World War One: 10 interpretations of who started WW1
As nations gear up to mark 100 years since the start of World War One, academic argument still rages over which country was to blame for the conflict.
The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World (book review)
"The Marne was the most significant land battle of the twentieth century," writes Holger Herwig. Most military historians agree: if the French counterattack along the Marne River had failed in 1914, Germany would have gained hegemony over the European continent. When the Great War started, the first months revealed industrialized warfare with casualties previously unimaginable. The first battles went mostly in Germany's favor - and by September it was clear: France would fight, fiercely, on the Marne River. General Ferdinand Foch, the commander of the French 9th Army, wired: "Hard pressed on my right, my center is falling back, impossible to move, situation excellent. I attack."
Forging the Anzac Tradition: The Untold Story :: 9-part documentary
Over 2 years ago Alan Young chanced on an article describing how the awful Anzac losses on the Western Front had been overshadowed in Australia's consciousness by the fateful Gallipoli campaign. Since then he has dedicated his time to making a documentary series that tells the story of those men who fought on the Western Front. While the success of books such as Les Carlyon's The Great War have led to a better understanding of the losses on mainland Europe, Young hopes that "Forging the Anzac Tradition: The Untold Story" will bring a greater awareness of the bloody Western Front to a wider audience.
Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Francis Ferdinand (Article no longer available from the original source)
In 1914, the Balkan Peninsula was known as the "Powder Keg" of Europe. The unrest in this region was so tense that people knew it was only a matter of time before war erupted. On June 28, 1914 Austro-Hungarian Archduke Francis Ferdinand was visiting the Bosnia-Herzegovina. A secret society of Serbian nationals known as the Black Hand, was meeting to arrange for the assassination. They sent three men to assassinate him... In order to avoid the crowds, the governor decided that the car should go different route, but he forgot to tell the driver, who turned right into the sights of the misplaced assassin.
RMS Lusitania - Torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat
The RMS Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat on her 202nd crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. The incident played a role in the US entry into WWI. President Woodrow Wilson, who was officially promising to keep the US out of the war, may have falsely claimed that the Lusitania was a wrongful victim, if indeed the ship had been carrying munitions as the Germans claimed. On May 7, 1915, already within sight of the coast of Southern Ireland, it was spotted by the submarine U-20, commanded by Captain Walther Schweiger. Before the voyage, a secret warning, given to the wealthiest passengers, reported of U-boat activity and advised not to travel.
The first New Zealand Expeditionary Force casualty of WW1 (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ludolph West, who died on August 25, 1914, is to be formally recognised as the first New Zealand Expeditionary Force casualty of World War I, in spite of never leaving the country. Ludolph Edwin Wynn West - known at Palmerston North Boys' High School as Wynn - signed on for service and camped at Awapuni with the main body of the regional field artillery regiment. War had been declared on August 4. New Zealand and other Empire nations immediately offered troops. Within a week of entering camp, Gnr West, 19, died of pneumonia.
Technology Helps the Allied Forces Win World War One
The leader of American forces in Europe was General John J. Pershing. General Pershing used a weapon new to the world of war: air power. Airplanes were used first simply as 'eyes in the sky'. They discovered enemy positions so ground artillery could fire at them. Then they were used as fighter planes. They carried guns to shoot down other planes. Finally, planes were built big enough to carry bombs. General Pershing also used another new weapon of war: tanks. He put these inventions together for his battle plan against Germany.
British Working Class Enthusiasm for War
Few historians contest the notion that the outbreak of the First World War saw a surge of popular enthusiasm in Britain that fuelled enlistment in the Army on a massive scale. The vast majority of these volunteers came from the working classes. Scholars have largely ignored the often complex motivations of these individuals. In "The British Working Class and Enthusiasm for War", Silbey seeks to explain the reasons behind the willingness of British workers to volunteer for military service from the beginning of the conflict until the imposition of conscription in 1916.
Origins Of The First World War
The changes that took place in the map of Europe between 1859 and 1878 increased the opportunities for friction between the major powers and inflamed the resentments of minor ones. This process had been accelerated by the intense economic rivalry of the post-free trade era and the bitter competition for overseas colonies, and by the growth of a new kind of nationalism, which became ideological and encouraged suspicion of other nations. Imperialist rivalries aroused nationalist passions in an age of mass politics. Political élites in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia–hoped to consolidate their authority at home with an aggressive foreign policy.
The First Shot: 22 August 1914
The first shots of WW1 occurred near a small Belgian village. Richard van Emden recounts a little-told prologue to a war that would last for years. On 21 August 1914, a squadron of 120 cavalrymen belonging to the 4th Dragoon Guards were sent forward to reconnoitre the land ahead of the advancing British Expeditionary Force. Among the cavalrymen was Benjamin Clouting. Unbeknown to him, he was about to be involved in the first engagement undertaken by British soldiers on continental Europe since the Battle of Waterloo, 99 years earlier. In an interview given shortly before he died, Ben recalled the first contact with the enemy and the opening shot.
Causes of World War One (Article no longer available from the original source)
Was World War One a triumph of democracy over imperial expansion or an exercise in military futility? Dr Gary Sheffield examines the origins of the conflict. Germany and Austria-Hungary (the Central Powers) are seen, at the very least, as creating the conditions for conflict. Some go much further, blaming Germany for planning and waging a deliberate war of aggression. Under Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive stance. In the summer of 1914 the Germans were prepared, at the very least, to run the risk of causing a large-scale war.
The war to end all wars
World War I was a war without parallel - all previous wars were eclipsed by its scale of destruction. It was a struggle between Europe's great powers, which were grouped into two hostile alliances. The number of men mobilised by both sides totalled over 65 million. When the fighting was finally over, no-one could tell exactly how many had been killed, but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield - and another 20 million were wounded. The USA also intervened in European affairs for the first time, with more than 100,000 American troops killed helping to guarantee an allied victory.