Pomeranian Voivodeship, Pomorskie Region, or Pomerania Province, is a voivodeship, or province, in north-western Poland. The provincial capital is Gdańsk; the voivodeship was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former voivodeships of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Słupsk, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is bordered by West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, Greater Poland and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships to the south, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to the east, the Baltic Sea to the north, it shares a short land border with Russia, on the Vistula Spit. The voivodeship comprises most of Pomerelia, as well as an area east of the Vistula River; the western part of the province, around Słupsk, belonged to Farther Pomerania, while Pomerelia and the eastern bank of the Vistula belonged to the historical region of Prussia. The central parts of the province are known as Kashubia, named after the Kashubian minority. A province of rich cultural heritage; the Tricity urban area, consisting of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, is one of the main cultural and educational centres of Poland.
Gdańsk and Gdynia are two of the major Polish seaports, the first erected by Mieszko I of Poland in the Middle Ages, the latter built in the interwar period. Amongst the most recognisable landmarks of the region are the historic city centre of Gdańsk filled with Gothic and Baroque masterpieces, the Museum of the National Anthem in Będomin, located at the birthplace of Józef Wybicki and politician, author of the national anthem of Poland, the largest medieval churches of Poland and the Malbork Castle; the voivodeship includes the narrow Hel Peninsula and the Polish half of the Vistula Spit. Other tourist destinations include Wejherowo, Jurata, Łeba, Władysławowo, Krynica Morska, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Bytów and many fishing ports and lighthouses; the name Pomerania derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea". The voivodeship contains 42 towns; these are listed below in descending order of population. Pomeranian Voivodeship is divided into 20 counties: 4 city counties, 16 land counties.
These are further divided into 123 gminas. The counties are listed below in order of decreasing population. SKM Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport Obwodnica Trójmiejska Autostrada A1 Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna Protected areas in Pomeranian Voivodeship include two National Parks and nine Landscape Parks; these are listed below. Słowiński National Park Tuchola Forest National Park Coastal Landscape Park Iława Lake District Landscape Park Kashubian Landscape Park Słupia Valley Landscape Park Tricity Landscape Park Tuchola Landscape Park Vistula Spit Landscape Park Wdydze Landscape Park Zaborski Landscape Park Information about Pomeranian Voivodeship - official website Economy brochure The Pomorskie Voivodeship; the Greatest Tourist Attractions - Brochure Pomerania Development Agency Co
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast. With a population of 464,254, Gdańsk is the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the capital of Kashubia, it is the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area. The city is located on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay, in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity, with a population approaching 1.4 million. Gdańsk is the largest city of Kashubia. With its origins as a Polish stronghold erected in the 980s by Mieszko I of Poland, the city's history is complex, with periods of Polish rule, periods of Prussian or German rule, periods of autonomy or self-rule as a "free city". In the early-modern age Gdańsk was a royal city of Poland, it was considered the wealthiest and the largest city of Poland, prior to the 18th century rapid growth of Warsaw. Between the world wars, the Free City of Danzig, having a majority of German population, was in a customs union with Poland and was situated between German East Prussia and the so-called Polish Corridor.
Gdańsk lies at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, which drains 60 percent of Poland and connects Gdańsk with the Polish capital, Warsaw. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Gdańsk is a notable industrial center. In the late Middle Ages it was an important seaport and shipbuilding town and, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a member of the Hanseatic League. In the interwar period, owing to its multi-ethnic make-up and history, Gdańsk lay in a disputed region between Poland and the Weimar Republic, which became Nazi Germany; the city's ambiguous political status was exploited, furthering tension between the two countries, which would culminate in the Invasion of Poland and the first clash of the Second World War just outside the city limits. In the 1980s it would become the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule in Poland and helped precipitate the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Gdańsk is home to the University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology, the National Museum, the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, the Museum of the Second World War, Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the European Solidarity Centre. The city hosts St. Dominic's Fair, which dates back to 1260, is regarded as one of the biggest trade and cultural events in Europe; the city's name is thought to originate from the Gdania River, the original name of the Motława branch on which the city is situated. The name of a settlement was recorded after St. Adalbert's death in AD 997 as urbs Gyddanyzc and was written as Kdanzk in 1148, Gdanzc in 1188, Danceke in 1228, Gdansk in 1236, Danzc in 1263, Danczk in 1311, Danczik in 1399, Danczig in 1414, Gdąnsk in 1656. In Polish the modern name of the city is pronounced. In English the usual pronunciation is or; the German name, "Danzig", is pronounced as. The city's Latin name may be given as either Gedanum or Dantiscum. Other former spellings of the name include Dantzig and Dantzic.
