WW1 & WW2

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WW1 & WW2

By | October 2013
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British History

WW 1 & 2

THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918

Entente Powers
British Empire
-France
Russian Empire
Japan
Italy
United States (1917)

Central Alliance Powers
Germany
Austria-Hungary
Ottoman Empire
Bulgaria

The War started when Archduke Frans Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. The War spread via the empires and therefore became so ‘large’.

The common perception of imperial wars in Britain in the late 19th century:
“An opportunity for adventure, for showing bravery and winning glory.”

-> Very ungentlemanly war, trenches – chemical weapons. New weapons, like tanks, subarines and weapons of mass destruction. No room for bravery or chivalry when using these types of weapons.

“Lions led by donkeys.”

Submarines made it possible to destroy the enemy, without actually endangering yourself.

Trenches meant unsanitary conditions, where diseases flourished, and so many died of disease if they did not die in the trenches, like the Spanish flue, typhus etc.

The British were used to having an advantage of numbers (slaves mainly) but these proved useless when the tanks ‘got in the game’.

Armistice 11th of November 1918

THE COST OF WW1 TO THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Weakening of the Empire (trade disrupted, demands for self-govt.) Economy – geared to war, so complete restructuring needed
-> Est. loss of ¼ of total British wealth (not imperial)
- Lives (heyck): 750,000 (mostly military; Empire 250,000)

Second Battle of Ypres, Flanders 1915
33 days of shelling, attacks and counter-attacks
some of the first chemical attacks in the war (clorine gas)

“Poppies” (worn on the 11th of November by the British and by most of the commonwealth) By Lt. Colonel / Medical Officer John McRae (1872-1918)

COMMEMORATION:
Nation building
“Lest we forget!” (% Repetition)

THE COST OF WW2 TO BRITAIN
Loss of Empire, it became obvious that the UK could no longer afford to uphold an Empire. Economy exhausted. Marshall...