World War One
World War One
The First World War was known to its contemporaries as ‘The Great War’ and it had a profound impact on the twentieth century. It broke out when Austro-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia in July 1914 triggered an alliance system that saw the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany fight against their neighbours: France, Great Britain, Russia and later, Italy. The war was predominantly fought on two European fronts, as German forces attacked to both the East and the West, but the colonial possessions of the European powers gave the conflict a global dimension and ensured the involvement of troops from other continents. Fighting took place as far afield as Africa, Gallipoli, and Palestine, and by 1917, the US deployed troops to support their European allies. The war is often criticised with stalemate and the repeated failures of trench warfare, owing to the horror of battles like the Somme and Passchendaele, where hundreds of thousands of troops were sacrificed for little strategic gain. However, fighting was not confined to the trenches and there were profound developments in technology and weaponry that meant future conflicts would be of an entirely different nature. World War One was also the first ‘total war’ for the powers involved, where winning depended on the mobilisation of the entire population, rather than just the army. This meant that the political, economic and social impact of the conflict went far beyond the loss of life. Not only were over sixteen million people killed, but the nature of European society was permanently altered.
Learn more about WWI
- CHRONOLOGY - Get your head around all the important events that took place during the war by reading our timeline and student written essays.
- KEY INDIVIDUALS - Find out who was involved in World War One, and read essays written about them to get ideas for your own work.
- KEY DEBATES - Read our breakdown of some key debates surrounding WWI to get some ideas for your own coursework.
World War One Essays
Have a read of some of the top WWI essays written by students to get inspiration for your own essay writing
There were many consequences and changes to British society because of the war, both positive and negative, however if you look closely some of the changes...
How does Blackadder Goes Forth satirize the First World War and how does it fit into the situation comedy genre as a whole?
As baldrick is out of place, there is still no place for him in the ranks of men as both are of equal numbers and there is no more room for him. This emphases the point...
In 1914, the six most powerful countries in Europe became two opposing alliances. The Central Powers (Triple alliance) consisted of a...
This is a map of Europe before 1914, as you can see the Austro-Hungarian Empire dominates what is now much of southern Germany and the Balkans. Germany is what we know presently as northern Germany and Poland.
The impact of the First World War merely heightened existing social and political tensions which had divided Germany before 1914. How far do you agree with this judgement?
How far do you agree with this judgement? Germany's certain tensions politically and socially before 1914 can be seen in forms of the strikes that were taking place...
Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria and the next heir to the throne of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire...