Weekly Discussion and Review Questions

 Chapter 7 World War I

Questions of the Documents:

Based on these letters and diary entries, what did soldiers and officers alike expect concerning the war and the fighting?

How did such expectations change and why? How long of a period do you think it took for such "new reality" to take hold? Why do later soldiers still anticipate "glory" in this war?

Define the attributes which a typical soldier entering World War I brought with him concerning his: personal identity, fellow unit members, the enemy,and death. How did he conceive of his own military role? Once he had experienced the horrors of this war, which if any of these attitudes change? Did any new concept of his military role and identity emerge?

How do the Christmas truces fit into your previous answer?

Did the national origin of the different soldiers reveal different experiences or reactions? Does that tell us anything about the manner in which warfare was carried out?

All wars deal out death generously. What specifically did these soldiers experience about dying that made it seem more horrible than all previous wars? What characterized the actual battles of this war in terms of men, explosives, tactics and objectives?

Select some specific technological developments that saw new or revised use in World War I. How did such tools impact the individual soldier? Did they develop a new attitude toward technology in general?

Why do so many of the soldiers describe attacks as "glorious," but the far less dangerous "bombardments" as frightful and debilitating?

Define propaganda. What goals does it have? What role did atrocity stories play in this war's propaganda? What assumptions influence the type of atrocity stories which are spread about?

Given the personal horror of this war, why did the soldiers fight on? What single explanation is cited again and again by the soldiers?

After reading the letters on the French mutiny of 1917, what were the issues and experiences cited? Is there any truth to official claims of "outside agitators?"

Analyze the poetry selections (Seeger, Sassoon, Blunden,and Owens). What are the most prominent images and why are they effective?

 

Chapter Summary Questions:

Terms to Know

Trench Warfare
Mustard Gas
Propaganda
Dulce et decorum est
Schlieffen Plan
Entente Cordial
Central Powers
War of Attrition
Comradeship

 

Casualty Chart of all Belligerents in World War I

Examine this chart. Which countries lost the most men, the least? What are the reasons for such differences? How do these death counts compare with the population of your home town or the nearest city? With the enrollment at your university?

Country

Total Mobilized

Total Men Killed

Wounded and Prisoners

Missing in Action

Total Casualties

% of Mobiliz

ALLIES

Russia

12,000,000

1,700,000

.4.266.000

2,500,000

9,150,000

76.3%

France

8,410,000

1,357,800

4,266,000

537,000

6,160,800

73.3%

Britain

8,904,467

908,371

2,090,212

191,652

3,190,235

35.8%

Italy

5,615,000

650,000

947,000

600,000

2,197,000

39.1%

USA

4,355,000

126,000

234,300

4,500

364,800

8.0%

Japan

800,000

300

907

3

1210

.2%

Romania

750,000

335,706

120,000

80,000

535,706

71.4%

Serbia

707,343

45,000

133,148

152,958

331,106

46.8%

Belgium

267.000

13,716

44,686

34,659

93,061

33.3%

Greece

230,000

5,000

21,000

1,000

27,000

11.7%

Portugal

100,000

7,222

13,751

12,318

33,291,

33.3%

Montenegro

50,000

3,000

10,000

7,000

20,000

40.0%

TOTAL

42,188,810
5,152,115
12,831,004
4,121,099
22,104,209
52.0%

CENTRAL POWERS

Germany

11,000,000

1,773,700

4,216,058

1,152,800

7,147,558

64.9%

Aust-Hungary

7,800,000

1,200,000

3,620,000

2,200,000

7,020,000

90.0%

Turkey

2,850,000

325,000

400,000

550,000

975,000

34.2%

Bulgaria

1.200.000

87.500

150.390

27.029

266,919

22.2%

TOTAL

22,80,000
3,386,200
8,388,448
3,629,829
15.404.477
67.4%

GRAND TOTAL

65.038.810
8.538.315
21.219.452
7.750.919
37.508.686
57.9%

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