World War 1

It has been said that the actions of one man can change this world. This statement can be no truer than the actions of Gavrilo Princip. On the morning of June 28th 1914, his actions would change the world forever. On that summer morning in Sarajevo, Princip shot and killed Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. 37 days later the war broke out in Europe. The guns were silenced on November 11th 1918, and the world would never be the same again.

The war was to become known as The World War, The Great War and The War To End All Wars.

The Great War was the first major industrialised war and truly world spanning conflict in human history. It was also the bloodiest conflict so in human history. It also saw the face of warfare change forever, the age of cavalry was finally ended by the use of the water cooled machine gun. Aviation entered warfare as a weapon of war not just as an observation platform and the tank made its debut.

Its conclusion rewrote the map of Europe and saw the end of the Rusian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. And there colonies canabalised by the victorious allied forces.

The war also spawned the League of Nations, an international body who will allow for impartial mediation and make wars a thing of the past so that we may never have to go through the sufering of another conflict of this scale again.

The Waring Factions

The two factions at war were the Allies and the Central powers.

The Allies were primarily comprised of the British Empire, The French Republic and the Russian Empire. Although the Russian Empire would retire from the Allies after the successful Bolshevik uprising in 1917, leading to the execution of Tsar and the Imperial Family. The United states after a assuming a neutral position joined the war in 1917 after the sinking of the Lusitania.

The Central powers were primarily comprised of The German Empire, The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

Timeline of Key Events

1914

  • June 28th Emperor Franz Ferdinand of Austria is killed.
  • August 1st The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire.
  • August 3rd The British Empire declares war on The German Empire.
  • August 4th Germany attack Belgium, the first shots of the war are fired.
  • August 10th British, French and German colonial troops engage in Africa as the war begins to spread.
  • August 24th – Battle of Heligoland Bight, first Naval Battle of The Great War.
  • October 9th Antwerp Surrenders to German Troops.
  • October 19th to November 22, First Battle of Ypres.

1915

  • April 22nd to May 25th Second Battle of Ypres. First use of poison gas in war by Germany.
  • April 25th – First Gallipoli landings, offensive mostly carried out by troops of the ANZAC (Australia and New Zeland Army Corps) divisions. Also noted as the largest amphibious assault carried out to date.
  • December Field Marshal John French replaced by Field Marshal Douglas Haig as commander of British Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

1916

  • January 6th – With over 200,000 troops killed or injured, the Allies abandon the Gallipoli Offensive.
  • February 21st – December 18th Battle of Verdun. Over 400,000 French and the similar numbers of German troops die during the battle.
  • 31st May to June 1st – Battle of Jutland. Largest naval battle of The Great War.
  • June 16th – Arab revolt begins in the Ottoman held middle east.
  • 1st July to July 13th Battle of The Somme, British lose over 50,000 men in the first day of the offensive.
  • October – British send a young captain to the middle east to work with the Arab Tribes in their revolt against The Ottoman Empire. His name is Captain Thomas Edward Lawrence. History would know his as Lawrence of Arabia.
  • November – British reconnaissance planes first spot construction of Germany’s Hindenburg Line, a massive series of fortifications stretching from Lens to Verdun.

1917

  • March 8th to March 12th – February Revolution in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates, collapse of monarchy ends the Russian Empire and leads to the creation of the Russian Provisional Republic. Paving the way for Russia’s first democratic government.
  • April 6th – America declares war on Germany.
  • April 9th to May 16th – Battle of Arras.
  • June 25th – First US troops arrive in Europe.
  • July 6th – Cpt T.S. Lawrence leads the Arab Rebels in the Battle of Aqaba.
  • July 31st to November 6th – Third Battle of Ypres, better know as the Battle of Passchendaele.
  • October 23rd to November 8th – October revolution in Russia, overthrow of the Russian Provisional Republic and the creation of the Russian Soviet Republic (USSR) . Vladimir Ilyich Lenin named as head of the new communist state.
  • October – Russian Civil war begins.
  • November 20th to December 3rd – Battle of Cambrai, the Tank is first deployed.

1918

  • 3rd March Russia withdraws from the war.
  • March 21st to July 18th – Final German offensive of the war.
  • May 28th – Battle of Cantigny, first victory in the war involving US troops.
  • July 15th to August 6th – Second Battle of the Marne, began as a German offensive but after an allied counter attack it became a major victory in Europe for the Allies, and signaled the end for Germany.
  • August 8th to November 11th – After their victory at The Battle of Marne the Allies press home the victory for 100 days. With multiple offensives across the entire western front.
  • November 11th – On the 11th hours of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns stopped. The Great war was over.

World War 1

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