“Tragedy of World War 1” BY quank1997 Journalist: Joe Herzberg July 1914 Whoever knew that two bullets would spark the First World War. When news broke out that Archduke was assassinated, Europe was going downhill. Tragedy struck across Europe when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Germans followed out their schlieffen plan to attack Belgium. This plan called for holding action against Russia, combined with a tactic through Belgium to Paris. France had ruined the two German armies that would defeat Russia.
German troops swept across Belgium, terrorizing thousands of civilians. Allies retreated to the Marne River in France on September 1914. Both armies dug in for a long siege; which took over six hours . Soon it would become a parallel system of rat-infested trenches. Rats were a common issue for both armies. Soldiers reported rats as big as domestic cats. Rats would eat the corpses of the soldiers, nibbling on them as they slept or if they were wounded. German soldiers occupied one set of trenches, allied soldiers the other.
There were hree main kinds of trenches, front line, support, and reserve. Soldiers spent a period of time in each of trench. Dugouts rooms were used as command post and shelter. Between the trenches was “no man’s land”. A space between the trenches with shell craters covered with barbed wire. Each side was covered with snipers, artillery, enemy infantry, and mines. It was hard for soldiers to survive. The scale of slaughter was horrific. The bloody warfare continued for next three years. I remember when Lady Lusitania launched on June 7, 1906.
She was the largest ship at the time. She left Liverpool in September of 1907 to New York. Over 200,000 people came to see the departure and sail. On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat patrolling the coast of Ireland (in search of weapons) spotted Lady Lusitania and struck her with a torpedo. As she sank thousands of passengers began to panic and swarm towards the lifeboats to save themselves. Everyone was shouting for help and fghting each other’s. Some ever Jumped to their fates. Most passengers (including me) were able to climb into lifeboats and escape off to the sea.
The unfortunate were left to burn and drown. As everyone on the lifeboat watched Lady Lusitania sank, I was thankful to survive. After an hour of chaos, it was all over. Lady Lusitania made headlines around the world and infected everyone. It was estimated that 1198 passengers, including 128 Americans died, which influence President Wilson to declared war on Germany. The Zimmerman telegram that was decoded by Britain also influences the US to Join. It also leads an agreement for Germany military not to sink ships without warning.