World War I

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"World War One", "Great War", "WW1", and "WWI" redirect here. World War I_sentence_0

For other uses, see World War One (disambiguation), Great War (disambiguation), WW1 (album), and WWI (disambiguation). World War I_sentence_1

World War I (or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1) was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. World War I_sentence_2

Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. World War I_sentence_3

It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated 9 million combatant deaths and 13 million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the related 1918 Spanish flu pandemic caused another 17–100 million deaths worldwide, including an estimated 2.64 million Spanish flu deaths in Europe and as many as 675,000 Spanish flu deaths in the United States. World War I_sentence_4

On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. World War I_sentence_5

In response, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia on 23 July. World War I_sentence_6

Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, and the two moved to a war footing. World War I_sentence_7

A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. World War I_sentence_8

By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente, consisting of France, Russia, and Britain; and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. World War I_sentence_9

The Triple Alliance was only defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war until April 1915, when it joined the Allied Powers after its relations with Austria-Hungary deteriorated. World War I_sentence_10

Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia, and approved partial mobilisation after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on 28 July. World War I_sentence_11

Full Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; the following day, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within twelve hours. World War I_sentence_12

When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, the latter following suit on 6 August; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August. World War I_sentence_13

Germany's strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within 6 weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan. World War I_sentence_14

On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France. World War I_sentence_15

When this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day; the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London and, in compliance with its obligations under this treaty, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August. World War I_sentence_16

On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on 23 August, Japan sided with Britain, seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. World War I_sentence_17

In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Austria-Hungary and Germany, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Sinai Peninsula. World War I_sentence_18

The war was fought in (and drew upon) each power's colonial empire also, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe. World War I_sentence_19

The Entente and its allies eventually became known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their allies became known as the Central Powers. World War I_sentence_20

The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a war of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917 (the Eastern Front, by contrast, was marked by much greater exchanges of territory). World War I_sentence_21

In 1915, Italy joined the Allied Powers and opened a front in the Alps. World War I_sentence_22

Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans. World War I_sentence_23

The United States initially remained neutral, though even while neutral it became an important supplier of war materiel to the Allies. World War I_sentence_24

Eventually, after the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the declaration by Germany that its navy would resume unrestricted attacks on neutral shipping, and the revelation that Germany was trying to incite Mexico to initiate war against the United States, the U.S. World War I_sentence_25

declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. World War I_sentence_26

Trained American forces did not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force ultimately reached some two million troops. World War I_sentence_27

Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, and Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers was knocked out of the war until 1918. World War I_sentence_28

The 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Monarchy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent with the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. World War I_sentence_29

Germany now controlled much of eastern Europe and transferred large numbers of combat troops to the Western Front. World War I_sentence_30

Using new tactics, the German March 1918 Offensive was initially successful. World War I_sentence_31

The Allies fell back and held. World War I_sentence_32

The last of the German reserves were exhausted as 10,000 fresh American troops arrived every day. World War I_sentence_33

The Allies drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive, a continual series of attacks to which the Germans had no reply. World War I_sentence_34

One by one the Central Powers quit: first Bulgaria, then the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian empire. World War I_sentence_35

With its allies defeated, revolution at home, and the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918, ending the fighting. World War I_sentence_36

World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural, economic, and social climate of the world. World War I_sentence_37

The war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous revolutions and uprisings. World War I_sentence_38

The Big Four (Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) imposed their terms on the defeated powers in a series of treaties agreed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the most well known being the German peace treaty: the Treaty of Versailles. World War I_sentence_39

Ultimately, as a result of the war, the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires ceased to exist, and numerous new states were created from their remains. World War I_sentence_40

However, despite the conclusive Allied victory (and the creation of the League of Nations during the Peace Conference, intended to prevent future wars), a second world war followed just over twenty years later. World War I_sentence_41

Names World War I_section_0

The term "world war" was first used in September 1914 by German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who claimed that "there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared 'European War' ... will become the first world war in the full sense of the word," citing a wire service report in The Indianapolis Star on 20 September 1914. World War I_sentence_42

Prior to World War II, the events of 1914–1918 were generally known as the Great War or simply the World War. World War I_sentence_43

In October 1914, the Canadian magazine Maclean's wrote, "Some wars name themselves. World War I_sentence_44

This is the Great War." World War I_sentence_45

Contemporary Europeans also referred to it as "the war to end war" or "the war to end all wars" due to their perception of its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. World War I_sentence_46

After World War II began in 1939, the terms became more standard, with British Empire historians, including Canadians, favouring "The First World War" and Americans "World War I". World War I_sentence_47

Background World War I_section_1

Main article: Causes of World War I World War I_sentence_48

Political and military alliances World War I_section_2

For much of the 19th century, the major European powers had tried to maintain a tenuous balance of power among themselves, resulting in a complex network of political and Military alliances. World War I_sentence_49

The biggest challenges to this were Britain's withdrawal into so-called splendid isolation, the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the post-1848 rise of Prussia under Otto von Bismarck. World War I_sentence_50

Victory in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War established Prussian hegemony in Germany, while victory over France in the 1870–1871 Franco-Prussian War unified the German states into a German Reich under Prussian leadership. World War I_sentence_51

French desire for revenge over the defeat of 1871, known as revanchism, and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine became a principal object of French policy for the next forty years (see French–German enmity). World War I_sentence_52

In 1873, to isolate France and avoid a war on two fronts, Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserbund) between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany. World War I_sentence_53

Concerned by Russia's victory in the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War and its influence in the Balkans, the League was dissolved in 1878, with Germany and Austria-Hungary subsequently forming the 1879 Dual Alliance; this became the Triple Alliance when Italy joined in 1882. World War I_sentence_54

The practical details of these alliances were limited, since their primary purpose was to ensure cooperation between the three Imperial Powers, and to isolate France. World War I_sentence_55

Attempts by Britain in 1880 to resolve colonial tensions with Russia and diplomatic moves by France led to Bismarck reforming the League in 1881. World War I_sentence_56

When the League finally lapsed in 1887, it was replaced by the Reinsurance Treaty, a secret agreement between Germany and Russia to remain neutral if either were attacked by France or Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_57

In 1890, the new German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, forced Bismarck to retire and was persuaded not to renew the Reinsurance Treaty by the new Chancellor, Leo von Caprivi. World War I_sentence_58

This allowed France to counteract the Triple Alliance with the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 and the 1904 Entente Cordiale with Britain, while in 1907 Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention. World War I_sentence_59

The agreements did not constitute formal alliances, but by settling long-standing colonial disputes, they made British entry into any future conflict involving France or Russia a possibility. World War I_sentence_60

These interlocking bilateral agreements became known as the Triple Entente. World War I_sentence_61

British backing of France against Germany during the Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911 reinforced the Entente between the two countries (and with Russia as well) and increased Anglo-German estrangement, deepening the divisions that would erupt in 1914. World War I_sentence_62

Arms race World War I_section_3

The creation of the German Reich following victory in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War led to a massive increase in Germany's economic and industrial strength. World War I_sentence_63

Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz and Wilhelm II, who became Emperor in 1890, sought to use this to create a Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial German Navy to compete with Britain's Royal Navy for world naval supremacy. World War I_sentence_64

In doing so, he was influenced by US naval strategist Alfred Mahan, who argued possession of a blue-water navy was vital for global power projection; Tirpitz translated his books into German, and Wilhelm made them required reading. World War I_sentence_65

However, it was also driven by Wilhelm's admiration of the Royal Navy and desire to outdo it. World War I_sentence_66

This resulted in the Anglo-German naval arms race. World War I_sentence_67

Yet the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906 gave the Royal Navy a technological advantage over its German rival, which they never lost. World War I_sentence_68

Ultimately, the race diverted huge resources to creating a German navy large enough to antagonise Britain, but not defeat it. World War I_sentence_69

In 1911, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg acknowledged defeat, leading to the Rüstungswende or ‘armaments turning point', when Germany switched expenditure from the navy to the army. World War I_sentence_70

This was driven by Russia's recovery from the 1905 Revolution, specifically increased investment post-1908 in railways and infrastructure in its western border regions. World War I_sentence_71

Germany and Austria-Hungary relied on faster mobilisation to compensate for fewer numbers; it was concern at the closing of this gap that led to the end of the naval race, rather than a reduction in tension elsewhere. World War I_sentence_72

When Germany expanded its standing army by 170,000 men in 1913, France extended compulsory military service from two to three years; similar measures taken by the Balkan powers and Italy, which led to increased expenditure by the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_73

Absolute figures are hard to calculate, due to differences in categorising expenditure, while they often omit civilian infrastructure projects with a military use, such as railways. World War I_sentence_74

However, from 1908 to 1913, defence spending by the six major European powers increased by over 50% in real terms. World War I_sentence_75

Conflicts in the Balkans World War I_section_4

In October 1908, Austria-Hungary precipitated the Bosnian crisis of 1908–1909 by officially annexing the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it had occupied since 1878. World War I_sentence_76

This angered the Kingdom of Serbia and its patron, the Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Russian Empire. World War I_sentence_77

The Balkans came to be known as the "powder keg of Europe". World War I_sentence_78

The Italo-Turkish War in the 1911–1912 was a significant precursor of the World War I as it sparked nationalism in the Balkan states and paved the way for the Balkan Wars. World War I_sentence_79

In 1912 and 1913, the First Balkan War was fought between the Balkan League and the fracturing Ottoman Empire. World War I_sentence_80

The resulting Treaty of London further shrank the Ottoman Empire, creating an independent Albanian state while enlarging the territorial holdings of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece. World War I_sentence_81

When Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece on 16 June 1913, it sparked the 33-day Second Balkan War, by the end of which it lost most of Macedonia to Serbia and Greece, and Southern Dobruja to Romania, further destabilising the region. World War I_sentence_82

The Great Powers were able to keep these Balkan conflicts contained, but the next one would spread throughout Europe and beyond. World War I_sentence_83

Prelude World War I_section_5

Sarajevo assassination World War I_section_6

Main article: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand World War I_sentence_84

On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, visited the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. World War I_sentence_85

A group of six assassins (Cvjetko Popović, Gavrilo Princip, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež, and Vaso Čubrilović) from the Yugoslavist group Mlada Bosna, who had been supplied with arms by the Serbian Black Hand, gathered on the street where the Archduke's motorcade was to pass, with the intention of assassinating him. World War I_sentence_86

The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's South Slav provinces, which Austria-Hungary had annexed from the Ottoman Empire, so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia. World War I_sentence_87

Čabrinović threw a grenade at the car but missed. World War I_sentence_88

Some nearby were injured by the blast, but Ferdinand's convoy carried on. World War I_sentence_89

The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them. World War I_sentence_90

About an hour later, when Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital with those wounded in the assassination attempt, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Princip stood. World War I_sentence_91

With a pistol, Princip shot and killed Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. World War I_sentence_92

Although they were reportedly not personally close, the Emperor Franz Joseph was profoundly shocked and upset. World War I_sentence_93

The reaction among the people in Austria, however, was mild, almost indifferent. World War I_sentence_94

As historian Zbyněk Zeman later wrote, "the event almost failed to make any impression whatsoever. World War I_sentence_95

On Sunday and Monday (28 and 29 June), the crowds in Vienna listened to music and drank wine, as if nothing had happened." World War I_sentence_96

Nevertheless, the political effect of the murder of the heir to the throne was significant, and was described by historian Christopher Clark on the BBC Radio 4 series Month of Madness as a "9/11 effect, a terrorist event charged with historic meaning, transforming the political chemistry in Vienna." World War I_sentence_97

Expansion of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina World War I_section_7

The Austro-Hungarian authorities encouraged the subsequent anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, in which Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks killed two Bosnian Serbs and damaged numerous Serb-owned buildings. World War I_sentence_98

Violent actions against ethnic Serbs were also organised outside Sarajevo, in other cities in Austro-Hungarian-controlled Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. World War I_sentence_99

Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina imprisoned and extradited approximately 5,500 prominent Serbs, 700 to 2,200 of whom died in prison. World War I_sentence_100

A further 460 Serbs were sentenced to death. World War I_sentence_101

A predominantly Bosniak special militia known as the Schutzkorps was established and carried out the persecution of Serbs. World War I_sentence_102

July Crisis World War I_section_8

Main articles: July Crisis, German entry into World War I, Austro-Hungarian entry into World War I, and Russian entry into World War I World War I_sentence_103

The assassination led to a month of diplomatic manoeuvering between Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France and Britain, called the July Crisis. World War I_sentence_104

Austria-Hungary correctly believed that Serbian officials (especially the officers of the Black Hand) had been involved in the plot to murder the Archduke, and wanted to finally end Serbian interference in Bosnia. World War I_sentence_105

On 23 July, Austria-Hungary delivered to Serbia the July Ultimatum, a series of ten demands that were made intentionally unacceptable, in an effort to provoke a war with Serbia. World War I_sentence_106

Serbia decreed general mobilisation on 25 July. World War I_sentence_107

Serbia accepted all the terms of the ultimatum except for article six, which demanded that Austrian delegates be allowed in Serbia for the purpose of participation in the investigation into the assassination. World War I_sentence_108

Following this, Austria broke off diplomatic relations with Serbia and, the next day, ordered a partial mobilisation. World War I_sentence_109

Finally, on 28 July 1914, a month after the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. World War I_sentence_110

On 25 July, Russia, in support of Serbia, declared partial mobilisation against Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_111

On 30 July, Russia ordered general mobilisation. World War I_sentence_112

German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg waited until the 31st for an appropriate response, when Germany declared Erklärung des Kriegszustandes, or "Statement on the war status". World War I_sentence_113

Kaiser Wilhelm II asked his cousin, Tsar Nicolas II, to suspend the Russian general mobilisation. World War I_sentence_114

When he refused, Germany issued an ultimatum demanding its mobilisation be stopped, and a commitment not to support Serbia. World War I_sentence_115

Another was sent to France, asking her not to support Russia if it were to come to the defence of Serbia. World War I_sentence_116

On 1 August, after the Russian response, Germany mobilised and declared war on Russia. World War I_sentence_117

This also led to the general mobilisation in Austria-Hungary on 4 August. World War I_sentence_118

The German government issued demands to France that it remain neutral whilst they decided which deployment plan to implement, it being extremely difficult to change the deployment once it was underway. World War I_sentence_119

The modified German Schlieffen Plan, Aufmarsch II West, would deploy 80% of the army in the west, while Aufmarsch I Ost and Aufmarsch II Ost would deploy 60% in the west and 40% in the east. World War I_sentence_120

The French did not respond, but sent a mixed message by ordering their troops to withdraw 10 km (6 mi) from the border to avoid any incidents, and at the same time ordered the mobilisation of their reserves. World War I_sentence_121

Germany responded by mobilising its own reserves and implementing Aufmarsch II West. World War I_sentence_122

The British cabinet decided on 29 July that being a signatory to the 1839 treaty about Belgium did not oblige it to oppose a German invasion of Belgium with military force. World War I_sentence_123

On 1 August, Wilhelm ordered General Helmuth von Moltke the Younger to "march the whole of the ... army to the East" after being informed that Britain would remain neutral if France was not attacked (and, possibly, that her hands might, in any case, be stayed by crisis in Ireland). World War I_sentence_124

Moltke told the Kaiser that attempting to redeploy a million men was unthinkable, and that making it possible for the French to attack the Germans "in the rear" would prove disastrous. World War I_sentence_125

Yet Wilhelm insisted that the German army should not march into Luxembourg until he received a telegram sent by his cousin George V, who made it clear that there had been a misunderstanding. World War I_sentence_126

Eventually the Kaiser told Moltke, "Now you can do what you want." World War I_sentence_127

For years, the French had been aware of intelligence indicating that Germany planned to attack France through Belgium. World War I_sentence_128

General Joseph Joffre, chief of staff of the French military from 1911, inquired about the possibility of moving some French troops into Belgium to preempt such a move by Germany, but France's civilian leadership rejected this idea. World War I_sentence_129

Joffre was told that France would not be the first power to violate Belgian neutrality and that any French move into Belgium could come only after the Germans had already invaded. World War I_sentence_130

On 2 August, Germany occupied Luxembourg, and on 3 August declared war on France; on the same day, they sent the Belgian government an ultimatum demanding unimpeded right of way through any part of Belgium, which was refused. World War I_sentence_131

Early on the morning of 4 August, the Germans invaded; King Albert ordered his military to resist and called for assistance under the 1839 Treaty of London. World War I_sentence_132

Britain demanded Germany comply with the Treaty and respect Belgian neutrality; it declared war on Germany at 19:00 UTC on 4 August 1914 (effective from 23:00), following an "unsatisfactory reply". World War I_sentence_133

Progress of the war World War I_section_9

Further information: Diplomatic history of World War I World War I_sentence_134

Opening hostilities World War I_section_10

Confusion among the Central Powers World War I_section_11

The strategy of the Central Powers suffered from miscommunication. World War I_sentence_135

