Hot answers tagged

55

sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with little prospect of gains for either side. The lines on the Western Front were not by any stretch of the imagination "short". The Western Front ran all the way from Switzerland to the Atlantic Ocean. Side attacks? Well the Race to the Sea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


40

Italy's main issue was its enmity with Austria-Hungary, Germany's main ally. That made Italy the "odd man out" in the so-called Triple Alliance with the other two. Italy had joined (reluctantly) with Germany out of a fear of France. This occurred when France and Britain concluded an alliance that made Britain responsible for the mutual defense of the ...


36

Still happening -- Ypres: World War One weapon explodes, killing two


29

Yet another concurring (tanks were important, but not the only reason), but different, answer. Already at the end of WWI, the tactics for trench assault had improved. Instead of just swarming enemy trenches with infantry, weak points were exploited and strongholds bypassed. The role and nature of artillery support also changed. The barrages that lasted ...


28

Complimentary to Tom's answer, you have to ask yourself which side they'd come in on. There's nothing really useful in terms of territory they could get out of Germany or Austria-Hungary, since both were way on the other side of Europe. If they'd gone in on the other side, they could perhaps have gotten useful territory from France. However, French forces ...


28

To expand on Sid's answer, for those who are interested. Unfortunately, it is likely to continue for a fair while. Estimates given by ordnance disposal experts in Belgium by the (BBC in 1998) and by The Telegraph in 2013 estimate that the last un-exploded munitions from WW1 won't be removed for another 50 to 400 years. It is estimated that for every square ...


28

There were no "sides" where one might perform a side-attack. After the initial German push was defeated at the First Battle of the Marne, the British and French attacked the Germans at the First Battle of the Aisne. There, both the Germans and the Entente found how effective entrenching was against attacking troops. Having failed the frontal attacks and ...


25

Simply because Switzerland was a worse alternative plan strategically than Netherlands and Belgium. Hitler had a plan to attack Switzerland, named Operation Tannenbaum but the Maginot line could be breached through Belgium and Netherland. So it became needless conflict with no gain. It is a less known fact that Switzerland (German part namely) was part of ...


23

The moral justification isn't hard to find. Russia was the only Allied power to enter the war "on its own". If you look at the stated reasons of other countries: Germany declared war on France because it expected France to ally with Russia. Great Britain joined the war because Germany violated Belgian neutrality. And USA joined the war because of German ...


22

As Shmuel Brill points out, there really wasn't a way around the trenches, the only choice was through, and that was a tough proposition. We're talking about ground troops who do not have significant body armor other than a helmet, armed primarily with bolt action rifles and bayonets, advancing on foot over significant distances of open ground against ...


20

Very unfavorable. While the Treaty of Versailles doesn't explicitly call it a surrender, Germany did surrender and was forced to accept all responsibility for the war (while obviously not being the only party responsible). I will refer to the text of the treaty in the following. In particular: Germany lost the Saar Basin to France "as compensation for the ...


20

I think you're asking two questions: why were such harsh conditions imposed, and why did Germany accept. As for why they were imposed: "Some also argue that the treaty was meant to permanently render Germany useless as a military might" – Not so totally, but I think this is the answer. It's what the French wanted, and their security concerns won out over ...


20

Yes, surprising as it is, I found credible sources indicating that there was some discussion of offering India East Africa as a mandate. Perhaps it is useful for others who wish to read more about this a full detail of my sources. In "How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics (2014)" by Itty Abraham, I found this quote: On war ...


19

I think the book For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America said it best on page 346 "The American role in World War I derived its character less from strategic thinking than from the geopolitical notion that the future well-being of the United States depended upon the balance of power in Europe and the outcome of the war." ...


19

This isn't quite accurate. After WWI Germany was saddled with two kinds of war debts. The first kind, reparations, were payable to the aggrieved parties. The value of this was set via the Treaty of Versailles in Gold Marks, which are gold backed, and thus cannot inflate or deflate relative to gold. The second kind was in loans the German government took ...


19

A Russian revolution caused by the Bolsheviks was most definitely the goal of the Germans when they allowed Lenin to pass through their lands. Germany wished to undermine, or end, the Russian war effort and sending Lenin back was done for that purpose. If true, who came up with the idea and was there any consideration that a communist Russia could ...


