Portal:World War I

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 all Wars 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.

Selected event


The Battle of Tannenberg in 1914 was a decisive engagement between the Russian Empire and the German Empire in the first days of The Great War, fought by the Russian First and Second Armies and the German Eighth Army between August 17 and September 2, 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army. A series of follow-up battles kept the Russians off-balance until the spring of 1915. The battle is notable particularly for a number of rapid movements of complete corps by train, allowing the single German Army to present a single front to both Russian Armies.


Selected equipment

British Mark IV Tadpole tank.jpg

The Tank was one of the most significant innovations of the First World War. The fighting conditions on the Western Front during the war prompted the British Army to begin research into a self-propelled vehicle which could cross trenches, crush barbed wire, and would be impervious to fire from machine-guns. Having already seen a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car used by Royal Naval Air Service in 1914, and aware of schemes prompted by Major Ernest Swinton to create a tracked fighting vehicle, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill sponsored the Landships Committee to oversee development of this new weapon. The Landships Committee created the first successful prototype tank, nicknamed Little Willie, which was tested by the British Army in September 1915. Although initially termed landships by the Admiralty, the initial vehicles were colloquially referred to as water carriers, later shortened to tanks, to preserve secrecy. The word tank was used to give the workers the impression they were constructing tracked water containers for the British army in Mesopotamia, and the name became official in December 1915.


Selected quote

"It must be a peace without victory...Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand. Only a peace between equals can last."
Woodrow Wilson, 22 January 1917

Selected picture

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.

Selected biography

Hunter Liggett.jpg

Hunter Liggett (March 21, 1857– December 30, 1935) was a general of the United States Army. His forty-two years of service spanned the period from the Indian campaigns to trench warfare. Liggett was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. After his graduation from West Point as an infantry lieutenant in 1879, field service in the American West, the Spanish–American War, and the Philippine–American War honed his skills as a troop leader. Success in brigade commands in Texas and in the Philippines led to his selection as commander of the 41st Infantry Division in France in 1917. When his division was disestablished, he took command of I Corps. Under Liggett's leadership, the corps participated in the Second Battle of the Marne and in the reduction of the Saint-Mihiel Salient. In October 1918, as commander of the U.S. First Army, he directed the final phases of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the pursuit of German forces until the armistice. After commanding the U.S. Third Army also known as the Army of Occupation on the Rhine bridgeheads, Hunter Liggett retired in 1921.


Did you know...?

  • ...that the Lake Tanganyika passenger ferry MV Liemba began its life as a German warship in World War I, spent eight years on the bottom of the lake, and later portrayed the Empress Luisa in the film The African Queen?

Major topics

Theatres Main events Specific articles Participants See also

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

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

Military engagements
Naval warfare
Air warfare
Poison gas
Trench warfare
Partition of Ottoman Empire

Civilian impact and atrocities:
Armenian Genocide
Assyrian genocide
Greek genocide

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 (1912–1949) Republic of China
Empire of Japan Japan
Belgium Belgium
Greece Greece
Armenia Armenia

Central Powers
German Empire German Empire
 Ottoman Empire
Kingdom of Bulgaria Bulgaria

A war to end all wars
Female roles
Total war
Spanish flu

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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