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Propaganda often took the form of images which portrayed stereotypes from folklore about the enemy or from glorified moments from the nation's history. On the Eastern Front, propaganda took many forms such as opera, film, spy fiction, theater, spectacle, war novels and graphic art. Across the Eastern Front the amount of propaganda used in each country varied from state to state. Propaganda took many forms within each country and was distributed by many different groups. Most commonly the state produced propaganda, but other groups, such as anti-war organizations, also generated propaganda.

Prior to the outbreak of war, German strategy was based almost entirely on the Schlieffen Plan.

With the Franco-Russian Agreement in place, Germany knew that war with either of these combatants would result in war with the other, which meant that there would be war in both the west and the east. Therefore, the German General Staff, Alfred von Schlieffen, planned a quick, all-out ground war on the Western Front to take France and, upon victory, Germany would turn its attention to Russia in the east. Von Schlieffen believed Russia would not be ready or willing to move against and attack Germany due to the huge losses of military equipment that Russia suffered in the Russo-Japanese war , her low population density and lack of railroads.

Conversely, the German Navy believed it could be victorious over Britain with Russian neutrality, something which von Moltke knew would not be possible.

The Treaty of Bucharest , signed on August 10, , ended the Balkan conflict and added 6, square kilometers to Romania's territory. Strong cultural influences also affected Romanian leanings, however. King Carol I , as a Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen , favoured his Germanic roots, while the Romanian people, influenced by their Orthodox church and Latin-based language, were inclined to join France. Perhaps King Carol's attempts at joining the war on the side of the Central powers would have been fruitful had he not died in , but Romanian disenchantment with Austria-Hungary had already influenced public and political opinion.

French endorsement of Romanian action against Bulgaria, and support of the terms of the Treaty of Bucharest was particularly effective at inclining Romania towards the Entente. According to historian John Keegan, these enticements offered by the Allies were never concrete, for in secret, Russia and France agreed not to honor any conventions when the end of the war came. The immediate reason for Russia's involvement in the First World War was a direct result of the decisions made by the statesmen and generals during July The July crisis was the culmination of a series of diplomatic conflicts that took place in the decades prior to , and this is fundamental to an understanding of Russia's position immediately prior to the War.

According to D. Lieven , Russia was formidable and was able to back up her diplomatic policies with force. In —, the four leading powers in Europe were Russia, Prussia, Austria and France, each of whom exercised a similar proportion of power at the time. One of the most significant factors in bringing Russia to the brink of war was the downfall of her economy. In addition there were overwhelming burdens of defense, which would ultimately result in an economic downfall for the Russians.

This was a major strain on the Russian population, but also served as a direct threat to military expenditure. In , Germany was the most powerful state in all of Europe. Nevertheless, one of the key factors was that of the Russian foreign policy between and In order for the Russians to legitimize their war efforts the government constructed an image of the enemy through state instituted propaganda.

Their main aim was to help overcome the legend of the "invincible" German war machine, in order to boost the morale of civilians and soldiers. Russian propaganda often took the form of showing the Germans as a civilized nation, with barbaric "inhuman" traits.

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First World War

Russian propaganda also exploited the image of the Russian POWs who were in the German camps, again in order to boost the morale of their troops, serving as encouragement to defeat the enemy and to get their fellow soldiers out of the "inhuman" German POW camps. An element of the Russian propaganda was the Investigate Commission formed in April It was led by Aleksei Krivtsov and the study was tasked with the job of studying the legal violations committed by of the Central Powers and then getting this information to the Russian public.

This commission published photographs of letters that were allegedly found on fallen German soldiers. These letters document the German correspondents saying to "take no prisoners. Austria-Hungary's participation in the outbreak of World War I has been neglected by historians, as emphasis has traditionally been placed on Germany's role as the prime instigator. Approximately a month later, on July 28, , Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This act led to a series of events that would quickly expand into the First World War; thus, the Habsburg government in Vienna initiated the pivotal decision that would begin the conflict.

The causes of the Great War have generally been defined in diplomatic terms, but certain deep-seated issues in Austria-Hungary undoubtedly contributed to the beginnings of the First World War. The movement towards South Slav unity was a major problem for the Habsburg Empire, which was facing increasing nationalist pressure from its multinational populace. As Europe's third largest state, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was hardly homogeneous; comprising over fifty million people and eleven nationalities, the Empire was a conglomeration of a number of diverse cultures, languages, and peoples.

Specifically, the South Slavic people of Austria-Hungary desired to amalgamate with Serbia in an effort to officially solidify their shared cultural heritage. Over seven million South Slavs lived inside the Empire, while three million lived outside it. The unification of the South Slav race is one of the powerful national movements which can neither be ignored nor kept down. The question can only be, whether unification will take place within the boundaries of the Monarchy — that is at the expense of Serbia's independence — or under Serbia's leadership at the expense of the Monarchy.

The cost to the Monarchy would be the loss of its South Slav provinces and thus of almost its entire coastline. The loss of territory and prestige would relegate the Monarchy to the status of a small power. The annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in by Austrian foreign minister Baron von Aehrenthal in an effort to assert domination over the Balkans inflamed Slavic nationalism and angered Serbia.

Bosnia-Herzegovina became a "rallying cry" for South Slavs, with hostilities between Austria-Hungary and Serbia steadily increasing. The Allied Powers wholeheartedly supported the Slavs' nationalistic fight. George Macaulay Trevelyan, a British historian, saw Serbia's war against Austria-Hungary as a "war of liberation" that would "free South Slavs from tyranny. If this war ends in the overthrow of the Magyar tyranny, an immense step forward will have been taken toward racial liberty and European peace. Prior to , the Russian's lack of success in war and diplomacy in the six decades before sapped the country's moral strength.