Germany had promised to support Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia, but interpretations of what this meant differed. World War I_sentence_136

Previously tested deployment plans had been replaced early in 1914, but those had never been tested in exercises. World War I_sentence_137

Austro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover its northern flank against Russia. World War I_sentence_138

Germany, however, envisioned Austria-Hungary directing most of its troops against Russia, while Germany dealt with France. World War I_sentence_139

This confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian Army to divide its forces between the Russian and Serbian fronts. World War I_sentence_140

Serbian campaign World War I_section_12

Main article: Serbian Campaign of World War I World War I_sentence_141

Austria invaded and fought the Serbian army at the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara beginning on 12 August. World War I_sentence_142

Over the next two weeks, Austrian attacks were thrown back with heavy losses, which marked the first major Allied victories of the war and dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory. World War I_sentence_143

As a result, Austria had to keep sizeable forces on the Serbian front, weakening its efforts against Russia. World War I_sentence_144

Serbia's defeat of the Austro-Hungarian invasion of 1914 has been called one of the major upset victories of the twentieth century. World War I_sentence_145

The campaign saw the first use of medical evacuation by the Serbian army in autumn of 1915 and anti-aircraft warfare in the spring of 1915 after an Austrian plane was shot down with ground-to-air fire. World War I_sentence_146

German Offensive in Belgium and France World War I_section_13

Main article: Western Front (World War I) World War I_sentence_147

When the war began, the German Order of Battle placed 80% of the army in the West, with the remainder acting as a screening force in the East. World War I_sentence_148

The plan was to quickly knock France out of the war, then redeploy to the East and do the same to Russia. World War I_sentence_149

The German offensive in the West was officially titled Aufmarsch II West, but is better known as the Schlieffen Plan, after its original creator. World War I_sentence_150

Schlieffen deliberately kept the German left (i.e. its positions in Alsace-Lorraine) weak to lure the French into attacking there, while the majority were allocated to the German right, so as to sweep through Belgium, encircle Paris and trap the French armies against the Swiss border (the French charged into Alsace-Lorraine on the outbreak of war as envisaged by their Plan XVII, thus actually aiding this strategy). World War I_sentence_151

However, Schlieffen's successor Moltke grew concerned that the French might push too hard on his left flank. World War I_sentence_152

Consequently, as the German Army increased in size in the years leading up to the war, he changed the allocation of forces between the German right and left wings from 85:15 to 70:30. World War I_sentence_153

Ultimately, Moltke's changes meant insufficient forces to achieve decisive success and thus unrealistic goals and timings. World War I_sentence_154

The initial German advance in the West was very successful: by the end of August the Allied left, which included the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), was in full retreat; French casualties in the first month exceeded 260,000, including 27,000 killed on 22 August during the Battle of the Frontiers. World War I_sentence_155

German planning provided broad strategic instructions, while allowing army commanders considerable freedom in carrying them out at the front; this worked well in 1866 and 1870 but in 1914, von Kluck used this freedom to disobey orders, opening a gap between the German armies as they closed on Paris. World War I_sentence_156

The French and British exploited this gap to halt the German advance east of Paris at the First Battle of the Marne from 5 to 12 September and push the German forces back some 50 km (31 mi). World War I_sentence_157

In 1911, the Russian Stavka had agreed with the French to attack Germany within 15 days of mobilisation; this was unrealistic and the two Russian armies that entered East Prussia on 17 August did so without many of their support elements. World War I_sentence_158

The Russian Second Army was effectively destroyed at the Battle of Tannenberg on 26–30 August but the Russian advance caused the Germans to re-route their 8th Field Army from France to East Prussia, a factor in Allied victory on the Marne. World War I_sentence_159

By the end of 1914, German troops held strong defensive positions inside France, controlled the bulk of France's domestic coalfields and had inflicted 230,000 more casualties than it lost itself. World War I_sentence_160

However, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost Germany the chance of a decisive outcome, and it had failed to achieve the primary objective of avoiding a long, two-front war. World War I_sentence_161

This amounted to a strategic defeat; shortly after the Marne, Crown Prince Wilhelm told an American reporter; "We have lost the war. World War I_sentence_162

It will go on for a long time but lost it is already." World War I_sentence_163

Asia and the Pacific World War I_section_14

Main article: Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I World War I_sentence_164

New Zealand occupied German Samoa (later Western Samoa) on 30 August 1914. World War I_sentence_165

On 11 September, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain), which formed part of German New Guinea. World War I_sentence_166

On 28 October, the German cruiser SMS Emden sank the Russian cruiser Zhemchug in the Battle of Penang. World War I_sentence_167

Japan seized Germany's Micronesian colonies and, after the Siege of Tsingtao, the German coaling port of Qingdao on the Chinese Shandong peninsula. World War I_sentence_168

As Vienna refused to withdraw the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth from Tsingtao, Japan declared war not only on Germany, but also on Austria-Hungary; the ship participated in the defence of Tsingtao where it was sunk in November 1914. World War I_sentence_169

Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific; only isolated commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea remained. World War I_sentence_170

African campaigns World War I_section_15

Main article: African theatre of World War I World War I_sentence_171

Some of the first clashes of the war involved British, French, and German colonial forces in Africa. World War I_sentence_172

On 6–7 August, French and British troops invaded the German protectorate of Togoland and Kamerun. World War I_sentence_173

On 10 August, German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war. World War I_sentence_174

The German colonial forces in German East Africa, led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War I and only surrendered two weeks after the armistice took effect in Europe. World War I_sentence_175

Indian support for the Allies World War I_section_16

Main article: Indian Army during World War I World War I_sentence_176

Further information: Hindu–German Conspiracy, Niedermayer–Hentig Expedition, and Third Anglo-Afghan War World War I_sentence_177

Germany attempted to use Indian nationalism and pan-Islamism to its advantage, instigating uprisings in India, and sending a mission that urged Afghanistan to join the war on the side of Central Powers. World War I_sentence_178

However, contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards Britain. World War I_sentence_179

Indian political leaders from the Indian National Congress and other groups were eager to support the British war effort, since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Indian Home Rule. World War I_sentence_180

The Indian Army in fact outnumbered the British Army at the beginning of the war; about 1.3 million Indian soldiers and labourers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. World War I_sentence_181

In all, 140,000 men served on the Western Front and nearly 700,000 in the Middle East. World War I_sentence_182

Casualties of Indian soldiers totalled 47,746 killed and 65,126 wounded during World War I. World War I_sentence_183

The suffering engendered by the war, as well as the failure of the British government to grant self-government to India after the end of hostilities, bred disillusionment and fueled the campaign for full independence that would be led by Mohandas K. Gandhi and others. World War I_sentence_184

Western Front World War I_section_17

Main article: Western Front (World War I) World War I_sentence_185

Trench warfare begins World War I_section_18

Military tactics developed before World War I failed to keep pace with advances in technology and had become obsolete. World War I_sentence_186

These advances had allowed the creation of strong defensive systems, which out-of-date military tactics could not break through for most of the war. World War I_sentence_187

Barbed wire was a significant hindrance to massed infantry advances, while artillery, vastly more lethal than in the 1870s, coupled with machine guns, made crossing open ground extremely difficult. World War I_sentence_188

Commanders on both sides failed to develop tactics for breaching entrenched positions without heavy casualties. World War I_sentence_189

In time, however, technology began to produce new offensive weapons, such as gas warfare and the tank. World War I_sentence_190

After the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September 1914), Allied and German forces unsuccessfully tried to outflank each other, a series of manoeuvres later known as the "Race to the Sea". World War I_sentence_191

By the end of 1914, the opposing forces were left confronting each other along an uninterrupted line of entrenched positions from Alsace to Belgium's North Sea coast. World War I_sentence_192

Since the Germans were able to choose where to stand, they normally had the advantage of the high ground; in addition, their trenches tended to be better built, since Anglo-French trenches were initially intended as "temporary," and would only be needed until the breaking of German defences. World War I_sentence_193

Both sides tried to break the stalemate using scientific and technological advances. World War I_sentence_194

On 22 April 1915, at the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans (violating the Hague Convention) used chlorine gas for the first time on the Western Front. World War I_sentence_195

Several types of gas soon became widely used by both sides, and though it never proved a decisive, battle-winning weapon, poison gas became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war. World War I_sentence_196

Tanks were developed by Britain and France and were first used in combat by the British during the Battle of Flers–Courcelette (part of the Battle of the Somme) on 15 September 1916, with only partial success. World War I_sentence_197

However, their effectiveness would grow as the war progressed; the Allies built tanks in large numbers, whilst the Germans employed only a few of their own design, supplemented by captured Allied tanks. World War I_sentence_198

Continuation of trench warfare World War I_section_19

Neither side proved able to deliver a decisive blow for the next two years. World War I_sentence_199

Throughout 1915–17, the British Empire and France suffered more casualties than Germany, because of both the strategic and tactical stances chosen by the sides. World War I_sentence_200

Strategically, while the Germans mounted only one major offensive, the Allies made several attempts to break through the German lines. World War I_sentence_201

In February 1916 the Germans attacked French defensive positions at the Battle of Verdun, lasting until December 1916. World War I_sentence_202

The Germans made initial gains, before French counter-attacks returned matters to near their starting point. World War I_sentence_203

Casualties were greater for the French, but the Germans bled heavily as well, with anywhere from 700,000 to 975,000 casualties suffered between the two combatants. World War I_sentence_204

Verdun became a symbol of French determination and self-sacrifice. World War I_sentence_205

The Battle of the Somme was an Anglo-French offensive of July to November 1916. World War I_sentence_206

The opening day of the offensive (1 July 1916) was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army, suffering 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead. World War I_sentence_207

The entire Somme offensive cost the British Army some 420,000 casualties. World War I_sentence_208

The French suffered another estimated 200,000 casualties and the Germans an estimated 500,000. World War I_sentence_209

Gun fire was not the only factor taking lives; the diseases that emerged in the trenches were a major killer on both sides. World War I_sentence_210

The living conditions made it so that countless diseases and infections occurred, such as trench foot, shell shock, blindness/burns from mustard gas, lice, trench fever, "cooties" (body lice) and the 'Spanish flu'. World War I_sentence_211

To maintain morale, wartime censors minimised early reports of widespread influenza illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. World War I_sentence_212

Papers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII). World War I_sentence_213

This created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit, thereby giving rise to the pandemic's nickname, "Spanish flu". World War I_sentence_214

Protracted action at Verdun throughout 1916, combined with the bloodletting at the Somme, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse. World War I_sentence_215

Futile attempts using frontal assault came at a high price for both the British and the French and led to the widespread French Army Mutinies, after the failure of the costly Nivelle Offensive of April–May 1917. World War I_sentence_216

The concurrent British Battle of Arras was more limited in scope, and more successful, although ultimately of little strategic value. World War I_sentence_217

A smaller part of the Arras offensive, the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps, became highly significant to that country: the idea that Canada's national identity was born out of the battle is an opinion widely held in military and general histories of Canada. World War I_sentence_218

The last large-scale offensive of this period was a British attack (with French support) at Passchendaele (July–November 1917). World War I_sentence_219

This offensive opened with great promise for the Allies, before bogging down in the October mud. World War I_sentence_220

Casualties, though disputed, were roughly equal, at some 200,000–400,000 per side. World War I_sentence_221

The years of trench warfare on the Western front achieved no major exchanges of territory and, as a result, are often thought of as static and unchanging. World War I_sentence_222

However, throughout this period, British, French, and German tactics constantly evolved to meet new battlefield challenges. World War I_sentence_223

Naval war World War I_section_20

Main article: Naval warfare of World War I World War I_sentence_224

At the start of the war, the German Empire had cruisers scattered across the globe, some of which were subsequently used to attack Allied merchant shipping. World War I_sentence_225

The British Royal Navy systematically hunted them down, though not without some embarrassment from its inability to protect Allied shipping. World War I_sentence_226

Before the beginning of the war, it was widely understood that Britain held the position of strongest, most influential navy in the world. World War I_sentence_227

The publishing of the book The Influence of Sea Power upon History by Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1890 was intended to encourage the United States to increase their naval power. World War I_sentence_228

Instead, this book made it to Germany and inspired its readers to try to over-power the British Royal Navy. World War I_sentence_229

For example, the German detached light cruiser SMS Emden, part of the East Asia Squadron stationed at Qingdao, seized or destroyed 15 merchantmen, as well as sinking a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer. World War I_sentence_230

However, most of the German East-Asia squadron—consisting of the armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig and two transport ships—did not have orders to raid shipping and was instead underway to Germany when it met British warships. World War I_sentence_231

The German flotilla and Dresden sank two armoured cruisers at the Battle of Coronel, but was virtually destroyed at the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, with only Dresden and a few auxiliaries escaping, but after the Battle of Más a Tierra these too had been destroyed or interned. World War I_sentence_232

Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Britain began a naval blockade of Germany. World War I_sentence_233

The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated accepted international law codified by several international agreements of the past two centuries. World War I_sentence_234

Britain mined international waters to prevent any ships from entering entire sections of ocean, causing danger to even neutral ships. World War I_sentence_235

Since there was limited response to this tactic of the British, Germany expected a similar response to its unrestricted submarine warfare. World War I_sentence_236

The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht, or "Battle of the Skagerrak") in May/June 1916 developed into the largest naval battle of the war. World War I_sentence_237

It was the only full-scale clash of battleships during the war, and one of the largest in history. World War I_sentence_238

The Kaiserliche Marine's High Seas Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, fought the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, led by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. World War I_sentence_239

The engagement was a stand off, as the Germans were outmanoeuvred by the larger British fleet, but managed to escape and inflicted more damage to the British fleet than they received. World War I_sentence_240

Strategically, however, the British asserted their control of the sea, and the bulk of the German surface fleet remained confined to port for the duration of the war. World War I_sentence_241

German U-boats attempted to cut the supply lines between North America and Britain. World War I_sentence_242

The nature of submarine warfare meant that attacks often came without warning, giving the crews of the merchant ships little hope of survival. World War I_sentence_243

The United States launched a protest, and Germany changed its rules of engagement. World War I_sentence_244

After the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania in 1915, Germany promised not to target passenger liners, while Britain armed its merchant ships, placing them beyond the protection of the "cruiser rules", which demanded warning and movement of crews to "a place of safety" (a standard that lifeboats did not meet). World War I_sentence_245

Finally, in early 1917, Germany adopted a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, realising the Americans would eventually enter the war. World War I_sentence_246

Germany sought to strangle Allied sea lanes before the United States could transport a large army overseas, but after initial successes eventually failed to do so. World War I_sentence_247

The U-boat threat lessened in 1917, when merchant ships began travelling in convoys, escorted by destroyers. World War I_sentence_248

This tactic made it difficult for U-boats to find targets, which significantly lessened losses; after the hydrophone and depth charges were introduced, accompanying destroyers could attack a submerged submarine with some hope of success. World War I_sentence_249

Convoys slowed the flow of supplies, since ships had to wait as convoys were assembled. World War I_sentence_250

The solution to the delays was an extensive program of building new freighters. World War I_sentence_251

Troopships were too fast for the submarines and did not travel the North Atlantic in convoys. World War I_sentence_252

The U-boats had sunk more than 5,000 Allied ships, at a cost of 199 submarines. World War I_sentence_253

World War I also saw the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a successful raid against the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in July 1918, as well as blimps for antisubmarine patrol. World War I_sentence_254

Southern theatres World War I_section_21

War in the Balkans World War I_section_22

Main articles: Balkans Campaign (World War I), Bulgaria during World War I, Serbian Campaign (World War I), and Macedonian front World War I_sentence_255

Faced with Russia in the east, Austria-Hungary could spare only one-third of its army to attack Serbia. World War I_sentence_256

After suffering heavy losses, the Austrians briefly occupied the Serbian capital, Belgrade. World War I_sentence_257

A Serbian counter-attack in the Battle of Kolubara succeeded in driving them from the country by the end of 1914. World War I_sentence_258

For the first ten months of 1915, Austria-Hungary used most of its military reserves to fight Italy. World War I_sentence_259

German and Austro-Hungarian diplomats, however, scored a coup by persuading Bulgaria to join the attack on Serbia. World War I_sentence_260

The Austro-Hungarian provinces of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia provided troops for Austria-Hungary in the fight with Serbia, Russia and Italy. World War I_sentence_261

Montenegro allied itself with Serbia. World War I_sentence_262

Bulgaria declared war on Serbia on 12 October 1915 and joined in the attack by the Austro-Hungarian army under Mackensen's army of 250,000 that was already underway. World War I_sentence_263

Serbia was conquered in a little more than a month, as the Central Powers, now including Bulgaria, sent in 600,000 troops total. World War I_sentence_264

