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Why Germany was defeated in 1918 rather than 1916 (Somme)

Uploaded by yogaman on Mar 03, 2004

There are several reasons why Germany was defeated in 1918 rather than 1916.



By 1916, a stalemate had developed along the western front. Both sides were dug in and little advance was made by either side.



General Hague, the British Commander decided that a massive attack would be made to break the deadlock. The plan was to make a massive bombardment to destroy the German trenches and barbed wire and to kill their soldiers, thus making it easy for the British to advance.



However, the Germans knew what was happening and so moved all of their soldiers into deep dug-outs away from the front line where they were protected. After a huge bombardment lasting from the 24th June to 1st July 1916, the allies advanced towards the enemy lines expecting little resistance, but were instead mown down by German machine gun fire.60,000 allied soldiers were killed/wounded on the first day. The same pattern was repeated until the end of the battle in November 1916.By this time both sides were exhausted and 620,000 allied and 450,000 Germans were dead or wounded. Tanks were used for the first time in 1916 but were very unreliable and got stuck in the mud. Planes were also used for observation of the enemy but had little real impact.



In 1917 America declared war on Germany and started sending troops to fight, but by March 1918 there were still only 84,000 American troops in Europe.The Germans knew that they had to attack the allies before more American troops arrived and on 21st March 1918, began a huge offensive against allied lines.This was initially very successful, and over several months the Germans advanced as far as the River Marne. However, their advance was too quick and they were unable to keep up their supply lines. In August 1918, the allies hit back.By now American numbers had risen to 1,500,000 which proved a decisive factor.

The allies also used new improved tanks (Whippet, Mark V) which were much more reliable and effective on the battle field. Aeroplanes were also used to much greater effect, being used for machine gun and bombing raids. Over the next few months the allies pushed the Germans back as far as the Hindenburg Line.



The German army collapsed. Morale among the German soldiers was destroyed. They had little food, were exhausted and in despair and knew that they were defeated. Back home in Germany, the German...

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Uploaded by:   yogaman

Date:   03/03/2004

Category:   World War I

Length:   2 pages (502 words)

Views:   1604

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