جنگ جهانی اول

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد
پرش به ناوبری پرش به جستجو
فارسیEnglish
جنگ جهانی اول
WWImontage.jpg
از سمت راست-بالا (در جهت عقربه‌های ساعت): یک سنگر، تانک‌های انگلیسی در حال رفتن به سمت خط مقدم، یک ناو انگلیسی در حال غرق شدن بعد از برخورد با مین در درگیری در داردانل، یک کمک تیرانداز اسلحه خودکار با ماسک محافظ گاز و هواپیماهای دوبالهٔ آلباتروس آلمانی.
زمان ۲۸ ژوئیه ۱۹۱۴ تا ۱۱ نوامبر ۱۹۱۸ میلادی
(۶ مرداد ۱۲۹۳ (خورشیدی) تا ۱۹ آبان ۱۲۹۷ (خورشیدی) خورشیدی)
معاهدهٔ صلح در ۲۸ ژوئن ۱۹۱۹ امضاء شد.
مکان اروپا، اروپای شرقی و خاورمیانه (بیشتر در جزایر اقیانوس آرام.)
نتیجه پیروزی متفقین
فرماندهان
جرج پنجم، نیکولاس دوم، ژرژ کلمانسو ویلهلم دوم، محمد پنجم، فرانتس یوزف یکم،فردیناند یکم
نیروها
امپراتوری روسیه ۱۲٬۰۰۰٬۰۰۰

امپراتوری بریتانیا ۸٬۸۴۱٬۵۴۱[۱][۲]
جمهوری سوم فرانسه ۸٬۶۶۰٬۰۰۰[۳]
پادشاهی ایتالیا (۱۸۶۱–۱۹۴۶) ۵٬۶۱۵٬۱۴۰
ایالات متحده آمریکا ۴٬۷۴۳٬۸۲۶
پادشاهی رومانی ۱٬۲۳۴٬۰۰۰
امپراتوری ژاپن ۸۰۰٬۰۰۰
پادشاهی صربستان ۷۰۷٬۳۴۳
بلژیک ۳۸۰٬۰۰۰
پادشاهی یونان ۲۵۰٬۰۰۰
پادشاهی مونته نگرو ۵۰٬۰۰۰
کل: ۴۲٬۹۵۹٬۸۵۰[۴]

امپراطوری آلمان ۱۳٬۲۵۰٬۰۰۰

اتریش-مجارستان ۷٬۸۰۰٬۰۰۰
امپراتوری عثمانی ۲٬۹۹۸٬۳۲۱
پادشاهی بلغارستان ۱٬۲۰۰٬۰۰۰
کل: ۲۵٬۲۴۸٬۳۲۱[۴]

تلفات
متفقین
کشته شدگان نظامی:۵٬۵۲۵٬۰۰۰
زخمی‌های نظامی: ۱۲٬۸۳۱٬۵۰۰
ناپدید شدگان نظامی: ۴٬۱۲۱٬۰۰۰
متحدین
کشته شدگان نظامی: ۴٬۳۸۶٬۰۰۰
زخمی‌های نظامی: ۸٬۳۸۸٬۰۰۰
ناپدید شدگان نظامی: ۳٬۶۲۹٬۰۰۰

جنگ جهانی اول (که با نام‌های جنگ بزرگ و جنگ برای پایان همهٔ جنگ‌ها نیز شناخته می‌شود) جنگی جهانی بود که از ۲۸ ژوئیه ۱۹۱۴ تا ۱۱ نوامبر ۱۹۱۸ رخ داد و در پی آن، بدون زمینهٔ جدی کشمکش، سربازان بسیاری برای جنگ تجهیز شدند و مناطق زیادی از جهان درگیر جنگ گشتند. تلفات جنگ جهانی اول تا آن زمان در تاریخ بی‌سابقه بود. از سلاح‌های شیمیایی برای نخستین بار در این جنگ استفاده شد. برای نخستین بار، به گونه‌ای انبوه مناطق غیرنظامی بمباران هوایی شدند و نیز برای نخستین بار در این سده کشتار غیرنظامیان در ابعادی گسترده رخ داد. این جنگ به خاطر شیوهٔ جنگ خاکریزی به ویژه در جبهه غرب آن نیز شناخته شده‌است.

جنگ جهانی اول در پی ترور آرشیدوک فرانتس فردیناند ولیعهد امپراتوری اتریش - مجارستان در ۲۸ ژوئن ۱۹۱۴ توسط ملی‌گرای هجده ساله صرب، گاوریلو پرنسیپ، در سارایوو بوسنی به وقوع پیوست. در نتیجه این اقدام تروریستی، اتریش-مجارستان به صربستان اولتیماتوم داد. امپراتوری روسیه که متحد صربستان بود دست به بسیج نیروهای خود زد که این خود موجب نگرانی متحد اتریش-مجارستان، یعنی امپراتوری آلمان شد. آلمان برای جلوگیری از یک جنگ دو جبهه‌ای به متحد روسیه، یعنی فرانسه حمله کرد. برای سرعت بخشیدن به روند حمله به خاک فرانسه، ارتش آلمان طرح اشلیفن را اجرا کرد که به موجب آن نیروهای آلمانی از خاک بلژیک برای حمله به فرانسه بهره می‌بردند. تجاوز آلمان به خاک بلژیک باعث شد که متحد این کشور، یعنی امپراتوری بریتانیا نیز به آلمان اعلان جنگ دهد.

جنگ جهانی اول از برجسته‌ترین رخدادهای تاریخ بشر است و به گونه مستقیم و غیرمستقیم نقش بزرگی در تعیین تاریخ سده بیستم داشته‌است. این جنگ پایان چندی از نظام‌های پادشاهی اروپا را رقم زد و مایه نابودی چهار دودمان پادشاهی هابسبورگ، هوهن تسولرن، عثمانی و رومانوف به ترتیب در امپراتوری‌های اتریش-مجارستان، آلمان، عثمانی و روسیه تزاری شد. بیشتر تاریخ نگاران باور دارند که شکست دیپلماسی پس از جنگ و تحمیل غرامت‌های تحقیرآمیز بر اساس بند گناه «معاهده ورسای» به آلمان و دیگر دول شکست خورده مایه پرورش نازیسم در آلمان و زمینه‌ساز آغاز جنگ جهانی دوم شد. هم‌چنین نادیده گرفتن ایتالیا و ژاپن از سوی قدرت‌های بزرگتر در تقسیم غرامت‌ها از دلایل رشد فاشیسم در ایتالیا و حمله ژاپن به منچوری دانسته می‌شود.

این جنگ همچنین زمینه را برای انقلاب روسیه مهیا ساخت؛ امری که بر آینده جهان تأثیر گذاشت و از چین تا کوبا به انقلاب‌های سوسیالیستی دامن زد و از سویی زمینه‌ساز تبدیل شوروی به یک ابرقدرت جهانی شد که آغاز جنگ سرد با آمریکا را در پی داشت.

در خاورمیانه با نابودی امپراتوری عثمانی کشور نوینی به نام «ترکیه» پایه‌گذاری شد و سرپرستی موقت مناطق عرب‌نشین تحت حکومت این کشور تا زمان استقلال آن‌ها بین بریتانیا و فرانسه تقسیم شد. با فروپاشی امپراتوری اتریش-مجارستان در اروپای مرکزی کشورهای تازه‌ای همچون چکسلواکی و یوگسلاوی پدید آمدند و کشور لهستان با پیوند بخش‌هایی از خاک امپراتوری‌های آلمان، روسیه و اتریش-مجارستان استقلال خود را پس از دو قرن بازیافت.

جنگ جهانی اول بین متحدین امپراتوری آلمان (اتریش - مجارستان، عثمانی و بلغارستان) و نیروهای اتفاق (جمهوری سوم فرانسه، بریتانیا، روسیه (تا نوامبر ۱۹۱۷)، صربستان، ایتالیا، ایالات متحده آمریکا (از اوت ۱۹۱۷)، ژاپن و رومانی) درگرفت. تا مدت‌ها هیچ‌یک از دو سو نتوانستند به پیروزی مهمی دست یابند و جنگ چهار سال به درازا انجامید و تا پیروزی متفقین نزدیک به ۱۰ میلیون تن کشته شدند. پس از پایان این جنگ در سال ۱۹۱۹ و در کنفرانس صلح پاریس، معاهده‌های جداگانه‌ای امضاء شد و تاوان‌های بسیار سنگینی بر شکست‌خوردگان جنگ تحمیل داشت.

محتویات

تحولات اروپا در آستانه جنگ اروپایی اول[ویرایش]

Chateau Wood Ypres 1917.jpg

وحدت آلمان در فاصلهٔ سال‌های ۱۸۴۸ تا ۱۸۷۱ صورت پذیرفت و نتیجهٔ جنگ‌هایی بود که ویلهلم یکم پادشاه پروس به تحریک بیسمارک با اتریش و فرانسه به راه انداخت. ویلهلم اول، پس از رسیدن به پادشاهی، بیسمارک را به نخست‌وزیری برگزید. اولین جنگ بین پروس و دانمارک بود که علت آن اختلاف بر سر دوک‌نشینهای شلسویگ، هلشتاین و لونبورگ میان پادشاه دانمارک و اتحادیهٔ ایالت‌های آلمانی بود. بیسمارک از دولت اتریش دعوت کرد تا با پروس در حل اختلاف بین اتحادیهٔ ایالت‌های آلمانی و دانمارک همراهی کند و از آنجا که هر دو کشور از کریستیان پادشاه دانمارک خواستند از انضمام شلسویگ به خاک خود چشم بپوشد و پادشاه دانمارک به این امر راضی نشد آن دو کشور با ۹۰ هزار سپاه به دانمارک حمله کردند. نیروهای نظامی کریستیان به علت کمبود نیرو، از اتریش و آلمان شکست خوردند و او درخواست صلح کرد و سرانجام به موجب عهدنامه‌ای که در وین منعقد شد، دانمارک رسماً از دوک‌نشین‌های سه‌گانه چشم پوشید. پروس دوک‌نشین لونبورگ را تصرف کرد و اتریش ۱۵ میلیون مارک غرامت از آن دوک‌نشین گرفت و حکومت دو دوک‌نشین دیگر نیز بین دو دولت تقسیم شد.

بیسمارک پس از جنگ دانمارک در صدد بود بین پروس و اتریش نیز جنگی ایجاد کند، ولی برای احتیاط ابتدا با ناپلئون سوم امپراتور فرانسه دوست شد و او را راضی نمود تا در جنگ بین پروس و اتریش بی‌طرف بماند و سپس با ویکتور امانوئل دوم پادشاه ایتالیا ضد اتریش معاهده‌ای منعقد ساخت. پس از آن، اتریش را متهم کرد که در حکومت هلشتاین از رعایت منافع مشترک دو دولت خودداری کرده‌است. همچنین موضوع تغییر وضع اتحادیهٔ دولت‌های آلمانی را پیش کشید و مجلس اتحادیهٔ ایالت‌های آلمانی به اتریش اعلان جنگ داد. نبرد سادو که آلمانی‌ها آن را کونیگراتس می‌گویند نتیجهٔ درگیری بین پروس و اتریش را مشخص کرد. بعد از آن دیگر اتریشی‌ها مقاومت جدی نکردند و در فردای جنگ سادو، فرانسو ژوزف درصدد برآمد که با ناپلئون سوم صلح کند. به موجب معاهدهٔ پراگ، ایالات شلسویک هولشتاین، هانور الکنرال، هس و فرانکفورت ضمیمهٔ پروس شد و پروس، که تا این زمان دو قطعهٔ جداگانه بود، به یک مملکت تبدیل شد. بعد از این، بیسمارک با ممالک واقع در شمال رودماین در مورد تشکیل یک اتحادیه جدید به مذاکره پرداخت و این هیئت به اسم ممالک مجتمعهٔ آلمان شمالی در ماه آوریل ۱۸۶۷ تشکیل شد که شامل ۲۲ مملکت یعنی تمام ممالک آلمان به جز آلمان جنوبی (ممالک باویر و ورتامبرگ و گراندوشه باد) می‌شد.

جنگ فرانسه با پروس[ویرایش]

سربازان آلمان در حال فیلمبرداری از عملیات در جنگ جهانی اول

بیسمارک پس از غلبه بر اتریش درصدد به راه انداختن جنگ پروس با فرانسه بود. این جنگ دو علت داشت: اولاً ارادهٔ بیسمارک در تکمیل وحدت آلمان به وسیلهٔ ضمیمه کردن ممالک جنوبی به ممالک مجتمعهٔ شمالی، که برای موفقیت در این امر لازم بود احساسات ضد پروسی را در ممالک جنوبی به وسیلهٔ احساسی قوی‌تر که کینه نسبت به فرانسه (دشمن ارثی) بود را از بین ببرد؛ ثانیاً دولت فرانسه نتوانست در موقع مساعد اقدام‌های لازم را انجام دهد و تظاهراتی جنگجویانه داشت. دولت فرانسه از بیسمارک قسمتی از اراضی باویر در ساحل رود رن و همچنین شهر مایانس را تقاضا نمود (پنجم اوت ۱۸۶۶) و چون بیسمارک جواب داد که این تقاضا در حکم جنگ است این تقاضا پس گرفته شد؛ ولی طولی نکشید که فرانسه در ۲۰ اوت الحاق فوری لوکزامبورگ و اجازهٔ الحاق بلژیک را در موقع مساعد درخواست نمود و در مقابل: اولاً به پروس این آزادی عمل را می‌داد که در آلمان جنوبی مثل آلمان شمالی آزادانه عمل کند، ثانیاً حاضر شد با پروس قرارداد تعرضی و تدافعی منعقد نماید. بیسمارک هم پیشنهادهای ناپلئون را فوراً به شاهان باویر و ورتمبرگ اطلاع داد و آن‌ها خشمگین شده و قراردادهای نظامی ای با ویلهلم اول منعقد ساختند. بدین ترتیب، اهالی ایالت‌های جنوبی آلمان هم نسبت به فرانسه بدبین شدند. لوکزامبورگ ملک شخصی پادشاه هلند بود و او راضی شد به ۹۰ میلیون فرانک آن را به فرانسه بفروشد؛ اما این خبر هیجانی در آلمان برانگیخت و بیسمارک پادشاه هلند را مجبور ساخت از فروش لوکزامبورگ خودداری نماید و سرانجام این موضوع در کنفرانس لندن مورد بررسی قرار گرفت. اختلاف دیگر بر سر سلطنت اسپانیا بود که در ۱۸۶۸ نام پرنس لئوپلد پسر عمه پادشاه پروس به میان آمد و این امر هم موجب نگرانی فرانسه گردید. سرانجام در روز سه‌شنبه ۱۹ ژوئیه ۱۸۷۰ ناپلئون رسماً به دولت پروس اعلان جنگ داد و در دوم اوت جنگ آغاز شد و تا شش ماه ادامه یافت. در پایان کار فرانسویان شکست خوردند. به موجب عهدنامهٔ فرانکفورت فرانسه مجبور شد آلزاس و لورن را به آلمان واگذار کند، یک میلیارد دلار غرامت بدهد و اجازه دهد آلمان استحکامات مهم فرانسه را تا زمان پرداخت غرامت در تصرف داشته باشد. شکست فرانسه در ۱۸۷۱ موجب تشکیل امپراتوری آلمان گردید، باویر، ورتمبرگ و باد به اتحادیه آلمان شمالی پیوستند و پادشاه پروس ویلهلم اول به مقام امپراتوری رسید. امپراتوری ۲۵ دولت مختلف و همچنین سرزمین آلزاس و لورن را که از فرانسه جدا شده بود شامل می‌شد. مجلس امپراتوری (رایشتاگ) با آرای عمومی انتخاب می‌شد و احزاب برجستهٔ آن عبارت بودند از محافظه‌کاران، کاتولیک‌ها، آزادی‌خواهان و سوسیالیست‌ها. بیسمارک سیاست جهاد برای تمدن را در پیش گرفت و اصلاحاتی انجام داد.

مجمع سه امپراتور[ویرایش]

کشور آلمان پس از آن که بر امپراتوری‌های اتریش و فرانسه پیروز شد قدرتمندترین کشور اروپا گردید و قوای نظامی آن بر سایر کشورها برتری یافت ولی از انتقام فرانسه بیم داشت و می‌ترسید کشورهای بزرگ اروپا بر ضد او متحد شوند. به همین علت و به منظور گوشه‌گیر کردن بیسمارک، پس از پیمان صلح فرانکفورت، با اتریش طرح دوستی ریخت. در سال ۱۸۷۱ در طی ملاقات ویلهلم اول و فرانسوا ژوزف این پیمان محکم شد. سال بعد الکساندر دوم تزار روسیه، که شخصاً به امپراتور آلمان علاقه‌مند بود، با آن دو کشور همراه شد و این پیمان به مجمع سه امپراتور معروف گشت. (اکتبر ۱۸۷۳)

جنگ روسیه و عثمانی[ویرایش]

خندق جنگلی روسیه در نبرد ساری‌قمیش. در این نبرد ارتش عثمانی به علت عدم پیش‌بینی زمستان، شکست خورد[نیازمند منبع]

جنگ بین روسیه و عثمانی که در ۱۸۷۷ آغاز شده بود به پایان رسید و روس‌ها در سوم مارس۱۸۷۸ پیمان سن استفانو را به ترک‌ها تحمیل نمودند. برای رفع اختلاف در این مورد، کنگرهٔ برلین در ژوئیه ۱۸۷۸ بین کشورهای اروپایی تشکیل شد. تزار نسبت به بیسمارک و روشی که در کنگره اعمال کرده بود خشمگین بود و الکساندر دوم رهبر آلمان را به مانند یک خائن نگاه می‌کرد و در نتیجه، اتفاق سه امپراتور از بین رفت. همچنین در سال بعد رقابت روسیه و اتریش در بالکان موجب مداخلهٔ آلمان شد و چون اتریش از نژاد ژرمن بود آلمان از اتریش طرفداری کرد. از این رو اتحاد سه‌گانه به اتحاد دوگانه تبدیل شد. به موجب این معاهده آلمان و اتریش قبول نمودند که در هنگام لزوم به هم یاری برسانند و هیچ‌گاه جداگانه با دشمن صلح نکنند.

شکل‌گیری اتحاد مثلث[ویرایش]

سه سال بعد در سال ۱۸۸۲ پیمان دوجانبه به پیمان سه‌جانبه تبدیل شد و ایتالیا به آن ملحق شد. بر اساس مواد محرمانهٔ این پیمان، اگر ایتالیا یا آلمان مورد حملهٔ فرانسه واقع می‌شد هر سه کشور با مهاجم وارد جنگ می‌شدند. ایتالیایی‌ها که از قدرت دریایی ترس داشتند، اعلام کردند اگر بریتانیا در این حملات شرکت داشته باشد، این پیمان اجرا نمی‌شود، چون ایتالیا از تصرف تونس توسط فرانسه در ۱۸۸۱ ناراضی بود و از طرف دیگر آلمان به آن کشور پیشنهاد کرده بود که برای حفظ لیبی کمکش کند. در نتیجه، ایتالیا نیز مایل بود که وارد اتحاد با آلمان شود (اکتبر ۱۸۸۱). این اتحاد در ابتدا پنج ساله بود ولی بعداً در سال‌های ۱۸۸۷ و ۱۸۹۱ و ۱۹۰۲ و ۱۹۱۲ تجدید شد. در این اتحاد مثلث، آلمان بر دو دولت دیگر مسلط بود و آن‌ها غالباً تابع دستورهای آلمان بودند و در اختلافات بین اتریش و ایتالیا، آلمان همیشه واسطه بود ولی بیشتر از اتریش حمایت می‌کرد. همچنین قراردادهای مخصوصی در مورد طرابلس، آلبانی و مقدونیه و ممالک بالکان بین دولت‌های سه‌گانه امضاء شد که موجب تحکیم اتحاد مثلث می‌شد. در بین این سه دولت اختلافاتی هم وجود داشت؛ ایتالیا و اتریش در شبه جزیرهٔ بالکان و قسمت شرقی مدیترانه با هم اختلاف داشتند و ایتالیا از اتحاد با اتریش ناراضی بود، ولی چون اتحاد با آلمان را برای جلوگیری از تجاوزات اتریش ضروری می‌دانست مجبور به تحمل بود. در سال ۱۹۱۱، که ایتالیا با عثمانی بر سر طرابلس در حال جنگ بود، این خطر وجود داشت که اتحاد ایتالیا و آلمان از بین برود؛ زیرا آلمان از دربار قسطنطنیه امتیازات خوبی گرفته بود و برای عثمانی اسلحه و مهمات می‌فرستاد؛ بنابراین در اتحاد مثلث وحدت واقعی بین کشورهای ژرمنی نژاد آلمان و اتریش بود و ایتالیا چندان به حساب نمی‌آمد. ایتالیا هم ظاهراً در اتحاد مثلث بود و از سال ۱۹۰۱در واقع با متحدین نبود و روش خاصی را در پیش گرفت.

مقدمات شکل‌گیری اتفاق مثلث[ویرایش]

بعد از کنگرهٔ برلین، که روس‌ها از آلمانی‌ها رنجیدند، دولت فرانسه، که منتظر فرصت بود و مایل بود روسیه را به سوی خود جلب کند، از فرصت استفاده کرد ولی تا زمانی که بیسمارک، بر سر کار بود این امر ممکن نشد. در سال ۱۸۹۰، بعد از برکناری بیسمارک سیاست غیرعاقلانهٔ ویلهلم دوم موجب نزدیکی فرانسه و روسیه شد.

دولت فرانسه به تزار روس وعدهٔ کمک مالی داد و تزار هم که برای پیشبرد مقاصد سیاسی خود به سرمایهٔ خارجی نیاز داشت با این امر موافقت کرد و سرانجام در اوت ۱۸۹۱ اتحاد بین دو کشور برقرار شد. البته بعد از شکست روسیه از ژاپن در ۱۹۰۵ اساس اتحاد فرانسه و روسیه متزلزل شد؛ ولی به هر حال، فرانسه در مقابل اتحاد مثلث به دوستی احتیاج داشت؛ همچنین، علاوه بر نیاز سیاسی، ارتباطات مالی نیز بین دو کشور برقرار شده بود و فرانسه ۱۳ میلیارد فرانک به روسیه وام داده بود.

