History:Outline of World War I

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Short description: Overview of and topical guide to World War I

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to World War I:

World War Imajor war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all the world's great powers,[1] which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centred on the Triple Entente of United Kingdom , France and Russia ) and the Central Powers (originally centred on the Triple Alliance of Germany , Austria-Hungary and Italy).[2] More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.[3][4] More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the sixth deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved.[5]

Nature of World War I

World War I can be described as all of the following:

World War I was further characterized by the following types of warfare:

Causes of World War I

Long term influences leading to World War I

  • Imperialism
  • Militarism
  • Nationalism
    • Russia and Siberia
  • Destabilizing European balance of power
  • Web of alliances
  • Diplomatic history of World War I
    • Triple Entente
    • Triple Alliance (1882)
    • Treaty of London, 1839, about the neutrality of Belgium
    • Dual Alliance
      • German-Austrian treaty (1879) or
    • Franco-Russian Alliance (1894)
    • Entente Cordiale between France and the British
    • Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907
  • German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912
  • Cult of the offensive – Considerations of the advantage of striking first.

Short term influences leading to World War I

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
  • July Crisis
  • French entry into World War I
  • German entry into World War I
  • Japanese entry into World War I

Participants in World War I

World War I was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers.

The Central Powers (Triple Alliance (1882))

  •  German Empire
  •  Austria-Hungary
  •  Ottoman Empire
  •  Bulgaria

The Allies (Triple Entente)

Main Allied countries

  • France French Third Republic (including French colonial forces)
  •  Russian Empire (until March 1917[lower-alpha 1]), Russia Russian Republic (March 1917 - November 1917), Template:Country data Soviet Russia (November 1917 - March 1918)
  •  Kingdom of Serbia
  • British Empire United Kingdom (including colonial forces)
  •  Canada
  •  Kingdom of Italy (April 1915 and after) (including Italian colonial forces)
  •  Kingdom of Belgium (including Belgian colonial forces)
  • United States United States of America (after April 1917)

Other military allies

Other states that had military participation:

  • Template:Country data Kingdom of Montenegro
  •  Empire of Japan
  • Portugal Portuguese Republic (March 1916 and after) (including Portuguese colonial forces)
  •  Kingdom of Romania (August 1916 – May 1918)
  •  Kingdom of Greece (November 1916 for the Government of National Defence; June 1917 for the whole country)
  • Albania Albania
  • Brazil Brazil (October 1917 and after)
  • Armenia Armenia (May 1918 and after)
  • Template:Country data Bohemia Czechoslovakia – See Czechoslovak Legions
  • Finland Finland (October 1918 and after)
  •    Nepal (soldiers served under the British Indian Army)
  • Thailand Kingdom of Siam
  •  San Marino (June 1915 and after)

Nominal Allies

States that declared war, but had no military involvement:

  •  Andorra
  •  Bolivia (April 1917 and after)
  •  China (August 1917 and after)
  •  Costa Rica (May 1918 and after)
  •  Cuba (April 1917 and after)
  •  Ecuador (December 1917 and after)
  •  Guatemala (April 1918 and after)
  •  Liberia (August 1917 and after)
  •  Haiti (July 1918 and after)
  •  Honduras (July 1918 and after)
  •  Nicaragua (May 1918 and after)
  •  Panama (December 1917 and after)
  •  Peru (October 1917 and after)
  •  Uruguay (October 1917 and after)

Conduct of the war

  • Allied declarations of war
  • British propaganda during World War I
  • Convoys in World War I
  • German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I
  • Roosevelt's World War I volunteers
  • Strategic bombing during World War I
    • German strategic bombing during World War I
  • World War I conscription in Australia
  • World War I naval arms race
  • United States Navy operations during World War I
  • Military engagements of World War I

World War I by region

  • South Arabia during World War I

World War I theatres, fronts, and campaigns

  • Western Front (World War I)
  • Eastern Front (World War I)
  • West Africa Campaign (World War I)
  • East African Campaign (World War I)
  • Italian Campaign (World War I)
  • Sinai and Palestine Campaign
  • Caucasus Campaign
  • Mesopotamian Campaign
  • Gallipoli Campaign
  • Attacks on North America during World War I
Naval campaigns of World War I
  • Battle of the Atlantic (1914-1918)
  • Adriatic Campaign of World War I
  • Naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign
  • Blockade of Germany

