Soldiers of World War I head to battle
Soldiers of World War I head into battle

The 4 August 2014 marked the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, aka World War I or The Great War for Civilisation. A hundred years might seem like a very long time ago, but it isn’t really. Your great-great grandparents were around then, and they would have lived through, and maybe even taken part in, this conflict.

Why did the war start?

Lots of history books have been written on exactly this subject. But it all boils down to the fact that Europe had split into two large families of countries. The Allies — the British Empire, France, Belgium, Russia and later, the USA — were in one family. And the Central Powers of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey were in the other. On 4 August 1914, Germany invaded Belgium, and so, standing by its promise to stick up for Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany. The world was at war…

How long did it last?

When the First World War began that summer, most people thought it would be over by Christmas. Many believed that Britain was so powerful it could win very quickly. In fact, the First World War lasted four terrible years, not four months.

The trenches of World War I
The trenches of World War I

Trench life

By the winter of 1915, the opposing sides had both dug long ditches called trenches which faced each other, in some places just 30m apart! These lines of narrow trenches stretched from the Belgian coast to Switzerland, and were known as the Western Front. Over five million British soldiers spent time living in these muddy, miserable ditches, taking it in turns to be on the Front Line — the trench closest to the enemy.

Day-to-day life there was smelly and grim. There were millions of giant rats, overflowing latrines (loos) and terrible lice infestations. Not to mention the dead bodies. Every so often, soldiers on the Front Line would be instructed to leave their trench and venture into dangerous No Man’s Land (the area between the sides) to try to push back the enemy.

All About the First World War

A new type of war

This war was very different from conflicts of the past. For the first time, powerful new weapons and vehicles were used – at sea, on land and in the air – resulting in many people being killed or wounded. In Britain, you could sometimes hear what sounded like thunder coming across the English Channel from Europe. In fact, it was the huge boom of big guns, called artillery, being fired on the Western Front. 75% of all men who died in the First World War were killed by artillery.

The largest battle of the First World War – the Battle of the Somme – is known as one of the bloodiest battles in history. It was fought by the French and British against the Germans on both sides of the River Somme in France, and lasted for more than five months. Over a million men were killed or wounded, and it was the first time that a tank was used in combat.

The big guns of World War I
The big guns of World War I

It”s all over

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the First World War officially ended when an agreement (known as an armistice) was signed by Germany and the Allies. This date is known as Armistice Day, and is still commemorated each year when people wear paper poppies to remember those who fought and died in conflicts around the world – the pretty red flowers were the only things that grew on the bloody battlefields of Western Europe.

Poppies grew on the battlefields of World War I
Poppies grew on the battlefields of World War I

Sadly, by the time the First World War was over, more than 18 million people had been killed worldwide. It was hoped it would be the war to end all wars. But this wasn’t to be the case. Just 21 years later, the Second World War broke out.

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COMMENTS

  • haw

    wicked

  • rachelangee

    very nice

  • Masonlira

    cool stuff

  • #1Samantha walden

    lot of info for kids like me age 11

  • Trivett

    Freaken awesome

  • Skslslslso

    Cool

  • Brytin

    Helpful

  • Hiroyuki

    This website is absolutely amaze balls

  • shark 10(tyler

    I think its fascinating about some things in history

  • superblader

    thanks for the info

  • Reffen

    Epic

  • glowup234

    not fun boring

  • glowup234

    that is not fun it was boring

  • CatherineP010365

    it is so interesting this that the other pages

  • Aubrey11

    That is so terribly sad. Pray for all the lost souls. Amen.

  • Sparkling water 123

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  • narwal

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  • narwal

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  • Claysomthing

    this is cool even after months of learning ww1

  • CHEESE_PIZZIA

    ...

  • Claysomthing

    I know many things about history and years of learning ww1 i enjoy this site. it is very cool.

  • darryl hotdogdog

    hot dogs for life

  • darryl hotdogdog

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  • darryl hotdogdog

    sup everyone good morning red bird

  • LilacPetal

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  • icycool0

    LOL

  • alhagie

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  • saylorwinkles

    you guy have a great website lol is so great i love it and blc miss.south said and i am so glad i did

  • Tilly poulter

    very interesting and factual

  • A_j

    Awesome!!!!

  • hussein

    pathetic 18 millions died because of one man

  • hussein

    pathetic 18 millions died because of 1 man

  • Laarman

    Nice Info

  • sup123

    hi

  • 2345387_bgfh

    good

  • AA1001169

    More info. I feel like this is hardly anything.

  • Bobby_Joe

    Cool!

  • ksa

    lol

  • Bily

    Really cool article.

  • lionphant

    I didnt learn about the first world war fully! But now I know much more!

  • Lucy age 7

    Oh my cool an I the oly one who can see this!!

