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The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
OverviewMutinyCollapseBrittain / KamaraDesagneaux / Borden


Mutiny
Russian soldiers
Russian Soldiers
In 1917, after the loss of millions of live, the stalemate on the front lines, and the disruption of nearly every aspect of daily life in all the combatant nations, many people - civilians and soldiers alike - still wanted to continue fighting to victory. The combatant nations rejected all the peace initiatives that were proposed in 1917. As the months passed, however, people on both sides of the conflict began to question the violence and massive slaughter. People everywhere sought ways to cope with, if not escape, the environment of war. Russian front line soldiers grew increasingly disillusioned and apathetic. Many refused to obey orders, retreating when commanded to advance; they deserted the military and engage in open rebellion and mass mutiny. In France, a failed offensive in the spring of 1917 resulted in a mutiny not against the war but against the way it was waged by the general staff.  
 
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Collapse
German soldiers camped
German soldiers camped
The year 1918 started with a major German offensive on the western front, which the Allies stopped. With the help of the Americans -- who declared war on Germany in 1917 -- the Allies then engaged in a highly successful set of offensives of their own. Germany's civilian support for the war eventually collapsed, and a mutiny by the German navy that sparked civil riots sweep through the cities. In early November, the Kaiser abdicated and fled to neutral Holland. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, a cease-fire went into effect for all combatants. The war was over.
 
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Voices
Vera Brittain Vera Brittain
Oxford University Student
Kande Kamara Kande Kamara
African soldier on Western Front
Henri Desagneux Henri Desagneux
The Battle of Verdun
Mary Borden Mary Borden
The Battle of the Somme

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Timeline Maps & Battles Shaping of the 21st Century Historians War Index Resources About the Show