100 years ago a war ended whose intensity and scale the world had never seen before.
A war that involved more than 60 million soldier Worldwide. In this article, we recall the origins, events, and consequences of the First World War.
To understand the origins of World War I, we started in 1871 at the end of the Franco-German war between the french empire and the Confederation of North Germany, allies with the southern German states. After 6 months of fighting, France is defeated
and the victors unite to form the German Empire. Alsace and Moselle are annexed to the new
empire, frustrating the French side. In subsequent years, Germany
advances its industry and economy. The country also builds alliances, first with
the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then with Italy, which is frustrated by
France colonizing Tunisia. The three from the Triplice or Triple Alliance.
Growing in power and status Germany begins to colonize the African territories.
For its part, France joins forces with the Russian Empire and signs a secret non-aggression pact
with Italy, thus avoiding a second front in case of war. The British Empire fears the rise of the Germans army, more specifically it’s navy.
Britain comes out of isolation and draws closer to France, and then to Russia.
Together they form the Triple Entente. In the Balkans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire
annex Bosnia and Herzegovina,
much to the chagrin of neighboring Serbia, who dreamed of one day uniting the South Slavic people.
This project attracts Russia, which diplomatically
joins forces with Serbia. On June 29, 1914, a young Bosnian Serb nationalist
murders the heir to the Austrian throne and his wife in Sarajevo.
Austria-Hungary accuses Serbia of organizing the attack
and despite Russian threats, he declared war the following month.
In a few days, the conflict spreads between the countries of the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. Only Italy remains neutral for the moment. The German plan is to beat the French army, concentrated in the East, planning an attack from the north. To meet this, Germany invades Luxembourg and Belgium, violating their neutrality in conflicts.
The French, British and Belgian armies are forced to retire.
Fearing the capture of Paris, the French government moves to Bordeaux.
But the German army is moving away from the city. to continue surrounding the French army.
They are then attacked on the flanks by the Paris army that forces them to retreat further north, marking the failure of
Schlieffen plan. The new German aim is to seize strategic ports
from Calais, Dunkirk, and Boulogne to cut off British supplies.
The lower Belgian army cannot resist the German advance. On the plain of Yser, the choice is made
to open the floodgates to flood the polders. With the German army stopped in its tracks,
the front line is marked with the construction of 700 km of trenches,
stretching from the North Sea to Switzerland. With the war front stabilized in the
to the west, Germany sends its troops to the east
to fight a Russian offensive, which puts pressure on Austria-Hungary.
After some hesitation, the Ottoman Empire decides to support Germany in the war.
This creates several new fronts: one in the Caucasus, another in the Sinai.
against the British protectorate in Egypt with the goal to control the Suez Canal;
and finally a third front in the British protectorate of Kuwait on the issue of oil resources.
To weaken the Ottoman Empire, Britain supports an Arab rebellion
promising them independence in the liberated lands.
Finally, Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary hoping to gain new territory. In Asia, Japan went to war against Germany
and seized its colonies in the Pacific and China.
In Africa, the German colonies are raided by
French, British and Belgian forces. Many people from colonized territories are
enlisted in European armies. France mobilizes almost 800,000 people, a
large proportion of which is sent to Europe. The British Empire, meanwhile, enlists
2.7 million men from her dominions and colonies.
More than half come from British India. In the Balkans, Bulgaria returns to war
along with the Central Empires. The country has a great territorial appetite
and wants to expand in all directions. Serbia is attacked on two fronts and quickly overrun.
In the West, Germany continues with military innovations.
Becomes the first to organize aerial bombardments
carried out by zeppelin aircraft. London and Paris are regularly attacked.
The air force is initially used to track and recognition, but the planes were quickly equipped with machine guns,