Willys

1920 Willys-Knight advertisement

Willys (pronounced "WILL-iss") was the brand name used by the United States automobile company Willys-Overland Motors, best known for its production of military and civilian Jeeps, during the last century.

History

In 1908, John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 renamed it Willys-Overland Motor Company. From 1912 to 1918 Willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in the United States behind only Ford Motor Company.

The Electric Auto-Lite Company was acquired by John Willys in 1914 and he changed its name to the Willys Corporation in 1917. This became the holding company for Willys-Overland and in 1919, acquired Duesenberg Motors Corporation. In 1936 Willis-Overland Motor Company was reorganized as Willys-Overland Motors. In the 1920s and 1930s, Willys was an unremarkable automaker based in Toledo, Ohio, one of dozens in the U.S. It was one of several bidders when the Department of the Army sought an automaker who could begin rapid production of a lightweight truck based on a prototype designed by American Bantam.

Production of the Willys MB began in 1941 with 8,598 units produced that year, and 359,851 units were produced before production stopped at the conclusion of World War II. The origin of the name "Jeep" has been debated for many years. Some people believe "Jeep" is a phonetic pronunciation of the abbreviation GP, from "General Purpose", that was used as part of the official Army nomenclature. The first documented use of the word "Jeep" was as the name of a charcter in the Popeye cartoon, known for his supernatural abilities (e.g., to walk up walls). It was also the name of a small tractor made by Modine before WW2. Whatever the source, the name stuck and, after the war, Willys filed a trademark claim for the name.

Willys switched production to a civilian version, called a CJ-2A, at the end of the war. The CJ-2A was an MB stripped of obviously military features, particularly the blackout lighting, and with the addition of a tailgate.

Willys struggled to find a market for the unusual vehicle, and made an effort to sell it as an alternative to the farm tractor. Tractors were in short supply having been out of production during the war. Despite this, sales of the "agri-Jeep" never took off, mainly because it was too light to provide adequate draft.

However, the CJ-2A was among the first vehicles of any kind to be equipped with four wheel drive from the factory. It gained popularity among farmers, ranchers, hunters, and others who needed a lightweight vehicle for use on unimproved roads and trails.

In 1946, a year after the introduction of the CJ-2A, Willys produced the Willys "Jeep" Utility Wagon based on the same engine and transmission, with clear styling influence from the CJ-2A Jeep. The next year came a "Jeep" Utility Truck with four wheel drive. In 1948, the Wagon was available in four wheel drive, making it the ancestor of all Sport Utility Vehicles.

Willys later produced the M38 Jeep for the U.S. Army, and continued the CJ series of civilian Jeeps.

1953 Willys advertisement

In 1953 Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland and changed the name to Willys Motor Company. (Ironically, DaimlerChrysler would appropriate the Overland nameplate as a trim package with the 2002-present Jeep Grand Cherokee.) The company changed name again in 1963 to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. The use of the Willys name was discontinued in 1965. The company was sold to American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1970 when Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business. After the sale, AMC used engines it had developed for its other cars in the Jeep products to improve performance and standardize production and servicing.

Renault purchased a major stake in AMC in 1980 and took over operation of the company, producing the CJ series until 1986. Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987 after the CJ had been replaced with the Jeep Wrangler, which had little in common with the CJ series other than outward appearance. DaimlerChrysler still produces Jeep vehicles at the Toledo Complex.

List of Willys vehicles

Willys cars

1922 Willys-Knight Model 20 in the Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Willys Bermuda (at least in 1955)
  • Willys 77 (1933-1936)
  • Willys Four
  • Willys Six
  • Willys Eight
  • Willys Knight (1914-1933)
  • Willys Americar
  • also many early cars with model numbers

Overland

  • Overland Whippet (1926-1931)
  • Overland Four
  • Overland Six
  • Overland 93
  • Overland 39
  • also many early cars with model numbers

Aero-Willys

  • Aero-Willys JT (1951)
  • Aero-Willys Wing (1952)
  • Aero-Willys Scout (1953)
  • Aero-Willys Lark (1952-1954)
  • Aero-Willys Ace (1952 -1954)
  • Aero-Willys Falcon (1953)
  • Aero-Willys Eagle (1952-1954)
  • Aero-Willys 2600 (1960-1972) or Ford Aero (1955-1975) (Brazil)

Willys-Overland

  • Willys Dauphine (1959-1968), licensed from Renault (Brazil)
  • Willys Gordini (1959-1968), licensed from Renault (Brazil)
  • Willys Itamaraty (Brazil)
  • Willys Interlagos (1962-1967), licensed from Renault. 1500 produced. (Brazil)
  • Willys Executive limousine (Brazil)
  • Willys-Overland Crossley (United Kingdom)

Jeeps

  • Willys MB (1941-1946)
  • Willys CJ2A (1946-1953)
  • Willys Jeep Wagon (1946 - 1965) 300,000 produced.
  • Willys CJ3A (1946 - 1953) 132,000 are produced.
  • Willys Jeep Truck (1947 - 1965) 200,000 are produced..
  • Willys Jeepster (1948 - 1950) 19,000 are produced.
  • Willys M38 (1951 - 1971)
  • Willys CJ3B (1952 - 1968) 155,000 are produced.
  • Willys Jeep CJ5 later Jeep CJ5 (1954 - 1983) 600,000 are produced.
  • Rural Jeep (1958-1967) (Brazil)

Later models were not produced with the Willys name. It was phased out by American Motors, which was itself discontinued by Chrysler. The Jeep name still survives.


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The Jeep name still survives. "We will support Britain to the last man and the last shilling." - Andrew Fisher, Australian Prime Minister at the outbreak of the war. It was phased out by American Motors, which was itself discontinued by Chrysler. "In war there are three courses of action open to the enemy, and he usually chooses the fourth." - General Helmuth von Moltke'. Later models were not produced with the Willys name. Sassoon in 'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer'. DaimlerChrysler still produces Jeep vehicles at the Toledo Complex. "In war-time the word patriotism means suppression of truth." - S.

Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987 after the CJ had been replaced with the Jeep Wrangler, which had little in common with the CJ series other than outward appearance. "Gott strafe England" was a common slogan of the German Army, which means "May God punish England". Renault purchased a major stake in AMC in 1980 and took over operation of the company, producing the CJ series until 1986.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
- Canadian lieutenant colonel John McCrae, from the poem "In Flanders Fields". After the sale, AMC used engines it had developed for its other cars in the Jeep products to improve performance and standardize production and servicing. So, forward to glory! For King and Homeland! Long live the king! Long live Belgrade!" — major Dragutin Gavrilovic, to defenders of Belgrade in First World War. The company was sold to American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1970 when Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business. Therefore, you no longer have to worry for your lives - they do not exist anymore.