The Serbian army, fighting on two fronts and facing certain defeat, retreated into northern Albania. World War I_sentence_265

The Serbs suffered defeat in the Battle of Kosovo. World War I_sentence_266

Montenegro covered the Serbian retreat towards the Adriatic coast in the Battle of Mojkovac in 6–7 January 1916, but ultimately the Austrians also conquered Montenegro. World War I_sentence_267

The surviving Serbian soldiers were evacuated by ship to Greece. World War I_sentence_268

After conquest, Serbia was divided between Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria. World War I_sentence_269

In late 1915, a Franco-British force landed at Salonica in Greece to offer assistance and to pressure its government to declare war against the Central Powers. World War I_sentence_270

However, the pro-German King Constantine I dismissed the pro-Allied government of Eleftherios Venizelos before the Allied expeditionary force arrived. World War I_sentence_271

The friction between the King of Greece and the Allies continued to accumulate with the National Schism, which effectively divided Greece between regions still loyal to the king and the new provisional government of Venizelos in Salonica. World War I_sentence_272

After intense negotiations and an armed confrontation in Athens between Allied and royalist forces (an incident known as Noemvriana), the King of Greece resigned and his second son Alexander took his place; Greece officially joined the war on the side of the Allies in June 1917. World War I_sentence_273

The Macedonian front was initially mostly static. World War I_sentence_274

French and Serbian forces retook limited areas of Macedonia by recapturing Bitola on 19 November 1916 following the costly Monastir Offensive, which brought stabilisation of the front. World War I_sentence_275

Serbian and French troops finally made a breakthrough in September 1918 in the Vardar Offensive, after most of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops had been withdrawn. World War I_sentence_276

The Bulgarians were defeated at the Battle of Dobro Pole, and by 25 September British and French troops had crossed the border into Bulgaria proper as the Bulgarian army collapsed. World War I_sentence_277

Bulgaria capitulated four days later, on 29 September 1918. World War I_sentence_278

The German high command responded by despatching troops to hold the line, but these forces were far too weak to reestablish a front. World War I_sentence_279

The disappearance of the Macedonian front meant that the road to Budapest and Vienna was now opened to Allied forces. World War I_sentence_280

Hindenburg and Ludendorff concluded that the strategic and operational balance had now shifted decidedly against the Central Powers and, a day after the Bulgarian collapse, insisted on an immediate peace settlement. World War I_sentence_281

Ottoman Empire World War I_section_23

Main article: History of the Ottoman Empire during World War I World War I_sentence_282

See also: Middle Eastern theatre of World War I World War I_sentence_283

The Ottomans threatened Russia's Caucasian territories and Britain's communications with India via the Suez Canal. World War I_sentence_284

As the conflict progressed, the Ottoman Empire took advantage of the European powers' preoccupation with the war and conducted large-scale ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christian populations, known as the Armenian Genocide, Greek Genocide, and Assyrian Genocide. World War I_sentence_285

The British and French opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns (1914). World War I_sentence_286

In Gallipoli, the Ottoman Empire successfully repelled the British, French, and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs). World War I_sentence_287

In Mesopotamia, by contrast, after the defeat of the British defenders in the Siege of Kut by the Ottomans (1915–16), British Imperial forces reorganised and captured Baghdad in March 1917. World War I_sentence_288

The British were aided in Mesopotamia by local Arab and Assyrian tribesmen, while the Ottomans employed local Kurdish and Turcoman tribes. World War I_sentence_289

Further to the west, the Suez Canal was defended from Ottoman attacks in 1915 and 1916; in August, a German and Ottoman force was defeated at the Battle of Romani by the ANZAC Mounted Division and the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division. World War I_sentence_290

Following this victory, an Egyptian Expeditionary Force advanced across the Sinai Peninsula, pushing Ottoman forces back in the Battle of Magdhaba in December and the Battle of Rafa on the border between the Egyptian Sinai and Ottoman Palestine in January 1917. World War I_sentence_291

Russian armies generally had success in the Caucasus campaign. World War I_sentence_292

Enver Pasha, supreme commander of the Ottoman armed forces, was ambitious and dreamed of re-conquering central Asia and areas that had been lost to Russia previously. World War I_sentence_293

He was, however, a poor commander. World War I_sentence_294

He launched an offensive against the Russians in the Caucasus in December 1914 with 100,000 troops, insisting on a frontal attack against mountainous Russian positions in winter. World War I_sentence_295

He lost 86% of his force at the Battle of Sarikamish. World War I_sentence_296

The Ottoman Empire, with German support, invaded Persia (modern Iran) in December 1914 in an effort to cut off British and Russian access to petroleum reservoirs around Baku near the Caspian Sea. World War I_sentence_297

Persia, ostensibly neutral, had long been under the spheres of British and Russian influence. World War I_sentence_298

The Ottomans and Germans were aided by Kurdish and Azeri forces, together with a large number of major Iranian tribes, such as the Qashqai, Tangistanis, Luristanis, and Khamseh, while the Russians and British had the support of Armenian and Assyrian forces. World War I_sentence_299

The Persian Campaign was to last until 1918 and end in failure for the Ottomans and their allies. World War I_sentence_300

However, the Russian withdrawal from the war in 1917 led to Armenian and Assyrian forces, who had hitherto inflicted a series of defeats upon the forces of the Ottomans and their allies, being cut off from supply lines, outnumbered, outgunned and isolated, forcing them to fight and flee towards British lines in northern Mesopotamia. World War I_sentence_301

General Yudenich, the Russian commander from 1915 to 1916, drove the Turks out of most of the southern Caucasus with a string of victories. World War I_sentence_302

During the 1916 campaign, the Russians defeated the Turks in the Erzurum Offensive, also occupying Trabzon. World War I_sentence_303

In 1917, Russian Grand Duke Nicholas assumed command of the Caucasus front. World War I_sentence_304

Nicholas planned a railway from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories, so that fresh supplies could be brought up for a new offensive in 1917. World War I_sentence_305

However, in March 1917 (February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar), the Tsar abdicated in the course of the February Revolution, and the Russian Caucasus Army began to fall apart. World War I_sentence_306

The Arab Revolt, instigated by the Arab bureau of the British Foreign Office, started June 1916 with the Battle of Mecca, led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca, and ended with the Ottoman surrender of Damascus. World War I_sentence_307

Fakhri Pasha, the Ottoman commander of Medina, resisted for more than two and half years during the Siege of Medina before surrendering in January 1919. World War I_sentence_308

The Senussi tribe, along the border of Italian Libya and British Egypt, incited and armed by the Turks, waged a small-scale guerrilla war against Allied troops. World War I_sentence_309

The British were forced to dispatch 12,000 troops to oppose them in the Senussi Campaign. World War I_sentence_310

Their rebellion was finally crushed in mid-1916. World War I_sentence_311

Total Allied casualties on the Ottoman fronts amounted 650,000 men. World War I_sentence_312

Total Ottoman casualties were 725,000 (325,000 dead and 400,000 wounded). World War I_sentence_313

Italian participation World War I_section_24

Main articles: Italian Front (World War I) and Military history of Italy during World War I World War I_sentence_314

See also: Albania during World War I World War I_sentence_315

Italy had been allied with the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires since 1882 as part of the Triple Alliance. World War I_sentence_316

However, the nation had its own designs on Austrian territory in Trentino, the Austrian Littoral, Fiume (Rijeka) and Dalmatia. World War I_sentence_317

Rome had a secret 1902 pact with France, effectively nullifying its part in the Triple Alliance; Italy secretly agreed with France to remain neutral if the latter was attacked by Germany. World War I_sentence_318

At the start of hostilities, Italy refused to commit troops, arguing that the Triple Alliance was defensive and that Austria-Hungary was an aggressor. World War I_sentence_319

The Austro-Hungarian government began negotiations to secure Italian neutrality, offering the French colony of Tunisia in return. World War I_sentence_320

The Allies made a counter-offer in which Italy would receive the Southern Tyrol, Austrian Littoral and territory on the Dalmatian coast after the defeat of Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_321

This was formalised by the Treaty of London. World War I_sentence_322

Further encouraged by the Allied invasion of Turkey in April 1915, Italy joined the Triple Entente and declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May. World War I_sentence_323

Fifteen months later, Italy declared war on Germany. World War I_sentence_324

The Italians had numerical superiority, but this advantage was lost, not only because of the difficult terrain in which the fighting took place, but also because of the strategies and tactics employed. World War I_sentence_325

Field Marshal Luigi Cadorna, a staunch proponent of the frontal assault, had dreams of breaking into the Slovenian plateau, taking Ljubljana and threatening Vienna. World War I_sentence_326

On the Trentino front, the Austro-Hungarians took advantage of the mountainous terrain, which favoured the defender. World War I_sentence_327

After an initial strategic retreat, the front remained largely unchanged, while Austrian Kaiserschützen and Standschützen engaged Italian Alpini in bitter hand-to-hand combat throughout the summer. World War I_sentence_328

The Austro-Hungarians counterattacked in the Altopiano of Asiago, towards Verona and Padua, in the spring of 1916 (Strafexpedition), but made little progress and were defeated by the Italians. World War I_sentence_329

Beginning in 1915, the Italians under Cadorna mounted eleven offensives on the Isonzo front along the Isonzo (Soča) River, northeast of Trieste. World War I_sentence_330

Of these eleven offensives, five were won by Italy, three remained inconclusive, and the other three were repelled by the Austro-Hungarians, who held the higher ground. World War I_sentence_331

In the summer of 1916, after the Battle of Doberdò, the Italians captured the town of Gorizia. World War I_sentence_332

After this victory, the front remained static for over a year, despite several Italian offensives, centred on the Banjšice and Karst Plateau east of Gorizia. World War I_sentence_333

The Central Powers launched a crushing offensive on 26 October 1917, spearheaded by the Germans, and achieved a victory at Caporetto (Kobarid). World War I_sentence_334

The Italian Army was routed and retreated more than 100 kilometres (62 mi) to reorganise. World War I_sentence_335

The new Italian chief of staff, Armando Diaz, ordered the Army to stop their retreat and defend the Monte Grappa summit, where fortified defenses were constructed; the Italians repelled the Austro-Hungarian and German Army, and stabilised the front at the Piave River. World War I_sentence_336

Since the Italian Army had suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Caporetto, the Italian Government ordered conscription of the so-called '99 Boys (Ragazzi del '99): all males born in 1899 and prior, who were 18 years old or older. World War I_sentence_337

In 1918, the Austro-Hungarians failed to break through in a series of battles on the Piave and were finally decisively defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in October. World War I_sentence_338

On 1 November, the Italian Navy destroyed much of the Austro-Hungarian fleet stationed in Pula, preventing it from being handed over to the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. World War I_sentence_339

On 3 November, the Italians invaded Trieste from the sea. World War I_sentence_340

On the same day, the Armistice of Villa Giusti was signed. World War I_sentence_341

By mid-November 1918, the Italian military occupied the entire former Austrian Littoral and had seized control of the portion of Dalmatia that had been guaranteed to Italy by the London Pact. World War I_sentence_342

By the end of hostilities in November 1918, Admiral Enrico Millo declared himself Italy's Governor of Dalmatia. World War I_sentence_343

Austria-Hungary surrendered on 11 November 1918. World War I_sentence_344

Romanian participation World War I_section_25

Main article: Romania during World War I World War I_sentence_345

Romania had been allied with the Central Powers since 1882. World War I_sentence_346

When the war began, however, it declared its neutrality, arguing that because Austria-Hungary had itself declared war on Serbia, Romania was under no obligation to join the war. World War I_sentence_347

On 4 August 1916, Romania and the Entente signed the Political Treaty and Military Convention, that established the coordinates of Romania's participation in the war. World War I_sentence_348

In return, it received the Allies' formal sanction for Transylvania, Banat and other territories of Austria-Hungary to be annexed to Romania. World War I_sentence_349

The action had large popular support. World War I_sentence_350

On 27 August 1916, the Romanian Army launched an attack against Austria-Hungary, with limited Russian support. World War I_sentence_351

The Romanian offensive was initially successful in Transylvania, but a Central Powers counterattack by the drove them back. World War I_sentence_352

As a result of the Battle of Bucharest, the Central Powers occupied Bucharest on 6 December 1916. World War I_sentence_353

Fighting in Moldova continued in 1917, but Russian withdrawal from the war in late 1917 as a result of the October Revolution meant that Romania was forced to sign an armistice with the Central Powers on 9 December 1917. World War I_sentence_354

In January 1918, Romanian forces established control over Bessarabia as the Russian Army abandoned the province. World War I_sentence_355

Although a treaty was signed by the Romanian and Bolshevik Russian governments following talks between 5 and 9 March 1918 on the withdrawal of Romanian forces from Bessarabia within two months, on 27 March 1918 Romania formally attached Bessarabia, inhabited by a Romanian majority, to its territory, based on a resolution passed by the local assembly of that territory on its unification with Romania. World War I_sentence_356

Romania officially made peace with the Central Powers by signing the Treaty of Bucharest on 7 May 1918. World War I_sentence_357

Under the treaty, Romania was obliged to end the war with the Central Powers and make small territorial concessions to Austria-Hungary, ceding control of some passes in the Carpathian Mountains, and to grant oil concessions to Germany. World War I_sentence_358

In exchange, the Central Powers recognised the sovereignty of Romania over Bessarabia. World War I_sentence_359

The treaty was renounced in October 1918 by the Alexandru Marghiloman government, and Romania nominally re-entered the war on 10 November 1918 against the Central Powers. World War I_sentence_360

The next day, the Treaty of Bucharest was nullified by the terms of the Armistice of Compiègne. World War I_sentence_361

Total Romanian deaths from 1914 to 1918, military and civilian, within contemporary borders, were estimated at 748,000. World War I_sentence_362

Eastern Front World War I_section_26

Main article: Eastern Front (World War I) World War I_sentence_363

Initial actions World War I_section_27

Russian plans for the start of the war called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and East Prussia. World War I_sentence_364

Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, it was driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914. World War I_sentence_365

Russia's less developed industrial base and ineffective military leadership were instrumental in the events that unfolded. World War I_sentence_366

By the spring of 1915, the Russians had retreated from Galicia, and, in May, the Central Powers achieved a remarkable breakthrough on Poland's southern frontiers with their Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive. World War I_sentence_367

On 5 August, they captured Warsaw and forced the Russians to withdraw from Poland. World War I_sentence_368

Despite Russia's success in the June 1916 Brusilov Offensive against the Austrians in eastern Galicia, the offensive was undermined by the reluctance of other Russian generals to commit their forces to support the victory. World War I_sentence_369

Allied and Russian forces were revived only briefly by Romania's entry into the war on 27 August, as Romania was rapidly defeated by a Central Powers offensive. World War I_sentence_370

Meanwhile, unrest grew in Russia as the Tsar remained at the front. World War I_sentence_371

The increasingly incompetent rule of Empress Alexandra drew protests and resulted in the murder of her favourite, Rasputin, at the end of 1916. World War I_sentence_372

Russian Revolution World War I_section_28

Main article: Russian Revolution World War I_sentence_373

In March 1917, demonstrations in Petrograd culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak Provisional Government, which shared power with the Petrograd Soviet socialists. World War I_sentence_374

This arrangement led to confusion and chaos both at the front and at home. World War I_sentence_375

The army became increasingly ineffective. World War I_sentence_376

Following the Tsar's abdication, Vladimir Lenin—with the help of the German government—was ushered by train from Switzerland into Russia 16 April 1917. World War I_sentence_377

Discontent and the weaknesses of the Provisional Government led to a rise in the popularity of the Bolshevik Party, led by Lenin, which demanded an immediate end to the war. World War I_sentence_378

The Revolution of November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany. World War I_sentence_379

At first, the Bolsheviks refused the German terms, but when German troops began marching across Ukraine unopposed, the new government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. World War I_sentence_380

The treaty ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers. World War I_sentence_381

Despite this enormous German success, the manpower required by the Germans to occupy the captured territory may have contributed to the failure of their Spring Offensive, and secured relatively little food or other materiel for the Central Powers war effort. World War I_sentence_382

With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Entente no longer existed. World War I_sentence_383

The Allied powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia, partly to stop Germany from exploiting Russian resources, and to a lesser extent, to support the "Whites" (as opposed to the "Reds") in the Russian Civil War. World War I_sentence_384

Allied troops landed in Arkhangelsk and in Vladivostok as part of the North Russia Intervention. World War I_sentence_385

Czechoslovak Legion World War I_section_29

Main article: Czechoslovak Legion World War I_sentence_386

The Czechoslovak Legion fought on the side of the Entente. World War I_sentence_387

Its goal was to win support for the independence of Czechoslovakia. World War I_sentence_388

The Legion in Russia was established in September 1914, in December 1917 in France (including volunteers from America) and in April 1918 in Italy. World War I_sentence_389

