The war at sea Essay
The war at sea
Despite this fact they were only a side show to the Western Front. Aeroplanes were significant to the war effort as they brought glamour and gave cvillians and soldiers on the Western front hope as well as heros to believe in. This boosted the morale of the nation and helped the war at sea, on the home Front and on the Western Front. The Home Front: The war of 1914-1918 was the first war thathad an impact on everyone. No longer did a war involve sopldiers or men in the armed forces alone. Helpless civilians were also affected.
The first world War touched everyone at some point throughout its duration, and people who lived in cities were the victims of bombardments by enemy planes. The First World War was the fist time that blackouts were introduced, this was so German planes would not know when they were opver a city. The alarm would sound and everyone would take cover intheir bomb shelters until a second alarm sounded to say it was safe to come out. When the war started Britain had only a small professional army. The government decided to invest a lot of money into advertsing aspects of the war; fighting for ones country and trying to encourage patriotsm.
Posters and leaflets were plastered everywhere to promote and encourage recruitment to the armed forces. Propoganda was vital to ensure men signed up. The British press reinforced the governments recruitment drive with tales of German atrocities such as the murder of babies and nurses and the raping of HELPLESS WOME. One of the most popular stories of the time was that of German factories making soap from boiled corpses. The campaign to enrol men was very succesfull and by 1916 over 2 million had enlisted. In 1916 the government introduced conscription for men between the ages of 16 and 40 for the first time.
This was due to many reasons; the number of men volunteering for the war was dropping, the lower classes were conscribing which was crippling the agricultural system whilst the upper classes did not volunteer. The war effort was only attracting certain people and it was felt by most that not all men were playing their part. Conscription meant that everyone, from all walks of life, helped their country. Not everyone agreed with conscription, many members of parliament voted against it. Others did not go to war due to political or religious beliefs. They were called conscientious objectors or conchies.
They had to appear in front of a tribunal to prove that they had valid reasons. If not they were often put in prison where they were badly treated. Some chonchies helped at the front as stretcher bearers; these men had a life expectancy of about 3 days. In 1914 the government introduced DORA this stood for the defence of the Realem Act. This gave the government a wide range of powers, some of which included censership of what the publicfopund out about the wa and what enemy countries found out about the allies, thus ensuring no piece of information got into the wrong hands.
The government was able to use any building as part of the war effort and to take over various industries including the coal industry, ensuring that business men did not profit from production. In 1915 the munitions crisis occurred due to the stalemate on the Western Front as armament and weapons were running out. Men had to train with wooden sticks as there were insufficient rifles to equip each man. The bombardment of enemy trenches could not continue if there were no shells. Some soldiers were only allowed to use 3 rounds of shot per day. The situation was looking dire for the government at this time.
The daily male put the national scandal into circulation and as a result a coalition government was formed so that all parties could work together. Lollyd George was made Minister of Munitions. One of the initial problems of the munitions crisis was that too many skilled young workers had gone to war in search of better pay. The government had to recall many of these men. Another key constituent of Llyod Georges plan was to introduce women to the work force. In 1915 100,000 women enlisted for work however only 5,000 of these got jobs. The unions were worried that when women took the jobs they would dilute the salary of the mens jobs.
Llyod George clearly ststed that women would earn the same amount as men and that their jobs would be complete when the war was over. Many women worked in the munitions factories and by 1915 the situation had improved and helped all fronts. It is recognised that without the assistance of the women the war would probably been lost. As men left for war an increasing number of women went into the professions usually dominated by men. Women went into all fields of work including ship, coal , steel, transport and agricultural (land girls) industries. However their made impactwas in the munitions factories.
Here the women were in high risk jobs which affected both their skins and their lives. Toxic chemicals turned their skin yellow and they were often labelled canaries as a consequence. Women payed the ulimate price as many of the died of the cancer these toxic chemicals caused. In1917 women aged over 30 were given the right to vote. The war had help[ed the men of the country to realise that women were a part of a functioning Britain and that they to had a voice that needed to be heard. Asquith a former priminister, supported votes for women during the war although he had previously aposed this when in power.
