Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.

Portal:World War I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The World War I portal

WWImontage.jpg

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 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as the "war to end all wars", more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war (including the victims of a number of genocides), a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and the tactical stalemate caused by gruelling trench warfare. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and precipitated major political change, including the Revolutions of 1917–1923 in many of the nations involved. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of the Second World War twenty-one years later.

The conflict initially involved two opposing coalitions: France, Russia and Britain, in the Triple Entente, against the Dual Alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These two had combined with Italy in the 1882 Triple Alliance but as it was primarily defensive in nature, Italy was able to remain neutral in 1914. In reality, many of the terms were informal or secret and sometimes contradicted by other agreements; shortly after renewing the Triple Alliance in 1902, Italy secretly agreed with France to remain neutral if it was attacked by Germany. The coalitions expanded as the war widened: the Entente added Italy, Japan and the United States to form the Allied Powers, while the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined Germany and Austria as the Central Powers.

On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb supporter of Yugoslav nationalism, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand while he was visiting Sarajevo. The instability caused by competing Russian and Austro-Hungarian objectives in the Balkans meant this led to a diplomatic crisis, which ended with Austria-Hungary issuing an ultimatum to Serbia. Interlocking alliances formed over the previous decades meant the crisis quickly involved all the major European powers and the conflict spread around the world.

The Russian government ordered a partial and secret mobilisation on 24–25 July, then general mobilisation on 30 July after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28th. Germany demanded Russia demobilise and when this was refused, declared war on 1 August, with Austria-Hungary following on 6 August. In military discussions held with France in 1911, Russia committed to attack Germany within 15 days of mobilisation and accordingly two armies entered East Prussia on 17 August. This took the Germans by surprise, since their war plans assumed Russia could not mobilise sufficient troops in that time.

The 1871 Treaty of Versailles imposed on France by Germany after the Franco-Prussian War required them to pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs ($479 billion in 2011 values) and cede the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine. A desire to reverse that defeat plus their obligations under the Franco-Russian Alliance meant France began full mobilisation on 2 August in support of Russia. German offensive plans in the West required an invasion of neutral Belgium before moving towards Paris from the north and on 2 August, they issued an ultimatum, demanding free passage through Belgium; when this was refused, on 3 August Germany entered Belgium and declared war with France. In response, the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London, bringing Britain into the war with Germany on 4 August.

On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on 23rd, Japan joined the Allied Powers, seizing the opportunity to expand its sphere of influence by capturing German possessions in China and the Pacific.

After the German march on Paris was halted in the Battle of the Marne, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army led a successful campaign against the Austro-Hungarians, but the Germans stopped its invasion of East Prussia in the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Sinai Peninsula. In 1915, Italy joined the Allied Powers and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers. Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916. After the sinking of seven US merchant ships by German submarines, and the revelation that the Germans were trying to get Mexico to make war on the United States, the US declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917.

The Russian government collapsed in March 1917 with the February Revolution, and the October Revolution followed by a further military defeat brought the Russians to terms with the Central Powers via the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which granted the Germans a significant victory. After the stunning German Spring Offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allied Powers rallied and drove back the Germans in the successful Hundred Days Offensive. On 4 November 1918, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti, and Germany, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries, agreed to an armistice on 11 November 1918, ending the war in victory for the Allied Powers.

By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist. National borders were redrawn, with nine independent nations restored or created, and Germany's colonies were parcelled out among the victors. During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four powers (Britain, France, the United States and Italy) imposed their terms in a series of treaties. The League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation (particularly in Germany) eventually contributed to the start of World War II.

Selected event

Anzac, the landing 1915.jpg

The Battle of Gallipoli (sometimes referred to as the first D-Day) took place on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli from April 1915 to January 1916 during the First World War. A joint British and French operation was mounted in order to eventually capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides.

In Turkey the campaign is known as the Çanakkale Savaşları, after the province of Çanakkale. In the United Kingdom it is called the Dardanelles Campaign or Gallipoli, and in France, Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland it is usually known as the "Gallipoli Campaign".

