During the war and throughout the years leading up to World War 1, the world was in the middle of industrial and technological advancements. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, nations were inventing new means of production and technology. At the time of World War 1, countries involved in the war used the momentum of the Industrial Revolution and technological advancements leading up to the war to attempt to gain an advantage on the rest of the world. They did this by mass production of ammo and artillery shells, as well as building up their navies, improving air warfare, and improving the war on the ground. The economies of each nation played a large role in the war, and the production of ships, tanks, new weapons, more ammo, more artillery, and the invention of chemical warfare turned World War 1 into something called Total War, or the usage of every aspect of a country in attempt to win the war (BBC History November 4th 2012).
With the men on the battlefield, people were doing their part at home as well. On the Home Front, civilians worked in factories to make ammo, ships, shells, tanks, weapons, and other things to contribute to the war effort. Many women found jobs working in these factories and encouraged their husbands to join the army (BBC History November 4th 2012). The government created propaganda to show how horrible the war was and to encourage the civilians to become a part of the war and help the cause. Certain propaganda would depict the suffering of the soldiers to make civilians work harder in the factories in order to help the soldiers on the battlefield. Producing as much ammo, weapons, and shells as possible in factories would help the soldiers in the trenches survive. Survival in the trenches was difficult, and running short of ammo was one of the main worries of armies fighting in the trenches. With more ammo and more weapons, the army could fight longer, meaning they had a better chance of winning and also surviving in the trenches.
Ernst Junger, a soldier in World War 1 and author of the book Storm of Steel, experienced life in the trenches. He was a part of total war because he was a soldier on the battlefield. While the people back home worked hard in the factories, the men on the battlefield sacrificed, suffered, and fought hard. During bombardments, according to Junger, the men would sit “tensed and ready in the shelter entrances, prepared at any moment to repel invaders with rifles and hand-grenades” (76). Although the experience on the Home Front was nothing like the experience on the battlefield, both helped in the cause of total war.
. "Battle of the Marne." BBC History . BBC, n.d. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/battle_marne.shtml>.
This article talks about the Battle of the Marne, a battle in World War 1. It explains the German plan to capture Paris. It also talks about how the Battle of the Marne is where trench warfare supposedly began on the Western Front.
. "The Western Front and the Birth of Total War." BBC History . BBC, 03 2011. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/total_war_01.shtml>.
This article talks about the long-term effects of the Industrial Revolution on the world. It discusses how World War 1 started as a “people’s war” and turned into “total war”.
Duffy, Michael. "Race to the Sea." . N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/racetothesea.htm>.
This article talks about the Race to the Sea in World War 1, how it started, and how it ended. It discusses the reasons why the Race to the Sea happened in the first place and how it contributed to the start of trench warfare in World War 1.
. "The Battle of the Somme." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/maps/maps_somme.html>.
This article talks about the Battle of the Somme. It explains what happened during the battle and how many soldiers were wounded and killed.
Le Maner, Yves . "Kaiserschlacht: The German Spring Offensive of 1918." . N.p.. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/learn-
This article talks about the Kaiser’s Battle in 1918. It explains each step of the overall plan and also talks about the losses of soldiers for both sides.
. "The Home Front in World War One." BBC History . BBC, 14 2005. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/wars_conflict/home_front/the_home_front_01.shtml>.
This article talks about what civilians did at home while the men were on the battlefield fighting. It talks about the role of women in World War 1 and how they worked in factories. It also discusses the effects of the war on the Home Front.