When Did Ww1 End? - []

When Did Ww1 End?

When Did Ww1 End
2 1945 .11 1918 . – 7 1941 .

How did ww1 come to a end?

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France.

  1. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives.
  2. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.
  3. WATCH: The Last Day of World War I on HISTORY Vault On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all.

However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed.

On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3.

After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany. For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months.

Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France.

  1. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.
  2. The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris.
  3. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight.

On the western front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition. READ MORE: Life in the Trenches of World War I In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916.

The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganized Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany.

In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favor. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies on November 11, 1918. World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused.

Why did Germany surrender in ww1?

Germany surrendered because they were unable to sustain the way much longer. This can be broken down into a few factors: Germany had been losing ground and soldiers on the Western Front for a long time at an unsustainable rate.

When did World War 1 end exactly?

https://history.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/09/the-war-that-did-not-end-at-11am-on-11-november/ Every year we remember that the guns of the First World War ceased firing at 11am on 11 November 1918. We imagine universal relief at the carnage of war finally ending, at least in the victorious countries.

  • The armistice was agreed at 5.10am on 11 November to come into effect at 11am.
  • The news was conveyed around Europe within the hour.
  • The original armistice was for a period of 36 days, after which it had to be renewed.
  • This was done four times before the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
  • The only problem is that the war did not completely stop at 11am on 11 November.

The Entente had already agreed armistices with Bulgaria on 29 September, the Ottomans on 30 October, and the Austro-Hungarian Government on 3 November. Germany was the last of the Central Powers to sue for peace. The Armistice with Germany was agreed to come into effect at 11am to allow time for the news to reach combatants.

  1. However, fighting continued in several places during and after that time, including on the Western Front.
  2. General John Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Force, did not approve of the armistice.
  3. Consequently he gave no instructions to his commanders to suspend any new offensive action during the remaining hours until 11am.

This gave individual commanders latitude to determine their actions in the last few hours and in some quarters there was fierce fighting up to 11am which was difficult to stop. On 11 November alone were nearly 11,000 casualties, dead, missing and injured, exceeding those on D-Day in 1944. The Commander of the American Expeditionary Force, Lieutenant General John J. Pershing, landing off the boat at Boulogne, 13 June 1917. IWM Q 5510 The message did not reach East Africa as easily as the Western Front. For 4 years British, Indian and local troops, joined by South Africans, Belgians and Portuguese, had been trying to capture Major General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the German commander of 14,000 men. A unit of the King’s African Rifles advance along the Rufjii river. IWM Q 45778 A telegram sent to East Africa from Europe could take between a couple of hours and a whole day to arrive. In anticipation of the armistice, on 10 November, the British General Staff sent a telegram to the force in East Africa asking them for the quickest way to get a message to von Lettow-Vorbeck. Telegram reading ‘In case there is an armistice what would be the quickest way of sending a message to von Lettow? Could a despatch rider get from Langenburg to Kasama?’ The National Archives, WO 158/465 The other area where the war did not stop was North Russia, in particular Murmansk and Archangel, the two main British bases in the region.

Russia had capitulated in June 1917 after the Russian Revolution. Under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed with Germany on 3 March 1918, the Russian empire had been split and its constituent countries restored to independence, but they were quickly occupied by Germany. After the armistice, the question of who controlled Russia remained.

As winter approached, the British Government had to decide whether to retain forces in the region as with the extreme cold, there was the risk of being frozen in until the following year. But even before November 1918, with Russia engaged in civil war, her former allies were concerned about Bolshevik ambitions.

  • The newly independent countries, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, were also anxious, and appealed to the Allied governments for support.
  • In Britain, thoughts of assistance were counterbalanced by fears of being drawn in to a foreign conflict with further loss of life.
  • Part of the armistice agreement was that German troops in the Baltics should remain in the area as a precaution against Bolshevism.

After the armistice, the number of allied troops in the region increased. The reasons for engagement had changed, but they still faced loss of life. An icebreaker making a passage for the North Russia Relief Force Expedition. Q 16895 An armistice is a ceasefire, not an official end to war. Demobilisation of British, colonial and imperial troops did not finish until 1920, considerably longer than servicemen had anticipated.

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What triggered World War 1?

The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand (June 28, 1914) was the main catalyst for the start of the Great War (World War I). After the assassination, the following series of events took place: July 28 – Austria declared war on Serbia.

Could Germany have won WW1?

A hundred years ago today, September 26th, the greatest artillery bombardment in U.S. history—more shells in a few hours than had been fired in the entire American Civil War—fell silent and 350,000 American soldiers got to their feet and began to advance across no-man’s-land toward the German trenches in the Meuse-Argonne.

With the French and British stalled in their sectors, the Doughboys aimed to cut the German army’s principal supply line on the Western Front and end World War I. The American role in the First World War is one of the great stories of the American Century, and yet it has largely vanished from view. Most historians tell us that the U.S.

Army arrived too late on the Western Front to affect the war’s outcome, an outcome determined by Allied grit, better tactics, the British blockade of German ports, and, ultimately, German exhaustion and revolution. It must be baldly stated: Germany would have won World War I had the U.S.

Army not intervened in France in 1918, The French and British were barely hanging on in 1918. By year-end 1917, France had lost 3 million men in the war, Britain 2 million. The French army actually mutinied in 1917, half of its demoralized combat divisions refusing to attack the Germans. The British fared little better in 1917, losing 800,000 casualties in the course of a year that climaxed with the notorious three-month assault on the muddy heights of Passchendaele, where 300,000 British infantry fell to gain just two miles of ground.

By 1918, French reserves of military-aged recruits were literally a state secret; there were so few of them still alive. France maintained its 110 divisions in 1918 not by infusing them with new manpower – there was none – but by reducing the number of regiments in a French division from four to three.

The British, barely maintaining 62 divisions on the Western Front, planned, in the course of 1918 – had the Americans not appeared – to reduce their divisions to thirty or fewer and essentially to abandon the ground war in Europe.1918, eventually celebrated as the Allied “Year of Victory,” seemed initially far more promising for the Germans.

The French army limped into the year, effectively out of men and in revolt against its officers; British divisions, 25 percent below their normal strength because of the awful casualties of Passchendaele, had not been reinforced. Prime Minister David Lloyd George refused to send replacements to Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s army on the Western Front, so controversial were Haig’s casualties.

Lloyd George feared social revolution in Britain if casualties continued to mount, and lamented that Haig “had smothered the army in mud and blood.” The waning of the French and British in 1917 could not have come at a worse moment, when the Germans had crushed the Russians and Italians and begun deploying 100 fresh divisions to the Western Front for a war-winning offensive in 1918: 3.5 million Germans with absolute artillery superiority against 2.5 million demoralized British and French.

What saved the day? The Americans. The United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, drafted a million-man army (the A.E.F.) in the ensuing months, and deployed it hurriedly to France in the winter of 1917-18. In June 1918, the Germans brushed aside fifty French divisions and plunged as far as the Marne River, just fifty miles from Paris. Marching up dusty roads past hordes of fleeing French refugees and soldiers—” La guerre est finie !”—the Doughboys and Marines went into action at Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood and stopped the German onslaught on the Marne. With Haig facing defeat in Flanders, actually warning London in April 1918 that the British had their “backs to the wall,” American troops— the manpower equivalent of over 100 French or British divisions—permitted Foch to shift otherwise irreplaceable French troops to the British sector, where a dazed Tommy, sniffing the tang of the sea air over the stink of the battlefield and apprised that Haig had spoken of British backs to the wall, replied, with a glance at the English Channel, “what bloody wall?” The Americans saved Britain and France in the spring and summer and destroyed the German army in the fall.