On special occasions the city is referred to as "The Royal Polish City of Gdańsk". In the Kashubian language the city is called Gduńsk. Kashubians use the name "Our Capital City Gduńsk" or "The Kashubian Capital City Gduńsk"; the first written record thought to refer to Gdańsk is the vita of Saint Adalbert. Written in 999, it describes how in 997 Saint Adalbert of Prague baptised the inhabitants of urbs Gyddannyzc, "which separated the great realm of the duke from the sea." No further written sources exist for the 11th centuries. Based on the date in Adalbert's vita, the city celebrated its millennial anniversary in 1997. Archaeological evidence for the origins of the town was retrieved after World War II had laid 90 percent of the city center in ruins, enabling excavations; the oldest seventeen settlement levels were dated to between 980 and 1308. It is thought that Mieszko I of Poland erected a stronghold on the site in the 980s, thereby connecting the Polish state ruled by the Piast dynasty with the trade routes of the Baltic Sea.
Traces of buildings and housing from 10th century have been found in archaeological excavations of the city. The site was ruled as a duchy of Poland by the Samborides, it consisted of a settlement at the modern Long Market, settlements of craftsmen along the Old Ditch, German merchant settlements around St Nicholas's church and the old Piast stronghold. In 1186, a Cistercian monastery was set up in nearby Oliwa, now within the city limits. In 1215, the ducal stronghold became the centre of a Pomerelian splinter duchy. At that time the area of the city included various villages. From at least 1224/25 a German market settlement with merchants from Lübeck existed in the area of today's Long Market. In 1224/25, merchants from Lübeck were invited as "hospites" but were soon forced to leave by Swantopolk II of the Samborides during a war between Swantopolk and the Teutonic Knights, during which Lübeck supported the latter. Migrat
A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term "powiat" is most translated into English as "county" or "district". A powiat is part of the voivodeship or province. A powiat is subdivided into gminas. Major towns and cities, function as separate counties in their own right, without subdivision into gminas, they are termed "city counties" and have the same status as former county boroughs in the UK. The other type of powiats are termed "land counties"; as of 2018, there were 380 powiat-level entities: 314 land counties, 66 city counties. For a complete alphabetical listing, see "List of Polish counties". For tables of counties by voivodeship, see the articles on the individual voivodeships; the history of Polish powiats goes back to the second half of the 14th century. They remained the basic unit of territorial organization in Poland in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, until the latter's partitioning in 1795.
In the 19th century, the powiats continued to function in the part of Poland, incorporated into the Russian Empire —the equivalent of the Russian "uyezd" and the Ukrainian "povit"—and, in the German-governed Grand Duchy of Poznań, as the Polish equivalent of the German "Kreis". After Poland regained independence in 1918, the powiats were again the second-level territorial units. Powiats were abolished in 1975 in favor of a larger number of voivodeships, but were reintroduced on 1 January 1999; this reform created 16 larger voivodeships. Legislative power within a powiat is vested in an elected council, while local executive power is vested in an executive board headed by the starosta, elected by the council; the administrative offices headed by the starosta are called the starostwo. However, in city counties these institutions do not exist separately – their powers and functions are exercised by the city council, the directly elected mayor, the city offices. In some cases a powiat has its seat outside its own territory.
For example, Poznań County has its offices in Poznań, although Poznań is itself a city county, is therefore not part of Poznań County. Powiats have limited powers, since many local and regional matters are dealt with either at gmina or voivodeship level; some of the main areas in which the powiat authorities have decision-making powers and competences include: education at high-school level healthcare public transport maintenance of certain designated roads land surveying issuing of work permits to foreigners vehicle registration. The Polish the name of a county, in the administrative sense, consists of the word powiat followed by a masculine-gender adjective. In most cases, this is the adjective formed from the name of the town or city where the county has its seat, thus the county with its seat at the town of Kutno is named powiat kutnowski. If the name of the seat comprises a noun followed by an adjective, as in Maków Mazowiecki, the adjective will be formed from the noun only. There are a few counties whose names are derived from the names of two towns, from the name of a city and a geographical adjective, or a mountain range.