The attitude towards women and their role changed as a result of the war. Under DORA the government had the right to secure land and use it for farm production. In 1917 the government had a problem, there was a shortage of food. A quarter of British ships were being sunk by German U-boats in April and there was supposedly only six weeks of wheat left. As supplies ran low prices rose. Shops closed early as they ran out of food. Poorer families starved whilst the rich hoarded all of the food they could get their hands on. The government reacted in a variety of ways.
The earnings of industry workers rose and in May 1917 voluntary rationing was introduced. The Royal family led the way by stating that hey were reducing their ingestion of bread and such products by 25%. Posters were designed to encourage economical consumption and in November the nine penny loaf was introduced. None of these measures were affective so in 1918 compulsary rationing was introduced for bread, sugar, meat, butter and beer. Each fam,ily was given a ration which was stamped when anything was bought. There were heavy fines for those whgo tried to break the rules.
Rationing was welcomed by most and even improved the health of poorer people by the ne dof the war. The Defence of the Realm Act also controlled the news that flowed in and out of Britain. The british press was heavly censored and even the House of Commons was not always kept informed of the goings on at the Western Front. Journalists were banned from travelling with the troops in case stories were leaked to the British public, thus maintaining morale amongst civilians. In 1916 the british government had to overcome one of its greatest challenges, the filming of the battle of the Sommme.
The battle had raged on and many lives had been lost for only a few square miles of land. The film sold out in cinemas all over the country. The footage was unique and showed dying soldiers, and men going ‘over the top’. The nation appreciated the tone of the film and although people were shocked they appreciated the films realism. The film was a huge success and saluted as a great piece of cinematography. For the government it achieved its aim by showing the public that despite the absurd and horrendous number of casualties, the war was a worthy cause.
Propaganda was used to keep up morale as well as uniting all against the enemy. The Home Front was as important and as vital as the other fronts. It supplied the troops with munitions and the patriotism to convince those at home that their sacrifice was for a deserving cause. This would not have continued without the propoganda and the governments policy of protecting the public from hearing news that would destroy their trust. The Home Front was succesfull due to the efforts of many women who were able to show the men in power that they were as good as them.
On a political the Home Front gave women confidence and a certain amount of admiration from the countries men. The war wopuld not have been won without this and was beneficial to the success of the Allies, but it also needed the help of the other three fronts to succeed. Western Front: When the war was first declaired in 1914 it was expected to be over by Christmas. The public thought that it wopuld revolve around gallant young men on horse back charging against the Germans and thus winning a lightning victory. They could not have been more wrong.
As sson as war was declared the Germans put the Schlieffen Plan into operation. Their aim was to secure victory over France within six weeks and then turn their attention to Russia in the East. Al;l would have gone according to plan if Belgium had not put up such heroic resistance against Germany and delayed them. The German commander Moltke had also to send a 100,000 troops towards Russia who had mobalised more quickly than anticipated. The Germans were heading towards Paris but were held up quite dramatically by the British troops even though they outnumbered the British.
The French launched a direct and grand attack on Germany but were halted by machine gun fire. The Germans gathered their troops and headed towards Paris. However the German troops advance too quickly and ran out of supplies, the German soldiers were also exhausted. The Allied troops desperately tried to save Paris without France, Britains chief Ally, the war would be over. The Germans decided not to advance on Paris and instead chose to go around and attack the French from behind. The French stopped the German advance on the river Marne but were unable to force them to retreat.
By the 8th of September each side had dug in to protect themselves, using barbed wire, snipers and machine guns as a means of defence. These were the first signs of stalemate. This stalemate lasted until 1918 with millionsof lives lost and no land gained. The trenches stretched fro the sea in the North too the Alps in the South. The Germans launched several attacks on various Forts in Verdun and both sides resourced the battle. By 1916 700,000 men had been killed and then French were close to collapsing. To help the French the british led by Hague launched their offensive at the Somme, after a week of bombardment the British advanced.
