The Last Year of WW1

The Last Year of WW1

The Last Year of WW1 Coming and Going 1917 was a difficult year for the Allies. Offensives on the Western Front had suffered loses and one of their strongest allies, the Russians, were struggling with a revolution at home and on the battlefield. * This Russian Revolution, which began in November of 1917, led to Russia withdrawing from the war in early March of 1918. While the Russians were leaving the American were just showing up. American had begun to send troops in mid

1917 but they didnt send the bulk of their army until 1918. All Russian No Finnish On March 3rd, 1918 The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between the newly formed Russian Bolshevik government and the Central powers. The road to this treaty was rough as the Bolshevik party found themselves under pressure to seek peace and to bring the troops home from the war. After much deliberation, stalling, and demands the Germans issued an ultimatum to Russia sign in 5 days or the ceasefire would end and the war continues. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Under the terms of this new agreement

Poland, Finland, the Baltic states and most of the Ukraine would be surrendered to Germany. Russia would lose 1.3 million square miles of important territory, including important grain-growing regions in the Ukraine. It would surrender 62 million people to German rule, or around one-third of its total population. It would also lose 28 percent of its heavy industries and three-quarters of its iron and coal reserves. 25% of its railways were also

lost. The New German Offensive Russian withdrawal from the war in 1918 offered Germany a new hope for a successful end to the war as they were able to concentrate their efforts on the Western Front. Erich Ludendorff, Quartermaster General of the German Army, attempted to make one final military gamble to break the stalemate. At the time German lines were short of provisions, reserves were nearly depleted, and the German Homefront was tired of the growing number of deaths and the staggering cost of this prolonged war.

The Gamble The final push towards Paris started in March of 1918 and by April the Germans were within 80km of the city. The advance of the German army was stopped at the 2 nd Battle of the Marne on July 18. French, Moroccan and 140,000 fresh American troops supported by hundreds of tanks pushed the Germans back and on Aug. 8 the forces met at the 2nd Battle of the Somme. Ludendorff wrote about this battle: August 8 put the decline on [our] fighting power beyond all doubt, and in such a situation, as regards reserves, I had no hope of finding a strategic expedient whereby to turn the situation to our advantage.

Armistice, more like DISARMistice As 1918 rolls around a million more American troops pour into France and the Allies began an advance on Germany. On September 29, 1918, General Ludendorff tells the German leaders that the war was lost and he demand that the government ask for an armistice at once. While an armistice was wanted the Germans discovered that the Allies were not willing to make peace with the autocratic imperial government of Germany. While mutinies and unrest swept across the German

country Emperor Wilhelm II gave in to public pressure and left the country. The Paris Peace Settlements After Wilhelm IIs departure, the Social Democrats under Friedrich Ebert announce the creation of a democratic republic and on Nov. 11th the new German government sign an armistice. The following January representatives of 27 victorious Allied nations met in Paris to create a final settlement for WW1. Activity - debate

Use the handout that contains American President Woodrow Wilsons 14 Points to prepare a debate discussing the pros and cons of these points. You should prepare a brief argument for each point depending on if you represent the Allies or the Central Powers. Summary of the 14 Points 1. No more secret agreements between countries. Diplomacy shall be open to the world. 8.

France will regain all territory including the disputed land of Alsace-Lorraine. 2. International seas shall be free to navigate during peace and war. 9. 3. There shall be free trade between the countries who accept the peace. The borders of Italy will be established such

that all Italians will be within the country of Italy. 4. There shall be a worldwide reduction in weapons and armies by all countries. 5. Colonial claims over land and regions will be fair. 6. Russia will be allowed to determine its own form of government. All German troops will leave

Russian soil. 7. German troops will evacuate Belgium and Belgium will be an independent country. 10. Austria-Hungary will be allowed to continue to be an independent country. 11. The Central Powers will evacuate Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania leaving them as independent countries. 12. The Turkish people of the Ottoman Empire will

have their own country. Other nationalities under the Ottoman rule will also have security. 13. Poland shall be an independent country. 14. A League of Nations will be formed that protects the independence of all countries no matter how big or small.

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