Czechoslovak Legion troops defeated the Austro-Hungarian army at the Ukrainian village of Zborov, in July 1917. World War I_sentence_390

After this success, the number of Czechoslovak legionaries increased, as well as Czechoslovak military power. World War I_sentence_391

In the Battle of Bakhmach, the Legion defeated the Germans and forced them to make a truce. World War I_sentence_392

In Russia, they were heavily involved in the Russian Civil War, siding with the Whites against the Bolsheviks, at times controlling most of the Trans-Siberian railway and conquering all the major cities of Siberia. World War I_sentence_393

The presence of the Czechoslovak Legion near Yekaterinburg appears to have been one of the motivations for the Bolshevik execution of the Tsar and his family in July 1918. World War I_sentence_394

Legionaries arrived less than a week afterwards and captured the city. World War I_sentence_395

Because Russia's European ports were not safe, the corps was evacuated by a long detour via the port of Vladivostok. World War I_sentence_396

The last transport was the American ship Heffron in September 1920. World War I_sentence_397

Central Powers peace overtures World War I_section_30

On 12 December 1916, after ten brutal months of the Battle of Verdun and a successful offensive against Romania, Germany attempted to negotiate a peace with the Allies. World War I_sentence_398

However, this attempt was rejected out of hand as a "duplicitous war ruse". World War I_sentence_399

Soon after, the US president, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to intervene as a peacemaker, asking in a note for both sides to state their demands. World War I_sentence_400

Lloyd George's War Cabinet considered the German offer to be a ploy to create divisions amongst the Allies. World War I_sentence_401

After initial outrage and much deliberation, they took Wilson's note as a separate effort, signalling that the United States was on the verge of entering the war against Germany following the "submarine outrages". World War I_sentence_402

While the Allies debated a response to Wilson's offer, the Germans chose to rebuff it in favour of "a direct exchange of views". World War I_sentence_403

Learning of the German response, the Allied governments were free to make clear demands in their response of 14 January. World War I_sentence_404

They sought restoration of damages, the evacuation of occupied territories, reparations for France, Russia and Romania, and a recognition of the principle of nationalities. World War I_sentence_405

This included the liberation of Italians, Slavs, Romanians, Czecho-Slovaks, and the creation of a "free and united Poland". World War I_sentence_406

On the question of security, the Allies sought guarantees that would prevent or limit future wars, complete with sanctions, as a condition of any peace settlement. World War I_sentence_407

The negotiations failed and the Entente powers rejected the German offer on the grounds that Germany had not put forward any specific proposals. World War I_sentence_408

1917–1918 World War I_section_31

Events of 1917 proved decisive in ending the war, although their effects were not fully felt until 1918. World War I_sentence_409

Developments in 1917 World War I_section_32

The British naval blockade began to have a serious impact on Germany. World War I_sentence_410

In response, in February 1917, the German General Staff convinced Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war. World War I_sentence_411

German planners estimated that unrestricted submarine warfare would cost Britain a monthly shipping loss of 600,000 tons. World War I_sentence_412

The General Staff acknowledged that the policy would almost certainly bring the United States into the conflict, but calculated that British shipping losses would be so high that they would be forced to sue for peace after five to six months, before American intervention could have an effect. World War I_sentence_413

Tonnage sunk rose above 500,000 tons per month from February to July. World War I_sentence_414

It peaked at 860,000 tons in April. World War I_sentence_415

After July, the newly re-introduced convoy system became effective in reducing the U-boat threat. World War I_sentence_416

Britain was safe from starvation, while German industrial output fell, and the United States joined the war far earlier than Germany had anticipated. World War I_sentence_417

On 3 May 1917, during the Nivelle Offensive, the French 2nd Colonial Division, veterans of the Battle of Verdun, refused orders, arriving drunk and without their weapons. World War I_sentence_418

Their officers lacked the means to punish an entire division, and harsh measures were not immediately implemented. World War I_sentence_419

The French Army Mutinies eventually spread to a further 54 French divisions, and 20,000 men deserted. World War I_sentence_420

However, appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials, encouraged the soldiers to return to defend their trenches, although the French soldiers refused to participate in further offensive action. World War I_sentence_421

Robert Nivelle was removed from command by 15 May, replaced by General Philippe Pétain, who suspended bloody large-scale attacks. World War I_sentence_422

The victory of the Central Powers at the Battle of Caporetto led the Allies to convene the Rapallo Conference at which they formed the Supreme War Council to co-ordinate planning. World War I_sentence_423

Previously, British and French armies had operated under separate commands. World War I_sentence_424

In December, the Central Powers signed an armistice with Russia, thus freeing large numbers of German troops for use in the west. World War I_sentence_425

With German reinforcements and new American troops pouring in, the outcome was to be decided on the Western Front. World War I_sentence_426

The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war, but they held high hopes for success based on a final quick offensive. World War I_sentence_427

Furthermore, both sides became increasingly fearful of social unrest and revolution in Europe. World War I_sentence_428

Thus, both sides urgently sought a decisive victory. World War I_sentence_429

In 1917, Emperor Charles I of Austria secretly attempted separate peace negotiations with Clemenceau, through his wife's brother Sixtus in Belgium as an intermediary, without the knowledge of Germany. World War I_sentence_430

Italy opposed the proposals. World War I_sentence_431

When the negotiations failed, his attempt was revealed to Germany, resulting in a diplomatic catastrophe. World War I_sentence_432

Ottoman Empire conflict, 1917–1918 World War I_section_33

Main article: Sinai and Palestine Campaign World War I_sentence_433

In March and April 1917, at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, German and Ottoman forces stopped the advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, which had begun in August 1916 at the Battle of Romani. World War I_sentence_434

At the end of October, the Sinai and Palestine Campaign resumed, when General Edmund Allenby's XXth Corps, XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps won the Battle of Beersheba. World War I_sentence_435

Two Ottoman armies were defeated a few weeks later at the Battle of Mughar Ridge and, early in December, Jerusalem was captured following another Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Jerusalem. World War I_sentence_436

About this time, Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein was relieved of his duties as the Eighth Army's commander, replaced by Djevad Pasha, and a few months later the commander of the Ottoman Army in Palestine, Erich von Falkenhayn, was replaced by Otto Liman von Sanders. World War I_sentence_437

In early 1918, the front line was extended and the Jordan Valley was occupied, following the First Transjordan and the Second Transjordan attacks by British Empire forces in March and April 1918. World War I_sentence_438

In March, most of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force's British infantry and Yeomanry cavalry were sent to the Western Front as a consequence of the Spring Offensive. World War I_sentence_439

They were replaced by Indian Army units. World War I_sentence_440

During several months of reorganisation and training of the summer, a number of attacks were carried out on sections of the Ottoman front line. World War I_sentence_441

These pushed the front line north to more advantageous positions for the Entente in preparation for an attack and to acclimatise the newly arrived Indian Army infantry. World War I_sentence_442

It was not until the middle of September that the integrated force was ready for large-scale operations. World War I_sentence_443

The reorganised Egyptian Expeditionary Force, with an additional mounted division, broke Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. World War I_sentence_444

In two days the British and Indian infantry, supported by a creeping barrage, broke the Ottoman front line and captured the headquarters of the Eighth Army (Ottoman Empire) at Tulkarm, the continuous trench lines at Tabsor, Arara, and the Seventh Army (Ottoman Empire) headquarters at Nablus. World War I_sentence_445

The Desert Mounted Corps rode through the break in the front line created by the infantry. World War I_sentence_446

During virtually continuous operations by Australian Light Horse, British mounted Yeomanry, Indian Lancers, and New Zealand Mounted Rifle brigades in the Jezreel Valley, they captured Nazareth, Afulah and Beisan, Jenin, along with Haifa on the Mediterranean coast and Daraa east of the Jordan River on the Hejaz railway. World War I_sentence_447

Samakh and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee were captured on the way northwards to Damascus. World War I_sentence_448

Meanwhile, Chaytor's Force of Australian light horse, New Zealand mounted rifles, Indian, British West Indies and Jewish infantry captured the crossings of the Jordan River, Es Salt, Amman and at Ziza most of the Fourth Army (Ottoman Empire). World War I_sentence_449

The Armistice of Mudros, signed at the end of October, ended hostilities with the Ottoman Empire when fighting was continuing north of Aleppo. World War I_sentence_450

15 August 1917: Peace offer by the Pope World War I_section_34

See also: Pope Benedict XV § Peace efforts World War I_sentence_451

On or shortly before 15 August 1917 Pope Benedict XV made a peace proposal suggesting: World War I_sentence_452

World War I_unordered_list_0

  • No annexationsWorld War I_item_0_0
  • No indemnities, except to compensate for severe war damage in Belgium and parts of France and of SerbiaWorld War I_item_0_1
  • A solution to the problems of Alsace-Lorraine, Trentino and TriesteWorld War I_item_0_2
  • Restoration of the Kingdom of PolandWorld War I_item_0_3
  • Germany to pull out of Belgium and FranceWorld War I_item_0_4
  • Germany's overseas colonies to be returned to GermanyWorld War I_item_0_5
  • General disarmamentWorld War I_item_0_6
  • A Supreme Court of arbitration to settle future disputes between nationsWorld War I_item_0_7
  • The freedom of the seasWorld War I_item_0_8
  • Abolish all retaliatory economic conflictsWorld War I_item_0_9
  • No point in ordering reparations, because so much damage had been caused to all belligerentsWorld War I_item_0_10

Entry of the United States World War I_section_35

Main article: American entry into World War I World War I_sentence_453

At the outbreak of the war, the United States pursued a policy of non-intervention, avoiding conflict while trying to broker a peace. World War I_sentence_454

When the German U-boat U-20 sank the British liner RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915 with 128 Americans among the dead, President Woodrow Wilson insisted that America is "too proud to fight" but demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships. World War I_sentence_455

Germany complied. World War I_sentence_456

Wilson unsuccessfully tried to mediate a settlement. World War I_sentence_457

However, he also repeatedly warned that the United States would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of international law. World War I_sentence_458

Former president Theodore Roosevelt denounced German acts as "piracy". World War I_sentence_459

Wilson was narrowly re-elected in 1916 after campaigning with the slogan "he kept us out of war". World War I_sentence_460

In January 1917, Germany decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, in the hopes of starving Britain into surrender. World War I_sentence_461

Germany did this realising it would mean American entry. World War I_sentence_462

The German Foreign Minister, in the Zimmermann Telegram, invited Mexico to join the war as Germany's ally against the United States. World War I_sentence_463

In return, the Germans would finance Mexico's war and help it recover the territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. World War I_sentence_464

The United Kingdom intercepted the message and presented it to the US embassy in the UK. World War I_sentence_465

From there it made its way to President Wilson who released the Zimmermann note to the public, and Americans saw it as casus belli. World War I_sentence_466

Wilson called on anti-war elements to end all wars, by winning this one and eliminating militarism from the globe. World War I_sentence_467

He argued that the war was so important that the US had to have a voice in the peace conference. World War I_sentence_468

After the sinking of seven US merchant ships by submarines and the publication of the Zimmermann telegram, Wilson called for war on Germany on 2 April 1917, which the US Congress declared 4 days later. World War I_sentence_469

The United States was never formally a member of the Allies but became a self-styled "Associated Power". World War I_sentence_470

The United States had a small army, but, after the passage of the Selective Service Act, it drafted 2.8 million men, and, by summer 1918, was sending 10,000 fresh soldiers to France every day. World War I_sentence_471

In 1917, the US Congress granted US citizenship to Puerto Ricans to allow them to be drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones–Shafroth Act. World War I_sentence_472

German General Staff assumptions that it would be able to defeat the British and French forces before American troops reinforced them were proven incorrect. World War I_sentence_473

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland, and submarines to help guard convoys. World War I_sentence_474

Several regiments of US Marines were also dispatched to France. World War I_sentence_475

The British and French wanted American units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. World War I_sentence_476

General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up American units to be used as filler material. World War I_sentence_477

As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to be used in French divisions. World War I_sentence_478

The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, and earned a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Sechault. World War I_sentence_479

AEF doctrine called for the use of frontal assaults, which had long since been discarded by British Empire and French commanders due to the large loss of life that resulted. World War I_sentence_480

A Supreme War Council of Allied forces was created at the Doullens Conference on 5 November 1917. World War I_sentence_481

General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the Allied forces. World War I_sentence_482

Haig, Petain, and Pershing retained tactical control of their respective armies; Foch assumed a co-ordinating rather than a directing role, and the British, French, and US commands operated largely independently. World War I_sentence_483

General Foch pressed to use the arriving American troops as individual replacements, whereas Pershing still sought to field American units as an independent force. World War I_sentence_484

These units were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March 1918. World War I_sentence_485

German Spring Offensive of 1918 World War I_section_36

Main article: Spring Offensive World War I_sentence_486

Ludendorff drew up plans (codenamed Operation Michael) for the 1918 offensive on the Western Front. World War I_sentence_487

The Spring Offensive sought to divide the British and French forces with a series of feints and advances. World War I_sentence_488

The German leadership hoped to end the war before significant US forces arrived. World War I_sentence_489

The operation commenced on 21 March 1918 with an attack on British forces near Saint-Quentin. World War I_sentence_490

German forces achieved an unprecedented advance of 60 kilometres (37 mi). World War I_sentence_491

British and French trenches were penetrated using novel infiltration tactics, also named Hutier tactics after General Oskar von Hutier, by specially trained units called stormtroopers. World War I_sentence_492

Previously, attacks had been characterised by long artillery bombardments and massed assaults. World War I_sentence_493

In the Spring Offensive of 1918, however, Ludendorff used artillery only briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points. World War I_sentence_494

They attacked command and logistics areas and bypassed points of serious resistance. World War I_sentence_495

More heavily armed infantry then destroyed these isolated positions. World War I_sentence_496

This German success relied greatly on the element of surprise. World War I_sentence_497

The front moved to within 120 kilometres (75 mi) of Paris. World War I_sentence_498

Three heavy Krupp railway guns fired 183 shells on the capital, causing many Parisians to flee. World War I_sentence_499

The initial offensive was so successful that Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 24 March a national holiday. World War I_sentence_500

Many Germans thought victory was near. World War I_sentence_501

After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted. World War I_sentence_502

Lacking tanks or motorised artillery, the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains. World War I_sentence_503

The problems of re-supply were also exacerbated by increasing distances that now stretched over terrain that was shell-torn and often impassable to traffic. World War I_sentence_504

Following Operation Michael, Germany launched Operation Georgette against the northern English Channel ports. World War I_sentence_505

The Allies halted the drive after limited territorial gains by Germany. World War I_sentence_506

The German Army to the south then conducted Operations Blücher and Yorck, pushing broadly towards Paris. World War I_sentence_507

Germany launched Operation Marne (Second Battle of the Marne) on 15 July, in an attempt to encircle Reims. World War I_sentence_508

The resulting counter-attack, which started the Hundred Days Offensive, marked the first successful Allied offensive of the war. World War I_sentence_509

By 20 July, the Germans had retreated across the Marne to their starting lines, having achieved little, and the German Army never regained the initiative. World War I_sentence_510

German casualties between March and April 1918 were 270,000, including many highly trained stormtroopers. World War I_sentence_511

Meanwhile, Germany was falling apart at home. World War I_sentence_512

Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. World War I_sentence_513

Industrial output was half the 1913 levels. World War I_sentence_514

New states enter the war World War I_section_37

In the late spring of 1918, three new states were formed in the South Caucasus: the First Republic of Armenia, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, which declared their independence from the Russian Empire. World War I_sentence_515

Two other minor entities were established, the Centrocaspian Dictatorship and South West Caucasian Republic (the former was liquidated by Azerbaijan in the autumn of 1918 and the latter by a joint Armenian-British task force in early 1919). World War I_sentence_516

With the withdrawal of the Russian armies from the Caucasus front in the winter of 1917–18, the three major republics braced for an imminent Ottoman advance, which commenced in the early months of 1918. World War I_sentence_517

Solidarity was briefly maintained when the Transcaucasian Federative Republic was created in the spring of 1918, but this collapsed in May, when the Georgians asked for and received protection from Germany and the Azerbaijanis concluded a treaty with the Ottoman Empire that was more akin to a military alliance. World War I_sentence_518

Armenia was left to fend for itself and struggled for five months against the threat of a full-fledged occupation by the Ottoman Turks before defeating them at the Battle of Sardarabad. World War I_sentence_519

Allied victory: summer 1918 onwards World War I_section_38

Hundred Days Offensive World War I_section_39

Main articles: Hundred Days Offensive and Weimar Republic World War I_sentence_520

The Allied counteroffensive, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, began on 8 August 1918, with the Battle of Amiens. World War I_sentence_521

The battle involved over 400 tanks and 120,000 British, Dominion, and French troops, and by the end of its first day a gap 24 kilometres (15 mi) long had been created in the German lines. World War I_sentence_522

