Thursday, November 6, 2008

World War-1

I have always loved reading and knowing the intricacies of Wars. I have always liked to know what must have been the reasons involved that could lead to humongous wars on the face of this planet. And a war as huge as World War would certainly fascinate any one.
And i would like to share the knowledge i have acquired over the period of time about those times of blood, toil, tears and sweat. This article is about World War-1.

By the year 1913, tensions had been building up in various affluent countries of Europe over myriads of issues like:

-Huge spendings on the warfare.
-UK having large colonies across the globe (Imperialism), made Germany jealous (yes right word).
-France's resentment over its large territories acquired by Germany.
-Many smaller European colonies no longer wanted to be part of their larger counterparts (like Bosnia and Herzegovina no longer wanted to be a part of Austria-Hungary but instead be part of Serbia.)

But one incident that triggered this sleeping Dragon (read war) - The assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir to the Austrian Empire) at Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia). A member of Black Hand Gang (which wanted to rid Bosnia of Austrian rule) shot Franz and his wife. This agitated Austria. Austria suspected Serbia becuase of its closeness to Bosnia and sensing the selfish motive of Serbia taking over Bosnia. This lead to Austria attacking Serbia.

But Serbia was an ally of Russia and hence Russia jumped in to rescue Serbia. Serbia alone could have been an easy prey for Austria but now that Russia was also involved - Germany was called for help. Germany entering war made France angry but Germany was willing to help because of something more dangerous cooking up in its closet. This was the Schlieffen Plan.

Schlieffen being a senior German army officer felt that German army was better than any other army in Europe. But it would be tough for it to fight both France and Russia on the warfronts. However, he felt that the large Russian army would require at least 6weeks to mobilize and this time was enough for diminishing the French front. Hence, after finishing off France, the advanced railway network of Germany would take the army towards east and deal with the Russians.

So, the Schleffen plan was carried out to attack France via Belgium. But Belgium was supported by Britain and hence Britain came into the picture. Later on Italy also jumped in to aid Germany-Austria.
Now there were two clear fronts:

The Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria, Italy) and
The Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia)

All these alliances were solely based on selfish motives. For instance, France aided Britain for the want of the huge fleet of British navy and Britain due to France's modern army. Only aiding each other, they could stand against the mighty Germany - which had the most modern warfare both on land and sea.

Later on almost all the European countries and their colonies got involved in the bloodshed. This all lead to uncountable strategies and alliances all around the globe. But one major event turned out to be very major setback for Germany.

US was unwilling to join the war as an ally to the Britain and party. There were tensions with regards to Germany bombing passenger ships carrying Americans. But, a message decoded by Britain that was sent by Germany to Mexico urged US to roar. Actually, Germany wanted Mexico (with the aid of Japan) to attack US, provided it jumps into the war. In return, Germany would help Mexico get the US acquired states like New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

This stirred up America and hence it actively got involved in the war as an Associated Ally in the year 1917. By then, things had already started getting rough for the Triple Alliance. Russia under smart leadership of Lenin was gaining force. France and Britain aided by their colonies all around were fighting hard. Germany, Japan, Austria started losing the sheen.

By the end of the year 1918 - time for treaties was round the corner. Germany agreed on armistice with the allied powers on 11th of November. And the war completely ceased with Treaty of Versailles (called "Versai") in the mid of 1919. The whole of Europe was redefined as a consequence of war. Central Powers lost a lot of territories and new nations were formulated.
And this also lead to the creation of League of Nations which failed in the years to follow. More about that and WW-2 in some future blog.
I feel good i compiled this :)

1 comment:

Kumaran Raman said...

Interesting..! I have an article here on the strange inventions during WW2.. this might interest you.