The First World War began as a test of strength among the might nations of Europe. World War One, also known as the Great War, was different from all wars that had ever been experienced. It was so different from all the other wars because there were new technologies used (such as the machine gun), poison gases and trench warfare. Thousands of men were killed from attacks, others died from fatal wounds or diseases, thousands others were never found again, presumed dead or taken prisoner. (See Appendix 1) The build-up to World War One, began much earlier than 1914. The lead-up to the war was because of the alliance system, the Morocco Crisis, the Balkan Crisis, the naval races and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
In the 20th century there was colossal amount of hatred, distrust and rivalry between the European nations. In 1914, the whole of Europe was very unstable. Britain and France were worried that Germany would attempt to seize parts of their empires, Russia was worried Austria would invade Serbia, the Turks wanted to strengthen their empire and so on. Nobody wanted or expected a massive war, but all this distrust, rivalry and jealousy prevented peace. “Very few people understood the full horror of what was about to happen.”1 As the tensions began to rise, Germany made a decision to side with Austria. So, in 1879, the Dual Alliance was formed. This meant that both countries would stand beside each other if either was threatened by other powers. In 1882, Italy was persuaded to the join the Dual Alliance, turning it into the Triple Alliance. France and Russia were very concerned at this stage and they both hurried to make their own alliance. In 1892, the Dual Alliance was formed and they banded together to help each other in war time. Britain stayed well away from these arrangements and it was only until 1904 that Britain decided to join France. This meant that the Triple Entente was founded. Europe was formed into two groups; the Triple Alliance,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document