The decay of the Turkish Empire had been the cause of many, with various parts of the Empire snapped up by the major powers, while in the Balkans the Turks had been forced back almost to the gates of Constantinople. A second cause of friction was the perceived decay of the Hapsburg Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary, when the majority of Slavs agitated for either independence, or a greater role in government, while the Austrian and Hungarian elites held out for the statue-quo, led by the elderly Emperor, Franz-Joseph, a force for autocracy and tradition. Austria's main ally was the recently unified Germany, always worried about potential Russian gains as Austria weakened, especially in the Balkans. The Germans were also engaged in a naval arms race with Great Britain, which in turn moved Britain closer to France, and thus to her ally Russia.
The decay of the Turkish Empire had been the cause of many, with various parts of the Empire snapped up by the major powers, while in the Balkans the Turks had been forced back almost to the gates of How did the first world war.
A second cause of friction was the perceived decay of the Hapsburg Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary, when the majority of Slavs agitated for either independence, or a greater role in government, while the Austrian and Hungarian elites held out for the statue-quo, led by the elderly Emperor, Franz-Joseph, a force for autocracy and tradition.
The Germans were also engaged in a naval arms race with Great Britain, which in turn moved Britain closer to France, and thus to her ally Russia. Despite all of the potential causes of tension, Europe in looked to be more peaceful than for some years. The mood in Austria was already hostile towards Serbia, and now it turned towards war.
The Austrians were certain that the Serbian government had been in some way involved in the murder, and while it is not certain how far that was true, the leader of the terrorists was also head of Serbian Intelligence.
On 23 July, Austria delivered a note to the Serbia government that, if agreed to, would have almost ended Serbian independence. This ultimatum included ten points. The Serbs only completely rejected one of the points, which called for Austrian officials to take part in the Serbian investigations into the assassination.
Some of the other nine points were accepted without any conditions, but in other cases they only partly accepted the Austrian demands, in particular requiring proof where the Austrians expected unconditional obedience to all future demands about anti Austro-Hungarian propaganda or the removal of named individuals from public service.
In any case the Austrians had already decided that only an unconditional acceptance of their ultimatum would be acceptable. When the Serbs handed over their reply the Austrian representative handed over a pre-prepared message refusing to accept their limits.
Now the alliance system swung into play. On 30 July, Russia started mobilisation. In reaction, Germany declared war against Russia on 1 August. On the next day, Germany invaded Luxembourg, and demanded free passage across Belgium.
On 4 August a British ultimatum to Germany was refused, and Britain declared war on Germany, while Germany declared war on Belgium, and launched an invasion of Belgium. The Western Front German plans for a two front war against France and Russia were based on the Schlieffen Planwhich, relying on the French to attack Germany at once via Alsace and Lorraine, called for a massive German attack through Belgium into northern France, taking Paris and cutting off the French armies, thus winning the war in the west before turning to deal with the slower Russian mobilisation.
However, General von Moltke, the German commander, had tinkered with the plan, weakening the strength of the blow on the right wing, and reducing the distance into Germany that the French attack would be allowed to progress. Thus, when the French, as expected, launched their attack Battle of Lorraine, Augustthey were unable to make any progress, and were even soon in danger themselves.
Thus the French armies were further west than the German plan required.
Another factor not properly considered in the plan was that Britain would join the war on the violation of Belgium neutrality. The advancing German troops were the first to discover the British Expeditionary Force, a small but professional army, who they encountered at the battle of Mons 23 Augustwhere the British troops took a heavy toll of the Germans before the British were forced to retreat.
Nevertheless, the German advance was still going well. However, the French commander, General Joseph Joffremanaged his battle better than Moltke managed his. Reacting to the unexpected German attacks, Joffre adjusted his armies to resist the onrushing Germans, and by the end of August the Schlieffen plan, with its aim of passing west of Paris, had already been abandoned in practice, as the German armies prepared to pass east of the city.
This left the German right flank exposed to any troops that could come out from Paris. From September, the French launched their counterattack - the battle of the Marne.
By the end of this battle, which included some troops carried to the battlefield by taxi from Paris, the German attack had failed, and they withdrew towards what would become the stable line of trench warfare for most of the war. For the next month, both sides took part in the Race to the Sea 15 September Novembereach hoping to outflank the other before the line of trenches reached the sea.
The trenches now marched from the North Sea to the Swiss border. All mobility was gone from the war on the western Front until As the year began, the French were engaged in the First Battle of Champagne 20 December Marcha determined attempt to regain the French territory held by the Germans.
The Routledge Atlas of the First World War, a good historical atlas that makes the overall nature of the war clear. Contains over maps, covering just about every major aspect of the conflict from the pre-war tensions that led to war to the Armistice in In fact, the First World War lasted four terrible years, not four months. Life in the trenches in World War 1 Soldiers in the trenches would spend their days doing chores, firing at the enemy, playing cards and writing letters home. With this year’s Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day falling on the centenary of the end of the First World War, The Royal British Legion expects a record number of spectators at the London event.
At the second battle of Ypres 22 April Maythe Germans introduced poisoned gas into the war, but despite the initial, horrific, impact of the gas, made very little progress, having failed to provide sufficient support for their new weapon, and for the rest of the year a series of failed attacks followed one after one.
The town and fortress of Verdun, in French hands, formed a salient into the German lines. Falkenhaynnow German commander, decided to use Verdun to bleed the French dry, and on 21 February began his assault on the fortress battle of Verdun, 21 February December World War I, also called First World War or Great War, an international conflict that in –18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions.
With this year’s Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day falling on the centenary of the end of the First World War, The Royal British Legion expects a record number of spectators at the London event. World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July to 11 November If you are new to the First World War - or are rusty after many years since history class - the reasons for the so-called 'Great War' can be shrouded in confusion.
Sponsored Links The Second World War was rather more straightforward: no questions there who did what and who was at fault. War came to Europe not by accident, but by design, argues military historian Gary Sheffield. According to Sheffield, the First World War began for two fundamental .
Aug 30, · History has not been kind to the teenager who triggered the First World War by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand on a sunny Sunday morning in .