The use of the Willys name was discontinued in 1965. Our regiment has been sacrificed for the honor of Belgrade and the Fatherland. (Ironically, DaimlerChrysler would appropriate the Overland nameplate as a trim package with the 2002-present Jeep Grand Cherokee.) The company changed name again in 1963 to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. "Soldiers! Heroes! The supreme command has erased our regiment from its records. In 1953 Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland and changed the name to Willys Motor Company. The old world never recovered from the shock." - Edmond Taylor, in "The Fossil Monarchies". Army, and continued the CJ series of civilian Jeeps. "The First World War killed fewer victims than the Second World War, destroyed fewer buildings, and uprooted millions instead of tens of millions - but in many ways it left even deeper scars both on the mind and on the map of Europe.

Willys later produced the M38 Jeep for the U.S. And the silence! It was so still that I could almost hear the beat of the butterflies' wings." - a British officer, 1919. In 1948, the Wagon was available in four wheel drive, making it the ancestor of all Sport Utility Vehicles. It was eerie to see them. The next year came a "Jeep" Utility Truck with four wheel drive. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell. In 1946, a year after the introduction of the CJ-2A, Willys produced the Willys "Jeep" Utility Wagon based on the same engine and transmission, with clear styling influence from the CJ-2A Jeep. Most remarkable of all was the appearance of many thousands of white butterflies which fluttered around.

It gained popularity among farmers, ranchers, hunters, and others who needed a lightweight vehicle for use on unimproved roads and trails. Instead of a wilderness of ground torn up by shell, the ground was a garden of wild flowers and tall grasses. However, the CJ-2A was among the first vehicles of any kind to be equipped with four wheel drive from the factory. The place was scarcely recognisable. Despite this, sales of the "agri-Jeep" never took off, mainly because it was too light to provide adequate draft. "Yesterday I visited the battlefield of last year. Tractors were in short supply having been out of production during the war. The term "First World War," implying an event distinct from a "Second World War" has fallen into disfavour by some scholars, who regard World War I as merely the first phase of a three-decade long war spanning the period 1914–1945.*.

Willys struggled to find a market for the unusual vehicle, and made an effort to sell it as an alternative to the farm tractor. World War I has also been called "The Great War" (a title previously used to refer to the Napoleonic Wars) or sometimes "the war to end all wars" until World War II. The CJ-2A was an MB stripped of obviously military features, particularly the blackout lighting, and with the addition of a tailgate. These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or particularly harshly affected by the war, such as central Europe, Russia, Germany, and France. Willys switched production to a civilian version, called a CJ-2A, at the end of the war. Communist and socialist movements around the world drew strength from this theory, enjoying a level of popularity they had never known before. Whatever the source, the name stuck and, after the war, Willys filed a trademark claim for the name. Many people believed that the war heralded the end of the world as they had known it, including the collapse of capitalism and imperialism.

It was also the name of a small tractor made by Modine before WW2. Nihilism grew in popularity. The first documented use of the word "Jeep" was as the name of a charcter in the Popeye cartoon, known for his supernatural abilities (e.g., to walk up walls). Certainly a sense of disillusionment and cynicism became pronounced. Some people believe "Jeep" is a phonetic pronunciation of the abbreviation GP, from "General Purpose", that was used as part of the official Army nomenclature. Others had the opposite reaction, feeling that only strength and military might could be relied on for protection in a chaotic and inhumane world that did not respect hypothetical notions of civilization. The origin of the name "Jeep" has been debated for many years. Pacifism became increasingly popular.

Production of the Willys MB began in 1941 with 8,598 units produced that year, and 359,851 units were produced before production stopped at the conclusion of World War II. Some people were revolted by nationalism and what it had caused and began to work toward a more internationalist world through organizations such as the League of Nations. It was one of several bidders when the Department of the Army sought an automaker who could begin rapid production of a lightweight truck based on a prototype designed by American Bantam. This social trauma manifested itself in many different ways. In the 1920s and 1930s, Willys was an unremarkable automaker based in Toledo, Ohio, one of dozens in the U.S. For the next few years, much of Europe began its mourning, memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns. In 1936 Willis-Overland Motor Company was reorganized as Willys-Overland Motors. The optimism of 1900 was entirely gone and those who fought in the war became what is known as "the Lost Generation" because they never fully recovered from their experiences.

This became the holding company for Willys-Overland and in 1919, acquired Duesenberg Motors Corporation. The experiences of the war led to a sort of collective national trauma afterwards for all the participating countries. The Electric Auto-Lite Company was acquired by John Willys in 1914 and he changed its name to the Willys Corporation in 1917.
. From 1912 to 1918 Willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in the United States behind only Ford Motor Company. Like their British counterparts, Canadians commemorate the war dead on Remembrance Day. In 1908, John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 renamed it Willys-Overland Motor Company. Indeed, many Canadians refer to their country as a nation "forged from fire," as Canadians were respected internationally as an independent nation from the conflagarations of war and bravery.

. Similarly, Anglo-Canadians believe that they proved they were their own country, not just subjects of the British Empire. Willys (pronounced "WILL-iss") was the brand name used by the United States automobile company Willys-Overland Motors, best known for its production of military and civilian Jeeps, during the last century. Anzac Day (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) is thus held in great reverence by many Australians and New Zealanders. Rural Jeep (1958-1967) (Brazil). In Australian and New Zealand popular legend, the First World War is known as the nation's "baptism of fire", as it was the first major war which the newly established countrys fought, and is one of the first cases where Australian troops fought as Australians, not just subjects of the British Empire. Willys Jeep CJ5 later Jeep CJ5 (1954 - 1983) 600,000 are produced. Their four dynasties, the Hohenzollerns, the Habsburgs, the Ottomans, and the Romanovs, who had roots of power back to the days of the Crusades, all fell during or after the war.

Willys CJ3B (1952 - 1968) 155,000 are produced. No other war had changed the map of Europe so dramatically--four empires were shattered: the German, the Austro-Hungarian, the Ottoman and the Russian. Willys M38 (1951 - 1971). The direct consequences of World War I brought many old regimes crashing to the ground, and ultimately, would lead to the end of 300 years of European hegemony in the world. Willys Jeepster (1948 - 1950) 19,000 are produced. The First World War ended with a Europe scarred by trenches, spent resources, and littered with the bodies of the millions who died in battle. Willys Jeep Truck (1947 - 1965) 200,000 are produced.. Dirigible balloons were part of the new found aerial warfare of World War I.

