1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Historical Background:

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Pre August 1914: Europe was a series of intertwined and competing alliance systems held in a very delicate balance consisting of-

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Triple Alliance- Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, Italy (Italy also has a secret agreement with France)

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Triple Entente- Russian Empire, France, British Empire

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 This network of alliances all but ensured that any diplomatic or military incident would engulf more than two countries. The alliances effectively functioned as an elaborate domino network; if one fell it would take the rest with it.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Post August 1914: After the dust of the initial battles settled the alliances stabilized as-

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 The Central Powers- Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, and the *Ottoman Turkish Empire

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 The Allied Powers- Russian Empire, France, British Empire *Italy

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 *Italy decides that as Austria-Hungary and Germany are the aggressors they are not bound by their mutual defense treaty and enter the war on the Allied side in exchange for territories in Northern Italy.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 *The Ottoman Turks are mostly a side-show; they tie up the Allied Powers troops and supplies and keep them from the battle in Europe.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 ———————————————————————————————————————

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 Even though the characters are exclusively involved in the Western Front I’ve included the others because they’ll come up in conversation.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Eastern Front– Russian and Austro-Hungarian/German border.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Naval– mostly Britain’s blockade of Germany, some action in the Mediterranean

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Italian-Northern border of Italy- Italian Alps

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 Mediterranean- present day Middle-East – Most of the tensions in today’s Middle East are a direct result of the Allied Powers conquest of Turkish territories

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 Western Front– Northeastern France- Also called “Flander’s Position” where both armies go back and forth over the same area for four years.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0  

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 The Hungarians decide that this is a Prussian/Hapsburg fight and has nothing to do with them, and they spend the war camped out on the Carpathian Mountains defending the Hungarian homeland. The Austrian Army is all but decimated in the first month of the war, and after bailing them out one too many times the Germans assume direct control of the Austrian forces.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Other small nation states join on various sides- ex. Romania on the Allied, and Bulgaria on the Central

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Japan enters on the Allied side August 1914

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Due to the Russian Revolution (the Germans smuggle Lenin in) Russia signs a separate peace treaty with Germany in 1917.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 The United States entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers in April 1917.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 ———————————————————————————————————————

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Noteworthy Events:

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 Russian Revolution- Tsarist Monarchy is overthrown

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 Bolshevik Revolution-  Russia’s Provisional Government is overthrown by the Bolsheviks and eventually becomes the Soviet Union

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 Easter Rising 1916- Irish Nationalists takeover a post office and the British response turns lukewarm public support into a full blown revolt after WWI.

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 Armenian Genocide- a touchy diplomatic subject today but in between 1915 and 1925 Armenian Christians were systemically persecuted by Turkish Muslims. 600,000 to 1.2 million are estimated to have died, with others exiled, and young children forcibly adopted and converted.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 ———————————————————————————————————————

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 Medical Advances- Germ theory was universally accepted, but the only antibiotic available was a chemical compound used to treat syphilis. Vaccines/inoculations were available for smallpox, cholera and typhoid.

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Pain management was usually some form of an opioid or aspirin.

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 X-rays were developed around 1895.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 Plastic/Reconstructive surgery was a new up and coming field due to the large number of facial injuries.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 Shell-Shock– today’s PTSD and what was probably post-concussive syndrome. Treatments included electro-shock, ice water, isolation, and later hypnosis or the “talking cure”. Just to be perfectly clear- these were treatments NOT punishments. The logic was that if one “shock” was the cause, then another “shock” -electric, cold- would serve as a cure.

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Influenza Pandemic 1918-1919/Spanish Flu– an extremely virulent form of the influenza virus (H1N1).  It’s thought to have originated in Kansas and was then circulated around the world by troop movements and close quarters. Spanish flu was notorious for killing young and middle-aged people although recovery was possible. To give an idea of the severity of the influenza epidemic- HIV/AIDS has been the cause of approximately 34.5 million deaths worldwide from 1981 to 2017, a period of over thirty years. Spanish flu had a world death toll of approximately 50 million between 1918 and 1920.


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