The last 100 days & theTreaty of Versailles Central Powers Collapse Two important events in 1917 changed the direction of the war: 1) angered by the sinking of the neutral ships and passenger liners such as the Lusitania, the United States declared war on Germany 2) Bolshevik (communist) revolutionaries on Russia overthrew the czar, promising the public “peace and bread” Russians signed a tough peace treaty with Germany, freeing the Kaiser’s troops to move to the Western Front Sinking of the Lusitania Departed on May 1, 1915 and sank on May 7th US did not go to war for another two years There were warnings that the ship could be a potential target sailing into the “War Zone” Ship was known as the “fastest and largest” steamer The liner was warned of U-boat activity off the S. coast of Ireland The boat took only 18 minutes to sink! Why??? Why did the Lusitania sink? The log of the U-boat stated clearly that the submarine had only fired one torpedo There was a second explosion, which lead to the sinking It is thought the second explosion occurred because the liner was carrying small arms and ammunition Therefore a legitimate target for the Germans The Great Lusitania Video German Collapse With Russia out of the war, Germany’s last chance was to conquer Paris before American troops reached France March 1918: Germans used massed attacks at weak points to drive deep into France (positions won by Canadians, Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele- were lost in weeks) By summer, the front line was 75 km’s from Paris The “Hundred Days” Allied troops underwent secret counteroffensive attack Thousands or soldiers and tonnes of artillery were secretly gathered at Amiens (French railway city) Alliance was completely surprised when they were attacked and the Entente captured 13km of territory in one day! This final offensive lasted between August and November 1918 The Last 100 Days (89 in Text) the German forces were forced to retreat as the forces were withdrawing, they destroyed roads, bridges, factories, etc. to slow down the Allies' pursuit so they could establish a last defensive line at their own border In September and October Canadian soldiers broke through Germany’s defence Won important battles (Arras, Cambrai and Valenciennes) 100 Days Continued Canadians captured more territory, prisoners and equipment than the American Army 6 times larger! They defeated ¼ of the entire German Army Alliance countries collapsed one by one Fighting ended at 11:00 am on November 11th, 1918 Canadian Casualties 60,000 killed and 172,00 wounded Thousands would linger in veterans’ hospitals for years after 1918 Spanish Flu: Swept across the world killing millions (21million world wide, twice death poll of entire war) Soldiers brought the virus back to North America 50, 000 Canadians lost their lives to virus Virus forced cancellation of 1919 Stanley Cup after 4 games Paris Peace Conference this was the formal end to the war held in 1919; Palace of Versailles outcome of this conference was of greatest importance to Germany yet had a lasting effect on other nations; including Canada originally Canada was not to have any delegates at the Conference Prime Minister Borden insisted upon having representation and was allowed to send four people to Paris Borden & PM Lloyed George “Mr. Prime Minister, I want to tell you that if there is ever a repetition of Passchendaele, not a Canadian soldier will ever leave the shore of Canada so long as the Canadian people entrust the Government of my country to my hands.” The Treat of Versailles Wilson’s 14 points: Plan for German surrender; emphasizing peace and forgiveness French PM wanted revenge and repayment from Germany Since most of the war had been fought in Northern France, leaving it in ruins Major Parts of the Treaty of Versailles Reparations: $5 Billion in first two years (totalling $30 billion) Unspecific future amounts (linked to the war debts of Britain & France) War Guilt: Germany forced to sign a document accepting responsibility for the war Military Limitations: 100 000 men in army, no airforce, no submarines, tanks, etc. Loss of Land: creation of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary Germany hesitated to sign the treaty because they thought it was very harsh they eventually agreed to sign it out of fear of the Allies' threat to resume fighting many will say that the treaty did not bring peace, but instead the certainty of a renewed war in the future treaty was signed on June 28th, 1919 “ We will have to fight another war all over again in 25 years at three times the cost.” – PM Lloyed George Think/Pair/Share What were some of the conditions that Germany was faced with in the implementation of the Treaty of Versailles? What condition(s) do you think would be most detrimental to the Germans? Why? Do you think the Treaty of Versailles will be able to be successful? Would Wilson's Fourteen Points have been more successful if it had of been implemented fully? Could it have prevented World War II?