The History of the Twentieth Century

A chronicle of the history of the twentieth century, including art, music, popular culture, science, religion, and, of course, politics and war.
By 1917, many in German and Austrian official and military circles had given up hope of winning the Great War on the battlefield and were ready to discuss peace terms. Hindenburg and Ludendorff, however, insisted that victory was at hand.
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With Russia in disarray, and the Eastern Front in a de facto armistice, we shift our attention to the West, where the French begin the latest "final" offensive.
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Russia's allies--The United Kingdom, France, Italy, and now the United States--were pleased that Russia was taking a more liberal and democratic direction, but they also expected Russia to honor the commitments the czar had made to them, even though those commitments were unpopular at home. Meanw...
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Even the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans was not enough to push Woodrow Wilson into supporting war, but the Zimmerman Telegram made it impossible to oppose war any further. Additionally, the Russian Revolution eliminated an unsavory ally, replacing him with a fledgling...
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The revolutionary upheavals in Petrograd lead to the formation of a Provisional Government. Emperor Nikolai II abdicates, ending the 304-year old Romanov dynasty.
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With political resentments already high, the deprivations of the harsh winter of 1916-17 cause them to boil over. The Russian Revolution has begun.
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When the Great War began, Russian political factions mostly united in a common front to support the war effort, as political parties did in the other belligerent nations. But when Russia's military reversals and shortcomings in leadership became too obvious to ignore, opponents of the government ...
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With the Mexican Revolution winding down and the prospects of war between Mexico and the USA seeming increasingly remote, the German Foreign Secretary explores the idea of inviting Mexico to declare war on the United States.
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Germany was already rationing food when the bad harvests of 1916 made the situation far worse. Running out of options, the German military decides to resume unrestricted U-boat warfare.
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The European powers refused to negotiate, but private groups, including women's groups, socialists, and Henry Ford, pressed ahead with campaigns to bring the belligerents to the negotiating table.
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The automobile and the airplane, both recent inventions that make use of the internal combustion engine, become weapons of war.
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With four years of peace and progressive reform and a booming economy (due to the strong French and UK wartime demand for US imports), you would think Woodrow Wilson would cruise to an easy re-election. You would be wrong.
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In the wake of Pancho Villa's attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, the US Army sends an expeditionary force into Mexico in pursuit of Villa and his fighters, commanded by Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing.
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German East Africa was the last holdout among German colonial possessions. Neighboring Portuguese and Belgian soldiers, as well as South Africans, joined in to help the British, although the British were not always happy to accept their assistance.
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Irish nationalist extremist plot an armed uprising against British rule and reach out to Germany for assistance.
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We take a break from the historical narrative this week as listener Brent asks the questions that (hopefully) you wanted answered.
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We conclude the four-part series on military moves in 1916 in the Great War with Brusilov's Offensive and the Battle of the Somme.
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Austria begins an offensive against Italy, Russia gears up a counteroffensive in Galicia, and the British and German Navies have it out in the Skagerrak.
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The fighting continued at Verdun as the Russians prepare an offensive of their own to relieve the pressure on France. A German U-boat mistakenly sinks a passenger ferry in the English Channel, triggering another controversy over submarine rules of engagement.
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