The war can be represented as totalitarian regimes verses democratic regimes, but that is a somewhat simplistic analysis because rivalry and jealousy between the two sides was a fundamental issue.
For more information, click to see the Casualties of World War I. The outbreak of war between European nations was the result of several factors: This would increase German influence in the world and likely allow the country to expand its colonial holdings.
Russia was rebuilding and modernizing its large army and had begun a program of industrialization. They formed an alliance for self-protection against the Russian bear. France, still stinging over the loss of Alsace and part of Lorraine in the Franco-Prussian war, made an agreement allying itself with Russia in any war with Germany or Austria-Hungary.
Britain, after finding itself friendless during the Second Boer War in South Africa — allied itself with France and worked to improve relations with the United States of America. Russia, with many ethnic groups inside its vast expanse, made an alliance with Serbia in the Balkans.
As its ability to exert control over its holdings in the Balkans weakened, ethnic and regional groups broke away and formed new states. Rising nationalism led to the First and Second Balkan Wars, and As a result of those wars, Serbia increased its size and began pushing for a union of all South Slavic peoples.
Serbian nationalism led year-old Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Habsburg throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie. Austria-Hungary, urged on by Germany, sent a list of demands to Serbia in response; the demands were such that Serbia was certain to reject them.
Russia came in on the side of the Serbs, Germany on the side of the Habsburgs, and the entangling alliances between the nations of Europe pulled one after another into the war. Although diplomats throughout Europe strove to settle matters without warfare right up to the time the shooting started, the influence military leaders enjoyed in many nations won out—along with desires to capture new lands or reclaim old ones.
Combat in the First World War German military planners were ready when the declarations of war began flying across Europe. They intended to hold off the Russians in the east, swiftly knock France out of the war through a maneuver known as the Schliefffen Plan, then throw their full force, along with Austria-Hungary, against the Russians.
The Schliefffen Plan, named for General Count Alfred von Schlieffen who created it incalled for invading the Low Countries Luxembourg and Belgium in order to bypass to the north the strong fortifications along the French border.
After a rapid conquest of the Low Countries, the German advance would continue into northern France, swing around Paris to the west and capture the French capital.
It almost worked, but German commander in chief General Helmuth von Moltke decided to send his forces east of Paris to engage and defeat the weakened French army head-on. In doing so he exposed his right flank to counterattack by the French and a British Expeditionary Force, resulting in the First Battle of the Marne, September 6—10, Despite casualties in the hundreds of thousands, the battle was a stalemate, but it stopped the German drive on Paris.
Both sides began digging a network of trenches. The First Battle of the Marne was a window onto how the rest of the war would be fought: The centuries-old method of massed charges to break through enemy positions did not work when the men faced machine guns, barbed wire, and drastically more effective artillery than in the past.
The next four years would see battles in which millions of artillery shells were fired and millions of men were killed or mutilated. Click here to read about some of the costliest battles of the First World War.
Deadly new weapons were responsible for the unprecedented carnage. New Weapons of World War I Among the lethal technological developments that were used for the first time or in some cases used for the first time in a major conflict during the Great War were the machine gun, poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks and aircraft.So one way to view this war is: Germany turned a local conflict between Austria-Hungary and Russia into a world war.
Consequently, Germany is the responsible party here.
Of course there is also a different approach to the whole situation: in addition to the "official" reasons each country had its own interests.
The topic regarding the origins of World War I is one of the most studied, debated, and disagreed-upon among historians. The question most frequently asked is, “Was Germany primarily responsible for the start of World War I?”.
Germany is blamed for supporting Austria-Hungary, which sought to punish Serbia because of probable Serbian involvement with the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne.
But Russia chose to protect Serbia, and this also brought in France. World War I —also known as “the war to end all the wars”— was a war that started in and ended in It began in Europe, giving as result the blood of thousands of innocents and people implied in the war.
The arguments over who started World War One have raged since the first shots were fired. Austria-Hungary and Germany. The war was started by the leaders of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The First World War, known as the Great War before and as World War One after , lasted from August to the final Armistice with Germany on November 11, During the war, it was referred to as the war to end all wars.
Some question the appropriateness of the term “world war” because it was largely a European, North African, and Middle Eastern war.