Most historians argue that the war was won by Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s famous Hundred Days Offensive – a coordinated Anglo-French-American envelopment of the German army on the Western Front – and most emphasize the performance of the British and French and speak of the American battles at Saint-Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne as sideshows.

They were anything but. After rousing success in August and September, the British and French offensives had stalled. Haig suffered nearly half a million additional casualties in 1918, and so did the French. They spent their dwindling strength breaching the Hindenburg Line and had little left for the Meuse, Moselle, or Rhine lines, where the Germans would stand fast.

  • Lloyd George’s war cabinet warned Haig that the shrinking army he was conducting slowly eastward was “Britain’s last army,” and it was going fast.
  • As winter approached and the Allies sagged, everything hinged on the pending American thrust northward from Saint-Mihiel and Verdun toward Sedan– aimed at the vital pivot of the whole German position west of the Rhine.

Verdun had always been a thorn in the German side, forcing the German front in France to bend sharply around it—compressing Hindenburg’s vital railways into a narrow space—and offering great opportunities to the Allies, if only they had the manpower, to thrust upward from Verdun to cut the famous four-track railroad line through Sedan and Mézières that conveyed most of the German army’s men, matériel, and supplies.

The American battle in the Meuse-Argonne, from September 26 to November 11, 1918, pierced the most redoubtable section of the Hindenburg Line, reached Sedan on both banks of the Meuse—denying the Germans the river as a defensive shield—and cut the vital four-track railway there, which carried 250 German trains a day.

With it, the Germans had moved five divisions every two days to any point on the Western Front; without it, they could barely move a single division in the same span. The American offensive was, a British war correspondent concluded, “the matador’s thrust in the bull-fight.” It cut the German throat.

The Doughboys won the war by trapping the German army in France and Belgium and severing its lifeline. Looking at 1918 in this new way, restoring the enormous impact of the U.S. military to its proper scale and significance, achieves two important things. First, it fundamentally revises the history of the First World War.

Second, it brings out the thrilling suspense of 1918, when the fate of the world hung in the balance, and the revivifying power of the Americans saved the Allies, defeated Germany, and established the United States as the greatest of the great powers.

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How many died in WW1?

The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I, was around 40 million. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded.

Why did Russia leave WW1?

Why did Russia leave World War I? Russia left WW1 because it was in the interest of Russian Communists (Bolsheviks) who took power in November 1917. The Bolsheviks’ priority was to win a civil war against their domestic opponents, not to fight in WW1. They also thought that Germany would soon lose the war in any case.

Who was the last German soldier killed in WW1?

Armistice Centenary: Last to fall (Pt.3 of 4) 5:12 a.m., Nov.11, 1918 After three days of negotiations, Allied and German representatives meet in a railway carriage parked in a forest clearing northeast of Paris and sign an agreement to end four years of fighting. Germany wants the ceasefire to come into effect immediately, but the Allies want time to get word to front-line troops.

As a result, the armistice starts six hours later, at 11 a.m.5:40 News of the ceasefire reaches the belligerents’ capital cities long before it reaches front-line soldiers. Celebrations begin in London and Paris before word arrives in the trenches. Most soldiers assume it is just another day in the long war and are concerned with simply staying alive.

Many will die before 11 a.m., including 863 British Empire soldiers. The Americans in particular take heavy casualties this day because their commander, General John (Black Jack) Pershing, believes the Germans need to be taught a lesson by being crushed militarily. The front page of New York’s Evening World declared the war over on Nov.7, 1918, four days before the armistice was signed. New York Public Library 9:30 Private George Edwin Ellison, 40, of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers is scouting near Mons, Belgium, where German troops have been seen in a wood close by.

  • Ellison is not a conscript, but a pre-war regular soldier.
  • He has been to Mons before.
  • A few days after the war broke out in August 1914, Ellison was dug in with the British Expeditionary Force at Mons, waiting for the German army as it marched triumphantly across Belgium.
  • Since then, almost one million British soldiers have died, yet Ellison has somehow survived.
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A former coal miner, no doubt he is thinking about going home to Leeds, where his wife, Hannah, and their four-year-old son, James, wait for him. Then a shot breaks the silence and Ellison falls. He is the last British soldier killed in action on the Western Front.10:44 Not far away, by the Meuse River in the Ardennes Forest, another 40-year-old soldier, French Private Augustin-Joseph Victorin Trébuchon of the 415th Infantry Regiment, who also has been serving since the start of the war, is a runner.

He carries a message to the troops saying that soup will be served at 11:30 a.m., after the truce begins. Another shot rings out and Trébuchon falls, still clutching the message. He is the last French soldier to die in combat on the Western Front.10:57 Meanwhile, on the northern side of Mons, Canadian Private George Lawrence Price, 25, of the 28th Battalion (Northwest), is following the retreating Germans.

Price was born in Falmouth, N.S., and raised in nearby Port Williams. As a young man, he moved to Moose Jaw, Sask., although his parents, Jim and Annie, remained in Nova Scotia. He was conscripted in December 1917. Price’s patrol is fighting from house to house in the small village of Ville-sur-Haine.

  • He enters a cottage just as some German soldiers leave through the back door.
  • He exits the cottage and enters the house next door, but it, too, is empty.
  • As he steps out of this house onto the street, a sniper shoots him through the right breast.10:58 Price dies.
  • He is the last Canadian—and the last British Empire soldier—killed in action on the Western Front before the armistice comes into effect.10:59 In the Argonne region farther south, American Private Henry Gunther of Baltimore’s 313th Regiment—who had only arrived at the front in mid-September—takes part with a buddy in a last-minute charge against two enemy machine-gun posts.

The Germans are astonished; don’t the Americans know an armistice will come into effect in a minute? They try to wave the Americans off and fire a shot or two in the air. But still the two doughboys keep coming. Then the Germans take careful aim and Gunther—coincidentally of German descent—is felled. Private Lawrence, 17, of Brantford, Ont., was wounded 15 minutes before hostilities ended. William Rider-Rider/DND/LAC/PA-003535 Although the name of the last German soldier to die before the armistice is unknown, it is widely accepted that a Lieutenant Tomas was probably the last German casualty on the Western Front.

  1. As he approached some American soldiers shortly after 11 a.m.
  2. To tell them the war was over, they opened fire and shot him.
  3. Apparently, they did not get word of the armistice.
  4. While these deaths on the Western Front are well documented, it is now known that several soldiers from both sides died on other fronts in the far outposts of war after the armistice came into effect.

This includes several Canadians in Russia, where our troops served until late 1919. From the British viewpoint, the First World War started and ended at Mons. In St. Symphorien Military Cemetery, two kilometres east of Mons, are 164 identified casualties (out of a total of 514 graves).

Among them are 129 British soldiers killed in August 1914 and two Empire soldiers killed on Nov.11, 1918. They include the grave of Private John Parr of the 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Although his birth date is unknown, his year of birth was 1898, making him only 15 or 16 when he was killed on Aug.21, 1914.