There is more than one way to render such names into English. A common method is to translate the names as "", as in the examples above, thus in most cases the English name for a powiat consists of the name of the city or town, its seat, followed by the word County. Note that different counties sometimes have the same name in Polish, since the names of different towns may have the same derived adjective. For example, the counties with their seats at Grodzisk Wielkopolski and Grodzisk Mazowiecki are both called powiat grodziski, those with seats at Brzeg and Brzesko are both called powiat brzeski. In English this ambiguity either does not occur or can be avoided by using the complete name of the seat. Bankauskaite, V. et al. Patterns of decentralization across European health systems, in R. B. Saltman, V. Bankauskaite and K. Vrangbæk, "Decentralization in health care", London: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. County. Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Uyezd
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
Kwidzyn is a town in northern Poland on the Liwa river in the Powiśle region, with 40,008 inhabitants. It has been a part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, was in the Elbląg Voivodeship, it is the capital of Kwidzyn County. In 1233, the Teutonic Knights built the Burg Marienwerder and established the town of Marienwerder the following year. In 1243, the Bishopric of Pomesania received both the town and castle from the Teutonic Order as fiefs, the settlement became the seat of the Bishops of Pomesania within Prussia; the town was populated by artisans and traders, originating from towns in the northern parts of the German empire. A Teutonic knight, Werner von Orseln, was murdered in Marienburg in 1330, he was among the first to be buried in the newly erected cathedral of the town. St. Dorothea of Montau lived in Marienwerder from 1391 until her death in 1394; the Prussian Confederation was founded in the town on March 14, 1440. After the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War, the western part of their monastic state of the Teutonic Knights would by annexed by the Polish kingdom under the title of Royal Prussia.
The Bishopric of Ermland situated in the centre of the monastic state was brought with its Polish name of Warmia under Polish royal control shortly after that date. The remainder, known as East Prussia, to which Marienwerder belonged, remained an independent but weakened state. In 1525, East Prussia was transformed into a secular and Lutheran duchy under the last Teutonic Order Hochmeister Albrecht von Preußen, a political foundation only possible with consent of the Polish king; the price had to be paid by becoming a Polish fief. In 1618 the ducal rights were inherited by the Brandenburg branch of the House of Hohenzollern In in 1657 the Brandenburg dukes severed ties with the Polish crown and in 1701 elevated their realm to the sovereign Kingdom of Prussia; the town of Marienwerder meanwhile had become the capital of the East Prussian District of Marienwerder. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, resulting in the reunification of Prussia, the new Prussian Province of West Prussia was founded and the Marienwerder district was taken out of the Province of East Prussia, integrated into West Prussia and enlarged with other parts of West Prussia.
By the enlargement of its administrative functions, the population of the town started to grow and in 1885, it numbered 8,079. This population was composed of Lutheran inhabitants, many of whom were engaged in trades connected with the manufacturing of sugar and brewing as well as dairy farming, fruit growing and the industrial construction of machines. In 1910, according to the Prussian state census, the district of Marienwerder district had 68,446 inhabitants, 37.8% of which spoke Polish as their mother tongue. Marienwerder town had 25,871 inhabitants, 9.8% of them spoke Polish as their mother tongue. In 1919, after World War I, the Marienwerder district was divided; the parts west of the Vistula were incorporated into the Polish Second Republic according to the Treaty of Versailles. Those parts contained 25,313 inhabitants; the parts east of the Vistula to which the town Marienwerder-Kwidzyn) belonged, numbered 43,113 inhabitants, 87.6% of which spoke German and these expressed their national preference in anticipation of the definitive allocation and drawing of new national borders.
A plébiscite was needed to draw this new state border between Germany and the newly erected Polish republic. During the East Prussian plebiscite, some 95% of the population of the contested eastern parts - the districts of Marienwerder-Kwidzyn and Allenstein-Olsztyn - voted to remain in East Prussia, in Germany; the vote was boycotted by the ethnic Polish minority, confronted by the persecution of Polish activists by German nationalists. On November 10, 1937, when the Nazi regime was in power in Germany, a Polish private high school was opened in Kwidzyn, it was forcibly closed down on August 25, 1939. On January 30, 1945 during World War II, the town was captured by the Soviet Red Army; the Red Army established a war hospital in the town for 20,000 people. The town centre was pillaged by Soviet soldiers. After World War II, the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement, under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union. Most of the people of the town and district were Germans who fled or were expelled by Polish authorities, were to be replaced with Poles, some of whom had themselves been expelled from the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
In 1947, Ukrainians from the Soviet border regions were forced to settle in the area as a result of Operation Vistula. Burned parts of the town's centre were dismantled to provide material for the rebuilding of Warsaw after its destruction in the Warsaw Uprising. Kwidzyn is located on the east bank of the Vistula river 70 kilometres south of Gdańsk and 145 kilometres southwest of Kaliningrad; the Kwidzyn Castle is a ruined 14th century Brick Gothic Ordensburg castle of the Teutonic Order, namely the Bishops of Pomesania. A large cathedral built between 1343 and 1384 is connected to the castle, it contains the tombs of three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights as well as numerous bishops. A bridge connects the castle to a sewer tower; this tower used to be by a river. Kwidzyn has a Catholic church and a cathed
World War I
World War I 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", 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, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It