Germans soon followed suit introducing their own battleships. The German, Von Schlieffen also drew up a plan of action that involved attacking France through Belgium if Russia made an attack on Germany. The map below shows how the plan was to work. Delegates from Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia the winning allies decided upon a new Europe that left both Germany and Italy as divided states.