How did the war come to an end?

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Key events:

  • August 1914, the War began.
  • April 1917, the US Army joined the Allies.
  • Spring 1918, the German population was starving and the army exhausted, but made one last push for victory
  • Summer 1918, the German offensive fails.
  • Autumn 1918, the German generals new they were losing the war.
  • 11 November 1918, the war ends.

Think!

How might defeat have affected the German population?

The First World War began in August 1914. By April 1917 millions of soldiers and civilians had died.

On 1 April 1917 the United States of America joined the war against Germany. Arriving on the battlefields in 1918, the American army was well trained and equipped, while the German army was exhausted.

The British navy blockaded German ports, starving German industry of raw materials and the people of food. Between April and August 1918 the German army decided to make one last, determined effort to win the war. They had early successes, but were quickly overwhelmed.

Defeat

By the autumn of 1918 the Germans were losing and the senior generals could see that defeat was inevitable. Peace negotiations began and an armistice was signed on 11 November 1918.  

After four years and countless lives lost, the guns fell silent. In November each year this important day is still commemorated all over Britain.