The death of the old world

The death of the old world

By bolshennomu conflict feverishly preparing for the European powers in the decades before 1914. And yet, one can say that of the war were not wanted and did not want to. The general staffs expressed certainty that it will last for a year, maximum — and a half. But a common misconception concerned not only by its duration. Who could imagine that generalship, faith in victory, military honor properties will not only not essential, but sometimes even harmful to of success? 1st Global has shown once and grandeur, and futility of faith in the ability to calculate future. Faith, which was so full of life-affirming, clumsy and purblind XIX century.

In Russian historiography of the war ("imperialist," as it was called the Bolsheviks) had never used the respect and not been studied very much. Meanwhile, in France and in Britain it is to this day considered to be almost less catastrophic than even a second global. Scientists so far argue: Was it inevitable, and if so, what are the reasons — economic, geopolitical or ideological — are most affected by its genesis? Was there an attempt to prevent the war entered into the stage of "imperialist" powers for sources of raw materials and markets? Perhaps, it is about the by-product is comparable to the new European phenomenon — nationalism? Or, being a "continuation of politics by other means" (Clausewitz's words), the war is only reflected the involvement of aboriginal relations between large and small geopolitical players — easier to "hack" than "unravel"?
Each of the explanations looks logical and … missing.

At the First World normal for people rationalism of the West from the start was overshadowed by the newest shade, and bewitches strshnoy reality. He tried to ignore it, or tame, bent his line, absolutely lost, but in the end — despite the obvious tried to convince the world of its triumph.

"Planning — base of success"

The top of the system optimal planning rightly called the famous "Schlieffen Plan" — a favorite child of the Great German General Staff. Specifically, it rushed to perform in August 1914, hundreds of thousands of Kaiser fighter. General Alfred von Schlieffen (by then deceased) soundly based on the fact that Germany will be obliged to fight a war on two fronts — against France in the west and Russia in the east. Of success in this unenviable situation can only be achieved defeating enemies alternately. Since Russia is rapidly overcome impossible because of its size and, surprisingly, backwardness (the Russian army can be mobilized rapidly and catch up to the front of the band, and therefore it can not be killed in one fell swoop), the first "all" — for the French . But the front attack against them, too, spent decades preparing for battle, did not promise quick wins. Hence — the plan flanking crawl through neutral Belgium, the environment, and victory over the enemy for 6 weeks.

The death of the old worldJuly-August 1915. 2nd Battle of the Isonzo between the Austro-Hungarians and Italians. 600 Austrian fighter are participating in the transport of the 1st long-range artillery guns. Photo FOTOBANK / TOPFOTO

The plan was simple and there is no alternative, as are all excellent. The problem was, as often happens, particularly in its perfection. Smallest deviation from the schedule, the delay (or, conversely, once success) of the 1st wing of a massive army to make mathematically precise maneuvering over hundreds of kilometers in a few weeks, not that I was threatened with complete failure, no. The coming of "only" dragged on, the French have arisen chance to catch my breath, to organize the front, and … Germany appear to strategically lose-lose situation.

Do I need to state that specifically what happened? The Germans were able to advance deep into the enemy's country, but neither capture Paris, no surround and defeat the enemy they did not succeed. Organized by the French counter-attack — the "miracle of the Marne" (a broker and Russian, throwing in Prussia in unprepared plainly disastrous coming) clearly showed that the war will not end quickly.

