References: Statistical Information About Casualties of the Vietnam War. (2013, August). Retrieved April 14, 2016, from -statistics.htmlU.S. Army: The Battle of Gettysburg, Statistics (n.d.). Retrieved from: World War I (1914-1918)By 1914, Napoleonic tactics and strategy remained the standard for modern warfare. Massed artillery and massed infantry advances were considered the key to victory. Early in the war, many horses were slaughtered in fruitless cavalry charges against entrenched machine guns. Advances in weaponry would fully favor dug-in defensive positions.
World War I was made inevitable by a tangled web of military alliances, mainly pitting the so-called Triple Allianceof Britain, France, and Russia against the Triple Ententecomposed of Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Italy.The war was sparked by the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, in Sarajevo, the capital of the Balkan State of Bosnia, on June 28, 1914. Ferdinand was the royal heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Leaders of the neighboring Balkan state, Serbia, decided to come to the aid of Bosnia. Their goal was uniting Bosnia and Serbia as an independent Balkan State. In response to that threat, Austria-Hungary was determined to punish Serbia and an ultimatum was dispatched to Belgrade: Cease militant intent or expect a declaration of war. The Serbs ignored the ultimatum and Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Serbia responded by invoking its military treaty with Russia, and Czar Nicholas ordered full mobilization the next day. Russia invoked its military alliance with France, and France felt compelled to mobilize. Then, Germany decided to mobilize in order to enact a plan of attack focused on France that involved violating the sovereignty of Belgium. On August 4, 1914, Germany forces rolled into Belgium. As a result, Britain was forced to honor its 1839 treaty with Belgium and, on that same day, declared war on Germany. Nearly all parties involved in this looming catastrophe felt assured that the war would be short and all but over by Christmas of 1914.The German plan for winning a quick victory involved a rapid sweeping maneuver across Belgium, aimed at northeast France. That strategy was based on a plan worked out by the Chief of Staff of the German army, Alfred von Schlieffen. According to the plan, the German attack on Belgium was meant to be the first stage in a sweeping advance that would overpowerBelgian, French, and British resistance and open a direct route to Paris. It didn’t work. The German advance was stopped in the First Battle of the Marne(September 6 -12, 1914), just 30 miles short of the French capital. The concept of a war of mobility began to fade. Within a fairly short time, the combatants faced each other across a complex of trenches that extended from the Atlantic coast all the way to Switzerland. And the often-flooded, disease-ridden, rat-infested environment of the trenches contributed mightily to the hell that was World War 1.
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