Lecture delivered by Professor John Merriman as part of the ‘European Civilization, 1648-1945’ course at Yale College. With the failure of Germany’s offensive strategy, WWI became a war of defense, in which trenches played a major role. The use of trenches and barbed wire, coupled with the deployment of new, more deadly forms of artillery, created extremely bloody stalemate situations. The hopelessness of this arrangement resulted in a number of mutinies on the French side, motivated neither by defeatism nor by ideology, but rather by the sheer horror of trench warfare. Due to the unprecedented scale of casualties, WWI impressed itself irresistibly upon the cultural imagination of the combatant nations.
Lecture chapters consist of:
- The Failure of the Schlieffen Plan: The Battle of the Marne [00:00:00]
- Trench Warfare [00:05:47]
- The Legacy of the Great War [00:13:51]
- The French Mutinies of 1917 [00:22:20]
- The Turning Point in 1917: The Russian Revolution and American Involvement [00:34:18]
- The Scale of Destruction [00:41:52]
Also available as audio and a transcript.
Original URL: http://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-202/lecture-17
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