The defenders displayed a marked collapse in morale, causing Ludendorff to refer to this day as the "Black Day of the German army". World War I_sentence_523

After an advance as far as 23 kilometres (14 mi), German resistance stiffened, and the battle was concluded on 12 August. World War I_sentence_524

Rather than continuing the Amiens battle past the point of initial success, as had been done so many times in the past, the Allies shifted attention elsewhere. World War I_sentence_525

Allied leaders had now realised that to continue an attack after resistance had hardened was a waste of lives, and it was better to turn a line than to try to roll over it. World War I_sentence_526

They began to undertake attacks in quick order to take advantage of successful advances on the flanks, then broke them off when each attack lost its initial impetus. World War I_sentence_527

The day after the Offensive began, Ludendorff said: "We cannot win the war any more, but we must not lose it either." World War I_sentence_528

On 11 August he offered his resignation to the Kaiser, who refused it, replying, "I see that we must strike a balance. World War I_sentence_529

We have nearly reached the limit of our powers of resistance. World War I_sentence_530

The war must be ended." World War I_sentence_531

On 13 August, at Spa, Hindenburg, Ludendorff, the Chancellor, and Foreign Minister Hintz agreed that the war could not be ended militarily and, on the following day, the German Crown Council decided that victory in the field was now most improbable. World War I_sentence_532

Austria and Hungary warned that they could continue the war only until December, and Ludendorff recommended immediate peace negotiations. World War I_sentence_533

Prince Rupprecht warned Prince Maximilian of Baden: "Our military situation has deteriorated so rapidly that I no longer believe we can hold out over the winter; it is even possible that a catastrophe will come earlier." World War I_sentence_534

Battle of Albert World War I_section_40

British and Dominion forces launched the next phase of the campaign with the Battle of Albert on 21 August. World War I_sentence_535

The assault was widened by French and then further British forces in the following days. World War I_sentence_536

During the last week of August the Allied pressure along a 110-kilometre (68 mi) front against the enemy was heavy and unrelenting. World War I_sentence_537

From German accounts, "Each day was spent in bloody fighting against an ever and again on-storming enemy, and nights passed without sleep in retirements to new lines." World War I_sentence_538

Faced with these advances, on 2 September the German Oberste Heeresleitung ("Supreme Army Command") issued orders to withdraw in the south to the Hindenburg Line. World War I_sentence_539

This ceded without a fight the salient seized the previous April. World War I_sentence_540

According to Ludendorff, "We had to admit the necessity ... to withdraw the entire front from the Scarpe to the Vesle." World War I_sentence_541

In nearly four weeks of fighting beginning on 8 August, over 100,000 German prisoners were taken. World War I_sentence_542

The German High Command realised that the war was lost and made attempts to reach a satisfactory end. World War I_sentence_543

On 10 September Hindenburg urged peace moves to Emperor Charles of Austria, and Germany appealed to the Netherlands for mediation. World War I_sentence_544

On 14 September Austria sent a note to all belligerents and neutrals suggesting a meeting for peace talks on neutral soil, and on 15 September Germany made a peace offer to Belgium. World War I_sentence_545

Both peace offers were rejected. World War I_sentence_546

Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line World War I_section_41

In September the Allies advanced to the Hindenburg Line in the north and centre. World War I_sentence_547

The Germans continued to fight strong rear-guard actions and launched numerous counterattacks, but positions and outposts of the Line continued to fall, with the BEF alone taking 30,441 prisoners in the last week of September. World War I_sentence_548

On 24 September an assault by both the British and French came within 3 kilometres (2 mi) of St. Quentin. World War I_sentence_549

The Germans had now retreated to positions along or behind the Hindenburg Line. World War I_sentence_550

That same day, Supreme Army Command informed the leaders in Berlin that armistice talks were inevitable. World War I_sentence_551

The final assault on the Hindenburg Line began with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, launched by French and American troops on 26 September. World War I_sentence_552

The following week, co-operating French and American units broke through in Champagne at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, forcing the Germans off the commanding heights, and closing towards the Belgian frontier. World War I_sentence_553

On 8 October the line was pierced again by British and Dominion troops at the Battle of Cambrai. World War I_sentence_554

The German army had to shorten its front and use the Dutch frontier as an anchor to fight rear-guard actions as it fell back towards Germany. World War I_sentence_555

When Bulgaria signed a separate armistice on 29 September, Ludendorff, having been under great stress for months, suffered something similar to a breakdown. World War I_sentence_556

It was evident that Germany could no longer mount a successful defence. World War I_sentence_557

The collapse of the Balkans meant that Germany was about to lose its main supplies of oil and food. World War I_sentence_558

Its reserves had been used up, even as US troops kept arriving at the rate of 10,000 per day. World War I_sentence_559

The Americans supplied more than 80% of Allied oil during the war, and there was no shortage. World War I_sentence_560

German Revolution 1918–1919 World War I_section_42

News of Germany's impending military defeat spread throughout the German armed forces. World War I_sentence_561

The threat of mutiny was rife. World War I_sentence_562

Admiral Reinhard Scheer and Ludendorff decided to launch a last attempt to restore the "valour" of the German Navy. World War I_sentence_563

In northern Germany, the German Revolution of 1918–1919 began at the end of October 1918. World War I_sentence_564

Units of the German Navy refused to set sail for a last, large-scale operation in a war they believed to be as good as lost, initiating the uprising. World War I_sentence_565

The sailors' revolt, which then ensued in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, spread across the whole country within days and led to the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918, shortly thereafter to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and to German surrender. World War I_sentence_566

New German government surrenders World War I_section_43

With the military faltering and with widespread loss of confidence in the Kaiser leading to his abdication and fleeing of the country, Germany moved towards surrender. World War I_sentence_567

Prince Maximilian of Baden took charge of a new government on 3 October as Chancellor of Germany to negotiate with the Allies. World War I_sentence_568

Negotiations with President Wilson began immediately, in the hope that he would offer better terms than the British and French. World War I_sentence_569

Wilson demanded a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary control over the German military. World War I_sentence_570

There was no resistance when the Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann on 9 November declared Germany to be a republic. World War I_sentence_571

The Kaiser, kings and other hereditary rulers all were removed from power and Wilhelm fled to exile in the Netherlands. World War I_sentence_572

It was the end of Imperial Germany, a new Germany had been born as the Weimar Republic. World War I_sentence_573

Armistices and capitulations World War I_section_44

Main article: Armistice of 11 November 1918 World War I_sentence_574

The collapse of the Central Powers came swiftly. World War I_sentence_575

Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice, the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. World War I_sentence_576

German Emperor Wilhelm II in his telegram to Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I described situation: "Disgraceful! World War I_sentence_577

62,000 Serbs decided the war!". World War I_sentence_578

On the same day, the German Supreme Army Command informed Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Imperial Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling, that the military situation facing Germany was hopeless . World War I_sentence_579

On 24 October, the Italians began a push that rapidly recovered territory lost after the Battle of Caporetto. World War I_sentence_580

This culminated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian Army as an effective fighting force. World War I_sentence_581

The offensive also triggered the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. World War I_sentence_582

During the last week of October, declarations of independence were made in Budapest, Prague, and Zagreb. World War I_sentence_583

On 29 October, the imperial authorities asked Italy for an armistice, but the Italians continued advancing, reaching Trento, Udine, and Trieste. World War I_sentence_584

On 3 November, Austria-Hungary sent a flag of truce to ask for an armistice (Armistice of Villa Giusti). World War I_sentence_585

The terms, arranged by telegraph with the Allied Authorities in Paris, were communicated to the Austrian commander and accepted. World War I_sentence_586

The Armistice with Austria was signed in the Villa Giusti, near Padua, on 3 November. World War I_sentence_587

Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg Monarchy. World War I_sentence_588

In the following days the Italian Army occupied Innsbruck and all Tyrol with over 20,000 soldiers. World War I_sentence_589

On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated, signing the Armistice of Mudros. World War I_sentence_590

On 11 November, at 5:00 am, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiègne. World War I_sentence_591

At 11 am on 11 November 1918—"the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"—a ceasefire came into effect. World War I_sentence_592

During the six hours between the signing of the armistice and its taking effect, opposing armies on the Western Front began to withdraw from their positions, but fighting continued along many areas of the front, as commanders wanted to capture territory before the war ended. World War I_sentence_593

The occupation of the Rhineland took place following the Armistice. World War I_sentence_594

The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces. World War I_sentence_595

In November 1918, the Allies had ample supplies of men and materiel to invade Germany. World War I_sentence_596

Yet at the time of the armistice, no Allied force had crossed the German frontier, the Western Front was still some 720 kilometres (450 mi) from Berlin, and the Kaiser's armies had retreated from the battlefield in good order. World War I_sentence_597

These factors enabled Hindenburg and other senior German leaders to spread the story that their armies had not really been defeated. World War I_sentence_598

This resulted in the stab-in-the-back legend, which attributed Germany's defeat not to its inability to continue fighting (even though up to a million soldiers were suffering from the 1918 flu pandemic and unfit to fight), but to the public's failure to respond to its "patriotic calling" and the supposed intentional sabotage of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists, and Bolsheviks. World War I_sentence_599

The Allies had much more potential wealth they could spend on the war. World War I_sentence_600

One estimate (using 1913 US dollars) is that the Allies spent $58 billion on the war and the Central Powers only $25 billion. World War I_sentence_601

Among the Allies, the UK spent $21 billion and the US$17 billion; among the Central Powers Germany spent $20 billion. World War I_sentence_602

Aftermath World War I_section_45

Main article: Aftermath of World War I World War I_sentence_603

In the aftermath of the war, four empires disappeared: the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian. World War I_sentence_604

Numerous nations regained their former independence, and new ones were created. World War I_sentence_605

Four dynasties, together with their ancillary aristocracies, fell as a result of the war: the Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns, the Habsburgs, and the Ottomans. World War I_sentence_606

Belgium and Serbia were badly damaged, as was France, with 1.4 million soldiers dead, not counting other casualties. World War I_sentence_607

Germany and Russia were similarly affected. World War I_sentence_608

Formal end of the war World War I_section_46

A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919. World War I_sentence_609

The United States Senate did not ratify the treaty despite public support for it, and did not formally end its involvement in the war until the Knox–Porter Resolution was signed on 2 July 1921 by President Warren G. Harding. World War I_sentence_610

For the United Kingdom and the British Empire, the state of war ceased under the provisions of the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act 1918 with respect to: World War I_sentence_611

World War I_description_list_1

  • World War I_item_1_11
    • Germany on 10 January 1920.World War I_item_1_12
    • Austria on 16 July 1920.World War I_item_1_13
    • Bulgaria on 9 August 1920.World War I_item_1_14
    • Hungary on 26 July 1921.World War I_item_1_15
    • Turkey on 6 August 1924.World War I_item_1_16

After the Treaty of Versailles, treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire were signed. World War I_sentence_612

However, the negotiation of the treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife, and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until 24 July 1923, at Lausanne. World War I_sentence_613

Some war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919, which was when many of the troops serving abroad finally returned home; by contrast, most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November 1918. World War I_sentence_614

Legally, the formal peace treaties were not complete until the last, the Treaty of Lausanne, was signed. World War I_sentence_615

Under its terms, the Allied forces left Constantinople on 23 August 1923. World War I_sentence_616

Peace treaties and national boundaries World War I_section_47

After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the Central Powers officially ending the war. World War I_sentence_617

The 1919 Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany and, building on Wilson's 14th point, brought into being the League of Nations on 28 June 1919. World War I_sentence_618

The Central Powers had to acknowledge responsibility for "all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by" their aggression. World War I_sentence_619

In the Treaty of Versailles, this statement was Article 231. World War I_sentence_620

This article became known as the War Guilt clause as the majority of Germans felt humiliated and resentful. World War I_sentence_621

Overall the Germans felt they had been unjustly dealt with by what they called the "diktat of Versailles". World War I_sentence_622

German historian Hagen Schulze said the Treaty placed Germany "under legal sanctions, deprived of military power, economically ruined, and politically humiliated." World War I_sentence_623

Belgian historian Laurence Van Ypersele emphasises the central role played by memory of the war and the Versailles Treaty in German politics in the 1920s and 1930s: World War I_sentence_624

Meanwhile, new nations liberated from German rule viewed the treaty as recognition of wrongs committed against small nations by much larger aggressive neighbours. World War I_sentence_625

The Peace Conference required all the defeated powers to pay reparations for all the damage done to civilians. World War I_sentence_626

However, owing to economic difficulties and Germany being the only defeated power with an intact economy, the burden fell largely on Germany. World War I_sentence_627

Austria-Hungary was partitioned into several successor states, including Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, largely but not entirely along ethnic lines. World War I_sentence_628

Transylvania was shifted from Hungary to Greater Romania. World War I_sentence_629

The details were contained in the Treaty of Saint-Germain and the Treaty of Trianon. World War I_sentence_630

As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, 3.3 million Hungarians came under foreign rule. World War I_sentence_631

Although the Hungarians made up approximately 54% of the population of the pre-war Kingdom of Hungary (according to the 1910 census), only 32% of its territory was left to Hungary. World War I_sentence_632

Between 1920 and 1924, 354,000 Hungarians fled former Hungarian territories attached to Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. World War I_sentence_633

The Russian Empire, which had withdrawn from the war in 1917 after the October Revolution, lost much of its western frontier as the newly independent nations of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were carved from it. World War I_sentence_634

Romania took control of Bessarabia in April 1918. World War I_sentence_635

The Ottoman Empire disintegrated, with much of its Levant territory awarded to various Allied powers as protectorates. World War I_sentence_636

The Turkish core in Anatolia was reorganised as the Republic of Turkey. World War I_sentence_637

The Ottoman Empire was to be partitioned by the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. World War I_sentence_638

This treaty was never ratified by the Sultan and was rejected by the Turkish National Movement, leading to the victorious Turkish War of Independence and the much less stringent 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. World War I_sentence_639

Though by 1923 most countries had made peace treaties, Andorra was an exception. World War I_sentence_640

Andorra declared war on Germany in August 1914. World War I_sentence_641

At that time, it had an army of 600 part-time military men, commanded by two officials. World War I_sentence_642

Andorra had a very small population, so it never sent soldiers to the battlefield. World War I_sentence_643

Andorra was therefore not allowed to attend the Treaty of Versailles. World War I_sentence_644

The country finally concluded a peace treaty with Germany in 1958. World War I_sentence_645

National identities World War I_section_48

Further information: Sykes–Picot Agreement World War I_sentence_646

After 123 years, Poland re-emerged as an independent country. World War I_sentence_647

The Kingdom of Serbia and its dynasty, as a "minor Entente nation" and the country with the most casualties per capita, became the backbone of a new multinational state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed Yugoslavia. World War I_sentence_648

Czechoslovakia, combining the Kingdom of Bohemia with parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, became a new nation. World War I_sentence_649

Russia became the Soviet Union and lost Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, which became independent countries. World War I_sentence_650

The Ottoman Empire was soon replaced by Turkey and several other countries in the Middle East. World War I_sentence_651

In the British Empire, the war unleashed new forms of nationalism. World War I_sentence_652

In Australia and New Zealand the Battle of Gallipoli became known as those nations' "Baptism of Fire". World War I_sentence_653

It was the first major war in which the newly established countries fought, and it was one of the first times that Australian troops fought as Australians, not just subjects of the British Crown. World War I_sentence_654

Anzac Day, commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), celebrates this defining moment. World War I_sentence_655

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian divisions fought together for the first time as a single corps, Canadians began to refer to their country as a nation "forged from fire". World War I_sentence_656

Having succeeded on the same battleground where the "mother countries" had previously faltered, they were for the first time respected internationally for their own accomplishments. World War I_sentence_657

Canada entered the war as a Dominion of the British Empire and remained so, although it emerged with a greater measure of independence. World War I_sentence_658

When Britain declared war in 1914, the dominions were automatically at war; at the conclusion, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were individual signatories of the Treaty of Versailles. World War I_sentence_659

Lobbying by Chaim Weizmann and fear that American Jews would encourage the United States to support Germany culminated in the British government's Balfour Declaration of 1917, endorsing creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. World War I_sentence_660

A total of more than 1,172,000 Jewish soldiers served in the Allied and Central Power forces in World War I, including 275,000 in Austria-Hungary and 450,000 in Tsarist Russia. World War I_sentence_661

The establishment of the modern state of Israel and the roots of the continuing Israeli–Palestinian conflict are partially found in the unstable power dynamics of the Middle East that resulted from World War I. World War I_sentence_662

Before the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire had maintained a modest level of peace and stability throughout the Middle East. World War I_sentence_663

With the fall of the Ottoman government, power vacuums developed and conflicting claims to land and nationhood began to emerge. World War I_sentence_664

