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World War One

Articles on the causes of World War One, its battles, and its outcomes

Articles on the causes of World War One, its battles, and its outcomes

The Brusilov Offensive

Russia had lost a great deal of territory to Germany and Austria in 1915, and they wanted to gain it back. Russian General Alexei Brusilov put together a plan in April 1916 to launch a major offensive against Austria. It ended up being Russia's greatest feat of arms during World…

battle of jutland

The Battle of Jutland

Although overlooked today, the war at sea was a crucial part of World War I overall. The German use of the Unrestricted Submarine Warfare (in which non-military ships could be blown up by submarines without the latter surfacing, making it impossible for innocent men, women, and children to abandon ship)…

ww1 gas attacks

WW1 Gas Attacks: When Poison Was Released in 1915

In 1915, the Central Powers and Allies dug in their heels and tried desperately to break the stalemate of the war, still hoping for a short conflict on the scale of a few months. Poison gas was used for the first time. Germans experimented with flamethrowers and armored shields, while…

The Battle of Gallipoli

The Allies desperately wanted to take control of the Dardanelles (the straights connecting Constantinople with the Mediterranean). They were crucial to Russia and would make it possible for Russia to (in effect) have a warm-water port. The only problem is the Ottomans had controlled the Dardanelles for five centuries and…

trench warfare

Trench Warfare: The Hellish Fighting Conditions of WW1

“Rats came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. A new officer joined the company and...when he turned in that night he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed…

ww1 soldiers

WW1 Soldiers: British, German, French, Russian, Italian, and Ottoman

Let's look at the profiles of an average soldier in World War One. We will look at the backgrounds, training, and provisions allotted to troops in the British, French, German, Russian, and Ottoman armies. We will look at their lives in the trenches, which were with very few exceptions absolutely…

battle of the marne

Battle of the Marne (1914)

The beginning of World War One was marked the breakdown of the western powers’ war plans.  Leaders on both sides experienced surprises, shocks, and the failure of plans.  The first few months saw shocking violence on a scale never experienced before, at least not in Western Europe.  During the first…

battle of tannenberg

Battle of Tannenberg (1914)

The Battle of Tannenberg was the first major battle of World War One, fought between Germany and Russia, who surprised everyone with its fast mobilization. Germany planned to quickly fight a two-front war against France and Russia, knock France out of the war, then focus its resources on Russia. The…

triple alliance

The Triple Alliance: The 1882 Agreement That Caused WW1

An impossibly complex web of alliances that maintained a fragile peace in Europe (and surprisingly held it together since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815) always threatened to unravel. Chief among them was the Triple Alliance of 1882 among Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Italy, in which each member agreed…

who started ww1

Who Started WW1? The Background of the Great War

Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, there had been several regional conflicts in Europe, but there had not been a general war (one that involved all of the major European powers). Between 1815 and 1914, the most powerful nations of Europe had coexisted in an arrangement called…

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