Read more...

Selected equipment

Model1897 75mm gun 1.jpg

The French 75mm field gun is a quick-firing field artillery piece developed before World War I and serving into World War II. It was commonly known as the French 75, or at times simply the "75" or "Soixante Quinze." It introduced, for the first time in field artillery history, a hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism which permitted very high rates of fire while the gun's aim remained unaffected by the recoil. It was entirely manufactured at State-controlled arsenals, principally at "Atelier de Construction de Puteaux". The French 75's official designation was: Materiel de 75mm Mle 1897. It is not to be confused with the Schneider manufactured "Canon de 75mm Mle 1912" used by French cavalry, and its 1914 modification. Although they fired the original French 75's ammunition, these privately manufactured Schneider guns were lighter, smaller and mechanically different.

Read more...

Selected quote

"I look upon him as the greatest criminal known for having plunged the world into war."
George V of the United Kingdom, November 1918

Selected image

W Beach Helles Gallipoli.jpg

The evacuation of W Beach, Helles, on 7 January, 1916.

Photo credit: Lt. Ernest Brooks.

Selected biography

Armando Diaz.jpg
Armando Diaz (December 5, 1861–February 29, 1928) was an Italian general and a Marshal of Italy. On the outbreak of the World War I, he was assigned to the high command as head of the unit's operations under General Luigi Cadorna. He was promoted to 2-star general in June, 1916, and assumed the command of the 49th division and then the 23rd army corps. The Battle of Caporetto, in October 1917, was disastrous to the army, and on November 8, 1917, he was called to succeed Cadorna as chief of general staff. Recovered what remained of the army, he organized the resistance on Mount Grappa and at the Battle of the Piave River. In 1918 he led the Italian troops in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, and in his famous bollettino della Vittoria (Victory Address) he communicated the rout of the Austrian army and success of the Italians.

Read more...

Did you know...?

Major topics

Theatres Main events Specific articles Participants See also

Prelude:
Causes
Sarajevo assassination
July Ultimatum

Main theatres:
Western Front
Eastern Front
Italian Front
Middle Eastern Theatre
Balkan Theatre
Atlantic Theatre

Other theatres:
African Theatre
Pacific Theatre

General timeline:
WWI timeline

1914:
German invasion of Belgium
Battle of Liège
Battle of Tannenberg
Invasion of Serbia
First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of Arras
Battle of Sarikamish
Battle of the Vistula River
Battle of Łódź (1914)
1915:
Mesopotamian campaign
Gallipoli Campaign
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Defense of Van (1915)
Great Retreat (Russian)
Italian Campaign
Conquest of Serbia
1916:
Erzurum Offensive
Battle of Verdun
Lake Naroch Offensive
Trebizond Campaign
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Jutland
Brusilov Offensive
Conquest of Romania
Great Arab Revolt
1917:
Capture of Baghdad
Second Battle of Arras
Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of Caporetto
Conquest of Palestine
1918:
Spring Offensive
Battle of Sardarabad
Hundred Days Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Armistice with Germany
Armistice with Ottoman Empire

Military engagements
Naval warfare
Air warfare
Cryptography
Poison gas
Railways
Technology
Trench warfare
Partition of Ottoman Empire

Civilian impact and atrocities:
Armenian Genocide
Assyrian genocide
Greek genocide

Aftermath:
Aftermath
Casualties
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Paris Peace Conference
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of St. Germain
Treaty of Neuilly
Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Lausanne
League of Nations

Entente Powers
 Russian Empire
France French Third Republic
 British Empire
  » United Kingdom United Kingdom
  » Australia Australia
  » Canada Canada
  »  India
  » New Zealand New Zealand
  »  South Africa
Kingdom of Italy Italy
Kingdom of Romania Romania
 United States
Kingdom of Serbia Serbia
Portugal Portugal
Republic of China (1912–1949) Republic of China
Empire of Japan Japan
Belgium Belgium
 Montenegro
Greece Greece
Armenia Armenia
more…

