How important was the war on other fronts?
EASTERN FRONT Initially, Russian troops invaded East Prussia, but were forced to retreat following their defeat at Tannenberg. In Galicia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire faced a defeat which could only be avoided by a German attack, which took the pressure off of their allies. In 1917, Russia withdrew from the war.
1. Who won the war at sea?
2. Why did the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 fail?
3. Why did Russia leave the war in 1918?
4. What was the impact of war on civilian populations?
Use the Keynote Presentation below to explore all 4 Focus Points.
(There are also IGCSE History Past Paper Questions & Markschemes at the end of the Keynote Presentation too)
The Sea Front: who won the War at sea?
Exam focus questions
(a) Describe ‘U-boat’ warfare. 
(c) Which was more important for Britain, the Battle of Jutland or defeating the U-boat threat? Explain your answer. 
(c) ‘Britain won the war at sea.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(c) ‘The Battle of Jutland was a disaster for Britain.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. 
GaLlipoli - 1915
Exam focus questions
(a) Describe what happened in the Gallipoli campaign. 
(b) Why can poor decision making be blamed for the failure at Gallipoli? 
(b) Why did the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 fail? 
(a) What difficulties faced the Allied troops after landing on the beaches at Gallipoli? 
(b) Why did the British plan an attack on Gallipoli in 1915? 
(c) ‘Poor leadership was the main reason for the Allied failure at Gallipoli.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. 
The EAstern Front
Exam Focus Questions
Why did Russia suffer defeats on the Eastern Front? 
‘Defeats on the battlefield were the main reason why Russia left the war.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. 
Exam Focus questions
(b) Why was the Home Front important to Britain’s war effort? 
(b) Why was much of the propaganda used by the government during the war targeted on women? 
(b) Why were many women’s lives greatly affected by the war? 
(c) ‘The formation of “Pals Battalions” was the main reason Britain was able to recruit volunteers for the army.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. 
(c) ‘The greatest impact of war on civilian populations was the shortage of food.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. 
What was the impact of war on civilian populations?
The First World War was fought predominantly by conscript armies fielding millions of ‘citizen-soldiers’. The origins of this type of military lay in the levée en masse (mass mobilisation) organised by the French revolutionary regime at the end of the 18th century, the first modern force built on the idea that all male citizens had a duty to bear arms in defence of their nation. However, it was France’s rival Prussia which improved and systemised the military model, developing a new form of universal short-service peacetime conscription. After spectacular victories over Austria and France in 1866 and 1871, this provided the organisational template for other continental European armies. Austria-Hungary imitated it in 1868, France in 1872 and Russia in 1874. Britain and the United States, which relied primarily on their navies for security, were alone among the major powers in remaining with small professional armies.
In the first weeks of the war in August 1914 Lord Derby encouraged the notion (initially suggested by Sir Henry Rawlinson) of encouraging whole towns and villages to sign up with the promise that they should also serve together: in short, sanctioning the establishment of Pals' (or Chums') Battalions.
Wildly popular from the outset - and boosted by a highly publicised poster campaign led by the War Minister (and popular military hero) Lord Kitchener - men flocked to recruitment centres to enlist in whole groups. The promise that they should serve with their friends and relatives was invariably honoured. Those who joined the British Army in such circumstances often set off with promises of guaranteed post-war employment ringing in their ears.
Such a policy may have ensured the initial success of the recruitment campaign - some three million men volunteered for service in the first two years of the war, with 50 towns boasting Pals' Battalions by September 1914 alone - but its drawbacks were brought starkly home with the first real test of the Kitchener (K) or 'New Armies' at the July 1916 Battle of the Somme.
On the first day of the battle many men who signed up alongside one another also perished together. For example the 11th Battalion (East Lancashire Regiment) suffered 585 casualties on 1 July 1916 from 700 who started that day. Accordingly whole villages suffered from the localised nature of recruitment
While conscript armies proved indispensable, and even the British in 1916 and the Americans in 1917 began to draft men, significant numbers of volunteers also served in the First World War. Most famously, in Britain 2,675,149 men volunteered, the vast majority in the first half of hostilities. However, even countries with long traditions of conscription also had large volunteering movements. In Germany, around half a million men came forward. The great rush was at the start of the war: in the first 10 days 143,922 men enlisted in Prussian units alone. France’s voluntary enlistments were smaller but steadier, reaching 187,905 men by the end of hostilities. In multinational Austria-Hungary, men appear to have been less willing to volunteer for the Emperor’s army, although they promptly obeyed call up orders. Some nationalist movements did recruit successfully, however. The Polish Legionaries, the largest of these forces, had 21,000 volunteers by 1917. While volunteers tended to be disproportionately middle-class, their motives for joining the army may not have been so different from those of conscripts. Patriotic duty appears to have been a prime motivation for both groups, although coercion was also influential. Volunteers were not subject to the legal sanctions faced by conscripts who disobeyed drafting orders but they might be exposed to considerable social pressure to enlist. For small minorities, economic factors or lust for action and adventure were important. These recruits, whether conscripts or volunteers, were ‘citizen-soldiers’, whose attachment to their societies and stake in their states’ existence go far to explain the tremendous resilience of the armies of 1914-18.
(1) King George V, statement issued on 11th October, 1915.
At this grave moment in the struggle between my people and a highly-organized enemy, who has transgressed the laws of nations and changed the ordinance that binds civilized Europe together, I appeal to you.
I rejoice in my Empire's effort, and I feel pride in the voluntary response from my subjects all over the world who have sacrificed home, fortune, and life itself, in order that another may not inherit the free Empire wnich their ancestors and mine have built.
I ask you to make good these sacrifices.
The end is not in sight. More men and yet more are wanted to keep my armies in the field, and through them to secure victory and enduring peace.
In ancient days the darkest moment has ever produced in men of our race the sternest resolve.
I ask you, men of all classes, to come forward voluntarily, and take your share in the fight.
In freely responding to my appeal you will be giving your support to our brothers who, for long months, have nobly upheld Britain's past traditions and the glory of her arms.
About 16,000 men refused to fight and these were called conscientious objectors. Most of these men were pacifists, who believed that even during wartime it was wrong to kill another human being. About 7,000 pacifists agreed to perform non-combat service. This usually involved working as stretcher-bearers in the front-line, an occupation that had a very high casualty-rate. Over 1,500 men refused all compulsory service. These men were called absolutists and were usually drafted into military units and if they refused to obey the order of an officer, they were court-martialled.