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World War

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World War I brought enormous changes to warfare and to the lives of millions of people. Complete one of the following written assignments to show your understanding of these changes.

Option A: Put yourself in the position of a U.S. soldier or American relief worker during World War I. Write a letter home of at least three paragraphs explaining where you are and how you came to be there. Describe what you see, what you smell, what you hear, and what surrounds you. Explain how your experiences have affected you and what you hope to accomplish.

Your letter must answer questions, including the following:

Where are you fighting or working? Are you fighting in the trenches, working in a hospital, or doing some other kind of task? Why are you where you are? Did you volunteer for service or were you conscripted? If you volunteered, what did you hope to accomplish? If you were drafted, how do you feel about the process? What are your comrades like? Are you fighting with U.S. or French troops? Are you working with doctors and nurses? Do your comrades accept and respect you? What might be unique about your experiences?

How are they similar to those had by other Americans fighting or working abroad? Have you come in contact with any of the new technologies of WWI? Which ones? How did this affect your experience in Europe? How has your experience changed the way you see yourself? How has it changed the way you see others? Option B: Respond to each of the following questions in a complete paragraph of your own words. Be sure to include supporting details from this lesson in your responses.

1. How did the new technologies of WWI affect soldiers fighting on the front lines? Please include at least three examples of new technologies in your answer? 2. How did women get involved in the war effort abroad? Please include at least two examples in your answer? 3. How was the war experience of a minority soldier different from that of a white soldier? Please include at least three examples in your response?

Q1: Heavy machine guns made open field troop maneuvers a massacre, resulting in trench warfare as the machine guns put favour on defense and aircraft provided reconnaissance, and some minor troop harassment on the battlefield. Plus they introduced strategic bombing to warfare. Artillery developments increased the accuracy and rate of fire of artillery; techniques for detection made counter battery fire much more dangerous and of course the development of the tank completely change warfare forever, It allowed support weapons to be used in the attack again, countering the trench system. Advances in submarines meant they could actually be used as effective weapons.

Q2: Women helped by working in munition factories, which caused damage to them, as the fumes of the TNT made them infertile and their skin and hair turn yellow which gave them the nickname canaries. And, without this the soldiers would have munitions and so the war could not be fought. Women grew food on the Home Front, making sure that the country was provided with food, especially during 1917 where Britain had to ration food as the German U-Boats had been sinking most off Britain supply ships. They also took over normal men’s jobs while they were out fighting the war- such as, train drivers, working for the police etc. Which helped Britain to try and keep as normal as possible during the war years.

Q3: As the people of the United States watched World War I ignite across Europe, African American citizens saw an opportunity to win the respect of their white neighbors; America was a segregated society and African Americans were considered, at best, second class citizens. Yet despite that, there were many African American men willing to serve in the nation’s military, but even as it became apparent that the United States would enter the war in Europe, minorities were still being turned away from military service. Minorities were not treated with the same respect that white soldiers would have been given, they were downgraded and were seen as less important and worthy of doing jobs that white soldiers did; even if they could do them better. They were not allowed to serve the same way other soldiers were.

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