The ultimate responsibility for the failure was assigned to the Schlieffen's successor, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger — he went into retirement. But the plan was not feasible in principle! Moreover, as shown by the following four and a half years fighting on the Western Front, characterized by breathtaking tenacity and a mind-boggling infertility, were not feasible and even more modest plans for both sides …

Before the war, appeared in the press and immediately became famous in military circles, the short story "A sense of harmony." His hero, some general, obviously embodying the famous theorist of war, Field Marshal von Moltke, prepared as a collated battle plan that is not considering it necessary to look for the fight itself, went fishing. The detailed design of the maneuvers was the true mania commanders of the First World War. The task for the 1st only British 13th Corps at the Battle of the Somme was 31 page (and, of course, was not satisfied). Meanwhile, for a hundred years before the whole British army, entering the battle of Waterloo, had generally no written disposition. Commanding millions of fighter, military leaders and physically and psychologically were even further from the real fights than any of the previous wars. In the end, "genshtabovskie" level of strategic thinking and execution rate at the band edge there seems to be in different universes. Planning for operations such criteria could not be reincarnated as divorced from reality, self-contained function. The very development of the war, especially on the Western Front, excluded the possibility of leap, a decisive battle, the most profound breakthrough, selfless heroism, and ultimately — how much-or tangible victory.

"On the Western Front"

After the failure and the "Schlieffen Plan" and the French attempt to quickly capture Alsace-Lorraine Western Front tightly stabilized. Opponents have made defense in depth of the many rows of trenches full profile, stitching wire, ditches, concreted machine gun nests and artillery. A large concentration of human and firepower made this point mystical surprise attack. In general, even before it became clear that the murderous machine-gun fire makes little sense for a standard strategy of frontal attack placer chains (not to mention dashing cavalry raids — this was once an important branch of service was completely useless.)

Many career officers, trained in the "old" spirit, in other words, was considered a disgrace "to bow bullets" and put on white gloves before the fight (this is not a metaphor!), Laid down their heads already in the first weeks of the war. In the full sense of the word was murderous and former military aesthetics, which wanted to stand out from the elite units of the eye-catching color shape. Rejected by another first-century Germany, and Britain, it was saved in 1914 in the French army. So it is not the case in th
e First World, with its psychology "burrowing into the ground," specifically the Frenchman-cubist artist Lucien de Giran Sevolya came up with camouflage netting and coloring as a method to merge military installations around the place. Mimicry becomes a condition of survival.

The death of the old worldUnited States entered the war, and combat future — for aviation. Classes at American flight schools. Photo BETTMANN / CORBIS / RPG

But the level of losses in the army swiftly eclipsed all possible representations. For the French, British and Russian, immediately threw himself into the fire of a trained, experienced parts, the first year in this respect proved fatal: Human troops virtually ceased to exist. But was the least disastrous reverse the decision? Germans sent in the autumn of 1914 in the battle of Ypres Belgian Division, hastily formed from student volunteers. Almost all of them, with songs marching to the attack by the British aimed fire, killing stupid, which is why Germany has lost mental future of civilization (the episode was not devoid of dark humor title "iprskoe Massacre of the Innocents").

During the first 2-campaigns of the enemies by trial and error, there was some general military strategy. At the favorites for the coming of the area of the front and concentrated artillery force alive. Attack inevitably preceded by many hours (from time to time and many days) barrage, designed to kill all life in the strip enemy trenches. Adjustment of the fire was conducted from airplanes and balloons. Then the artillery started working on more distant goals, wrapping in the first line of defense to cut off the retreat of the survivors, and spare parts, on the contrary, — approach. Against this background, the attack began. Typically, managed to "push" the front of a few kilometers, but in the coming head (no matter how great he may be prepared) ran out of steam. The defending side tightened new powers and caused a counterattack, with the huge success of conquering or the smallest piece of land cast.

For example, the so-called "first battle in Champagne 'first 1915 cost the advancing French army of 240 thousand fighter, but led to the capture of only a few villages … And it was not the worst in comparison with the year 1916, when the West turned most large-scale combat. First half of the year was marked by the advent of the German Verdun. "The Germans, — said General Henri Petain, the future head of the collaborationist government during the Nazi occupation — have tried to make such a death zone, in which no part could not resist. Clouds of steel, shrapnel and toxic gases is opened wide over our forests, ravines, trenches and shelters, destroying almost everything … "At the cost of untold efforts of attackers managed to achieve some success. But the promotion of 5-8 km from persistent resistance to the French was worth the German army of such colossal losses that the coming bogged down. Verdun was never taken, and by the end of the year the initial front is almost completely recovered. On both sides of the loss amounted to about a million people.

