World War I
World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I. In America, it was initially called the European War. More than 9 million combatantswere killed, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.
The war drew in all the world's economic great powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and theRussian Empire) and the Central Powers of Germany andAustria-Hungary. Although Italy had also been a member of theTriple Alliance alongside Germany and Austria-Hungary, it did not join the Central Powers, as Austria-Hungary had taken the offensive against the terms of the alliance. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war: Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies, and theOttoman Empire and Bulgaria the Central Powers. Ultimately, more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.
Although a resurgence of imperialism was an underlying cause, the immediate trigger for war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. This set off a diplomatic crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, and international alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked. Within weeks, the major powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians fired the first shots in preparation for the invasion of Serbia. As Russia mobilised, Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourgbefore moving towards France, leading Britain to declare war on Germany. After the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that would change little until 1917. Meanwhile, on the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, but was stopped in its invasion of East Prussia by the Germans. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the war, opening fronts in theCaucasus, Mesopotamia and the Sinai. Italy and Bulgaria went to war in 1915, Romania in 1916, and the United States in 1917.
The war approached a resolution after the Russian governmentcollapsed in March 1917, and a subsequent revolution in November brought the Russians to terms with the Central Powers. On 4 November 1918, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to an armistice. After a 1918 German offensive along the western front, the Allies drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives and began entering the trenches. Germany, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries, agreed to an armistice on 11 November 1918, ending the war in victory for the Allies.
By the end of the war, four major imperial powers—the German,Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires—ceased to exist. The successor states of the former two lost substantial territory, while the latter two were dismantled. The maps of Europe and Southwest Asia were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created. The League of Nationswas formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such an appalling conflict. This aim, however, failed with weakened states, renewed European nationalism and the German feeling of humiliation contributing to the rise of fascism. All of these conditions eventually led to World War II.
In Canada, Maclean's Magazine in October 1914 said, "Some wars name themselves. This is the Great War." A history of the origins and early months of the war published in New York in late 1914 was titled The World War. During the Interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries.
The term "First World War" was first used in September 1914 by the German philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who claimed that "there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared 'European War' ... will become the first world war in the full sense of the word." The First World War was also the title of a 1920 history by the officer and journalist Charles à Court Repington. After the onset of the Second World War in 1939, the terms World War I or the First World War became standard, with British and Canadian historians favouring the First World War, and Americans World War I.
Date 28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918
Armistice with Germany
(4 years, 3 months and 1 week)
LocationEurope, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, China and off the coast of South and North AmericaResultAllied victory
- End of the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires
- Formation of new countries in Europe and the Middle East
- Transfer of German colonies and regions of the former Ottoman Empire to other powers
- Establishment of the League of Nations. (more...)
BelligerentsAllied Powers (Entente)
- United Kingdom
- British India
- New Zealand
- South Africa
United States (1917–18)[i]
Commanders and leaders Allied leaders
H. H. Asquith
David Lloyd George
Victor Emmanuel III
John J. Pershing
Central Powers leaders
Paul von Hindenburg
Erich von Falkenhayn
Helmuth von Moltke
Franz Joseph I
Conrad von Hötzendorf
Arz von Straußenburg
Liman von Sanders
Casualties and lossesMilitary dead:
22,477,500 KIA, WIA or MIA...further details.Military dead:
16,403,000 KIA, WIA or MIA...further details.
Sources: wikipedia.org, news.lv
No places assigned