Epic History: World War One - 1914

4 views | May 28, 2020

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Everything you need to know about the first year of World War One in a 12 minute video. 'World War One - 1914' is the first in a five-part series covering the Great War. This episode covers the rival alliances that dominated Europe in the build-up to war, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, and the fatal gunshots by Gavrilo Princip at Sarajevo that resulted in the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Imperial rivalries, the system of alliances and deep-seated animosities helped propel Europe into a general war. However Woodrow Wilson, the US President, ensured America stood apart from Europe's conflict. In August 1914, Germany invaded France and Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan. The tiny British Expeditionary Force could only hold up the German army for a few hours at the Battle of Mons, but later joined the French in saving Paris at the Battle of the Marne. The 'Race to the Sea' followed, leading to the First Battle of Ypres, as both sides tried to outflank each other to the north. Their failure led to a stalemate, in which the devastating power of machineguns and artillery forced infantry of both sides to take cover in deep trenches. At sea, Britain's Royal Navy won the war's first naval battle at Heligoland Bight, and imposed a naval blockade on Germany, preventing war supplies (including, controversially, food) from reaching the country by sea. HMS Pathfinder was soon sunk by a German U-boat, revealing the potential of Germany's submarines to overturn Britain's long-held naval dominance. On the Eastern Front, a Russian invasion of East Prussia ended in disaster at the Battle of Tannenberg, masterminded by German generals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. A second victory at the Battle of Masurian Lakes sent the Russian army into retreat. Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia began badly, with defeat at the Battle of Cer. Things went even worse on the Russian front, as Austria's offensive against the Russians leads to heavy losses, and forced Germany to come to the rescue, by launching the Battle of Łódź. In Africa, British, French and German colonial forces clashed in British East Africa (Kenya), Togoland (Togo), German South-West Africa (Namibia), and German Kamerun (Cameroon). German Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbek had notable success repelling the British at the Battle of Tanga. In the Pacific, Japan honoured its alliance with Britain and seized the German naval base at Tsingtao in China. Task forces from Australia and New Zealand secured the German colonies of Samoa and New Guinea. German Admiral von Spee's East Asia Squadron won victory at the Battle of Coronel, off Chile, before sailing into catastrophe at the Battle of the Falkland Islands. In the Middle East, British troops occupied Basra, securing access to Persian oil for their fleet. Winter 1914 saw the French launch their first major offensive to break the trench stalemate of the Western Front. But the First Battle of Champagne led to heavy losses for no real gains. Ottoman operations in the Caucasus Mountains also ended in disaster at the Battle of Sarikamish. The war's first Christmas was marked by games of football in No Man's Land on the Western Front, but early hopes of a short war had now been entirely quashed. CORRECTION: 7.55 - the map shows Cyprus as part of the Ottoman Empire. Cyprus was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1570 to 1914, but when the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in November 1914, Cyprus was annexed by Britain. Recommended books on 1914 & WW1 (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases): Margaret MacMillan, The War that Ended Peace http://geni.us/iF1yIX Max Hastings, Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 http://geni.us/j7hVB5 Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 http://geni.us/VGWdu Lyn MacDonald, 1914 : The Days of Hope http://geni.us/W7NOo Peter Hart, The Great War: 1914-1918 http://geni.us/diz8nhI A J P Taylor, The First World War: An Illustrated History http://geni.us/el71iC Hew Strachan, The First World War: A New History http://geni.us/ioYIFO

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