Similar in scope and results of the coming of the Allies on the Somme began on July 1 1916. Already the first day it was the "black" for the British army almost 20 thousand dead, the wounded about 30 thousand in the "mouth" of attack with a width of 20 km. "Somme" became a common noun for the naming of a nightmare and despair.

The death of the old worldMachine gun — a tool of the new century. French scribble directly from the headquarters of the 1st Infantry Regiments. Th June 1918. Photo ULLSTEIN BIDL / VOSTOCK PHOTO

The list of mind-blowing, indescribable by the ratio "is the result of the efforts of" operations can be continued for a long time. And historians and ordinary reader is difficult to fully understand the prerequisites of a blind persistence with which the staffs, each time hoping for a decisive victory, painstakingly planned another "meat grinder." Yes, played a role already mentioned the gap between headquarters and the front and the strategic stalemate situation where two large armies came up against each other and the team has no choice but to try again and again to go forward. But what happened on the Western Front, was simply to catch the magic and meaning: the familiar and ordinary world methodically destroying itself.

Striking resistance fighter, which allowed opponents without actually moving from place to drain each other in over 4 and a half years. But you have to wonder what combination of external rationality and profound absurdity of what was happening undermined the faith of the people in the most base of their life? On the Western Front pressed and milled century European civilization — this idea expressed hero essay written by the representative of that "war" generation that Gertrude Stein called the "lost": "You see a rivulet — no more than 2-minutes go from here? So now, when the British came in handy months to get to her. The whole empire was moving forward, moving day for a couple of inches: carrion those who have been in the forefront, and were replaced by marching behind. And another empire just as slowly retreated backwards, and only remained lying dead with numerous piles of bloody rags. Such will not happen again in our lifetime, no European people do not dare to do it … "

It is necessary to see that these lines from the novel "Tender Is the Night," F. Scott Fitzgerald saw the light in 1934, just 5 years before the beginning of the newest superior massacre. However, civilization many "learned", and the second has developed immeasurably global dynamic.

Salutary madness?

Terrible confrontation has challenged not only the entire staff strategies and policies of past times, which were mechanistic and inflexible. It was devilish existential and psychological challenge for millions of people, most of them grown in a relatively comfortable, comfortable and "humane" world. In a fascinating study of the neuroses of front-line British psychiatrist William Rivers learned that of all the armed forces less stress experienced pilots in this sense, while the largest — monitors, adjust the front line fire motionless with balloons. The latter were compelled to wait passively for hitting a bullet or projectile attacks of madness occurred more often physical injuries. But after all, the Marines of the First World War, in the words of Henri Barbusse, inevitably turned into "waiting car!" If all this is not expected to return home, which seemed a distant and mysterious, and, in fact, death.

The death of the old worldTh April 1918. Bethune, France. In the hospital sent thousands of British soldier blinded by the German gases at Fox. Photo ULLSTEIN BIDL / VOSTOCK PHOTO

Deprived of reason — literally — no bayonet attack and combat (they often seemed deliverance), and many hours of shelling, during which the meter on the front line from time to time issue several tons of shells. "Above all, puts pressure on the mind … the weight of the incident projectile. We were rushing a terrible thing, so languid that he pushes her flying us into the dirt, "- said one of the participants in the events. Here is another episode related to last-ditch effort to break the resistance of the Entente Germans — to their springtime offensive in 1918. As part of one of the defenders of British brigades in reserve was the 7th Battalion. Official news of this brigade dryly tells the story: "At about 4.40 am the enemy began firing … He suffered rear positions that previously were fired. From now on the 7th Battalion did not know anything. " He was completely destroyed, as is at the forefront of the 8th.

