World War I

“World War I devastated the great powers of Europe and brought sweeping consequences for the entire world, including the deaths of millions, the reshaping of empires and colonial territories, deadly innovations in warfare, and an unstable peace that eventually ushered in the even more destructive World War II” (Gorman, 2013, para. 1).

The first World War took place between 1914 and 1918; many people called this the Great War because of the fact that is was such a terrible and unimaginable war. It also was the first war to stretch out as far geographically speaking. The main reason WWI ever started was because of an assassinated government official. “Austin Emperor Franz Joseph felt that his empire was under threat from specialist elements and blamed the Serbian government for the assassination of his heir, Franz Ferdinand” (Shubert, Goldstein Sect. 1.1). In other words he was scared Serbians and other minorities would overthrow the government. The Austrian government gave Serbia an ultimatum to answer to whether or not they had assassinated their heir. Serbia answered the ultimatum, but the Australian ambassador was told to not accept any response from Serbia so therefore they decided to go to war. The reason this war got so out of hand is because of alliances. Germany, Italy, and Austria had a military alliance and so did Russia and France, but France had an Alliance with Britain as well. However, Italy would eventually join the side with Britain, France, and Russia. The actual war started when Austria invaded the Serbian capital on July 29th. When it came to empires each was trying to outdo the other. Their goal was to become as wealthy and powerful as possible by taking over smaller communities, cities, and countries that didn’t have the means to fight back. This gave them resourceful territories which gave them access to much needed supplies to become wealthy and powerful. This did nothing but cause the war to get even more intense due to powerful countries overthrowing smaller less powerful countries for their resources and location.

War trenches were a big thing in WWI and this is how many people portray how the war went visionally. Most of these trenches consisted of at least 3 parallel trenches with interconnecting passages which usually faced enemy trenches anywhere from 200-1,000 yards away. Many trenches were dug deep into the ground and were protected by sandbags and barbwire, guns, and artillery. In many cases trenches were never attacked due to the man power behind them. In most cases the soldiers had to completely live in trenches meaning they had to sleep, eat, and do other daily tasks inside the trench. These trenches were dirty disgusting, rat and lice infested, had random body parts from deceased laying around, and when it rained, they were usually flooded. In most cases trench life was the same for both sides. In most cases trench life wasn’t different at all. Mainly because of the simple fact that usually only 1,000 yards would separate each trench. In many cases however, trench life was worse for German soldiers due to the fact of their leaders which expected them to fight at all times. Trench life was a terrible life to live and for many it was the last life they remember.

By the middle of the war many soldiers were not sure why they were even fighting anymore. On a Christmas truce soldiers from each side decided to shake hands and they ended up playing soccer and singing Christmas carols in no man’s land. Many began to dessert their posts and eventually it came to individuals being arrested and court martialed. This happened on all sides and fronts as many countries had issues getting their soldiers to stay in the field. This helped lead to some countries withdrawing from the war. In many cases they didn’t continue to fight a lot of soldiers did dessert their posts. If they stayed it was to merely defend their lost soldiers and their country.

In many cases woman begin to fill the spots of the missing men. This includes in the industrial area because there were not enough men to work in these positions. This was a big deal for woman because this was the first time they were allowed participate in a once barred workforce. This also helped with woman fighting to be in the workforce and propaganda.

Germany was the first to leave the war due to having issues at home. This mainly includes workers striking which forced them to pull out of the war because they were no longer able to supply their soldiers and their home front like they needed too. The war ended because all of these countries were beginning to have these home front problems so therefore all countries decided to sign treaties.

Gorman, R. F. (2013). World War I. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe[Electronic version]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)

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