Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt
The Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt known by the British as the Second action of Es Salt and by others as the Second Battle of the Jordan, was fought east of the Jordan River between 30 April and 4 May 1918, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. The battle followed the failure of the First Transjordan attack on Amman fought at the beginning April. During this second attack across the Jordan River, fighting occurred in three main areas; the first area in the Jordan Valley between Jisr ed Damieh and Umm esh Shert the Egyptian Expeditionary Force defended their advanced position against an attack by units of the Seventh Army based in the Nablus region of the Judean Hills. The second area on the eastern edge of the Jordan Valley where the Ottoman Army garrisons at Shunet Nimrin and El Haud, on the main road from Ghoraniyeh to Amman were attacked by the 60th Division many of whom had participated in the First Transjordan attack; the third area of fighting occurred after Es Salt was captured by the light horse brigades to the east of the valley in the hills of Moab, when they were counterattacked by Ottoman forces converging on the town from both Amman and Nablus.
The strength of these Ottoman counterattacks forced the EEF mounted and infantry forces to withdraw back to the Jordan Valley where they continued the Occupation of the Jordan Valley during the summer until mid September when the Battle of Megiddo began. In the weeks following the unsuccessful First Transjordan attack on Amman and the First Battle of Amman and Ottoman Empire reinforcements strengthened the defences at Shunet Nimrin, while moving their Amman army headquarters moved forward to Es Salt. Just a few weeks at the end of April, the Desert Mounted Corps again supported by the 60th Division were ordered to attack the entrenched German and Ottoman garrisons at Shunet Nimrin and advance to Es Salt with a view to capturing Amman. Although Es Salt was captured, the attack failed despite the best efforts of the British infantry's frontal attack on Shunet Nimrin and the determined light horse and mounted rifle defences of the northern flank in the Jordan Valley. However, the mounted yeomanry attack on the rear of Shunet Nimrin failed to develop and the infantry attack from the valley could not dislodge the determined Ottoman defenders at Shunet Nimrin.
By the fourth day of battle, the strength and determination of the entrenched German and Ottoman defenders at Shunet Nimrin, combined with the strength of attacks in the valley and from Amman in the hills, threatened the capture of one mounted yeomanry and five light horse brigades in the hills, defending Es Salt and attacking the rear of the Shunet Nimrin position, forcing a retreat back to the Jordan Valley. The German and Ottoman forces won victories at the first and second battles of Gaza in March and April 1917, but from the last day of October 1917 to the end of the year, the German and Ottoman Empires endured a series of humiliating defeats in the Levant, culminating in the loss of Jerusalem and a large part of southern Palestine to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. From just north of the Ottoman frontier with Egypt they were defeated at Gaza, at Sheria and at Beersheba, resulting in a retreat to Jaffa and the Judean Hills; the Ottoman Army was again forced to retreat, this time from Capture of Jericho by General Edmund Allenby's force in February 1918.
In late March and early April and Ottoman forces defeated Major Generals John Shea and Edward Chaytor's force at the first Transjordan attack. The Ottoman Fourth Army's VIII Corps' 48th Division with the 3rd and 46th Assault Companies and the German 703rd Infantry Battalion defended Amman against the attack by the Anzac Mounted Division with the 4th Battalion Imperial Camel Corps Brigade, reinforced by infantry from the 181st Brigade, 60th Division; the objective of the First Transjordan operations had been to disable the Hejaz Railway near Amman by demolishing viaducts and tunnels. As Shea's force moved forward, Shunet Nimrin on the main road from Ghoraniyeh to Es Salt and Amman and the town of Es Salt were captured by the infantry and mounted force. While Es Salt was garrisoned by infantry from the 60th Division, two brigades of Chaytor's Anzac Mounted Division continued on to Amman; the operations had only been successful by the time large numbers of German and Ottoman reinforcements forced a withdrawal back to the Jordan.
The only territorial gains remaining in the EEF's control were the Jordan River crossings at Ghoraniyeh and Makhadet Hajlah, where pontoon bridges had been built and a bridgehead established on the eastern bank. With their lines of communication threatened by attacks in the Jordan Valley, Shea's and Chaytor's forces withdrew to the Jordan Valley, by 2 April 1918, maintaining the captured bridgeheads. On 21 March, Erich Ludendorff launched the Spring Offensive on the Western Front, coinciding with the start of the first Transjordan attack; because of the threat to Allied armies in Europe, 24 battalions – 60,000 mostly-British soldiers – were sent to Europe as reinforcements. They were replaced by Indian cavalry from the British Indian Army; the large troop movements these withdrawals and reinforcements required caused a substantial reorganisation of the EEF. Until September, when Allenby's force would be reformed and retrained, it would not be in a position to attack both the Transjordan on the right and the Plain of Sharon on the left as well as continuing to hold the centre in the Judean Hills.
