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Portal:World War I

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The World War I Portal

The badly shelled main road to Bapaume.jpg

World War I (abbreviated WWI), also known as the First World War, the Great War and The War to End War was a global military conflict that took place mostly in Europe between 1914 and 1918. The main combatants were the Allied Powers, led by France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, Serbia, Belgium, and later Italy, Romania and the United States, who fought against the Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, the German Empire, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey).

Much of the fighting in World War I took place along the Western Front, within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications (separated by a "no man's land") running from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. On the Eastern Front, the vast eastern plains and limited rail network prevented a trench warfare stalemate from developing, although the scale of the conflict was just as large. Hostilities also occurred on and under the sea and — for the first time — in the air. More than nine million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and millions more civilians perished.

The war caused the disintegration of four empires: the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian. Germany lost its overseas empire, and states such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were created, or recreated, as in the cases of Lithuania and Poland. This contributed to a decisive break with the world order that had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars, which was modified by the mid-19th century’s nationalistic revolutions. The results of World War I would also be important factors in the development of World War II just over two decades later.

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ArrasFrance.February1919.ws.jpg

The Battle of Arras was an offensive during World War I by forces of the British Empire between 9 April and 16 May 1917. British, Canadian, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras.

At this stage of the war, the Western Front was a continuous line of trenches stretching from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. With minor adjustments caused by the ebb and flow of asaults and counter-assaults, this corresponded roughly to the final line of confrontation in the last phase of the war of movement of 1914. From behind barbed wire and fortifications, about 100 German divisions faced about 150 French and British Empire divisions in seeming deadlock. In its simplest terms, the Allied objective from early 1915 onwards was to break through the German defences into the open ground beyond and engage the numerically inferior German army in open battle.

The Battle of Arras was planned in conjunction with the French High Command, who were planning a massive attack (the Nivelle Offensive) about eighty kilometres to the south. This had the stated aim of ending the war in forty-eight hours. At Arras, the British Empire's immediate objectives were more modest: (i) to draw German troops away from the ground chosen for the French attack and (ii) to take the German-held high ground that dominated the plain of Douai.

When the battle officially ended on 16 May, British Empire troops had made significant advances, but had been unable to achieve a major breakthrough at any point. New tactics had been battle-tested, particularly in the first phase, and had demonstrated that set-piece assaults against heavily fortified positions could be successful. This sector then reverted to the stalemate that typified most of the war on the Western Front.

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Poison gas attack.jpg

The use of poison gas in World War I was a major military innovation. The gases used ranged from disabling chemicals such as tear gas and the more severe, mustard gas to killing agents like phosgene. This chemical warfare was a major component of the first global war and first total war of the 20th century. The killing capacity of gas was limited — only 3% of combat deaths were due to gas — however, the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high and gas remained one of the soldiers' greatest fears. In that it was possible to develop effective countermeasures to gas, it was unlike most other weapons of the period. Hence in the later stages of the war as the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was diminished. This widespread use of these agents of chemical warfare, and wartime advances in the composition of high explosives, gave rise to an occasionally expressed view of World War I as "the chemists' war".

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"You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees."
Kaiser Wilhelm II, August 1914

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French 87th Regiment Cote 34 Verdun 1916.jpg

French soldiers of the 87th Regiment, 6th Division, at Côte 304, (Hill 304), northwest of Verdun, 1916.

Photo credit: Public domain image, original photographer unknown.

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KaiserBill2.jpg

William II, German Emperor or Wilhelm II (born Frederick William Albert Victor; German: Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Victor) (27 January 1859–4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia (German: Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preußen), ruling both the German Empire and Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918.

The role of William II in German history is sometimes a controversial issue in historical scholarship. Initially seen as an important, but embarrassing figure in German history until the late 1950s, for many years after that, the dominant view was that he had little or no influence on German policy leading up to the First World War. This has been challenged since the late 1970s, particularly by Professor John C. G. Röhl who saw William II as the key figure in understanding the recklessness and subsequent downfall of Imperial Germany.

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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
1915:
Mesopotamian campaign
Gallipoli Campaign
Italian Campaign
Conquest of Serbia
1916:
Battle of Verdun
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Jutland
Brusilov Offensive
Conquest of Romania
Great Arab Revolt
1917:
Second Battle of Arras
Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of Caporetto
Capture of Baghdad
Conquest of Palestine
1918:
Spring Offensive
Hundred Days Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Armistice with Germany
Armistice with Ottoman Empire

Military engagements
Naval warfare
Air warfare
Cryptography
People
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
 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 (1912–49) 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:
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)

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

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Adriatic Campaign of World War IAtlantic U-boat campaign of World War IBalkans Campaign (World War I)Battle of Belleau WoodBattle of Chunuk BairBattle 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 I
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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 uprising
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Asian and Pacific theatre of World War IBattle 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 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 RamadiBattle 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 IsonzoThird 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
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Schlacht in den Karpaten (Large battle in the Carpathians)

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