در مه ۱۹۰۳ ادوارد هفتم از پاریس دیدن کرد و در این دیدار از نظر تحسین‌برانگیز مردم انگلیس نسبت به فرانسه و از افتخارات فرانسه در طول سالیان و از دوستی مردم انگلیس و فرانسه سخن گفت. در ماه اوت همان سال رئیس‌جمهوری فرانسه به اتفاق وزیر امور خارجه آن کشور از لندن دیدار کرد و در هفتم آوریل ۱۹۰۴ عهدنامهٔ معروف بین فرانسه و انگلیس به امضاء رسید. موارد اختلاف شامل امور مربوط به ماهیگیری در پهنهٔ دریای ارض جدید، مسئلهٔ سیام، ماداگاسکار و مهم‌ترین مسئله، آزادی عمل فرانسه در مراکش و آزادی فعالیت انگلیس در مصر بود.

فرانسه پس از اتحاد با انگلیس به فعالیت در مراکش پرداخت و واکنش آلمان چنین بود که در مارس ۱۹۰۵م ویلهلم دوم در طنجه حضور یافت و نطق مفصلی را در مورد استقلال مراکش بیان کرد. هدف آلمان از این اقدام برهم زدن اتحاد جدید فرانسه و انگلیس بود. برای حل این موضوع در ۱۹۰۶ یک کنفرانس بین‌المللی در الجزیره برگزار شد که در آن انگلیسی‌ها از فرانسوی‌ها حمایت کردند و کوشش آلمان برای برهم زدن اتحاد بین انگلیس و فرانسه به نتیجه‌ای نرسید. در ۱۹۱۱ بحران دیگری بر سر مراکش به وجود آمد. یک فروند ناو جنگی آلمانی به نام یوزپلنگ برای حفظ منافع آلمان وارد اغادیر شد و آلمانی‌ها پیشنهاد کردند که اگر کنگوی فرانسه به آن‌ها داده شود آن‌ها دیگر مزاحمتی ایجاد نخواهند کرد و سرانجام آلمانی‌ها توانستند به اراضی کوچکی در آفریقا دست یابند.

نزدیکی روسیه و بریتانیا[ویرایش]

اعدام سربازان صرب توسط سربازان اتریشی. صربستان در طول جنگ یک چهارم جمعیت خود را که شامل ۸۵۰ هزار نفر می‌شد از دست داد.

دولت وقت فرانسه با روسیه دوست بود. انگلیس هم متحد ژاپن به‌شمار می‌آمد و روس و ژاپن دشمن خطرناک یکدیگر بودند. اما منافع روسیه و انگلیس چنین اقتضاء می‌کرد که روسیه و ژاپن به اتحاد فرانسه و انگلیس وارد شوند؛ ولی بلندپروازی روس‌ها در این تاریخ و قدرت نظامی آن ها و همچنین نزدیکی امپراتور روس و آلمان که روابط آن‌ها دوستانه بود مانع این کار می‌شد. مشکل اول با شکست روسیه از ژاپن حل شد. اختلافات دیگر روس و انگلیس بر دو مسئلهٔ دیگر متمرکز بود: یکی بالکان برای تصرف بلغارها و دیگری در ایران که انگلیس دوست داشت این مناطق کاملاً در اختیار خودش باشد. مسئلهٔ دیگر که باعث سردی روابط انگلیس و آلمان شده بود برخورد قیصر آلمان در موضوع ترانسوال بود؛ زیرا هنگامی که پل کروگر حاکم ترانسوال می‌خواست به ترانسوال استقلال بدهد و در پی متحدی در برابر سیسیل رودز و انگلیس بود تنها قدرتی را انتخاب نمود که سرزمین‌هایی در آفریقای جنوبی داشت و آن کشور آلمان بود پس از پیروزی بوئرها تلگرافی از سوی قیصر آلمان برای او فرستاده شد با این مضمون: «من دوستانه به شما تبریک می‌گویم که شما بدون دریافت کمک خارجی گروه‌های مسلح را سرکوب نمودید و توانستید صلح و آرامش را برقرار نمایید» و این برخورد قیصر برای روابط انگلیس و آلمان عواقب جدی داشت؛ زیرا قیصر از کروگر که دشمن انگلیس بود حمایت کرده بود. مسئلهٔ دیگر صادرات روزافزون آلمانی‌ها بود زیرا در سال ۱۸۹۵ در انگلیس رساله‌ای تحت عنوان ساخت آلمان منتشر شد که خطر صادرات روزافزون آلمان را برای انگلیس تشریح می‌کرد.

مسئله دیگر که ایجاد خطر برای انگلیس می‌کرد، پیشرفت نیروی دریایی آلمان بود. ویلهلم دوم از سال ۱۹۰۰ به تقویت نیروی دریایی آلمان پرداخت و علناً اظهار کرد که آلمان نمی‌تواند به نیروی زمینی قناعت کند و باید در نیروی دریایی بر همهٔ کشورها برتری داشته باشد. انجمنی به نام اتحاد دریایی آلمان تشکیل داد و به کمک آن هزینهٔ لازم را برای ساختن کشتی‌های جنگی تأمین کرد. همچنین پیشرفت‌های تجاری و صنعتی آلمان نیز باعث شکست بازار تجارت و صنعت شده بود. به هر حال، این سؤال مطرح است که چرا انگلیس در بین روسیه و آلمان، اولی را انتخاب کرد: چون منافع انگلیس هم از طرف روس و هم از طرف آلمان تهدید می‌شد. از یک طرف خطر توسعهٔ نفوذ روس، و از سوی دیگر خطر نفوذ آلمان در آسیای صغیر و خلیج فارس و اتصال راه‌آهن بغداد به داخل ایران و نزدیک شدن این دو خطر به مرزهای هند به مشکلات دفاع از هند می‌افزود و سیاست انگلیس این بود که این دو دولت را با هم درگیر سازد و قوای آن‌ها را تحلیل ببرد. اما تأمل انگلیس در این بود که خود به کدام طرف ملحق شود. منافع بریتانیا حکم می‌کرد که به روس‌ها نزدیک شود زیرا عقل و درایت روس‌ها اندک و زورشان بیشتر بود؛ ولی مسئله این بود که انگلیس با تقاضاهای روسیه چگونه برخورد نماید. تقاضاهای روس در بالکان، داردانل، ایران و افغانستان. مسئلهٔ ایران و افغانستان یک امر حیاتی بود و صلاح در این بود که هیچ امتیازی در این منطقه ندهد؛ پس بهتر بود که انگلیس، روس‌ها را به سوی بالکان و داردانل سوق دهد و آن‌ها را امیدوار سازد. سرانجام، در قراردادی که در ۳۱ اوت ۱۹۰۷ در شهر مسکو بسته شد روس و انگلیس اختلافات خود دربارهٔ ایران و افغانستان را حل کردند و چون اختلافات سیاسی انگلیس و فرانسه و روسیه حل شد سه دولت تشکیل اتفاق مثلث را دادند که هدفشان جلوگیری از پیشرفت‌های سیاسی، اقتصادی و نظامی آلمان بود.

بحران‌های بالکان قبل از جنگ[ویرایش]

از ۱۹۱۱ تا ۱۹۱۳ جنگ‌هایی درگرفت که زمینهٔ جنگ جهانی اول را آماده ساخت. در سپتامبر ۱۹۱۱ ایتالیا به عثمانی اعلان جنگ داد و طرابلس را اشغال نمود و در نیمهٔ اکتبر ۱۹۱۲ جنگ به پایان رسید. در اکتبر ۱۹۱۲ تقریباً هم‌زمان با ایتالیا؛ بلغارستان، صربستان، یونان و مونته‌نگرو به عثمانی حمله کردند و در اوایل دسامبر ۱۹۱۲ عثمانی درخواست صلح کرد. در تابستان ۱۹۱۳ جنگ دیگری بر سر غنایم به دست آمده از عثمانی درگرفت. کنفرانس سفیران در دسامبر ۱۹۱۲ توسط‌ گری در لندن تشکیل شد و در ۳۰ مه ۱۹۱۳ در لندن قراردادی امضاء شد که ترک‌ها را وادار می‌ساخت مستملکات خود را از میدیا در ساحل دریای سیاه تا آلتوس در ساحل اژه به اروپاییان واگذار کنند.

بحران اول و دوم مراکش[ویرایش]

اوضاع داخلی و تحولات آلمان پس از وحدت[ویرایش]

اولین زیردریای تسلیم شدهٔ آلمانی‌ها در نزدیکی پل برج در لندن ۱۹۱۸

آلمان متحد از نظر قوای مادی و معنوی بی‌نظیر، مجدانه به تعلیم و تربیت فرزندان خود پرداخت، در توسعه فرهنگ و ترویج علوم بر همهٔ کشورها پیشی گرفت و سعی داشت در صنعت و تجارت و بهداشت از علوم و اکتشافات جدید بهره گیرد. از این رو، در مدت کوتاهی بزرگ‌ترین دولت صنعتی و تجاری اروپا شد، مخترعان را تشویق کرد، صنایع شیمیایی را رونق داد، در وضع قوانین اجتماعی هم از بقیهٔ دولت‌ها پیشی گرفت و برای طبقهٔ کارگر اهمیت قایل شد. در حالی که در بقیهٔ کشورها حقی برای کارگران قایل نبودند. واقعیت دیگر این که حکومت خاندان هوهنتسولرن در این کار مؤثر بود. ملت آلمان پس از غلبه بر اتریش و فرانسه دچار غرور ملی شد و سیاست‌مداران آلمانی از روش‌های مختلف این غرور ملی را تقویت کردند. حتی هر معلمی ناگزیر بود که در سر کلاس درس برتری نژادی ملت آلمان بر سایر ملل عالم را بیان کند و در شاگردان خود روح جنگجویی بدمد. گذشته از مجالس درس، در معابر، روزنامه‌ها و کتب و نمایشگاه‌ها این برتری نژادی به نوعی القا می‌شد. حتی نیچه یکی از معروف‌ترین فیلسوفان آلمان هم چنین عقیده‌ای داشت و در یکی از آثار خود چنین گفته‌است که: «اگر آدمی جنگ را فراموش کند از او امید باید برید» و به همین دلیل کم‌کم طرز فکر مردم آلمان یکسره تغییر یافت و بر آن‌ها مسلم شد که نژاد آلمانی ممتاز است و باید به سراسر زمین مسلط باشد و این تسلط هم جز از راه جنگ امکان‌پذیر نیست. ترویج این افکار در آلمان سایر دولت‌های اروپایی را نگران ساخت و باعث شد تا ضد نژاد ژرمنی با هم متحد شوند.

دولت آلمان تا اواخر قرن ۱۹ در آفریقا مستعمره‌ای نداشت ولی پس از وحدت چون جمعیت آن افزایش یافت و صنعت و تجارت رونق گرفت به دنبال تحصیل مستعمرات برآمد تا هم قسمتی از مردم آلمان را به آنجا کوچ دهد و هم مواد خامی را که برای کارخانه‌های داخلی لازم داشت فراهم کند و همچنین بازاری برای فروش کالاهای خود بیابد. سرانجام بیسمارک قسمت بزرگی از اراضی آفریقا را به دست آورد که شامل توگو و کامرون در ساحل غربی آفریقا و یک ناحیه در جنوب غربی و ناحیه دیگری در مشرق بود. آلمان پس از پیروزی بر فرانسه از نظر نیروهای نظامی بر سایر کشورهای اروپا برتری یافته بود؛ ولی باز هم به این کار ادامه داد و تا سال ۱۹۱۴ روز به روز بر قوای جنگی خود افزود. از سال ۱۹۱۱ آلمان در افزایش نیروهای جنگی کوشید و میزان گسترش قوای مزبور در سال‌های ۱۹۱۱ و ۱۹۱۲ و ۱۹۱۳ با پیشرفت چهل سالهٔ آن از ۱۸۷۱ تا ۱۹۱۱ برابر بود. در طی این مدت کوتاه شبکه‌های گستردهٔ راه‌آهن و راه‌های شوسه، تأسیسات عظیم صنعتی، نهادهای قدرتمند اقتصادی و به خصوص تشکیلات گستردهٔ نظامی آلمان موجب وحشت قدرت‌های اروپایی گردید. در سال ۱۹۱۴ آلمان از نظر صنعتی و اقتصادی به پیشرفت‌های عظیمی دست یافت. به لحاظ نظامی نیز دارای قدرتمندترین ارتش و نیروی دریایی شد. روحیهٔ نظامی‌گری در مزرعه، کارخانه و پادگان و همه جا حاکم بود و همه چیز در خدمت ارتش قرار داشت. نیروهای نظامی آلمان بیش از یک میلیون نفر بودند و این افزایش نیروهای صنعتی و نظامی موجب اشباع جامعه آلمان گردید و آلمان مجبور بود سرمایه و کالاهای اضافی را به دیگر مناطق جهان بفرستد؛ بنابراین به دنبال مناطق نفوذ اقتصادی و منابع مواد اولیه بود و این هم یکی از دلایل جنگ جهانی اول بود.

برقراری روابط بین آلمان و عثمانی[ویرایش]

سربازان آلمان در بیت‌المقدس

یکی از کشورهایی که آلمان علاقه‌مند بود روابط خود را با آن گسترش دهد امپراتوری عثمانی بود که بر منابع نفتی تسلط داشت. از سال ۱۸۸۰م. آلمان متوجه اهمیت روابط با امپراتوری عثمانی گردید. در سال ۱۸۸۲ سپهسالار فون در گلتز از سوی سلطان عبدالحمید مأموریت یافت ارتش عثمانی را دارای سازمان منظمی سازد و افراد آن را آموزش دهد.

افسران برجستهٔ هیئت نظامی آلمانی که در عثمانی فعالیت داشتند شامل فیلدمارشال پروسی فن در گولتس، دو ژنرال دیگر لیمان فن ساندرز و فون فالکنهاین، یک افسر ستاد به نام هانس فون زکت، سه دریاسالار به نام‌های سوچون، اودم و مرتن و چند افسر دیگر بودند.

البته یکی از طراحان برنامهٔ گسترش فعالیت آلمان در خاورمیانه مارشال فن بی براشتاین بود که از ۱۸۹۷ تا ۱۹۱۲ سفیر آلمان در باب عالی بود و اعتقاد داشت که اجرای این برنامه موجب درگیری بین روسیه و آلمان خواهد شد. در سال ۱۸۹۸ ویلهلم دوم و ملکهٔ آلمان به استانبول سفر کردند و فصل جدیدی در همکاری بین دو ملت پدید آمد. امپراتور آلمان در مسافرت دوم خود به امپراتوری عثمانی خود را طرفدار دوستی ملت ترک و سایر ملل مسلمان معرفی نمود و در نطق خود اظهار داشت: «اعلیحضرت سلطان عبدالحمید و ۳۰۰ میلیون مسلمان می‌توانند اطمینان داشته باشند که آلمان، دوست و هواخواه آن‌هاست». این سیاست به زودی به لحاظ اقتصادی ثمرات مهمی برای آلمان به بار آورد، بانک‌داران و بازرگانان آلمانی در سراسر امپراتوری عثمانی مستقر شدند و امتیازات مهمی به مؤسسات اقتصادی آلمان داده شد. آلمان در جستجوی نفت بود و علاوه بر آن برای رقابت با انگلیس به یک نیروی دریایی قوی نیاز داشت. آلمانی‌ها در هنگام مذاکره با دولت عثمانی در مورد منابع نفتی عراق سخن نگفتند بلکه فقط تقاضای اخذ امتیاز خط راه‌آهن را داشتند، به این شرط که امتیاز استخراج معادن اطراف راه‌آهن تا شعاع ۲۰ کیلومتر به آن‌ها داده شود. در سال ۱۹۰۲ بانک آلمان، امتیاز ساختمان راه‌آهن برلین – بغداد را به دست آورد که باعث نفوذ هرچه بیشتر آلمان در میان‌رودان می‌گردید. یکی دیگر از امتیازات آلمان از عثمانی ادامهٔ راه‌آهن از بغداد به خانقین بود که آلمان تصمیم داشت پس از اتمام خط آهن بغداد، همین راه را از خانقین به تهران و ولایات مرکزی ادامه دهد و ایران را به اروپا مربوط سازد. در سال ۱۹۱۰ مدت تعهد ایران در مقابل روسیه که ۲۰ سال حق ساختن راه‌آهن را از ایران سلب نموده بود تمام می‌شد؛ به همین علت از طرف بانک مشهور آلمان به نام دویچه بانک مأموری به نام سیدروت به ایران آمد که امتیاز خط آهن خانقین - تهران را به دست آورد. این امر موجب نگرانی مقامات روسی و انگلیسی شد و باعث مبادلهٔ یادداشت هفتم آوریل ۱۹۱۰ بین ایران و آن دو دولت شد، و ایران به ناچار تعهد کرد که بعد از این امتیازی که مخالف منافع آن دو دولت باشد به هیچ تبعه دولت خارجی واگذار نکند؛ بنابراین، تلاش آلمان به نتیجه نرسید.

اما نفوذ نظامی آلمان در امپراتوری عثمانی افزایش یافت و در ۱۹۱۴ آموزش ارتش عثمانی به یک گروه چهل و دو نفره از افسران آلمانی به ریاست ژنرال لیمان فن ساندرز واگذار شد. سپس آلمان تصمیم گرفت در مورد ادامهٔ راه‌آهن برلین - بغداد با روسیه مذاکراتی انجام دهد. در ۱۹۱۰ تزار نیکلای دوم و ویلهلم امپراتور آلمان در پوتسدام ملاقات کردند و در مورد منافع روس و آلمان در ایران مذاکراتی صورت گرفت. سرانجام، در ۱۹ اوت ۱۹۱۱ قراردادی بین روسیه و آلمان در سن پترزبورگ منعقد شد که به موجب آن دولت آلمان منطقهٔ نفوذ روسیه را به رسمیت شناخت؛ و در عوض روسیه هم اجازه داد که اگر تا چهار سال دیگر راه‌آهن های روس به خانقین متصل نشود دولت آلمان حق داشته باشد خط آهن استانبول - بغداد و خانقین - تهران را بسازد.

دلایل وقوع جنگ جهانی اول[ویرایش]

پوستر میهن پرستانه آمریکایی در جنگ جهانی اول که ژان دارک، قهرمان زن فرانسوی را نمایش می‌دهد.

برخی علل جنگ جهانی اول عبارت بود از: رقابت اتریش و روسیه در بالکان، اختلاف بین فرانسه و آلمان از سال ۱۸۷۰ دربارهٔ آلزاس و لرن، رقابت اقتصادی و دریایی بین آلمان و انگلیس، رواج ملی‌گرایی و وطن‌پرستی در اروپا، انبار کردن تسلیحات و آلات جنگی در سطح وسیع توسط دولت‌های اروپایی، وجود اتحاد و جبهه بندی بین کشورهایی که یکی پس از دیگری به دنبال هم پیمانان خود وارد جنگ شدند.[۵] اما بهانهٔ شروع جنگ این بود که آرشیدوک فرانتس فردیناند ولیعهد امپراتوری اتریش - مجارستان به دست یک سیاه دست صرب به نام پرنسیب در ۲۸ ژوئن ۱۹۱۴ در سارایوو بوسنی به قتل رسید و اتریش ادعا کرد صربستان در این کار دخالت داشته و تقاضا نمود تحقیقاتی با شرکت نمایندگان اتریش صورت پذیرد که دولت صربستان تحقیقات را قبول ننمود و با حضور نمایندگان خارجی مخالفت کرد. دولت اتریش به صربستان اعلان جنگ داد و روسیه بسیج عمومی اعلام کرد و آلمان هم به حمایت از اتریش به روسیه و فرانسه اعلان جنگ داد. قوای آلمان به بلژیک حمله کرد و این اقدام یعنی حمله به یک کشور بی‌طرف موجب دخالت انگلیس در جنگ شد.

آغاز جنگ[ویرایش]

ترور فرانتس فردیناند[ویرایش]

بحران ژوئیه[ویرایش]

واکنش مردمی[ویرایش]

حملهٔ نیروهای فرانسوی به آلمانی‌ها در شامپانی فرانسه

وقتی که در ۱ اوت ۱۹۱۴ جنگ اعلام شد، میلیون‌ها تن از مردم شادمان در خیابان‌های شهرهای مهم اروپا شروع به رقص و پایکوبی نمودند. مردم تصمیم حاکمان خود را برای رفتن به جنگ مورد حمایت قرار دادند. مردان جوان داوطلب برای جنگیدن، هجوم می‌آورند. با این وجود، صحنه‌های وحشت‌انگیز جنگ جهانی اول، نگرش مردم به جنگ را تغییر داد. یک نسل کامل از مردان جوان به خاک و خون کشیده شدند.

طرح اشلیفن[ویرایش]

طرح ارتش آلمان برای جنگ در دو جبهه، کار کنت اشلیفن بود که بعد از استعفای والدرسی، جانشین مولتکه بزرگتر، در سال۱۸۹۲ به ریاست ستاد کل ارتش آلمان رسیده بود. در آن زمان برای او روشن بود که فرانسه و روسیه در جنگ بعدی با هم متحد می‌شوند و جنگ با یکی، به‌طور قطع به معنای جنگ با هر دو است. هرچه کنت اشلیفن بیشتر به طرح مولتکه بزرگتر در مقابل این پیشامد - که عبارت از دفاع در غرب و آفند محدود در شرق بود - می‌اندیشید کمتر از آن خوشش می‌آمد: چنین جنگی می‌توانست تا ابد ادامه پیدا کند. شاید فرانسه و روسیه، که اساساً جوامعی روستایی بودند، طاقت مبارزه‌ای طولانی از این نوع را داشتند ولی آلمان، با اقتصاد پیشرفته‌اش، به سرعت دچار دردسر می‌شد. آنچه آلمان می‌خواست راهی برای غلبه در جنگ در یک اردوکشی واحد بود.