In the meant
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
Gaza referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of 515,556, making it the largest city in the State of Palestine. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history; the Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. Under the Romans and the Byzantines, Gaza experienced relative peace and its port flourished. In 635 CE, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and developed into a center of Islamic law. However, by the time the Crusaders invaded the city in the late 11th century, it was in ruins. In centuries, Gaza experienced several hardships—from Mongol raids to floods and locusts, reducing it to a village by the 16th century, when it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During the first half of Ottoman rule, the Ridwan dynasty controlled Gaza and under them the city went through an age of great commerce and peace.
The municipality of Gaza was established in 1893. Gaza fell to British forces during World War I; as a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory and several improvements were undertaken in the city. Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. In the months following the 2006 election, an armed conflict broke out between the Palestinian political factions of Fatah and Hamas, resulting in the latter taking power in Gaza. Egypt and Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip. Israel eased the blockade allowing consumer goods in June 2010, Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing in 2011 to pedestrians; the primary economic activities of Gaza are agriculture. However, the blockade and recurring conflicts have put the economy under severe pressure; the majority of Gaza's inhabitants are Muslim, although there is a Christian minority. Gaza has a young population, with 75% under the age of 25.
The city is administered by a 14-member municipal council. The name "Gaza" is first known from military records of Thutmose III of Egypt in the 15th century BCE. According to Shahin, the Ancient Egyptians called it "Ghazzat", the Muslims referred to it as "Ghazzat Hashem", in honor of Hashim, the great-grandfather of Muhammad, buried in the city, according to Islamic tradition. In Semitic languages, the meaning of the city name is "fierce, strong". Other proper Arabic transliterations for the Arabic name are Ġazzah. Accordingly, "Gaza" might be spelled "Gazza" in English. Although the "z" is double in Arabic, it was transliterated into Greek as a single zeta, the voiced velar or uvular fricative at the beginning was transliterated with a gamma; the Hebrew name of the city is Aza – the ayin at the beginning of the word represented a voiced velar fricative in Biblical Hebrew, but in Modern Hebrew, it is silent. Gaza's history of habitation dates back 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.
Located on the Mediterranean coastal route between North Africa and the Levant, for most of its history it served as a key entrepôt of the southern Palestine and an important stopover on the spice trade route traversing the Red Sea. Settlement in the region of Gaza dates back to Tell es-Sakan, an Ancient Egyptian fortress built in Canaanite territory to the south of present-day Gaza; the site went into decline throughout the Early Bronze Age II as its trade with Egypt decreased. Another urban center known as Tell al-Ajjul began to grow along the Wadi Ghazza riverbed. During the Middle Bronze Age, a revived Tell es-Sakan became the southernmost locality in Palestine, serving as a fort. In 1650 BCE, when the Canaanite Hyksos occupied Egypt, a second city developed on the ruins of the first Tell as-Sakan. However, it was abandoned at the end of the Bronze Age. Gaza served as Egypt's administrative capital in Canaan. During the reign of Tuthmosis III, the city became a stop on the Syrian-Egyptian caravan route and was mentioned in the Amarna letters as "Azzati".
Gaza remained under Egyptian control for 350 years until it was conquered by the Philistines in the 12th century BCE, becoming a part of their "pentapolis". According to the Book of Judges, Gaza was the place where Samson was imprisoned by the Philistines and met his death. After being ruled by the Israelites and the Egyptians, Gaza achieved relative independence and prosperity under the Persian Empire. Alexander the Great besieged Gaza, the last city to resist his conquest on his path to Egypt, for five months before capturing it 332 BCE. Alexander organized the city into a polis. Greek culture took root and Gaza earned a reputation as a flourishing center of Hellenic learning and philosophy. During the Third War of the Diadochi, Ptolemy I Soter defeated Demetrius I of Macedon in a battle near Gaza in 312 BCE. In 277 BCE, following Ptolemy II's successful campaign against the Nabataeans the Ptolemaic fortress of Gaza took control of the spice trade with Gerrha and Southern Arabian. Gaza experienced another siege in 96 BCE by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus who "utterly overthrew" the city, killing 500 senators who had fled into the temple of Apollo for safety.
