Good morning, we are continuing with our World War I and World War II documentaries for November with another episode from the series World War I. The Timeline YouTube channel has split this episode up into smaller sections for easy viewing and that is a really nice feature of this episode.
Germany looked to spread the war into the Middle East and Africa and allied with the Ottoman Empire. The vast British Empire was hard to defend and hard to lose. The war was going to become global with Germany’s effort. Germany wanted to take the pressure off its armies in Europe by invading other places. This meant men and supplies would be sent elsewhere as well as others could do their fighting.
Britain wanted to stop this from happening and would use the navy to stop it. The German Navy was a scattered fleet and they all were connected to Berlin by wireless. The biggest German fleet was stationed in China. The British could not attack this fleet and so turned to Japan. The Japanese navy seized the chance to expand and attacked the German fleet in China. Japanese and British soldiers fought together to take this fleet.
Germany did not want to lose this fleet or the town it was based. Japanese took the town, however, the German fleet escaped. This turned the German fleet on the world. The naval officers had free reign to damage the enemy as much as they could. The fleet would meet the British fleet in the Falklands. They engaged and the British lost two ships. Another naval captain was wreaking havoc on British shipping in the Indian Ocean. This was having an impact on the British war effort.
Things turned around for the British in the Falklands when they defeated the German navy. The British then turned their attention to Africa. In the meantime, the Germans were making overtures to the Ottomans to expand the war in the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire had lost its territories in failed wars and was trying to modernize the country. The Minister of War had seen Germany as a potential ally. Germany was not a danger to the Ottoman Empire.
The Kaiser was trying to court the Ottoman Empire. There were rumors that he became a Muslim and went on a Pilgrimage to Mecca. He saw the Ottomans as someone who could be told what to do. In 1914, they formatted an alliance. The Ottomans declared a holy war against the Russians. They started the war in the middle of Winter. This was an error because the soldiers who were facing the cold were ill-equipped for the cold weather. Many died due to the cold. The soldiers would go to sleep and never wake up again. The guns froze up due to the cold as well. The Ottoman’s first grand offensive ended in catastrophe
The Ottomans blamed the Armenian population for their defeat. The Armenians would pay a heavy price for this belief. The Armenians would be massacred and expelled from their country. Severe measures were taken against the Armenians. It was a disaster for the Armenian people. Many died from starvation.
Would the Ottoman involvement in the war turn the tide towards Germany? Tune into the rest of this documentary to find out more about how the Ottomans got involved in World War I.
This episode was a fascinating look at a front that does not get explored too much when the unit on World War I comes around. I have never heard of how the Ottomans got involved in World War I, only that they were involved. So if I was a teacher this would be one episode I would consider showing to the class.
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