سعی برای تعیین تکلیف در شرق به کلی بیهوده بود، قضیه غرب هم کار ساده‌ای نبود؛ به‌طوری‌که مولتکه بزرگتر خاطر نشان کرده بود اکنون که فرانسوی‌ها خدمت وظیفهٔ عمومی را معمول کرده بودند، نیروی کافی در اختیار داشتند که نفرات لازم برای یک خط دفاع دایمی در طول مرز فرانسه-آلمان را تأمین کند. راه حل ژنرال اشلیفن به طرز خیره‌کننده‌ای ساده بود. او راه خود را از میان خط ماژینو نمی‌گشود؛ آن‌ها را دور می‌زد. این طرح اشلیفن مستلزم آن بود که تمام ارتش آلمان در غرب صف آرایی کند و بیش از نیمی از آن - پنجاه لشکر از هشتاد لشکر موجود - در مقابل بلژیک و هلند موضع بگیرند.

این لشکرها که جناح راست ارتش را تشکیل می‌دادند می‌بایست با حداکثر سرعت از هلند و بلژیک می‌گذشتند و قرار بود ظرف سه هفته بسیج و یک هفته راه‌پیمایی به مرز فرانسه بلژیک برسند. از آنجا به فرانسه شمالی وارد می‌شدند و جناح چپ ارتش فرانسه را متوجه خود کرده و خط دفاعی فرانسه را به عقب خم می‌کردند.

درونمایهٔ طرح این بود که با عبور از دو کشور هلند و بلژیک میدان عمل وسیع‌تری به دست آورند و مانور آن‌قدر وسعت پیدا کند که تمام ارتش فرانسه را مشغول کند. به‌طوری‌که ژنرال اشلیفن به فرماندهان واحدهایش می‌گفت: «باید آخرین سرباز سمت راست، کانال را با آستینش پاک کند.» حتی یک لشکر فرانسوی نمی‌بایست فرار می‌کرد.

ژنرال اشلیفن در سال ۱۹۰۶ کنار رفت. جانشین او هلموت فون مولتکه (معروف به مولتکه جوانتر)، برادرزادۀ مولتکۀ نامبرده، قدری سازشکار بود. او دستورهای راهپیمایی جناح راست را تغییر داد تا بتوان هلند را بی‌آسیب گذاشت و تصمیم گرفت ده لشکر برای دفاع از شرق در مقابل حملهٔ روس‌ها نگهداری شود.

ژنرال اشلیفن که این تغییرات به گوشش می‌رسید مرتب می‌پرسید آیا رئیس ستاد از حساب‌های پشت سر طرح خبر دارد؟ او یادداشت‌هایی برای مولتکه جوانتر فرستاد تا نیاز به استقرار قویترین نیروی ممکن در غرب را توضیح دهد و از جواب‌های طفره‌آمیزی که دریافت می‌کرد برآشفته بود. وقتی مرد (در سال ۱۹۱۳) هنوز نگران بود: آخرین کلماتش به وضوح خطاب به مولتکه جوانتر، این بود که: همه چیز را کنار بگذارید و جناح راست را قوی نگه دارید. اما در اواخر اوت 1914 با حمله روسیه به پروس شرقیِ آلمان مشخص شد که مولتکۀ جوانتر حق داشت که نگران تهاجم روس ها از شرق باشد. ژنرال هیندنبورگ و رئیس ستاد وی ژنرال لودندورف روس ها را در 29 اوت در نبرد حماسه ای تاننبرگ شکست داده و از پروس شرقی بیرون راندند به طوری که تزار دیگر توان حمله به آلمان را نداشت و تنها به اتریش_مجارستان مشغول شد. اما شادی آلمان ها هم پایدار نبود چرا که دوهفته بعد در نبرد سرنوشت ساز نبرد اول مارن شکست خوردند تا نقشه اشلیفن مبنی بر محاصره پاریس ناتمام بماند. پس از این شکست، در چهاردهم سپتامبر هلموت فون مولتکۀ جوانتر از کار برکنار شده تا اریش فون فالکنهاین عهده دار ریاست ستاد گردد.

تحولات جنگ[ویرایش]

شمال اروپا[ویرایش]

پس از استفاده از خاک بلژیک از سوی آلمان برای اجرای طرح اشلیفن، بریتانیا با استناد به معاهده لندن در ۱۸۳۹ که بی‌طرفی بلژیک را تضمین می‌کرد در چهارم اوت ۱۹۱۴ به آلمان اعلان جنگ داد. در شمال اروپا، هلند و کشورهای اسکاندیناوی بر حفظ بی‌طرفی خود اصرار می‌کردند و از ورود به جنگ خودداری می‌ورزیدند. ازین رو تلاش‌ها برای جلب کشورهای حوزه مدیترانه متمرکز شد.

عثمانی[ویرایش]

نخستین هدف سیاسی آلمان جذب عثمانی بود چرا که ورود عثمانی باعث تسلط نیروهای اتحاد محور بر تنگه‌های داردانل و بسفر می‌شد و ارتباط دریایی روسیه با بریتانیا و فرانسه را قطع می‌کرد. ازین گذشته عثمانی پلی بود که ارتباط آلمان با خاورمیانه و آسیا (به ویژه مستعمره مهم بریتانیا یعنی هند) را ممکن می‌ساخت. در نهایت امپراتوری عثمانی در دوم اوت ۱۹۱۴ با امضاء معاهده اتحادی با امپراتوری آلمان، به نفع آلمان وارد جنگ شد.

نبرد گالیپولی یا نبرد چناق‌قلعه که بیش از هشت ماه طول کشید در تنگه داردانل درگرفت. این نبرد در ۲۵ آوریل سال ۱۹۱۵ با پیاده شدن لشکر هفتاد هزار نفری متفقین با حمایت ۱۰۹ ناو جنگی و صدها شناور آغاز شد و سرانجام در دسامبر سال ۱۹۱۵ با شکست نیروهای ائتلاف به پایان رسید؛ و در پایان از هر دو جبههٔ متفقین و متحدین بیش از نیم میلیون نفر کشته و زخمی برجای ماند. در این نبرد کشتی‌های نیروی دریایی متفقین آسیب زیادی دیدند. مصطفی کمال آتاتورک، افسر ترک در جنگ گالیپولی به شهرت رسید.

ایتالیا[ویرایش]

ایتالیا پس از اعلام بی‌طرفی در سوم اوت ۱۹۱۴ به بهانه تدافعی بودن اتحاد مثلث، به تدریج مذاکرات با متفقین را آغاز کرد. ایتالیا بین بی‌طرف ماندن در ازاء دریافت ترنتینو از سوی اتریش-مجارستان یا پیوستن به متفقین در ازاء بازگرداندن تمام ایالت‌های ایرادنت تردید داشت. آنچه ایتالیا را در ورود به صف متفقین تشویق کرد تغییر وزیر خارجه اتریش-مجارستان در مه ۱۹۱۵ و انصراف از واگذاری ترنتینو به ایتالیا بود.

معاهده لندن در مه ۱۹۱۵ بین ایتالیا و متفقین امضاء شد و مقرر داشت:

بالکان[ویرایش]

در ماه‌های آغازین جنگ صربستان توانست با حمایت روسیه حمله پرتعداد اتریش-مجارستان را دفع نماید. بلغارستان در چهاردهم اکتبر ۱۹۱۵ با اعلان جنگ به صربستان برای حمایت از متحدین وارد جنگ شد. در نوامبر همین سال صربستان پس از یک سال مقاومت توسط نیروهای ژنرال مکنسن سقوط کرد و از سوی اتریش-مجارستان تصرف گردید. در سال بعد دیگر کشورهای بالکان از جمله مونته‌نگرو، رومانی و یونان به متفقین پیوستند.

سایر کشورهای اروپایی[ویرایش]

بسیاری کشورها به صورت نمادین وارد جنگ شدند، مثل پرتغال که در مارس ۱۹۱۶ با فرستادن یک گردان به متفقین پیوست. در نهایت بجز سوئیس، اسپانیا، هلند و کشورهای اسکاندیناوی تمام کشورهای اروپایی وارد جنگ شده بودند.

شرق دور[ویرایش]

ژاپن که متحد بریتانیا و به دنبال سلطه بر مستعمرات آلمان در دریای چین بود از اول اوت ۱۹۱۴ به آلمان اعلان جنگ داده بود. چین نیز که از حمله ژاپن به این کشور پس از پیروزی متفقین نگران بود در ۱۹۱۷ به آلمان اعلان جنگ کرد.

جبهه شرق و روسیه[ویرایش]

در ماه ژوئیه سال ۱۹۱۴ روسیه بخاطر حضور در تفاهم مثلث وارد جنگ جهانی اول شد.بیش از ۱۵میلیون مرد به خدمت خوانده شدند،اما به زودی مشخص شد ارتش عقب افتاده و ضعیف روسیه توانایی مقابله با ارتش های مدرن و قدرتمند دنیا مثل ارتش آلمان را ندارد. ترکیب این موارد با فرماندهی ضعیف و نامناسب ارتش روسیه باعث شد از همان ابتدای جنگ ارتش روسیه به ارتشی ضعیف و شکست خورده بدل گردد. روس ها در نبرد تاننبرگ و نبردهای دریاچه مازوریان و تهاجم گورلیسه-تارنوف شکست های فاجعه بار و سنگینی خوردند. هرچند آنها در نیمه اول 1916 به فرماندهی ژنرال آلکسی بروسیلوف یک رشته عملیات تهاجمی ستودنی موسوم به یورش بروسیلوف بر ضد مواضع آلمان و اتریش_مجارستان در گالیسیا انجام دادند که ارتش اتریش_مجارستان را به کل فلج نمود؛ اما تلفات سنگین ارتش و فقر و بیکاری ناشی از جنگ، باعث وقوع انقلاب روسیه در سال بعد شد.

در ۳ مارس ۱۹۱۸ عهدنامه صلح برست - لیتوفسک بین روسیه بلشویک و متحدین امضاء شد که بنابر آن روسیه کلیه ادعاهای حاکمیتی خود را نسبت به فنلاند که قبلاً مورد تأیید قرار گرفته بود پس گرفت، همچنین روسیه تمامی ادعاهای خود در مورد استونی، لیتوانی، لتونی، لهستان، بلاروس و اوکراین را ملغی اعلام کرد. رومانی هم که به دست نیروهای ژنرال مکنسن در اواخر 1916 فتح شده بود، با عقد پیمان بخارست بسیاری از سرزمین‌هایش را به اتریش - مجارستان واگذار کرد.

صلح برست - لیتوفسک موجب برهم خوردن توازن قوا شد و پیشروی آلمان در جبهه غرب سرعت گرفت تا آنکه ورود آمریکا به جنگ معادلات نظامی را به کلی تغییر داد.

ایالات متحده آمریکا[ویرایش]

فرانسه و بریتانیا از آغاز ۱۹۱۵ تحریم دریایی آلمان را به اجرا گذاشته بودند، در مقابل آلمانی‌ها جنگ زیردریایی را شروع کردند و به هر کشتی‌ای که به سواحل بریتانیا نزدیک می‌شد حمله می‌کردند. آمریکا که تجارت قابل توجهی با بریتانیا داشت بیشترین خسارت را از این حمله‌ها دید و موجب اعتراض شدید آمریکا در ۳۱ ژانویه ۱۹۱۷ شد. آمریکا در ۳ فوریه مناسبات دیپلماتیک با آلمان را قطع کرد.

در مرحله بعد رئیس‌جمهور آمریکا، وودرو ویلسون در تصمیمی به تاریخ ۱۲ مارس ۱۹۱۷ کشتی‌های تجاری آمریکا را به توپ مسلح کرد؛ ولی این امر نیز کارگر نبود و اندکی پس از به توپ بسته شدن یک کشتی مسافربری آمریکایی از سوی آلمان، ویلسون در ۲ آوریل ۱۹۱۸ به کنگره اعلام کرد که آمریکا وارد جنگ جهانی خواهد شد.

پیشامد دیگری که به تحریک احساسات ضدآلمانی آمریکایی‌ها کمک کرد، کشف تلگراف وزیرخارجه آلمان به سفیر این کشور در مکزیک معروف به تلگراف زیمرمن بود که توسط بریتانیا کشف و در اختیار ویلسون قرار داده شد. در این تلگراف آمده بود که اگر در صورت جنگ آلمان و آمریکا، مکزیک طرف آلمان را بگیرد پس از پیروزی ایالات نیومکزیکو، تگزاس و آریزونا که آمریکا در ۱۸۴۸ طبق معاهده گوادالوپ به زور تصرف کرده به مکزیک باز خواهد گشت.

جبههٔ جنوب[ویرایش]


آغاز جنگ خاکریزی[ویرایش]

پایان جنگ[ویرایش]

موج صلح‌طلبی[ویرایش]

اعلامیه چهارده ماده‌ای ویلسون[ویرایش]

وودرو ویلسون رئیس‌جمهور ایالات متحده آمریکا در ۸ ژانویه ۱۹۱۸ میلادی پیشنهادهای خود را برای دنیای پس از جنگ جهانی اول اعلام کرد. این پیشنهادها که به «اعلامیه چهارده ماده‌ای ویلسون» مشهور است، هم از جهت پایان دادن به جنگ و هم از جهت تعیین‌کننده بودن برای دنیای بعد از جنگ، دارای اهمیت بسیار بود.

یکی از انگیزه‌های پذیرش آتش‌بس و متارکه جنگ، مفاد اعلامیه ویلسون بود که در آن به حق تعیین سرنوشت به وسیله ملت‌ها اشاره داشت. پیشنهادهای ویلسون شامل سه محور عمده بود. اولین موضوع، جلوگیری از جنگ‌های آینده به وسیله کاهش اقدام‌هایی نظیر محدودیت‌های تجاری، ایجاد اختلال در آزادی دریاها، دیپلماسی پشت پرده، تنش‌های استعماری و مسابقه تسلیحاتی بود. محور دوم، مجموعه‌ای از پیشنهادها با هدف به توافق رسیدن بر سر نکات مورد اختلاف در اروپا در زمینه تمامیت ارضی، مرزهای ملی و ناسیونالیسم قومی بود. محور سوم نیز دربرگیرنده مجمعی از کشورها بود که برای حفظ صلح فعالیت می‌کرد. (جامعه ملل)

آتش‌بس[ویرایش]

پروتکل اتحاد اتریش - مجارستان و آلمان در ۱۲ مه ۱۹۱۸ برای ۱۲ سال دیگر به امضاء رسید و از این زمان متفقین تصمیم گرفتند به مسئله ملت‌ها و قومیت‌های تحت سلطه این کشور دامن بزنند. ایتالیا کنگره ملت‌های محروم تحت سلطه اتریش - مجارستان را در ۸ آوریل ۱۹۱۸ در رم تشکیل داد و از این زمان کار منظم تجزیه امپراتوری اتریش - مجارستان آغاز شد.[۶]

بلغارستان به دلیل این که نتوانسته بود در جنگ‌های بالکان دبروجه را بدست آورد در ۲۹ سپتامبر ۱۹۱۸ با متفقین قرارداد آتش‌بس امضاء کرد و ضمن تعهد به تخلیه یونان و صربستان، به متفقین اجازه عبور به طرف اتریش - مجارستان را داد.

عمل بلغارستان آلمان را مجبور به ترک مخاصمه کرد، و با وجود مخالفت بریتانیا، فرانسه و ایتالیا (با اصرار آمریکا) متفقین با آتش‌بس بر اساس اعلامیه ویلسون موافقت کردند. پیمان آتش‌بس در نهایت در ۱۱ نوامبر ۱۹۱۸ با آلمان به امضاء رسید.

عثمانی نیز درخواست آتش‌بس خود را به فرمانده ناوگان بریتانیایی در دریای اژه فرستاد و دو کشور بدون اطلاع فرانسه، قرارداد مودرس را در ۳۰ اکتبر ۱۹۱۸ امضاء کردند.

معاهدات صلح[ویرایش]

پیمان ورسای که در ۲۸ ژوئن سال ۱۹۱۹ میلادی در کاخ ورسای واقع در حومه پاریس به امضاء رسید رسماً به جنگ جهانی اول پایان داد. مفاد این عهدنامه در ۴۴۰ ماده و ۱۵ بخش تنظیم شد. پیمان ورسای مسئولیت آغاز جنگ و خسارات وارده شده به متفقین را متوجه آلمان دانست و غرامت‌های بی‌سابقه‌ای را به این کشور تحمیل کرد.

قسمت اعظم معاهده مربوط به جدا کردن بخش‌هایی از سرزمین آلمان بود. آلزاس و لرن به فرانسه داده شد. ناحیه اوپن – مالمدی به بلژیک و «پزناتی» به لهستان داده شده که از طریق کریدور لهستان به دریا راه می‌یافت. شهر گدانسک زیر نظر جامعه ملل قرار گرفت و اجرای سیاست خارجی و گمرکی آن به عهده لهستان واگذار شد. تعیین سرنوشت شلزویگ و سلیسیای علیا موکول به برگزاری همه‌پرسی شد و عاقبت نیز طبق همه‌پرسی که در سال ۱۹۲۱ به عمل آمد شلزویگ به دانمارک منضم گردید و سلیسیا که ۶۰ درصد مردم به الحاق به آلمان و ۴۰ درصد به الحاق به لهستان رأی دادند طبق تصمیم جامعه ملل یک سوم آن به لهستان و بقیه به آلمان منضم گردید. بندر ممل و کرانه‌های آن به لیتوانی، هولشتین به چکسلواکی واگذار شد. اتحاد آلمان با اتریش منع گردید. سار تحت کنترل جامعه ملل درآمد و راین‌لند غیرنظامی گردید. علاوه بر این آلمان تمامی مستعمرات خود را از دست داد. کامرون و قسمتی از توگو به فرانسه و آفریقای شمالی و جنوب غربی آفریقا به انگلستان و جزایر پاسفیک (اقیانوس آرام) به ژاپن واگذار گردید تا زیر قیومیت آن‌ها اداره شوند. براساس ماده ۲۲۲ منشور جامعه ملل قرار شد که اداره این مستعمرات از طرف جامعه ملل به بعضی از قدرت‌های صاحب تجربه سپرده شود تا ضمن اداره، مقدمات استقلال آن‌ها را نیز فراهم نمایند. علاوه بر این موارد مقرر شد:

پیمان‌های صلح با متحدان آلمان[ویرایش]

شورای چهار کشور مذاکره و عهد پیمان‌های صلح با متحدان آلمان را به شورایی متشکل از وزرای خارجه این کشورها سپرد. این پیمان‌ها که هر یک در یکی از محلات حومه شهر پاریس امضاء و به آن نام نام‌گذاری شد مسئولیت آغاز و خسارت‌های جنگ را به گردن متحدین آلمان گذاشتند و برای هر کدام محدودیت‌ها و جریمه‌هایی مقرر کردند.

به موجب پیمان سن ژرمن در ۱۰ سپتامبر ۱۹۱۹ با اتریش مقرر شد:

  • با جدایی سه چهارم خاک و چهار پنجم جمعیت امپراتوری اتریش - مجارستان، سه کشور جدید لهستان، یوگسلاوی و چکسلواکی تأسیس و به رسمیت شناخته شوند.
  • اتریش به عنوان کشور مستقل اجازه اتحاد با آلمان (آنشلوس) را ندارد مگر با اجازه جامعه ملل.
  • بخش‌هایی از اتریش به ایتالیا واگذار شود.
  • بخش‌هایی از اتریش به رومانی واگذار شود.
  • ارتش اتریش نباید از سی هزار نفر تجاوز کند و اتریش باید تا سی سال به متحدین غرامت جنگی بپردازد.

به موجب پیمان نیولی در ۲۷ نوامبر ۱۹۱۹ با بلغارستان مقرر شد:

  • با واگذاری تراس به یونان دسترسی بلغارستان به دریا قطع شود.
  • مقدونیه به صربستان واگذار شود.
  • دبروجه به رومانی واگذار شود.
  • نفرات ارتش بلغارستان به بیست هزار نفر کاهش یابد و بلغارستان مبلغ صد میلیون پوند غرامت جنگی پرداخت کند.

به موجب پیمان تریانون در ۴ ژوئن ۱۹۲۰ با مجارستان مقرر شد:

  • مجارستان در مقایسه با سرزمین خود در امپراتوری اتریش - مجارستان سه چهارم سرزمین و یک سوم جمعیت مجار خود را از دست داد. مجارستان از دریای آزاد محروم گردید. ترانسیلوانیا، بخش خاوری منطقه «بانات» و چند ناحیه دیگر به رومانی واگذار شد و مناطق «اسلوواکی» و «روتنیا» به کشور چک اسلواکی رسید. «کرواسی»، «اسلاودینا»، «بانات باختری» به یوگسلاوی واگذار شد و «بورگن لند» به اتریش رسید.
  • نفرات ارتش مجارستان به سی و پنج هزار نفر محدود شد و حق داشتن نیروی هوایی از آن سلب شد.

تکلیف بیشتر سرزمین‌های غیرترک عثمانی در قراردادهای نیولی و سایکس-پیکو مشخص شده بود، ولی به هر حال پس از پانزده ماه چانه زنی قرارداد معاهده سور در روز ۱۰ اوت سال ۱۹۲۰ بین متفقین و عثمانی امضاء شد. بر اساس این قرارداد مقرر شد:

  • کلیه سرزمین‌های عرب عثمانی از قلمرو آن جدا شوند و پادشاهی حجاز به استقلال برسد.
  • ایتالیا در جنوب غربی آسیای صغیر به یک قلمرو نفوذ دست یافت. جزایر دودکانس و رودس در دریای اژه به ایتالیا رسید و مابقی جزایر اژه نصیب یونان شدند.
  • تنگه‌های بسفر و داردانل بین‌المللی شده و سرزمین‌های اطراف آن‌ها غیرنظامی اعلام شد.
  • یک جمهوری مستقل ارمنی در ناحیه آناتولی شرقی ایجاد شد.
  • نواحی کُردنشین شمال موصل با شرط دریافت خودمختاری در قلمرو امپراتوری باقی ماند و حق آن برای ارجاع تقاضای استقلال به جامعه ملل طی یک سال به رسمیت شناخته شد.
  • ارتش عثمانی به ۵۰ هزار نفر و حداکثر ۱۳ کشتی محدود شد و حق داشتن نیروهای هوایی از آن سلب شد.

