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The War of the Nations
  
Father and son, 1916by Australian War Memorial collection on Flickr


World War I (WWI)

Other names for World War 1 include 'The War to End All Wars', The War of the Nations, 'The Great War', and World War,  the Great War and First World War. 

 

  • centered in Europe
  • began on 28 July 1914
  • lasted until 11 November 1918. 
  •  two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally centered around the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). 
  • More than 9 million combatants were killed
  • sixth deadliest conflict in world history, 
  • political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved.
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Messenger dog with its handler, in France, during World War Iby National Library of Scotland on Flickr


Triggered on 28 June 1914 by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his pregnant wife Sophie. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the throne of Austria and Hungary. The assassination was planned by a Serbian terrorist group, called The Black Hand and the man who shot Franz Ferdinand and his wife was a Bosnian revolutionary named Gavrilo Princip

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Many of the tanks put out of action were used as shelters for the woundedby National Media Museum on Flickr


The war had many causes:

a)a tangle of alliances made between countries, to maintain a balance power in Europe, which brought about the scale of the conflict


b) the Bosnian Crisis where Austria-Hungary took over the f former Turkish province of Bosnia in 1909 angering Serbia.

c) countries were building their military forces, arms and battleships

d) countries wanted to regain lost territories from previous conflicts and build empires

e) the Moroccan Crisis where Germans were protesting in 1911 against the French possession of Morocco

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British gun going to its position, Battle of Flanders, Ypres, Belgium, 1914by National Library of Scotland on Flickr

In 1915, the British passenger sip Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. In all, 1,195 passengers, including 128 Americans, lost their lives. Americans were outraged and put pressure on the U.S. government to enter the war. President Woodrow Wilson wanted a peaceful end to the war, but in 1917, when the Germans announced that their submarines would sink any ship that approached Britain, Wilson declared that America would enter the war and restore peace to Europe. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917.
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'A souvenir of today at Cudgewa 25.10.16.' It looks something like a Red Cross meeting, but it's just the normal state of patriotic girls during the Great War. - Cudgewa, Victoria, 25 October 1916 / photographer unknownby State Library of New South Wales collection on Flickr


The U.S. was in the war in actual combat for only seven and a half months during which time 116,000 were killed and 204,000 were wounded. In the Battle of Verdun in 1916, there were over a million casualties in ten months.
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Local Board #17, last quota, 815 men, Nov. 11, 1918, L.A. (LOC)by The Library of Congress on Flickr

By 1918, German citizens were striking and demonstrating against the war. The British navy blocked German ports, which meant that thousands of Germans were starving and the economy was collapsing. Then the German navy suffered a major mutiny. After German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated on November 9th, 1918, the leaders of both sides met at Compiegne, France. The peace armistice was signed on November 11th. By the end of the war four empires — the Russian, the Ottoman, the German, and the Austro-Hungarian had collapsed because of the war.
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View from crows nest SEATTLE (LOC)by The Library of Congress on Flickr


In 1919, The Treaty of Versailles officially ended the War. The Treaty required that Germany accept full responsibility for causing the war; make reparations to some Allied countries; surrender some of its territory to surrounding countries; surrender its African colonies; and limit the size of its military. The Treaty also established the League of Nations to prevent future wars. The League of Nations helped Europe rebuild and fifty-three nations joined by 1923. But the U.S. Senate refused to let the United States join the League of Nations, and as a result, President Wilson, who had established the League, suffered a nervous collapse and spent the rest of his term as an invalid.
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BRITISH NAVY IN WARTIMEby Nationaal Archief on Flickr


Germany joined the League of Nations in 1926, but many Germans were very resentful of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany and Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933. Italy withdrew three years later. The League of Nations was unable to stop German, Italian, and Japanese from expanding their power and taking over smaller countries. Many believe World War I never really ended, and that World War II never would have happened if not for World War I. 
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Three women spinning wool to knit socks for soldiers during World War I - Tenterfield, NSW, ca. 1915 / photographer unknownby State Library of New South Wales collection on Flickr


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Staff officers, militia camp, Levis, QC, 1915 (?)by Musée McCord Museum on Flickr


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Attending to wounded in German dugoutsby National Media Museum on Flickr


All armies in the Great War used kid soldiers. In the beginning of the war, the  enthusiasm  to join the battle was so great that young boys (and even girls) could hardly be stopped to enlist.
Recruiting Officers in all countries closed their eyes when eager children clearly under the required age - 18 years old - showed up to join their armies.
At the end of the war children were even more welcome in the ranks, as the Great Mincing Machine continued to require human bodies with an astonishing need.
Hardly trained the kids were send to the trenches in Belgium, France, Russia and Turkey, where they mingled with the oldier soldiers - and died with them.

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The prisoners receive precisely the same rations as our own troopsby National Media Museum on Flickr


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