The World War I Portal

World War I or the First World War (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918) was a global conflict fought between two coalitions: the Allies and the Central Powers. Fighting took place throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific, and parts of Asia. One of the deadliest wars in history, it resulted in an estimated 9 million soldiers dead and 23 million wounded, plus another 5 million civilian deaths from various causes. Millions more died as a result of genocide, and the war was a major factor in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Increasing diplomatic tension between the European great powers reached a breaking point on 28 June 1914, when a Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria-Hungary held Serbia responsible, and declared war on 28 July. Russia came to Serbia's defence, and by 4 August, Germany, France, and Britain were drawn into the war, with the Ottoman Empire joining in November of that same year. Germany's strategy in 1914 was to first defeat France, then transfer forces to the Russian front. However, this failed, and by the end of 1914, the Western Front consisted of a continuous line of trenches stretching from the English Channel to Switzerland. The Eastern Front was more dynamic, but neither side could gain a decisive advantage, despite costly offensives. As the war expanded to more fronts, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Greece and others joined in from 1915 onward. (Full article...)

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1st Scottish Horse troopers in a redoubt at Duidar, Summer 1916

The Battle of Katia, also known as the Affair of Qatia by the British, was an engagement fought east of the Suez Canal and north of El Ferdan Station, in the vicinity of Katia and Oghratina, on 23 April 1916 during the Defence of the Suez Canal Campaign of World War I. An Ottoman force led by the German General Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein made a surprise attack on three and a half squadrons of the British 5th Mounted Brigade, which was widely scattered to the east of Romani. The mounted brigade had been ordered to the area to protect the new railway and water pipeline being built from Kantara on the Suez Canal, as this infrastructure extended out past the Canal's zone of defences into the Sinai Peninsula towards Romani. Kress Von Kressenstein's attack was completely successful, decimating the equivalent of little more than a regiment. On the same day, an associated Ottoman attack on Duidar, very close to the Suez Canal, failed when it met with strong British opposition.

Kress von Kressenstein's force had been active in the area since the First Suez Offensive of early 1915, when three columns attacked the Canal along the northern, central, and southern routes across the Sinai Peninsula. The growing Imperial strength made attacks on the Suez Canal difficult, and ended the dominance of the Ottoman force in the area. The Ottoman Empire's attacks on 23 April demonstrated their intention to continue opposing the British Empire in the region.

However, the Imperial reaction to these attacks was to double the strength of their forces. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, were sent to Katia and Romani and established a strong Imperial presence over the contested ground. Soon after, the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade was also sent forward, and the 52nd (Lowland) Division arrived at Romani not long after. At the beginning of August, the Battle of Romani was fought over much of the same ground as that at Katia. (Full article...)

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A Gamma-Gerät in 1914
The 42 cm kurze Marinekanone L/12, or Gamma-Gerät ("Gamma Device"), was a German siege gun built by Krupp. The Gamma-Gerät's barrel diameter was 42 cm (17 in), making it one of the largest artillery pieces ever fielded. The Gamma-Gerät began development in 1906 and entered service with the Imperial German Army in 1911. The Gamma-Gerät was the most powerful piece of artillery fielded by the Imperial German Army, but due to its extreme weight was mostly immobile and could only be emplaced near permanent rail lines. As a result, the Gamma-Gerät had limited effectiveness on the Western and Eastern Fronts of World War I. (Full article...)

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Joseph Maxwell c. 1919

Joseph Maxwell, VC, MC & Bar, DCM (10 February 1896 – 6 July 1967) was an Australian soldier, writer, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of British and Commonwealth armed forces. Often described as Australia's second most decorated soldier of the First World War, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 8 February 1915, and served at Gallipoli before being transferred to the Western Front. In just over twelve months he was commissioned and decorated four times for his bravery.

An apprentice boilermaker before the war, Maxwell returned to Australia in 1919 and worked as a gardener. In 1932, he published Hell's Bells and Mademoiselles, a book written in collaboration with Hugh Buggy about his war experiences. Attempting to enlist for service during the Second World War, Maxwell was rejected on the grounds of his age before enlisting under an alias in Queensland; his identity was discovered, and after a short period in a training position, he sought discharge. In 1967, aged 71, he died of a heart attack. (Full article...)

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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 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
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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 • Army Group Boroević (currently a redirect) • Max Hofmann (general)
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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
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Battle of Robănești
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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)Draft:Vilno-Dvinsk offensive
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de:Schlacht in den Karpaten (Large battle in the Carpathians) • fr:Mémorial Interallié

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