How it Began - Introduction
If you are new to the First World War - or are rusty after many years since history class - the reasons for the so-called 'Great War' can be shrouded in confusion.
The Second World War was rather more straightforward: no questions there who did what and who was at fault.
This website contains much material based in and around the events of World War One - but if you are unsure how it began and who did what, well, where to begin? That's the purpose of this section of the site.
Admittedly the origins of the war remain somewhat controversial even after all these years, but the facts are there. The articles contained here outline the run-up to the war, who was who, and explain why the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was by no means the sole cause of the conflict, how it was spoiling anyhow.
Having read these primers you will hopefully be in a better position to explore the remainder of the site which despite its size is, of course, still very much in development.
|The Causes of World War One||What happened and why|
|Archduke Ferdinand's Assassination||Memoir of Archduke's assassination|
|The July Crisis||Events of July 1914 leading to war|
|How the War was Planned||Plan XVII, Schlieffen Plan, Plan B...|
|Balkan Causes of World War One||The Black Hand and the Serbian Government|
|Willy-Nicky Telegrams||Kaiser to the Tsar and the Tsar to the Kaiser|
|Austria's Ultimatum to Serbia||Austria-Hungary's reaction to the assassination|
|Map of Pre-War Europe||European borders prior to the onset of war|
|Archduke Franz Ferdinand||Heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne|
|Gavrilo Princip||Member of the Black Hand and Ferdinand's assassin|
|The Battle of Liege||Opening land battle of World War One in Belgium|
|365 Days On||Events of 1 August 1915|
|Kaiser Wilhelm II||German monarch|
|Tsar Nicholas II||Russian monarch|
|Emperor Franz-Josef||Austro-Hungarian monarch|
|Prince Alexander||Serbian regent|
|Sir Edward Grey||British Foreign Secretary|
|Count Leopold von Berchtold||Austro-Hungarian Foreign Secretary|
|President Wilson||U.S. President|
|Joseph Joffre||French Commander-in-Chief|
|Sir John French||British Commander-in-Chief|
|Helmuth von Moltke||German Army Chief of Staff|
|The Minor Powers||Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece Montenegro, etc.|
|Who Declared War and When||Rundown of war declarations by nation|
|Principal Actions of World War One||List of primary events, actions and offensives|
|The War in Gallipoli: An Overview||Summary of the war in the Dardanelles in 1915|
|Songs on the Way to the Front||"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" (1914, MP3 music)|
|Life in the Trenches||Daily routine of trench life|
|A Soldier Remembers...||David Philips recounts his experiences|
|In Flanders Fields||Story of the war's best known poem|
|The Christmas Truce||Story of the unofficial truce of Christmas 1914|
|The Armistice of 11 November 1918||The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month|
|Military Casualties of World War One||Numbers of dead, wounded and missing|
|Memorial to the Missing||Monument to the unknown dead in France at Thiepval|
"Coffin Nails" was a term used by British soldiers to describe cigarettes.
- Did you know?