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First World War 1914-1918 (Первая мировая война) — war between the two coalitions powers: the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) and the Entente (Russia, France, Great Britain, Serbia, and later Japan, Italy, Romania, the United States and others; just 34 country[ru]).
The reason for World War 1 was the murder of a member of a terrorist organization "Young Bosnia " the heir to the Austro - Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. July 28 (July 15 Julian calendar), 1914 Austria- Hungary declared war on Serbia, Aug. 1 (July 19, Old Style) Germany - Russian, Aug. 3 (July 21 Old Style) - France 4 August (22 July Old Style), United Kingdom - Germany. By creating a preponderance of the troops on the Western Front, Germany occupied Luxembourg and Belgium and the beginning of the rapid advance in the north of France to Paris. However, in 1914 the German High Command plan for a quick defeat of France crashed, it was promoted by Russian offensive in East Prussia, forced Germany to take some of the troops from the Western Front. In August - September 1914 Russian troops defeated the Austro - Hungarian forces in Galicia, in late 1914 - early 1915 the Turkish army in the Caucasus. In 1915, the forces of the Central Powers, leading the strategic defense of the Western Front, forced Russian troops to leave Galicia, Poland, part of the Baltic States, defeated Serbia. In 1916, after failing to break through the defense of the German troops allied in Verdun (France) strategic initiative passed to the Allies. In addition, the heavy defeat of the Austro - German forces in May - July 1916 in Galicia, in fact determined the collapse of the main ally of Germany - Austria- Hungary.
In August 1916, under the influence of the successes of the Entente on her side in Romania entered the war, but its troops acted badly and at the end of 1916 were defeated. At the same time, the Caucasian theater initiative persisted for the Russian army, who took in 1916, Erzurum and Trabzon. Which began after the February Revolution of 1917 allowed the collapse of the Russian armies of Germany and its allies to step up their actions on other fronts, which, however, did not change the overall situation. After concluding a separate peace with Russia Brest (3 March 1918), the German command made a massive offensive on the Western Front. Entente forces, eliminating the results of the German breakthrough, the offensive that ended with the defeat of the Central Powers. September 29, 1918 Bulgaria surrendered, October 30 - Turkey, November 3 - Austria-Hungary, November 11 - Germany. During the First World War, were mobilized about 74 million people, the total losses amounted to around 10 million killed and more than 20 million wounded.
The First World War 1914-1918, the war between the two coalitions of European powers - the Triple Alliance and the Entente.
Before the war the most acute contradictions existed between Britain and Germany, whose interests are encountered in many areas of the world, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Their rivalry turned into a bitter struggle for supremacy on the world market, with the seizure of foreign territories.
The immediate cause of the war was the murder of 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo (Bosnia), heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Sarajevo murder). Instigated by Germany, Austria-Hungary declared war on 28 July Serbia. August 1, Germany declared war on Russia, August 3 - France and Belgium, August 4th, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Later in the war was involved most of the world (on the side of the Entente - 34 states on the side of the German-Austrian bloc - 4). Warring parties have started war with multi-million army. Military operations have covered the territory of Europe, Asia and Africa, were conducted in all the oceans and many seas. The main land front in Europe, which decides the outcome of the war were Western (French) and Eastern (Russian). By the nature of the task and achieved the military and political results of the events of World War II can be divided into five campaigns, each of which included several operations carried out in the various theaters of war.
The fighting on the Western Front began in August invasion of German troops in Luxembourg and Belgium. August 20 they occupied Brussels, having the opportunity to move freely to the borders of France. August 21-25 in the border battle German army threw the Anglo-French troops invaded the north of France and the beginning of September reached the Marne River between Paris and Verdun, striving to cover exposed flanks of each other, the opponents resorted to maneuvering operations (dubbed the "Running to the sea"), which resulted in the front reached the sea.
In October and November of bloody battles in Flanders exhausted and balanced the power of the parties. From the Swiss border to the North Sea stretches a solid front line. Mobile warfare in the West gave way to a positional struggle. Calculation of Germany's rapid defeat of France failed. In many ways, this contributed to the offensive Russian troops in East Prussia (see East Prussian operation), in Galicia (see the battle of Galicia), and other operations.
23 August Germany declared war on Japan, in October, on the side of the German bloc, Turkey entered the war. Formed new fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, Syria, and the Dardanelles. As a result, the campaign in 1914, none of the parties has not achieved its goals, the calculations of the rapid defeat of the enemy have failed, the war on the Western Front has gained a position, trench character.
The German command concentrated its main efforts on the Eastern Front. The fighting on the Russian front began in January and continued with few interruptions until late autumn.
The most important outcome of the campaign was the failure of the German plans. The German command was faced with the need to continue the war on two fronts. The brunt of the fighting in the First World War in 1915 made Russia, France and the UK providing a breathing space for the mobilization of the economy to the military.