19

Short answer: points 4-6 were unreasonable to the point of being unacceptable, because they gave Vienna so much power over Serbia that it amounted to a forfeiture of Serbian independence. This isn't unique to the time period or Serbia. Countries generally are not happy to subjugate themselves to a hated enemy. Whether they could afford to resist is another ...


18

Shields for soldiers were tried during the First World War. In order to stop high power rifle rounds, they had to be rather heavy weight steel plate. This made them difficult to move and carry. One French design made a wheeled shield known as the Mobile Personnel Shield. This proved too heavy and cumbersome to use in combat. However, it may have played a ...


18

It is really, really hard to assign guilt or blame like this in most wars. I think in some ways we are spoiled by World War II, it being about a classic evil mastermind trying to take over the world and all, who kept taking over land and countries until it was clear that the best diplomatic efforts of everyone else had failed. That's just not how most wars ...


18

In the Battle of Savo Island the Japanese cruisers repeatedly hit US and Australian ships with torpedoes. There was only 1 destroyer present versus 7 cruisers, and it is likely that most if not all of the torpedo hits that sunk 3 cruisers and led to another being scuttled were from the cruisers. Certainly the US Navy credited to them. Also: The British ...


18

The existing answers provide detail on why side attacks and real breakthroughs were impossible in practice. I want to add a theoretic level why strategists might also wouldn't want them. To answer your question with emphasize on the "accept" part, I would like to refer you to a military theorist who foresaw some developments and is thus still taught at many ...


17

Here are some rough specs for common planes (as I said in the comment, the endurance depends on various factors). Sopwith Camel (BR) combat endurance (at 1000 m) - 2:30 (hr.:min.) cruise endurance (...) - 5:00 SPAD S.XIII (FR) combat endurance (...) - 1:30-2:00 cruise endurance (...) - 3:00 Albatross D.III (GER) combat endurance (...) - 1:30-2:00 ...


17

Church bells have both an ecclesiastical use, and a secular use. In the secular realm, church bells are used to notify the local inhabitants of emergency conditions (particularly in an era when wireless & TV are not commonplace). Church bells were silenced to prevent false alarms. Ringing church bells was forbidden by the Defense of the Realm Act. ...


16

Here's the exact description of the photo, according to Hitlerpages.com: Hitler and his fellow-soldiers in Fournes en Weppes, April 1915. First row: Adolf Hitler, Balthasar Brandmayer, Anton Bachmann, Foxl, Max Mund. Second row: Ernst Schmidt, Johann Sperl, Jakob Weiß, Karl Tiefenböck. This way, your man is called Balthasar Brandmayer. But it ...


16

There was no magic transportation, of course. France moved troops by land; British Expeditionary Force landed from sea, and then moved to Belgium during August 1914. The relevant diplomatic documents are available in so-called "The Belgian Grey Book". Here is Russian edition of 1915. And here are English translations available online. The events were as ...


15

There were two power blocs, the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy), and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia). Spain was part of neither and had no reason to support one or the other.(Italy later switched sides). Spain was fortunate to be outside of the main battle areas: France, Belgium, Poland, the Balkans, western Russia. It had no ...


15

Yes. Tsar Nicholas II issued a manifesto on 19 July (i.e. 1 August, New Style) which is considered Russia's declaration of war against Germany. Made in response to the German notice, it was read to a crowd from the balcony of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg at 3 p.m. the next day. I can't locate the original text, but here's a translated excerpt: ...


13

The effect of WWI on the US economy was considerable. There are two effects that the war had on the US economy: short term, and long term. For the short term effect the US economy grew in the buildup to the war and during its prosecution. From 1915 the US made tons of loans to the UK to help them in their war effort. It is not a stretch to say that WWI was ...


13

It's unclear if you mean whether it was (1) a ruse by Wilson against the American public, or (2) Germany against the USA, or (3) Germany against Mexico, or (4) British against USA? As far as being a ruse by Wilson (e.g. he made up the telegram to present to Congress), this can likely be discounted since there is documentary evidence - in 2005, an ...



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