World War I 1914-1918

[ 1914 - 1918 ]

World War I 1914-18 also called First World War, or Great War, an international conflict that in 1914-18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions. The war pitted the Central Powers--mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey--against the Allies--mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States. It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers.

By 1910 the major nations of Europe had aligned themselves into two potentially hostile alliances, with Germany and Austria in one and France, Great Britain, and Russia in the other. When a Serbian nationalist assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, a chain of threats, ultimatums, and mobilizations was set in motion that resulted in a general war between these two alliances by mid-August.

Germany had long been prepared to fight a land war on two fronts--i.e., against France on the west and against Russia on the east. In the west its armies outflanked France's main defensive forces and swept westward through Belgium, thereby bringing Great Britain into the war by treaty obligation. The German armies then turned south toward Paris. The French, reinforced by a British Expeditionary Force, managed to stabilize their defensive lines by November along the Aisne River, thereby saving Paris, but this meant that the rest of the war in that theatre was fought on French territory. Because of the tremendous firepower of modern artillery and machine guns, the war quickly evolved into one of attrition fought from lines of trenches. Frontal infantry assaults typically gained ground only by yards, and these attacks, whether successful or not, were enormously costly in human life. A deadlock soon ensued on the Western Front that could not be broken even by the enormous battles of the Somme and Verdun (both 1916) or by the massive German offensives of early 1918.

In the east an early Russian offensive in 1914 drove deep into East Prussia, German Poland, and Galicia, but the Russians were stopped by German and Austrian forces by the end of the year, and, in a startling German offensive begun in May 1915, they were thrown back into their own territory. Though it mounted several more offensives and suffered enormous casualties, the Russian army proved unable either to break through the German defensive lines or to take any German territory.

Other fronts in the war were to a greater or lesser extent peripheral to the main theatres but were nonetheless bloody. They included Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, where Britain unsuccessfully attempted to invade Turkey proper; the Caucasus and Persia, where Russia and Turkey fought; Mesopotamia and Egypt, where British forces (and, in Egypt, the Arabs organized by T.E. Lawrence) fought the Turks; and the Isonzo valley northwest of Trieste, where Italian and Austrian troops fought a long series of costly battles.

At sea only Germany and Great Britain had substantial fleets. Britain attempted, with considerable success, to blockade Germany and cut off its maritime access to food and raw materials from overseas. In response Germany turned to one of its newest weapons, the submarine, to interrupt the maritime supply lines of the British Isles. Germany's policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, however, which led to the sinking of much neutral shipping, ultimately persuaded the United States to enter the war against Germany in 1917. The major naval engagement of the war--indeed, one of the largest naval battles in history--was the inconclusive Battle of Jutland fought between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet in May 1916.

Russia's poor performance in the war and its grievous losses inspired widespread domestic discontent that led to the overthrow of the Russian monarchy in early 1917 and to the Bolshevik Revolution in November of that year. At the Bolshevik leader Lenin's order, Russia unilaterally ceased hostilities on November 26 and a month later signed a formal armistice with Germany, thus withdrawing from participation in the war. The release of German forces in the east for service on the deadlocked Western Front, however, was offset by the arrival of U.S. troops in France. Used tentatively at first, the rapidly reinforced American forces--1,200,000 by September 1918--soon proved their worth.

By autumn 1918 the position of the Central Powers had deteriorated rapidly. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, shaken by military defeats and by nationalist uprisings encouraged by the Russian Revolution, virtually disintegrated during October. Germany's great offensives on the Western Front during April-July failed, and the Allied forces then began a steady advance that recovered almost all of German-occupied France and part of Belgium by October 1918. German military and civilian morale thereupon collapsed, and amid widespread political unrest the German kaiser William II abdicated on November 9. Two days later an Armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies at Rethondes, Fr., thus ending World War I.

