About the First World War

World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as “the war to end all wars,” it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. Over 16 million people died, including 9.7 million Europeans, and an additional 7.9 million were wounded.

The war began after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist on 28 June 1914. Serbia’s allies, Russia and France, and Austria-Hungary’s ally, Germany, were drawn into the conflict. Within weeks, the major powers were at war and the conflict had expanded into a global war.

The war was fought on land, at sea, and in the air. The fighting was brutal and resulted in unprecedented levels of casualties. New technologies, such as tanks, airplanes, and chemical weapons, were used for the first time in warfare.

The war ended with the signing of the Armistice of 11 November 1918. The war had a profound impact on the course of the 20th century. It led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian Empires, and the creation of new countries, such as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland. It also led to the formation of the League of Nations, an international organization dedicated to preventing future wars.

The war also had a significant impact on the social and political landscape of Europe. It led to the rise of communism in Russia, and the spread of fascism in Italy and Germany. It also led to the decline of the British Empire and the rise of the United States as a global superpower.

World War I was a defining event of the 20th century. It was a war that changed the course of history, and its legacy continues to be felt today.

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