با این حال ناعادلانه بودن این قرارداد، خشم ترک‌ها از ورود سربازان یونانی به ازمیر و اختلاف بین فرانسه و بریتانیا باعث شد مصطفی کمال آتاتورک بتواند ابتدا یونانی‌ها را از آناتولی بیرون براند و در ۱۹۲۲ قسطنطنیه را آزاد کند. پس از این امر متفقین مجبور شدند ۲۴ ژوئیه ۱۹۲۳ قرارداد جدیدی با ترکیه امضا کنند که به پیمان لوزان معروف است.

نادیده گرفته شدن ایتالیا و ژاپن[ویرایش]

ایتالیا مصمم به اجرای پیمان لندن و بازگشت تمام سرزمین‌های جدا افتاده خود بود، ولی ویلسون به استناد ماده اول اعلامیه چهارده ماده‌ای (دیپلماسی باز)، خود را مقید به اجرای این قرارداد محرمانه نمی‌دانست و همین اشتباه متفقین بود که منجر به جنگ جهانی دوم و متحد شدن ژاپن و ایتالیا با آلمان شد.

جنایات جنگی[ویرایش]

نسل‌کشی‌های قومی[ویرایش]

دولتمردان عثمانی و رهبران قیام ترکان جوان در دوران جنگ جهانی اول دست به نابودی عمدی و از پیش برنامه‌ریزی شده (نسل‌کشی) جمعیت ارمنی ساکن سرزمین‌های تحت کنترل این امپراتوری زدند. عملیات در قالب کشتارهای دسته‌جمعی و نیز تبعیدهای اجباری در شرایطی که موجبات مرگ تبعیدشدگان را فراهم آورد، انجام می‌پذیرفت. امروزه تعداد کل قربانیان نسل‌کشی ارمنیان به‌طور عام بین یک تا یک و نیم میلیون نفر برآورد شده‌است.[۷][۸][۹][۱۰][۱۱] در طی این دوران دیگر گروه‌های قومی منطقه، از جمله آشوریان،[۱۲] یونانیان[۱۳] و کردها[۱۴][۱۵][۱۶] نیز به طریقی مشابه مورد حملهٔ ترکان عثمانی قرار گرفتند به گونه‌ای که بسیاری از محققان این رویدادها را نیز بخشی از همان سیاست نابودسازی قومی دولت‌مردان تُرک دانسته‌اند. تعداد قربانیان نسل‌کشی آشوری‌ها را ۲۷۵٫۰۰۰ نفر، نسل‌کشی یونانیان را ۵۰۰٫۰۰۰ نفر و کشتار کردهای علوی را حدود ۵۰ تا ۷۰ هزار نفر تخمین زده‌اند. امروزه این رویدادها به‌طور گسترده به عنوان اولین نسل‌کشی‌های سده بیستم شناخته می‌شود.

استفاده از سلاح‌های شیمیایی[ویرایش]

سلاحهای شیمیایی به‌طور عمده و به‌طور رسمی در جنگ جهانی اول (طی سالهای ۱۹۱۴–۱۹۱۸) مورد استفاده قرارگرفتند. اگر چه اولین بار ارتش انگلیس در سال ۱۸۹۴ در جنگ های کریمه از گازهای شیمیایی تهوع آور گوگرد دار در منطقه سباستویول استفاده کرد (که البته چندان مؤثر نبود) با این وجود اولین بار در جنگ جهانی اول (۲۷ آوریل ۱۹۱۵) نیروهای آلمان طی یک حمله وسیع، از گاز سبزرنگی (گاز کلرین) علیه نیروهای بلژیکی مستقر در شهر ایپر استفاده کردند. این حمله شیمیایی نخستین تهاجم وسیع گازی در تاریخ محسوب شد. به دلیل عدم آمادگی (اعم ازماسک یا وسایل دفاعی علیه جنگ شیمیایی)، منجر به مرگ بیش از پنج هزار نفر و مصدوم شدن حدود ۱۵۰۰۰ سرباز بلژیکی و نیروهای متحدین شد. این نیروها در آن زمان هیچ گونه پوشش دفاعی نداشتند؛ لذا تلاش‌های بسیاری در جهت تولید این سلاح از یک سو و نیز روش‌های مقابله با آن ازسوی دیگر آغاز گردید.[نیازمند منبع]

کاربرد سلاح های شیمیایی در جنگ جهانی اول و بعد از آن، روند صعودی سریعی را طی کرد و تلفات زیادی هم داشت. در ژوئیه ۱۹۱۷ ارتش آلمان برای اولین بار از ماده شیمیایی سولفور موستارد یا گاز خردل که بویی شبیه سیر داشت، طی ۱۰ روز نبرد علیه متفقین استفاده کردند که بسیار موفقیت‌آمیز بود. در مجموع استفاده از سلاح های شیمیایی طی جنگ جهانی اول منجر به کشته شدن حدود یکصدهزار نفر و مصدوم شدن یک میلیون و دویست هزار نفر گردید. در جریان نبرد دوم ایپر اولین استفاده از سلاح شیمیایی در تاریخ جهان اتفاق افتاد. آلمان‌ها بعد از سه تلاش ناموفق بالاخره موفق شدند با باز کردن بیش از ۵۷۰۰ کپسول حاوی گاز کلرین ابری بزرگ از گاز کلرین ایجاد کنند، این ابر به آرامی روی سنگرهای متفقین را پوشاند و باعث تلفات سنگینی برای متفقین شد. بعد از آن هر دو طرف بارها از سلاح شیمیایی برای تغییر نتیجه به نفع خود استفاده کردند ولی در اکثر مواقع به دلیل وجود ماسک‌های ضد گاز موفق نشدند تأثیر زیادی بگذارند.[نیازمند منبع]

ایران در جنگ جهانی اول[ویرایش]

تندیس رئیس علی دلواری

جنگ جهانی اول هم‌زمان با حکومت احمد شاه قاجار بود و دولت مشروطهٔ ایران ضعیف‌ترین دوران خود را می‌گذراند. علی‌رغم اعلام بی‌طرفی دولت ایران، نیروهای متخاصم از جنوب و شمال وارد ایران شدند.

بر اثر آغاز جنگ جهانی اول و اشغال ایران توسط بریتانیا و خرید آذوقهٔ مردم ایران توسط ارتش اشغالگر و شروع قحطی بزرگ ایران ۱۹۱۷–۱۹۱۹ (The Iranian Genocide 1917-1919) عدهٔ زیادی از مردم ایران (تقریباً ۴۰ درصد مردم ایران. به عبارت دیگر ۸ تا ۱۰ میلیون نفر از جمعیت ۲۰ میلیون نفری آن زمان ایران) به کام مرگ فرو رفتند.در این میان طایفه ای در غرب کاندرلند برای مبارزه با این قحطی به پا خواسته و در میانه راه و قبل از رسیدن به مرکز ایران بر اثر توطئه یکی از نزدیکان خود بنام کاظم افندی راه خود را کج و به سوی تبریز شتافتند و پس از چندی مبارزه عاقبت توانستند در این شهر سکنی گزیده و در کنار مردم به مبارزه با قحطی بپردازند . [۱۷] سپاه روسیه تا دروازه‌های تهران پیشروی کرد اما از منقرض کردن سلسلهٔ قاجار منصرف شدند. در جنوب مردم محلی در چند نوبت با متجاوزان انگلیسی درگیر شدند که از مهم‌ترین نبردهای جنگ جهانی اول در ایران می‌توان به مقاومت «زایر خضرخان اهرمی (تنگستانی)» ملقب به امیر اسلام حاکم تنگستان، شیخ حسین خان چاه کوتاهی دلیر مرد آزادی‌خواه جنوب ایران و رئیس علی دلواری و خالو حسین دشتی از دلیران تنگستان در استان بوشهر و نبرد جهاد در خوزستان و مبارزه سرسختانه و سرنوشت ساز ترکان قشقایی به رهبری صولت الدوله قشقایی و مقاومت های ناصر دیوان کازرونی و آیت الله سید عبدالحسین لاری اشاره کرد. جمعی از رجال از قم به اصفهان و سپس اراک و بالاخره به کرمانشاه رفتند و عاقبت در آنجا قوای گارد ملی ترتیب دادند و حکومت موقتی دولت ملی به ریاست نظام السلطنه (رضا قلی خان مافی) تشکیل گردید. پس از سقوط بغداد اعضاء دولت موقتی دولت ملی و جمع بسیاری از ایرانیان به استانبول رفتند.

تکنولوژی[ویرایش]

راه‌آهن[ویرایش]

تجربه و تخصص امپراتوری آلمان در ایجاد و استفاده از خطوط راه‌آهن در روزهای اولیه جنگ روند جنگ را به سود اتحاد مثلث تغییر داد اما این روند پس از اشغال بلژیک به علت عقب بودن تکنولوژی ریلی و تخریب راه‌آهن از سوی دولت این سرزمین متوقف شد و طرح اشلیفن شکست خورد. آلمانی‌ها قصد داشتند خط راه‌آهنی بین برلین و خلیج فارس بکشند که می‌توانست برای انتقال نفت به کار برود، ولی ساخت آن پس از رسیدن به استانبول متوقف شد. آلمان همچنین خط راه‌آهنی در حجاز ساخت ولی قطارهای این خط از سوی لورنز عربستان مورد حمله قرار می‌گرفت.

نامه‌نگاری در جنگ جهانی اول[ویرایش]

جنگ جهانی اول به لحاظ فراوانی نامه‌هایی که میان جبهه و پشت جبهه رد و بدل شد از همه جنگ‌های قبل از آن متمایز است. نامه‌های جنگ جهانی اول کمتر سانسور شده‌اند. در همین رابطه است که دولت رایش آلمان فوراً تدارکات عملی وسیعی برای نقل و انتقال پست را به اجرا می‌گذارد. در پایان سال ۱۹۱۴، یعنی ۵ ماه پس از شروع جنگ روزانه ۱۰۰ واگن قطار نامه‌های مردان و زنان و خانواده‌ها از پشت جبهه را برای سربازان حمل می‌کنند و بالعکس. به‌کارگیری ۸ هزار کارمند رسمی و ۱۳ هزار نیروی کمکی موجب شده بود که نامه‌ها برای رسیدن به دست گیرنده بیش از یک هفته در راه نباشند. مجموعاً در ۵ سال جنگ ۲۹ میلیارد نامه، کارت پستال و محموله پستی میان جبهه و کل شهرهای آلمان رد و بدل می‌شود. طرفه این که از این تعداد ۱۱ میلیارد نامه از جبهه به پشت جبهه بوده، ولی تعداد نامه‌های پشت جبهه به جبهه از ۱۸ میلیارد مورد هم فراتر می‌رفت.[۱۸]

نو آوری ها[ویرایش]

انتقال خون[ویرایش]

تلاش‌های زیادی در قرن‌های گذشته برای انتقال خون انجام شده بود، اما با واکنش دستگاه دفاعی بدن در بیشتر موارد با از بین رفتن سلول‌های خون همراه بود و مرگ و میر زیادی در پی داشت. در سال ۱۹۰۱ کارل لندشتاینر[۱۹] در اتریش کشف کرد که انسان‌ها گروه‌های خونی مختلفی دارند. در سال ۱۹۰۷ دانشمندی به نام یان یانسکی که اهل چک بود، گروه خونی انسان‌ها را به چهار دسته تقسیم کرد. اولین انتقال خون با خون ذخیره شده در سال ۱۹۱۴ توسط پزشکی بلژیکی به نام آلبرت هاستین صورت گرفت و بعد از آن یک جراح انگلیسی به نام جفری کینز موفق به ساخت دستگاهی متحرک شد که با آن امکان ذخیره خون و استفاده از آن در میدان‌های جنگ را هموار می‌کرد. با این وجود برای اولین بار یک دکتر آمریکایی به نام آزوالد هوپ رابرتسون در فرانسه هنگام جنگ، بانک خون را تأسیس کرد. این انتقال خون‌های گسترده هنگام جنگ نیازمند سیستمی منظم از پزشکان و پرستاران بود که گروه‌های خونی اهداکنندگان و سربازان را ثبت و ضبط کنند.این پیشرفت‌ها سال‌ها بعد برای نظام پزشکی همه جانبه در سرتاسر جهان مثمر ثمر واقع شد.

کارل لندشتاینر

پیامدهای جنگ جهانی اول[ویرایش]

نظم نوین جهانی[ویرایش]

جنگ جهانی اول، چهار امپراتوری را نابود ساخت، امپراتوری آلمان تاج و تخت را از دست داد و دولت جمهوری جایگزین آن شد. امپراتوری‌های شکست خوردهٔ اتریش - مجارستان و امپراتوری عثمانی هر دو از هم گسیختند و امپراتوری روسیه نیز به دست انقلابی‌های بلشویک افتاد.

بر خلاف کنگره وین که کشورهای فاتح توانستند نظمی جهانی بر اساس توازن قوا به پشتوانه کنسرت اروپا به وجود بیاورند، کنفرانس ورسای در دست یافتن به توافقی عام و ایجاد بنایی پایدار برای صلح جهانی ناموفق بود. گرچه تلاش ویلسون برای ایجاد جامعه ملل، نوید صلحی پایدار بر اساس امنیت دسته‌جمعی را می‌داد، ولی از آنجا که توافق فاتحان عمیق و همه‌ جانبه نبود بلکه مصلحتی موقتی به‌شمار می‌رفت سیستم امنیت دسته‌جمعی نیز جز در سال‌های ۱۹۲۵–۱۹۳۰ برقرار نشد، به ویژه که خود ایالات متحده نیز در آن نقشی نداشت.[۶]

آثار جنگ بر زندگی سیاسی اروپا[ویرایش]

جنگ جهانی اول ابعاد جدیدی به نقش دولت‌ها بخشید.[۵] تا قبل از سال ۱۹۱۴ دولت‌ها نقش حداقلی در اداره کشورها داشتند و دولت خوب دولتی در نظر گرفته می‌شد که کمترین مداخله را در زندگی شهروندان خود داشته باشد.[۵]

در سال ۱۹۱۶ م ملی‌گرایان ایرلندی در دوبلین واقع در ایرلند، قیام عید پاک را ترتیب دادند. این شورش با شکست مواجه شد، اما موج مخالفت‌های گسترده علیه حکومت بریتانیا در ایرلند را به راه انداخت. در سال ۱۹۱۹ مجلس ایرلند، حکومت این کشور را «جمهوری» اعلام کرد، و متعاقب آن ۳ سال جنگ بین ارتش جمهوریخواه ایرلند و بریتانیا درگرفت. در سال ۱۹۲۹ ایرلند جنوبی، به عنوان دولت آزاد ایرلند به استقلال واقعی رسید. شش استان در شمال ایرلند جزء پادشاهی انگلستان باقی ماندند که هم‌اکنون با نام ایرلند شمالی شناخته می‌شوند.

وضعیت اقتصادی آلمان پس از جنگ جهانی اول بسیار وخیم شد و نرخ تورم بسیار بالا رفت. در سال ۱۹۲۳، هنگامی که نیروهای فرانسه و بلژیک برای وادار کردن آلمان به پرداخت غرامت جنگی وارد منطقه رور شدند، دولت در اقدامی میهن‌پرستانه، مردم را به مقاومت منفی دعوت کرد. چون افزایش مالیات‌ها مورد پسند عامه نبود، دولت به وسیلهٔ چاپ اسکناس از کارگران کارخانه‌های رور و خانواده‌های آن‌ها حمایت کرد و در همان حال، اجازه داد اعتبارات بانکی با نرخ بهرهٔ بیشتری عرضه شود. در اوج تورم حاصل از این اقدامات، بیش از ۳۰ کارخانه کاغذسازی و ۱۵۰ چاپخانه و دو هزار ماشین چاپ به‌طور شبانه‌روزی برای برآوردن نیاز به پول کار می‌کردند؛ ولی این تدبیرها نیز با شکست مواجه شد، زیرا مقدار پول در گردش از سرعت افزایش قیمت‌ها کمتر بود. اسکناس‌هایی که به مقدار فراوان و با مبلغ اسمی ده‌ها هزار مارک چاپ شده بود، قبل از این که از چاپخانه خارج شود، مجدداً زیر ماشین چاپ می‌رفت و مبلغ اسمی آن به ارقام میلیونی تبدیل می‌شد. کارگران دستمزدهای خود را با کیسه‌های خرید و حتی گاه با چرخ دستی پر از پول و آن هم روزی دو بار دریافت می‌کردند، دستمزد صبح فقط صرف ناهار ظهر می‌شد، زیرا بیم آن می‌رفت نرخ ارز که بعدازظهر اعلام می‌شد، تغییر کند و قیمت‌ها باز هم افزایش یابد. هنگامی که بهای زغال‌سنگ به میزان سرسام‌آوری افزایش یافت، برخی از مردم دستمزدهای بعدازظهر را به جای زغال‌سنگ در اجاق آشپزخانه می‌سوزاندند. سرانجام کار به جایی رسید که با یک دلار آمریکا می‌شد ۴ تریلیون و ۲۰۰ میلیارد مارک آلمان خریداری کرد.[۲۰]

در دهه‌های ۱۹۲۰ و ۱۹۳۰ م بسیاری از کشورهای اروپایی از دموکراسی دست کشیدند. حزب نازی هیتلر در آلمان به قدرت می‌رسد و فاشیست‌های موسولینی بر ایتالیا حکومت می‌کنند. در ابتدا بریتانیا و فرانسه کوشیدند با این رهبران سازش کنند. آن‌ها عاقبت در سال ۱۹۳۹ در برابر تهاجم هیتلر ایستادند و اروپا به جنگ جهانی دوم کشیده شد.

در سپتامبر ۱۹۳۹ م، جنگ جهانی دوم در اروپا آغاز شد. رهبر آلمان، آدولف هیتلر، می‌خواست تا رایش سوم به یک قدرت مطلقه در اروپا تبدیل شود. در ابتدا تاکتیک حملات برق‌آسا موفقیت‌آمیز می‌نمود. اما پس از سال ۱۹۴۳م قوای متفقین، متشکل از نیروهای شوروی، انگلستان و آمریکا بر آلمان برتری یافتند. سرانجام، آلمان در ماه مه۱۹۴۵م نه روز پس از خودکشی هیتلر، تسلیم شد. بیش از چهل میلیون اروپایی در این جنگ کشته شدند.

گاه‌شمار جنگ[ویرایش]

سال ۱۹۱۴[ویرایش]

سال ۱۹۱۵[ویرایش]

سال ۱۹۱۶[ویرایش]

سال ۱۹۱۷[ویرایش]

سال ۱۹۱۸[ویرایش]

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

  1. "British Army statistics of the Great War". 1914-1918.net. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  2. Figures are for the British Empire
  3. Figures are for Metropolitan France and its colonies
  4. ۴٫۰ ۴٫۱ Tucker & Roberts 2005, p. 273
  5. ۵٫۰ ۵٫۱ ۵٫۲ FINDLEY، CARTER VAUGHN (۲۰۱۱). Twentieth-Century World. Wadsworth.
  6. ۶٫۰ ۶٫۱ ۶٫۲ نقیب‌زاده، احمد، تاریخ دیپلماسی و روابط بین‌الملل، نشر قومس، ۱۳۸۸: تهران.
  7. Totten, Samuel, Paul Robert Bartrop, Steven L. Jacobs (eds.) (2008), Dictionary of Genocide, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. ص ۱۹, ISBN 0-313-34642-9
  8. Noël, Lise (1994), Intolerance: A General Survey, Arnold Bennett, p. ص ۱۰۱, ISBN 0-7735-1187-3
  9. Schaefer, T (ed.) (2008), Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, p. ص ۹۰
  10. Ralph J. Henham, Paul Behrens (2007), The criminal law of genocide: international, comparative and contextual aspects, p. ص ۱۷
  11. See Levon Marashlian (۱۹۹۱Politics and Demography: Armenians, Turks, and Kurds in the Ottoman Empire، Cambridge, Massachusetts: Zoryan Institute
  12. David Gaunt, "The Assyrian Genocide of 1915", Assyrian Genocide Research Center, 2009
  13. Nikolaos Hlamides (3دسامبر2008), The Greek Relief Committee: America’s Response to the Greek Genocide, Genocide Studies and Prevention, p. صص ۳۸۳–۳۷۵ Check date values in: |سال= (help)
  14. Bruinessen, Martin van (1994). "Genocide in Kurdistan? The Suppression of the Dersim Rebellion in Turkey (1937-38) and the Chemical War Against the Iraqi Kurds (1988)". In Andreopoulos, George J. Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions (PDF). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. ۱۴۱–۱۷۰.
  15. David McDowall, A modern history of the Kurds, I.B.Tauris, Mayıs 2004, s.209
  16. "Alevi-CHP rift continues to grow after Öymen remarks". Today's Zaman. 24 November 2009. Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  17. Majd Mohammad Gholi. 2003 The Great Famine and Gencide in Persia 1917-1919, University press of America
  18. از جبهه به آن دختر نامه ننویس؛ نامه‌نگاری در جنگ جهانی اول بی‌بی‌سی فارسی
  19. "کارل لندشتاینر". ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد. 2018-11-06.
  20. تاریخ اقتصادی و اجتماعی اروپا، فرانک ب. تایپتون و رابرت آلدریچ، ترجمه کریم پیرحیاتی، تهران: انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی، ۱۳۷۵، جلد اول، صفحهٔ ۲۲۹

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

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World War I
WWImontage.jpg
(Clockwise from the top)
Date28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918 (1914-07-28 – 1918-11-11)
(4 years, 3 months and 2 weeks)
Location
Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, China, Indian Ocean, North and South Atlantic Ocean
Result

Allied victory

Territorial
changes
  • Formation of new countries in Europe and the Middle East
  • Transfer of German colonies and territories, regions of the former Ottoman Empire, regions of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russian Empire territories to other countries
  • Belligerents
    Allied Powers:
    Central Powers:
    Commanders and leaders
    Strength
    Total: 42,959,850[2]
    • Russian Empire 12,000,000
    • British Empire 8,841,541[3][4]
    • French Third Republic 8,660,000[5]
    • Kingdom of Italy 5,615,140
    • United States 4,743,826
    • Empire of Japan 800,000
    • Kingdom of Serbia 707,343
    • Kingdom of Romania 658,000
    • Belgium 380,000
    • Kingdom of Greece 250,000
    • First Portuguese Republic 80,000
    • Kingdom of Montenegro 50,000
    Total: 25,248,321[2]
    • German Empire 13,250,000
    • Austria-Hungary 7,800,000
    • Ottoman Empire 2,998,321
    • Kingdom of Bulgaria 1,200,000
    Casualties and losses
    • Military dead: 5,525,000
    • Military wounded: 12,831,500
    • Total: 18,356,500 KIA, WIA and MIA
    • Civilian dead: 4,000,000

    further details ...


