Western Front in WW1

Hannah Keeble
Mind Map by , created over 2 years ago

GCSE History Mind Map on Western Front in WW1, created by Hannah Keeble on 03/15/2017.

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Hannah Keeble
Created by Hannah Keeble over 2 years ago
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Western Front in WW1
1 Schlieffen Plan
1.1 Germany didn't want to fight a war on two fronts
1.1.1 France and Britain to the West
1.1.2 Russia to the East
1.1.2.1 Germany believed it would take 6 weeks for Russia to mobilise
1.2 The Plan
1.2.1 Attack France (through Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg) and defeat them before Russia could mobilise
1.2.2 Believed the Belgian army was weak and could be easily defeated
1.2.3 Believed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) were no match for the Germans and would arrive too late to help France
1.2.3.1 Kaiser called then a 'contemptible little army'
1.3 Why it failed
1.3.1 Von Moltke changed Schlieffen's plan by sending some soldiers to fight the Russians - this weakened the German forces
1.3.2 The Belgians put up much more of a fight than was expected and this delayed the Germans
1.3.2.1 Slowed the German movement through France down
1.3.2.1.1 Gave the French time to move their forces to meet the Germans at the Marne
1.3.3 British Expeditionary Force was underestimated
1.3.3.1 Arrived in France much earlier than expected so Moltke had to call German forces from the Eastern Front to fight them
1.3.4 German exhaustion
2 Key battles
2.1 Marne, September 1914
2.1.1 5th September 1914 - Germans reached the River Marne
2.1.2 Plan changed from sweeping west round Paris to going east
2.1.3 German advancing armies left a gap between them
2.1.3.1 French took advantage and moved to protect Paris
2.1.3.1.1 British and French sent troops into the gap
2.1.4 Lasted 1 week
2.1.5 Germans were forced to retreat to bridge the gap
2.1.5.1 Marked the failure of the Schlieffen Plan
2.2 Race to the Sea, October-December 1914
2.2.1 In response to the Battle of the Marne the German forces raced north to try to block off the Channel ports
2.2.1.1 Try to stop British reinforcements
2.2.2 First Battle of Ypres, October 1914
2.2.2.1 Britain trying to defend the Channel Ports
2.2.2.2 British suffered 50,000 casualties, 8,000 dead
2.2.2.3 Germans suffered 20,000 casualties
2.2.2.4 End of the Race for the Sea
2.2.2.4.1 stalemate
2.3 Somme, July 1916
2.3.1 Sir Douglas Haig
2.3.1.1 Butcher of the Somme
2.3.2 First day was 1st July 1916
2.3.2.1 60,000 British casualties on this day
2.3.2.1.1 worst day in British military history
2.3.3 Finished in November 1916
2.3.3.1 420,000 British casualties total
2.3.4 Why?
2.3.4.1 Relieve the pressure on the French at Verdun
2.3.4.2 Continue policy of attrition - wearing the Germans down
2.3.4.3 Fresh troops from the British Empire
2.3.5 Events
2.3.5.1 artillery barrage ineffective
2.3.5.1.1 German dugouts too deep
2.3.5.1.2 barbed wire not cut
2.3.5.2 walk across No Man's Land
2.3.5.3 Tanks used for the first time in September
2.4 Spring Offensive, March 1918
2.4.1 German Commander, Ludendorff, began an offensive in March 1918
2.4.1.1 Why?
2.4.1.1.1 USA entered the war on the side of the British in 1917
2.4.1.1.1.1 Allies were getting stronger - maybe too strong to beat
2.4.1.1.2 The Communists in Russia pulled Russia out of the war in March 1917
2.4.1.1.3 Allies were currently weak as 1917 had been a bad year
2.4.1.1.3.1 Mutinies in the French army
2.4.1.1.3.2 British suffered huge casualties in the Third Battle of Ypres
2.4.1.1.4 Germany's allies were talking about surrendering
2.4.1.1.5 British naval blockade of Germany was beginning to take effect
2.4.1.2 Operation Michael began on 21st March 1918
2.4.1.2.1 advanced 8km on first day
2.4.1.2.1.1 British reinforced their lines with troops from Italy and the Middle East
2.4.1.2.1.1.1 23rd March - Haig issued the 'Backs to the Walls' order
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1 French General Foche coordinated the Allied forces
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.1 Germans attacked Ypres in April
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2 Germans attacked Verdun in May
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1 French retreated 60km and were close to losing Paris
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1.1 BUT
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1.1.1 The American soldiers started to arrive in large numbers
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1.1.2 The Germans had overstretched their supply lines
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1.1.3 The Germans had lost 880,000 men by July and morale was low
2.4.1.2.1.1.1.1.2.1.1.4 The progress halted and now Germany had to defend a huge area
3 Trench Warfare
3.1 monotonous/boring
3.2 dug-outs up to 10m down
3.3 diseases
3.3.1 cholera
3.3.2 dysentry
3.3.3 typhus
3.4 lice
3.5 rats
3.6 all weather conditions
3.7 trench foot
3.8 food
3.8.1 'bully' beef
3.8.2 bread
3.8.3 rarely had hot meals
3.8.4 unclean water
3.9 zig zag trenches
3.10 barbed wire
3.11 No Man's Land
3.11.1 shell craters
3.12 trenches
3.12.1 front line
3.12.1.1 reserve
3.12.1.1.1 communication
3.13 shell shock
4 Weapons
4.1 Gas
4.1.1 First used by the Germans in October 1914
4.1.2 Chlorine gas
4.1.2.1 First used by Germans in April 1915
4.1.2.1.1 First Battle of Ypres
4.1.2.2 denser than air so got stuck in the trenches
4.1.3 63 poison gases by the end of the war
4.1.4 gas masks
4.1.4.1 started off as just weeing on some cloth
4.1.4.1.1 proper gas masks issued in 1915
4.2 artillery
4.2.1 creeping barrage was developed
4.2.1.1 line of artillery just in front of the soldiers moving forward
4.3 Tanks
4.3.1 First used during the Battle of the Somme
4.3.1.1 First success was at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917
4.3.1.1.1 474 tanks used
4.3.2 scary
4.3.3 problems
4.3.3.1 slow
4.3.3.2 hot inside
4.3.3.3 difficult to manoeuvre
4.3.3.4 got stuck in the mud
4.3.3.5 mechanically unreliable
4.3.3.6 machine gun bullets could get through
4.3.3.7 difficult to communicate instructions
4.4 Aircraft
4.4.1 aerial photography
4.4.2 direct artillery to targets
4.4.3 observe enemy troop movements
4.4.4 machine gun and bomb the enemy
4.4.5 unreliable at first
4.4.5.1 used effectively in Battle of Cambrai in 1917 and August offensive in 1918
5 How it ended
5.1 German Spring Offensive
5.1.1 Allied counter-offensive from 8th August 1918
5.1.1.1 Artillery bombardment, then aircraft attack, then troops and tanks
5.1.1.1.1 Forced the Germans to retreat
5.1.1.1.1.1 'Black Day of the German army'
5.1.1.1.1.1.1 Had to retreat past the Hindenburg Line
5.2 German weaknesses
5.2.1 exhausted
5.2.2 running out of troops
5.2.3 British naval blockade was effective
5.3 Allied strengths
5.3.1 Fresh American soldiers
5.3.2 United control under General Foch
5.3.3 Haig's effective leadership
5.3.4 use of tanks
5.4 Allies surrendered
5.4.1 September-October - Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary surrender
5.5 British naval blockade was starving Germany