Willys CJ3A (1946 - 1953) 132,000 are produced. The Germans conducted air raids during 1915 and 1916 on England and London with dirigible balloons with the intent of damaging the morale and will to fight of the British and cause aircraft to be reassigned to England away from the front lines. Willys Jeep Wagon (1946 - 1965) 300,000 produced. Blimps and balloons helped contribute to the stalemate of the trench warfare of World War I, and the dirigible balloons contributed to air to air combat among the aircraft to defend the skies for air superiority due to its significant reconnaissance value. Willys CJ2A (1946-1953). Recognized for their value as observer platforms, they were important targets of enemy aircraft; fixed, they were also heavily defended by antiaircraft guns. Willys MB (1941-1946). Balloons commonly had a crew of two with parachutes: upon an enemy air attack on the flammable balloon the balloon crew would parachute out.

Willys-Overland Crossley (United Kingdom). Dirigible balloons were used as stationary reconnaissance points on the front lines. Willys Executive limousine (Brazil). Their first use proved tanks needed infantry support and massed formations, but within a year the British were fielding tanks by the hundreds and showed their potential during the Battle of Cambrai, in November 1917, breaking the Hindenburg Line while capturing 8000 enemy and 100 artillery guns. (Brazil). The infantry was armed mostly with a bolt action magazine rifle, but the machine gun with the ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute stalemated infantry attacks as a defensive weapon; therefore, the British sought a solution and created the tank. 1500 produced. Trenches, the machine gun, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and modern artillery with fragmentation shells helped stalemate the battle lines of World War I by making massed infantry attacks deadly for the attacker.

Willys Interlagos (1962-1967), licensed from Renault. This was not as successful as intended, but as a start the tanks proved their value against the machine gun. Willys Itamaraty (Brazil). The first use of tanks was during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. Willys Gordini (1959-1968), licensed from Renault (Brazil). The first tank was nicknamed Mother. Willys Dauphine (1959-1968), licensed from Renault (Brazil). Tanks were introduced in World War I by the British and created mechanized warfare that dominated the rest of the 20th century.

Aero-Willys 2600 (1960-1972) or Ford Aero (1955-1975) (Brazil). Most of these would be forgotten in the interwar period until World War II revived the need. Aero-Willys Eagle (1952-1954). To extend their operations, the Germans proposed supply submarines (1916). Aero-Willys Falcon (1953). The deaths of British merchantmen and the invulnerability of U-boats led to the development of several countermeasures: depth charges (1916), hydrophones (passive sonar, 1917), blimps, hunter-killer submarines (HMS R-1, 1917), ahead-throwing weapons, & dipping hydrophones (both abandoned 1918). Aero-Willys Ace (1952 -1954). Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare during the First Battle of the Atlantic, they were employed by the Kaiserliche Marine in a strategy of defeating the British Empire through a tonnage war.

Aero-Willys Lark (1952-1954). U-boats (submarines) were used in combat shortly after the war began. Aero-Willys Scout (1953). Strategic bombing aircraft were created principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins to this end as well. Aero-Willys Wing (1952). Initial uses consisted primarily of reconnaissance, though this developed into ground-attack and fighter duties as well. Aero-Willys JT (1951). Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily during the First World War.

also many early cars with model numbers. Effective countermeasures to gas were found in gas masks and hence in the later stages of the war, as the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was diminished. Overland 39. Only a small proportion of total war casualties were caused by gas, but it achieved harassment and psychological effects. Overland 93. Gases used ranged from tear gas to disabling chemicals such as mustard gas and killing agents like phosgene. Overland Six. Chemical warfare was a major distinguishing factor of the war.

Overland Four. The First World War also saw the use of chemical warfare and aerial bombardment, both of which had been outlawed under the 1907 Hague Convention. Overland Whippet (1926-1931). Artillery was responsible for the largest number of casualties during the First World War. also many early cars with model numbers. Such battles include Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Marne, Cambrai, Somme, Verdun, and Gallipoli. Willys Americar. Many of the deadliest battles in history occurred during the First World War.

Willys Knight (1914-1933). Much of the war's combat involved trench warfare, where hundreds often died for each metre of land gained. Willys Eight. This time, millions of soldiers, both volunteers and conscripts fought on all sides, with Kitchener's Army being a notable all volunteer force. Willys Six. The First World War was a clash of 20th century technology with 19th century tactics. Willys Four. In the aftermath of World War I, post-war economic depression and nationalist (retributionist) views were a prominent aspect of German public sentiment, an important cornerstone of what would become Nazi ideology.

Willys 77 (1933-1936). It has also been proposed that the experience of the war established with German youths a militaristic and fascist mindset that made it possible for the Nazi party to take control of Germany two decades later. Willys Bermuda (at least in 1955). The popularity of the Dolchstoßlegende later helped to garner support for the movement for National Socialism. Jews and communists quickly became targets of accusation. The "Dolchstoßlegende" (literally dagger push legend) suggested that Germany had been "stabbed in the back" by those not committed to the cause.

It was proposed that Germany had been betrayed from within. Accounts from soldiers at the front, as well as the statements made by influential figures such as Ludendorff, seemed to confirm the theory that Germany had not really lost the war. At the same time, the nature of Germany's defeat became another topic of controversy. Germany's new democratic government became associated with the Treaty in the public eye.

The severity of the Treaty helped to raise suspicions about the Weimar Republic. Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden pushed through a Military Service Act that caused the Conscription Crisis of 1917. This issue was particularly explosive in Canada, and opened a political gap between the French-Canadians, who claimed their true loyalty was to Canada and not the British Empire, and the English-speaking majority which saw the war as a duty to both Empire and Canada, and a way of demonstrating leadership and high-contribution to the British Empire. As the war slowly turned into a war of attrition, conscription was implemented in some countries.

Since the German public had been under the impression that the war was a defensive measure all along, the harsh terms of the agreement did little to discredit this theory. For the defeated, the post-war world was an even greater disappointment, for the Treaty of Versailles was a bitter pill to swallow after the armistice. Instead of feeling jubilation, the victors entered a period of mourning. For combatants and non-combatants alike, the war had been justified for reasons that future generations simply would not be able to understand without seeing the war in the context of the "spirit of 1914".

In reality, the war failed to deliver on both sides. At the outbreak of the war, it was a widely held belief that the war would usher in a new age of humanity. The impotence of military leaders, who could not, did not, adapt to modern warfare, and the breakdown of the three empires and subsequent redrawing of borders after the war created a leadership void that gave an extra impulse to new ideologies, including Bolshevism (in Russia), socialism (in the trenches) and Nazism (after the war). The longlasting proximity of the trenches often created feelings of comradery across the lines.

