HIS 112
Unit 9:  World War I

World War I Cemetery from www.firstworldwar.com/today/graphics/02caterpillarvalleycem03.jpg

World War I Caterpillar Valley Cemetery containing the graves of over five thousand British and Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Somme offensive of 1916.  There are an awful lot of these cemeteries in France--all still well tended.

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • You may listen to some further information about the Great War from my HIS 102 course.
  • Read my notes on Franz Kafka, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century.
  • There are an unbelievable amount of source documents that have been published with regard to World War I.
  • The war led to a dramatic re-shaping of the map of Europe and the Near East. See the narrated Prezi by Lydia Quinn on T.E. Lawrence and his activites in Arabia during the war.
  • After the war, as empires broke up, several new countries took form. See the website by Martina Havrlanta (spring 2016) on The Formation of Czechoslovakia.
  • Allison Shepherd (fall 2017) created a Pinterest board on The Paris Peace Conference.
  • Peter Neville (fall 2017) created an exhibit on The Machine Guns of World War I.
  • Keegan Hughes-Segroves created a nice map tour of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
  • View The Armenian Genocide museum for more information about this controversial and horrific event.
  • Post (or respond) your thoughts/ideas about this unit's reading and assignment in the Blackboard online discussion forum.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
  • See the videos dealing with World War I in the HIS 102 course.
  • For extra credit please suggest to your instructor a relevant video for this unit of the course. Send the title of the video, the URL and a brief explanation of why you find the video interesting and applicable to the material that is being studied in this unit.
Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 50 points of extra credit, read Professor Evans' translation of Georges Boucheron, L'Assaut: l'Argonne et Vauquois avec la 10e division, 1914-1915 or his translation of Lefèvre, Le carnet de campagne du sergent Lefèvre, 1914-1916. Each translation reads very fast, is available in pdf, Ipad or Kindle versions on the website. In a one-, or two, page paper, answer the following question: How did the war affect Boucheron and the men who fought it? (With instructor permission, you may read this instead of Remarque and substitute this paper for the Remarque paper.)
  • For up to 50 points of extra credit, read Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front and submit the Remarque paper.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, explain the impact of World War I in a one-page paper.  Please be sure to cite your sources.  Start here (canadaonline.about.com/od/ww1battles/p/beaumonthamel.htm).
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, watch All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, directed by Lewis Milestone), and assess the historical accuracy of the film in a one-page paper.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit (maybe more), in a one-page paper, offer a detailed contrast between Remarque's depiction of the war in his novel and Milestone's view of the war in his film adaptation of the novel.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, read Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (1962) and write a one-page paper in which you explain what went wrong for the Russian army in the first two months of the war.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the "Willy-Nicky" Telegrams, exchanged between tsar and kaiser, 29 July - 1 August, 1914 and write a long paragraph in which you assess these rulers' grasp on reality.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the comments by Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941, Emperor 1888-1918), "A Place in the Sun" (1901) and write a long paragraph explaining how the Kaiser's attitude contributed to the march towards war.
  • For extra credit of a maximum of 5 points, you can submit the answers to the Remarque study questions.  Please write in formal, complete sentences.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send your instructor the title of the site, the URL and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) explain the impact of the war on the lives of the generation that fought it. and (2) describe the sequence of events that led to war in 1914.

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