Josephus notes that Gaza was resettled under the rule of Herod Antipas, who cultivated friendly relations with Gazans
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. It was formed in Egypt in December 1914, operated during the Battle of Gallipoli. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the First Australian Imperial Force and 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force; the corps disbanded in 1916, following the Allied evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula and the formation of I ANZAC Corps and II ANZAC Corps. The Corps was reestablished in the Second World War during the Battle of Greece in 1941. Plans for the formation began in November 1914 while the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops were still in convoy bound for, as they thought, Europe. However, following the experiences of the Canadian Expeditionary Force encamped on Salisbury Plain, it was decided not to subject the Australians and New Zealanders to the English winter, so they were diverted to Egypt for training before moving on to the Western Front in France.
The British Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener, appointed General William Birdwood, an officer of the British Indian Army, to the command of the corps and he furnished most of the corps staff from the Indian Army as well. Birdwood arrived in Cairo on 21 December 1914 to assume command of the corps, it was intended to name the corps the Australasian Army Corps, this title being used in the unit diary in line with the common practice of the time which saw New Zealanders and Australians compete together as Australasia in sporting events. However, complaints from New Zealand recruits led to adoption of the name Australian and New Zealand Army Corps; the administration clerks found the title too cumbersome so adopted the abbreviation A. & N. Z. A. C. or ANZAC. Shortly afterwards it was adopted as the codename for the corps, but it did not enter common usage amongst the troops until after the Gallipoli landings. At the outset, the corps comprised two divisions; the 2nd and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades were assigned as corps level troops, belonging to neither division.
Despite being synonymous with Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC was a multi-national body: in addition to the many British officers in the corps and division staffs, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps contained, at various points, the 7th Brigade of the Indian Mountain Artillery, Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps troops, the Zion Mule Corps, four battalions from the Royal Naval Division, the British 13th Division, one brigade of the British 10th Division and the 29th Indian Brigade. Following the evacuation of Gallipoli in December 1915, the Australian and New Zealand units reassembled in Egypt; the New Zealand contingent expanded to form their own division. The First Australian Imperial Force underwent a major reorganisation resulting in the formation of two new divisions; these divisions were reformed into two corps. I ANZAC Corps, under the command of General Birdwood, departed for France in early 1916. II ANZAC Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander Godley, followed soon after.
In January 1916, the 4th Battalion, Imperial Camel Corps with Australian and New Zealand troops was formed, the 1st and 3rd battalions were Australian and the 2nd Battalion British. In March 1916, the ANZAC Mounted Division with three Australian and one New Zealand brigade, was formed for service in Egypt and Palestine. There was the 1st Wireless Signal Squadron, which served with the British expeditionary force in Mesopotamia in 1916–17. In early 1916 the Australian and, to a lesser extent, New Zealand governments sought the creation of an Australian and New Zealand Army which would have included the New Zealand Division and all of the Australian infantry divisions, but this did not occur. During World War II, the Australian I Corps HQ moved to Greece in April 1941; as the corps controlled the New Zealand 2nd Division, it was renamed ANZAC Corps in April. The Battle of Greece was over in weeks and the corps HQ left Greece on 23–24 April, with the name ANZAC Corps no longer being used; some troops evacuated to Alexandria, but the majority were sent to Crete to reinforce its garrison against an expected air and sea German invasion.
Australians and New Zealanders were deployed around the cities of Rethymno and Chania in western Crete with a smaller Australian force being positioned in Heraklion. The invasion began the morning of 20 May and, after the fierce Battle of Crete, which lasted ten days, Crete fell to the Germans. Most of the defenders of Chania withdrew across the island to the south coast and were evacuated by the Royal Navy from Sfakia. Many others evaded capture for several months, hiding in the mountains with generous assistance from the local Cretan population. During the Vietnam War, two companies from the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment were integrated into Royal Australian Regiment battalions; these integrated battalions had the suffix added to their name. An ANZAC battalion served as one of the infantry battalions of the 1st Australian Task Force from early March 1968 until its withdrawal in December 1971. Due to the rotation of forces there were a total of five comb
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It