  • 12345678901234567890

    Cool

  • madison4569871230

    interesting.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • snow

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  • snow

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  • Keren

    I didnt know that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Angelo1512

    Really helpful

  • Gideon tan

    Cool

  • Alice270769

    didnt really help soz

  • JoJo_22

    I want to learn more!

  • KILLER4545

    MY GREAT GRANDPA FOUGHT IN WORLD WAR 1

  • KILLER4545

    MY GRANDDAD FOUGHT THERE

  • LexiJean

    What did they play football with ?

  • bob

    lol

  • Jammer7r8

    I like the plane! I wanna fly it!

  • sahan

    amazing

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    Ausome!

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  • Ryan Ellis

    Epic

  • lion girl

    love the facts helps me with my homework

  • Hale

    cool

  • Coolcat61

    I love it

  • issac_newton

    i a sorry for the soldiers that fought in the first world war I hope they are remembered LEST WE FORGET

  • Frankenstien

    It is sooo sad that many soldiers in the trenches were living in conditions as bad as that. But I thank them very much for saving us,and for making our future as good as it is.

  • Matilda Rennie

    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sruthelaya

    That was good history.It was sad that some men and fathers died

  • karategirl

    cool

  • prema108

    soooooo cool

  • Dr1Dray

    it must have been horribile

  • Titan

    Really good history. its good they stopped fighting for a little bit.

  • samuel

    cool and cool and cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  • mel

    i love history . cool

  • huskylover

    I have no clue how they could like each other for a few days and then hate each other again. I like learning about the wars

  • Ted

    Good

  • Kopiop

    Thanks for information!

  • jude

    so sad

  • ryann

    cool

  • asherwav

    it is so cool

  • maisy

    Ive leant a lot from this website its soooo cool

  • A6--3

    Really good. Ive always wanted to know more about world war 1

  • giraffe11

    cool

  • Mr_Adam1234

    Can you believe it, they fought and then stopped for christmas by two days and then fought again!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lol

    good website

  • amelia

    This is really interesting, I love how they all stopped fighting for a day or two (the truce) and decided to get along, sing together and even play football. It shows you how friendly people can be - even your enemies!

  • portugal

    ITS NOT VERY NICE ONE BIT, ALL I CAN SAY IS IT WILL BE REMEMBERD!

  • szymon

    The war wasn`t a very nice time to live.

  • Emma

    Good

  • Cora

    Really good learning facts!

  • Yassy

    Cool facts!

  • bob

    awesome

  • #swags

    SICK!!!!!

  • Roseberryapple

    Awesome, but i am learning about the celts it grosses me out. I do play minecraft with my brother also i play AJ but some times i dilike AJ because of the lag, boredism and mean people on AJ.

  • yolo

    That did you know is very odd and interesting.

  • Billy

    cool info

  • Billy

    cool info

  • Santiago

    They called soccer football?

  • Adam

    This taught me a lesson, not to be enemies.

  • cooltim2004

    They are all cool facts about the first world war.

  • saul

    i love animal jam but mine craft is good i like this website

  • anne

    amazballs

  • callum

    lol

  • naledi

    history is good you can learn new things you did not know from a long time ago

  • IGHOST

    Very intresting facts with puciation caption and fact points

  • John

    Very interesting

  • luci

    Thanks for the information

  • AKFLOF

    it was intresting

  • hannah

    this helped alot thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jackted

    I learnt a lot about World War 1 today, I was surprised 9 out of 10 people survived.

  • Joe22

    Why stop fighting I for a day when it can be evey day

  • zach

    it rearly helped my brain!

  • NGKids-fan1234

    this gave me sooooo much information on world war 1

  • ayan

    it is astonishing

  • chloe

    my topic is ww1 and I learned new things on this website I knew a lot already someone in my family fought in ww1 and ww2

  • farhan

    i would not like to be in the war

  • Dillon

    helped alot

  • Amina

    I would not like to be in war

  • grace

    i feel sorry for the family of people who died coz they would have been real upset

  • 12345678910

    Learnt about this at school but not this much! Must have been terrible

  • Amrit

    I wouldnt like to be in the war.

  • Ignatius

    Cant have been nice! We should remember :)

  • joshua

    that is about the frest would war

  • 123PAA456

    i would have hated it if i had to live in these conditions:(

  • turtleshell1000

    cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cooooool

    These facts are AMAAAAAAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gamelover67810AJ

    I like the fact that actully learning about this on NG kids is fun

  • Ria

    It was nice that they played football at Christmas and stopped fighting.

  • PURPLEPIGS

    Awesome information and very informative!!!!!!!!!!

  • sethie

    great. Got a project about world war 1so AWSOME!

  • eliz

    cool

  • Ava

    very interesting i didnt know they played football on chrismas

  • Raven

    So informative

  • skyblue

    cool

  • sophia01928374655

    AMAZING

  • calvin

    this is great

  • Lena

    Lovely facts

  • aaron2254

    really informative i like it

The Gold Thief

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