Great War, 1914-1918 by Spencer Tucker

By Spencer Tucker

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37 Gloom and defeatism held sway in Paris. The government fled to Bordeaux in the south and half a million Parisians also left. Word was also received of a catastrophic Russian defeat at Tannenberg. The only positive development for the Allies was an agreement on 5 September whereby France, Great Britain, and Russia transformed their entente into an alliance. In the Pact of London each country declared it would not sign a separate peace. Japan adhered to the treaty on 19 October. Battle of the Marne But armies alone would decide whether the alliance survived, and in early September that appeared unlikely.

By 1899 the French had a submarine with torpedo tubes in service. 49 Military aviation The United States was the first country to experiment with military aviation. In 1903 two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, achieved the first manned powered flight. Pershing in the 1916 punitive expedition into Mexico. The US Navy also experimented. In 1910 Eugene Ely flew a plane off the USS Birmingham and the next year he landed one on the USS Pennsylvania. 50 Aircraft first went to war in the Tripolitan conflict of 1911–12.

With his 10-round magazine, bolt-action Lee-Enfield a well-trained British infantrymen could fire 15 or more aimed shots per minute. Although the rifles of the Continental powers were similar they lacked the Lee-Enfield’s magazine capacity (the Mauser magazine held only five rounds, the Lebel eight). 36 The British Expeditionary Force’s employment of rapid, aimed 11 THE GREAT WA R, 1 914-1 8 rifle fire was crucial in preventing a German victory in the first few months of the war. If any one weapon symbolized the First World War it was the machine gun.

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