ChAPTER 33 -- Part 4: Descent into the Abyss: World War I
All of the major powers that went to war in 1914 had colonies outside Europe.
The manpower and resources of the imperial possessions were sucked into the conflict when it became clear that the war was not going to be quick and decisive.
By 1915 fighting had spread to the Middle East, west and east Africa, and even to China and the islands of the Pacific.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and throughout much of Africa were recruited to fight for the Tripleente allies.
The United States entered the war in 1917, leaving the nations of South America alone.
Britain contributed more to the war's globaliza tion than any other power.
Germany was cut off from its colonies in Africa, China, and the Pacific islands by the British navy at the start of the war.
British and French forces engaged the German navy in 1914.
In February 1916, German forces took German Togoland.
After the end of the war in Europe, the empire and allies of the Portuguese African pursuers were drawn into two weeks.
Africa was the site of significant combat in World The British Dominions--Canada, Australia, War I, but from Algeria in the north to the union of South Africa it was a recruiting ground for tens and New Zealand.
In defiance of the German U-boat fleet in the Atlantic, the settlers supplied food and critical raw materials and swelled Britain's armed forces.
The British fought on the Western Front at times bolstering their lines that Istanbul was crumbling under German assaults.
In support of the British, the white settlers in South Africa joined Turkish victory over the Australians.
During World War I, some segments of the Afrikaner population suffered so much as a result of British opposition that they had to siding with the British.
The British and the French received help from their colonies in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.
The British army that they recruited in India for over a century and a half fought in Africa and the Middle East.
The Western Front, where tens of thousands of non- European soldiers were deployed, had many who served with distinction but with little or no reward.
The French relied heavily on laborers recruited from Africa to Vietnam to replace the millions of farmers and factory workers who went off to war.
Although the Germans quickly lost most of their colonies in Africa and the Far East, superbly led African soldiers recruited and trained in German East Africa, held off hundreds of thousands of British-led Indian and South African troops until two weeks after the end of hostilities in Europe.
The Ottoman empire entered the war in the fall of 1915 and was Germany's main support outside Europe.
The Ottoman relied on German military advisers and financiers after the Young Turk leaders consolidated their power in Istanbul.
The Turks opened up fronts in southern Russia, where they suffered severe defeats, and in the Middle East, where their fortunes were mixed.
They were a threat to the British in Egypt.
The Young Turk leaders wanted to blame the Russian side for the reverses on the Russian front to the Christian Armenia minority.
The Turks launched pogroms against the Russians in the past, and some of the Armenias living in Turkish areas supported the Russians.
Poor generalship and bad planning were the main causes of the Turkish military disasters.
In 1915, the Young Turk leaders launched an assault against the Armenias.
As many as a million lives were lost in the assault and hundreds of thousands of people were sent to Russia.
The United States was the last major combatant to enter the global conflagration, with over a million war on Germany in the spring of 1917.
The United States became a major global power as a result of the war.
The United States fled to Russia and the Middle East in 1914.
The outbreak of the war was greeted with ambivalence on the part of American leaders.
American businesses made a lot of money from the war due to the British blockade.
The Europeans' need to concentrate their industrial production on the war effort allowed American mercantile interests to take over new markets in Latin America and Asia.
The United States became the world's largest creditor and strongest economy because of rising exports and huge loans to Britain, France, and Russia.
A majority of the American public was pro-British despite all of the gains that the United States had accrued through neutrality.
British successes in the propaganda war and growing economic ties to the allies explain the sentiment.
The United States entered the war because of clumsy German attempts to influence American opinion and the German need to control sea access to Europe.
The number of American troops sent to Europe in 1917 was symbolic.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans arrived in Europe each week by early 1918.
The German high command was convinced that they needed to launch a massive strike before the full resources of the United States could be brought to bear against their tired soldiers.
The German offensives on the Western Front in March and April of 1918 looked as if they might bring victory to the Central Powers.
Most of the time, they fall back toward Paris.
The advance slowed as the tsarist fell within the range of the great German guns.
There are mounting casualties in Russia.
The German armies were pushed out of northern France.
The Austrian fronts broke down in northeast Italy and the Balkans.
The heir to the Habsburg throne abdicated as separate republics in Austria and Hungary sued the Entente allies for peace.