    Military deaths by country[6][7]

    • Russian Empire 1,811,000
    • French Third Republic 1,397,800
    • British Empire 1,114,914
    • Kingdom of Italy 651,000
    • Kingdom of Romania 250,000–335,000
    • Kingdom of Serbia 275,000
    • United States 116,708
    • Belgium 58,637–87,500
    • Kingdom of Greece 26,000
    • First Portuguese Republic 7,222
    • Kingdom of Montenegro 3,000
    • Empire of Japan 415
    • Military dead: 4,386,000
    • Military wounded: 8,388,000
    • Total: 12,774,000 KIA, WIA and MIA
    • Civilian dead: 3,700,000

    further details ...


    Military deaths by country[6]

    • German Empire 2,050,897
    • Austria-Hungary 1,200,000
    • Ottoman Empire 771,844
    • Kingdom of Bulgaria 87,500
    World War I: Mobilized forces per total population (in %)[citation needed]

    World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, the Great War, the Seminal Catastrophe, and initially in North America as the European War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars",[8] it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history.[9][10] It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history,[11] with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.[12]

    On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis.[13][14] In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, and the two moved to a war footing.

    A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France, Russia, and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy (the Triple Alliance was only defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war until April 1915, when it joined the Allied Powers after its relations with Austria-Hungary deteriorated).[15] Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, approved partial mobilisation.[16] Full Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; on the 31st, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within twelve hours.[17] When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on the 6th; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August.[18]

    German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within six weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan.[19] On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France.[20] When this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day; the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London and in compliance with its obligations under this, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August.[21][22] On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on the 23rd, Japan sided with Britain, seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe. The Entente and its allies would eventually become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their allies would become known as the Central Powers.

    The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917 (the Eastern Front, by contrast, was marked by much greater exchanges of territory). In 1915, Italy joined the Allied Powers and opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans. The United States initially remained neutral, though even while neutral it became an important supplier of war materiel to the Allies. Eventually, after the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the declaration by Germany that its navy would resume unrestricted attacks on neutral shipping, and the revelation that Germany was trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U.S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but ultimately the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops.[23]

    Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, and Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918. The 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent with the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive. This offensive was initially successful, but failed to score a decisive victory and exhausted the last of the German reserves. The Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive, a continual series of attacks to which the Germans had no reply.[24] Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated, signing the Armistice of Mudros.[25] On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, and the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918, effectively ending the war.

    World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural, economic, and social climate of the world. It is considered to mark the end of the Second Industrial Revolution and the Pax Britannica. The war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous revolutions and uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) imposed their terms on the defeated powers in a series of treaties agreed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the most well known being the German peace treaty—the Treaty of Versailles.[26] Ultimately, as a result of the war the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires ceased to exist, with numerous new states created from their remains. However, despite the conclusive Allied victory (and the creation of the League of Nations during the Peace Conference, intended to prevent future wars), a second world war would follow just over twenty years later.

    Contents

    Names

    The term "First World War" was first used in September 1914 by German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who claimed that "there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared 'European War' ... will become the first world war in the full sense of the word,"[27] citing a wire service report in The Indianapolis Star on 20 September 1914.

    Prior to World War II, the events of 1914–1918 were generally known as the Great War or simply the World War.[28][29] In October 1914, the Canadian magazine Maclean's wrote, "Some wars name themselves. This is the Great War."[30] Contemporary Europeans also referred to it as "the war to end war" or "the war to end all wars" due to their perception of its then-unparalleled scale and devastation.[31] After World War II began in 1939, the terms became more standard, with British Empire historians, including Canadians, favouring "The First World War" and Americans "World War I".[32]

    Background

    Political and military alliances

    Map of Europe focusing on Austria-Hungary and marking central location of ethnic groups in it including Slovaks, Czechs, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Romanians, Ukrainians, Poles.
    Rival military coalitions in 1914: Triple Entente in green; Triple Alliance in brown. Only the Triple Alliance was a formal "alliance"; the others listed were informal patterns of support.

    For much of the 19th century, the major European powers had tried to maintain a tenuous balance of power among themselves, resulting in a complex network of political and military alliances.[33] The biggest challenges to this were Britain's withdrawal into so-called splendid isolation, the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the post-1848 rise of Prussia under Otto von Bismarck. Victory in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War established Prussian hegemony in Germany, while victory over France in the 1870–1871 Franco-Prussian War unified the German states into a German Reich under Prussian leadership.

    In 1873, to isolate France and avoid a war on two fronts, Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserbund) between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany. Concerned by Russia's victory in the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War and their influence in the Balkans, the League was dissolved in 1878, with Germany and Austria-Hungary subsequently forming the 1879 Dual Alliance; this became the Triple Alliance when Italy joined in 1882.[34][35]

    The practical details of these alliances were limited, since their primary purpose was to ensure cooperation between the three Imperial Powers and isolate France. Attempts by Britain in 1880 to resolve colonial tensions with Russia and diplomatic moves by France led to Bismarck reforming the League in 1881.[36] When the League finally lapsed in 1887, it was replaced by the Reinsurance Treaty, a secret agreement between Germany and Russia to remain neutral if either were attacked by France or Austria-Hungary.

    In 1890, the new German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, forced Bismarck to retire and was persuaded not to renew the Reinsurance Treaty by the new Chancellor, Leo von Caprivi.[37] This allowed France to counteract the Triple Alliance with the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 and the 1904 Entente Cordiale with Britain, while in 1907 Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention. The agreements did not constitute formal alliances, but by settling long-standing colonial disputes, they made British entry into any future conflict involving France or Russia a possibility; these interlocking bilateral agreements became known as the Triple Entente.[38]

    Arms race

    SMS Rheinland, a Nassau-class battleship, Germany's first response to the British Dreadnought

    The creation of the German Reich following victory in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War led to a massive increase in Germany's economic and industrial strength. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz and Wilhelm II, who became Emperor in 1890, sought to use that to create a Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial German Navy to compete with Britain's Royal Navy for world naval supremacy.[39] In doing so, they were influenced by US naval strategist Alfred Mahan, who argued possession of a blue-water navy was vital for global power projection; Tirpitz translated his books into German and Wilhelm made them required reading.[40] However, it was also driven by Wilhelm's admiration of the Royal Navy and desire to outdo it.[41]

    This resulted in the Anglo-German naval arms race but the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906 gave the Royal Navy a technological advantage over its German rival, which they never lost.[39] Ultimately, the race diverted huge resources to creating a German navy large enough to antagonise Britain, but not defeat it. In 1911, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg acknowledged defeat, leading to the Rüstungswende or ‘armaments turning point', when Germany switched expenditure from the navy to the army.[42]

    This was driven by Russia's recovery from the 1905 Revolution, specifically increased investment post 1908 in railways and infrastructure in its western border regions. Germany and Austria-Hungary relied on faster mobilisation to compensate for fewer numbers; it was concern at the closing of this gap that led to the end of the naval race, rather than a reduction in tension elsewhere. When Germany expanded its standing army by 170,000 men in 1913, France extended compulsory military service from two to three years; similar measures taken by the Balkan powers and Italy led to increased expenditure by the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary. Absolute figures are hard to calculate, due to differences in categorising expenditure, while they often omit civilian infrastructure projects with a military use, such as railways. However, from 1908 to 1913, defence spending by the six major European powers increased by over 50% in real terms.[43]

    Conflicts in the Balkans

    Photo of large white building with one signs saying "Moritz Schiller" and another in Arabic; in front is a cluster of people looking at poster on the wall.
    Sarajevo citizens reading a poster with the proclamation of the Austrian annexation in 1908

    In October 1908, Austria-Hungary precipitated the Bosnian crisis of 1908–1909 by officially annexing the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it had occupied since 1878. This angered the Kingdom of Serbia and its patron, the Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Russian Empire. Russian political manoeuvring in the region destabilised peace accords that were already fracturing in the Balkans, which came to be known as the "powder keg of Europe".[44]

    In 1912 and 1913, the First Balkan War was fought between the Balkan League and the fracturing Ottoman Empire. The resulting Treaty of London further shrank the Ottoman Empire, creating an independent Albanian state while enlarging the territorial holdings of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece. When Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece on 16 June 1913, it sparked the 33-day Second Balkan War, by the end of which it lost most of Macedonia to Serbia and Greece, and Southern Dobruja to Romania, further destabilising the region.[45] The Great Powers were able to keep these Balkan conflicts contained, but the next one would spread throughout Europe and beyond.

    Prelude

    Sarajevo assassination

    This picture is usually associated with the arrest of Gavrilo Princip, although some[46][47] believe it depicts Ferdinand Behr, a bystander.

    On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, visited the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. A group of six assassins (Cvjetko Popović, Gavrilo Princip, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež, and Vaso Čubrilović) from the Yugoslavist group Mlada Bosna, supplied with arms by the Serbian Black Hand, gathered on the street where the Archduke's motorcade was to pass, with the intention of assassinating him. The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's South Slav provinces, which Austria-Hungary had annexed from the Ottoman Empire, so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia.

    Čabrinović threw a grenade at the car, but missed. Some nearby were injured by the blast, but Ferdinand's convoy carried on. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them.

    About an hour later, when Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital with those wounded in the assassination attempt, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Princip stood. With a pistol, Princip shot and killed Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Although they were reportedly not personally close, the Emperor Franz Joseph was profoundly shocked and upset. The reaction among the people in Austria, however, was mild, almost indifferent. As historian Zbyněk Zeman later wrote, "the event almost failed to make any impression whatsoever. On Sunday and Monday (28 and 29 June), the crowds in Vienna listened to music and drank wine, as if nothing had happened."[48][49] Nevertheless, the political effect of the murder of the heir to the throne was significant, and was described by historian Christopher Clark on the BBC Radio 4 series Month of Madness as a "9/11 effect, a terrorist event charged with historic meaning, transforming the political chemistry in Vienna."[50]

    Expansion of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Crowds on the streets in the aftermath of the anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, 29 June 1914

    The Austro-Hungarian authorities encouraged the subsequent anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, in which Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks killed two Bosnian Serbs and damaged numerous Serb-owned buildings.[51][52] Violent actions against ethnic Serbs were also organised outside Sarajevo, in other cities in Austro-Hungarian-controlled Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina imprisoned and extradited approximately 5,500 prominent Serbs, 700 to 2,200 of whom died in prison. A further 460 Serbs were sentenced to death. A predominantly Bosniak special militia known as the Schutzkorps was established and carried out the persecution of Serbs.[53][54][55][56]

    July Crisis

    The assassination led to a month of diplomatic manoeuvring between Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France and Britain, called the July Crisis. Austria-Hungary correctly believed that Serbian officials (especially the officers of the Black Hand) were involved in the plot to murder the Archduke, and wanted to finally end Serbian interference in Bosnia.[57] On 23 July, Austria-Hungary delivered to Serbia the July Ultimatum, a series of ten demands that were made intentionally unacceptable, in an effort to provoke a war with Serbia.[58] Serbia decreed general mobilisation on the 25th. Serbia accepted all the terms of the ultimatum except for article six, which demanded that Austrian delegates be allowed in Serbia for the purpose of participation in the investigation into the assassination.[59] Following this, Austria broke off diplomatic relations with Serbia and, the next day, ordered a partial mobilisation. Finally, on 28 July 1914, a month after the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

    Ethno-linguistic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910. Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed in 1908.

    On 25 July, Russia, in support of Serbia, declared partial mobilisation against Austria-Hungary.[60] On the 30th, Russia ordered general mobilisation. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg waited until the 31st for an appropriate response, when Germany declared Erklärung des Kriegszustandes, or "Statement on the war status".[17][61] Kaiser Wilhelm II asked his cousin, Tsar Nicolas II, to suspend the Russian general mobilisation. When he refused, Germany issued an ultimatum demanding its mobilisation be stopped, and a commitment not to support Serbia. Another was sent to France, asking her not to support Russia if it were to come to the defence of Serbia. On 1 August, after the Russian response, Germany mobilised and declared war on Russia. This also led to the general mobilisation in Austria-Hungary on 4 August.

    The German government issued demands to France that it remain neutral as they had to decide which deployment plan to implement, it being extremely difficult to change the deployment whilst it was underway. The modified German Schlieffen Plan, Aufmarsch II West, would deploy 80% of the army in the west, while Aufmarsch I Ost and Aufmarsch II Ost would deploy 60% in the west and 40% in the east. The French did not respond, but sent a mixed message by ordering their troops to withdraw 10 km (6 mi) from the border to avoid any incidents, and at the same time ordered the mobilisation of their reserves. Germany responded by mobilising its own reserves and implementing Aufmarsch II West.

    On 1 August, Wilhelm ordered General Helmuth von Moltke the Younger to "march the whole of the ... army to the East" after being wrongly informed that the British would remain neutral if France was not attacked. Moltke told the Kaiser that attempting to redeploy a million men was unthinkable, and that making it possible for the French to attack the Germans "in the rear" would prove disastrous. Yet Wilhelm insisted that the German army should not march into Luxembourg until he received a telegram sent by his cousin George V, who made it clear that there had been a misunderstanding. Eventually the Kaiser told Moltke, "Now you can do what you want."[62][63]

    On 2 August, Germany occupied Luxembourg, and on 3 August declared war on France; on the same day, they sent the Belgian government an ultimatum demanding unimpeded right of way through any part of Belgium, which was refused. Early on the morning of 4 August, the Germans invaded; King Albert ordered his military to resist and called for assistance under the 1839 Treaty of London.[64][65][66] Britain demanded Germany comply with the Treaty and respect Belgian neutrality; it declared war on Germany at 19:00 UTC on 4 August 1914 (effective from 23:00), following an "unsatisfactory reply".[67]

    Progress of the war

    Opening hostilities

    Confusion among the Central Powers

    The strategy of the Central Powers suffered from miscommunication. Germany had promised to support Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia, but interpretations of what this meant differed. Previously tested deployment plans had been replaced early in 1914, but those had never been tested in exercises. Austro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover its northern flank against Russia.[68] Germany, however, envisioned Austria-Hungary directing most of its troops against Russia, while Germany dealt with France. This confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian Army to divide its forces between the Russian and Serbian fronts.

    Serbian campaign

    Serbian Army Blériot XI "Oluj", 1915

    Austria invaded and fought the Serbian army at the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara beginning on 12 August. Over the next two weeks, Austrian attacks were thrown back with heavy losses, which marked the first major Allied victories of the war and dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory. As a result, Austria had to keep sizeable forces on the Serbian front, weakening its efforts against Russia.[69] Serbia's defeat of the Austro-Hungarian invasion of 1914 has been called one of the major upset victories of the twentieth century.[70] The campaign saw the very first use of medical evacuation by the Serbian army in autumn of 1915 and anti-aircraft warfare in the spring of 1915 after an Austrian plane was shot down with ground-to-air fire.[71][72]

    German Offensive in Belgium and France

    German soldiers in a railway goods wagon on the way to the front in 1914. Early in the war, all sides expected the conflict to be a short one.
    A French bayonet charge at the Battle of the Frontiers; by the end of August, French casualties exceeded 260,000, including 75,000 dead.

    When the war began, the German Order of Battle placed 80% of the army in the West, with the remainder acting as a screening force in the East. The plan was to quickly knock France out of the war, then redeploy to the East and do the same to Russia.

    The German offensive in the West was officially titled Aufmarsch II West, but is better known as the Schlieffen Plan, after its original creator. Schlieffen deliberately kept the German left (i.e. its positions in Alsace-Lorraine) weak to lure the French into attacking there, while the majority were allocated to the German right, so as to sweep through Belgium, encircle Paris and trap the French armies against the Swiss border (the French charged into Alsace-Lorraine on the outbreak of war as envisaged by their Plan XVII, thus actually aiding this strategy).[73] However, Schlieffen's successor Moltke grew concerned that the French might push too hard on his left flank. As such, as the German Army increased in size in the years leading up to the war, he changed the allocation of forces between the German right and left wings from 85:15 to 70:30. Ultimately, Moltke's changes meant insufficient forces to achieve decisive success and thus unrealistic goals and timings.[74][dubious ]

    The initial German advance in the West was very successful: by the end of August the Allied left, which included the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), was in full retreat; French casualties in the first month exceeded 260,000, including 27,000 killed on 22 August during the Battle of the Frontiers.[75] German planning provided broad strategic instructions, while allowing army commanders considerable freedom in carrying them out at the front; this worked well in 1866 and 1870 but in 1914, von Kluck used this freedom to disobey orders, opening a gap between the German armies as they closed on Paris.[76] The French and British exploited this gap to halt the German advance east of Paris at the First Battle of the Marne from 5 to 12 September and push the German forces back some 50 km (31 mi).

    In 1911, the Russian Stavka had agreed with the French to attack Germany within 15 days of mobilisation; this was unrealistic and the two Russian armies that entered East Prussia on 17 August did so without many of their support elements.[77] The Russian Second Army was effectively destroyed at the Battle of Tannenberg on 26–30 August but the Russian advance caused the Germans to re-route their 8th Field Army from France to East Prussia, a factor in Allied victory on the Marne.[citation needed]

    By the end of 1914, German troops held strong defensive positions inside France, controlled the bulk of France's domestic coalfields and had inflicted 230,000 more casualties than it lost itself. However, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost Germany the chance of a decisive outcome while it had failed to achieve the primary objective of avoiding a long, two-front war.[78] This amounted to a strategic defeat; shortly after the Marne, Crown Prince Wilhelm told an American reporter; "We have lost the war. It will go on for a long time but lost it is already."[79]

    Asia and the Pacific

    World empires and colonies around 1914

    New Zealand occupied German Samoa (later Western Samoa) on 30 August 1914. On 11 September, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain), which formed part of German New Guinea. On 28 October, the German cruiser SMS Emden sank the Russian cruiser Zhemchug in the Battle of Penang. Japan seized Germany's Micronesian colonies and, after the Siege of Tsingtao, the German coaling port of Qingdao on the Chinese Shandong peninsula. As Vienna refused to withdraw the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth from Tsingtao, Japan declared war not only on Germany, but also on Austria-Hungary; the ship participated in the defence of Tsingtao where it was sunk in November 1914.[80] Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific; only isolated commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea remained.[81][82]

    African campaigns

    Some of the first clashes of the war involved British, French, and German colonial forces in Africa. On 6–7 August, French and British troops invaded the German protectorate of Togoland and Kamerun. On 10 August, German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war. The German colonial forces in German East Africa, led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War I and only surrendered two weeks after the armistice took effect in Europe.[83]

    Indian support for the Allies

    Germany attempted to use Indian nationalism and pan-Islamism to its advantage, instigating uprisings in India, and sending a mission that urged Afghanistan to join the war on the side of Central Powers. However, contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards Britain.[84][85] Indian political leaders from the Indian National Congress and other groups were eager to support the British war effort, since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Indian Home Rule.[citation needed] The Indian Army in fact outnumbered the British Army at the beginning of the war; about 1.3 million Indian soldiers and labourers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. In all, 140,000 men served on the Western Front and nearly 700,000 in the Middle East. Casualties of Indian soldiers totalled 47,746 killed and 65,126 wounded during World War I.[86] The suffering engendered by the war, as well as the failure of the British government to grant self-government to India after the end of hostilities, bred disillusionment and fuelled the campaign for full independence that would be led by Mohandas K. Gandhi and others.[87]

    Western Front

    Trench warfare begins

    Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916

    Military tactics developed before World War I failed to keep pace with advances in technology and had become obsolete. These advances had allowed the creation of strong defensive systems, which out-of-date military tactics could not break through for most of the war. Barbed wire was a significant hindrance to massed infantry advances, while artillery, vastly more lethal than in the 1870s, coupled with machine guns, made crossing open ground extremely difficult.[88] Commanders on both sides failed to develop tactics for breaching entrenched positions without heavy casualties. In time, however, technology began to produce new offensive weapons, such as gas warfare and the tank.[89]

    After the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September 1914), Allied and German forces unsuccessfully tried to outflank each other, a series of manoeuvres later known as the "Race to the Sea". By the end of 1914, the opposing forces were left confronting each other along an uninterrupted line of entrenched positions from Alsace to Belgium's North Sea coast.[13] Since the Germans were able to choose where to stand, they normally had the advantage of the high ground; in addition, their trenches tended to be better built, since Anglo-French trenches were initially intended as "temporary," preparatory to breaking the German defences.[90]

    Both sides tried to break the stalemate using scientific and technological advances. On 22 April 1915, at the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans (violating the Hague Convention) used chlorine gas for the first time on the Western Front. Several types of gas soon became widely used by both sides, and though it never proved a decisive, battle-winning weapon, poison gas became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war.[91][92] Tanks were developed by Britain and France and were first used in combat by the British during the Battle of Flers–Courcelette (part of the Battle of the Somme) on 15 September 1916, with only partial success. However, their effectiveness would grow as the war progressed; the Allies built tanks in large numbers, whilst the Germans employed only a few of their own design, supplemented by captured Allied tanks.