Germany once again suffered a major force in the west. The main attack was supposed to put France in the area of Verdun, which was an important operational significance (see Verdun operation). Despite enormous efforts, the German troops were unable to break through the defense. This was facilitated by the onset of Russian armies in the south-western front in Galicia (North-Western Front offensive). The German-Austrian command was forced to throw from the West and Italian fronts on the Eastern Front 34 Division. Were unsuccessful offensives and the Anglo-French forces on the Somme.
Although the Allies used in the operation of a new means of struggle - the tanks, they were never able to break through the defenses of the enemy, having lost about 800 thousand people. August 27 at the side of the Allies entered the war Romania, but by the end of the campaign, the Romanian army was routed. In the Middle Eastern theater were important victory of Russian troops of the Caucasian front. Russian army advanced in Turkey for 250 km and took the town of Erzurum, Erzincan and Trabzon. May 31 - June 1, in the Jutland peninsula in the North Sea was one of the largest naval battles in the war. The England lost 14 ships in it, about 7 thousand people, German losses amounted to 11 ships and more than 3 million people. As a result, the campaign of German-Austrian unit has lost the strategic initiative. Germany was forced on the defensive on all fronts. Allied superiority became apparent. During the concerted action of the allied troops in the West and in the East was the beginning of a turning point in the war.
In the summer of 1916 the Entente troops launched an offensive on the Somme (June 1 - November 18, 1916) in order to break through the German front in northern France. In this battle England for the first time applied the tanks. The Allies did not reach their goals. The loss of the Entente troops were - 792 thousand, Germany - 538 thousand people living force.
By 1917, the war greatly weakened the economy of the warring powers. German coalition could no longer carry large offensive operations and moved to strategic defense. The main effort of Germany has focused on submarine warfare. Allied plans were based on the use of its superiority in manpower and equipment. This advantage has become more significant after taking 6 April 1917 in the U.S. war on the side of the Entente. The high command general agreement intended to take the offensive on the Western and Eastern Fronts for the final defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary. However, the onset of the Anglo-French troops, undertaken in April between Reims and Soissons, fell through. Do not change the overall situation on the Western Front and separate operations conducted by the Allies in Messina, at Ypres, Verdun, near Cambrai. Has failed and the Russian army offensive in the summer of 1917.
The total number of losses on the Eastern Front during the operation exceeded 150,000 people. Sept. 3 during the Riga Russian defense operations troops left Riga. The stubborn resistance of the German fleet had sailors of the Baltic Fleet in the defense Moonsund archipelago (see Moonsund operation) in autumn 1917. Because of the large loss of the German High Command refused to break through the Gulf of Finland.
Unrestricted submarine warfare
The First World War served as a catalyst for the revolutionary process in Russia, which led to the October Revolution of 1917. Events in Russia, as well as the lack of coordination between the allies disrupted the strategic plan of the Entente. Germany managed to repel the attacks of opponents on land. However, it announced on February 1 unrestricted submarine warfare did not produce the desired result. "Unrestricted submarine warfare" was held German command twice - in 1915 and 1917. The main object of attack was civilian ships of the Entente and neutral states.
After the October Revolution of Russia actually came out of the war on Dec. 2 signed with the German-Austrian unit truce, and later embarked on peace talks (see the Treaty of Brest).
By the beginning of 1918 the military-political situation of the First World War has seriously changed. Powers of German-Austrian bloc sought to end the war. The German command in March launched an offensive on the Western Front. In the spring and summer of German troops conducted several offensives in Picardy, Flanders, on the Aisne and Marne rivers, but due to a lack of reserves have suspended them. Strategic initiative passed to the Allies. In August and September, the Allied armies, using their superiority in manpower and technology (in March 1918 on the Western Front troops began to arrive from the U.S.), went on the offensive and forced the German forces begin a general withdrawal from the territory of France.
In early October, the situation in Germany became desperate. Germany's allies - Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria-Hungary - the autumn of 1918 a truce with the Entente powers. Lesions on the fronts, economic collapse accelerated ripening of the revolutionary events in Germany. November 9 in the German monarchy was overthrown. Germany surrendered on 11 November: in the forest of Compiegne, the station Retond (France), German delegation signed a truce. Germany admitted defeat. Finally, the conditions of the peace treaties with Germany and its allies have been developed at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-20. June 28, 1919 signed the Treaty of Versailles officially ended the First World War.
The First World War lasted for more than 4 years (from 1 August 1914 to 11 November 1918). It was attended by 38 countries, fought on its fields more than 74 million people, of which 10 million were killed, and 20 million are crippled. The First World War in scale loss of life and socio-political consequences had no equal in the entire previous history. It has had a huge impact on the economy, politics, ideology, on the whole system of international relations. The war led to the downfall of the most powerful European states and the folding of the new geopolitical situation in the world. (AP Zhilin).