Normal response to danger, say psychiatrists, is angry. Deprived of its ability to show, passively waiting, waiting and waiting for the death of people broke and lose all interest in reality. Vpribavok opponents enact new, more sophisticated methods of intimidation. For example, combat gases. For large-scale use of chemical agents in the spring of 1915 the German command resorted. April 22 at 17 pm on the position of the 5th Corps of English for a couple of minutes were released 180 tons of chlorine. Just behind the yellow cloud, the stele above the ground, the attack moved cautiously German infantrymen. About what was happening in the trenches of the enemy once the witness testifies: "First surprise after a nightmare and, in the end, the panic enveloped the troops when the first clouds of smoke covered the whole area and forced people out of breath, to fight in agony. Those who could not move, running, trying, mostly in vain, to get ahead of the accumulation of chlorine, which pursued them relentlessly. " Position of the British fell without a shot — a rare event for the First World War.

But in fact nothing could disturb the existing scheme of operations. It turned out that the German command just is not ready to develop success, produced as a ruthless manner. Harsh trials to enter through the resulting "window" great strength and chemical reincarnate "experiment" to win even been attempted. A local allies destroyed divisions rapidly dissipated as chlorine, have set new, and everything remained as before. In general, later the two sides have not once, not twice used chemical weapon.

"Brave New World"

November 20, 1917 at 6:00 am German soldiers, "Missing You" in the trenches at Cambrai, saw a fantastic picture. On their positions slowly creeps 10s intimidating machines. Since the attack for the first time I went to all the then British Mechanized Corps: 378 combat and auxiliary tanks 98 — 30 ton diamond-shaped monsters. After 10:00 the fight ended. Success by today's notions of armored raids, just pathetic, by the standards of the World was cool: the British under the guise of a "weapon of the future" managed to advance by 10 km, losing "only" fifteen hundred fighter. However, for the fight order from left machine 280, including 220 — for technical reasons.

It seemed like a method to overcome trench warfare in the end found. But the actions under Cambrai became faster, usher in the future than in the real breakthrough. Awkward, kopotlivye, unreliable and vulnerable, the first armored car still seems to be a simple technical designated an advantage of the Allies. We Germans are there in service until 1918, and the bill came to their units.

The death of the old worldHere's what's left of the town of Verdun, which paid for the many lives that would be enough to populate a small country. Photo FOTOBANK.COM / TOPFOTO

A stronger recollection on his contemporaries made the bombing of cities from airplanes and airships. During the war, bombing of civilians affected several thousand inhabitants. Firepower the then aviation will not go to any comparison with artillery, but psychologically the emergence of German planes, for example, over London meant that the old division between "warring front" and "rear safe" thing of the past.

In the end, a truly bolshennuyu played a role in the First World 3rd techno novelty — the submarine. Yet in 1912-1913 naval strategists of all powers agreed that the main role in further opposition to the ocean to play a great straight-line vessels — battleships, dreadnoughts. Moreover, in the arms race for decades depletes the favorites of the world economy, accounted for the lion's shred specifically to naval spending. Dreadnoughts and languid cruisers symbolized imperial power: it was believed that the government that claims to be the place "on Olympus' should show the world a succession of huge floating fortresses.

Meanwhile, already the first months of the war showed that the real value of these giants confined to the sphere of propaganda. And they buried the concept of pre-war inconspicuous "skaters" who refuses to take a long Admiralty seriously. On September 22 1914, the German submarine U-9, left in the North Sea on a mission to prevent the movement of ships from the UK to Belgium, found on the horizon, several large enemy ships. Having become acquainted with them for an hour it started up easily to the bottom of the cruisers "Crecy", "Aboukir" and "Hog". A submarine with a crew of 28 people killed 3 "giants" with 1,459 sailors on board — almost as many Englishmen died in the famous Battle of Trafalgar!