    Continuation of trench warfare

    French 87th regiment near Verdun, 1916

    Neither side proved able to deliver a decisive blow for the next two years. Throughout 1915–17, the British Empire and France suffered more casualties than Germany, because of both the strategic and tactical stances chosen by the sides. Strategically, while the Germans mounted only one major offensive, the Allies made several attempts to break through the German lines.

    In February 1916 the Germans attacked French defensive positions at the Battle of Verdun, lasting until December 1916. The Germans made initial gains, before French counter-attacks returned matters to near their starting point. Casualties were greater for the French, but the Germans bled heavily as well, with anywhere from 700,000[93] to 975,000[94] casualties suffered between the two combatants. Verdun became a symbol of French determination and self-sacrifice.[95]

    Mud stained British soldiers at rest
    Royal Irish Rifles in a communications trench, first day on the Somme, 1916

    The Battle of the Somme was an Anglo-French offensive of July to November 1916. The opening day of the offensive (1 July 1916) was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army, suffering 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead. The entire Somme offensive cost the British Army some 420,000 casualties. The French suffered another estimated 200,000 casualties and the Germans an estimated 500,000.[96] Gun fire was not the only factor taking lives; the diseases that emerged in the trenches were a major killer on both sides. The living conditions made it so that countless diseases and infections occurred, such as trench foot, shell shock, blindness/burns from mustard gas, lice, trench fever, cooties (body lice) and the 'Spanish Flu'.[97][unreliable source?]

    To maintain morale, wartime censors minimised early reports of widespread influenza illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.[98][99] Papers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII).[100] This created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit,[101] thereby giving rise to the pandemic's nickname, "Spanish Flu".[102]

    Files of soldiers with rifles slung follow close behind a tank, there is a dead body in the foreground
    Canadian troops advancing with a British Mark II tank at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917

    Protracted action at Verdun throughout 1916,[103] combined with the bloodletting at the Somme, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse. Futile attempts using frontal assault came at a high price for both the British and the French and led to the widespread French Army Mutinies, after the failure of the costly Nivelle Offensive of April–May 1917.[104] The concurrent British Battle of Arras was more limited in scope, and more successful, although ultimately of little strategic value.[105][106] A smaller part of the Arras offensive, the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps, became highly significant to that country: the idea that Canada's national identity was born out of the battle is an opinion widely held in military and general histories of Canada.[107][108]

    The last large-scale offensive of this period was a British attack (with French support) at Passchendaele (July–November 1917). This offensive opened with great promise for the Allies, before bogging down in the October mud. Casualties, though disputed, were roughly equal, at some 200,000–400,000 per side.

    The years of trench warfare on the Western front achieved no major exchanges of territory and, as a result, are often thought of as static and unchanging. However, throughout this period, British, French, and German tactics constantly evolved to meet new battlefield challenges.

    Naval war

    King George V (front left) and a group of officials inspect a British munitions factory in 1917.

    At the start of the war, the German Empire had cruisers scattered across the globe, some of which were subsequently used to attack Allied merchant shipping. The British Royal Navy systematically hunted them down, though not without some embarrassment from its inability to protect Allied shipping. Before the beginning of the war, it was widely understood that Britain held the position of strongest, most influential navy in the world.[109][unreliable source?] The publishing of the book The Influence of Sea Power upon History by Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1890 was intended to encourage the United States to increase their naval power. Instead, this book made it to Germany and inspired its readers to try to over-power the British Royal Navy.[110] For example, the German detached light cruiser SMS Emden, part of the East Asia Squadron stationed at Qingdao, seized or destroyed 15 merchantmen, as well as sinking a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer. However, most of the German East-Asia squadron—consisting of the armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig and two transport ships—did not have orders to raid shipping and was instead underway to Germany when it met British warships. The German flotilla and Dresden sank two armoured cruisers at the Battle of Coronel, but was virtually destroyed at the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, with only Dresden and a few auxiliaries escaping, but after the Battle of Más a Tierra these too had been destroyed or interned.[111]

    Battleships of the Hochseeflotte, 1917
    U-155 exhibited near Tower Bridge in London, after the 1918 Armistice

    Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Britain began a naval blockade of Germany. The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated accepted international law codified by several international agreements of the past two centuries.[112] Britain mined international waters to prevent any ships from entering entire sections of ocean, causing danger to even neutral ships.[113] Since there was limited response to this tactic of the British, Germany expected a similar response to its unrestricted submarine warfare.[114]

    The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht, or "Battle of the Skagerrak") in May/June 1916 developed into the largest naval battle of the war. It was the only full-scale clash of battleships during the war, and one of the largest in history. The Kaiserliche Marine's High Seas Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, fought the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, led by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. The engagement was a stand off, as the Germans were outmanoeuvred by the larger British fleet, but managed to escape and inflicted more damage to the British fleet than they received. Strategically, however, the British asserted their control of the sea, and the bulk of the German surface fleet remained confined to port for the duration of the war.[115]

    German U-boats attempted to cut the supply lines between North America and Britain.[116] The nature of submarine warfare meant that attacks often came without warning, giving the crews of the merchant ships little hope of survival.[116][117] The United States launched a protest, and Germany changed its rules of engagement. After the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania in 1915, Germany promised not to target passenger liners, while Britain armed its merchant ships, placing them beyond the protection of the "cruiser rules", which demanded warning and movement of crews to "a place of safety" (a standard that lifeboats did not meet).[118] Finally, in early 1917, Germany adopted a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, realising the Americans would eventually enter the war.[116][119] Germany sought to strangle Allied sea lanes before the United States could transport a large army overseas, but after initial successes eventually failed to do so.[116]

    The U-boat threat lessened in 1917, when merchant ships began travelling in convoys, escorted by destroyers. This tactic made it difficult for U-boats to find targets, which significantly lessened losses; after the hydrophone and depth charges were introduced, accompanying destroyers could attack a submerged submarine with some hope of success. Convoys slowed the flow of supplies, since ships had to wait as convoys were assembled. The solution to the delays was an extensive program of building new freighters. Troopships were too fast for the submarines and did not travel the North Atlantic in convoys.[120] The U-boats had sunk more than 5,000 Allied ships, at a cost of 199 submarines.[121]

    World War I also saw the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a successful raid against the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in July 1918, as well as blimps for antisubmarine patrol.[122]

    Southern theatres

    War in the Balkans

    Refugee transport from Serbia in Leibnitz, Styria, 1914
    Bulgarian soldiers in a trench, preparing to fire against an incoming aeroplane
    Austro-Hungarian troops executing captured Serbians, 1917. Serbia lost about 850,000 people during the war, a quarter of its pre-war population.[123]

    Faced with Russia in the east, Austria-Hungary could spare only one-third of its army to attack Serbia. After suffering heavy losses, the Austrians briefly occupied the Serbian capital, Belgrade. A Serbian counter-attack in the Battle of Kolubara succeeded in driving them from the country by the end of 1914. For the first ten months of 1915, Austria-Hungary used most of its military reserves to fight Italy. German and Austro-Hungarian diplomats, however, scored a coup by persuading Bulgaria to join the attack on Serbia.[124] The Austro-Hungarian provinces of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia provided troops for Austria-Hungary in the fight with Serbia, Russia and Italy. Montenegro allied itself with Serbia.[125]

    Bulgaria declared war on Serbia on 12 October 1915 and joined in the attack by the Austro-Hungarian army under Mackensen's army of 250,000 that was already underway. Serbia was conquered in a little more than a month, as the Central Powers, now including Bulgaria, sent in 600,000 troops total. The Serbian army, fighting on two fronts and facing certain defeat, retreated into northern Albania. The Serbs suffered defeat in the Battle of Kosovo. Montenegro covered the Serbian retreat towards the Adriatic coast in the Battle of Mojkovac in 6–7 January 1916, but ultimately the Austrians also conquered Montenegro. The surviving Serbian soldiers were evacuated by ship to Greece.[126] After conquest, Serbia was divided between Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria.[127]

    In late 1915, a Franco-British force landed at Salonica in Greece to offer assistance and to pressure its government to declare war against the Central Powers. However, the pro-German King Constantine I dismissed the pro-Allied government of Eleftherios Venizelos before the Allied expeditionary force arrived.[128] The friction between the King of Greece and the Allies continued to accumulate with the National Schism, which effectively divided Greece between regions still loyal to the king and the new provisional government of Venizelos in Salonica. After intense negotiations and an armed confrontation in Athens between Allied and royalist forces (an incident known as Noemvriana), the King of Greece resigned and his second son Alexander took his place; Greece officially joined the war on the side of the Allies in June 1917.

    The Macedonian Front was initially mostly static. French and Serbian forces retook limited areas of Macedonia by recapturing Bitola on 19 November 1916 following the costly Monastir Offensive, which brought stabilisation of the front.[129]

    Serbian and French troops finally made a breakthrough in September 1918 in the Vardar Offensive, after most of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops had been withdrawn. The Bulgarians were defeated at the Battle of Dobro Pole, and by 25 September British and French troops had crossed the border into Bulgaria proper as the Bulgarian army collapsed. Bulgaria capitulated four days later, on 29 September 1918.[130] The German high command responded by despatching troops to hold the line, but these forces were far too weak to reestablish a front.[131]

    The disappearance of the Macedonian Front meant that the road to Budapest and Vienna was now opened to Allied forces. Hindenburg and Ludendorff concluded that the strategic and operational balance had now shifted decidedly against the Central Powers and, a day after the Bulgarian collapse, insisted on an immediate peace settlement.[132]

    Ottoman Empire

    Australian troops charging near a Turkish trench during the Gallipoli Campaign

    The Ottomans threatened Russia's Caucasian territories and Britain's communications with India via the Suez Canal. As the conflict progressed, the Ottoman Empire took advantage of the European powers' preoccupation with the war and conducted large-scale ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christian populations, known as the Armenian Genocide, Greek Genocide, and Assyrian Genocide.[133][134][135]

    The British and French opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns (1914). In Gallipoli, the Ottoman Empire successfully repelled the British, French, and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs). In Mesopotamia, by contrast, after the defeat of the British defenders in the Siege of Kut by the Ottomans (1915–16), British Imperial forces reorganised and captured Baghdad in March 1917. The British were aided in Mesopotamia by local Arab and Assyrian tribesmen, while the Ottomans employed local Kurdish and Turcoman tribes.[136]

    Mehmed V greeting Wilhelm II on his arrival at Constantinople

    Further to the west, the Suez Canal was defended from Ottoman attacks in 1915 and 1916; in August, a German and Ottoman force was defeated at the Battle of Romani by the ANZAC Mounted Division and the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division. Following this victory, an Egyptian Expeditionary Force advanced across the Sinai Peninsula, pushing Ottoman forces back in the Battle of Magdhaba in December and the Battle of Rafa on the border between the Egyptian Sinai and Ottoman Palestine in January 1917.[137]

    Russian armies generally had success in the Caucasus. Enver Pasha, supreme commander of the Ottoman armed forces, was ambitious and dreamed of re-conquering central Asia and areas that had been lost to Russia previously. He was, however, a poor commander.[138] He launched an offensive against the Russians in the Caucasus in December 1914 with 100,000 troops, insisting on a frontal attack against mountainous Russian positions in winter. He lost 86% of his force at the Battle of Sarikamish.[139]

    Kaiser Wilhelm II inspecting Turkish troops of the 15th Corps in East Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Poland). Prince Leopold of Bavaria, the Supreme Commander of the German Army on the Eastern Front, is second from the left.

    The Ottoman Empire, with German support, invaded Persia (modern Iran) in December 1914 in an effort to cut off British and Russian access to petroleum reservoirs around Baku near the Caspian Sea.[140] Persia, ostensibly neutral, had long been under the spheres of British and Russian influence. The Ottomans and Germans were aided by Kurdish and Azeri forces, together with a large number of major Iranian tribes, such as the Qashqai, Tangistanis, Luristanis, and Khamseh, while the Russians and British had the support of Armenian and Assyrian forces. The Persian Campaign was to last until 1918 and end in failure for the Ottomans and their allies. However, the Russian withdrawal from the war in 1917 led to Armenian and Assyrian forces, who had hitherto inflicted a series of defeats upon the forces of the Ottomans and their allies, being cut off from supply lines, outnumbered, outgunned and isolated, forcing them to fight and flee towards British lines in northern Mesopotamia.[141]

    Russian forest trench at the Battle of Sarikamish, 1914–1915

    General Yudenich, the Russian commander from 1915 to 1916, drove the Turks out of most of the southern Caucasus with a string of victories.[139] In 1917, Russian Grand Duke Nicholas assumed command of the Caucasus front. Nicholas planned a railway from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories, so that fresh supplies could be brought up for a new offensive in 1917. However, in March 1917 (February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar), the Czar abdicated in the course of the February Revolution, and the Russian Caucasus Army began to fall apart.

    The Arab Revolt, instigated by the Arab bureau of the British Foreign Office, started June 1916 with the Battle of Mecca, led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca, and ended with the Ottoman surrender of Damascus. Fakhri Pasha, the Ottoman commander of Medina, resisted for more than two and half years during the Siege of Medina before surrendering in January 1919.[142]

    The Senussi tribe, along the border of Italian Libya and British Egypt, incited and armed by the Turks, waged a small-scale guerrilla war against Allied troops. The British were forced to dispatch 12,000 troops to oppose them in the Senussi Campaign. Their rebellion was finally crushed in mid-1916.[143]

    Total Allied casualties on the Ottoman fronts amounted 650,000 men. Total Ottoman casualties were 725,000 (325,000 dead and 400,000 wounded).[144]

    Italian participation

    A pro-war demonstration in Bologna, Italy, 1914

    Italy had been allied with the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires since 1882 as part of the Triple Alliance. However, the nation had its own designs on Austrian territory in Trentino, the Austrian Littoral, Fiume (Rijeka) and Dalmatia. Rome had a secret 1902 pact with France, effectively nullifying its part in the Triple Alliance;[145] Italy secretly agreed with France to remain neutral if the latter was attacked by Germany.[15] At the start of hostilities, Italy refused to commit troops, arguing that the Triple Alliance was defensive and that Austria-Hungary was an aggressor. The Austro-Hungarian government began negotiations to secure Italian neutrality, offering the French colony of Tunisia in return. The Allies made a counter-offer in which Italy would receive the Southern Tyrol, Austrian Littoral and territory on the Dalmatian coast after the defeat of Austria-Hungary. This was formalised by the Treaty of London. Further encouraged by the Allied invasion of Turkey in April 1915, Italy joined the Triple Entente and declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May. Fifteen months later, Italy declared war on Germany.[146]

    Austro-Hungarian troops, Tyrol

    The Italians had numerical superiority, but this advantage was lost, not only because of the difficult terrain in which the fighting took place, but also because of the strategies and tactics employed.[147][full citation needed] Field Marshal Luigi Cadorna, a staunch proponent of the frontal assault, had dreams of breaking into the Slovenian plateau, taking Ljubljana and threatening Vienna.

    On the Trentino front, the Austro-Hungarians took advantage of the mountainous terrain, which favoured the defender. After an initial strategic retreat, the front remained largely unchanged, while Austrian Kaiserschützen and Standschützen engaged Italian Alpini in bitter hand-to-hand combat throughout the summer. The Austro-Hungarians counterattacked in the Altopiano of Asiago, towards Verona and Padua, in the spring of 1916 (Strafexpedition), but made little progress and were defeated by the Italians.[148]

    Beginning in 1915, the Italians under Cadorna mounted eleven offensives on the Isonzo front along the Isonzo (Soča) River, northeast of Trieste. Of this eleven offensives, five were won by Italy, three remained inconclusive, and other three were repelled by the Austro-Hungarians, who held the higher ground. In the summer of 1916, after the Battle of Doberdò, the Italians captured the town of Gorizia. After this victory, the front remained static for over a year, despite several Italian offensives, centred on the Banjšice and Karst Plateau east of Gorizia.

    Depiction of the Battle of Doberdò, fought in August 1916 between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian armies

    The Central Powers launched a crushing offensive on 26 October 1917, spearheaded by the Germans, and achieved a victory at Caporetto (Kobarid). The Italian Army was routed and retreated more than 100 kilometres (62 mi) to reorganise. The new Italian chief of staff, Armando Diaz, ordered the Army to stop their retreat and defend the Monte Grappa summit, where fortified defenses were constructed; the Italians repelled the Austro-Hungarian and German Army, and stabilised the front at the Piave River. Since the Italian Army had suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Caporetto, the Italian Government ordered conscription of the so-called '99 Boys (Ragazzi del '99): all males born in 1899 and prior, who were 18 years old or older. In 1918, the Austro-Hungarians failed to break through in a series of battles on the Piave and were finally decisively defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in October. On 1 November, the Italian Navy destroyed much of the Austro-Hungarian fleet stationed in Pula, preventing it from being handed over to the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. On 3 November, the Italians invaded Trieste from the sea. On the same day, the Armistice of Villa Giusti was signed. By mid-November 1918, the Italian military occupied the entire former Austrian Littoral and had seized control of the portion of Dalmatia that had been guaranteed to Italy by the London Pact.[149] By the end of hostilities in November 1918,[150] Admiral Enrico Millo declared himself Italy's Governor of Dalmatia.[150] Austria-Hungary surrendered on 11 November 1918.[151][152]

    Romanian participation

    Marshal Joffre inspecting Romanian troops, 1916

    Romania had been allied with the Central Powers since 1882. When the war began, however, it declared its neutrality, arguing that because Austria-Hungary had itself declared war on Serbia, Romania was under no obligation to join the war. On 4 August 1916, Romania and the Entente signed the Political Treaty and Military Convention, that established the coordinates of Romania's participation in the war. In return, it received the Allies' formal sanction for Transylvania, Banat and other territories of Austria-Hungary to be annexed to Romania. The action had large popular support.[153] On 27 August 1916, the Romanian Army launched an attack against Austria-Hungary, with limited Russian support. The Romanian offensive was initially successful in Transylvania, but a Central Powers counterattack by the drove them back.[154] As a result of the Battle of Bucharest, the Central Powers occupied Bucharest on 6 December 1916. Fighting in Moldova continued in 1917, but Russian withdrawal from the war in late 1917 as a result of the October Revolution meant that Romania was forced to sign an armistice with the Central Powers on 9 December 1917.[155]

    Romanian troops during the Battle of Mărăşeşti, 1917

    In January 1918, Romanian forces established control over Bessarabia as the Russian Army abandoned the province. Although a treaty was signed by the Romanian and Bolshevik Russian governments following talks between 5 and 9 March 1918 on the withdrawal of Romanian forces from Bessarabia within two months, on 27 March 1918 Romania formally attached Bessarabia, inhabited by a Romanian majority, to its territory, based on a resolution passed by the local assembly of that territory on its unification with Romania.[156]

    Romania officially made peace with the Central Powers by signing the Treaty of Bucharest on 7 May 1918. Under the treaty, Romania was obliged to end the war with the Central Powers and make small territorial concessions to Austria-Hungary, ceding control of some passes in the Carpathian Mountains, and to grant oil concessions to Germany. In exchange, the Central Powers recognised the sovereignty of Romania over Bessarabia. The treaty was renounced in October 1918 by the Alexandru Marghiloman government, and Romania nominally re-entered the war on 10 November 1918 against the Central Powers. The next day, the Treaty of Bucharest was nullified by the terms of the Armistice of Compiègne.[157][158] Total Romanian deaths from 1914 to 1918, military and civilian, within contemporary borders, were estimated at 748,000.[159]

    Eastern Front

    Initial actions

    Heir presumptive Karl visiting the fortress of Przemyśl after the first siege. The Russian Siege of Przemyśl was the longest siege of the war.

    Russian plans for the start of the war called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and East Prussia. Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, it was driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914.[160][161] Russia's less developed industrial base and ineffective military leadership were instrumental in the events that unfolded. By the spring of 1915, the Russians had retreated to Galicia, and, in May, the Central Powers achieved a remarkable breakthrough on Poland's southern frontiers with their Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive.[162] On 5 August, they captured Warsaw and forced the Russians to withdraw from Poland.

    Russian Revolution

    Allied troops parade through Vladivostok in armed support of the anti-communist White Army, September 1918

    Despite Russia's success in the June 1916 Brusilov Offensive against the Austrians in eastern Galicia,[163] the offensive was undermined by the reluctance of other Russian generals to commit their forces to support the victory. Allied and Russian forces were revived only briefly by Romania's entry into the war on 27 August, as Romania was rapidly defeated by a Central Powers offensive. Meanwhile, unrest grew in Russia as the Tsar remained at the front. The increasingly incompetent rule of Empress Alexandra drew protests and resulted in the murder of her favourite, Rasputin, at the end of 1916.

    Territory lost under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    In March 1917, demonstrations in Petrograd culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak Provisional Government, which shared power with the Petrograd Soviet socialists. This arrangement led to confusion and chaos both at the front and at home. The army became increasingly ineffective.[164]

    Following the Tsar's abdication, Vladimir Lenin—with the help of the German government—was ushered by train from Switzerland into Russia 16 April 1917.[165] Discontent and the weaknesses of the Provisional Government led to a rise in the popularity of the Bolshevik Party, led by Lenin, which demanded an immediate end to the war. The Revolution of November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany. At first, the Bolsheviks refused the German terms, but when German troops began marching across Ukraine unopposed, the new government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. The treaty ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers.[166] Despite this enormous German success, the manpower required by the Germans to occupy the captured territory may have contributed to the failure of their Spring Offensive, and secured relatively little food or other materiel for the Central Powers war effort.

    With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Entente no longer existed. The Allied powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia, partly to stop Germany from exploiting Russian resources, and to a lesser extent, to support the "Whites" (as opposed to the "Reds") in the Russian Civil War.[167] Allied troops landed in Arkhangelsk and in Vladivostok as part of the North Russia Intervention.