The political boundaries drawn by the victors of World War I were quickly imposed, sometimes after only cursory consultation with the local population. World War I_sentence_665

These continue to be problematic in the 21st-century struggles for national identity. World War I_sentence_666

While the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I was pivotal in contributing to the modern political situation of the Middle East, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, the end of Ottoman rule also spawned lesser known disputes over water and other natural resources. World War I_sentence_667

The prestige of Germany and German things in Latin America remained high after the war but did not recover to its pre-war levels. World War I_sentence_668

Indeed, in Chile the war bought an end to a period of intense scientific and cultural influence writer Eduardo de la Barra scorningly called "the German bewitchment" (Spanish: el embrujamiento alemán). World War I_sentence_669

Health effects World War I_section_49

Of the 60 million European military personnel who were mobilised from 1914 to 1918, 8 million were killed, 7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured. World War I_sentence_670

Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria-Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%. World War I_sentence_671

France mobilised 7.8 million men, of which 1.4 died and 3.2 were injured. World War I_sentence_672

In Germany, civilian deaths were 474,000 higher than in peacetime, due in large part to food shortages and malnutrition that weakened resistance to disease. World War I_sentence_673

By the end of the war, starvation caused by famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon. World War I_sentence_674

Between 5 and 10 million people died in the Russian famine of 1921. World War I_sentence_675

By 1922, there were between 4.5 million and 7 million homeless children in Russia as a result of nearly a decade of devastation from World War I, the Russian Civil War, and the subsequent famine of 1920–1922. World War I_sentence_676

Numerous anti-Soviet Russians fled the country after the Revolution; by the 1930s, the northern Chinese city of Harbin had 100,000 Russians. World War I_sentence_677

Thousands more emigrated to France, England, and the United States. World War I_sentence_678

The Australian prime minister, Billy Hughes, wrote to the British prime minister, Lloyd George, "You have assured us that you cannot get better terms. World War I_sentence_679

I much regret it, and hope even now that some way may be found of securing agreement for demanding reparation commensurate with the tremendous sacrifices made by the British Empire and her Allies." World War I_sentence_680

Australia received £5,571,720 war reparations, but the direct cost of the war to Australia had been £376,993,052, and, by the mid-1930s, repatriation pensions, war gratuities, interest and sinking fund charges were £831,280,947. World War I_sentence_681

Of about 416,000 Australians who served, about 60,000 were killed and another 152,000 were wounded. World War I_sentence_682

Diseases flourished in the chaotic wartime conditions. World War I_sentence_683

In 1914 alone, louse-borne epidemic typhus killed 200,000 in Serbia. World War I_sentence_684

From 1918 to 1922, Russia had about 25 million infections and 3 million deaths from epidemic typhus. World War I_sentence_685

In 1923, 13 million Russians contracted malaria, a sharp increase from the pre-war years. World War I_sentence_686

In addition, a major influenza epidemic spread around the world. World War I_sentence_687

Overall, the Spanish flu killed at least 17 million to 50 million people, including an estimated 2.64 million Europeans and as many as 675,000 Americans. World War I_sentence_688

Moreover, between 1915 and 1926, an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica spread around the world affecting nearly five million people. World War I_sentence_689

The social disruption and widespread violence of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War sparked more than 2,000 pogroms in the former Russian Empire, mostly in Ukraine. World War I_sentence_690

An estimated 60,000–200,000 civilian Jews were killed in the atrocities. World War I_sentence_691

In the aftermath of World War I, Greece fought against Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal, a war that eventually resulted in a massive population exchange between the two countries under the Treaty of Lausanne. World War I_sentence_692

According to various sources, several hundred thousand Greeks died during this period, which was tied in with the Greek Genocide. World War I_sentence_693

Technology World War I_section_50

See also: Technology during World War I and Weapons of World War I World War I_sentence_694

Ground warfare World War I_section_51

See also: Tanks in World War I World War I_sentence_695

World War I began as a clash of 20th-century technology and 19th-century tactics, with the inevitably large ensuing casualties. World War I_sentence_696

By the end of 1917, however, the major armies, now numbering millions of men, had modernised and were making use of telephone, wireless communication, armoured cars, tanks, and aircraft. World War I_sentence_697

Infantry formations were reorganised, so that 100-man companies were no longer the main unit of manoeuvre; instead, squads of 10 or so men, under the command of a junior NCO, were favoured. World War I_sentence_698

Artillery also underwent a revolution. World War I_sentence_699

In 1914, cannons were positioned in the front line and fired directly at their targets. World War I_sentence_700

By 1917, indirect fire with guns (as well as mortars and even machine guns) was commonplace, using new techniques for spotting and ranging, notably aircraft and the often overlooked field telephone. World War I_sentence_701

Counter-battery missions became commonplace, also, and sound detection was used to locate enemy batteries. World War I_sentence_702

Germany was far ahead of the Allies in using heavy indirect fire. World War I_sentence_703

The German Army employed 150 mm (6 in) and 210 mm (8 in) howitzers in 1914, when typical French and British guns were only 75 mm (3 in) and 105 mm (4 in). World War I_sentence_704

The British had a 6-inch (152 mm) howitzer, but it was so heavy it had to be hauled to the field in pieces and assembled. World War I_sentence_705

The Germans also fielded Austrian 305 mm (12 in) and 420 mm (17 in) guns and, even at the beginning of the war, had inventories of various calibres of Minenwerfer, which were ideally suited for trench warfare. World War I_sentence_706

On 27 June 1917 the Germans used the biggest gun in the world, Batterie Pommern, nicknamed "Lange Max". World War I_sentence_707

This gun from Krupp was able to shoot 750 kg shells from Koekelare to Dunkirk, a distance of about 50 km (31 mi). World War I_sentence_708

Much of the combat involved trench warfare, in which hundreds often died for each metre gained. World War I_sentence_709

Many of the deadliest battles in history occurred during World War I. World War I_sentence_710

Such battles include Ypres, the Marne, Cambrai, the Somme, Verdun, and Gallipoli. World War I_sentence_711

The Germans employed the Haber process of nitrogen fixation to provide their forces with a constant supply of gunpowder despite the British naval blockade. World War I_sentence_712

Artillery was responsible for the largest number of casualties and consumed vast quantities of explosives. World War I_sentence_713

The large number of head wounds caused by exploding shells and fragmentation forced the combatant nations to develop the modern steel helmet, led by the French, who introduced the Adrian helmet in 1915. World War I_sentence_714

It was quickly followed by the Brodie helmet, worn by British Imperial and US troops, and in 1916 by the distinctive German Stahlhelm, a design, with improvements, still in use today. World War I_sentence_715

The widespread use of chemical warfare was a distinguishing feature of the conflict. World War I_sentence_716

Gases used included chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene. World War I_sentence_717

Relatively few war casualties were caused by gas, as effective countermeasures to gas attacks were quickly created, such as gas masks. World War I_sentence_718

The use of chemical warfare and small-scale strategic bombing (as opposed to tactical bombing) were both outlawed by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and both proved to be of limited effectiveness, though they captured the public imagination. World War I_sentence_719

The most powerful land-based weapons were railway guns, weighing dozens of tons apiece. World War I_sentence_720

The German version were nicknamed Big Berthas, even though the namesake was not a railway gun. World War I_sentence_721

Germany developed the Paris Gun, able to bombard Paris from over 100 kilometres (62 mi), though shells were relatively light at 94 kilograms (210 lb). World War I_sentence_722

Trenches, machine guns, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and modern artillery with fragmentation shells helped bring the battle lines of World War I to a stalemate. World War I_sentence_723

The British and the French sought a solution with the creation of the tank and mechanised warfare. World War I_sentence_724

The British first tanks were used during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. World War I_sentence_725

Mechanical reliability was an issue, but the experiment proved its worth. World War I_sentence_726

Within a year, the British were fielding tanks by the hundreds, and they showed their potential during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, by breaking the Hindenburg Line, while combined arms teams captured 8,000 enemy soldiers and 100 guns. World War I_sentence_727

Meanwhile, the French introduced the first tanks with a rotating turret, the Renault FT, which became a decisive tool of the victory. World War I_sentence_728

The conflict also saw the introduction of light automatic weapons and submachine guns, such as the Lewis Gun, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and the Bergmann MP18. World War I_sentence_729

Another new weapon, the flamethrower, was first used by the German army and later adopted by other forces. World War I_sentence_730

Although not of high tactical value, the flamethrower was a powerful, demoralising weapon that caused terror on the battlefield. World War I_sentence_731

Trench railways evolved to supply the enormous quantities of food, water, and ammunition required to support large numbers of soldiers in areas where conventional transportation systems had been destroyed. World War I_sentence_732

Internal combustion engines and improved traction systems for automobiles and trucks/lorries eventually rendered trench railways obsolete. World War I_sentence_733

Areas taken in major attacks World War I_section_52

On the Western Front neither side made impressive gains in the first three years of the war with attacks at Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele, and Cambrai—the exception was Nivelle's Offensive in which the German defence gave ground while mauling the attackers so badly that there were mutinies in the French Army. World War I_sentence_734

In 1918 the Germans smashed through the defence lines in three great attacks: Michael, on the Lys, and on the Aisne, which displayed the power of their new tactics. World War I_sentence_735

The Allies struck back at Soissons, which showed the Germans that they must return to the defensive, and at Amiens; tanks played a prominent role in both these assaults, as they had the year before at Cambrai. World War I_sentence_736

The areas in the East were larger. World War I_sentence_737

The Germans did well at the First Masurian Lakes driving the invaders from East Prussia, and at Riga, which led the Russians to sue for peace. World War I_sentence_738

The Austro-Hungarians and Germans joined for a great success at Gorlice–Tarnów, which drove the Russians out of Poland. World War I_sentence_739

In a series of attacks along with the Bulgarians they occupied Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and most of Romania. World War I_sentence_740

The Allies successes came later in Palestine, the beginning of the end for the Ottomans, in Macedonia, which drove the Bulgarians out of the war, and at Vittorio Veneto, the final blow for the Austro-Hungarians. World War I_sentence_741

The area occupied in East by the Central powers on 11 November 1918 was 1,042,600 km (402,600 sq mi). World War I_sentence_742

Naval World War I_section_53

Germany deployed U-boats (submarines) after the war began. World War I_sentence_743

Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Kaiserliche Marine employed them to deprive the British Isles of vital supplies. World War I_sentence_744

The deaths of British merchant sailors and the seeming invulnerability of U-boats led to the development of depth charges (1916), hydrophones (passive sonar, 1917), blimps, hunter-killer submarines (HMS R-1, 1917), forward-throwing anti-submarine weapons, and dipping hydrophones (the latter two both abandoned in 1918). World War I_sentence_745

To extend their operations, the Germans proposed supply submarines (1916). World War I_sentence_746

Most of these would be forgotten in the interwar period until World War II revived the need. World War I_sentence_747

Aviation World War I_section_54

Main article: Aviation in World War I World War I_sentence_748

Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily by the Italians in Libya on 23 October 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War for reconnaissance, soon followed by the dropping of grenades and aerial photography the next year. World War I_sentence_749

By 1914, their military utility was obvious. World War I_sentence_750

They were initially used for reconnaissance and ground attack. World War I_sentence_751

To shoot down enemy planes, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft were developed. World War I_sentence_752

Strategic bombers were created, principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins as well. World War I_sentence_753

Towards the end of the conflict, aircraft carriers were used for the first time, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a raid to destroy the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in 1918. World War I_sentence_754

Manned observation balloons, floating high above the trenches, were used as stationary reconnaissance platforms, reporting enemy movements and directing artillery. World War I_sentence_755

Balloons commonly had a crew of two, equipped with parachutes, so that if there was an enemy air attack the crew could parachute to safety. World War I_sentence_756

At the time, parachutes were too heavy to be used by pilots of aircraft (with their marginal power output), and smaller versions were not developed until the end of the war; they were also opposed by the British leadership, who feared they might promote cowardice. World War I_sentence_757

Recognised for their value as observation platforms, balloons were important targets for enemy aircraft. World War I_sentence_758

To defend them against air attack, they were heavily protected by antiaircraft guns and patrolled by friendly aircraft; to attack them, unusual weapons such as air-to-air rockets were tried. World War I_sentence_759

Thus, the reconnaissance value of blimps and balloons contributed to the development of air-to-air combat between all types of aircraft, and to the trench stalemate, because it was impossible to move large numbers of troops undetected. World War I_sentence_760

The Germans conducted air raids on England during 1915 and 1916 with airships, hoping to damage British morale and cause aircraft to be diverted from the front lines, and indeed the resulting panic led to the diversion of several squadrons of fighters from France. World War I_sentence_761

War crimes World War I_section_55

Baralong incidents World War I_section_56

Main article: Baralong incidents World War I_sentence_762

On 19 August 1915, the German submarine U-27 was sunk by the British Q-ship HMS Baralong. World War I_sentence_763

All German survivors were summarily executed by Baralong's crew on the orders of Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert, the captain of the ship. World War I_sentence_764

The shooting was reported to the media by American citizens who were on board the Nicosia, a British freighter loaded with war supplies, which was stopped by U-27 just minutes before the incident. World War I_sentence_765

On 24 September, Baralong destroyed U-41, which was in the process of sinking the cargo ship Urbino. World War I_sentence_766

According to Karl Goetz, the submarine's commander, Baralong continued to fly the US flag after firing on U-41 and then rammed the lifeboat—carrying the German survivors, sinking it. World War I_sentence_767

Torpedoing of HMHS Llandovery Castle World War I_section_57

See also: Unrestricted submarine warfare World War I_sentence_768

The Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-86 on 27 June 1918 in violation of international law. World War I_sentence_769

Only 24 of the 258 medical personnel, patients, and crew survived. World War I_sentence_770

Survivors reported that the U-boat surfaced and ran down the lifeboats, machine-gunning survivors in the water. World War I_sentence_771

The U-boat captain, Helmut Patzig, was charged with war crimes in Germany following the war, but escaped prosecution by going to the Free City of Danzig, beyond the jurisdiction of German courts. World War I_sentence_772

Blockade of Germany World War I_section_58

Main article: Blockade of Germany World War I_sentence_773

After the war, the German government claimed that approximately 763,000 German civilians died from starvation and disease during the war because of the Allied blockade. World War I_sentence_774

An academic study done in 1928 put the death toll at 424,000. World War I_sentence_775

Germany protested that the Allies had used starvation as a weapon of war. World War I_sentence_776

Sally Marks argued that the German accounts of a hunger blockade are a "myth," as Germany did not face the starvation level of Belgium and the regions of Poland and northern France that it occupied. World War I_sentence_777

According to the British judge and legal philosopher Patrick Devlin, "The War Orders given by the Admiralty on 26 August were clear enough. World War I_sentence_778

All food consigned to Germany through neutral ports was to be captured and all food consigned to Rotterdam was to be presumed consigned to Germany." World War I_sentence_779

According to Devlin, this was a serious breach of International Law, equivalent to German minelaying. World War I_sentence_780

Chemical weapons in warfare World War I_section_59

Main article: Chemical weapons in World War I World War I_sentence_781

The German army was the first to successfully deploy chemical weapons during the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915), after German scientists working under the direction of Fritz Haber at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute developed a method to weaponize chlorine. World War I_sentence_782

The use of chemical weapons was sanctioned by the German High Command in an effort to force Allied soldiers out of their entrenched positions, complementing rather than supplanting more lethal conventional weapons. World War I_sentence_783

In time, chemical weapons were deployed by all major belligerents throughout the war, inflicting approximately 1.3 million casualties, but relatively few fatalities: About 90,000 in total. World War I_sentence_784

For example, there were an estimated 186,000 British chemical weapons casualties during the war (80% of which were the result of exposure to the vesicant sulfur mustard, introduced to the battlefield by the Germans in July 1917, which burns the skin at any point of contact and inflicts more severe lung damage than chlorine or phosgene), and up to one-third of American casualties were caused by them. World War I_sentence_785

The Russian Army reportedly suffered roughly 500,000 chemical weapon casualties in World War I. World War I_sentence_786

The use of chemical weapons in warfare was in direct violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which prohibited their use. World War I_sentence_787

The effect of poison gas was not limited to combatants. World War I_sentence_788

Civilians were at risk from the gases as winds blew the poison gases through their towns, and they rarely received warnings or alerts of potential danger. World War I_sentence_789

In addition to absent warning systems, civilians often did not have access to effective gas masks. World War I_sentence_790

An estimated 100,000–260,000 civilian casualties were caused by chemical weapons during the conflict and tens of thousands more (along with military personnel) died from scarring of the lungs, skin damage, and cerebral damage in the years after the conflict ended. World War I_sentence_791

Many commanders on both sides knew such weapons would cause major harm to civilians but nonetheless continued to use them. World War I_sentence_792

British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote in his diary, "My officers and I were aware that such weapons would cause harm to women and children living in nearby towns, as strong winds were common in the battlefront. World War I_sentence_793

