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2

Although, as you note, millions of shells were fired before the larger battles, the damage done by these shells was largely incidental and known to be so. Of much greater significance leading up to an assault was the suppression of enemy fire while friendly troops were in No-Man's Land, and a further shock-induced delay after the barrage lifted before ...


4

Both sides did quite a lot of testing pre-war. That's why they had detailed tables that showed that X shells in Y hours would destroy anything. As it turned out, though, all this testing turned out to be irrelevant to the actual battlefield conditions of the Trenches. The problem is that in a war with your troops at risk, countries are far more willing to ...


3

Wow, yeah that's one heck of a question... And considering that you're talking about the foundational tragedy for a century of wars across multiple continents it's an important one to understand. The list of treaties above provides a good at the political structure that Franz Ferdinand's assassination "activated" but it is insanely hard for one work on the ...


2

The question seems lame for first sight, but makes sense in depth. The alliance systems weren't trivial at the start of World War 1 (or Great War). First I recommend to check out the timeline and look for the first dozens of lines of politics in gray. The outbreak of war wasn't one instance, it was a domino effect of triggers in alliances, warnings, ...


5

The Wikipedia page on the British Official History of the Great War. A lot of the volumes are available as PDFs in various web archives. For example, this map, in the chapter on First Contact with the Enemy is extracted from a volume freely available:



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