Parr was the first British Empire soldier killed in the war. By a strange quirk of fate, Parr’s grave faces Ellison’s, the last British soldier to die. The same cemetery also contains the grave of Lieutenant Maurice James Dease, 24, of the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, who died on Aug.23, 1914. For standing firm and continuing to direct the fire of his machine-gun section against repeated German attacks, he received a posthumous Victoria Cross, the first VC of the war.

Why was Germany fully blamed for WW1?

David Stevenson – professor of international history, LSE – The largest share of responsibility lies with the German government. Germany’s rulers made possible a Balkan war by urging Austria-Hungary to invade Serbia, well understanding that such a conflict might escalate.

Without German backing it is unlikely that Austria-Hungary would have acted so drastically. They also started wider European hostilities by sending ultimata to Russia and France, and by declaring war when those ultimata were rejected – indeed fabricating a pretext that French aircraft had bombed Nuremberg.

Finally, they violated international treaties by invading Luxemburg and Belgium knowing that the latter violation was virtually certain to bring in Britain. This is neither to deny that there were mitigating circumstances nor to contend that German responsibility was sole.

Serbia subjected Austria-Hungary to extraordinary provocation and two sides were needed for armed conflict. Although the Central Powers took the initiative, the Russian government, with French encouragement, was willing to respond. In contrast, while Britain might have helped avert hostilities by clarifying its position earlier, this responsibility – even disregarding the domestic political obstacles to an alternative course – was passive rather than active.

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Who won ww1 and who lost?

The war pitted the Central Powers—mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey—against the Allies—mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States. It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers.

What if Germany won ww1?

For a long time, Americans have been branded as “isolationists” guilty of “appeasement” when they question the wisdom of starting or entering another foreign war. The terms “isolationist” and “appeasement” are used to link today’s noninterventionists to the political leaders who, during the 1930s, did nothing to stop Hitler early on, when that might have been easy.

Ever since then, starting or entering wars has been justified by claiming that the present situation is analogous to the threat from Nazi Germany and requires force. The first problem with such a scenario is that Hitler’s rise to power owed much to a prior war: World War I, which was supposed to end war.

That famous phrase appears to have originated with The War That Will End War (1914), a book by the British socialist author H.G. Wells. His dubious claim inspired cynicism early on. British prime minister David Lloyd George reportedly remarked, “This war, like the next war, is a war to end war.” Journalist Walter Lippmann said “the delusion is that whatever war we are fighting is the war to end war.” Precisely because France and Britain entered World War I and were devastated — which none of the political leaders seem to have anticipated — people in those countries lacked the will for another war.

They had also been lied to repeatedly by their political leaders, and they weren’t interested in going through that again. As far as Americans were concerned, the greed and hypocrisy of World War I belligerents discredited the idea of doing good by going to war, which is why Americans wanted nothing to do with another foreign war.

It was because pro‐​war people lost their credibility during World War I that nobody responded when alarms were sounded about Hitler during the 1930s. If popular sentiment now generally opposes starting or entering foreign wars, the people who deserve considerable credit are those “internationalists” who promote participation in wars that go wrong.

Often there are terrible unintended consequences, because wars are the most costly, volatile, unpredictable, and destructive human events. THE HAZARDS OF THE UNFORESEEN World War I was probably history’s worst catastrophe, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was substantially responsible for unintended consequences of the war that played out in Germany and Russia, contributing to the rise of totalitarian regimes and another world war.

American “isolationism” — armed neutrality would be a more accurate term — developed as a sensible reaction to his policies. After Germany’s initial advances into the Low Countries and France, the adversaries in World War I dug trenches and seldom advanced or retreated much from those lines.

German soldiers were generally outnumbered on the Western Front, but the Germans had smarter generals and more guns. The British navy enforced an effective blockade that made it difficult for the Germans to obtain many vital supplies, including food. Germany responded by building a submarine fleet, but it didn’t give them a way to invade Britain or the United States.

By 1918, the war had been stalemated for more than three years, neither side able to force vindictive terms on the other. One of the last German offensives ground to a halt in the French countryside when German commanders couldn’t prevent their starving soldiers, amazed by the abundance of food, from gorging themselves on cheeses, sausages, and wine.

  • If the U.S.
  • Had stayed out of the war, it seems likely there would have been some kind of negotiated settlement.
  • Neither the Allied Powers (France, Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and several smaller states) nor the Central Powers (Germany, Austria‐​Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria) would have gained everything they wanted from a negotiated settlement.

Both sides would have complained. But a catastrophe would have been less likely after a negotiated settlement than after vindictive terms were forced on the losers. Apparently Wilson wanted to demonstrate the global influence of the U.S. by presiding at postwar negotiations, but he figured he could do that only if the U.S.

  1. Were a belligerent.
  2. He had offered his services as a mediator, but his prospective allies, the French and British, weren’t interested.
  3. As historian Barbara Tuchman reported, “It was not mediation they wanted from America but her great, untapped strength.” French and British generals squandered the youth of their countries by ordering them to charge into German machine‐​gun fire, and they wanted to command American soldiers the same way.

Those generals repeatedly demanded that Americans reinforce their depleted ranks and fight under French and British flags. America’s first great struggle in the war was with the French and British, who feared that if American soldiers went into battle as an independent force under American command, they — not the French and British — would get the credit for success.

  1. On April 2, 1917, when Wilson went before Congress to seek a declaration of war, he wasn’t trying to protect the United States from an attack or imminent attack, although there had been provocations.
  2. His stated aim was to destroy German autocracy.
  3. He urged “the crushing of the Central Powers.” He famously promised that the world “would be made safe for democracy.” The U.S.

played a significant military role only during the last six months of the war, but that was enough to change history — for the worse. By entering the war on the side of the French and British, Wilson put them in a position to break the stalemate, win a decisive victory, and — most important — force vindictive surrender terms on the losers.

  1. THE FRONTIERS OF CONTROL Wilson seemed unaware of two critical limits of his power.
  2. First, since he represented the largest and richest belligerent, he assumed he would be able to control what his allies did, but he couldn’t, and they hijacked the postwar negotiations.
  3. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was determined to avenge Germany’s humiliating defeat of France in 1870 — a war that France had started.

Clemenceau wasn’t to be denied, since most of the fighting during World War I took place on French soil and the French suffered some 6 million casualties. He made sure the Versailles Treaty obligated Germany to pay huge reparations and surrender a long list of assets including coal, trucks, guns, and ships — private property as well as property of the German government.

  • Despite Wilson’s professed ideals about the self‐​determination of peoples who had been in multinational European empires, he didn’t stop the Allies from dividing German colonies among themselves.
  • British Prime Minister David Lloyd George expanded the British Empire by seizing the former German colonies of Tanganyika and part of Togoland and the Cameroons.

The French and British each gained authority over some territories of the defunct Ottoman Empire. The French and British bribed Italy to enter the war on their side by signing the secret Treaty of London (April 26, 1915) that promised Italy war spoils in Austria‐​Hungary, the Balkans, Asia Minor, and elsewhere — and the Italians wanted it all.

  • They were outraged to find that the French and British planned on giving them little.
  • The Japanese demanded Chinese territory and a statement affirming racial equality, and while they didn’t get those things, they ended up receiving German assets in China’s Shantung province, including a port, railroads, mines, and submarine cables.

