The Allies: Great Britain, France and Russia.
The Central Powers: Germany and Austria-Hungary.
The atmosphere at the start of the war was very excited: they went to the Grand Picnic, “” the War to end all wars’, ‘We’ll be home before Christmas’, …
The Germans had already prepared for a time a two-front war. It was expected that France would attack Germany in the east and Russia to the west. A German General Von Schlieffen, was therefore a plan was developed. The German army would first defeat France in the west. Before they would go to southern France, Netherlands and Belgium to draw. So they wanted to surround the French army. It is expected that the French army to the French-German border would attract. Under the plan, the French would soon be defeated.
Then they would sail into Russia. They took for granted that the Russian army three months needed to mobilize. At that time, France was defeated and the Germans could concentrate on Russia.
They had to constantly compromise between the Allies and the Central Powers.
– Dutch ships were sunk by the Germans. The Dutch government did not respond.
– When a British plane accidentally bombed Zierikzee, Netherlands barely reacted.
– The British came out in March 1918 seizure of Dutch ships, the Dutch because they accused the Germans to help.
– When the German emperor on November 10, 1918 asked for asylum in the Netherlands, he was allowed by the government, despite protest from the Allies.
– Netherlands were cut off from the outside world with electric fencing.
– Playing the Dutch national anthem (ick … I Duytsen of blood) was banned.
The countries which remained neutral during World War I, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela, Sweden and Switzerland.
The life of refugees in a retreat was very strictly regulated. Only once a week was taken a bath and the women were allowed only once a week doing laundry. Everyone had a specific task, the women made clothing, the men made such detachable housing and the children were attending school. Yet there was also entertainment provided, such as a turnvereniging, a band, theater, etc.
Creative ways to get through under the wire were: a wooden sash, barrels, high wooden ladders, a kind of underground railroad, …
New weapons used were: tanks, gas, long-range cannons, machine guns, hand grenades, submarines and fighter aircraft.
The two bloodiest battles on the Western Front, the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. In February 1916 the German military plotted a massive attack against the French at Verdun. The aim was to crush the French army, hoping that the British would stop the fight whatsoever.
Simultaneously with the French planned a joint attack against the British, the German army at the Somme.
Verdun and the Somme became symbols of the futility of this war. From February to July 1916 the French lost 460,000 soldiers, nearly 300,000 Germans. The British who fought on the Somme lost on the first day of the attack 60,000 men. Moreover, the front line barely moved.
After the war changed very little for women. During the war they had taken the place of men in the industry. But after World War I, they were allowed back home. In most European countries, there was universal suffrage. That means that everyone (men and women) had a voice. In the Netherlands and Belgium took however until after World War II before also gave women the vote in national elections.
Germany was blamed for the outbreak of war. It had a huge amount of compensation payable: 296,000,000 gold marks.
Germany lost territories to France, Denmark, Poland and Belgium. It also had to relinquish its colonies.
The First World War in Belgium (commissioned for the Dutch)
The technique for putting an area under water, will “flood” mentioned. At the mouth of Newport, the sliding doors of the sluices before each flood. At low tide the floodgates closed. This was too much water in the river that flooded. The locks were opened for several days and closed to prevent the water ran back into the sea.
The peace monument in Diksmuide called the iron tower.
The greatest enemies of the soldiers were: boredom, vermin (rats and lice), humidity, cold, mud, misery, mental problems, etc.
Some bright spots were the adventure and friendship.
From Nieuwpoort to Ypres was the front line defended by the French and Belgian army, the north and north-east of Ypres took the French troops on their behalf, to just south of Ypres on the French border was defended by the British Army and from as to the Swiss border was the French army ready.
The flags of Canada (1), Australia (2), India (3) and New Zealand (4).
On October 12, 1917 among the New Zealanders took an attempt to take the village of Passchendaele. An earlier British attempt had failed. The battlefield was a big pool of mud and there was nothing left standing. Despite the terrible conditions the British troops were trying to take the village, without much success at the expense of very heavy losses. On November 10 Passchendaele was taken by a Canadian unit. Fighting in October and November would be remembered as “the Hell of Passchendaele,” a term that hardly the misery of the fighting can summarize. The British lost in those few weeks 244,897 men and 217,000 Germans.
Mustard gas is also Yperite, because it was first used in Ypres.
Initially they tried to protect themselves from the gas by urinating on a handkerchief and the mouth.
The first half of 1917 was marked by major offensives of the Allies. There were always many victims and it made little territorial gain. The French army was thereby in a (psychological) crisis. Large groups of soldiers refused service and only by tough measures, including the shooting of some insurgents, the soldiers could be back to obey.
Number of countries deployed soldiers wounded a number of fatalities. RUSSIA 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2. GERMANY 11,000,000 1,773,000 4,216,000 3. THE BRITISH EMPIRE 8,900,000 908,400 2,090,000 4. FRANCE 8,400,000 1,385,000 4,266,000 5. 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 AUSTRIA-HUNGARY The Treaty of Versailles it was decided that Belgium Eastern Cantons (the region of Eupen, Malmedy and Sankt Vith) received the mandate territory and Rwanda and Burundi in Africa. For Belgium this was insufficient. The newspaper headlines therefore “leave Belgium and humiliated by his allies.”