Portal:World War I

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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. Template:/box-footer

Selected event

The 1916 Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the First World War, with more than one million casualties, and also one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The Allied forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 25-mile (40 km) front north and south of the River Somme in northern France. One purpose of the battle was to draw German forces away from the Battle of Verdun; however, by its end the losses on the Somme had exceeded those at Verdun. While Verdun would bite deep in the national consciousness of France for generations, the Somme would have the same effect on generations of Britons. The battle is best remembered for its first day, 1 July 1916, on which the British suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead — the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army to this day. As terrible as the battle was for the British Empire troops who suffered there, it naturally affected the other nationalities as well. One German officer famously described it as "the muddy grave of the German field army." By the end of the battle, the British had learnt many lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreplaceable losses. British official historian Sir James Edmonds stated, "It is not too much to claim that the foundations of the final victory on the Western Front were laid by the Somme offensive of 1916." For the first time the home front in Britain was exposed to the horrors of modern war with the release of the propaganda film The Battle of the Somme, which used actual footage from the first days of the battle.

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Selected equipment

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Trench knives are either purpose-made weapons, or are made from cut-down (shortened) bayonets or swords, and intended for close-quarter fighting, the design originating in the trench warfare of the First World War. They were particularly useful for trench raiding operations, along with other mêlée weapons.

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Selected quote

"Our life here is truly hellish. Fortunately, my soldiers are very brave and tougher than the enemy. What is more, their private beliefs make it easier to carry out orders which send them to their death. They see only two supernatural outcomes: victory for the faith or martyrdom. Do you know what the second means? It is to go straight to heaven. There, the houris, God's most beautiful women, will meet them and will satisfy their desires for all eternity. What great happiness!"
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 20 July 1917

Selected picture

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David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson at the Versailles conference, 1919.

Photo credit: Captain Jackson of the US Army Signal Corps

Selected biography

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Faisal bin Hussein (Arabic: فيصل بن حسين‎‎; May 20, 1883 – September 8, 1933) was for a short while king of Greater Syria in 1920 and king of Iraq from 1921 to 1933. He was a member of the Hashemite dynasty. In 1916, on a mission to Constantinople he visited Damascus twice. On one of these visits, he received the Damascus Protocol, he joined with the Al-Fatat group of Arab nationalists, and his father became king of Hijaz. Faisal also worked with the Allies during World War I in their conquest of Transjordan and the capture of Damascus, where he became part of a new Arab government in 1918. He led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and, with the support of the knowledgeable and influential Gertrude Bell, argued for the establishment of independent Arab emirates for the area previously covered by the Ottoman Empire. His role in the Arab Revolt was described by T. E. Lawrence in "Seven Pillars of Wisdom", although the accuracy of that book has been criticised by historians.

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FA A.E.J. Collins

FA Arthur Ernest Percival

FA Arthur Henry Cobby

FA Battle of Arras (1917)

FA Battleship

FA Blair Anderson Wark

FA Dreadnought

FA Edgar Towner

FA Edwin Taylor Pollock

FA Finnish Civil War

FA Francis Harvey

FA Frank Hubert McNamara

FA George Jones (RAAF officer)

FA German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I

FA Harry Murray

FA HMS Royal Oak (1914)

FA Issy Smith

FA James Newland

FA John Whittle

FA Kaiser class battleship

FA List of First World War Victoria Cross recipients

FA Pre-dreadnought battleship

FA Prince Louis of Battenberg

FA Raymond Brownell

FA Richard Williams (RAAF officer)

FA Second Ostend Raid

FA Stanley Goble

FA Ronald Niel Stuart

FA Thomas Crisp

FA Western Front (World War I)

FA William Bostock

FA Władysław Sikorski

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