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The Concluding Weeks

The leaders of the Quadruple Alliance.

The Concluding Weeks

Concluding Weeks looks at the end of the War.

The First World War began on 28th July 1914 and lasted for 4 years, 3 months and 2 weeks. During that time almost 10 million servicemen and nearly 6 million civilians were killed and over 21 million were wounded. Almost 2% of the world's population died as a direct result of this truly horrific conflict. How did this terrible war finally come to an end and what went on in those last few weeks before the armistice brought the bloodshed to a halt?

1.
On 29th September 1918, six weeks before the end of the war, the first of the Central Powers left the war after signing the Armistice of Thessalonica. Which one of the Central Powers was it?
Germany
Bulgaria
Austria
Ottoman Empire
The armistice required that Bulgaria cease all military action and remove its forces from other countries. A second treaty, that of Neuilly-sur-Seine, was negotiated in 1919 requiring Bulgaria to give up some of its land to Romania, Greece and the newly created nation of Yugoslavia. They also had to pay £100 million in reparations and limit the size of their army to 20,000 men
2.
Following Allied advances in the late summer, defeat for the Central Powers became inevitable. How did German commander, General Erich Ludendorff react?
He committed suicide
He ordered a surrender
He broke down and wept
He handed himself over to the British
The Western Front was giving way to the Allies who were now being reinforced by Americans. The stress was too much for Ludendorff and his staff called for a psychiatrist to see him
3.
On 3rd October the German and Austrian governments sent requests for an armistice to who?
US President Woodrow Wilson
French President Raymond Poincare
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Russian leader Vladimir Lenin
The Germans thought that they would get better terms from the Americans rather than the French or British. As it was, many Germans thought that the armistice offered by the Americans was a humiliation and this was one of the factors which led to the rise of German Nationalism in the 1920s and the popularity of Hitler's Nazi party
4.
Test cricketer Gordon White died in the Middle Eastern Campaign against the Ottoman Empire on 17th October 1918, less than a month before the end of the war. Which team did he play for?
New Zealand
England
Australia
South Africa
A total of 12 Test cricketers died whilst serving in the First World War. Four Englishmen, one Australian and seven South Africans. One of these, Reggie Schwarz, played cricket for South Africa and rugby union for England. He survived the war but died from the Spanish 'flu epidemic seven days after the armistice
5.
The next of the Central Powers to leave the war was the Ottoman Empire. On what date did the Ottomans cease fighting?
October 31st, All Hallows Eve
November 1st, All Saints' Day
November 2nd, All Souls' Day
November 5th, Bonfire Night
The Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30th October 1918 and the fighting stopped at 12 noon the next day. Later on, the once mighty Ottoman Empire was split up by the Allies and many new nations came into being
6.
On 31st October 1918, Istvan Tisza was assassinated by soldiers who broke into his home. Tisza had been the Prime Minister of which country?
Austria
Germany
Hungary
Russia
There had been three previous attempts to assassinate Tisza; one by an opposition politician, one by a soldier and one by an anti-war protester. Tisza had survived all of these but, alas for him, not the fourth attempt
7.
In the last few days of October and the first few of November, German crews mutinied at the port of Kiel. They were supported by civilians and shots were fired at the demonstrators. How many were killed?
No people were killed
Seven people were killed
Seventeen people were killed
Seventy people were killed
29 demonstrators were also badly injured. The crowd fired back at the military and the commander, Sublieutenant Steinhäuser, was badly beaten. The Kiel Mutiny was the spark which ignited the German Revolution and within a week the Kaiser had left the country and Germany was declared a republic
8.
The war poet Wilfred Owen was killed in action exactly one week before the war ended. The day after his death Owen was promoted to which rank?
Sergeant
Lieutenant
Captain
Major
He was also awarded the Military Cross for his part in the actions which took place one month earlier. Owen is buried in Ors, France and is commemorated, along with 15 other war poets, on a plaque in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. The plaque is inscribed with the introduction to his works, "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."
9.
The negotiations which led to the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Central Powers took place where?
In a restaurant
In a bunker
In a bar
In a railway carriage
The meeting took place in Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch's private train near the French city of Compiegne. The armistice was agreed at 5AM and came into effect six hours later, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That time and date has since been commemorated by a two minute silence on armistice day
10.
Canadian Private George Price was the last Allied soldier to be killed by the enemy during the war. He died on 11th November 1918, how long before the armistice took effect?
2 minutes
30 minutes
1 hour
2 hours
Price was part of a force tasked with taking the village of Havre. Whilst pursuing a German gunner in the town of Ville-sur-Haine, Price was shot through the heart by a sniper. He died at 10:58AM, two minutes before the beginning of the ceasefire which brought the First World War to an end

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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