The First World War was waged from 1914 to 1918 in Europe
the Middle East , Africa , East Asia and on the oceans . About 17 million people lost their lives through him.  He began on July 28, 1914, the declaration of war of Austria-Hungary to Serbia , where the assassination in Sarajevo of 28 June 1914 and provoked by the July crisis was preceded. The armed conflict ended with the Compiègne armisticeon November 11, 1918, which was tantamount to the victory of the war coalition that arose from the Triple Entente . Important participants in the war were the German Empire , Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria on the one hand, and France , Great Britain and its British Empire , Russia , Serbia , Belgium , Italy , Romania , Japan and the USA on the other.  40 states participated in the most extensive war in history to date , a total of almost 70 million people were under arms.
When Sarajevo was assassinated , the Austrian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie Chotek, Duchess of Hohenberg , were murdered by Gavrilo Princip , a member of the revolutionary underground organization Mlada Bosna , which was or was connected to official authorities in Serbia. The main motive was the intended “liberation” of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Austro-Hungarian rule with the aim of unifying the South Slavs under the leadership of Serbia.
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Austria sought the backing of the German Empire ( Mission Hoyos ) to take action against Serbia, with Russia as the protective power . Kaiser Wilhelm II and Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg pledged their unconditional support to Austria-Hungary in early July. The July crisis began with the issue of this so-called blank check . The Serbian government, supported by Russia’s pledge of military assistance in the event of conflict, rejected this as an unacceptable impairment world war 3 of its sovereignty . Russia’s attitude, which was determined by the Pan-Slavic motive, was again supported by France during the French state visit to St. Petersburg (July 20-23), which, in the affirmation of the French-Russian Alliance, guaranteed the Russians support in the event of war with Germany.
The interests of the great powers and the German military plans ( Schlieffen plan ) caused the local war to escalate within a few days to the continental war involving Russia (German declaration of war of August 1, 1914) and France (German declaration of war of August 3, 1914). The political consequences of the Schlieffen plan – bypassing the French fortress belt between Verdun and Belfort – German troops attacked France from the north-east and thereby violated the neutrality of Belgium and Luxembourg – led to the Belgian guarantee power entering into warGreat Britain and its Dominions (declaration of war on August 4, 1914), which led to the expansion into a world war.
The German advance on the Marne came to a standstill in September , and the front in the west froze between November 1914 and March 1918. Since Russia in the east continued to participate in the war until the October Revolution of 1917 and the separate peace treaty from Brest-Litowsk , Germany was in a two-front war for a long time, contrary to planning . The position and trench warfare as well as material battles with high losses with mostly only minor terrain gains became typical features of the fighting . For example, the Battle of Verdun , the Battle of the Somme , eleven of the twelveIsonzo battles and the four battles in Flanders . The gas war , the unrestricted submarine war – which led to the United States’ entry into the war against the Central Powers in 1917 – and the genocide of the Armenians connected with the war are regarded as special escalation stages .
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Russia’s withdrawal from the war after the separate peace with the Bolsheviks made the ultimately unsuccessful German spring offensive in 1918 possible , but the shortages of supplies due to the British naval blockade , the collapse of the allies and developments on the western front during the Allied Hundred Day Offensive led to the assessment of the German military leadership that the German front had become unsustainable. On September 29, 1918, contrary to all previous statements , the Supreme Army Command informed the German Emperor and the government about the hopeless military situation of the army and demanded through Erich LudendorffUltimately, the start of ceasefire negotiations. On the 4th / 5th October 1918 Chancellor Max von Baden asked the Allies for an armistice. By seeking the “ Fleet Order” of October 24, 1918 in the sense of “honorable demise”, the naval war leadership sought the previously avoided, almost hopeless decision-making battle with the Grand Fleet , aroused the resistance of sailors , who in increasing numbers refused to give orders and, as a result, the November Revolution triggered. On November 11, 1918, the Compiègne armistice entered into force world war 3. The conditions of peace were in the years 1919 to 1923Paris suburban contracts regulated. Of the loser powers, only Bulgaria was able to maintain the state of the pre-war period, the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary disintegrated, tsarism fell in Russia and the Empire in Germany.
The First World War was a breeding ground for fascism in Italy , National Socialism in Germany and thus became the forerunner of the Second World War . It marks the end of the age of (high) imperialism . The question of guilt for the outbreak of this war has been controversial a turning point in the cultural field. The thousands of frontal experiences in the trenches, the mass extinction and the upheaval in everyday life caused by emergency changed the standards and perspectives in the societies of the participating states.
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