In several places, shots were fired for form only, aimed to miss, even at executions for desertion. The pointlessness of many (suicide) actions had caused a loss of respect for the leaders. From the first year, there had been spontaneous armistices (such as the 1914 Christmas truce), uprisings and mutinies (such as in France in May 1917) on both sides. This aided the struggle for voting rights for women.

At the same time, industry needed to replace the lost laborers sent to war. With the death or absence of the primary wage earner, women were forced into the workforce in unprecedented numbers, at least in many of the Entente powers. Families were altered by the departure of many men. Here, however, the long term effects were clouded by the defeat of these governments.

At the same time, the war strained the abilities of the formerly large and bureaucratized governments such as in Austria-Hungary and Germany. New taxes were levied, and laws enacted, all designed to bolster the war effort, many of which have lasted to this day. In order to harness all the power of their societies, new government ministries and powers were created. One of the most dramatic effects was the expansion of governmental powers and responsibilities in Britain, France, the United States, and the Dominions of the British Empire.

Many consider World War I to have been the first modern war, a total war where the civilian populations were deliberately endangered as a direct tactic of war, which has continued in all subsequent wars. One of the most distinguishing impacts of the war was that the reality of totality set in. This circular system collapsed in 1931 and the loans were never repaid. After 1919, the US demanded repayment of these loans, which, in part, were funded by German reparations, which, in turn, were supported by American loans to Germany.

Wilson was on the verge of cutting off the loans in late 1916, but with war imminent with Germany, he allowed a massive increase in US government lending to the Allies. To pay for purchases in the US, the UK cashed in its massive investments in American railroads, then began borrowing heavily on Wall Street. All nations had increases in the government's share of GDP, surpassing fifty percent in both Germany and France and nearly reaching fifty percent in the UK. In Austria, for example, most of the hogs were slaughtered and, at war's end, there was no meat.

The shrinkage in GDP in Austria, Russia, France, and the Ottoman Empire reached 30 to 40 percent. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased for the main Allies (the UK, Italy, and U.S.), but decreased in France and Russia, in neutral Netherlands, and in the main three Central Powers. Many war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versaille treaty was signed, 1919; by contrast, most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the Armistice of 1918; however, the formal ending of all hostilities was not until 1923. However, the latter treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife and a final peace treaty was signed by the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey, at Lausanne on 24 July 1923.

Germain, Trianon, Neuilly and Sèvres. A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months until it was finally ended by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 with Germany and the following treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and The Ottoman Empire signed at St. Canadian George Lawrence Price is traditionally regarded as the last soldier killed in the Great War. At 1100 hours that day ("eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"), a ceasefire came into effect and the opposing armies on the Western Front began to withdraw from their positions.

On 11 November, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiègne in France where Germans had previously dictated terms to France, ending the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. The Kaiser fled the next day to the Netherlands, which granted him political asylum (see Weimar Republic for details). Following the outbreak of the German Revolution, a Republic was proclaimed on 9 November, marking the end of the monarchy, but not of the German Empire, as the Republic still called officially itself "Deutsches Reich". Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg monarchy and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Armistice with Austria was granted to take effect at three o'clock on the afternoon of November 4. The terms, having been arranged by telegraph with the Entente Authorities in Paris, were communicated to the Austrian Commander, and were accepted. On November 3, Austria-Hungary sent a flag of truce to the Italian Commander to ask an Armistice and terms of peace. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated.

When Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered the German High Seas Fleet to sortie against the Entente's navies, the sailors mutinied in Wilhelmshaven, starting 29 October. Germany requested a ceasefire on 3 October 1918. Bulgaria was the first of the Central Powers to sign an armistice (29 September 1918). The end of the fighting came swiftly.

Imperial Germany had died, and a new Germany had been born: the Weimar Republic. Von Baden then announced that the Kaiser was to abdicate—before the Kaiser had himself made up his mind. However, the matter was taken out of his hands by Philipp Scheidemann, who, on November 9, 1918, declared Germany to be a Republic, from a balcony atop the Reichstag. In the matter of the German monarchy, he was torn between the idea of a constitutional monarchy or complete abolition.

Negotiations for a peace began immediately upon his appointment. Prince Max von Baden was put in charge of the new German government. These politicians had "stabbed Germany in the back"--a self-serving sentiment by Ludendorff that would be later used to great effect by various German patriotic nationalist groups, including the Nazis. Soon after, Ludendorff had a dramatic change of heart and began to claim that the very parties to whom he had handed power had lost Germany the war.

With 5,989,758 German casualties (1,773,700 killed, 4,216,058 wounded), they did just that. Therefore, with Ludendorff handing more power to these parties, they would have the obligation and authority to request an armistice. His reforms would hand power over to the members of the Reichstag—particularly the ruling parties at this time: the centre party, the liberals, and the social democrats. However, some historians believe Ludendorff had an ulterior motive in his plan.

He believed democratization would show the German people that the government was prepared to change, thus reducing the chance of a socialist style revolt, as occurred in Russia in 1917. Although he was a traditionalist conservative, he decided to try and incite a controlled political revolution, by introducing new reforms that "democratized" Germany, while also satisfying the monarchists with the Kaiser's reign continuing unabridged. Since the end of September 1918, Ludendorff had been concocting a political plan for Germany. It was Ludendorff who took the blame for this—the Kaiser dismissed him on 26 October.

Many rebelled and were arrested, refusing to be part of a Naval offensive which they believed to be nothing more than a suicide bid. Nonetheless, word of the impending assault reached sailors at Kiel. Knowing any such action would be vetoed by the government of Max von Baden, Ludendorff decided not to inform him. Naval commander Admiral Scheer and Ludendorff decided to launch a last ditch attempt to restore the "valour" of the German Navy.

The threat of general mutiny was rife. Meanwhile, news of Germany's impending military defeat had spread throughout the German Armed forces. The Allied pressure did not let up until the end of the war. During October, Pershing's artillery continued to unrelentingly pound the exhausted and bewildered Germans, all along the Meuse-Argonne front.

He recommended the latter to senior German officials at a summit in Spa, Belgium on that very same day. Regardless of this, Ludendorff had decided, by October 1, that Germany had two ways out of the War—total annihilation or an armistice. Many tanks were once again breaking down, and those actually operable were rendered useless due to impassable terrain. By the start of October, it was evident that things were not going according to plan for the Allies.

Montfaucon was captured on 27 September; however, failure to take it the day before proved to be one of the most costly mistakes of the entire campaign. This failure allowed the Germans to recover and regroup. 79th Infantry Division, which met stiff resistance at Montfaucon and was unable to progress on the first day of the battle. All divisions were successful in capturing their initial objectives, except the U.S.