The second critical limit of Wilson’s power was that he couldn’t control what the losers did. For a while this didn’t seem to matter, since the Germans had been decisively defeated, their weapons were taken away, and they were broke. The vindictive surrender terms, made possible by American entry in the war and enshrined in the Treaty of Versailles, triggered a dangerous nationalist reaction.

Hitler was able to recruit several thousand Nazis. Allied demands for reparations gave Germans incentives to inflate their currency and pay the Allies with worthless marks. The runaway inflation wiped out Germany’s middle class, and Hitler recruited tens of thousands more Nazis by appealing to those bitter people whom he referred to as “starving billionaires” — they might have had billions of paper marks, but they couldn’t afford a loaf of bread.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN Suppose, for a moment, that the United States had stayed out of World War I, and instead of a negotiated settlement there was a German victory on the Western Front. How bad might that have been? The Germans showed how harsh they could be in the Treaty of Brest‐​Litovsk (March 3, 1918) in which, as a condition for ending the war on the Eastern Front, they gained large chunks of territory including Ukraine, Georgia, Finland, and the Baltic states.

  • If Germany had won on the Western Front, it would have acquired some French territory and maybe Belgium.
  • The Germans probably wouldn’t have been able to enjoy their victory for long.
  • Britain would have retained its independence, protected by its navy that might have continued the hunger blockade against Germany.

In all likelihood, Germany would have become bogged down in endemic conflicts along the frontier with Russia, complicated by nationalist rebellions in the wreckage of Germany’s ally, Austria‐​Hungary. Such problems might have proven to be too much for the German army that was already struggling to put down mutinies.

  1. Bad as this would have been, even it was preferable to what did happen: the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust.
  2. American entry in World War I helped produce another terrible consequence: the November 1917 Bolshevik coup in Russia.
  3. The country had been deteriorating ever since Czar Nicholas II entered the war in 1914.

It led to millions of Russian casualties, drained the country’s finances, generated devastating inflation, caused pervasive shortages, and discredited the government and the army. France and Britain had to know they were playing with fire when they pressured the Russians to stay in the war so that German forces would continue to be tied up on the Eastern Front.

The last thing France and Britain wanted was for Russia to make a separate peace with Germany and thereby enable the Germans to transfer forces to the Western Front. Allied pressure assured that the deterioration of Russia would continue or even accelerate. Following the spontaneous revolution and abdication of the czar in March 1917, Wilson authorized David Francis, his ambassador to Russia, to offer the Provisional Government $325 million of credits — equivalent to perhaps $3.9 billion today — if Russia stayed in the war.

The Provisional Government was broke, and it accepted Wilson’s terms: “No fight, no loans.” Wilson was oblivious to the fact that ordinary Russians had nothing to gain from whatever happened on the Western Front, which was his sole concern. The Bolsheviks exploited deteriorating conditions brought on or aggravated by the war.

  • They were the only ones on the Russian political scene who advocated withdrawal.
  • Lenin’s slogan was “Peace, land, and bread.” For a while, despite all of Russia’s problems, the Bolsheviks weren’t able to make much headway.
  • In elections for the Constituent Assembly, they never received more than a quarter of the votes.

Lenin failed three times to seize power during the summer of 1917. It wasn’t until the fall of 1917, when the Russian army collapsed, that the Bolsheviks were able to seize power. The diplomat and historian George F. Kennan observed, “it may be questioned whether the United States government, in company with other western Allies, did not actually hasten and facilitate the failure of the Provisional Government by insisting that Russia should continue the war effort, and by making this demand the criterion for its support.

In asking the leaders of the Provisional Government simultaneously to consolidate their political power and to revive and continue participation in the war, the Allies were asking the impossible.” What might have happened in Russia if the United States had stayed out of World War I? Russia almost certainly would have quit the war earlier, with the Russian Army still intact and capable of defending the Provisional Government from a Bolshevik coup.

CONCLUSION Thanks to Wilson’s misguided policies, the Bolshevik coup led to seven decades of Soviet communism. Historian R.J. Rummel estimated that almost 62 million people were killed by the Soviet government. He estimated that all 20th‐​century communist regimes killed between 110 million and 260 million people.

  1. Nothing Wilson did could compensate for the colossal blunder of entering World War I.
  2. He claimed his League of Nations would help prevent future wars, but charter members of the League of Nations were most of the winners of the war and their friends — countries that hadn’t been fighting each other.
  3. They vowed to continue not fighting each other.

Member nations agreed to join in defending any of them that might be attacked, which meant that the league was another alliance. An attack on one member nation would lead to a wider war. The World War I losers weren’t members. Wilson’s admirers tend to blame postwar troubles on Republicans in Congress who refused to support his beloved League of Nations.

Wilson’s arrogance toward Congress and his refusal to compromise had a lot to do with that. He failed to recognize that he couldn’t control his allies, he couldn’t control the losers, and he couldn’t control Congress. World War I should remind us that the consequences of war are extremely difficult to predict and often impossible to control.

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The world would have been better off if America had stayed out of that war and pursued a policy of armed neutrality.

How many people died in ww1 by country?

Higher Toll Among Allied Forces – A 2011 report by the Robert Schuman European Centre pulled from government records and research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace estimated that slightly more than 9.7 million military personnel from more than two dozen nations lost their lives, plus more than 6.8 million civilians who died from causes such as starvation and genocide.

In all, about 16.5 million people died. According to the report, the victors of the war suffered more military deaths than the losers. The Allied side, including Britain (885,138 deaths), France (1,397,800), Russia (1,811,000), Italy (651,000), Serbia (275,000) and the U.S. (116,708), in addition to a host of other nations—lost 5.4 million military personnel.

That’s considerably more than the approximately four million military members lost by the Central Powers, which included the German Empire (2,050,897), Austria-Hungary (1,100,000), the Ottoman Empire (2,150,000) and Bulgaria (87,500). Those totals include both combat-related deaths and fatalities from accidents, disease and the ordeal of being held as prisoners of war.

Which countries fought in ww1?

Timeline (1914 – 1921) | A World at War | Articles and Essays | Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers’ Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919 | Digital Collections | Library of Congress

Archduke Francis Ferdinand is assassinated. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, beginning World War I. Germany invades Luxembourg and Belgium. France invades Alsace. British forces arrive in France. Nations allied against Germany were eventually to include Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, Romania, Greece, France, Belgium, United States, Canada, Serbia, India, Portugal, Montenegro, and Poland. Austria-Hungary invades Russia. Allied forces halt German advance into France during First Battle of the Marne. Germany begins naval blockade of Great Britain. Allied forces land on the Gallipoli Peninsula of the Ottoman Empire. German submarine sinks the passenger liner Lusitania during crossing from New York to Liverpool, England, killing 128 Americans.1907. George Grantham Bain Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-55384 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary. Germany begins the attack on Verdun., Print (poster): lithograph. Maurice Toussaint. Paris: Cornille & Serre,, French World War I posters, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZC2-4113 Naval Battle of Jutland takes place between British and German fleets. Allied offensive begins the Battle of the Somme., Stereograph. Meadville, Pa.: Keystone View Co., c1918. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-114922 Battle of Verdun ends with 550,000 French and 450,000 German casualties. Germany returns to unrestricted submarine warfare halted after the sinking of the Lusitania, United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany. The United States declares war on Germany. General John J. Pershing, newly selected commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, arrives in England with his staff., Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-113652 American combat forces arrive in France. Russia signs armistice with Germany. President Woodrow Wilson presents to Congress his outline of Fourteen Points required for peace., In album: Woodrow Wilson, Herbert E. French, National Photo Company, 1921. National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-113824 The Stars and Stripes begins publication with a first issue of one thousand copies. Second Lieutenant Guy T. Viskniskki is the first managing editor of the newspaper. Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. Germany begins its final offensive of the war. American women recruited to serve as bilingual telephone operators for the AEF arrive in Europe. United States forces are victorious in the Battle of Cantigny, the first independent American operation. American forces stop German attempt to cross the Marne River at Chateau-Thierry., Print (poster): lithograph. Adolph Treidler,, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZC4-10664 The Stars and Stripes suspends the Sporting Page. American First Army attacks St. Mihiel salient., Print (poster): lithograph. Maurice Toussaint. Paris: Cornille & Serre,, French World War I posters, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZC2-4112 Allied forces begin the attack at Meusse-Argonne, the final offensive of the war., September 13, 1918. John Joseph Pershing Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-87811 Germany signs the Armistice at Compiègne, ending World War I. Harold Ross assumes editorship of The Stars and Stripes, British and American forces enter Germany. The Stars and Stripes War Orphans Adoption Campaign ends after raising 123,047 francs and placing 3,444 orphans for adoption. Sporting Page returns to The Stars and Stripes, Peace conference begins at Paris. First anniversary of The Stars and Stripes, Circulation surpasses 500,000. Draft of the covenant of the League of Nations is completed. Last issue of The Stars and Stripes is published. Allied and German representatives sign treaty of Versailles. The United States signs treaty of guaranty, pledging to defend France in case of an unprovoked attack by Germany. United States Senate fails to ratify Treaty of Versailles. Treaty of Versailles takes effect. United States Senate fails to ratify Treaty of Versailles for the second time. United States signs separate peace treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary.

: Timeline (1914 – 1921) | A World at War | Articles and Essays | Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers’ Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919 | Digital Collections | Library of Congress

Did Russia win against Germany in ww1?

Russia exits the war – After the abdication of Nicholas II in March 1917, the new Provisional Government pledged to continue the Russian war effort. But the Russian army was no longer a viable fighting force. Two million men deserted in March and April. Bolshevik agitators – including Lenin, who had returned to Russia from exile on 3 April – spread effective anti-war propaganda. A major new Russian offensive in Galicia in July 1917 failed, and by September, the northern Russian army had collapsed. After the Bolshevik revolution in November 1917, Russia’s continued participation in the First World War was doomed. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk – a ‘shameful peace’ in the eyes of many Russian patriots – confirmed the extent of the German victory in the East.


Russian war-loan poster Germany signs Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (169k) Trotsky’s speech at Brest-Litovsk(169k) Translation


It was a victory achieved despite the weaknesses of the Habsburg army and despite the fact that the German military leadership generally prioritised men and resources for the Western Front. In the spring of 1918, the German army was finally free to concentrate its efforts solely on defeating Russia’s former allies, Britain and France. By the end of the year, however, none of the three great empires that had fought the war on the Eastern Front – German, Habsburg and Russian – existed any longer. The bloody struggle in the East played a decisive role in this dramatic reshaping of the European political map. Discipline in the Russian army Transcript


Who won ww1 Germany or Russia?

Total: ~9,882,000+ casualties

2,590,075 dead

Civilian deaths: 2,000,000+ Russian Empire: 410,000 civilians died due to military action 730,000 civilians died of war-related causes Kingdom of Romania: 130,000 civilians died due to military action 200,000 civilians died of war-related causes Austria-Hungary: 120,000 civilians died due to military action 467,000 civilians died of war-related causes

The Eastern Front or Eastern Theater of World War I ( German : Ostfront ; Romanian : Frontul de răsărit ; Russian :, romanized : Vostochny front ) was a theater of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between Russia and Romania on one side and Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, and Germany on the other.

  1. It stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south, involved most of Eastern Europe, and stretched deep into Central Europe as well.
  2. The term contrasts with the Western Front, which was being fought in Belgium and France,
  3. During 1910, Russian General Yuri Danilov developed “Plan 19” under which four armies would invade East Prussia,

This plan was criticised as Austria-Hungary could be a greater threat than the German Empire. So instead of four armies invading East Prussia, the Russians planned to send two armies to East Prussia, and two armies to defend against Austro-Hungarian forces invading from Galicia,

  • In the opening months of the war, the Imperial Russian Army attempted an invasion of eastern Prussia in the Northwestern theater, only to be beaten back by Germany after some initial success,
  • At the same time, in the south, they successfully invaded Galicia, defeating the Austro-Hungarian forces there.

In Russian Poland, the Germans failed to take Warsaw, But by 1915, the German and Austro-Hungarian forces were on the advance, dealing the Russians heavy casualties in Galicia and in Poland, forcing them to retreat, Grand Duke Nicholas was sacked from his position as the commander-in-chief and replaced by Tsar Nicholas himself.

  • Several offensives against the Germans in 1916 failed, including the Lake Naroch Offensive and the Baranovichi Offensive,
  • However, General Aleksei Brusilov oversaw a highly successful operation against Austria-Hungary that became known as the Brusilov offensive, which saw the Russian Army make large gains.

Being the largest and most lethal offensive of World War I, the effects of the Brusilov offensive were far reaching. It helped to relieve the German pressure during the Battle of Verdun, while also helping to relieve the Austro-Hungarian pressure on the Italians.

As a result, the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces were fatally weakened, and finally Romania decided to enter the war on the side of the Allies, However, the Russian human and material losses also greatly contributed to the Russian Revolutions, Romania entered the war in August 1916. The Allied Powers promised the region of Transylvania (which was part of Austria-Hungary) in return for Romanian support.

The Romanian Army invaded Transylvania and had initial successes, but was forced to stop and was pushed back by the Germans and Austro-Hungarians when Bulgaria attacked them from the south. Meanwhile, a revolution occurred in Russia in March 1917 (one of the causes being the hardships of the war).

  • Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and a Russian Provisional Government was founded, with Georgy Lvov as its first leader, who was eventually replaced by Alexander Kerensky,
  • The newly formed Russian Republic continued to fight the war alongside Romania and the rest of the Entente in desultory fashion.

It was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in November 1917. Following the Armistice of Focșani between Romania and the Central Powers, Romania also signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers on 7 May 1918, however it was canceled by Romania on 10 November 1918.

Why was Germany so strong after ww1?

At the end of World War I, Germans could hardly recognize their country. Up to 3 million Germans, including 15 percent of its men, had been killed, Germany had been forced to become a republic instead of a monarchy, and its citizens were humiliated by their nation’s bitter loss.

  • Even more humiliating were the terms of Germany’s surrender.
  • World War I’s victors blamed Germany for beginning the war, committing horrific atrocities and upending European peace with secretive treaties.
  • But most embarrassing of all was the punitive peace treaty Germany had been forced to sign.
  • The Treaty of Versailles didn’t just blame Germany for the war—it demanded financial restitution for the whole thing, to the tune of 132 billion gold marks, or more than $500 billion today.

