World War I is a major event in the history of the world. It was a war that involved Russia, France, Britain, Italy, the United States, Japan, Romania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. It lasted from 1914 to 1918. The total deaths of the war came up to eleven million.
The key starting point that triggered the war was the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serbian terrorist group called the Black Hand. The details are recorded here. This event gave the other Austrian politicians a perfect excuse to eliminate Serbia once and for all. So they thought.
In order to do this, they needed German support, because Serbia had Russian support. The Germans gave the Austrians a ‘blank check.’
Germany meanwhile, fearing a two-front war, developed the Schlieffen Plan
The Plan was simple: attack the French as quickly as possible, then turn and drive out the Russians. But it was too simple. There was no room for mistake, no room for delay. The Germans also counted heavily on the tardiness of the Russian army.
The plan turned out to be a failure. It started with the Germans marching through neutral Belgium. Belgium, unexpectedly, fought back. That delayed the march. In France, they met stout resistance. That further delayed the march. Meanwhile, the Russians were already in Germany. The plan was chaos, the Germans were dismayed, and the French and the Russians were jubilant. Eventually, the Germans and the French settled into trench warfare which lasted for four years. Continue reading