The Allied attempt to take the Hindenburg Line (the Meuse-Argonne Offensive) began September 26, as 260,000 American soldiers went "over the top". The town of Bapaume was captured on August 29 and by September 2, the Germans were on the Hindenburg Line, the starting point of the War. The Second German Army was pushed back over a 55km front. It was an overwhelming success for the Allies.

Some 130,000 United States troops were involved, along with soldiers from Third and Fourth British Armies. This Second Battle of the Somme began on August 21. On 15 August 1918, General Haig called a halt and began planning a new offensive in Albert. However, after a few days, the offensive had slowed down— British Empire units had encountered problems with all but seven tanks.

Erich Ludendorff referred to this day as "the Black Day of the German army". The Entente forces advanced as far as twelve kilometres into German- held territory in just seven hours. It involved 414 tanks of the Mark IV and Mark V type, and 120,000 men. The Battle of Amiens developed with III Corps Fourth British Army on the left, the First French Army on the right, and the Canadian and Australian Corps spearheading the offensive in the centre.

The Allied counteroffensive, known as the Hundred Days Offensive began on August 8, 1918. Industrial output had fallen 53% from 1913. Anti-war marches were a frequent occurrence and morale within the army was at low levels. Meanwhile, Germany was crumbling internally as well.

Following this last phase of the ground war in the West, the German Army never again held the initiative. By July 20, 1918, the Germans were back at their Kaiserschlacht starting lines, having achieved nothing. The resulting Entente counterattack marked the Entente's first successful offensive of the war. Next, Operation Marne was launched on 15 July as an attempt to encircle Reims, beginning the Second Battle of the Marne.

Operations Blücher and Yorck were then conducted by the German Army to the south, broadly towards Paris. This was halted, by the Allies, with less significant territorial gains to Germany. Following Operation Michael, Germany launched Operation Georgette to the north against the Channel ports. A supreme command of Entente forces was created at the Doullens Conference, in which British Field Marshal Douglas Haig handed control of his forces over to Ferdinand Foch.

United States divisions, which Pershing had sought to field as an independent force, were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March. German casualties between March and April 1918 were 270,000. Many Germans thought victory to be close; however, after heavy fighting, the German offensive was halted. The initial stages of the offensive were so successful that German Kaiser Wilhelm II declared March 24 a national holiday.

Three super-heavy Krupp railway guns advanced and fired 183 shells on Paris, causing many Parisians to flee the city. The front line had now moved to within 120 kilometres of Paris. German success relied greatly on this tactic. These isolated positions were then destroyed by more heavily armed infantry.

However, in the Spring Offensive, the German Army used artillery briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points, attacking command and logistics areas and surrounding points of serious resistance. Up to this time, attacks had been characterized by long artillery bombardments and continuous-front mass assaults. British and French trenches were defeated using novel infiltration tactics. For the first time since 1914, manoeuvre had returned to the battlefield.

German forces achieved an unprecedented advance of 60 km. It was Ludendorff's intention to split the British Empire and French armies at this point. Operation Michael opened on 21 March 1918, with an attack against British Empire forces, towards the rail junction at Amiens. Before the offensive even began, Ludendorff made what may have been a fatal mistake by leaving the elite Eighth Army in Russia and sending over only a small portion of the German forces from the east to aid the offensive in the west.

The German leadership hoped to strike a decisive blow against the enemy before significant United States forces could be deployed. This Spring Offensive sought to divide the British Empire and French armies in a series of feints and advances. German General Ludendorff drew up plans (codenamed Operation Michael) for a 1918 general offensive along the Western Front. As a result, the AEF suffered a very high rate of casualties in its operations in the summer and fall of 1918.

Without experience in this type of warfare, Pershing ordered the use of frontal assaults, which had been discarded by that time by British Empire and French commanders as too costly in lives of their troops. Pershing, American Expeditionary Force (AEF) commander, resisted breaking up American units and using them as reinforcements for British Empire and French units. However, General John J. Indeed, throughout the war, the American forces were short of their own artillery, aviation, and engineering units.

The British and French wanted the United States to send its infantry to reinforce their troops already on the battlelines. However, it would be some time before the United States would be able to contribute significant manpower to the Western and Italian fronts. Marines were also dispatched to France. Several regiments of U.S.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, a number of destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and several submarines to the Azores and to Bantry Bay, Ireland to help guard convoys. intervention, gambling that they would win the war before America could make an impact on the battlefield. For these reasons, the Germans had made the decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, despite the threat of U.S. Still, the United States had been in a state of full military-related production, aiding the Entente for quite some time, and had also loaned the Allied powers vast sums of money.

Germany calculated that it would be some time before large numbers of American troops could be sent to Europe, and that, in any event, the U-boat offensive would prevent their arrival. Although the American contribution to the war was important, particularly in terms of the threat posed by an increasing US infantry presence in Europe, the United States was never formally a member of the Entente, but an "Associated Power." Significant numbers of American troops only arrived in Europe in the summer of 1918. Wilson hoped a separate peace could be achieved with Austria-Hungary; however, when it kept its loyalty to Germany, the US declared war on Austria-Hungary in December 1917. The House approved the war resolution 373-50, the Senate 82-6.

After further U-boat attacks on American merchant ships, President Woodrow Wilson requested that Congress declare war on Germany, which it did on April 6, 1917 (see: Woodrow Wilson declares war on Germany on Wikisource). This, combined with public indignation over the Zimmermann telegram, led to a final break of relations with the Central Powers. Early in 1917, Germany resumed its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. America's long-standing policy of isolationism left the United States reluctant to involve itself with what was popularly perceived, among the American public, as a European war.

Both sides urgently sought a decisive, rapid victory on the Western Front as they were both fearful of collapse or stalemate. Furthermore, rulers of both the Central Powers and the Entente became more fearful of the threat first raised by Ivan Bloch in 1899, that protracted industrialized war threatened social collapse and revolution throughout Europe. The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war now that American forces were certain to be arriving in increasing numbers, but held high hopes for a rapid offensive in the West, using their reinforced troops and new infantry tactics. With both German reinforcements and new American troops pouring into the Western Front, the final outcome of the war was to be decided in that front.

Ironically, German troop transfers could have been greater if their territorial acquisitions had not been so dramatic. In December, the Central Powers signed an Armistice with Russia, thereby releasing troops from the eastern front for use in the west. Previously British Empire and French armies had operated under separate command systems. The decisive victory of Germany at the Battle of Caporetto led to the Entente decision at the Rapallo Conference to form the Supreme Allied Council at Versailles to co-ordinate plans and action.