How—and when—could Germany possibly pay its debt? Nobody could have dreamed that it would take 92 years. That’s how long Germany took to repay World War I reparations, thanks to a financial collapse, another world war and an ongoing debate about how, and even whether, Germany should pay up on its debts.

Allied victors took a punitive approach to Germany at the end of World War I. Intense negotiation resulted in the Treaty of Versailles’ “war guilt clause,” which identified Germany as the sole responsible party for the war and forced it to pay reparations. Germany had suspended the gold standard and financed the war by borrowing.

Reparations further strained the economic system, and the Weimar Republic printed money as the mark’s value tumbled. Hyperinflation soon rocked Germany. By November 1923, 42 billion marks were worth the equivalent of one American cent. Finally, the world mobilized in an attempt to ensure reparations would be paid.

In 1924, the Dawes Plan reduced Germany’s war debt and forced it to adopt a new currency. Reparations continued to be paid through a strange round robin: The U.S. lent Germany money to pay reparations, and the countries that collected reparations payments used that money to pay off United States debts.

The plan was heralded as a victory—Charles Dawes, a banker who later became vice president under Calvin Coolidge won a Nobel Prize for his role in the negotiations. But the Weimar Republic still struggled to pay its debts, so another plan was hashed out in 1928.

The Young Plan involved a reduction of Germany’s war debt to just 121 billion gold marks. But the dawn of the Great Depression ensured its failure and Germany’s economy began disintegrating again. In an attempt to thwart disaster, President Herbert Hoover put a year-long moratorium on reparation payments in 1931.

The next year, Allied delegates attempted to write off all of Germany’s reparations debt at the Lausanne Conference, but the U.S. Congress refused to sign on to the resolution. Germany was still on the hook for its war debt. Soon after, Adolf Hitler was elected.

He canceled all payments in 1933. “Hitler was committed to not just not paying, but to overturning the whole treaty,” historian Felix Schulz told the BBC’s Olivia Lang. His refusal was seen as an act of patriotism and courage in a nation that saw the reparations as a form of humiliation. Germany made no payments during Hitler’s rule.

But Germany wasn’t destined to win the war, and the Third Reich ended with Hitler’s suicide in April 1945 and Germany’s official surrender a few days later. By then, the country was in chaos. Millions of people had been displaced. Over 5.5 million German combatants, and up to 8.8 million German civilians, were dead.

  1. Most of Germany’s institutions had crumbled, and its populace was on the brink of starvation.
  2. The Allies exacted reparations for World War II, too.
  3. They weren’t paid in actual money, but through industrial dismantling, the removal of intellectual property and forced labor for millions of German POWs.

After the surrender, Germany was divided into four occupation zones, and in 1949 the country was split in two. Economic recovery, much less reparations payments, seemed unlikely. By then, West Germany owed 30 billion Deutschmarks to 70 different countries, according to Deutsche Welle ‘s Andreas Becker, and was in desperate need of cash.

But an unexpected ray of hope broke through when West Germany’s president, Konrad Adenauer, struck a deal with a variety of western nations in 1953. The London Debt Conference canceled half of Germany’s debt and extended payment deadlines. And because West Germany was required to pay only when it had a trade surplus, the agreement gave breathing room for economic expansion.

Soon, West Germany, bolstered by Marshall Plan aid and relieved of most of its reparations burden, was Europe’s fastest-growing economy. This “economic miracle” helped stabilize the economy, and the new plan used the potential of reparations payments to encourage countries to trade with West Germany.

  1. Still, it took decades for Germany to pay off the rest of its reparations debt.
  2. At the London Conference, West Germany argued it shouldn’t be responsible for all of the debt the old Germany had incurred during World War I, and the parties agreed that part of its back interest wouldn’t become due until Germany reunified,

Once that happened, Germany slowly chipped away at the last bit of debt. It made its last debt payment on October 3, 2010—the 20th anniversary of German reunification.

How many Russian soldiers died in ww2?

Dead Soviet civilians near Minsk, Belarus, 1943 Kiev, 23 June 1941 A victim of starvation in besieged Leningrad suffering from muscle atrophy in 1941 World War II losses of the Soviet Union were about 27,000,000, both civilian and military from all war-related causes, although exact figures are disputed. A figure of 20 million was considered official during the Soviet era. The post-Soviet government of Russia puts the Soviet war losses at 26.6 million, on the basis of the 1993 study by the Russian Academy of Sciences, including people dying as a result of effects of the war. This includes 8,668,400 military deaths as calculated by the Russian Ministry of Defence, [ ] ] _6-0″> [ ] ] -6″> The figures published by the Russian Ministry of Defence have been accepted by most historians outside Russia, However, the official figure of 8.7 million military deaths has been disputed by Russian scholars who believe that the number of dead and missing POWs is not correct and new research is necessary to determine actual losses. Officials at the Russian Central Defense Ministry Archive (CDMA) maintain that their database lists the names of roughly 14 million dead and missing service personnel. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in 2009 that more than 2.4 million people are still officially considered missing in action, and that of the 9.5 million persons buried in mass graves, six million are unidentified. Some Russian scholars put the total number of losses in the war, both civilian and military, at over 40 million. In 2020, Mikhail Meltyukhov, who works with the Russian Federal archival project, claimed that 15.9–17.4 million civilians were killed on Soviet territory by Germany and its allies during the war.

Which war killed the most?

An End to War – As John F. Kennedy famously said, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” The deadliest wars in history are all a testament to that sentiment — it is a repeating pattern with very costly end results. The last large-scale war, World War II, was responsible for the deaths of nearly 70 million people.

Why was ww1 so brutal?

Gain insight into the death and destruction of World War I with firsthand accounts from former soldiers. Last Updated: September 18, 2020

  • Human & Civil Rights
  • The Holocaust

Journalist, lecturer, and author Adam Hochschild discusses the role African and Asian troops from European colonies played in World War I. Journalist, lecturer, and author Adam Hochschild discusses the role African and Asian troops from European colonies played in World War I.

In August 1914, both sides expected a quick victory. Neither leaders nor civilians from warring nations were prepared for the length and brutality of the war, which took the lives of millions by its end in 1918. The loss of life was greater than in any previous war in history, in part because militaries were using new technologies, including tanks, airplanes, submarines, machine guns, modern artillery, flamethrowers, and poison gas.

The map below shows the farthest advances of Central and Allied forces on the fronts to the west, east, and south of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Most of the war’s major battles took place between those lines of farthest advance on each front. Germany’s initial goal was to knock the French out of the war by occupying Belgium and then quickly march into France and capture Paris, its capital.

German troops could then concentrate on the war in the east. That plan failed, and by the end of 1914, the two sides were at a stalemate. Before long, they faced each other across a 175-mile-long line of trenches that ran from the English Channel to the Swiss border. These trenches came to symbolize a new kind of warfare.

A young officer named Harold Macmillan (who later became prime minister of Britain) explained in a letter home: Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the modern battlefield is the desolation and emptiness of it all. Nothing is to be seen of war or soldiers—only the split and shattered trees and the burst of an occasional shell reveal anything of the truth.

