World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand.
The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.
Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock. The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.
Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.
World War 1
During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.
On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sung Christmas carols to each other. A football match was played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.
Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.
Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.
Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.
Francis Ferdinand assassinated at Sarajevo
Kaiser William II promised German support for Austria against Serbia
Austria declared war on Serbia
Germany declared war on Russia
Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Germany had to implement the Schlieffen Plan.
Britain declared war on Germany
The BEF started its retreat from Mons. Germany invaded France.
Russian army defeated at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes.
Battle of the Marne started
First Battle of Ypres
Turkey entered the war on Germany’s side. Trench warfare started to dominate the Western Front.
The first Zeppelin raid on Britain took place
Britain bombarded Turkish forts in the Dardanelles
Allied troops landed in Gallipoli
The “Lusitania” was sunk by a German U-boat
Italy declared war on Germany and Austria
The Germans captured Warsaw from the Russians
September 25th Start of the Battle of Loos
The Allies started the evacuation of Gallipoli
Conscription introduced in Britain
Start of the Battle of Verdun
British forces surrendered to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia
Battle of Jutland
Start of the Brusilov Offensive
Start of the Battle of the Somme
End of the Brusilov Offensive
First use en masse of tanks at the Somme
Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister
Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign started
USA declared war on Germany
France launched an unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front
Start of the Third Battle at Ypres
Battle of Caporetto – the Italian Army was heavily defeated
Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front
British tanks won a victory at Cambrai
Armistice between Germany and Russia signed
Britain captured Jerusalem from the Turks
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between Russia and Germany.
Germany broke through on the Somme
Marshall Foch was appointed Allied Commander on the Western Front
Germany started an offensive in Flanders
Second Battle of the Marne started. The start of the collapse of the German army
The advance of the Allies was successful
Turkish forces collapsed at Megiddo
Germany asked the Allies for an armistice
Germany’s navy mutinied
Turkey made peace
Austria made peace
Kaiser William II abdicated
Germany signed an armistice with the Allies – the official date of the end of World War One.
Post-war – 1919
Peace conference met at Paris
The surrendered German naval fleet at Scapa Flow was scuttled.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Germans
Many remember, what is sometimes called the “Forgotten War” , that ended sixty years ago on July 27, 1953. It would be another six years before my birth, but my father, alive and serving in the United States Marine Corp, fought in and survived the Korean War, as well as, World War ll.
Why is it that the Korean War, lasting from 1950-1953, is sometimes referred to, as the Forgotten War, despite the devastating loss of life, two million deaths for the Chinese and North Koreans and 450,360 for the U.S.-led United Nations coalition?One answer is that the other wars eclipsed it. There was World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the recent conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Korean War began at 0400 hours on Sunday, June 25, 1950. The United States, sanctioned by the United Nations, fought to contain the North Korean communist from invading the South.
An important outcome of this overlooked war, is that we learned a new definition of victory. Victory, in the form of a divided country, gave an example to follow, when we needed a way out, of our long endured quagmire, in the jungles of the Vietnam War.
President Abraham Lincoln delivered, on November 19, 1863, a military dedication during the American Civil War. His dedication at a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was to become one of the most famous speeches of all time.
Though only 272 words long, Lincoln’s address moved the public in its reminder of the necessity of the Union’s fight to win. Just four months prior to his speech the Battle of Gettysburg was waged. It was the bloodiest battle fought in the Civil War killing more than 45,000 men in just three days time and the point at which General Robert E. Lee retreated from Gettysburg in defeat. It was the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory.
Proceeding Lincoln’s words, that took him only a few minutes to deliver, the crowds listened for two hours as Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, delivered his wordy and meticulously prepared dedication. And though a fine orator, Everett’s many words were eclipsed by Lincoln’s brief, yet brilliant and moving address.
This was what he said in its conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Source: This Day In History: 11/19/1863 – Lincoln Gettysburg Address. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:16, November 19, 2012, from http://www.history.com , http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/11/19.
On October 8th, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.
It was on June 4, 1926, that Congress passed a resolution to observe the anniversary of the end of World War I, Nov. 11, 1918.
In 1938, before the holiday was known as Veterans Day, Congress made Nov. 11 a legal holiday called Armistice Day.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs’, Eric. K. Shinseki, message for Veterans Day 2012 can be viewed on the VA website.
In his message he talks about the VA “renewing our country’s historic covenant with its Veterans”. He spoke about how, with 21st century technology and a committed workforce, the VA is dedicated to making strides in its efficiency of providing benefits for those who have served in the armed forces.
An article on the Rock Hill Herald Online states that Nelson Enterprise Technology Services (NETS), has been awarded a contract having a start day of Oct. 15, 2012. The NETS job is the modernization of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs large IT infrastructures. It is a huge undertaking in that the VA serves 500,000 American service veterans and their families.
NETS has been involved in the designing, developing, and deploying of a world-class optical network for the administration, so that this newly awarded contract will be in conjunction with projects that are already underway.