World War I by country

Central Powers
  • Austria-Hungary during World War I
    • Hungary in World War I
    • Poland during World War I
  • Bulgaria during World War I
  • Germany during World War I
    • German East Africa during World War I
    • Poland during World War I
  • Ottoman Empire during World War I
    • Aliyah and yishuv during World War I
    • Armenia in World War I
      • Western Armenia
      • Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
      • Armenian notables deported from Constantinople in 1915
      • Armenian genocide
        • See also Armenian genocide recognition
      • Armenian resistance (1914–1918)
        • Administration for Western Armenia
          • Armenian irregular units
      • Armenian volunteer units
      • Armenian casualties during World War I
    • Seyfo
    • Greek genocide
    • Deportations of Kurds (1916–1934)
    • Prosecution of Ottoman war criminals
Main allies
  • Bulgaria during World War I
  • Serbia during World War I
  • France during World War I
  • Russia during World War I – food shortages in the major urban centres, and poor morale due to lost battles and heavy losses sustained, brought about civil unrest which led to the February Revolution, the abdication of the Tsar, and the end of the Russian Empire.
    • Russian Revolution (1917) – end of Imperial Russia
      • February Revolution –
        • Russian Provisional Government –
      • October Revolution – beginning of the Soviet Union
    • Poland during World War I
    • Finland during World War I
    • Ukraine during World War I
  • British Empire during World War I
    • United Kingdom during World War I
    • Australia during World War I
      • Australian women during World War I
    • India in World War I
    • Canada during World War I
    • Newfoundland during World War I
    • New Zealand in World War I
    • South Africa in World War I
      • South African Overseas Expeditionary Force
    • Southern Rhodesia in World War I
    • Hong Kong during World War I
  • Italy in World War I
  • United States in World War I
    • Puerto Ricans in World War I
Other allies
  • Albania during World War I
  • Brazil during World War I
  • Czechoslovaks in World War I
    • Czechoslovak Legions
  • Greece during World War I
  • Japan during World War I
  • Montenegro during World War I
  • Nepal during World War I
  • Portugal during World War I
  • Romania during World War I
  • Siam during World War I
  • San Marino during World War I
Nominal allies
  • Andorra during World War I
  • Bolivia during World War I
  • China during World War I
  • Costa Rica during World War I
  • Cuba during World War I
  • Ecuador during World War I
  • Guatemala during World War I
  • Liberia during World War I
  • Haiti during World War I
  • Honduras during World War I
  • Panama during World War I
  • Peru during World War I
  • Uruguay during World War I
World War I impact on neutral countries
  • Norway in World War I
    • Espionage in Norway during World War I
  • Mexico in World War I
  • Ireland and World War I
  • Montserrat in World War I
  • Spain in World War I
  • Switzerland during the World Wars
  • Vietnam during World War I
  • Afghanistan Afghanistan – received a German diplomatic mission trying to convince it to act against the British in India
  • Argentina – Ally to US by treaty (see ABC countries for more information)
  • Bhutan
  • Chile – Ally to US by treaty (see ABC countries for more information)
  • Colombia
  • Denmark – Traded with both sides.
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopian Empire – received a German diplomatic mission trying to convince it to act against the British in Africa
  • Liechtenstein – Had a customs and monetary union with Austria-Hungary.
  • Luxembourg – Never declared war on the Central Powers despite being invaded and occupied by Germany.
  • Mongolia -
  • Mexico- Declined an alliance with Germany (see Zimmermann Telegram). An ally to the United States by treaty (see ABC countries).
  • Netherlands Netherlands – An ally of the United Kingdom by treaty. Traded with both sides.
  • Norway – Gave naval assistance to the United Kingdom.
  • Paraguay
  • Persia – Occupied by British and Russian troops.
  • Spain Spain – Also treaty bound ally to the United Kingdom.
  • Sweden during World War I – Financially supported Germany.
  • Switzerland – Switzerland did declare a "state of siege".
  • Venezuela – Supplied the Allies with oil.

People in World War I

Leaders in World War I

  • Allied leaders of World War I
  • Leaders of the Central Powers of World War I

Military forces of World War I

    • List of World War I aces from Canada
  • List of World War I flying aces
  • List of British armies in World War I
  • List of British corps in World War I
  • List of British divisions in World War I
  • List of Indian divisions in World War I
  • Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces
  • German Army (German Empire)
  • Royal Serbian Army

Technology during World War I

Equipment of World War I

Vehicles of World War I

  • List of military aircraft of Central Powers in WWI
  • List of military aircraft of Entente Powers in WWI
  • List of aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps
  • List of aircraft of the Royal Naval Air Service
  • List of military aircraft of Germany

Weapons of World War I

  • British Army uniform and equipment in World War I

Common military awards

Russian Empire

United States

  • Medal of Honor
  • Silver Star
  • Bronze Star
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Air Medal
  • World War I Victory Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • American Campaign Medal

British Empire

  • Victoria Cross
  • Air Force Cross (United Kingdom) , from June 1918
  • Order of the Bath
  • Order of the British Empire
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • 1914 Star
  • Pacific Star

France and Belgium

  • Croix de Guerre

Imperial Germany

  • Iron Cross
  • Pour le Mérite also known as the "Blue Max"
  • House Order of Hohenzollern
  • Order of the Red Eagle

Kingdom of Serbia

  • Order of Karađorđe's Star


  • Military Order of Maria Theresa
  • Military Merit Cross

The end of World War I

  • Armistice of Salonica (September 29, 1918) - surrender of Bulgaria
  • Armistice of Mudros (October 30, 1918) – surrender of the Ottoman Empire
  • Armistice of Villa Giusti (November 3, 1918) – surrender of Austria-Hungary
  • Armistice with Germany (November 11, 1918) – surrender of Germany

Aftermath of World War I

World War I-related media


  • Germany's Aims in the First World War


  • Fiction based on World War I

World War I remembered

  • World War I reenactment
  • WWI memorials
    • World War I Memorial (Berwick, Pennsylvania)
    • World War I Memorial (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
    • World War I Memorial (East Providence, Rhode Island)
  • WWI veterans

See also


  1. Since Russia was using the Julian calendar, the date was February in Russia, but March for countries using the Gregorian calendar


  1. Willmott 2003, pp. 10–11
  2. Willmott 2003, p. 15
  3. Keegan 1998, p. 8
  4. Bade & Brown 2003, pp. 167–168
  5. Willmott 2003, p. 307


Further reading

  • Bond, Brian. "The First World War" in C. L. Mowat, ed. The New Cambridge Modern History: Vol. XII: The Shifting Balance of World Forces 1898-1945 (2nd ed. 1968) online pp 171–208.

External links