There were 57,000 casualties on the first day and by November 1. 5 million men had died. The atrocities of the battles of Verdun and the Somme were something the politicians and the public were unprepared for. Military leadership was criticised and Hague became known as a bad commander; a butcher who knew nothing about modern warfare. Hague was used to the old style of war and was not prepared dor the way things were in the new age of technology. At these battles new technology and tactics, like the introduction of tanks and creeping ambush, set a presedant for future wars.
The Battles of Verdun and the Somme have sinced been recognised as a turning point in the war although at the time they were thought of as a complete disaster. In 1917 the Americans joined the war after the Germans declared unrestricted warfare on American ships suspected of carrying armaments for the Allies, although America maintained neutrality. The Germans accused the USA of having double standards. When the Germans tried to ally with mexico it was the last straw and America declared war on Germany on the 1st April 1917. Although this was good news the Americans did not arrive immediately in force and the French continued to struggle.
Top make matters worse the Russians had made peace with the Germans in 1917 as a result of the Russian Revolution and the new communist regime. This was bad news for the Allies. It meant that Germany could now mobalise hundreds of thousands of troops from the Eastern to the Western Front. The German force increased as their army was no longer spread across Europe. A final attack was planned under the command of Lundenhoff. However the power of Germany’s army had diminished as they were weak and tired. The troops were starved and their whole final offensive failed largely due to the malnurishment of the troops.
Although the Germans had ended the stalemat it was the Allies who benefited. The Americans were sending troops at a rate of 50,000 men per month. The troop swere assisted by technologically advanced tanks, aeroplanes and improved artillery. In 1918 the Allied counter attack along the Western Front had reached the Hindenburg line and by October the Germans were in full retreat. When the November Armistice came into effect the Great War was finally over. The Western Front was considered the most important by some. The public views of The Western Front was far from reality.
Letters from soldiers fighting on the front were censored and changed so that the image of the heroic battles the Allies were fighting were not destroyed by the truth. It was feared that if the truth were known it would result in havoc amongst the Allied Nations. Civillians new nothing about the terrible conditions of the trenches and propaganda made the war look muchmore glamerous than it really was News papers painted victorious pictures of trench war fare and the public new no better as this was the first technically advanced war ever.
The film of The Battle of the Somme, changed that image and people became more aware of the tragedy of loss. Recruitment numbers reduced during the war which was why conscription was introduced. Each of the fronts played an important part in winning the war. The public viewed the Western Front as the only War Front as this was where most of the soldiers were sent, although others were sent to Gallipoli, The Balkans and the middle East. The Western Front had the most casualties which is why it will always be perceived as the most important.
The war in the air was vital for surveillance, advancements in aviation and morale boosting. It gave the public something they could understand and belive in. The war at sea proved to be a turning point for the Allies. The Allies starved the Germans into surrendering, thus weakening them and rendering their last offensive unsuccesfull. The war at sea brought the Americans into the picture at a time when the Allies needed reinforcement. The Americans brought with them artillery, equipment and strong healthy men at a time when they were most needed.
The war at sea also supplied the troops on various fronts with food and ammunitions so that they were as strong as circumstances would permit. The Home Front was the provider of men for enlistment, was the center for propaganda and made ammunitions and artillery to be used by the troops. DORA was introduced as part of the Home Front offensive to protect civilians and information, and brought women into action replacing the men who were away. The Home Front also provided nurses and kept the nation at Home running smoothly so that the men could return to an organised country at the end of the war.
The Western front was where the fighting took place where thousands of men died and where some of the most heroic and dangerous battles ever took place. The men on the Western Front clearly had the hardest task with variable weather conditions and the dreaded over the top manoeuvre. It was also the most traumatic but it would not have succeded without the help and combination of the other three fronts. The Allied victory was due to an imalgamatoion of effort from all the fronts.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 4 September 2017
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