World War I, also known as the First
World War, or the Great War, was a global
war centred in Europe that began on 28
1914 and lasted until 11
At the beginning of the 20th century,
Europe was sitting on top of a barrel of
gunpowder. At any moment it could have
exploded into a great war.
Not there had been no major European
war for a hundred years, but since then
the whole Industrial Revolution had taken
The last great European war had been
horsemen and foot soldiers charging each
by old-fashioned rifle, swords, spears and
cannon. At sea, wooden warships battered
other at close range with solidiron cannon
In 1914 many generals had no real idea
war would be like with machine gun, high
explosive shells weighing over a ton each,
gas and motor trucks. At sea they had huge
warships whose guns were so powerful they
As a result, the slaughter was appalling:
Russia, for example, lost over 2 million
men in two short battles.
Industrialized countries were proud upon
their bigger and better weapons and army.
The countries were divided into groups
One was called the Central Power
(Germany, Austro Hungary and Italy) and
the other side was
The allied power of France, Russia and
All the countries thought that they were the
greatest and wanted to promote their own
culture and interests.
France and Britain, had created large
worldwide empires and became very rich.
Russia and Germany wanted to conquer
countries and create their own vast empires
On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz
Ferdinand (crown prince of Austria) and his
wife, were assassinated by a Serbian
student: Gavrilo Princip. This was an
excuse to take out the jealousy stored in for
Events that led to war
Assassination of Archduke
Germany providing support to Austria-H
Serbia given deadline by Germans to accept
Serbia fails to comply.
Austria-H declares war on Serbia.
Germany declares war on Russia
Germany invades Belgium to invade France
Great Britain declares war on Germany
The opponents- THE CENTRAL
Germany had been made into one country from many smaller states only
in 1870. She was very highly industrialized, but had a very few colonies.
Her army was the most powerful in the world, and her navy was strong .
Germany was aggressive and wanted to show her strength, and to gain
more trade and colonies.
Austro-Hungarian empire was a huge empire made up of many different
races of people with different religions, languages and customs, and
ruled by the emperor alone. The different peoples did not want to belong
to the same state, but wanted to have their own countries and
governments. The empire was weak, with little industry and seemed
ready to break up.
Turkish Empire had once been great and powerful, controlling all of the
east and north Africa. But now it was very weak and many parts had
away to to become independent. Russia wanted to conquer Turkey to get
port on the warm Mediterranean sea. Turkey was called ‘The sick old man
THE WESTERN ALLIES
Britain was the richest and the most powerful country in the world. She
largest empire, the largest trade and the largest navy. She was however,
challenged by Germany and the USA.
France was rich and fairly industrialized, with a large empire in Africa.
was the bitter enemy of Germany who had beaten her in the war of
that war Germany had taken two provinces from France, and France
determined to get them back.
Russia was huge, backward and only very slowly becoming
was ruled by the tsar only. The army wa huge but no good-badly
badly equipped and badly led. The Russian people had often rebelled
to improve conditions, but their efforts had been put down savagely.
The Balkans were a collection of tiny states of different
people and religions. Some were friendly with Russia,
Turkey, some with Germany and some with France and
The Balkan states were constantly fighting each other. The
danger was that when these tiny states quarreled, their
powerful friends might join in to help them and so start a
The breakout of World War 1
After the Assassination
In 1914, an Austrian prince was visiting the Balkan state- of
Bosnia, which was friendly with Russia. While he was there,
he was murdered, and Austria blamed Serbia, a country
which was friendly with Russia. Austria went to war with
Serbia and within a few weeks was joined by Germany, and
Turkey. Britain, Russia, France and Italy came on Serbia’s
side and though the war still continued in the Balkans, the
main fighting switched to northern France, western Russia
and the border of Italy and Austria and the Middle East.
Where the war took place
Most of the fighting in
World War 1 took place
Europe, along the
Between France and
Germany, Germany and
Russia, Austria and Italy,
as well as the Balkans
Middle East. The war at
sea was mainly fought in
‘North Atlantic Ocean’.
Reasons for fighting
The countries had different reasons for fighting
other. These are some of the main ones.Trade UK vs Germany
Colonies Germany vs UK, France
Revenge France vs Germany
Land Russia vs Turkey, Austria
Nationalism Russia vs Austria, Germany
The new technical warfare
Trench warfare: Most of the fighting in northern France was done in
Tanks were invented to try to break the deadlock of trench warfare.
Aircrafts were used, first for spotting the enemy, then dropping bombs.
From 1916, German airships and airplanes dropped bombs on
civilians in cities.
Huge steel warships and submarines were used at sea, Note the
aerials- this was the first time radio had been used in warfare.
Mass production methods were used in factories for the first time to
make weapons and equipments.
Weapons of immense size and power were made. German gun could
send one-tonne shell over 50 miles.
Important events during WW1
The sinking of Lusitania
Lusitania was a British luxury cruise ship travelling from USA to
German submarines fired at the Lusitania and it sank in the Atlantic. As
American citizens were on board, it sparked America’s entry in World
Russia leaves the war
The communist revolution brought about the downfall of the Tsar of
Russia became Soviet Union and exited the war. It became friends
Further read in the register/ Germans trick Russia
The End of WW1- THE TREATY OF
It was signed between the Allied powers and Germany on
June 28, 1919. This officially ended World War 1. The treaty
was extremely harsh on Germany. It forced Germany to accept
the responsibility for causing “all the loss and damage” of the
war. Germany was forced to disarm, give up land to France
and to pay reparations of 132 billion Marks (around $442
billion in 2014 money.)
Further read in register/handouts/the treaty of Versailles
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
It was formed in order to establish World peace. Its
member countries hoped to prevent wars by settling
disputes between countries. It also aimed to establish
fair labor conditions, improve global health, control the
global arms trade and protect minorities in Europe. It
was founded by the Treaty of Versailles (42 members).
THE MAP OF EUROPE
The map of Europe changed significantly after World
War 1. Several new independent countries were formed
including Poland, Finland, Yugoslavia, and
Czechoslovakia. Russia became the Soviet Union and
the Ottoman Empire later became the country of Turkey.
Effects of World War 1
1. USA became important and rich due to
2. Improved medicine.
3. More independence for women as they had
done all kind of jobs during the war.
4. New inventions like buses, lorries,
Further read in register/handouts/the effects of world war I
THE END OF
By: Alifya Fahim