German soldiers, entrenched in the Belgian medieval town of Ypres, attacked with 6, steel canisters of chlorine gas. The wind carried the lethal gas, which was two-and-a-half times heavier than air, across to the British enemies, over a front that ran along some four miles. The gas caught the British soldiers unaware, killing 3, of them.
In Austria, for example, most pigs were slaughtered, so at war's end there was no meat. The Western Front quickly stabilized, with almost no movement of more than a few hundred yards.
The greatest single expenditure on both sides was for artillery shells, the chief weapon in the war. Since the front was highly stable, both sides built elaborate railway networks that brought supplies within a mile or two of the front lines, with horse-drawn wagons used for the final deliveries.
In the ten-month battle at Verdun, the French and Germans fired some 10 million shells in all, weighing 1. Britain paid the war costs of most of its Allies until it ran out of money, then the US took over, funding those Allies and Britain as well.
The War saw a decline of civilian consumption, with a major reallocation to munitions. The annual output of artillery grew from 91 guns in to in Warplanes soared from in to inwhile the production of machine guns went from toByBritain was funding most of the Empire's war expenditures, all of Italy's and two thirds of the war costs of France and Russia, plus smaller nations as well.
The financing was generally successful,  as the City's strong financial position minimized the damaging effects of inflation, as opposed to much worse conditions in Germany. Most of the energy supplies came from coal mines in Britain, where the issue was labour supply.
Critical however was the flow of oil for ships, lorries and industrial use. There were no oil wells in Britain so everything was imported.
Intotal British consumption was million barrels, of which 85 percent was supplied by the United States, and 6 percent by Mexico.
Convoys and the construction of new tankers solved the German threat, while tight government controls guaranteed that all essential needs were covered. Archbold between May and September. The only solution to the crisis lay with increased oil shipment from America.
The close working relationship that evolved was in marked contrast to the feud between the government and Standard Oil years earlier.
In andthere was increased domestic demand for oil partly due to the cold winter that created a shortage of coal. Inventories and imported oil from Mexico were used to close the gap. In Januarythe U. Fuel Administrator ordered industrial plants east of Mississippi to close for a week to free up oil for Europe.
Inthe Royal Navy consumed 12, tons a month, but had a supply of 30, tons a month from the Anglo-Persian Oil Companyusing their oil wells in Persia.
They expanded by a third during the war, primarily to produce transports of the sort that German U-boats were busy sinking. But after the war, employment tumbled as the yards proved too big, too expensive, and too inefficient; in any case world demand was down.
The most skilled craftsmen were especially hard hit, because there were few alternative uses for their specialized skills. Ireland and World War I Ireland was on the verge of civil war in after Parliament voted a home rule law that was intensely opposed by the Protestants, especially those in Ulster.
When the war broke out the law was suspended and Protestants gave very strong support for the war in terms of military service and industrial output. At the outbreak of the war, most Irish people, regardless of political affiliation, supported the war in much the same way as their British counterparts,  and both nationalist and unionist leaders initially backed the British war effort.
Their followers, both Catholic and Protestant, served extensively in the British forces, many in three specially raised divisions. OverIrishmen fought in the war, in several theatres with 30, deaths.
InCatholic supporters of Irish independence from the United Kingdom took the opportunity of the ongoing war to proclaim an Irish Republic and to defend it in an armed rebellion against British rule in Dublin.
The rebellion was poorly planned and quickly suppressed. The British executed most of the prisoners which caused Catholic opinion to surge in favour of independence.This section explains how Britain adapted to the challenge of the huge numbers of First World War ex-servicemen who came home permanently disabled by their wounds.
The human cost By the end of the First World War, almost one million British soldiers, sailors and airmen had been killed. The economic history of World War I covers the methods used by the First World War (–), as well as related postwar issues such as war debts and reparations.
It also covers the economic mobilization of labor, industry and agriculture. In , the First World War broke out. For the next four years fighting raged across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
On 8 January , United States President Woodrow Wilson issued a statement that became known as the Fourteen Points. The First World War impacted significantly on the homefronts of the participating nations in many different social, political and economic areas. There was a widespread restructuring of primary industry with a large orientation towards militarism.
The first world war and the treaties that followed it redrew the map of the Middle East by creating new states and new political realities on the territory of the defeated Ottoman empire.
Rivalry between Britain and France, the growth of Arab nationalism, Zionist ambitions in Palestine and the emergence of modern Turkey all changed the face of the region.
The total cost of the First World War in the United States (was) nearly $ 32 billion. The biggest impact of the First World War was a change in the landscape of ideas about the economy and the proper role of government in economic activities.