Saturday, June 28, 2014

Off topic: World War I 1914-1918

The assassination that triggered  a series of events that led to the  First World War happened exactly one hundred years ago, today.  What follows is the presentation given in school two years ago by my then  8-year-old son Eitan, reproduced here with his permission:

Slide 1

                           Word War I   1914-1918

Slide 2

How did it all start?
A Serbian man by the name of Gavrilo Princip  assassinated  Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne

Caption under the photos:   The assassinated, the assassin

Slide 3

Following the assassination, the Austro-Hungarian Empire  declared war on Serbia
Allied powers: England, France, Italy, Russia,  United States, Serbia    vs
Central powers: Austro–Hungarian Empire, Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria

Slide 4

Map of Europe before the war

Slide 5

Map of Europe after the war

Slide 6
After the war the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated and the following countries were born: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Austria, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Hungary

Slide 7

The First World War was a war in the trenches

 Slide 8

What did they fight with?

British tank                             German gun – Big Bertha
British airplane                         German airplane

 Slide 9

A part of the war even took place in Be’er Sheva . On 31st October 1917 the Australian Light Brigade arrived to take the city from the Turks

Slide 10

On 11th of November 1918 at 11 a.m. the armistice was signed between the Allied and Central powers. This was a very deadly war - 15 000 000 people were killed

 Slide 11

The Treaty of Versailles was signed of 28 June 1919.

 Slide 12

The End                                       By  Eitan

And a slightly different perspective, from Winston S. Churchill’s  "The World Crisis", Volume I, pages 204, 205, Charles Schribner's Sons, New York 1923, renewed in 1951.

The discussion had reached its inconclusive end, and the Cabinet was about to separate, when the quiet grave tones of Sir Edward Grey's voice were heard reading a document which had just been brought to him from the Foreign Office. It was the Austrian note to Serbia. He had being reading or speaking for several minutes before I could disengage my mind from the tedious and bewildering debate which had just closed. We were all very tired, but gradually as the phrases and sentences followed one another impressions of a wholly different character began to form in my mind. This note was clearly an ultimatum; but it was an ultimatum such as had never been penned in modern times. As the reading proceeded it seemed absolutely impossible that any State in the world could accept it, or that any acceptance, however abject, would satisfy the aggressor. The parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded back into the mists and squalls of Ireland, and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible graduations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe.

I always take the greatest interest in reading accounts of how the war came upon different people; where they were, and what they were doing, when the first impression broke on their mind, and they first began to feel this overwhelming event laying its fingers on their lives. I never tire of the smallest detail, and I believe that so long as they are true and unstudied they will have a definite value and an enduring interest for posterity...

Update May 5, 2018
Here is an excellent presentation on the causes of WWI by Christopher Clark

Update May 26, 2018

Now that I am half way through it, I realize Christopher Clark's book has become indispensable to the understanding of the mess that led to WWI