Great Britain in World War I

Great Britain in World War I (1914 to 1918)

Europe

British history, part of the history of the British Isles and Western Europe since the Stone Age. There were also contacts to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

Since the 4th / 3rd Century BC, According to Pharmacylib, the British Isles were under the influence of the Celts, who mixed with the local population, such as the Picts in Scotland. After two expeditions by Caesar (55 and 54 BC), the Romans conquered most of Britain from 43 AD. The British were romanized or moved to Wales, Ireland or Brittany.

Great Britain in World War I (1914 to 1918)

The entry into the First World War took place due to the policy of Foreign Minister E. Greys, which was not undisputed in the cabinet, who preferred to avoid war, but wanted France’s position as a great power defended in the event of a conflict. With this in mind, he made extensive commitments to France in 1912. Also in 1912 the Haldane mission failed in Berlin, who tried to limit the maritime arms race. Great Britain could not agree to Germany’s request, which insisted on the assurance of British neutrality. In the non-European area (Baghdad Railway, Portuguese colonies) there were German-British agreements. But they could not hide the power-political German-British antagonism in Europe. The German invasion of neutral Belgium brought about the unification of the British Cabinet, which was still divided on August 2, 1914 and which now stood almost unanimously behind the declaration of war of August 4, 1914. The House of Commons also approved the entry into the war, albeit against the votes of the pacifist wing of the Labor Party. When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers,

Since the British fleet was limited to the long-range blockade, there was only one major sea battle off the Skagerrak (May 31 / June 31, 1916), which was not fought until the decision was reached (British losses of warship space: 115,000 t; German losses: 61,000 t). The blockade of German imports by sea and possibly also via the neutral countries has been steadily expanded. The German submarines for their part threatened British food and production, especially after the declaration of unrestricted submarine war (February 1, 1917). However, the British Navy was increasingly successful in inflicting losses on the German submarine weapon.

Thanks to the army reform carried out by Haldane and the introduction of compulsory military service (1916), Great Britain proved stronger on land than expected. In addition to the 5.7 million soldiers raised by the motherland, almost 3 million came from the Dominions and the colonies. In total, the number of British people who fell particularly on the Flanders battlefields was around 800,000.

As a result of the war, there was considerable state intervention in the economy and society (production control, trade and consumption restrictions, work obligations, restriction of the right to strike). The ammunition industry was driven by Lloyd George to increase production. In May 1915 the cabinet was expanded by members of the Conservatives and the Labor Party to form the first coalition ministry under H. H. Asquith. He was replaced in December 1916 by Lloyd George, who put the forces of the British Empire into effect with great energy. The actual management was taken over by a war cabinet of five members. E. Gray was founded in 1916 by A. J. Balfour replaced; the Ministry of Ammunition was taken over in 1917 by W. Churchill, who had become First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911 but took a back seat in 1915 after the failure of the Dardanelles operation.

The war costs were raised through war bonds, tax levies, and US loans. By 1920 Great Britain had lent around US $ 8 billion to the other allies and owed the US $ 4 billion.

The situation in Ireland, where the Sinn Féin movement (Sinn Féin) pursued a separatist anti-English policy that went beyond the Homerule, had worsened. An uprising broke out in Dublin on Easter 1916, but it was quickly put down. After the meeting of an Irish Parliament (Dail Eireann) in Dublin in 1919 and the formation of an illegal republican government by E. de Valera there were bloody British-Irish clashes. In 1920 the British government returned to homerule politics. However, a law respected Protestant Ulster’s resistance to being ruled from Dublin and divided Ireland into Northern and Southern Ireland. On this basis, a peace treaty with the rebels was concluded in 1921, which provided for the homerule for Northern Ireland, independence and Dominion status for Southern Ireland. After the “Irish Free State” was constituted and Northern Ireland remained with the British state, the latter changed the country name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1922.

Great Britain in World War I