However, because the weapon was to be directed against the enemy, none of us were overly concerned at all." World War I_sentence_794

The war damaged chemistry's prestige in European societies, in particular the German variety. World War I_sentence_795

Genocide and ethnic cleansing World War I_section_60

Ottoman Empire World War I_section_61

See also: Armenian Genocide, Assyrian genocide, Greek genocide, and Genocide denial World War I_sentence_796

The ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population, including mass deportations and executions, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is considered genocide. World War I_sentence_797

The Ottomans carried out organised and systematic massacres of the Armenian population at the beginning of the war and portrayed deliberately provoked acts of Armenian resistance as rebellions to justify further extermination. World War I_sentence_798

In early 1915, a number of Armenians volunteered to join the Russian forces and the Ottoman government used this as a pretext to issue the Tehcir Law (Law on Deportation), which authorised the deportation of Armenians from the Empire's eastern provinces to Syria between 1915 and 1918. World War I_sentence_799

The Armenians were intentionally marched to death and a number were attacked by Ottoman brigands. World War I_sentence_800

While an exact number of deaths is unknown, the International Association of Genocide Scholars estimates 1.5 million. World War I_sentence_801

The government of Turkey has consistently denied the genocide, arguing that those who died were victims of inter-ethnic fighting, famine, or disease during World War I; these claims are rejected by most historians. World War I_sentence_802

Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination. World War I_sentence_803

At least 250,000 Assyrian Christians, about half of the population, and 350,000–750,000 Anatolian and Pontic Greeks were killed between 1915 and 1922. World War I_sentence_804

Russian Empire World War I_section_62

Main article: Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire World War I_sentence_805

See also: Urkun World War I_sentence_806

Many pogroms accompanied the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War. World War I_sentence_807

60,000–200,000 civilian Jews were killed in the atrocities throughout the former Russian Empire (mostly within the Pale of Settlement in present-day Ukraine). World War I_sentence_808

There were an estimated 7–12 million casualties during the Russian Civil War, mostly civilians. World War I_sentence_809

Rape of Belgium World War I_section_63

Main article: Rape of Belgium World War I_sentence_810

The German invaders treated any resistance—such as sabotaging rail lines—as illegal and immoral, and shot the offenders and burned buildings in retaliation. World War I_sentence_811

In addition, they tended to suspect that most civilians were potential francs-tireurs (guerrillas) and, accordingly, took and sometimes killed hostages from among the civilian population. World War I_sentence_812

The German army executed over 6,500 French and Belgian civilians between August and November 1914, usually in near-random large-scale shootings of civilians ordered by junior German officers. World War I_sentence_813

The German Army destroyed 15,000–20,000 buildings—most famously the university library at Louvain—and generated a wave of refugees of over a million people. World War I_sentence_814

Over half the German regiments in Belgium were involved in major incidents. World War I_sentence_815

Thousands of workers were shipped to Germany to work in factories. World War I_sentence_816

British propaganda dramatising the Rape of Belgium attracted much attention in the United States, while Berlin said it was both lawful and necessary because of the threat of franc-tireurs like those in France in 1870. World War I_sentence_817

The British and French magnified the reports and disseminated them at home and in the United States, where they played a major role in dissolving support for Germany. World War I_sentence_818

Soldiers' experiences World War I_section_64

Main articles: List of last surviving World War I veterans by country, World War I casualties, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and American Battle Monuments Commission World War I_sentence_819

The British soldiers of the war were initially volunteers but increasingly were conscripted into service. World War I_sentence_820

Surviving veterans, returning home, often found they could discuss their experiences only amongst themselves. World War I_sentence_821

Grouping together, they formed "veterans' associations" or "Legions". World War I_sentence_822

A small number of personal accounts of American veterans have been collected by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. World War I_sentence_823

Prisoners of war World War I_section_65

Main article: World War I prisoners of war in Germany World War I_sentence_824

About eight million men surrendered and were held in POW camps during the war. World War I_sentence_825

All nations pledged to follow the Hague Conventions on fair treatment of prisoners of war, and the survival rate for POWs was generally much higher than that of combatants at the front. World War I_sentence_826

Individual surrenders were uncommon; large units usually surrendered en masse. World War I_sentence_827

At the Siege of Maubeuge about 40,000 French soldiers surrendered, at the battle of Galicia Russians took about 100,000 to 120,000 Austrian captives, at the Brusilov Offensive about 325,000 to 417,000 Germans and Austrians surrendered to Russians, and at the Battle of Tannenberg 92,000 Russians surrendered. World War I_sentence_828

When the besieged garrison of Kaunas surrendered in 1915, some 20,000 Russians became prisoners, at the battle near Przasnysz (February–March 1915) 14,000 Germans surrendered to Russians, and at the First Battle of the Marne about 12,000 Germans surrendered to the Allies. World War I_sentence_829

25–31% of Russian losses (as a proportion of those captured, wounded, or killed) were to prisoner status; for Austria-Hungary 32%, for Italy 26%, for France 12%, for Germany 9%; for Britain 7%. World War I_sentence_830

Prisoners from the Allied armies totalled about 1.4 million (not including Russia, which lost 2.5–3.5 million men as prisoners). World War I_sentence_831

From the Central Powers about 3.3 million men became prisoners; most of them surrendered to Russians. World War I_sentence_832

Germany held 2.5 million prisoners; Russia held 2.2–2.9 million; while Britain and France held about 720,000. World War I_sentence_833

Most were captured just before the Armistice. World War I_sentence_834

The United States held 48,000. World War I_sentence_835

The most dangerous moment was the act of surrender, when helpless soldiers were sometimes gunned down. World War I_sentence_836

Once prisoners reached a camp, conditions were, in general, satisfactory (and much better than in World War II), thanks in part to the efforts of the International Red Cross and inspections by neutral nations. World War I_sentence_837

However, conditions were terrible in Russia: starvation was common for prisoners and civilians alike; about 15–20% of the prisoners in Russia died, and in Central Powers imprisonment 8% of Russians. World War I_sentence_838

In Germany, food was scarce, but only 5% died. World War I_sentence_839

The Ottoman Empire often treated POWs poorly. World War I_sentence_840

Some 11,800 British Empire soldiers, most of them Indians, became prisoners after the Siege of Kut in Mesopotamia in April 1916; 4,250 died in captivity. World War I_sentence_841

Although many were in a poor condition when captured, Ottoman officers forced them to march 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) to Anatolia. World War I_sentence_842

A survivor said: "We were driven along like beasts; to drop out was to die." World War I_sentence_843

The survivors were then forced to build a railway through the Taurus Mountains. World War I_sentence_844

In Russia, when the prisoners from the Czech Legion of the Austro-Hungarian army were released in 1917, they re-armed themselves and briefly became a military and diplomatic force during the Russian Civil War. World War I_sentence_845

While the Allied prisoners of the Central Powers were quickly sent home at the end of active hostilities, the same treatment was not granted to Central Power prisoners of the Allies and Russia, many of whom served as forced labour, e.g., in France until 1920. World War I_sentence_846

They were released only after many approaches by the Red Cross to the Allied Supreme Council. World War I_sentence_847

German prisoners were still being held in Russia as late as 1924. World War I_sentence_848

Military attachés and war correspondents World War I_section_66

Main article: Military attachés and war correspondents in the First World War World War I_sentence_849

Military and civilian observers from every major power closely followed the course of the war. World War I_sentence_850

Many were able to report on events from a perspective somewhat akin to modern "embedded" positions within the opposing land and naval forces. World War I_sentence_851

Support for the war World War I_section_67

In the Balkans, Yugoslav nationalists such as the leader, Ante Trumbić, strongly supported the war, desiring the freedom of Yugoslavs from Austria-Hungary and other foreign powers and the creation of an independent Yugoslavia. World War I_sentence_852

The Yugoslav Committee, led by Trumbić, was formed in Paris on 30 April 1915 but shortly moved its office to London. World War I_sentence_853

In April 1918, the Rome Congress of Oppressed Nationalities met, including Czechoslovak, Italian, Polish, Transylvanian, and Yugoslav representatives who urged the Allies to support national self-determination for the peoples residing within Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_854

In the Middle East, Arab nationalism soared in Ottoman territories in response to the rise of Turkish nationalism during the war, with Arab nationalist leaders advocating the creation of a pan-Arab state. World War I_sentence_855

In 1916, the Arab Revolt began in Ottoman-controlled territories of the Middle East in an effort to achieve independence. World War I_sentence_856

In East Africa, Iyasu V of Ethiopia was supporting the Dervish state who were at war with the British in the Somaliland Campaign. World War I_sentence_857

Von Syburg, the German envoy in Addis Ababa, said, "now the time has come for Ethiopia to regain the coast of the Red Sea driving the Italians home, to restore the Empire to its ancient size." World War I_sentence_858

The Ethiopian Empire was on the verge of entering World War I on the side of the Central Powers before Iyasu's overthrow due to Allied pressure on the Ethiopian aristocracy. World War I_sentence_859

Iyasu was accused of converting to Islam. World War I_sentence_860

According to Ethiopian historian Bahru Zewde, the evidence used to prove Iyasu's conversion was a doctored photo of Iyasu wearing a turban provided by the Allies. World War I_sentence_861

Some historians claim the British spy T. World War I_sentence_862

E. Lawrence forged the Iyasu photo. World War I_sentence_863

A number of socialist parties initially supported the war when it began in August 1914. World War I_sentence_864

But European socialists split on national lines, with the concept of class conflict held by radical socialists such as Marxists and syndicalists being overborne by their patriotic support for the war. World War I_sentence_865

Once the war began, Austrian, British, French, German, and Russian socialists followed the rising nationalist current by supporting their countries' intervention in the war. World War I_sentence_866

Italian nationalism was stirred by the outbreak of the war and was initially strongly supported by a variety of political factions. World War I_sentence_867

One of the most prominent and popular Italian nationalist supporters of the war was Gabriele d'Annunzio, who promoted Italian irredentism and helped sway the Italian public to support intervention in the war. World War I_sentence_868

The Italian Liberal Party, under the leadership of Paolo Boselli, promoted intervention in the war on the side of the Allies and used the Dante Alighieri Society to promote Italian nationalism. World War I_sentence_869

Italian socialists were divided on whether to support the war or oppose it; some were militant supporters of the war, including Benito Mussolini and Leonida Bissolati. World War I_sentence_870

However, the Italian Socialist Party decided to oppose the war after anti-militarist protestors were killed, resulting in a general strike called Red Week. World War I_sentence_871

The Italian Socialist Party purged itself of pro-war nationalist members, including Mussolini. World War I_sentence_872

Mussolini, a syndicalist who supported the war on grounds of irredentist claims on Italian-populated regions of Austria-Hungary, formed the pro-interventionist Il Popolo d'Italia and the Fasci Rivoluzionario d'Azione Internazionalista ("Revolutionary Fasci for International Action") in October 1914 that later developed into the Fasci di Combattimento in 1919, the origin of fascism. World War I_sentence_873

Mussolini's nationalism enabled him to raise funds from Ansaldo (an armaments firm) and other companies to create Il Popolo d'Italia to convince socialists and revolutionaries to support the war. World War I_sentence_874

Opposition to the war World War I_section_68

Main articles: Opposition to World War I and French Army Mutinies World War I_sentence_875

Once war was declared, many socialists and trade unions backed their governments. World War I_sentence_876

Among the exceptions were the Bolsheviks, the Socialist Party of America, the Italian Socialist Party, and people like Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, and their followers in Germany. World War I_sentence_877

Benedict XV, elected to the papacy less than three months into World War I, made the war and its consequences the main focus of his early pontificate. World War I_sentence_878

In stark contrast to his predecessor, five days after his election he spoke of his determination to do what he could to bring peace. World War I_sentence_879

His first encyclical, Ad beatissimi Apostolorum, given 1 November 1914, was concerned with this subject. World War I_sentence_880

Benedict XV found his abilities and unique position as a religious emissary of peace ignored by the belligerent powers. World War I_sentence_881

The 1915 Treaty of London between Italy and the Triple Entente included secret provisions whereby the Allies agreed with Italy to ignore papal peace moves towards the Central Powers. World War I_sentence_882

Consequently, the publication of Benedict's proposed seven-point Peace Note of August 1917 was roundly ignored by all parties except Austria-Hungary. World War I_sentence_883

In Britain in 1914, the Public Schools Officers' Training Corps annual camp was held at Tidworth Pennings, near Salisbury Plain. World War I_sentence_884

Head of the British Army, Lord Kitchener, was to review the cadets, but the imminence of the war prevented him. World War I_sentence_885

General Horace Smith-Dorrien was sent instead. World War I_sentence_886

He surprised the two-or-three thousand cadets by declaring (in the words of Donald Christopher Smith, a Bermudian cadet who was present), World War I_sentence_887

Voicing these sentiments did not hinder Smith-Dorrien's career, or prevent him from doing his duty in World War I to the best of his abilities. World War I_sentence_888

Many countries jailed those who spoke out against the conflict. World War I_sentence_889

These included Eugene Debs in the United States and Bertrand Russell in Britain. World War I_sentence_890

In the US, the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918 made it a federal crime to oppose military recruitment or make any statements deemed "disloyal". World War I_sentence_891

Publications at all critical of the government were removed from circulation by postal censors, and many served long prison sentences for statements of fact deemed unpatriotic. World War I_sentence_892

A number of nationalists opposed intervention, particularly within states that the nationalists were hostile to. World War I_sentence_893

Although the vast majority of Irish people consented to participate in the war in 1914 and 1915, a minority of advanced Irish nationalists staunchly opposed taking part. World War I_sentence_894

The war began amid the Home Rule crisis in Ireland that had resurfaced in 1912, and by July 1914 there was a serious possibility of an outbreak of civil war in Ireland. World War I_sentence_895

Irish nationalists and Marxists attempted to pursue Irish independence, culminating in the Easter Rising of 1916, with Germany sending 20,000 rifles to Ireland to stir unrest in Britain. World War I_sentence_896

The UK government placed Ireland under martial law in response to the Easter Rising, though once the immediate threat of revolution had dissipated, the authorities did try to make concessions to nationalist feeling. World War I_sentence_897

However, opposition to involvement in the war increased in Ireland, resulting in the Conscription Crisis of 1918. World War I_sentence_898

Other opposition came from conscientious objectors—some socialist, some religious—who refused to fight. World War I_sentence_899

In Britain, 16,000 people asked for conscientious objector status. World War I_sentence_900

Some of them, most notably prominent peace activist Stephen Henry Hobhouse, refused both military and alternative service. World War I_sentence_901

Many suffered years of prison, including solitary confinement and bread and water diets. World War I_sentence_902

Even after the war, in Britain many job advertisements were marked "No conscientious objectors need apply". World War I_sentence_903

The Central Asian Revolt started in the summer of 1916, when the Russian Empire government ended its exemption of Muslims from military service. World War I_sentence_904

In 1917, a series of French Army Mutinies led to dozens of soldiers being executed and many more imprisoned. World War I_sentence_905

On 1–4 May 1917, about 100,000 workers and soldiers of Petrograd, and after them, the workers and soldiers of other Russian cities, led by the Bolsheviks, demonstrated under banners reading "Down with the war!" World War I_sentence_906

and "all power to the soviets!" World War I_sentence_907

The mass demonstrations resulted in a crisis for the Russian Provisional Government. World War I_sentence_908

In Milan, in May 1917, Bolshevik revolutionaries organised and engaged in rioting calling for an end to the war, and managed to close down factories and stop public transportation. World War I_sentence_909

The Italian army was forced to enter Milan with tanks and machine guns to face Bolsheviks and anarchists, who fought violently until 23 May when the army gained control of the city. World War I_sentence_910

Almost 50 people (including three Italian soldiers) were killed and over 800 people arrested. World War I_sentence_911

In September 1917, Russian soldiers in France began questioning why they were fighting for the French at all and mutinied. World War I_sentence_912

In Russia, opposition to the war led to soldiers also establishing their own revolutionary committees, which helped foment the October Revolution of 1917, with the call going up for "bread, land, and peace". World War I_sentence_913

The Decree on Peace, written by Vladimir Lenin, was passed on 8 November 1917, following the success of the October Revolution. World War I_sentence_914

The Bolsheviks agreed to a peace treaty with Germany, the peace of Brest-Litovsk, despite its harsh conditions. World War I_sentence_915

The German Revolution of 1918–1919 led to the abdication of the Kaiser and German surrender. World War I_sentence_916

Conscription World War I_section_69

Conscription was common in most European countries. World War I_sentence_917

However, it was controversial in English-speaking countries. World War I_sentence_918

It was especially unpopular among minority ethnic groups—especially the Irish Catholics in Ireland and Australia, and the French Catholics in Canada. World War I_sentence_919

