World War One
The war to end all wars
28 July 1914 - 11 November 1918

The First Word War, also known as the Great War or The War to End All Wars was a global war that originated in Europe, lasting from 1914 until 1918. Over 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war. The causes of the war are complex: colonial rivalries, economic competition and irreconcilable national ambitions were some of the contributing factors. The war was triggered by the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand by the Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip at Sarajevo. This triggered a series of diplomatic crises, when Austro-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to Serbia whose contents the Serbs deemed unacceptable. Soon all the major European powers became involved in the affair, on one side or the other. Ultimately, the crisis could not be resolved and war was declared.

The war was fought between the powers of the Triple Entente - the French Republic, Russian Empire and the British Empire - and the Central Powers, composed of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. As the war progressed other nations joined one side or the other: the United Sates, Japan, Italy and Romania joined the Entente powers and Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers.

When the war ended the world had changed as well: the Russian, German, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires were no more, and many nations faced revolutions or other wars that would define them. National borders were redrawn, as some nations regained their independence, while some enlarged their territories at the expense of the losing states. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 the United States, France, Britain and Italy imposed their will upon the defeated nations. The League of Nations was formed with the aim of preserving peace. However, economic disaster, feelings of nationalism and humiliation, especially in Germany, doomed the League to failure and contributed to the start of World War II.

Western Front