A School History of the Great War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about A School History of the Great War.
Eagle boats. 6.  What was the object of the Germans in devastating the country when they retreated to the Hindenburg line? 7.  Why did Germany think Mexico and Japan might join her in an attack on the United States? 8.  What was the date on which the United States declared war on Germany? 9.  Why did not the United States declare war on Turkey or Bulgaria? 10.  Make a list of the countries of South America and Central America that declared war on Germany.
REFERENCES.—­War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.); The Study of the Great War (C.P.I.); War, Labor, and Peace (C.P.I.); How the War came to America (C.P.I.); The War Message and the Facts Behind It (C.P.I.); New York Times History of the European War.


[3] The Hindenburg line was very nearly the same as the battle line of Jan. 1, 1918, as shown on the map, page 145.

[4] Except that the United States, on certain conditions, might send one ship a week to Falmouth.



FAILURE OF GERMAN PEACE OFFENSIVE.—­During the fall of 1917 Germany had started a great discussion of the terms of the peace which should close the war.  In general the position taken by German spokesmen was “peace without annexations and without indemnities,” as proposed by the Russian Bolsheviki.  Such talk was designed to weaken the war spirit of the Allied peoples, and perhaps to make the German people believe that they were fighting a war of self-defense.  The time was ripe for a statement of the war aims of Germany’s opponents.  This statement, later approved in general by Allied statesmen, was made by President Wilson in his address to Congress on January 8, 1918.  It is discussed in detail in Chapter XIV.  It was not satisfactory to Germany’s rulers, for they hoped to secure better terms in a peace of bargains and compromises.

RUSSIA MAKES A SEPARATE PEACE.—­Only in Russia was this German peace offensive a success.  In the last chapter we saw how in the latter part of 1917 the Bolsheviki had gained control of the government of Russia and had arranged an armistice with the Central Powers.  This meant the stopping of all fighting along the eastern front and the consequent freeing of many thousands of German soldiers to fight in the west.

At Brest-Litovsk, a town in Russian Poland which had been occupied by the troops of the Central Powers, a meeting of delegates was called to arrange the terms of peace.  The negotiations at this place lasted from December 23, 1917, to February 10, 1918.  The Germans had determined to keep large portions of Russian territory.  At the conference the German delegates flatly refused to promise to withdraw their troops from the occupied parts of Russia after the peace.  By February 10 hope of any settlement that would satisfy Russia had disappeared and the Bolshevik delegates left Brest-Litovsk.  The war, so far as Russia was concerned, was at an end, but no treaty of peace had been signed.  The Bolshevik government issued orders for the complete demobilization of the Russian armies on all the battle fronts.

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A School History of the Great War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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