Canada World War I_section_70

Main article: Conscription Crisis of 1917 World War I_sentence_920

In Canada the issue produced a major political crisis that permanently alienated the Francophones. World War I_sentence_921

It opened a political gap between French Canadians, who believed their true loyalty was to Canada and not to the British Empire, and members of the Anglophone majority, who saw the war as a duty to their British heritage. World War I_sentence_922

Australia World War I_section_71

Main article: Conscription in Australia World War I_sentence_923

Australia had a form of conscription at the outbreak of the war, as compulsory military training had been introduced in 1911. World War I_sentence_924

However, the Defence Act 1903 provided that unexempted males could be called upon only for home defence during times of war, not overseas service. World War I_sentence_925

Prime Minister Billy Hughes wished to amend the legislation to require conscripts to serve overseas, and held two non-binding referendums – one in 1916 and one in 1917 – in order to secure public support. World War I_sentence_926

Both were defeated by narrow margins, with farmers, the labour movement, the Catholic Church, and Irish-Australians combining to campaign for the "No" vote. World War I_sentence_927

The issue of conscription caused the 1916 Australian Labor Party split. World War I_sentence_928

Hughes and his supporters were expelled from the party, forming the National Labor Party and then the Nationalist Party. World War I_sentence_929

Despite the referendum results, the Nationalists won a landslide victory at the 1917 federal election. World War I_sentence_930

Britain World War I_section_72

Main article: Conscription in the United Kingdom World War I_sentence_931

See also: Recruitment to the British Army during the First World War World War I_sentence_932

In Britain, conscription resulted in the calling up of nearly every physically fit man in Britain—six of ten million eligible. World War I_sentence_933

Of these, about 750,000 lost their lives. World War I_sentence_934

Most deaths were those of young unmarried men; however, 160,000 wives lost husbands and 300,000 children lost fathers. World War I_sentence_935

Conscription during the First World War began when the British government passed the Military Service Act in 1916. World War I_sentence_936

The act specified that single men aged 18 to 40 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of a religion. World War I_sentence_937

There was a system of Military Service Tribunals to adjudicate upon claims for exemption upon the grounds of performing civilian work of national importance, domestic hardship, health, and conscientious objection. World War I_sentence_938

The law went through several changes before the war ended. World War I_sentence_939

Married men were exempt in the original Act, although this was changed in June 1916. World War I_sentence_940

The age limit was also eventually raised to 51 years old. World War I_sentence_941

Recognition of work of national importance also diminished, and in the last year of the war there was some support for the conscription of clergy. World War I_sentence_942

Conscription lasted until mid-1919. World War I_sentence_943

Due to the political situation in Ireland, conscription was never applied there; only in England, Scotland and Wales. World War I_sentence_944

United States World War I_section_73

Main article: Conscription in the United States § World War I World War I_sentence_945

In the United States, conscription began in 1917 and was generally well received, with a few pockets of opposition in isolated rural areas. World War I_sentence_946

The administration decided to rely primarily on conscription, rather than voluntary enlistment, to raise military manpower for when only 73,000 volunteers enlisted out of the initial 1 million target in the first six weeks of the war. World War I_sentence_947

In 1917 10 million men were registered. World War I_sentence_948

This was deemed to be inadequate, so age ranges were increased and exemptions reduced, and so by the end of 1918 this increased to 24 million men that were registered with nearly 3 million inducted into the military services. World War I_sentence_949

The draft was universal and included blacks on the same terms as whites, although they served in different units. World War I_sentence_950

In all 367,710 black Americans were drafted (13% of the total), compared to 2,442,586 white (87%). World War I_sentence_951

Forms of resistance ranged from peaceful protest to violent demonstrations and from humble letter-writing campaigns asking for mercy to radical newspapers demanding reform. World War I_sentence_952

The most common tactics were dodging and desertion, and many communities sheltered and defended their draft dodgers as political heroes. World War I_sentence_953

Many socialists were jailed for "obstructing the recruitment or enlistment service". World War I_sentence_954

The most famous was Eugene Debs, head of the Socialist Party of America, who ran for president in 1920 from his prison cell. World War I_sentence_955

In 1917 a number of radicals and anarchists challenged the new draft law in federal court, arguing that it was a direct violation of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. World War I_sentence_956

The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the draft act in the Selective Draft Law Cases on 7 January 1918. World War I_sentence_957

Austria-Hungary World War I_section_74

Like all the armies of mainland Europe, Austria-Hungary relied on conscription to fill its ranks. World War I_sentence_958

Officer recruitment, however, was voluntary. World War I_sentence_959

The effect of this at the start of the war was that well over a quarter of the rank and file were Slavs, while more than 75% of the officers were ethnic Germans. World War I_sentence_960

This was much resented. World War I_sentence_961

The army has been described as being "run on colonial lines" and the Slav soldiers as "disaffected". World War I_sentence_962

Thus conscription contributed greatly to Austria's disastrous performance on the battlefield. World War I_sentence_963

Diplomacy World War I_section_75

Main article: Diplomatic history of World War I World War I_sentence_964

The non-military diplomatic and propaganda interactions among the nations were designed to build support for the cause, or to undermine support for the enemy. World War I_sentence_965

For the most part, wartime diplomacy focused on five issues: propaganda campaigns; defining and redefining the war goals, which became harsher as the war went on; luring neutral nations (Italy, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Romania) into the coalition by offering slices of enemy territory; and encouragement by the Allies of nationalistic minority movements inside the Central Powers, especially among Czechs, Poles, and Arabs. World War I_sentence_966

In addition, there were multiple peace proposals coming from neutrals, or one side or the other; none of them progressed very far. World War I_sentence_967

Legacy and memory World War I_section_76

The first tentative efforts to comprehend the meaning and consequences of modern warfare began during the initial phases of the war, and this process continued throughout and after the end of hostilities, and is still underway, more than a century later. World War I_sentence_968

Historiography World War I_section_77

Historian Heather Jones argues that the historiography has been reinvigorated by the cultural turn in recent years. World War I_sentence_969

Scholars have raised entirely new questions regarding military occupation, radicalisation of politics, race, and the male body. World War I_sentence_970

Furthermore, new research has revised our understanding of five major topics that historians have long debated: Why the war began, why the Allies won, whether generals were responsible for high casualty rates, how the soldiers endured the horrors of trench warfare, and to what extent the civilian homefront accepted and endorsed the war effort. World War I_sentence_971

Memorials World War I_section_78

Main article: World War I memorials World War I_sentence_972

Memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns. World War I_sentence_973

Close to battlefields, those buried in improvised burial grounds were gradually moved to formal graveyards under the care of organisations such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the German War Graves Commission, and Le Souvenir français. World War I_sentence_974

Many of these graveyards also have central monuments to the missing or unidentified dead, such as the Menin Gate memorial and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. World War I_sentence_975

In 1915 John McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields as a salute to those who perished in the Great War. World War I_sentence_976

Published in Punch on 8 December 1915, it is still recited today, especially on Remembrance Day and Memorial Day. World War I_sentence_977

National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, is a memorial dedicated to all Americans who served in World War I. World War I_sentence_978

The Liberty Memorial was dedicated on 1 November 1921, when the supreme Allied commanders spoke to a crowd of more than 100,000 people. World War I_sentence_979

The UK Government has budgeted substantial resources to the commemoration of the war during the period 2014 to 2018. World War I_sentence_980

The lead body is the Imperial War Museum. World War I_sentence_981

On 3 August 2014, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck together marked the centenary of Germany's declaration of war on France by laying the first stone of a memorial in Vieil Armand, known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf, for French and German soldiers killed in the war. World War I_sentence_982

Cultural memory World War I_section_79

Further information: World War I in popular culture World War I_sentence_983

World War I had a lasting impact on social memory. World War I_sentence_984

It was seen by many in Britain as signalling the end of an era of stability stretching back to the Victorian period, and across Europe many regarded it as a watershed. World War I_sentence_985

Historian Samuel Hynes explained: World War I_sentence_986

This has become the most common perception of World War I, perpetuated by the art, cinema, poems, and stories published subsequently. World War I_sentence_987

Films such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Paths of Glory and King & Country have perpetuated the idea, while war-time films including Camrades, Poppies of Flanders, and Shoulder Arms indicate that the most contemporary views of the war were overall far more positive. World War I_sentence_988

Likewise, the art of Paul Nash, John Nash, Christopher Nevinson, and Henry Tonks in Britain painted a negative view of the conflict in keeping with the growing perception, while popular war-time artists such as Muirhead Bone painted more serene and pleasant interpretations subsequently rejected as inaccurate. World War I_sentence_989

Several historians like John Terraine, Niall Ferguson and Gary Sheffield have challenged these interpretations as partial and polemical views: World War I_sentence_990

Though these views have been discounted as "myths", they are common. World War I_sentence_991

They have dynamically changed according to contemporary influences, reflecting in the 1950s perceptions of the war as "aimless" following the contrasting Second World War and emphasising conflict within the ranks during times of class conflict in the 1960s. World War I_sentence_992

The majority of additions to the contrary are often rejected. World War I_sentence_993

Social trauma World War I_section_80

The social trauma caused by unprecedented rates of casualties manifested itself in different ways, which have been the subject of subsequent historical debate. World War I_sentence_994

The optimism of la belle époque was destroyed, and those who had fought in the war were referred to as the Lost Generation. World War I_sentence_995

For years afterwards, people mourned the dead, the missing, and the many disabled. World War I_sentence_996

Many soldiers returned with severe trauma, suffering from shell shock (also called neurasthenia, a condition related to posttraumatic stress disorder). World War I_sentence_997

Many more returned home with few after-effects; however, their silence about the war contributed to the conflict's growing mythological status. World War I_sentence_998

Though many participants did not share in the experiences of combat or spend any significant time at the front, or had positive memories of their service, the images of suffering and trauma became the widely shared perception. World War I_sentence_999

Such historians as Dan Todman, Paul Fussell, and Samuel Heyns have all published works since the 1990s arguing that these common perceptions of the war are factually incorrect. World War I_sentence_1000

Discontent in Germany and Austria World War I_section_81

The rise of Nazism and fascism included a revival of the nationalist spirit and a rejection of many post-war changes. World War I_sentence_1001

Similarly, the popularity of the stab-in-the-back legend (German: Dolchstoßlegende) was a testament to the psychological state of defeated Germany and was a rejection of responsibility for the conflict. World War I_sentence_1002

This conspiracy theory of betrayal became common, and the German populace came to see themselves as victims. World War I_sentence_1003

The widespread acceptance of the "stab-in-the-back" theory delegitimised the Weimar government and destabilised the system, opening it to extremes of right and left. World War I_sentence_1004

The same occurred in Austria which counterfactually considered himself not being responsible for the outbreak of the war and claimed not to have suffered a military defeat. World War I_sentence_1005

Communist and fascist movements around Europe drew strength from this theory and enjoyed a new level of popularity. World War I_sentence_1006

These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or harshly affected by the war. World War I_sentence_1007

Adolf Hitler was able to gain popularity by using German discontent with the still controversial Treaty of Versailles. World War I_sentence_1008

World War II was in part a continuation of the power struggle never fully resolved by World War I. World War I_sentence_1009

Furthermore, it was common for Germans in the 1930s to justify acts of aggression due to perceived injustices imposed by the victors of World War I. American historian William Rubinstein wrote that: World War I_sentence_1010

Economic effects World War I_section_82

See also: Economic history of World War I World War I_sentence_1011

One of the most dramatic effects of the war was the expansion of governmental powers and responsibilities in Britain, France, the United States, and the Dominions of the British Empire. World War I_sentence_1012

To harness all the power of their societies, governments created new ministries and powers. World War I_sentence_1013

New taxes were levied and laws enacted, all designed to bolster the war effort; many have lasted to the present. World War I_sentence_1014

Similarly, the war strained the abilities of some formerly large and bureaucratised governments, such as in Austria-Hungary and Germany. World War I_sentence_1015

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased for three Allies (Britain, Italy, and the United States), but decreased in France and Russia, in neutral Netherlands, and in the three main Central Powers. World War I_sentence_1016

The shrinkage in GDP in Austria, Russia, France, and the Ottoman Empire ranged between 30% and 40%. World War I_sentence_1017

In Austria, for example, most pigs were slaughtered, so at war's end there was no meat. World War I_sentence_1018

In all nations, the government's share of GDP increased, surpassing 50% in both Germany and France and nearly reaching that level in Britain. World War I_sentence_1019

To pay for purchases in the United States, Britain cashed in its extensive investments in American railroads and then began borrowing heavily from Wall Street. World War I_sentence_1020

President Wilson was on the verge of cutting off the loans in late 1916, but allowed a great increase in US government lending to the Allies. World War I_sentence_1021

After 1919, the US demanded repayment of these loans. World War I_sentence_1022

The repayments were, in part, funded by German reparations that, in turn, were supported by American loans to Germany. World War I_sentence_1023

This circular system collapsed in 1931 and some loans were never repaid. World War I_sentence_1024

Britain still owed the United States $4.4 billion of World War I debt in 1934, the last instalment was finally paid in 2015. World War I_sentence_1025

Macro- and micro-economic consequences devolved from the war. World War I_sentence_1026

Families were altered by the departure of many men. World War I_sentence_1027

With the death or absence of the primary wage earner, women were forced into the workforce in unprecedented numbers. World War I_sentence_1028

At the same time, industry needed to replace the lost labourers sent to war. World War I_sentence_1029

This aided the struggle for voting rights for women. World War I_sentence_1030

World War I further compounded the gender imbalance, adding to the phenomenon of surplus women. World War I_sentence_1031

The deaths of nearly one million men during the war in Britain increased the gender gap by almost a million: from 670,000 to 1,700,000. World War I_sentence_1032

The number of unmarried women seeking economic means grew dramatically. World War I_sentence_1033

In addition, demobilisation and economic decline following the war caused high unemployment. World War I_sentence_1034

The war increased female employment; however, the return of demobilised men displaced many from the workforce, as did the closure of many of the wartime factories. World War I_sentence_1035

In Britain, rationing was finally imposed in early 1918, limited to meat, sugar, and fats (butter and margarine), but not bread. World War I_sentence_1036

The new system worked smoothly. World War I_sentence_1037

From 1914 to 1918, trade union membership doubled, from a little over four million to a little over eight million. World War I_sentence_1038

Britain turned to her colonies for help in obtaining essential war materials whose supply from traditional sources had become difficult. World War I_sentence_1039

Geologists such as Albert Ernest Kitson were called on to find new resources of precious minerals in the African colonies. World War I_sentence_1040

Kitson discovered important new deposits of manganese, used in munitions production, in the Gold Coast. World War I_sentence_1041

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles (the so-called "war guilt" clause) stated Germany accepted responsibility for "all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies." World War I_sentence_1042

It was worded as such to lay a legal basis for reparations, and a similar clause was inserted in the treaties with Austria and Hungary. World War I_sentence_1043

However neither of them interpreted it as an admission of war guilt." World War I_sentence_1044

In 1921, the total reparation sum was placed at 132 billion gold marks. World War I_sentence_1045

However, "Allied experts knew that Germany could not pay" this sum. World War I_sentence_1046

The total sum was divided into three categories, with the third being "deliberately designed to be chimerical" and its "primary function was to mislead public opinion ... into believing the "total sum was being maintained." World War I_sentence_1047

Thus, 50 billion gold marks (12.5 billion dollars) "represented the actual Allied assessment of German capacity to pay" and "therefore ... represented the total German reparations" figure that had to be paid. World War I_sentence_1048

This figure could be paid in cash or in kind (coal, timber, chemical dyes, etc.). World War I_sentence_1049

In addition, some of the territory lost—via the treaty of Versailles—was credited towards the reparation figure as were other acts such as helping to restore the Library of Louvain. World War I_sentence_1050

By 1929, the Great Depression arrived, causing political chaos throughout the world. World War I_sentence_1051

In 1932 the payment of reparations was suspended by the international community, by which point Germany had paid only the equivalent of 20.598 billion gold marks in reparations. World War I_sentence_1052

With the rise of Adolf Hitler, all bonds and loans that had been issued and taken out during the 1920s and early 1930s were cancelled. World War I_sentence_1053

David Andelman notes "refusing to pay doesn't make an agreement null and void. World War I_sentence_1054

The bonds, the agreement, still exist." World War I_sentence_1055

Thus, following the Second World War, at the London Conference in 1953, Germany agreed to resume payment on the money borrowed. World War I_sentence_1056

On 3 October 2010, Germany made the final payment on these bonds. World War I_sentence_1057

The war contributed to the evolution of the wristwatch from women's jewellery to a practical everyday item, replacing the pocketwatch, which requires a free hand to operate. World War I_sentence_1058

Military funding of advancements in radio contributed to the postwar popularity of the medium. World War I_sentence_1059

See also World War I_section_83

World War I_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: War I.