We can say that deep-war Germans began as an act of despair to come up with a strategy to combat the mighty fleet of His Majesty, one hundred percent blocked the sea routes, did not work. On February 4, 1915 Wilhelm II announced his intention to destroy not only the military, and commercial, and even passenger ships of the Entente. This decision proved fatal for Germany, as one of his closest consequences of the entry into the war the United States. The most resounding victim of this kind was the prince's "Lusitania" — a large steamer route from New York to Liverpool and sunk off the coast of Ireland on May 7 of this year. Killed 1,198 people, including 115 people neutral United States, which caused an uproar in America. Feeble excuse for Germany is the fact that the ship was carrying a military cargo. (It is seen that there is a version in the spirit of "conspiracy theory": the British, they say themselves, "framed", "Lusitania" in order to draw the United States into the war.)

In the neutral world of scandal, and from time to time in Berlin "backpedaled" renounced violent forms of conflict at sea. But this question was again on the agenda of day or when the control of the armed forces, defected to Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff — "hawks total war." Hoping with submarines, the creation of which was boosted cyclopean pace, absolutely break the message the UK and France with America and the colonies,
they assured own governor again declare February 1, 1917 — on the ocean, he no longer wants anything to restrain their own sailors.

This fact played a role, perhaps because of it — from a purely military point of view, anyway — and it was defeated. Entered the war, the Americans did, just by changing the balance of power in favor of the Allies. Do not get the Germans and the expected dividends. Loss of Merchant Marine allies were first truly enormous, but gradually they managed to significantly reduce by developing measures to combat submarines — for example, the marine system "escort" is so effective in the Second World War.

The war in numbers
During the war, the armed forces of the states participating in it, took more than 73 million people, including:
4000000 — led war in human armies and fleets
5000000 — volunteered
50 million — were in the supplies
14000000 — untrained recruits and in parts at the front
Number of submarines in the period from 1914 to 1918 in the world of grown from 163 to 669 units; aircraft — from 1.5 thousand to 182 thousand units
During the same period produced 150 thousand tons of chemical agents; spent in a combat situation — 110 thousand tons
Of chemical weapons has suffered more than 1200 thousand people, 91 of them died a thousand
General line of trenches during the war amounted to 40 thousand kilometers
Destroyed 6 thousand ships with a total tonnage of 13.3 million tonnes, including 1.6 thousand combat and support ships
Battle consumption of shells and bullets, respectively: 1000000000 and 50 billion pieces
By the end of the war, the active army left: 10,376 thousand people — the Entente countries (excluding Russia) 6801 Thousand — the states of the Central Unit

"The Weakest Link"

For an unusual dramatic stories, misstep that caused U.S. intervention, was almost perfect recently the February Revolution in Russia, which led to a rapid expansion of the Russian army, and in the end — the fall of the Eastern Front, which again brought back hope for success in Germany. What role did the first global in Russian history, whether the country has a chance to avoid a revolution, if not it? Mathematically precise answer to this question is, of course, impossible. But in general, of course: this particular conflict was a test, breaking three hundred years of the Romanov monarchy as a bit later — the Hohenzollern monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg. But why do we find ourselves in this list first?

The death of the old world"Production of death" is the assembly stream. Workers in the rear (in the main ladies) give hundreds of combat-ready shells in a factory "Shell" in the British Chilvelle. Photo ALAMY / PHOTAS

