The polyglot Austrian-Hungarian Empire
First off, I think it is important that you recall that Britain's King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II were COUSINS. They were all grandsons of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. They also looked a lot alike.
After the Battle of Jutland, the Germans had few naval options. We'll spend some time looking at the age-old world of commerce raiding and how the Germans came to the game too late and in the wrong way during the First World War. Some old ways just couldn't be converted to modern means!
The BBC put together this excellent Flash map about the fighting during World War I on the Western Front. We're going to look at it today.
One of the key problems with fighting WWI was that mobility technology hadn't caught up with firepower technology, at least on land.
inter-ord.net: "Since artillery support was not always at hand, German soldiers were provided with their own defensive capability and one form was the Mauser M1918, 13.2mm Anti-Tank Rifle. The large bolt-action rifle proved effective, although its horrendous recoil** was not well received by the troops who had to use it. Since Germany was late to develop tank technology, the Allies never adopted a comparable weapon of their own, but were quick to realize the need to have one as the tank was a certain future threat."
** my aside: you don't say?
Some casualty figures stolen from another website:
Mobilized Dead Wounded Missing/PoW Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 Germany 11,000,000 1,773,700 4,216,058 1,152,800 Great Britain 8,904,467 908,371 2,090,212 191,652 France 8,410,000 1,375,800 4,266,000 537,000 Austria-Hungary 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000 Italy 5,615,000 650,000 947,000 600,000 US 4,355,000 126,000 234,300 4,526 Turkey 2,850,000 325,000 400,000 250,000 Bulgaria 1,200,000 87,500 152,390 27,029 Japan 800,000 300 907 3 Rumania 750,000 335,706 120,000 80,000 Serbia 707,343 45,000 133,148 152,958 Belgium 267,000 13,716 44,686 34,659 Greece 230,000 5,000 21,000 1,000 Portugal 100,000 7,222 13,751 12,318 Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000Some interesting statistics from the Canadian government on how casualty rates compared between the two world wars.
In short, Canada on the above table would fit between Italy and Russia with 13.5% of soldiers killed in battle. 47.3% were wounded, which comes second only to France. Six out of every ten Canadians were killed or wounded in the Great War.
World War I memorial in East Angus, Quebec
Over 6.5 of every 10 soldiers from France were either wounded or killed in the First World War. This figure is 5.4 Germany and 5.9 for Austria-Hungary. One-Third of all British soldiers were killed or wounded. Only 8% of American soldiers shared this fate.
Because so many men were mobilized (and if you consider the shadow of civilian mobilization) you might consider how that would change the societies from which the combatants came.
Here is a link to a great film about the War Poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen
After the war (a prelude to a coming lecture.)
A great page on the early radio by the University of Virginia
A scene from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times