Britain was safe from the threat of starvation. After July, the newly introduced convoy system was extremely effective in neutralizing the U-boat threat. Tonnage sunk rose above 500,000 tons per month from February until July, peaking at 860,000 tons in April. In response, in February 1917, the German General Staff (OHL) were able to convince Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war.

The Entente's naval blockade of Germany began to have a serious impact on morale and productivity on the German home-front. Events of 1917 would prove decisive in ending the war, although their effects would not be fully felt until 1918. The Entente troops were told they were invading to defend supplies from German troops; in reality, they were defending them from communist Russians. Troops landed in Archangel (see North Russia Campaign) and in Vladivostok.

The invasion was made with intent to punish the Russians for dropping out of the war and to support the Tsarists in the Russian Revolution. After the Russians dropped out of the war, Entente powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia. At first, the Bolsheviks refused to agree to the harsh German terms, but when Germany resumed the war and marched with impunity across Ukraine, the new government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918, which took Russia out of the war and ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers. The triumph of the Bolsheviks in November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany.

The war, and the government, became more and more unpopular, and the discontent led to a rise in popularity of the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who were able to gain power. This division of power led to confusion and chaos, both on the front and at home, and the army became progressively less able to effectively resist Germany. Petersburg culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak centrist Provisional Government, which shared power with the socialists of the Petrograd Soviet. In March 1917, demonstrations in St.

Meanwhile, internal unrest grew in Russia, as the Tsar remained out of touch at the front, while Empress Alexandra's increasingly incompetent rule drew protests from all segments of Russian political life, resulting in the murder of Alexandra's favourite Rasputin by conservative noblemen at the end of 1916. Allied and Russian fortunes revived only temporarily with Romania's entry into the war on August 27: German forces came to the aid of embattled Austrian units in Transylvania, and Bucharest fell to the Central Powers on December 6. Dissatisfaction with the Russian government's conduct of the war grew despite the success of the June 1916 Brusilov offensive in eastern Galicia against the Austrians, when Russian success was undermined by the reluctance of other generals to commit their forces in support of the victorious sector commander. In the spring of 1915, the Russians were driven back in Galicia, and, in May, the Central Powers achieved a remarkable breakthrough on Poland's southern fringes, capturing Warsaw on August 5 and forcing the Russians to withdraw from all of Poland, an action known as the "Great Retreat".

Russia's less-developed economic and military organization soon proved unequal to the combined might of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, they were driven back from East Prussia by the victories of the German generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914. The Russian initial plans for war had called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and German East Prussia. While the Western Front had reached stalemate in the trenches, the war continued in the east.

This lead to Bulgaria's signing an armistice on September 29, 1918. Only at the very end of the war, after most of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops had been removed, leaving the Front held by the Bulgarians alone, were the Entente powers able to make a breakthrough. Meanwhile, the Salonica Front proved entirely immobile, so much so that it was joked that Salonica was the largest German prisoner of war camp. The King then further prevented official Greek entry into the war for two years, until 1917.

Unfortunately for the Allies, the pro-allied Greek government of Eleftherios Venizelos was dismissed, by the pro-German King Constantine I, before the allied expeditionary force had even arrived. In late 1915, a Franco-British force landed at Salonica in Greece to offer assistance and to pressure the Greek government into war against the Central Powers. The Serbian army retreated into Albania and Greece. After repelling three Austrian invasions during August-December 1914, Serbia fell to combined invasion by Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria, (the latter of which joined the Central Powers in September, 1915) in October 1915.

His hatred for Italy blinded him in many ways, and he made many foolish tactical and strategic errors during the campaigns in Italy. Their betrayal in 1915 enraged him even further. Throughout the war, Austro-Hungarian Chief of Staff, Conrad von Hötzendorf had a deep hatred for the Italians because he had always perceived them to be the greatest threat to his state. In 1918, the Austrians repeatedly failed to break the Italian line, and, decisively defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, surrendered to the Entente powers in November.

On October 26, they launched a crushing offensive that resulted in the victory of Caporetto: the Italian army was routed, but after retreating more than 100km, it was able to reorganize and hold at the Battle of the Piave River. In the fall of 1917, thanks to the improving situation on the Eastern front, the Austrians received large reinforcements, including German assault troops. After this minor victory, the front remained practically stable for over one year, despite several Italian offensives, again all on the Isonzo front. In the summer of 1916, the Italians captured the town of Gorizia.

Beginning in 1915, the Italians mounted 11 major offensives on the other front, the Isonzo front (the part of the border north of Trieste), all repelled by the Austro-Hungarians, who had the higher ground. The Austro-Hungarians counter-attacked in the Altopiano of Asiago towards Verona and Padua in the spring of 1916 (Strafexpedition), but they also made little progress. After an initial Austro-Hungaric strategic retreat to better positions, the front remained mostly unchanged, while Austrian Kaiserschützen and Standschützen and Italian Alpini fought bitter close combat battles during summer and tried to survive during winter in the high mountains. In the Trentino front, the Austro-Hungarian defence took advantage of the elevation of their bases in the mostly mountainous terrain, which was anything but suitable for military offensives.

The Italians went on the offense to achieve their territorial goals. In general, the Italians enjoyed numerical superiority, but were poorly equipped. The Austrian government started negotiations to obtain Italian neutrality in exchange for French territories (Tunisia), but Italy joined the Entente by signing the London Pact in April and declaring war on Austria-Hungary in May 1915; it declared war against Germany fifteen months later. Italy refused to join Germany and Austria-Hungary at the beginning of the war, because their alliance was defensive, while Austria had declared war on Serbia.

Italy had been allied to the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires since 1882, but had its own designs against Austrian territory in the Trentino, Istria and Dalmatia, and maintained a secret 1902 understanding with France, effectively nullifying its alliance commitments. But, in March of 1917 (February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar), the Tsar was overthrown in the February Revolution and the Russian army began to slowly fall apart. Nicholas tried to have a railway built from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories with a view to bringing up more supplies for a new offensive in 1917. In 1917, Russian Grand Duke Nicholas assumed senior control over the Caucasus front.

The Russian commander from 1915 to 1916, General Nikolai Yudenich, with a string of victories over the Ottoman forces, drove the Turks out of much of present-day Armenia, and tragically provided a context for the deportation of the Armenian population in eastern Armenia. Insisting on a frontal attack against Russian positions in the mountains in the heart of winter, Enver lost 86% of his force at the Battle of Sarikamis. He launched an offensive with 100,000 troops against the Russians in the Caucasus in December of 1914. He was not, however, a practical soldier.