One can look for miles and see no human being. But in those miles of country lurk (like moles or rats, it seems) thousands, even hundreds of thousands of men, planning against each other perpetually some new device of death. Never showing themselves, they launch at each other bullet, bomb, aerial torpedo, and shell.

And somewhere too, are the little cylinders of gas, waiting only for the moment to spit forth their nauseous and destroying fumes. And yet the landscape shows nothing of all this—nothing but a few shattered trees and 3 or 4 thin lines of earth and sandbags; these and the ruins of towns and villages are the only signs of war anywhere.

  • The glamour of red coats—the martial tunes of fife and drum—aide-de-camps scurrying hither and thither on splendid chargers—lances glittering and swords flashing—how different the old wars must have been.
  • The thrill of battle comes now only once or twice in a,
  • We need not so much the gallantry of our fathers; we need (and in our Army at any rate I think you will find it) that indomitable and patient determination which has saved England over and over again.1 The area between the opposing armies’ trenches was known as “No Man’s Land” for good reason.
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Fifty years after the war, Richard Tobin, who served with Britain’s Royal Naval Division, recalled how he and his fellow soldiers entered No Man’s Land as they tried to break through the enemy’s line. “As soon as you got over the top,” he told an interviewer, “fear has left you and it is terror.

You don’t look, you see. You don’t hear, you listen. Your nose is filled with fumes and death. You taste the top of your mouth. You’re hunted back to the jungle. The veneer of civilization has dropped away.” 2 Unlike the war on Germany’s western front, the war on the eastern front was a war of rapid movement.

Armies repeatedly crisscrossed the same territories. Civilians were frequently caught in the crossfire, and millions were evacuated from their homes and expelled from territories as armies approached. On both sides of the conflict, many came to believe that what they were experiencing was not war but “mass slaughter.” A private in the British army explained, “If you go forward, you’ll likely be shot, if you go back you’ll be court-martialed and shot, so what the hell do you do? What can you do? You just go forward.” 3 The carnage was incomprehensible to everyone, as millions of soldiers and civilians alike died.

  • Historian Martin Gilbert details the loss of life: More than nine million soldiers, sailors and airmen were killed in the First World War.
  • A further five million civilians are estimated to have perished under occupation, bombardment, hunger and disease.
  • The mass murder of Armenians in 1915, and the influenza epidemic that began while the war was still being fought, were two of its destructive by-products.

The flight of Serbs from Serbia at the end of 1915 was another cruel episode in which civilians perished in large numbers; so too was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, as a result of which more than three-quarters of a million German civilians died.4 The chart below provides estimates of the number of soldiers killed, wounded, and reported missing during World War I.

Exact numbers are often disputed and are nearly impossible to determine for a variety of reasons. Different countries used different methods to count their dead and injured, and some methods were more reliable than others. Records of some countries were destroyed during the war and its aftermath. Also, some countries may have changed the number of casualties in their official records for political reasons.

The numbers of civilians from each country killed during the war are even more difficult to estimate. The numbers in the chart reflect the estimates made by most historians today (see reading, Negotiating Peace in Chapter 3).

Who wanted ww1 to end?

How Did The Armistice End The First World War? In the autumn of 1918, Germany and its allies were exhausted. Their armies were defeated and their hungry citizens were beginning to rebel. As early as 29 September German General and Stategist Erich Ludendorff decided that a cessation of hostilities must be sought.

  • The need became more urgent as Germany’s allies began to drop out of the war.
  • The German government approached the United States with a request for an armistice.
  • They hoped that this would be based on the ‘Fourteen Points’ laid down in January 1918 by US as a foundation for ‘peace without victory’.
  • By October however, with their troops bloodily engaged on the Western Front, American attitudes had hardened.

The armistice negotiations were not in fact conducted by the Allied governments, but by their commander-in-chief, Ferdinand Foch. He ensured that its conditions made it impossible for the German Army to recommence fighting. The abdication of and the formation of a democratic government in Germany were necessary adjuncts to the armistice.

The generals ensured that the new Socialist government was tarnished with the humiliation of the defeat for which they themselves were responsible. The signing of the armistice was greeted with varied responses. In many Allied towns and cities – especially those freed from enemy occupation – there were scenes of happiness.

However, the celebratory mood was tempered by the grief of the many thousands who mourned for the war dead. Away from the Western Front, the signing of armistices did not necessarily mean an end to conflict. Fighting continued while peace negotiations got under way.

Why didn t ww1 end immediately?

At 11 a.m. on Nov.11, 1918, war ended on Europe’s Western Front. More than a month earlier, German leaders requested a pause to negotiate a peace settlement, and after weeks of back-and-forth negotiations, the Entente, led by Britain and France, and the United States granted an armistice.

  • The guns fell silent in an apparent anticlimax, with German territory unconquered and an army that, if unwilling to fight for Belgium and France, wasn’t unable to defend its homeland.
  • For anyone listening to Allied leaders in the final years of the war, the armistice might have come as a shock.
  • British Prime Minister David Lloyd George had insisted as far back as 1916 that ” the fight must be to the finish — to a knockout,” Why did the Entente and the Americans grant an armistice to a Germany that was finally, after years of attrition, out of reserves and on the run? Why didn’t they drive on to Berlin? Here’s how the war ended with Germany intact and unconquered: 1.

The Entente certainly wanted German regime change Germany’s major power enemies — Britain, France, the United States, Italy and Russia (until the Russian Revolution) — wanted to remake it. British Foreign Minister Edward Grey described ” ending militarism,” which meant in no uncertain terms the end of the ruling houses of Hohenzollern in Germany and Habsburg in Austria-Hungary, as a bedrock Entente war aim.

By May 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, his own desire for a “peace without victory” a thing of the past, announced: ” The day has come to conquer or submit,” The Entente seems to have decided that, absent guarantees that come with conquest, surrender and possibly dismemberment, Germany couldn’t be trusted not to try again to overturn the European balance of power.

And yet when Germany asked for an armistice, its enemies agreed, abandoning the march on Berlin for which their generals, including John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, had begun to plan,2. Germany initiated a “revolution from above” Solving a commitment problem was key to the Entente’s war effort.

  • A still-standing, autocratic Germany couldn’t be trusted — so the argument went — not to try to dominate Europe again, so its enemies waged a war to eliminate Germany’s ability to challenge the status quo.
  • Oftentimes, parties settle wars driven by commitment problems in total fashion, with the losing side conquered or disarmed,

But in negotiations with Wilson, Germany agreed to democratization, putting a civilian government in charge to negotiate the peace. Wilson professed more trust in this government than either the Kaiser or his generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, who had led a virtual military dictatorship since 1916.

  • Wilson’s demand reflected Immanuel Kant’s vision of a world of peaceful republics and his own diagnosis of the causes of the war, which blamed not the German people but their leaders.
  • German democratization was, however, an imperfect solution to the problem because regimes come and go, and after Entente demobilization there might be nothing to stop a reversal of the revolution.

If German democracy failed, the world might find itself right back where it had been in 1914. French Marshal Ferdinand Foch even dismissed the Treaty of Versailles as ” an armistice for 20 years,” So what made this imperfect solution to Germany’s commitment problem palatable? A big part of the answer lay across the Atlantic — in America.3.

