World War I began in 1914 on the 28th of July, and ended on 11th November, 1918. It ravaged various parts of Europe and was also known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars. The latter name started off as an idealistic slogan but is now used in an ironical way as the aftermath of World War I led to an even worse war that broke out two decades later: World War II.
Major Participants in World War I
The Allied Powers and the Central Powers were opposing sides that fought against each other in World War I. The Allied Powers were mainly comprised of Britain, France, and Russia, with the United States joining in later in 1917. The Central Powers were mainly comprised of the Ottoman Empire, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria.
Major World War I Sites
Most of the battles occurred in Europe along two fronts: western and eastern. The western front consisted of trench warfare stretching from the borders of Belgium to Switzerland. Much of the war on this front broke out in Belgium and France. Meanwhile, the eastern front consisted of Romania and Russia on one end, and Germany and Austria-Hungary on the other.
What Triggered World War I
Though there were many incidents building up to World War I, after Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb student, the war officially broke out. Austria went to war with Serbia, prompting Russia to join the war in support of its ally Serbia. Germany, the ally of Austria, then joined the war to help out. France followed suit, joining the war to defend its ally Russia. This led to a string of events within a matter of days, as Germany took over Belgium to fight against France, driving Britain to enter the war.
Significant Events in World War I
World War I popularized the use of trenches on a large scale for the first time. There was barely any forward motion of soldiers as they threw bombs and exchanged fire from their own trenches. The most well-known battles in the war were the Battle of the Somme, First Battle of the Marne, Battle of Gallipoli, Battle of Verdun, and Battle of Tannenberg.
Interesting Details about World War I
Here are some interesting details about World War I:
- More than 65 million men participated in the war.
- As soldiers had to stay in the trenches, they employed the use of dogs as messengers. Dogs that had gone through training were considered very efficient and trustworthy carriers.
- The use of fighter planes and tanks was made mainstream for the first time in a crucial war.
- The casualty rate of the soldiers from Austria-Hungary was especially high, reaching 90 percent by the end of the war.
- There were accounts of football matches being played between opposing sides around the Christmas of 1914 when soldiers received news of unofficial ceasefires.
- Tanks were given a rather different name when they were first created by the British. They were initially called “landships” but changed to tanks to conceal their identity.
- Polish scientist Marie Curie was famous for the provision of X-rays to French doctors in order that they could see where the bullets in patients were located.
Learn More about World War I with Mind Muzic
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