Central Powers
German Empire German Empire
 Austria-Hungary
 Ottoman Empire
Kingdom of Bulgaria Bulgaria

A war to end all wars
Female roles
Literature
Total war
Spanish flu
Veterans

Contemporaneous conflicts:
Mexican Revolution (1910-20)
First Balkan War (1912-13)
Second Balkan War (1913)
Maritz Rebellion (1914-15)
Easter Rising (1916)
Pancho Villa Expedition (1916-17)
Russian Revolution (1917)
Russian Civil War (1917–21)
Finnish Civil War (1918)
North Russia Intervention (1918–19)
Greater Poland Uprising (1918–19)
Polish–Soviet War (1919-21)
Irish War of Independence also known as the Anglo-Irish War (1919–21)
Turkish War of Independence also known as the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Irish Civil War (1922–23)

Things you can do

From the World War I task force of the Military history WikiProject:

Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed
Adriatic Campaign of World War IAtlantic U-boat campaign of World War IBalkans Campaign (World War I)Battle of Belleau WoodBattle of Gully RavineBattle of PozièresBattle of Sari BairEastern Front (World War I)Italian Front (World War I)Robert NivelleSerbian Campaign of World War ISouth-West Africa CampaignLanding at Suvla BayMax von Boehn (General)Johannes von EbenNaval operations in the Dardanelles CampaignNaval warfare in the Mediterranean during World War IScottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service
Requested articles 
Bombardment of SamogneuxSrem offensive (1914)Otto von Lauenstein deGeorg Fuchs (General) deGötz von König deBlack Sea Campaign (World War I)Battle of Augustów (1914)Battle of the NeteBattle of MusallaBattle of Qasr-i-ShirinBattle of QomBattle of HamadanOccupation of TabrizAffair of Umm at TubalBattle of al-SamnBattle of NamacurraMakombe rebellionBarue uprisingEttore MambrettiPhilippe Henri Joseph d'AnselmePaul LebloisAuguste Clément GérômeHristo BurmovPanagiotis GargalidisGeorgios LeonardopoulosKonrad von HippelHermann von ZiegesarPaul von Kneussl
Expansion needed
Battle of BehobehoBattle of Cambrai (1918)Battle of CaporettoBattle of Courtrai (1918)Battle of DodomaBattle of DutumiBattle of KaheBattle of Kiawe BridgeBattle of Kibata (1916)Battle of Kibata (1917)Battle of KidodiBattle of KilosaBattle of KimbarambaBattle of Krithia VineyardBattle of LukiguraBattle of the Lys (1918)Battle of MpotonaBattle of NambanjeBattle of MahiwaBattle of MatamondoBattle of MlaliBattle of MorogoroBattle of MkalamoBattle of Mouquet FarmBattle of NarungombeBattle of the NekBattle of NjinjoOccupation of German SamoaBattle of RumboSamarrah OffensiveBattle of Scimitar HillBattle of SharqatBattle of St. Quentin CanalBattle of UteteBattle of WamiBattle of the WazzirDemilitarisationFirst Battle of Villers-BretonneuxSecond Battle of KrithiaSecond Battle of KutSecond Battle of the IsonzoSecond Battle of MorlancourtThird Battle of KrithiaThird Battle of the IsonzoFifth Battle of the IsonzoSeventh Battle of the IsonzoNinth Battle of the IsonzoTenth Battle of the IsonzoOperation Marne-RheimsJoseph B. SanbornRobert Kosch de
Images needed
Add an article here!
Merging needed
Fiction based on World War I -> World War I in popular culture
Citations needed
Spring OffensiveHundred Days OffensiveAsian and Pacific theatre of World War I1st Canadian Tunnelling CompanyBattle of Chunuk Bair
Translation needed 
de:Schlacht in den Karpaten (Large battle in the Carpathians) • fr:Mémorial Interallié

Featured content

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database