"No one country fate was not so cruel as to Russia. Her ship went down, when the harbor was already in sight. She has already undergone a storm, when everything collapsed. All the victims had been brought in, all the work is completed … According to the superficial fashion of our time, the royal regime decided to treat as a blind, rotten, no matter what is not capable of despotism. But the analysis of 30 months of the war with Germany and Austria had to fix these lightweight performance. Force of Russian Empire, we can measure the impact that it has met on disasters that she experienced at the inexhaustible forces that it has developed, and to restore the forces to which she was able to … Holding the victory already in hand, she fell to the ground alive, as the old Herod, devoured by worms "- these are the words of a man is never a fan of — Sir Winston Churchill. The future prime minister had already caught — Russian tragedy was not specifically caused by military defeats. "Worms" really undermined the government from the inside. But since the internal weakness and exhaustion after a 2-a-half years of heavy fighting, to which it was done even worse otherwise, are obvious though what were unbiased observables. Meanwhile, Britain and France stubbornly tried to ignore the problems of its own ally. Eastern Front ought, in their opinion, only to divert as much as possible enemy forces, the fate of a war was decided in the west. Maybe so, and the situation was the case, but millions of Russian fought such an approach could not inspire. It is logical that in Russia began with utter bitterness that "allies willing to fight to the last drop of blood of a Russian soldier."

The most weighty for the country was a campaign in 1915, when the Germans decided that, as the blitzkrieg in the west failed, every effort should throw to the east. Just at that time the Russian army suffered hell of a shortage of ammunition (the pre-war estimates were lower than the actual needs in the hundreds of times), and had to defend and retreat, counting each bullet and paying with blood for the failures in planning and supply. In lesions (and particularly difficult to combat with an organized and well-trained German army, not the Turks or Austrians) accused not only allies, and bestalantnoe command, fabulous traitors "at the top" — on the subject is constantly played the opposition; "hapless" king. By 1917, almost all under the influence of socialist propaganda in the army is widely spread idea that the massacre profitable propertied classes, "suckers" and they specifically nation for it. Many observers have noted the paradoxical phenomenon: the growing frustration and pessimism as the distance from the front of the band, in particular, are very affecting logistics units.

Financial and Human weakness is multiplied immeasurably inevitable hardships that formed on the shoulders of ordinary people. Hope of victory they had lost earlier than many other warring civilizations. A terrible tension sought such level civilian unity, in what was then the Russian Federation hopelessly missing. The most powerful patriotic impulse that swept the country in 1914, turned out to be superficial and short-term, and the "educated" classes have the least elite Western states have sought to sacrifice their lives and well-being, even in order to win. For the people of the same objectives of the war in general, and have remained distant and incomprehensible …

Churchill later evaluation should not be misled: February's allies took action in 1917 with great enthusiasm. Many countries in the liberal thought, "throw off the yoke of autocracy," the Russian-found freedom will protect even more zealously. In fact, the Provisional Government, as you know, has failed to establish the similarity and control over the situation. "Democratization" of the army turned into a general apathy criteria in its destruction. "Hold the front", as recommended by Churchill, would have meant only to accelerate decomposition. Suspend the process could tangible progress. But the coming of a desperate summer of 1917 failed, and since then it has become clear to many: Eastern Front is doomed. He absolutely fell after the October revolution. The new Bolshevik government could stay in power, only stopping the war at any cost — and it paid this incredibly higher price. Under the terms of the Brest Peace March 3, 1918 Our homeland lost to Poland, Finland, the Baltic States, Ukraine and Belarus part — about one quarter of the population, one quarter of cultivated land and three quarters of the coal and ste
el industry. However, in less than a year, after the defeat of Germany, these conditions do not have to act, and the horror of World War II was surpassed plain horror. But it is also true that without the first there would be no second.

The death of the old worldVictory. November 18, 1918. Knocked over by the French war planes are always on display at Place de la Concorde in Paris. Photo ROGER VIOLLET / EAST NEWS

A pause between wars?

Having the opportunity to strengthen the Western Front at the expense of parts, had been transferred from the east, the Germans were prepared and held in the spring and summer of 1918, a series of massive operations: in Picardy, Flanders, on the river Aisne and Oise. Practically it was the last chance the central unit (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey): the resources it one hundred percent depleted. But this time, the achievements have not resulted in a fracture. "The enemy's resistance was higher than the level of our forces," — stated the Ludendorff. The last of the desperate strokes — the Marne, just as in 1914, which completely failed. A 8 August the decisive counterattack allied with the active participation of new U.S. troops. In late September, the German front in the end, "poured". At the same time Bulgaria capitulated. The Austrians and the Turks have long been on the brink of disaster and refrained from concluding a separate peace only under the pressure of its own more powerful ally.

