Although World War I did
not officially begin until July 28, 1914, the
fires that sparked it had been burning since the
early 1800's. Peoples controlled by rulers who
often did not even speak their language were
developing nationalist feelings. Powerful nations
were allied together to advance their own aims.
Competition for colonies, resources and access to
trade routes was often fierce.
Western Front in 1914
On August 2, 1914, German troops
moved into Luxembourg, and on August 4 they
invaded Belgium. The Allies sent British and
French troops to help the Belgians, and the
German advance was effectively stopped at the
First of the Marne (September 6-9), ending
Germany's chances for a quick victory.
Eastern Front in 1914
In August 1914, Russian forces moved into East
Prussia, where they were met and defeated by
Germans under retired general Paul von
Hindenburg. In the south, Austria-Hungary failed
in three attempts to invade Serbia.
Region in 1914
On August 2, 1914, the
Ottoman Empire signed a secret treaty with
Germany. In the last days of October, Turkish
warships bombarded Russian ports on the Black
Sea. France, Great Britain and Russia then
declared war on the Ottoman Empire.
In 1915, Italy signed the
secret Treaty of London with France, Great
Britain, and Russia, agreeing to join the Allies
in exchange for land in Europe and Africa. Italy
declared war on Austria-Hungary that same year,
and on Germany in 1916.
The Battle of
was fought on July 18, 1918, and was one of the
first major actions undertaken by the American
Expeditionary Force. It ended with a decisive
victory for the French and Americans.
Rhineland After Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles gave parts of the
Rhineland to France and Belgium, and granted some
autonomy to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
and the Polish Corridor
Danzig was the natural
port of Poland and of the Vistula River Basin,
and had been for many centuries outside the
political frontiers of Germany. Claimed by
Germany during World War I, it was returned to
Poland after the war.
of the German Navy
On November 21, 1918, the entire German Navy
formally surrendered to the British Royal Navy.