Total Casualties 31130500 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 9911000 /Wounded 21219500
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Note
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
France and Germany 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) and Austria-Hungary 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Russia (USSR) and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Yugoslavia (Serbia) and Bulgaria 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Montenegro and Germany 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Belgium and Austria-Hungary 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Japan and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Romania and Austria-Hungary 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
United States of America and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Greece and Bulgaria 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Thailand (Siam) and Germany 1914 / 7 / 28 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Italy and Bulgaria 1915 1918 / 11 / 11 View
Portugal and Germany 1916 1918 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
Schneider CA1 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Renault FT Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
A7V Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
K-Wagen Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
LK I Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Tank Mark VIII Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Medium Mark A Whippet Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Medium Mark B Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Medium Mark C Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Mark I Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Mark VI (tank) Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Gun Carrier Mark I Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
Austin Armoured Car Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Minerva Armored Car Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
T-13 tank destroyer Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Little Willie Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Mark V tank Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Vickers 6-Ton Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Canon de 194 mle GPF Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
Canon de 75 modele 1897 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 75 modele 1905 Schneider Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 75 modele 1912 Schneider Vehicle Towed Artillery
Cannone da 75/27 modello 11 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Type 38 75 mm field gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Type 41 75 mm Cavalry Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
75 mm Gun M1916 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance BL 12-pounder 6 cwt Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance QF 12-pounder 8 cwt Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance BLC 15-pounder Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance QF 15-pounder Vehicle Towed Artillery
8 cm Feldkanone M. 99 Vehicle Towed Artillery
8 cm FK M. 5 Vehicle Towed Artillery
8 cm FK M. 17 Vehicle Towed Artillery
8 cm FK M 18 Vehicle Towed Artillery
7.7 cm FK 96 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance QF 18-pounder Vehicle Towed Artillery
87 mm light field gun M1877 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.4 cm Feldkanone M. 15 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10 cm K 14 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10 cm K 17 Vehicle Towed Artillery
107 mm gun M1910 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Cannone da 149/35 A Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm Kanone 16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Cannone da 152/45 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6-inch Mk VII naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6-inch Gun Mk XIX Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 155mm GPF Vehicle Towed Artillery
Krupp 7.5 cm Model 1903 Vehicle Towed Artillery
M116 howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
10 cm M. 14 Feldhaubitze Vehicle Towed Artillery
10 cm Feldhaubitze M 99 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.5 cm Feldhaubitze 98/09 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M.12 Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.5 cm leFH 16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Type 86 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
120 mm Krupp howitzer M1905 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 5-inch howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 5.4-inch howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M 14 Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M. 15 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Type 38 15 cm howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm sFH 02 Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm sFH 13 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6-inch 30 cwt howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
6-inch field howitzer M-1908 Vehicle Towed Artillery
152 mm howitzer M1910 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6-inch 26 cwt howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 155 C modele 1917 Schneider Vehicle Towed Artillery
18 cm kurze Kanone M 80 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 8-inch howitzer Mk VI – VIII Vehicle Towed Artillery
21 cm Morser 10 Vehicle Towed Artillery
21 cm Morser 16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 9.2-inch howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
28 cm Haubitze L/12 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Skoda 305 mm Model 1911 Vehicle Towed Artillery
42 cm Haubitze M. 14/16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon d'Infanterie de 37 modele 1916 TRP Vehicle Towed Artillery
7.7 cm Infanteriegeschutz L/27 Vehicle Towed Artillery
7.7 cm Infanteriegeschutz L/20 Vehicle Towed Artillery
7.62 cm Infanteriegeschutz L/16.5 Vehicle Towed Artillery
RML 2.5 inch Mountain Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Cannone da 65/17 modello 13 Vehicle Towed Artillery
7 cm Gebirgsgeschutz M 99 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Cannone da 70/15 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 10-pounder Mountain Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 2.75-inch Mountain Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
75 mm Schneider-Danglis 06/09 Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 2.95-inch Mountain Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ehrhardt 7.5 cm Model 1904 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Skoda 75 mm Model 15 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Type 41 75 mm Mountain Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
