the train of events that led to its outbreak might have been broken at any point during the five weeks of crisis that preceded the first clash of arms, had prudence or common goodwill found a voice.” In terms of sheer numbers of lives lost or disrupted, the Great War was the most destructive war in history until it was overshadowed by its offspring, the Second World War: an estimated 10 million military deaths from all causes, plus 20 million more crippled or severely wounded.
Estimates of civilian casualties are harder to make; they died from shells, bombs, disease, hunger, and accidents such as explosions in munitions factories; in some cases, they were executed as spies or as “object lessons.” Additionally, as Neil M.
A number of smaller nations aligned themselves with one side or the other.
In the Pacific Japan, seeing a chance to seize German colonies, threw in with the Allies.
July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918 Europe, Mideast, Africa, Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean, North Sea, Baltic Sea Allied Powers / Entente: King George V President Raymond Poincare Tsar Nicholas II King Victor Emmanuel III King Peter I King Albert I Emperor Taisho Chief of General Staff Constantin Prezan Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos President Woodrow Wilson Central Powers: Kaiser Wilhelm II Emperor Franz Josef I Minister of War Enver Pasha Tsar Ferdinand I Allied Victory Allied Powers casualties: 22 million Central Powers casualties: 37.5 million End of Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman & Russian empires Harsh surrender terms forced on Germany major cause of WWII Redrawing of borders in Europe & Mideast Explore articles from the History Net archives about World War I » See all World War I Articles World War I summary: The war fought between July 28, 1914, and November 11, 1918, was known at the time as the Great War, the War to End War, and (in the United States) the European War.
Only when the world went to war again in the 1930s and ’40s did the earlier conflict become known as the First World War.The Allies were the victors, as the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 added an additional weight of men and materiel the Central Powers could not hope to match.The war resulted in a dramatically changed geo-political landscape, including the destruction of three empires: Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian.Its casualty totals were unprecedented, soaring into the millions.World War I is known for the extensive system of trenches from which men of both sides fought.From civil rights, racism, and resistance movements to basic human needs like food, clothing, and medicine, the aspects of how life was impacted are immense.For a nation that was still recovering from the Great Depression, World War II had a major impact on this country's economy and workforce.Prime Minister of Germany Otto von Bismarck had prophesied that when war again came to Europe it would be over “some damn foolish thing in the Balkans.” Indeed, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Habsburg throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, by a Serbian nationalist on June 28, 1914, was the match that lit the fuse—but it didn’t create the powder keg.The outbreak of war between European nations was the result of several factors: Following their 1871 victory in the Franco-Prussian War, the German states unified into a single nation.Its leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, eldest grandson of Britain’s Queen Victoria, envisioned an Imperial Navy that could rival Great Britain’s large and renowned fleet.This would increase German influence in the world and likely allow the country to expand its colonial holdings.