  • The allies didn’t just fear Germany — they were wary of rising American power When the fighting stopped in 1918, London and Paris weren’t concerned just about containing postwar Germany.
  • They also cast a wary eye at the United States, the partner whose entry swung the war in their favor but also a partner who stood to take on an increasing role in determining strategy if the war continued into German territory.

Already dependent on U.S. financing, the Entente believed its role at the peace talks would be further subordinated to Washington if the war effort relied more heavily on American dollars, dreadnoughts and doughboys. If the Entente could credibly claim the lion’s share of work bringing the Germans to the table — as they could in 1918 — they stood a better chance of retaining their empires and enjoying the spoils of war (read: reparations and conquests).

  1. But if they went for Lloyd George’s knockout blow, they risked losing their own positions in the global hierarchy to Wilson’s radical vision for reshaping the global order, which foresaw the humbling of European imperialism before the unparalleled financial and military might of the United States.
  2. Continuing the war with a more powerful American partner might bring about Wilson’s desired ” peace without victory ” — with that victory snatched away from a fully exhausted Entente.

Precisely because a United States that was more powerful in Europe couldn’t be denied a larger say in strategy and in the negotiation of a final peace treaty, the Entente powers gave up on their dreams of inflicting a total defeat on Germany. The end of the Great War in Western and Central Europe, though, came with a whimper that would be overshadowed by the cataclysm of World War II a generation later, when many of the same states would march on Berlin to offer a more permanent answer to the question of who would rule Europe.

  • That the 1914-1918 conflict ended so far short of a total military victory shows us that negotiations between coalition partners can be just as important for shaping how wars end and how long peace lasts after the war as negotiations between enemies.
  • Disagreements between the war’s victors plagued the interwar years, the seeds of which were sown when the United States entered the war with a vision for world order quite at variance with the other great powers whose side it had taken.

Scott Wolford is associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. His textbook, The Politics of the First World War: A Course in Game Theory and International Security, will be published in spring 2019 by Cambridge University Press.

Did anyone survive from the start to the end of ww1?

Harry Patch
Patch, aged 109, in 2007
Birth name Henry John Patch
Born 17 June 1898 Combe Down, Somerset, England
Died 25 July 2009 (aged 111 years, 38 days) Wells, Somerset, England
Buried St Michael’s Church, Monkton Combe
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/ branch British Army

British Expeditionary Force

Years of service 1916–1918
Rank Lance corporal Private (after demotion)
Service number 29295
Unit Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

First World War

  • Western Front
    • Battle of Passchendaele ( WIA )
Awards See medals
  • Ada Billington ( m.1919; d.1976)
  • Kathleen Joy ( m.1982; d.1989)
  • Doris Whittaker (1998; d.2007)
Children 2

Henry John Patch (17 June 1898 – 25 July 2009), dubbed in his later years “the Last Fighting Tommy “, was an English supercentenarian, briefly the oldest man in Europe, and the last surviving trench combat soldier of the First World War from any country.

Could ww1 have ended earlier?

Ninety-nine years ago today, the world was a year out from an armistice that would bring (some of) the fighting to an end in the first truly global conflict. The United States commemorates Nov.11 as Veterans Day, but in Europe it’s Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, and four years of bloody fighting.

  1. On Nov.11, 1917, the Central Powers, led by Germany and Austria-Hungary, appeared to hold the strategic advantage.
  2. Russia — part of the Triple Entente with France and Britain — was on the verge of a defeat that would gut the population, production and territory of its western empire.
  3. Serbia was crushed, satisfying the goals that drew Austria-Hungary to war in the first place.

Austria-Hungary had also survived Italy’s best shot along the Isonzo River, and the Ottoman Empire had fended off the British and French at Gallipoli, Farther west, German U-boats continued to sink merchant shipping critical to Entente resupply. Russia’s defeat promised the redeployment of 54 German divisions to the Western Front, divisions that might yet smash the British and French armies struggling to evict Germany from Belgium and France.

  • Why did this horrific and costly war last even another year? Here are three reasons that November 1918, not November 1917, would finally see the armistice that gave us today’s holiday.1.
  • Belgium had not yet been restored to its buffer state status.
  • World War I started over Austro-Hungarian fears of rising Serbian power in the Balkans, and it expanded because Germany was happy to see resurgent Russian influence stifled in Eastern Europe.

Germany risked a wider war by issuing the now-infamous “blank check” of support for Austria. But Germany’s eastern ambitions required that it fend off Russia’s western friends — France and Britain — and that meant invading Belgium. The quintessential buffer state, Belgium’s location allowed whatever member of the Franco-British-German triad that controlled it to menace the others.

No, Britain was not defending ” gallant little Belgium ” to preserve the principle of right over might. The British Empire joined the war because whichever power held Belgium would be tempted to try to undermine the others as great powers. No power holding Belgium could be trusted to abide by a compromise peace,

Letting Germany stay in Belgium would only guarantee its ability to wage another war against the British or the French. Therefore, the Entente would not cut a deal with the German Empire in 1917 unless it could restore this critical buffer state.2. German leaders knew it was all or nothing — they’d be punished if they lost The desire to restore Belgium and quash a German bid for hegemony precluded almost any outcome but capitulation.

  • The Entente and its American “associate” — explicitly not an ally — had more money, more people and more production, nearly ensuring that they would win out in the long-run attritional contest that the war had become.
  • These facts weren’t lost on German leaders, who believed by late 1916 that they would lose the war unless something changed.

Germany might have yielded sooner if the issue were simply accepting defeat and a fate hemmed in between rival great powers. But Germany’s leaders faced a restive population and few legal restraints on the treatment of deposed leaders. Their great fear was that anything short of a victory that produced new land, power and bread would mean not just political but personal doom — that is, exile, jail or death,

So Germany’s leaders kept up the fight in desperate gambles — from 1917’s unrestricted submarine warfare to last-gasp offensives in 1918 — that preserved at least some chance of victory, If compromise meant near-certain peril, fighting on a bit longer for victory made cynical, if costly, sense — what political scientists call ” gambling for resurrection,” 3.U.S.

intervention ensured the war lasted only one more year Belgian geography and the self-preservation instincts of Germany’s leaders explain why the war didn’t end in 1917. But geography doesn’t change, and leaders can hang on for a long time. So why did the war continue for only one more year? Enter the Americans.

  1. The Entente fought as long as it did in part because of confidence that eventually America would join the fight,
  2. Germany’s renewed policy of unleashing its submarine fleet on neutral shipping proved the last straw, and the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917.
  3. It would take some time before the small, inexperienced U.S.

Army could make its presence felt. In fact, part of Germany’s rationale for unrestricted submarine warfare was closing Atlantic sea lanes before U.S. troops could arrive in force. But the U-boats were less effective than promised, prompting one last bid for victory in 1918.

Germany’s spring offensives, leveraging the divisions freed up from the East, made dramatic gains in their first few weeks. But armed with the promise of U.S. troops shoring up their reserves, France and Britain mounted a more tenacious defense and a more vigorous counterattack than they could have hoped for without thousands of doughboys pouring into Europe every month.

Once U.S. support turned tangible, it helped force an end to the war much sooner than anticipated. Indeed, before the Germans exhausted their reserves in the 1918 spring offensives, even the U.S. Army anticipated that the war might last into 1919. But once Kaiser Wilhelm II learned that his army would no longer fight for him, the writing was finally and indelibly on the wall.