76 mm mountain gun M1909 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Skoda 100 mm Model 1916 Vehicle Towed Artillery
152 mm siege gun M1910 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Mortaio da 210/8 D.S. Vehicle Towed Artillery
Paris Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 240 L Mle 1884 Vehicle Towed Artillery
24 cm Kanone M. 16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 12-inch howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
38 cm Belagerungshaubitze M 16 Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 15-inch howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
Big Bertha (howitzer) Vehicle Towed Artillery
Nachstbereichschutzsystem MANTIS Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 2-pounder naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 12-pounder 12 cwt AA gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 13-pounder Mk IV AA gun Vehicle Other
QF 13-pounder 9 cwt Vehicle Other
QF 4 inch Mk V naval gun Vehicle Specialty
Maxim gun Vehicle Specialty
25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
16-inch gun M1895 Vehicle Towed Artillery
17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer Manportable Mortars
Livens Projector Manportable Mortars
22.5 cm Minenwerfer M 15 Manportable Mortars
240 mm Trench Mortar Manportable Mortars
26 cm Minenwerfer M 17 Manportable Mortars
12 cm Luftminenwerfer M 16 Manportable Mortars
15 cm Luftminenwerfer M 15 M. E. Manportable Mortars
20 cm Luftminenwerfer M 16 Manportable Mortars
7.58 cm Minenwerfer Manportable Mortars
305mm/45 Modele 1906 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 305 mm Modele 1893/96 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
240mm/50 Modele 1902 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Canon de 164 mm Modele 1893 Vehicle Towed Artillery
38 cm SK L/45 "Max" Vehicle Towed Artillery
28 cm SK L/50 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
21 cm SK "Peter Adalbert" Vehicle Towed Artillery
17 cm SK L/40 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
15 cm TbtsK C/36 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.5 cm SK L/45 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
10.5 cm SK L/40 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
8.8 cm SK L/45 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
8.8 cm SK L/35 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
8.8 cm SK L/30 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
14 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
130 mm/55 B7 Pattern 1913 Vehicle Towed Artillery
Armstrong Whitworth 12 inch /40 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 12 inch Mk X naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 12 inch Mk XI – XII naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 4 inch Mk IX naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 4 inch naval gun Mk IV, XII, XXII Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I – III Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 12 pounder 18 cwt naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Ordnance QF 3-pounder Vickers Vehicle Towed Artillery
14"/45 caliber gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
12"/45 caliber Mark 5 gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 6-pounder Hotchkiss Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 6 inch /40 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6 inch Mk XI naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 6 inch Mk XII naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
Vickers 10-inch /45 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
EOC 10-inch /45 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
24 cm SK L/30 "Theodor Otto" Vehicle Towed Artillery
24 cm SK L/40 "Theodor Karl" Vehicle Towed Artillery
28 cm K L/40 "Kurfürst" Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 12-inch railway gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
BL 14-inch Railway Gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
QF 6-pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss Vehicle Towed Artillery
Modele 1892 revolver Manportable Handguns
Mitrailleuse Manportable Machine Guns
Villar-Perosa aircraft submachine gun Manportable Handguns
Lancaster pistol Manportable Handguns
Gast gun Manportable Machine Guns
Mauser C96 Manportable Handguns
Webley Self-Loading Pistol Manportable Handguns
Steyr M1912 Manportable Handguns
Steyr Mannlicher M1901 Manportable Handguns
Roth–Steyr M1907 Manportable Handguns
Ruby pistol Manportable Handguns
Luger pistol Manportable Handguns
MP 18 Manportable Machine Guns
Glisenti Model 1910 Manportable Handguns
FN Model 1903 Manportable Handguns
Frommer Stop Manportable Handguns
St. Etienne Mle 1907 Manportable Machine Guns
Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914 Manportable Machine Guns
Mauser Gewehr 98 Manportable Rifles
M1917 Browning machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
MG 08 Manportable Machine Guns
MG 18 TuF Manportable Machine Guns
Perino Model 1908 Manportable Machine Guns
Remington Model 10 Manportable Rifles
Type 38 rifle Manportable Rifles
M series bayonet Manportable Knives
M1917 bayonet Manportable Knives
Remington Rolling Block rifle Manportable Rifles
Mauser Model 1889 Manportable Rifles
Werndl–Holub rifle Manportable Rifles
Mannlicher M1888 Manportable Rifles
Berthier rifle Manportable Rifles
Martini–Henry Manportable Rifles
Type 35 rifle Manportable Rifles
M1870 Italian Vetterli Manportable Rifles
Murata rifle Manportable Rifles
Winchester Model 1895 Manportable Rifles
Kropatschek rifle Manportable Rifles
Mauser–Vergueiro Manportable Rifles
Mannlicher M1893 Manportable Rifles
M1867 Russian Krnka Manportable Rifles
Mauser-Koka Manportable Rifles
Vetterli rifle Manportable Rifles
Springfield Model 1892–99 Manportable Rifles
Dutch Mannlicher Manportable Rifles
Dreyse M1907 Manportable Handguns
Mannlicher M1890 Carbine Manportable Rifles
Mondragón rifle Manportable Rifles
9 cm Minenwerfer M 14 Manportable Mortars
8 cm Luftminenwerfer M 15 Manportable Mortars
9 cm Minenwerfer M 17 Manportable Mortars
9.15 cm leichtes Minenwerfer System Lanz Manportable Mortars
12 cm Minenwerfer M 15 Manportable Mortars
Farquhar-Hill rifle Manportable Rifles
Lee Speed Manportable Rifles
Martini–Enfield Manportable Rifles
Winchester Model 1907 Manportable Rifles
No 1 Grenade Manportable Grenades
No. 6 grenade Manportable Grenades
Garland Trench Mortar Manportable Grenades
Savage Model 1907 Manportable Handguns
Fusil Automatique Modèle 1917 Manportable Rifles
Winchester Model 1910 Manportable Rifles
Chauchat-Ribeyrolles 1918 submachine gun Manportable Machine Guns
White armored car Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
F1 grenade (France) Manportable Grenades
Bergmann MG 15nA machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr Manportable Rifles
Model 1914 grenade Manportable Grenades

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts