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 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

Vickers machine gun in the Battle of Passchendaele - September 1917.jpg

The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled .303 inch (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by the Vickers Limited company, originally for the British Army. The machine gun typically required a six to eight-man team to operate: one to fire, one to feed the ammunition, and the rest to help carry the weapon, its ammunition and spare parts.

The gun had a reputation for great solidity and reliability. Ian V. Hogg, in Weapons & War Machines, describes an action that took place in August, 1916, during which the 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps fired their ten Vickers guns continuously for twelve hours. They firing a million rounds between them, using one hundred new barrels, without a single breakdown. "It was this absolute foolproof reliability which endeared the Vickers to every British soldier who ever fired one."

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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

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.

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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

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
Battle of the Vistula River
Battle of Łódź (1914)
1915:
Mesopotamian campaign
Gallipoli Campaign
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Defense of Van (1915)
Great Retreat (Russian)
Italian Campaign
Conquest of Serbia
1916:
Erzurum Offensive
Battle of Verdun
Lake Naroch Offensive
Trebizond Campaign
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Jutland
Brusilov Offensive
Conquest of Romania
Great Arab Revolt
1917:
Capture of Baghdad
Second Battle of Arras
Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of Caporetto
Conquest of Palestine
1918:
German Spring Offensive
Battle of Sardarabad
Hundred Days Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Armistice with Germany
Armistice with Ottoman Empire

Military engagements
Naval warfare
Air warfare
Cryptography
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 Third Republic
 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
 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:
Mexican Revolution (1910-20)
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)

Things you can do

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

Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed
Adriatic Campaign of World War IAtlantic U-boat campaign of World War IBalkans Campaign (World War I)Battle of Belleau WoodBattle 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 IScottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service
Requested articles
Bombardment of Samogneux • Götz von König de • Black Sea Campaign (World War I) • Battle of the Nete • Battle of Musalla • Battle of Qasr-i-Shirin • Battle of Qom • Battle of Hamadan • Occupation of Tabriz • Affair of Umm at Tubal • Battle of Namacurra • Makombe rebellion • Auguste Clément Gérôme • Konrad von Hippel • Hermann von Ziegesar • Josef Freiherr Roth von Limanowa-Lapanów • Adolf Freiherr von Rhemen zu Barenfels • Hugo Martiny von Malastów • Battle of Kyurdamir • Army Detachment Scheffer • Egon Graf von Schmettow • Emile GaletArmy Group Boroević (currently a redirect) • Max Hofmann (general)
Expansion needed
Battle of BehobehoBattle of Cambrai (1918)Battle of CaporettoBattle of Courtrai (1918)Battle of DodomaBattle of DutumiBattle of KaheBattle of Kibata (1916)Battle of Kibata (1917)Battle of KidodiBattle of KilosaBattle of KimbarambaBattle of Krithia VineyardBattle of LukiguraBattle of the Lys (1918)Battle of NambanjeBattle of MahiwaBattle of MatamondoBattle of MlaliBattle of MorogoroBattle of MkalamoBattle of Mouquet FarmBattle of NarungombeBattle of NjinjoOccupation of German SamoaBattle of RumboSamarra offensiveBattle of Scimitar HillBattle of SharqatBattle of St. Quentin CanalBattle of UteteBattle of WamiDemilitarisationFirst 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 deSecond attack on Anzac CoveBarue uprisingYser FrontEttore MambrettiUkrainian Sich Riflemen
Images needed
Battle of Robănești
Merging needed
Add an article here!
Citations needed
Hundred Days OffensiveAsian and Pacific theatre of World War I1st Canadian Tunnelling Company &bull Landing at Suvla BayBattle of Gully RavineBattle of KumkaleVictory Medal (Romania)Battle of Augustów (1914)
Translation needed
de:Schlacht in den Karpaten (Large battle in the Carpathians) • fr:Mémorial Interallié

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