The expected duration of this victory (and should see that the Entente, habitually exaggerating the strength of the enemy, did not mean to achieve it so quickly). Oct. 5, the German government has asked the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, not once Playing in the spirit of the peace, asking for an armistice. But the Entente is needed is not the world, and complete surrender. It was only on November 8, after the revolution broke out in Germany and Wilhelm denied, the German delegation was admitted to the General Headquarters of the Entente — French Marshal Ferdinand Foch.

— What do you want, gentlemen? — Without shaking hands and asked Foch.
— We want your suggestions for an armistice.
— Oh, we do not have any proposals for an armistice. We like to continue the war.
— But we need your terms. We can not continue the fight.
— That's how you mean come to ask for a truce? It is another matter.

The first global war officially ended after 3 day or before, November 11, 1918. At 11:00 GMT, the capitals of all the countries of the Entente sounded 101 shot gun salute. For millions of people, these shots mean long-awaited victory, but even then many were willing to admit their mournful remembrance of the dead of old world.

Timeline of War
All dates are given according to the Gregorian ("new") style
June 28, 1914 Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Austria presents ultimatum to Serbia
August 1, 1914 Germany declares war on the Russian Federation, to intercede for Serbia. Beginning of World War II
August 4, 1914 German troops invaded Belgium
5-10 September 1914 Fight of the Marne. By the final battle defected to the side of trench warfare
6-15 September 1914 in Real Masurian marshes (East Prussia). The heavy defeat of Russian troops
8-12 September 1914 Russian troops occupied Lvov, the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian
September 17 — October 18, 1914 "Run to the Sea" — Allied and German troops are trying to outdo each other out on the flank. As a result, the Western Front stretched from the North Sea through Belgium and France to Switzerland
October 12 — November 11, 1914 The Germans are trying to break the defense of allies in Ypres (Belgium)
February 4, 1915 Germany declares the establishment of submarine blockade of Great Britain and Ireland
April 22, 1915 The city of Ypres on Langemark German troops for the first time using poison gas: it begins the second battle at Ypres
May 2, 1915 Austro-German troops break through the Russian front in Galicia ("Gorlitskiy breakthrough")
May 23, 1915 Italy enters the war on the side of the Entente
June 23, 1915 Russian troops leave Lions
August 5, 1915 The Germans take Warsaw
September 6, 1915 On the Eastern Front the Russian troops stopped coming of German troops in Ternopil. The parties to run across the trench warfare
Feb. 21, 1916 battle of Verdun begins
May 31 — June 1, 1916 battle of Jutland in the North Sea — the main battle navies of Germany and the UK
June 4 — August 10, 1916 Brusilov Offensive
July 1 — November 19, 1916 Fight of the Somme
August 30, 1916, Hindenburg appointed Chief of the General Staff of the German Army. Start of "total war"
September 15, 1916 In the course of the coming of the Somme England for the first time using tanks
December 20, 1916, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sends a note of war veterans with a proposal to start peace talks
February 1, 1917 Germany declares the beginning of a full submarine warfare
March 14, 1917 In Russia, during the outbreak of the revolution Petrograd Soviet issued an order number 1, marked the beginning of the "democratization" of the army
April 6, 1917 United States declares war on Germany
June 16 — July 15, 1917 Bad Russian coming in Galicia, which began on the orders of AF Kerensky led by AA Brusilov
November 7, 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Petrograd
November 8, 1917 the Decree on Peace in Russia
March 3, 1918 Brest peace treaty
9-13 June 1918 Coming of the German army at Compiegne
August 8, 1918 scamper Allies on the Western Front in the coming decisive
November 3, 1918 beginning of the revolution in Germany
November 11, 1918 Armistice
November 9, 1918 in Germany proclaimed a republic
12 November 1918 The ruler of Austria-Hungary, Charles I abdicates
June 28, 1919 The German representatives signed a peace treaty (Treaty of Versailles) in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles near Paris

