P1:B - WWI, 1894-1918

This section of the paper (P1:B) is worth 25% of your GCSE and contains 3 modules (see the structure below to find out more). With this unit you need to remember that there is a lot of linking between the causes of WWI and within the reasons for the war's end, and your ability to explain these links will be crucial to access higher grades. In part two you must try not to confuse the war on the Western Front with that in other theatres of war (Eatern Front etc.). Happy studying!


The First World War: What do you need to know?

Part one: The causes of the First World War

• The Alliance System: the Triple Alliance; Franco-Russian Alliance; relations between the

‘Entente’ powers; the crises in Morocco (1905 and 1911) and the Balkans (1908–1909), and

their effects on international relations.

• Anglo-German rivalry: Britain and challenges to Splendid Isolation; Kaiser Wilhelm’s aims in

foreign policy, including Weltpolitik; colonial tensions; European rearmament, including the

Anglo-German naval race.

• Outbreak of war: Slav nationalism and relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary; the

assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and its consequences; the July

Crisis; the Schlieffen Plan and Belgium; reasons for the outbreak of hostilities and the

escalation of the conflict.

Part two: The First World War: stalemate

• The Schlieffen Plan: the reasons for the plan, its failure, including the Battle of Marne and its

contribution to the stalemate.

• The Western Front: military tactics and technology, including trench warfare; the war of

attrition; key battles, including Verdun, the Somme and Passchendaele, the reasons for, the

events and significance of these battles.

• The wider war: the war on other fronts; Gallipoli and its failure; the events and significance of

the war at sea, including Jutland, the U-Boat campaign and convoys.

Part three: Ending the war

• Changes in the Allied Forces: consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution and the withdrawal

of Russia on Germany strategy; the reasons for and impact of the entry of the USA into the


• Military developments in 1918 and their contribution to Germany’s defeat: the evolution of

tactics and technology; Ludendorff the German Spring Offensive; the Allied advance during

The Hundred Days.

• Germany surrenders: impact of the blockade; abdication of the Kaiser; armistice; the

contribution of Haig and Foch to Germany’s defeat

2 Past Papers

World War I

World War I

World War I
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GCSE History: What Caused WW1? (2018)

GCSE History: What Caused WW1? (2018)

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GCSE History: Great Battles of the Western Front | Verdun, Somme & Passchendaele (2018)

GCSE History: Great Battles of the Western Front | Verdun, Somme & Passchendaele (2018)

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GCSE History: What went on in WW1? (2020)

GCSE History: What went on in WW1? (2020)

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