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What is the Pals Battalion?

The First World War had four leading causes; nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances. It was the war that most were not entirely prepared for. In fact, the recruitment of soldiers to fight in the war was quite tricky. What strategies did the British Army have to encourage men to join?

In order to improve recruitment during World War I, the British allowed men from the same town to serve together. The campaign was called Pals Batallion. This was stopped after the Battle of Somme due to high casualties.

What Ignited the First World War?

The First World War, also known as the Great War, happened from 1914 to 1918. It involved most of the European countries, including Russia, the Middle East, and the United States.

The war was mainly between the Central Powers; Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey, against the Allies; France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. (Source: Britannica)

The war started in Sarajevo, Bosnia, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot to death along with his wife by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914. Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nationalists like Princip wanted to end the struggle over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Great Britain joined the first world war on August 4, 1914, when King George V declared war after Germany refused to respond to the ultimatum. They explained that the goal was to protect Belgium as a neutral state, but the main reason surfaced eventually. Without the British, the French would be defeated. Thus giving Germany complete control of Western Europe. (Source: History)

Why Was the Pals Batallion Established?

When news of the war broke, not too many men were ready to drop their lives and serve their nation to the death. The hesitance gave General Sir Henry Rawlinson an idea to create a campaign to encourage more people to join.

Rawlinson suggested that men would be more inclined to join the army if they knew that they were going to serve with a friend or a colleague. About 1,600 men enlisted for the 10th Service Batallion within the last week of August 1914. (Source: History)

Was the Campaign a Success?

Many of the battalions that went through the same type of campaign suffered heavy casualties. For example, after the Battle of Somme, the Pals Battalion was stopped. Compared to other battalions during the First World War, the Pals Battalion had the most casualties.

After March 1916, Pals Battalions were no longer sought after. The British recruited men outside the regular army structure. (Source: History)

Who Won the First World War?

After four years of combat and the death of 8.5 million soldiers, the Allies won the the First World War.

The Allies and Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors to signify the end of the war that took place on June 28, 1919. See a copy of the peace treaty here.

While the war ended, many historians claim that the harsh treaty and lax enforcement of the provisions influenced the upsurge of German militarism. The Allies did nothing to stop Hitler when he violated the treaty in 1936. (Source: Britannica)

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