The First World War and its consequences in Africa

The triumphs of Britain and Germany in the martial, diplomatic and economic spheres put these countries in the front rank of the world's leading nations. It helped reconcile the worker to the state and the Bavarian or Scotsman to rule from Berlin or London. In the years prior to , Austro-Russian co-operation was both crucial for European peace and difficult to maintain.

Old suspicions exacerbated by the Bosnian crisis stood in the way of agreement between the two empires, as did ethnic sensitivities. Russia's historical role as liberator of the Balkans was difficult to square with Austria's determination to control adjacent territories. The Russians were, with some justice, indignant that the concessions they had made after the First Balkan War in the interest of European peace had not been reciprocated by the Central Powers. This was doubly dangerous given the growing evidence flowing into Petersburg about Germany's aggressive intentions.

Both Bazarov and the agents of the Russian secret political police in Germany reported the concern aroused in public opinion by the press war against Russia, which raged in the spring of The Russian military was the largest in the world consisting of 1. They could also mobilize up to 5 million men, but only had 4. It also had poor leadership. This early Russian success in on the Austro-Russian border was a reason for concern to the Central Powers and caused considerable German forces to be transferred to the East to take pressure off the Austrians, leading to the creation of the new German Ninth Army.

At the end of , the main focus of the fighting shifted to central part of Russian Poland , west of the river Vistula. The Russian and Austro-Hungarian armies continued to clash in and near the Carpathian Mountains throughout the winter of — Przemysl fortress managed to hold out deep behind enemy lines throughout this period, with the Russians bypassing it in order to attack the Austro-Hungarian troops further to the west. They made some progress, crossing the Carpathians in February and March , but then the German relief helped the Austrians stop further Russian advances.

The First World War: To Arms 1914 (2003)- Part 01 of 10

In the meantime, Przemysl was almost entirely destroyed and the Siege of Przemysl ended in a defeat for the Austrians. In the German command decided to make its main effort on the Eastern Front, and accordingly transferred considerable forces there. To eliminate the Russian threat the Central Powers began the campaign season of with the successful Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive in Galicia in May The offensive soon turned into a general advance and a corresponding strategic retreat by the Russian Army.

The cause of the reverses suffered by the Russian Army was not so much errors in the tactical sphere, as the deficiency in technical equipment, particularly in artillery and ammunition as well as the corruption and incompetence of the Russian officers. Only by did the buildup of Russian war industries increase production of war material and improve the supply situation.

By mid, the Russians had been expelled from Russian Poland and hence pushed hundreds of kilometers away from the borders of the Central Powers, removing the threat of Russian invasion of Germany or Austria-Hungary. The general outline of this front line did not change until the Russian collapse in The Turks were concerned with reorganizing their army and committing the Armenian Genocide. This concern was legitimate: Bulgaria's entry into the war as Germany's ally in October caused serious alarm, as a land route from Germany to Turkey was now open and would allow for an unrestricted flow of German weapons to the Turks.

Britain's efforts to besiege Baghdad had been halted at Ctesiphon, and they were forced to retreat. This led to an increasing number of attacks by Turkish forces. The British requested the Russians to attack in an attempt to distract the Turks, and Yudenich agreed.

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The resulting offensive began on January 10, This offensive was unanticipated by the Turks, as it was in the middle of winter. Coupled with an imbalance of forces — the Russians had troops, while the Turks only 78 — the situation appeared grim for the Central Powers. Allied operations in were dictated by an urgent need to force Germany to transfer forces from its Western to Eastern fronts, to relieve the pressure on the French at the Battle of Verdun.

This was to be accomplished by a series of Russian offensives which would force the Germans to deploy additional forces to counter them. The Italian operations during had one extraordinarily positive result: Austrian divisions were pulled away from the Russian southern front. This allowed the Russian forces to organize a counter-offensive.

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The Brusilov Offensive was a large tactical assault carried out by Russian forces against Austro-Hungarian forces in Galicia. General Aleksei Brusilov believed victory against the Central Powers was possible if close attention was paid to preparation. Brusilov suggested that the Russians should attack on a wide front, and to position their trenches a mere seventy-five yard away from Austrian trenches. Brusilov's plan worked impeccably. The Russians outnumbered the Austrians , to ,, and held a considerable advantage in guns, with large guns to Most importantly innovative new tactics similar to those independently invented by Erwin Rommel were used to perform quick and effective close-range surprise attacks that allowed a steady advance.

Over a million Austrians were lost, with over , men killed or taken prisoner by mid-June. Although the Brusilov Offensive was initially successful, it slowed down considerably.

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An inadequate number of troops and poorly maintained supply lines hindered Brusilov's ability to follow up on the initial victories in June. Romania may be the turning point of the campaign.

World War 1 facts

If the Germans fail there it will be the greatest disaster inflicted upon them. Afterwards it will only be a question of time. But should Germany succeed, I hesitate to think what the effect will be on the fortunes of our campaign.


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Up until , the Romanians followed the tides of war with interest, while attempting to situate themselves in the most advantageous position. French and Russian diplomats had begun courting the Romanians early on, but persuasion tactics gradually intensified. For King Ferdinand to commit his force of half a million men, he expected the Allies to offer a substantial incentive. Transylvanian demographics strongly favoured the Romanians. Romania succumbed to Allied enticement on August 18, Romania's entry into the war provoked major strategic changes for the Germans.

In September , German troops were mobilized to the Eastern Front.