World War I

The War to End All Wars?

What Happened?

World War I, also known as the Great War, was a total war between multiple nations of the world that lasted from 1914 to 1918. The war was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers. According to, no previous conflict in history had so many soldiers been mobilized. The majority of the fighting was done in Europe on the Western and Eastern Fronts, while warfare also happened in the Balkan states. Lesser known to the public is the war operations that happened in Africa, as many of Europe's imperial powers were fighting over their colonial territories in the region. Kathleen Bomani of writes, "The East Africa campaign was the opposite of European war of trenches: it was about mobility, short raids and long treks on foot" (Bomani).

There were many causes and reasons for the outbreak of World War I. Specific events can be traced all the way back to 1870, when the Franco-German war resulted with France losing the territory of Alsace-Lorraine. Another could be the Bosnian Crisis of 1908, which saw Austria-Hungary annex Bosnia for their empire. The Balkan Wars from 1912-13 featured four Balkan states defeat the Ottoman Empire, nearly eliminating the Ottomans from Europe. Widely known as the main trigger for war was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from Austria-Hungary by a member of a terrorist group called the Black Hand society that had ties with Serbia. According to, Otto Von Bismarck, the Prime Minister of Germany who died in 1890, prophesied that when war came to Europe "it would be over some damn foolish thing in the Balkans." Although there was truth in his statement, the cause of World War I can be traced to several different events spanning from 1870 up to 1914.

Who Was to Blame for the Outbreak of War??

Due to the complex series of alliances and ententes that existed prior to the outbreak of war, it is difficult to determine who was the main instigator for the outbreak of war. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the bulk of the blame went to Germany for its role during the war. Chronologically, Austria was the first to declare war on Serbia following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. While Serbia failed to accept the harsh ultimatum issued by Austria, the Austro-Hungarian empire declared war while heavily relying on Germany backing them in the instance of war. Russia partially mobilized its forces due to their alliance with Serbia, forcing Germany to mobilize in response. This caused France to mobilize while soon after Germany declared war on Russia and then France due to the mobilization of troops. The United Kingdom declared war on Germany only after they invaded Belgium on their way to attack France.

The war began in Balkans, and due to alliances dating back to 1879, it caused an outbreak of chaos across Europe. Germany was the most aggressive at the time of warfare and paid for it at the conclusion of the war. One could argue that they were simply sticking to their alliances made with other countries just like the other great nations in Europe.

Works Cited (OPVL)

Bomani, Kathleen. "WW1's Untold Story: The Forgotten African Battlefields." Cable News Network. August 8, 2014. Access Date: 9/21/2015.

The article was wrote commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the beginning WWI and informing readers of a often forgotten theater of the war in Africa. When thinking of the WWI it is common to forgot or ignore the effects it had on the continent of Africa. It comes from a writer who co-founded the World War I in Africa Project. It has traces of bias during the article but provides great insight on the topic. "World War 1 Timeline." 2006. Access Date: 9/21/2015.

The site was created to provide basic information on WWI and provide a general reference point for researchers. The timeline shows important events and information that happened throughout WWI by providing a day by day account of the years of war. It shows how each event helped cause the next and draws links throughout all the years of fighting. The website itself seems limited and lacking in outside sources.

HistoryNet. "Facts, Information and Articles About World War 1, aka The Great War." HistoryNet LLC. 2015. Access Date: 9/21/2015.

The site provides information that is constantly updated within the site by multiple members of the corporation. The information is presented with a very neutral tone and states what is unclear from historical research. All the information found is in line with multiple sources that has been used and remains clear of any bias that may arise from research.