Vice-Generalissimo Enver Pasha, supreme commander of the Turkish armed forces, was a very ambitious man, with a dream to conquer central Asia. Russian armies generally had the best of it in the Caucasus. Further to the west in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, initial British failures were overcome with Jerusalem being captured in December 1917 and the Egyptian Expeditionary Force,under Field Marshall Edmund Allenby, going on to break the Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. In Mesopotamia, by contrast, after the disastrous Siege of Kut (1915–16), British Empire forces reorganized and captured Baghdad in March 1917.

In Gallipoli, the Turks were successful in repelling the ANZAC'S (Australian New Zealand Army Core), forcing their eventual withdrawal and evacuation. The British Empire opened another front in the South with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in October–November 1914, due to the secret Turko-German Alliance signed on August 2, 1914, threatening Russia's Caucasian territories and Britain's communications with India and the East via the Suez canal. See the Battle of Vimy Ridge for more information.

It provided the allies with great military advantage and greatly contributed to the identity of Canada. In the British-led Battle of Arras during the 1916 campaign, the only military success was the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps under Sir Arthur Currie. Each battalion held its sector for around a week before moving back to support lines and then further back to the reserve lines before a week out-of-line, often in the Poperinge or Amiens areas. The front contained over 6,000 miles of trenches.

1,000 battalions, each occupying a sector of the line from the North Sea to the Orne River, operated on a month-long four-stage rotation system, unless an offensive was underway. Around 800,000 soldiers from the British Empire were on the Western Front at any one time. Throughout 1915-17, the British Empire and France suffered many more casualties than Germany, but both sides lost millions of soldiers to injury and disease. At the height of the mutiny, 30,000 to 40,000 French soldiers participated.

Red flags were hoisted and the Internationale was sung on several occasions. News of the Russian Revolution gave a new incentive to socialist sentiments among the troops. Futile attempts at more frontal assaults, at terrible cost to the French poilu (infantry), led to mutinies which threatened the integrity of the front line, after the Nivelle Offensive in spring of 1917. Neither side proved able to deliver a decisive blow for the next four years, though protracted German action at Verdun throughout 1916, and the Entente's failure at the Somme, in the summer of 1916, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse.

This breach was closed by Canadian soldiers at both the Second Battle of Ypres (the first time where a colonial force drove back a European power), and Third Battle of Ypres, (where over 5000 Canadian soldiers were gassed to death), earning German respect. In April 1915, the Germans used chlorine gas for the first time, opening a four mile wide hole in the Allied lines when French colonial troops retreated before it. Some hoped to break the stalemate by utilizing science and technology. One consequence was that German trenches were much better constructed than those of their enemy: Anglo-French trenches were only intended to be 'temporary' before their forces broke through German defences.

Britain and France sought to take the offensive, while Germany defended occupied territories. Britain and France soon found themselves facing entrenched German positions from Lorraine to Belgium's Flemish coast. After the First Battle of the Marne, both Entente and German forces began a series of outflanking manoeuvres to try to force the other to retreat, in the so-called Race to the Sea. Neither side ever won a battle with gas, but it made life even more miserable in the trenches and became one of the most feared, and longest remembered, horrors of the war.

By 1915 both sides were using poison gas. Civil War and were often indifferent to massive loss of life (British General Haig's diaries are particularly striking in this respect). General Staffs of European armies had uniformly ignored the lessons of the U.S. Barbed wire was a significant hindrance to massed infantry advances; artillery, now vastly more lethal than in the 1870s, coupled with machineguns, made crossing open ground a nightmarish prospect.

Advances in military technology meant that defensive firepower out-weighed offensive capabilities, making the war particularly murderous, as tactics had failed to keep up. Few were prepared for what they actually encountered at the front. Spurred on by propaganda and nationalist fervor, many eagerly joined the ranks in search of adventure. The perceived excitement of war captured the imagination of many in the warring nations.

International bond and financial markets entered severe crises in late July and early August reflecting worry about the financial consequences of war. Some political leaders, such as Bethmann Hollweg in Germany, were concerned by the potential social consequences of a war. Some military figures, such as Lord Kitchener and Erich Ludendorff, predicted the war would be a long one. Others, however, regarded the coming war with great pessimism and worry.

Many thought it would have finished by Christmas of that year. The common view on both sides was that it would be a short war of manoeuvre, with a few sharp actions (to "teach the enemy a lesson") and would end with a victorious entry into the enemy capital, then home for a victory parade or two and back to "normal" life. In 1914, the perception of war was romanticized by many people, and its declaration was met with great enthusiasm by these people. Yet staff incompetence and leadership timidity, as Ludendorff had needlessly transferred troops from the right to protect Sedan, cost Germany the chance for an early knockout.

The German army had fought its way into a good defensive position inside France and had permanently incapacitated 230,000 more French and British troops than it had lost itself in the months of August and September. This diversion exacerbated problems of insufficient speed of advance from railheads, not allowed for by the German General Staff, allowed French and British forces to finally halt the German advance on Paris at the First Battle of the Marne (September 1914) and the Entente forced the Central Powers into fighting a war on two fronts. Germany defeated Russia in a series of battles collectively known as the Second Battle of Tannenberg (17 August – 2 September). Russia attacked in East Prussia, diverting German forces intended for the Western Front.

However, the delays brought about by the resistance of the Belgian, French and British forces; the unexpectedly rapid mobilization of the Russians; and overly-ambitious objectives upset the German plans. Initially the Germans had great successes in the Battle of the Frontiers (14–24 August 1914). The first British Empire soldier killed in the war was John Parr, on 21 August 1914, near Mons. Britain sent an army to France (the British Expeditionary Force, or BEF), which advanced into Belgium.

It soon encountered resistance before the forts of the Belgian city of Liège, although the army as a whole continued to make rapid progress into France. When Belgium refused, Germany invaded and began marching through Belgium anyway, after first invading and securing Luxembourg. Germany demanded free passage from the Belgian government, promising to treat Belgium as Germany's firm ally if the Belgians agreed. To do so, the German army had to march through Belgium.

Rather than invading eastern France directly, German planners deemed it prudent to attack France from the north. The Schlieffen plan to deal with the Franco-Russian alliance involved delivering a knock-out blow to the French and then turning to deal with the more slowly mobilized Russian army. The Austrians had not achieved their main goal of eliminating Serbia, and it became increasingly likely that Germany would have to maintain forces on two fronts. This marked the first major Allied victory of the war.