    Czechoslovak Legion

    Czechoslovak Legion, Vladivostok, 1918

    The Czechoslovak Legion fought on the side of the Entente. Its goal was to win support for the independence of Czechoslovakia. The Legion in Russia was established in September 1914, in December 1917 in France (including volunteers from America) and in April 1918 in Italy. Czechoslovak Legion troops defeated the Austro-Hungarian army at the Ukrainian village of Zborov, in July 1917. After this success, the number of Czechoslovak legionaries increased, as well as Czechoslovak military power. In the Battle of Bakhmach, the Legion defeated the Germans and forced them to make a truce.

    In Russia, they were heavily involved in the Russian Civil War, siding with the Whites against the Bolsheviks, at times controlling most of the Trans-Siberian railway and conquering all the major cities of Siberia. The presence of the Czechoslovak Legion near Yekaterinburg appears to have been one of the motivations for the Bolshevik execution of the Tsar and his family in July 1918. Legionaries arrived less than a week afterwards and captured the city. Because Russia's European ports were not safe, the corps was evacuated by a long detour via the port of Vladivostok. The last transport was the American ship Heffron in September 1920.

    Central Powers peace overtures

    "They shall not pass", a phrase typically associated with the defence of Verdun

    On 12 December 1916, after ten brutal months of the Battle of Verdun and a successful offensive against Romania, Germany attempted to negotiate a peace with the Allies.[168] However, this attempt was rejected out of hand as a "duplicitous war ruse".[168]

    Soon after, the US President, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to intervene as a peacemaker, asking in a note for both sides to state their demands. Lloyd George's War Cabinet considered the German offer to be a ploy to create divisions amongst the Allies. After initial outrage and much deliberation, they took Wilson's note as a separate effort, signalling that the United States was on the verge of entering the war against Germany following the "submarine outrages". While the Allies debated a response to Wilson's offer, the Germans chose to rebuff it in favour of "a direct exchange of views". Learning of the German response, the Allied governments were free to make clear demands in their response of 14 January. They sought restoration of damages, the evacuation of occupied territories, reparations for France, Russia and Romania, and a recognition of the principle of nationalities.[169] This included the liberation of Italians, Slavs, Romanians, Czecho-Slovaks, and the creation of a "free and united Poland".[169] On the question of security, the Allies sought guarantees that would prevent or limit future wars, complete with sanctions, as a condition of any peace settlement.[170] The negotiations failed and the Entente powers rejected the German offer on the grounds that Germany had not put forward any specific proposals.

    1917–1918

    Events of 1917 proved decisive in ending the war, although their effects were not fully felt until 1918.

    Developments in 1917

    French Army lookout at his observation post, Haut-Rhin, France, 1917

    The British naval blockade began to have a serious impact on Germany. In response, in February 1917, the German General Staff convinced Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war. German planners estimated that unrestricted submarine warfare would cost Britain a monthly shipping loss of 600,000 tons. The General Staff acknowledged that the policy would almost certainly bring the United States into the conflict, but calculated that British shipping losses would be so high that they would be forced to sue for peace after five to six months, before American intervention could have an effect. Tonnage sunk rose above 500,000 tons per month from February to July. It peaked at 860,000 tons in April. After July, the newly re-introduced convoy system became effective in reducing the U-boat threat. Britain was safe from starvation, while German industrial output fell, and the United States joined the war far earlier than Germany had anticipated.

    On 3 May 1917, during the Nivelle Offensive, the French 2nd Colonial Division, veterans of the Battle of Verdun, refused orders, arriving drunk and without their weapons. Their officers lacked the means to punish an entire division, and harsh measures were not immediately implemented. The French Army Mutinies eventually spread to a further 54 French divisions, and 20,000 men deserted. However, appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials, encouraged the soldiers to return to defend their trenches, although the French soldiers refused to participate in further offensive action.[171] Robert Nivelle was removed from command by 15 May, replaced by General Philippe Pétain, who suspended bloody large-scale attacks.

    German film crew recording the action

    The victory of the Central Powers at the Battle of Caporetto led the Allies to convene the Rapallo Conference at which they formed the Supreme War Council to co-ordinate planning. Previously, British and French armies had operated under separate commands.

    In December, the Central Powers signed an armistice with Russia, thus freeing large numbers of German troops for use in the west. With German reinforcements and new American troops pouring in, the outcome was to be decided on the Western Front. The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war, but they held high hopes for success based on a final quick offensive. Furthermore, both sides became increasingly fearful of social unrest and revolution in Europe. Thus, both sides urgently sought a decisive victory.[172]

    In 1917, Emperor Charles I of Austria secretly attempted separate peace negotiations with Clemenceau, through his wife's brother Sixtus in Belgium as an intermediary, without the knowledge of Germany. Italy opposed the proposals. When the negotiations failed, his attempt was revealed to Germany, resulting in a diplomatic catastrophe.[173][174]

    Ottoman Empire conflict, 1917–1918

    10.5 cm Feldhaubitze 98/09 and Ottoman artillerymen at Hareira in 1917 before the Southern Palestine offensive
    British artillery battery on Mount Scopus in the Battle of Jerusalem, 1917. Foreground, a battery of 16 heavy guns. Background, conical tents and support vehicles.

    In March and April 1917, at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, German and Ottoman forces stopped the advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, which had begun in August 1916 at the Battle of Romani.[175][176] At the end of October, the Sinai and Palestine Campaign resumed, when General Edmund Allenby's XXth Corps, XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps won the Battle of Beersheba.[177] Two Ottoman armies were defeated a few weeks later at the Battle of Mughar Ridge and, early in December, Jerusalem was captured following another Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Jerusalem.[178][179][180] About this time, Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein was relieved of his duties as the Eighth Army's commander, replaced by Djevad Pasha, and a few months later the commander of the Ottoman Army in Palestine, Erich von Falkenhayn, was replaced by Otto Liman von Sanders.[181][182]

    Ottoman troops during the Mesopotamian campaign
    British troops on the march during the Mesopotamian campaign, 1917

    In early 1918, the front line was extended and the Jordan Valley was occupied, following the First Transjordan and the Second Transjordan attacks by British Empire forces in March and April 1918.[183] In March, most of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force's British infantry and Yeomanry cavalry were sent to the Western Front as a consequence of the Spring Offensive. They were replaced by Indian Army units. During several months of reorganisation and training of the summer, a number of attacks were carried out on sections of the Ottoman front line. These pushed the front line north to more advantageous positions for the Entente in preparation for an attack and to acclimatise the newly arrived Indian Army infantry. It was not until the middle of September that the integrated force was ready for large-scale operations.

    The reorganised Egyptian Expeditionary Force, with an additional mounted division, broke Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. In two days the British and Indian infantry, supported by a creeping barrage, broke the Ottoman front line and captured the headquarters of the Eighth Army (Ottoman Empire) at Tulkarm, the continuous trench lines at Tabsor, Arara, and the Seventh Army (Ottoman Empire) headquarters at Nablus. The Desert Mounted Corps rode through the break in the front line created by the infantry. During virtually continuous operations by Australian Light Horse, British mounted Yeomanry, Indian Lancers, and New Zealand Mounted Rifle brigades in the Jezreel Valley, they captured Nazareth, Afulah and Beisan, Jenin, along with Haifa on the Mediterranean coast and Daraa east of the Jordan River on the Hejaz railway. Samakh and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee were captured on the way northwards to Damascus. Meanwhile, Chaytor's Force of Australian light horse, New Zealand mounted rifles, Indian, British West Indies and Jewish infantry captured the crossings of the Jordan River, Es Salt, Amman and at Ziza most of the Fourth Army (Ottoman Empire). The Armistice of Mudros, signed at the end of October, ended hostilities with the Ottoman Empire when fighting was continuing north of Aleppo.

    15 August 1917: Peace offer by the Pope

    On or shortly before 15 August 1917 Pope Benedict XV made a peace proposal[184] suggesting:

    • No annexations
    • No indemnities, except to compensate for severe war damage in Belgium and parts of France and of Serbia
    • A solution to the problems of Alsace-Lorraine, Trentino and Trieste
    • Restoration of the Kingdom of Poland
    • Germany to pull out of Belgium and France
    • Germany's overseas colonies to be returned to Germany
    • General disarmament
    • A Supreme Court of arbitration to settle future disputes between nations
    • The freedom of the seas
    • Abolish all retaliatory economic conflicts
    • No point in ordering reparations, because so much damage had been caused to all belligerents

    Entry of the United States

    At the outbreak of the war, the United States pursued a policy of non-intervention, avoiding conflict while trying to broker a peace. When the German U-boat U-20 sank the British liner RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915 with 128 Americans among the dead, President Woodrow Wilson insisted that America is "too proud to fight" but demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships. Germany complied. Wilson unsuccessfully tried to mediate a settlement. However, he also repeatedly warned that the United States would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of international law. Former president Theodore Roosevelt denounced German acts as "piracy".[185] Wilson was narrowly re-elected in 1916 after campaigning with the slogan "he kept us out of war".[186][187][188]

    President Wilson before Congress, announcing the break in official relations with Germany on 3 February 1917

    In January 1917, Germany decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, in the hopes of starving Britain into surrender. Germany did this realising it would mean American entry. The German Foreign Minister, in the Zimmermann Telegram, invited Mexico to join the war as Germany's ally against the United States. In return, the Germans would finance Mexico's war and help it recover the territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.[189] The United Kingdom intercepted the message and presented it to the US embassy in the UK. From there it made its way to President Wilson who released the Zimmermann note to the public, and Americans saw it as casus belli. Wilson called on anti-war elements to end all wars, by winning this one and eliminating militarism from the globe. He argued that the war was so important that the US had to have a voice in the peace conference.[190] After the sinking of seven US merchant ships by submarines and the publication of the Zimmermann telegram, Wilson called for war on Germany on 2 April 1917,[191] which the US Congress declared 4 days later.

    The United States was never formally a member of the Allies but became a self-styled "Associated Power". The United States had a small army, but, after the passage of the Selective Service Act, it drafted 2.8 million men,[192] and, by summer 1918, was sending 10,000 fresh soldiers to France every day. In 1917, the US Congress granted US citizenship to Puerto Ricans to allow them to be drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones–Shafroth Act. German General Staff assumptions that it would be able to defeat the British and French forces before American troops reinforced them were proven incorrect.[193]

    The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland, and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of US Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted American units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up American units to be used as filler material. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to be used in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, and earned a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Sechault.[194] AEF doctrine called for the use of frontal assaults, which had long since been discarded by British Empire and French commanders due to the large loss of life that resulted.[195]

    German Spring Offensive of 1918

    French soldiers under General Gouraud, with machine guns amongst the ruins of a cathedral near the Marne, 1918

    Ludendorff drew up plans (codenamed Operation Michael) for the 1918 offensive on the Western Front. The Spring Offensive sought to divide the British and French forces with a series of feints and advances. The German leadership hoped to end the war before significant US forces arrived. The operation commenced on 21 March 1918 with an attack on British forces near Saint-Quentin. German forces achieved an unprecedented advance of 60 kilometres (37 mi).[196]

    British and French trenches were penetrated using novel infiltration tactics, also named Hutier tactics after General Oskar von Hutier, by specially trained units called stormtroopers. Previously, attacks had been characterised by long artillery bombardments and massed assaults. In the Spring Offensive of 1918, however, Ludendorff used artillery only briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points. They attacked command and logistics areas and bypassed points of serious resistance. More heavily armed infantry then destroyed these isolated positions. This German success relied greatly on the element of surprise.[197][citation not found]

    British 55th Division soldiers blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918

    The front moved to within 120 kilometres (75 mi) of Paris. Three heavy Krupp railway guns fired 183 shells on the capital, causing many Parisians to flee. The initial offensive was so successful that Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 24 March a national holiday. Many Germans thought victory was near. After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted. Lacking tanks or motorised artillery, the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains. The problems of re-supply were also exacerbated by increasing distances that now stretched over terrain that was shell-torn and often impassable to traffic.[198]

    General Foch pressed to use the arriving American troops as individual replacements, whereas Pershing sought to field American units as an independent force. These units were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March. A Supreme War Council of Allied forces was created at the Doullens Conference on 5 November 1917. General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the Allied forces. Haig, Petain, and Pershing retained tactical control of their respective armies; Foch assumed a co-ordinating rather than a directing role, and the British, French, and US commands operated largely independently.[199]

    Following Operation Michael, Germany launched Operation Georgette against the northern English Channel ports. The Allies halted the drive after limited territorial gains by Germany. The German Army to the south then conducted Operations Blücher and Yorck, pushing broadly towards Paris. Germany launched Operation Marne (Second Battle of the Marne) on 15 July, in an attempt to encircle Reims. The resulting counter-attack, which started the Hundred Days Offensive, marked the first successful Allied offensive of the war. By 20 July, the Germans had retreated across the Marne to their starting lines,[200] having achieved little, and the German Army never regained the initiative. German casualties between March and April 1918 were 270,000, including many highly trained stormtroopers.

    Meanwhile, Germany was falling apart at home. Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. Industrial output was half the 1913 levels.

    New states enter the war

    In the late spring of 1918, three new states were formed in the South Caucasus: the First Republic of Armenia, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, which declared their independence from the Russian Empire. Two other minor entities were established, the Centrocaspian Dictatorship and South West Caucasian Republic (the former was liquidated by Azerbaijan in the autumn of 1918 and the latter by a joint Armenian-British task force in early 1919). With the withdrawal of the Russian armies from the Caucasus front in the winter of 1917–18, the three major republics braced for an imminent Ottoman advance, which commenced in the early months of 1918. Solidarity was briefly maintained when the Transcaucasian Federative Republic was created in the spring of 1918, but this collapsed in May, when the Georgians asked for and received protection from Germany and the Azerbaijanis concluded a treaty with the Ottoman Empire that was more akin to a military alliance. Armenia was left to fend for itself and struggled for five months against the threat of a full-fledged occupation by the Ottoman Turks before defeating them at the Battle of Sardarabad.[201]

    Allied victory: summer 1918 onwards

    Hundred Days Offensive

    Between April and November 1918, the Allies increased their front-line rifle strength while German strength fell by half.[202]
    Aerial view of ruins of Vaux-devant-Damloup, France, 1918

    The Allied counteroffensive, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, began on 8 August 1918, with the Battle of Amiens. The battle involved over 400 tanks and 120,000 British, Dominion, and French troops, and by the end of its first day a gap 24 kilometres (15 mi) long had been created in the German lines. The defenders displayed a marked collapse in morale, causing Ludendorff to refer to this day as the "Black Day of the German army".[203][204][205] After an advance as far as 23 kilometres (14 mi), German resistance stiffened, and the battle was concluded on 12 August.

    Rather than continuing the Amiens battle past the point of initial success, as had been done so many times in the past, the Allies shifted attention elsewhere. Allied leaders had now realised that to continue an attack after resistance had hardened was a waste of lives, and it was better to turn a line than to try to roll over it. They began to undertake attacks in quick order to take advantage of successful advances on the flanks, then broke them off when each attack lost its initial impetus.[206]

    The day after the Offensive began, Ludendorff said: "We cannot win the war any more, but we must not lose it either." On 11 August he offered his resignation to the Kaiser, who refused it, replying, "I see that we must strike a balance. We have nearly reached the limit of our powers of resistance. The war must be ended." On 13 August, at Spa, Hindenburg, Ludendorff, the Chancellor, and Foreign Minister Hintz agreed that the war could not be ended militarily and, on the following day, the German Crown Council decided that victory in the field was now most improbable. Austria and Hungary warned that they could continue the war only until December, and Ludendorff recommended immediate peace negotiations. Prince Rupprecht warned Prince Max of Baden: "Our military situation has deteriorated so rapidly that I no longer believe we can hold out over the winter; it is even possible that a catastrophe will come earlier."[207]

    Battle of Albert

    British and Dominion forces launched the next phase of the campaign with the Battle of Albert on 21 August.[208] The assault was widened by French[207] and then further British forces in the following days. During the last week of August the Allied pressure along a 110-kilometre (68 mi) front against the enemy was heavy and unrelenting. From German accounts, "Each day was spent in bloody fighting against an ever and again on-storming enemy, and nights passed without sleep in retirements to new lines."[206]

    Faced with these advances, on 2 September the German Supreme Army Command issued orders to withdraw in the south to the Hindenburg Line. This ceded without a fight the salient seized the previous April.[209] According to Ludendorff, "We had to admit the necessity ... to withdraw the entire front from the Scarpe to the Vesle.[210] In nearly four weeks of fighting beginning on 8 August, over 100,000 German prisoners were taken. The German High Command realised that the war was lost and made attempts to reach a satisfactory end. On 10 September Hindenburg urged peace moves to Emperor Charles of Austria, and Germany appealed to the Netherlands for mediation. On 14 September Austria sent a note to all belligerents and neutrals suggesting a meeting for peace talks on neutral soil, and on 15 September Germany made a peace offer to Belgium. Both peace offers were rejected.[207]

    Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line

    An American major, piloting an observation balloon near the front, 1918

    In September the Allies advanced to the Hindenburg Line in the north and centre. The Germans continued to fight strong rear-guard actions and launched numerous counterattacks, but positions and outposts of the Line continued to fall, with the BEF alone taking 30,441 prisoners in the last week of September. On 24 September an assault by both the British and French came within 3 kilometres (2 mi) of St. Quentin. The Germans had now retreated to positions along or behind the Hindenburg Line. That same day, Supreme Army Command informed the leaders in Berlin that armistice talks were inevitable.[207]

    The final assault on the Hindenburg Line began with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, launched by French and American troops on 26 September. The following week, co-operating French and American units broke through in Champagne at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, forcing the Germans off the commanding heights, and closing towards the Belgian frontier.[211] On 8 October the line was pierced again by British and Dominion troops at the Battle of Cambrai.[212] The German army had to shorten its front and use the Dutch frontier as an anchor to fight rear-guard actions as it fell back towards Germany.

    When Bulgaria signed a separate armistice on 29 September, Ludendorff, having been under great stress for months, suffered something similar to a breakdown. It was evident that Germany could no longer mount a successful defence. The collapse of the Balkans meant that Germany was about to lose its main supplies of oil and food. Its reserves had been used up, even as US troops kept arriving at the rate of 10,000 per day.[213][214][215] The Americans supplied more than 80% of Allied oil during the war, and there was no shortage.[216]

    German Revolution 1918–1919

    German Revolution, Kiel, 1918

    News of Germany's impending military defeat spread throughout the German armed forces. The threat of mutiny was rife. Admiral Reinhard Scheer and Ludendorff decided to launch a last attempt to restore the "valour" of the German Navy.

    In northern Germany, the German Revolution of 1918–1919 began at the end of October 1918. Units of the German Navy refused to set sail for a last, large-scale operation in a war they believed to be as good as lost, initiating the uprising. The sailors' revolt, which then ensued in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, spread across the whole country within days and led to the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918, shortly thereafter to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and to German surrender.[217][218][219][215]

    New German government surrenders

    With the military faltering and with widespread loss of confidence in the Kaiser leading to his abdication and fleeing of the country, Germany moved towards surrender. Prince Maximilian of Baden took charge of a new government on 3 October as Chancellor of Germany to negotiate with the Allies. Negotiations with President Wilson began immediately, in the hope that he would offer better terms than the British and French. Wilson demanded a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary control over the German military.[220] There was no resistance when the Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann on 9 November declared Germany to be a republic. The Kaiser, kings and other hereditary rulers all were removed from power and Wilhelm fled to exile in the Netherlands. Imperial Germany was dead; a new Germany had been born as the Weimar Republic.[221]

    Armistices and capitulations

    Italian troops reach Trento during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, 1918. Italy's victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front and secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    The collapse of the Central Powers came swiftly. Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice, the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918.[25] On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated, signing the Armistice of Mudros.[25]

    Men of US 64th Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, celebrate the news of the Armistice, 11 November 1918

    On 24 October, the Italians began a push that rapidly recovered territory lost after the Battle of Caporetto. This culminated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian Army as an effective fighting force. The offensive also triggered the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the last week of October, declarations of independence were made in Budapest, Prague, and Zagreb. On 29 October, the imperial authorities asked Italy for an armistice, but the Italians continued advancing, reaching Trento, Udine, and Trieste. On 3 November, Austria-Hungary sent a flag of truce to ask for an armistice (Armistice of Villa Giusti). The terms, arranged by telegraph with the Allied Authorities in Paris, were communicated to the Austrian commander and accepted. The Armistice with Austria was signed in the Villa Giusti, near Padua, on 3 November. Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg Monarchy. In the following days the Italian Army occupied Innsbruck and all Tyrol with over 20,000 soldiers.[222]

    On 11 November, at 5:00 am, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiègne. At 11 am on 11 November 1918—"the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"—a ceasefire came into effect. During the six hours between the signing of the armistice and its taking effect, opposing armies on the Western Front began to withdraw from their positions, but fighting continued along many areas of the front, as commanders wanted to capture territory before the war ended. The occupation of the Rhineland took place following the Armistice. The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces.

    Ferdinand Foch, second from right, pictured outside the carriage in Compiègne after agreeing to the armistice that ended the war there. The carriage was later chosen by Nazi Germany as the symbolic setting of Pétain's June 1940 armistice.[223]

    In November 1918, the Allies had ample supplies of men and materiel to invade Germany. Yet at the time of the armistice, no Allied force had crossed the German frontier, the Western Front was still some 720 kilometres (450 mi) from Berlin, and the Kaiser's armies had retreated from the battlefield in good order. These factors enabled Hindenburg and other senior German leaders to spread the story that their armies had not really been defeated. This resulted in the stab-in-the-back legend,[224][225] which attributed Germany's defeat not to its inability to continue fighting (even though up to a million soldiers were suffering from the 1918 flu pandemic and unfit to fight), but to the public's failure to respond to its "patriotic calling" and the supposed intentional sabotage of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists, and Bolsheviks.

