World War 1, also known as the Great War, was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, with an estimated 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded.
The war began in 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28th. The assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was a member of the Bosnian-Serb nationalist organization known as the Black Hand.
The assassination led to a chain reaction of alliances and declarations of war. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination, and they declared war on Serbia on July 28th. Germany, Austria-Hungary's ally, declared war on Russia, Serbia's ally, on August 1st. France, Russia's ally, declared war on Germany on August 3rd. The United Kingdom, France's ally, declared war on Germany on August 4th. This series of events is known as the "July Crisis."
The war quickly spread beyond Europe, with countries around the world joining the conflict. The war on the Western Front, the area between Germany and France, became a brutal trench war, with both sides fighting for control of a narrow strip of land. The war on the Eastern Front, between Germany and Russia, was characterized by large and mobile battles.
1915 - 1918
In 1915, the war reached a stalemate on the Western Front, with both sides entrenched in their positions. The war on the Eastern Front, however, continued to be mobile, with the Russians pushing the Germans back. The war also spread to other parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
In 1916, the war continued with major battles on the Western Front, including the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Verdun. These battles resulted in heavy casualties for both sides, with little ground being gained. The war on the Eastern Front also continued, with the Russians again pushing the Germans back.
In 1917, the tide of the war began to turn in favor of the Allies, with the United States joining the war on their side. The American troops and resources provided a much-needed boost to the Allies' war effort. The war on the Western Front also began to shift in favor of the Allies, with the Battle of Cambrai resulting in a significant gain of ground for the British.
In 1918, the war on the Western Front continued to shift in favor of the Allies, with the German army in retreat. On November 11th, 1918, an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, bringing an end to the fighting. The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war, was signed on June 28th, 1919.
In conclusion, World War 1 was a devastating global conflict that lasted for four years and had a profound impact on the world. The complex web of alliances set off a chain reaction of events that led to the involvement of multiple countries and the loss of millions of lives. It lead to the collapse of empires, the rise of new nations, and the reshaping of international borders. The war also set the stage for World War II, which began just two decades later.