The World War I portal
World War I (abbreviated WWI), also known as the First World War, the Great War and The War to End all Wars was a global military conflict that took place mostly in Europe between 1914 and 1918. The main combatants were the Allied Powers, led by France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, Serbia, Belgium, and later Italy, Romania and the United States, who fought against the Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, the German Empire, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey).
Much of the fighting in World War I took place along the Western Front, within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications (separated by a " no man's land") running from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. On the Eastern Front, the vast eastern plains and limited rail network prevented a trench warfare stalemate from developing, although the scale of the conflict was just as large. Hostilities also occurred on and under the sea and — for the first time — in the air. More than nine million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and millions more civilians perished.
The war caused the disintegration of four empires: the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian. Germany lost its overseas empire, and states such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were created, or recreated, as in the cases of Lithuania and Poland. This contributed to a decisive break with the world order that had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars, which was modified by the mid-19th century’s nationalistic revolutions. The results of World War I would also be important factors in the development of World War II just over two decades later.
The Battle of Arras was an offensive during World War I by forces of the British Empire between 9 April and 16 May 1917. British, Canadian, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras.
At this stage of the war, the Western Front was a continuous line of trenches stretching from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. With minor adjustments caused by the ebb and flow of asaults and counter-assaults, this corresponded roughly to the final line of confrontation in the last phase of the war of movement of 1914. From behind barbed wire and fortifications, about 100 German divisions faced about 150 French and British Empire divisions in seeming deadlock. In its simplest terms, the Allied objective from early 1915 onwards was to break through the German defences into the open ground beyond and engage the numerically inferior German army in open battle.
The Battle of Arras was planned in conjunction with the French High Command, who were planning a massive attack (the Nivelle Offensive) about eighty kilometres to the south. This had the stated aim of ending the war in forty-eight hours. At Arras, the British Empire's immediate objectives were more modest: (i) to draw German troops away from the ground chosen for the French attack and (ii) to take the German-held high ground that dominated the plain of Douai.
When the battle officially ended on 16 May, British Empire troops had made significant advances, but had been unable to achieve a major breakthrough at any point. New tactics had been battle-tested, particularly in the first phase, and had demonstrated that set-piece assaults against heavily fortified positions could be successful. This sector then reverted to the stalemate that typified most of the war on the Western Front.
The Gewehr 98 was the standard German infantry rifle from 1898 to 1935, when the Karabiner 98k replaced it. The Gewehr 98, or G98, named for 1898, the first year of its manufacture, superseded the earlier Model 1888 Commission Rifle (also known as Gewehr 88 or Judenflinte) in German service. This should not be confused with a Mauser Model 1888. The G98 itself was the latest in a line of Mauser rifles that were introduced in the 1890s. It was a bolt-action rifle, 1.25 metres in length and 4.09 kilograms in weight. It carried 5 rounds of 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser ammunition in an internal box magazine.
"It is easier to make war than make peace."
Hunter Liggett (March 21, 1857– December 30, 1935) was a general of the United States Army. His forty-two years of service spanned the period from the Indian campaigns to trench warfare. Liggett was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. After his graduation from West Point as an infantry lieutenant in 1879, field service in the American West, the Spanish–American War, and the Philippine–American War honed his skills as a troop leader. Success in brigade commands in Texas and in the Philippines led to his selection as commander of the 41st Infantry Division in France in 1917. When his division was disestablished, he took command of I Corps. Under Liggett's leadership, the corps participated in the Second Battle of the Marne and in the reduction of the Saint-Mihiel Salient. In October 1918, as commander of the U.S. First Army, he directed the final phases of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the pursuit of German forces until the armistice. After commanding the U.S. Third Army also known as the Army of Occupation on the Rhine bridgeheads, Hunter Liggett retired in 1921.
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