    The Allies had much more potential wealth they could spend on the war. One estimate (using 1913 US dollars) is that the Allies spent $58 billion on the war and the Central Powers only $25 billion. Among the Allies, the UK spent $21 billion and the US$17 billion; among the Central Powers Germany spent $20 billion.[226]

    Aftermath

    In the aftermath of the war, four empires disappeared: the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian. Numerous nations regained their former independence, and new ones were created. Four dynasties, together with their ancillary aristocracies, fell as a result of the war: the Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns, the Habsburgs, and the Ottomans. Belgium and Serbia were badly damaged, as was France, with 1.4 million soldiers dead,[227] not counting other casualties. Germany and Russia were similarly affected.[228]

    Formal end of the war

    The Italian Redipuglia War Memorial, which contains the remains of 100,187 soldiers
    The French military cemetery at the Douaumont ossuary, which contains the remains of more than 130,000 unknown soldiers

    A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919. The United States Senate did not ratify the treaty despite public support for it,[229][230] and did not formally end its involvement in the war until the Knox–Porter Resolution was signed on 2 July 1921 by President Warren G. Harding.[231] For the United Kingdom and the British Empire, the state of war ceased under the provisions of the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act 1918 with respect to:

    • Germany on 10 January 1920.[232]
    • Austria on 16 July 1920.[233]
    • Bulgaria on 9 August 1920.[234]
    • Hungary on 26 July 1921.[235]
    • Turkey on 6 August 1924.[236]

    After the Treaty of Versailles, treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire were signed. However, the negotiation of the treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife, and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until 24 July 1923, at Lausanne.

    Some war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919, which was when many of the troops serving abroad finally returned home; by contrast, most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November 1918. Legally, the formal peace treaties were not complete until the last, the Treaty of Lausanne, was signed. Under its terms, the Allied forces left Constantinople on 23 August 1923.

    Peace treaties and national boundaries

    Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos signing the Treaty of Sèvres

    After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the Central Powers officially ending the war. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany and, building on Wilson's 14th point, brought into being the League of Nations on 28 June 1919.[237][238]

    The Central Powers had to acknowledge responsibility for "all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by" their aggression. In the Treaty of Versailles, this statement was Article 231. This article became known as the War Guilt clause as the majority of Germans felt humiliated and resentful.[239] Overall the Germans felt they had been unjustly dealt with by what they called the "diktat of Versailles". German historian Hagen Schulze said the Treaty placed Germany "under legal sanctions, deprived of military power, economically ruined, and politically humiliated."[240] Belgian historian Laurence Van Ypersele emphasises the central role played by memory of the war and the Versailles Treaty in German politics in the 1920s and 1930s:

    Active denial of war guilt in Germany and German resentment at both reparations and continued Allied occupation of the Rhineland made widespread revision of the meaning and memory of the war problematic. The legend of the "stab in the back" and the wish to revise the "Versailles diktat", and the belief in an international threat aimed at the elimination of the German nation persisted at the heart of German politics. Even a man of peace such as [Gustav] Stresemann publicly rejected German guilt. As for the Nazis, they waved the banners of domestic treason and international conspiracy in an attempt to galvanise the German nation into a spirit of revenge. Like a Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany sought to redirect the memory of the war to the benefit of its own policies.[241]

    The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28 June 1919, by Sir William Orpen

    Meanwhile, new nations liberated from German rule viewed the treaty as recognition of wrongs committed against small nations by much larger aggressive neighbours.[242] The Peace Conference required all the defeated powers to pay reparations for all the damage done to civilians. However, owing to economic difficulties and Germany being the only defeated power with an intact economy, the burden fell largely on Germany.

    Austria-Hungary was partitioned into several successor states, including Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, largely but not entirely along ethnic lines. Transylvania was shifted from Hungary to Greater Romania. The details were contained in the Treaty of Saint-Germain and the Treaty of Trianon. As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, 3.3 million Hungarians came under foreign rule. Although the Hungarians made up approximately 54% of the population of the pre-war Kingdom of Hungary (according to the 1910 census), only 32% of its territory was left to Hungary. Between 1920 and 1924, 354,000 Hungarians fled former Hungarian territories attached to Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.[243]

    The Russian Empire, which had withdrawn from the war in 1917 after the October Revolution, lost much of its western frontier as the newly independent nations of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were carved from it. Romania took control of Bessarabia in April 1918.[244]

    The Ottoman Empire disintegrated, with much of its Levant territory awarded to various Allied powers as protectorates. The Turkish core in Anatolia was reorganised as the Republic of Turkey. The Ottoman Empire was to be partitioned by the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. This treaty was never ratified by the Sultan and was rejected by the Turkish National Movement, leading to the victorious Turkish War of Independence and the much less stringent 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

    Even though a lot of countries had already made a peace treaty, there was one exception, Andorra. Andorra declared war on Germany in August 1914, but, because it had a very small population, Andorra had never sent any soldiers to the battlefield. Because of that, Andorra was not allowed to go to the Treaty of Versailles, so the country had not made a peace treaty with Germany until 1958. When Andorra made the declaration of war, it had an army of 600 part-time militarymen, commanded by two officials.[245][246][247][248]

    National identities

    Map of territorial changes in Europe after World War I (as of 1923)

    After 123 years, Poland re-emerged as an independent country. The Kingdom of Serbia and its dynasty, as a "minor Entente nation" and the country with the most casualties per capita,[249][250][251] became the backbone of a new multinational state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia, combining the Kingdom of Bohemia with parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, became a new nation. Russia became the Soviet Union and lost Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, which became independent countries. The Ottoman Empire was soon replaced by Turkey and several other countries in the Middle East.

    In the British Empire, the war unleashed new forms of nationalism. In Australia and New Zealand the Battle of Gallipoli became known as those nations' "Baptism of Fire". It was the first major war in which the newly established countries fought, and it was one of the first times that Australian troops fought as Australians, not just subjects of the British Crown. Anzac Day, commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), celebrates this defining moment.[252][253]

    After the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian divisions fought together for the first time as a single corps, Canadians began to refer to their country as a nation "forged from fire".[254] Having succeeded on the same battleground where the "mother countries" had previously faltered, they were for the first time respected internationally for their own accomplishments. Canada entered the war as a Dominion of the British Empire and remained so, although it emerged with a greater measure of independence.[255][256] When Britain declared war in 1914, the dominions were automatically at war; at the conclusion, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were individual signatories of the Treaty of Versailles.[257]

    Lobbying by Chaim Weizmann and fear that American Jews would encourage the United States to support Germany culminated in the British government's Balfour Declaration of 1917, endorsing creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.[258] A total of more than 1,172,000 Jewish soldiers served in the Allied and Central Power forces in World War I, including 275,000 in Austria-Hungary and 450,000 in Tsarist Russia.[259]

    The establishment of the modern state of Israel and the roots of the continuing Israeli–Palestinian conflict are partially found in the unstable power dynamics of the Middle East that resulted from World War I.[260] Before the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire had maintained a modest level of peace and stability throughout the Middle East.[261] With the fall of the Ottoman government, power vacuums developed and conflicting claims to land and nationhood began to emerge.[262] The political boundaries drawn by the victors of World War I were quickly imposed, sometimes after only cursory consultation with the local population. These continue to be problematic in the 21st-century struggles for national identity.[263][264] While the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I was pivotal in contributing to the modern political situation of the Middle East, including the Arab-Israeli conflict,[265][266][267] the end of Ottoman rule also spawned lesser known disputes over water and other natural resources.[268]

    The prestige of Germany and German things in Latin America remained high after the war but did not recovered to its pre-war levels.[269][270] Indeed, in Chile the war bought an end to a period of intense scientific and cultural influence writer Eduardo de la Barra scorningly called "the German bewichment" (Spanish: el embrujamiento alemán).[269]

    Health effects

    Transporting Ottoman wounded at Sirkeci

    Of the 60 million European military personnel who were mobilised from 1914 to 1918, 8 million were killed, 7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured. Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria-Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%.[271] In Germany, civilian deaths were 474,000 higher than in peacetime, due in large part to food shortages and malnutrition that weakened resistance to disease.[272] By the end of the war, starvation caused by famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon.[273] Between 5 and 10 million people died in the Russian famine of 1921.[274] By 1922, there were between 4.5 million and 7 million homeless children in Russia as a result of nearly a decade of devastation from World War I, the Russian Civil War, and the subsequent famine of 1920–1922.[275] Numerous anti-Soviet Russians fled the country after the Revolution; by the 1930s, the northern Chinese city of Harbin had 100,000 Russians.[276] Thousands more emigrated to France, England, and the United States.

    Emergency military hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed about 675,000 people in the United States alone, Camp Funston, Kansas, 1918

    The Australian prime minister, Billy Hughes, wrote to the British prime minister, Lloyd George, "You have assured us that you cannot get better terms. I much regret it, and hope even now that some way may be found of securing agreement for demanding reparation commensurate with the tremendous sacrifices made by the British Empire and her Allies." Australia received £5,571,720 war reparations, but the direct cost of the war to Australia had been £376,993,052, and, by the mid-1930s, repatriation pensions, war gratuities, interest and sinking fund charges were £831,280,947.[277] Of about 416,000 Australians who served, about 60,000 were killed and another 152,000 were wounded.[278]

    Diseases flourished in the chaotic wartime conditions. In 1914 alone, louse-borne epidemic typhus killed 200,000 in Serbia.[279] From 1918 to 1922, Russia had about 25 million infections and 3 million deaths from epidemic typhus.[280] In 1923, 13 million Russians contracted malaria, a sharp increase from the pre-war years.[281] In addition, a major influenza epidemic spread around the world. Overall, the 1918 flu pandemic killed at least 50 million people.[282][283] Moreover, between 1915 and 1926, an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica spread around the world affecting nearly five million people.[284][285]

    The social disruption and widespread violence of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War sparked more than 2,000 pogroms in the former Russian Empire, mostly in Ukraine.[286] An estimated 60,000–200,000 civilian Jews were killed in the atrocities.[287]

    In the aftermath of World War I, Greece fought against Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal, a war that eventually resulted in a massive population exchange between the two countries under the Treaty of Lausanne.[288] According to various sources,[289] several hundred thousand Greeks died during this period, which was tied in with the Greek Genocide.[290]

    Technology

    Ground warfare

    Tanks on parade in London at the end of World War I

    World War I began as a clash of 20th-century technology and 19th-century tactics, with the inevitably large ensuing casualties. By the end of 1917, however, the major armies, now numbering millions of men, had modernised and were making use of telephone, wireless communication,[291] armoured cars, tanks,[292] and aircraft. Infantry formations were reorganised, so that 100-man companies were no longer the main unit of manoeuvre; instead, squads of 10 or so men, under the command of a junior NCO, were favoured.

    Artillery also underwent a revolution. In 1914, cannons were positioned in the front line and fired directly at their targets. By 1917, indirect fire with guns (as well as mortars and even machine guns) was commonplace, using new techniques for spotting and ranging, notably aircraft and the often overlooked field telephone.[293] Counter-battery missions became commonplace, also, and sound detection was used to locate enemy batteries.

    A Russian armoured car, 1919

    Germany was far ahead of the Allies in using heavy indirect fire. The German Army employed 150 mm (6 in) and 210 mm (8 in) howitzers in 1914, when typical French and British guns were only 75 mm (3 in) and 105 mm (4 in). The British had a 6-inch (152 mm) howitzer, but it was so heavy it had to be hauled to the field in pieces and assembled. The Germans also fielded Austrian 305 mm (12 in) and 420 mm (17 in) guns and, even at the beginning of the war, had inventories of various calibres of Minenwerfer, which were ideally suited for trench warfare.[294][295]

    38-cm "Lange Max" of Koekelare (Leugenboom), biggest gun in the world in 1917

    On 27 June 1917 the Germans used the biggest gun in the world, Batterie Pommern, nicknamed "Lange Max". This gun from Krupp was able to shoot 750 kg shells from Koekelare to Dunkirk, a distance of about 50 km (31 mi).

    Much of the combat involved trench warfare, in which hundreds often died for each metre gained. Many of the deadliest battles in history occurred during World War I. Such battles include Ypres, the Marne, Cambrai, the Somme, Verdun, and Gallipoli. The Germans employed the Haber process of nitrogen fixation to provide their forces with a constant supply of gunpowder despite the British naval blockade.[296] Artillery was responsible for the largest number of casualties[297] and consumed vast quantities of explosives. The large number of head wounds caused by exploding shells and fragmentation forced the combatant nations to develop the modern steel helmet, led by the French, who introduced the Adrian helmet in 1915. It was quickly followed by the Brodie helmet, worn by British Imperial and US troops, and in 1916 by the distinctive German Stahlhelm, a design, with improvements, still in use today.

    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime ...
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    A Canadian soldier with mustard gas burns, c. 1917–1918

    The widespread use of chemical warfare was a distinguishing feature of the conflict. Gases used included chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene. Relatively few war casualties were caused by gas,[299] as effective countermeasures to gas attacks were quickly created, such as gas masks. The use of chemical warfare and small-scale strategic bombing (as opposed to tactical bombing) were both outlawed by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and both proved to be of limited effectiveness,[300] though they captured the public imagination.[301]

    The most powerful land-based weapons were railway guns, weighing dozens of tons apiece.[302] The German version were nicknamed Big Berthas, even though the namesake was not a railway gun. Germany developed the Paris Gun, able to bombard Paris from over 100 kilometres (62 mi), though shells were relatively light at 94 kilograms (210 lb).

    British Vickers machine gun, 1917

    Trenches, machine guns, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and modern artillery with fragmentation shells helped bring the battle lines of World War I to a stalemate. The British and the French sought a solution with the creation of the tank and mechanised warfare. The British first tanks were used during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. Mechanical reliability was an issue, but the experiment proved its worth. Within a year, the British were fielding tanks by the hundreds, and they showed their potential during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, by breaking the Hindenburg Line, while combined arms teams captured 8,000 enemy soldiers and 100 guns. Meanwhile, the French introduced the first tanks with a rotating turret, the Renault FT, which became a decisive tool of the victory. The conflict also saw the introduction of light automatic weapons and submachine guns, such as the Lewis Gun, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and the Bergmann MP18.

    Another new weapon, the flamethrower, was first used by the German army and later adopted by other forces. Although not of high tactical value, the flamethrower was a powerful, demoralising weapon that caused terror on the battlefield.

    Trench railways evolved to supply the enormous quantities of food, water, and ammunition required to support large numbers of soldiers in areas where conventional transportation systems had been destroyed. Internal combustion engines and improved traction systems for automobiles and trucks/lorries eventually rendered trench railways obsolete.

    Areas taken in major attacks

    Attack areas in WW1.jpg

    On the Western Front neither side made impressive gains in the first three years of the war with attacks at Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele, and Cambrai — the exception was Nivelle's Offensive in which the German defence gave ground while mauling the attackers so badly that there were mutinies in the French Army. In 1918 the Germans smashed through the defence lines in three great attacks: Michael, on the Lys, and on the Aisne, which displayed the power of their new tactics. The Allies struck back at Soissons, which showed the Germans that they must return to the defensive, and at Amiens; tanks played a prominent role in both these assaults, as they had the year before at Cambrai.

    The areas in the East were larger. The Germans did well at the First Masurian Lakes driving the invaders from East Prussia, and at Riga, which led the Russians to sue for peace. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans joined for a great success at Gorlice–Tarnów, which drove the Russians out of Poland. In a series of attacks along with the Bulgarians they occupied Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and most of Romania. The Allies successes came later in Palestine, the beginning of the end for the Ottomans, in Macedonia, which drove the Bulgarians out of the war, and at Vittorio Veneto, the final blow for the Austro-Hungarians. The area occupied in East by the Central powers on 11 November 1918 was 1,042,600 km2 (402,600 sq mi).

    Naval

    Germany deployed U-boats (submarines) after the war began. Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Kaiserliche Marine employed them to deprive the British Isles of vital supplies. The deaths of British merchant sailors and the seeming invulnerability of U-boats led to the development of depth charges (1916), hydrophones (passive sonar, 1917), blimps, hunter-killer submarines (HMS R-1, 1917), forward-throwing anti-submarine weapons, and dipping hydrophones (the latter two both abandoned in 1918).[122] To extend their operations, the Germans proposed supply submarines (1916). Most of these would be forgotten in the interwar period until World War II revived the need.[303]

    Aviation

    RAF Sopwith Camel. In April 1917, the average life expectancy of a British pilot on the Western Front was 93 flying hours.[304]

    Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily by the Italians in Libya on 23 October 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War for reconnaissance, soon followed by the dropping of grenades and aerial photography the next year. By 1914, their military utility was obvious. They were initially used for reconnaissance and ground attack. To shoot down enemy planes, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft were developed. Strategic bombers were created, principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins as well.[305] Towards the end of the conflict, aircraft carriers were used for the first time, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a raid to destroy the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in 1918.[306]

    Luftstreitkräfte Fokker Dr.I being inspected by Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron, one of most famous pilots in the war.[307]

    Manned observation balloons, floating high above the trenches, were used as stationary reconnaissance platforms, reporting enemy movements and directing artillery. Balloons commonly had a crew of two, equipped with parachutes,[308] so that if there was an enemy air attack the crew could parachute to safety. At the time, parachutes were too heavy to be used by pilots of aircraft (with their marginal power output), and smaller versions were not developed until the end of the war; they were also opposed by the British leadership, who feared they might promote cowardice.[309]

    Recognised for their value as observation platforms, balloons were important targets for enemy aircraft. To defend them against air attack, they were heavily protected by antiaircraft guns and patrolled by friendly aircraft; to attack them, unusual weapons such as air-to-air rockets were tried. Thus, the reconnaissance value of blimps and balloons contributed to the development of air-to-air combat between all types of aircraft, and to the trench stalemate, because it was impossible to move large numbers of troops undetected. The Germans conducted air raids on England during 1915 and 1916 with airships, hoping to damage British morale and cause aircraft to be diverted from the front lines, and indeed the resulting panic led to the diversion of several squadrons of fighters from France.[305][309]

    War crimes

    Baralong incidents

    HMS Baralong

    On 19 August 1915, the German submarine U-27 was sunk by the British Q-ship HMS Baralong. All German survivors were summarily executed by Baralong's crew on the orders of Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert, the captain of the ship. The shooting was reported to the media by American citizens who were on board the Nicosia, a British freighter loaded with war supplies, which was stopped by U-27 just minutes before the incident.[310]

    On 24 September, Baralong destroyed U-41, which was in the process of sinking the cargo ship Urbino. According to Karl Goetz, the submarine's commander, Baralong continued to fly the US flag after firing on U-41 and then rammed the lifeboat—carrying the German survivors—sinking it.[311]

    Torpedoing of HMHS Llandovery Castle

    The Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-86 on 27 June 1918 in violation of international law. Only 24 of the 258 medical personnel, patients, and crew survived. Survivors reported that the U-boat surfaced and ran down the lifeboats, machine-gunning survivors in the water. The U-boat captain, Helmut Patzig, was charged with war crimes in Germany following the war, but escaped prosecution by going to the Free City of Danzig, beyond the jurisdiction of German courts.[312]

    Blockade of Germany

    After the war, the German government claimed that approximately 763,000 German civilians died from starvation and disease during the war because of the Allied blockade.[313][314] An academic study done in 1928 put the death toll at 424,000.[315] Germany protested that the Allies had used starvation as a weapon of war.[316] Sally Marks argued that the German accounts of a hunger blockade are a "myth," as Germany did not face the starvation level of Belgium and the regions of Poland and northern France that it occupied.[317] According to the British judge and legal philosopher Patrick Devlin, "The War Orders given by the Admiralty on 26 August [1914] were clear enough. All food consigned to Germany through neutral ports was to be captured and all food consigned to Rotterdam was to be presumed consigned to Germany. ... The British were determined on the starvation policy, whether or not it was lawful."[318]

    Chemical weapons in warfare

    French soldiers making a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders

    The German army was the first to successfully deploy chemical weapons during the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915), after German scientists working under the direction of Fritz Haber at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute developed a method to weaponize chlorine.[i][319] The use of chemical weapons was sanctioned by the German High Command in an effort to force Allied soldiers out of their entrenched positions, complementing rather than supplanting more lethal conventional weapons.[319] In time, chemical weapons were deployed by all major belligerents throughout the war, inflicting approximately 1.3 million casualties, but relatively few fatalities: About 90,000 in total.[319] For example, there were an estimated 186,000 British chemical weapons casualties during the war (80% of which were the result of exposure to the vesicant sulfur mustard, introduced to the battlefield by the Germans in July 1917, which burns the skin at any point of contact and inflicts more severe lung damage than chlorine or phosgene),[319] and up to one-third of American casualties were caused by them. The Russian Army reportedly suffered roughly 500,000 chemical weapon casualties in World War I.[320] The use of chemical weapons in warfare was in direct violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which prohibited their use.[321][322]

    The effect of poison gas was not limited to combatants. Civilians were at risk from the gases as winds blew the poison gases through their towns, and they rarely received warnings or alerts of potential danger. In addition to absent warning systems, civilians often did not have access to effective gas masks. An estimated 100,000–260,000 civilian casualties were caused by chemical weapons during the conflict and tens of thousands more (along with military personnel) died from scarring of the lungs, skin damage, and cerebral damage in the years after the conflict ended. Many commanders on both sides knew such weapons would cause major harm to civilians but nonetheless continued to use them. British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote in his diary, "My officers and I were aware that such weapons would cause harm to women and children living in nearby towns, as strong winds were common in the battlefront. However, because the weapon was to be directed against the enemy, none of us were overly concerned at all."[323][324][325][326]

    The war damaged chemistry's prestige in European societies, in particular the German variety.[327]

    Genocide and ethnic cleansing

    Ottoman Empire

    Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, written by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and published in 1918.[328]
    Austro-Hungarian soldiers executing men and women in Serbia, 1916[329]

    The ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population, including mass deportations and executions, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is considered genocide.[330] The Ottomans carried out organised and systematic massacres of the Armenian population at the beginning of the war and portrayed deliberately provoked acts of Armenian resistance as rebellions to justify further extermination.[331] In early 1915, a number of Armenians volunteered to join the Russian forces and the Ottoman government used this as a pretext to issue the Tehcir Law (Law on Deportation), which authorised the deportation of Armenians from the Empire's eastern provinces to Syria between 1915 and 1918. The Armenians were intentionally