World or truce

"This is not the world. It is an armistice for 20 years "- prophetically described Foch signed in June 1919 a contract of Versailles, which established a military triumph of the Entente, and placed in the hearts of millions of Germans' sense of humiliation and thirst for revenge. Almost all of Versailles was a tribute to a bygone era of diplomacy when wars were still the undisputed favorite and losers, and the end justified the means. Many European politicians stubbornly unwilling to fully understand: 4 years, 3 months and 10 days majestic war the world has changed beyond recognition.

Meanwhile, even before the signing of the peace Cum carnage caused a chain reaction of disasters of different size and strength. The fall of the autocracy in Russia, replaced in order to become a triumph of democracy over the "despotism", led her to chaos, war and civilian clothes are becoming the new socialist despotism, scares the Western bourgeois "world revolution" and "the destruction of the exploiting classes." Russian example was contagious: against the background of profound shock people last horror uprising broke out in Germany and Hungary, the communist sentiments wrapped the millions of inhabitants, and in a fully liberal "respectable
" powers. In turn, seeking to prevent the spread of "barbarism" Western politicians rushed to rely on nationalist movements, which seemed to them more manageable. The collapse of Russian and then the Austro-Hungarian empire called the real "parade of sovereignties" and favorites of young national states showed a similar aversion to pre-war and "oppressors" and the Communists. But the thought of such absolute self-determination, in turn, was a bomb of slow action.

Clearly, many in the West recognized the need to revise the harsh world order based on the lessons of the war and contemporary reality. But wishful thinking is very often only covered the selfishness and short-sighted reliance on force. Immediately after Versailles President Wilson's closest adviser, Colonel House, said: "In my opinion, it is not in the spirit of the modern era, we have vowed to create." In general, and Wilson himself, one of the main "architects" of the League of Nations and the Nobel Peace Prize, was held hostage by the former political mentality. Like the rest of gray-haired old men — favorites of the victorious — he was inclined to simply ignore many things which did not fit into the usual picture of him in the world. As a result, an attempt to arrange comfortable post-war world, giving everyone his due, and re-assert the hegemony of the "civilized countries" over the "backward and barbaric," absolutely failed. Of course, the favorites were in the camp and supporters even more rigid band against the losers. Their point of view did not prevail, and the glory of God. We can confidently assert that any samples to establish the occupation regime in Germany could be fraught with political allies bolshennymi weights. They not only were not warned growth would revanchism, but, on the contrary, it would be greatly accelerated. Incidentally, one of the consequences of such an approach was the temporary rapprochement of Germany and Russia, allies erased from the system of international relations. And in the long run triumph in both countries brutal isolationism, worsening in Europe in general, numerous social and civil conflicts have brought the world to the latest, even more terrible war.

Were enormous, of course, and other consequences of the First World War: the demographic, economic, cultural. Direct loss of the nations that are specifically involved in the fighting, were, according to various estimates, from 8 to 15.7 million people, consequential (including a sharp drop in the birth rate and increase in deaths from starvation and disease) have reached 27 million. If you add them to the loss of civilian clothes War in Russia and the consequent famine and epidemics, this number will grow almost in half. Pre-war Europe's economy could again reach only to the years 1926-1928, and of a short duration: the global crisis of 1929 seriously crippled it. Only for the U.S. war has become a profitable venture. With regard to Russia (USSR), the economic development of its become so abnormal that a correct judgment on overcoming the consequences of war, there simply is not realistic.

Well, millions of "happily" back from the front and could not fully rehabilitate mentally and socially. "Lost Generation" has long years trying in vain to return to The time is out, and find the meaning of life in a new world. A despairing of this, sent to the latest massacre the next generation — in 1939.

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