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Who Started WWI And Why: A Brief World War 1 Summary

who started ww1
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World War 1, also known as the War to end all Wars, came into force in 1914 with two of the world’s largest powers fighting against each other, the Allied Forces and the Central Powers. But, who started WWI and who won WWI? What is the reason behind the initiation of the Modern War which led to a catastrophe? Know everything about who fought in WWI, where did WWI take place, and complete World War 1 summary.

While the Central Powers recorded an initial victory, the involvement of the United States against Germany in the year 1917 resulted in the collapse of the Central Force. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, thus entering World War I, three years after the conflict began. This article will walk you through the pages of history and will unleash before you the unknown sides of WWI. 

Who Started WWI – The Death Of Franz Ferdinand

soldiers sitting during world war 1

Before the actual breaking of World War 1, disturbances and disagreements over the Balkans region resulted in the breaking of the World Powers into two largest forces: The Central Forces and The Allied Powers. While the people of the Balkan region, Bosnia and Herzegovina voted to join Serbia, Franz Ferdinand wanted Austria-Hungary to gain more powers in the Balkans area.

Additionally, the triple alliance of 1882 and the triple entente of 1907 also contributed their fair share to the rising tensions over Europe. But, a major incident during the year 1914 in June shook the whole world and resulted in the breaking of World War 1. 

While his visit to Sarajevo in Bosnia, Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro – Hungarian empire was shot dead along with his wife, Sophie, by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, who was afraid of the growing powers of the Austro Hungarian empire, who dreamt of increasing their influence over the Balkans! 

Other historians claim that the Royal Cousins are also to be blamed for the disastrous WWI! The King of Britain, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were cousins whose sinking relationships negatively affected the relationship between the three countries who were desperate to initiate the War. While Britain and Russia joined the Allied Forces, Germany supported the Central Powers.

Fired by the assassination of Ferdinand, Austro Hungarian empire asked for help from Germany who was bound to support Austria and Hungary according to the triple alliance of 1882.

On the contrary, Russia, along with France and Britain, joined hands with Serbia to end the growing powers of Austria-Hungary over the European region! 

The Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire), fully confident about their victory in the war, sent a rude ultimatum to Serbia which was not accepted. In response to their ultimatum, Serbia, with the aid of the Allied Forces, declared war against the Central Powers! 

Who Fought In WW1 – The Involvement Of The US 

This section will take you on a journey of the Modern World War and will summarise World War 1 to extend your horizon of knowledge about the bygone era. But, before demonstrating the World War 1 summary, let us quickly know who fought in WWI and where did WWI take place.

The two largest forces of Europe, the Central Powers, and the Allied Forces joined the devastating World War 1 – The first Modern War which shaped the society post-war and destroyed European civilization. 

The Central Powers comprised the Ottoman Empire, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Germany signed the triple alliance in 1882, which stated that if any member countries were attacked by its rivals, the existing members of the triple alliance should extend their helping hands to them. Similarly, according to the rules of the triple entente, Russia and its alliance, the French Kingdom, Great Britain, later joined by the US-supported Serbia and joined the Allied Forces! 

But, where did WWI take place? Why did the US later join the Allied Forces against Germany? 

The Timeline Of World War 1 – A Brief Summary Of  WWI 

Supported by Austria- Hungary, Germany devised the Schlieffen Plan to gain victory against the Allied Forces. According to the scheme, Germans fought the war on both the Western and the Eastern Fronts. On the Western Front, Germany attacked France through neutral Belgium. In response to the attack, Britain declared war against Germany as Britain was responsible for protecting Belgium. During the initial days of the War, the Germans were heavily growing their weaponry collection and thus managed to capture a large part of the French Kingdom. Though the Allied Powers could drive back the Central Powers, both sides faced huge losses during the Battle Of Marne! Again, the Battle of Somme saw a huge loss of life. According to reports, about a million casualties were found dead alone! 

While the Germans were successful in engaging the French on the Western Front, they gained acceleration on the Eastern Front. Attacking the Russian Army at the Battle of Tannenberg, it managed to gain victory against Russia! 

The Walking Away Of Russia From The Allied Forces 

Conquered by the Central Powers on the Eastern Front, the political and economic condition of Russia witnessed the Russian Revolution of 1917. With an increase in poverty and lack of food, disturbances started brewing in Russian society. This series of events led to the downfall of the Czarian Rule and later, Russia walked away from World War 1!

Who Fought In WWI – The Involvement Of the US 

While the British forces did not wish to join World War 1, an event forced them to join hands with the Allied Powers against the Central Forces. 

The German attack on the waters around the British Isles instigated hatred against the Central Forces by the US population. In a horrific incident, the German U-boats attacked a few US ships, carrying passengers and goods, and killed many innocents which instigated anger, and the US declared war against the German.

Also Read – Facts About Vietnam War: Communism Vs Western Influence

The Second Battle Of Marne – Catalyst For The Victory Of The Allied Forces 

Before answering who won WWI and when did WWI end, let us understand the Second Battle Of Marne which acted as a catalyst for the increasing power of the Allied Army.

With the victory over the Eastern Front, Germany again launched an attack on the French forces. But, this time, the Allied Forces were further strengthened by the involvement of the US, thus, the Allied Army successfully pushed back the German forces and three days later, launched an attack over the Central Powers! 

While the Central Forces were near death, the Allied Powers could gain much of the French land that was captured during the early years of  WWI! 

Who Won WWI – The Harsh Treaty Of Versailles 

Signing of the Treaty of Versailles

By the end of the war, the Austria-Hungary empire had begun to break down! Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria also signed their armistice and took away their support from the Germans.

In response to the events and afraid of defeat in the war, the Germans started revolting against their Government, which no longer had the power and the capital to sustain the war. In an attempt to end the war, they requested the Allied Forces to sign a peace treaty but they were stupefied by the Treaty of Versailles, which held them accountable for the war-wracked condition of Europe! 

According to the treaty, they could never join the League of Nations and their lands were taken away from them, besides paying for the war’s havoc! 

Also Read – Why American Revolution Happened – Unravelling American Revolution

When Did WWI End? 

The first modern war ended in the eleventh hour of the eleventh month in the year 1918! 

Conclusion – The Cause Of World War II

While it is clear who started WWI and who won WWI, the Central Forces were angered by the Treaty of Versailles which made them economically unstable and poor! While the Allied Forces, especially the French and Russia suffered a huge loss of manpower, Germany was devastated, which later led to the emergence of Hitler and finally WWII! 

While WWI witnessed a huge victory for the Allied Powers, life since then has never been the same again! With the huge loss of casualties and innocents, WWI still holds a black memory in the minds of the survivors!

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