Monday, July 28, 2014

World War I began 100 years ago ...

World War I uniforms on display in the Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) in Paris, France. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

For many Europeans, today marks the centennial of the beginning of World War I. On June 28, 1914, a Serbian assassin killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife, while they were on a state visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. One month later, on July 28, 1914, Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia, starting a war that would lead to the horrific tragedy of World War I, in which millions of soldiers and civilians died -- from both combat and disease.

World War I cannon on display in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris.

By Aug. 3, 1914, Germany had declared war on France, and by Aug. 4, as Germany was invading Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany.

A French tank used in World War I, displayed in the Musée de l' Armée.*

The BBC Web site has an interesting page telling "How the world went to war" 100 years ago. Click here to see their video clips.

The war lasted four years, until the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918. What should have been a "war to end all wars" has been followed by longer conflicts around the world.

Pens used in signing the armistice agreement that ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, on display at the Musée de l'Armée.

For more stories about World War I, including lesser known facts about the war and its influence, click here.

Teachers, note this article posted today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Why World War I gets short shrift in U.S. schools."

* According to a Wikipedia article, "The French fielded their first tanks in April, 1917, and went on to produce more tanks than all the other combatants combined."

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