Portal:World War I

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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. Template:/box-footer

Selected event

The Battle of Verdun, fought from 21 February to 19 December 1916 around the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in northeast France, was one of the most important battles in World War I on the Western Front. The battle was fought between the German and French armies.

It resulted in more than a quarter of a million deaths and about half a million wounded. It was the longest battle and one of the bloodiest in World War I. In both France and Germany it has come to represent the horrors of war, similar to the Somme in Britain.

The battle popularised the phrase "Ils ne passeront pas" ("They shall not pass"), uttered by Robert Nivelle, but often incorrectly attributed to Pétain.


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Selected equipment

Webley-Mk-IV-p1030100.jpg

The Webley Revolver (also known/referred to as the Webley Break-Top Revolver or Webley Self-Extracting Revolver) was, in various marks, the standard issue service pistol for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth from 1887 until 1963.

The Webley service revolver was most notably used in World War I (as the Webley Mk VI), although it had actually been adopted in 1887 (as the Webley Mk I) and risen to prominence during the Boer War of 1899-1902 (as the Webley Mk IV), and were of the "top-break" variety (breaking open much like a double-barrel shotgun to be reloaded), with the advantage of also being self-extracting—the act of breaking the revolver open also operated the extractor, removing the spent cartridges from the cylinder.

Firing the hard-hitting .455 Webley cartridge, the Webley service revolvers are the most powerful of the top-break revolvers ever produced. Although the .455 calibre Webley is no longer in military service, the .38/200 Webley Mk IV variant is still sporadically in use as a police sidearm in a number of countries.

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Selected quote

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
Edward Grey, July 1914

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Submarine U-14 (LOC) (6358166395).jpg

The German submarine U-14 arriving in port.

Photo credit: Photographer unknown, image scanned froma public domain text by the Great War Primary Documents Archive.

Selected biography

Ferdinand Foch pre 1915.jpg

Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (October 2, 1851 – March 20, 1929) was a French soldier, military educator and author credited for possessing "the most original and subtle mind in the French Army." He served as general in the French Army during World War I and made Marshal of France in its final year, 1918.

He was chosen as supreme commander of the allied armies during World War I, on March 26, 1918, five days after the start of the Spring Offensive, the final attempt by Germany to win the war. He served until November 11, 1918, when he accepted the German Surrender.

He advocated harsh peace terms that would make Germany unable to ever pose a threat to France again. His word after the Treaty of Versailles, “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years”, would prove prophetic.

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FA A.E.J. Collins

FA Arthur Ernest Percival

FA Arthur Henry Cobby

FA Battle of Arras (1917)

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FA Dreadnought

FA Edgar Towner

FA Edwin Taylor Pollock

FA Finnish Civil War

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FA George Jones (RAAF officer)

FA German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I

FA Harry Murray

FA HMS Royal Oak (1914)

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FA Kaiser class battleship

FA List of First World War Victoria Cross recipients

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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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