Three days later the Austrians retreated across the Danube, having suffered 21,000 casualties as against 16,000 Serbian. In harsh night-time fighting, the battle ebbed and flowed, until Stepa Stepanovic rallied the Serbian line. The first attack came on August 16, between parts of the 21st Austro–Hungarian division and parts of the Serbian Combined division. The Serbians occupied defensive positions against the Austrians.

The Serbian army, coming up from the south of the country, met the Austrian army at the Battle of Cer on 12 August. This confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian army to split its troop concentrations from the south in order to meet the Russians in the north. Germany, however, had planned for Austria-Hungary to focus the majority of its troops on Russia while Germany dealt with France on the Western Front. Austro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover her northern flank against Russia.

Germany had originally guaranteed to support Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia, but practical interpretation of this idea differed. In Europe, the Central Powers — the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire - suffered from mutual miscommunication and lack of intelligence regarding the intentions of each other's army. Sporadic and fierce fighting, however, continued in Africa for the remainder of the war. Within a few months, the Entente forces had driven out or had accepted the surrender of all German forces in the Pacific.

Another British Dominion, New Zealand, occupied German Samoa (later Western Samoa) on 30 August; on September 11 the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain), which formed part of German New Guinea. Shortly thereafter, on August 10, German forces based in South-West Africa attacked South Africa, part of the British Empire. On 8 August 1914 a combined French and British Empire force invaded the German protectorate of Togoland in West Africa. Some of the first hostilities of the war occurred in Africa and in the Pacific Ocean, in the colonies and territories of the European powers.

The warring parties were divided into two camps:. (Which is what indeed happened.). The implication was that victory required the abdication of those rulers, the end of the aristocratic system, and the end of militarism. Their goal was military power and glory, the theory says, regardless of the needs and wishes of the people.

The military, reporting directly to the king, and not elected civilian governments, controlled Germany, Austria, Russia and Turkey. Woodrow Wilson and most Americans blamed the war on militarism. Frantic diplomatic efforts to mediate the Austrian-Serbian quarrel simply became irrelevant, as the automatic military escalations between Germany and Russia reinforced one another. This left governments with even fewer options and little room to manoeuvre as the last weeks of July 1914 slipped away.

The civilian leaders of the European powers found themselves facing a wave of nationalist zeal that had been building across Europe for years. Once the mobilization order was issued there was no turning back. Once put into effect they were indeed capable of easily defeating their neighbor, unless their neighbor also unleashed its mobilization plan. Thus the military general staffs had elaborate mobilization plans.

Closely related is the thesis adopted by many political scientists that the war plans of each power automatically escalated the conflict until it was out of control. Paul Kennedy is the historian who most recently has propounded this thesis. Overall, nations in the Triple Entente became fearful of the Triple Alliance and vice versa. The major participants in the race were Britain and Germany due to new imperialism.

Ironically, this development diminished Britain's naval supremacy as the new type of vessel opened a new chapter in naval warfare, which annihilated the old status-quo in this area and sparked a new major naval arms race in shipbuilding among the world's nations on a more level playing field. An example of the latter is the 1906 launch of HMS Dreadnought, a revolutionary battleship that rendered all previous warships obsolete as "pre-dreadnoughts". Another cause of the war was the escalating arms race. As time progressed, scholars looked at other factors, such as the rigidity of both German and Russian military planning, each of which stressed the importance of striking first and executing plans quickly.

Berghahn. This idea was later backed by such leading German academics as Franz Fischer, Imanuel Geiss, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Wolfgang Mommsen, and V.R. The point is that responsibility for the war lies with Germany and Austro-Hungary for their aggression, and that Russia, France and Britain were reacting legitimately against this aggression. The idea was that the war had begun when the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded the Kingdom of Serbia, backed by the German Empire, and that Germany later invaded Belgium without provocation.

Early explanations, prominent in the 1920s, stressed the official version of responsibility as described in the Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of Trianon, that Germany and its allies were solely responsible for the war. Likewise no one agrees on how the war could have been avoided. Historians and political scientists have grappled for nearly a century without reaching a consensus on what were the most important causes. Though this assassination is usually considered the immediate trigger for the war, its origins can be traced back to the complex web of alliances and counterbalances that developed between the various European powers after 1871.

Princip was supported by pan-Serbian nationalists, with links to the Serbian military. The Archduke was there to assert imperial authority over a disputed province. On June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb student.
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. Problems unresolved or created by the war would be highly important factors in the outbreak, within 20 years, of World War II. Shortly after the war, in 1923, Fascists came to power in Italy; in 1933, 14 years after the war, Nazism took over Germany. In Central Europe, the new states of Czechoslovakia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Yugoslavia were born and Austria, Hungary and Poland were re-created.

In the east, the demise of the Ottoman Empire paved the way for the states such as Republic of Turkey and a number of successor states and territories throughout the Middle East. The following decades would see the transformation of the old Russian Empire into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a global power. World War I witnessed the first advent of Communism as a means of government in Russia. Three European imperial dynasties, represented by the Hohenzollern, the Hapsburg and the Romanov families in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia respectively, also fell during the war.

In the Balkans and the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire experienced the same fate. Three European land empires were shattered and subsequently dismembered to varying degrees: the German, the Austro-Hungarian and the Russian. Ultimately, World War I created a decisive break with the old world order that had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars, as modified by the mid-19th century national revolutions, the processes of European national unification and European colonialism. In World War I, only some 5% of the casualties (directly caused by the war) were civilian - in World War II, this figure approached 50%.

More than 9 million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and nearly that many more in the participating countries' home fronts on account of food shortages and genocide committed under the cover of various civil wars and internal conflicts. Hostilities were also prosecuted, however, by more dynamic invasion and battle, by fighting at sea and - for the first time - in and from the air. World War I is infamous for the protracted stalemate of trench warfare along the Western Front, embodied 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. The Allied Powers (led by Britain, France, and, later, the United States) defeated the Central Powers (led by Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire), and led to the collapse of four empires and a radical change in the map of Europe.

World War I, also known as the First World War and (before 1939) the Great War, the War of the Nations, War to End All Wars, was a world conflict lasting from August 1914 to the final Armistice (cessation of hostilities) on November 11, 1918. A Very Long Engagement (2004), movie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The Lost Battalion (2001), movie and screenplay directed by Russell Mulcahy. Paths of Glory (1957), movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.

All Quiet On The Western Front (1979), movie directed by Delbert Mann. All Quiet On The Western Front (1930), movie directed by Lewis Milestone. All Quiet On The Western Front (1929), novel written by Erich Maria Remarque. Central Powers.

Allies of World War I, also referred to as the Entente Forces or the Entente Powers.

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