Why WW1 started

World War 1 started when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated on June 28, 1914. This was the immediate cause but there were a series of events which triggered the war. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the throne of Austria and Hungary. The assassination was planned by a Serbian terrorist group, called The Black Hand and the man who shot Franz Ferdinand and his wife was a Bosnian revolutionary named Gavrilo Princip.

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Why WW1 started 2

  • Before WW1 was triggered, a number of defence alliances existed between the major European countries. What this meant was that if one country declared war on another, the other countries would also have to enter the conflict because it was in the treaty they agreed.
  • Britain, France, Ireland and Russia were part of an alliance called the Triple Entente, while Germany aligned itself with Austria-Hungary – known as the Central Powers.
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914, it triggered a chain of events that resulted in World War 1.
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Why WW1 started 3

  • After the assassination, Austria-Hungary threatened war on Serbia. They set out some very harsh demands that Serbia must meet. Germany sided by Austria-Hungary, while Russia sided with the Serbians. At this point, Europe was at the brink of going to war.
  • One month after the Archduke’s assassination – on July 28 1914 – Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia with the backing of Germany. Germany then declared war on Russia on August 1, and on France on August 3.
  • On August 4 1914, the German troops marched on France and the route they took went through Belgium. Since Britain had agreed to maintain the neutrality of Belgium, they immediately declared war on Germany.
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trenches ww1

Trench warfare is a war tactic, or way of fighting that was commonly used on the Eastern Front and the Western Front in WW1. In trench warfare, the two sides fighting each other dig trenches in a battlefield to stop the enemy from advancing. See below for more facts about World War 1 trenches.Trench warfare is a type of fighting where both sides dig deep trenches in the ground as a defence against the enemy. The World War 1 trenches could stretch many miles and made it almost impossible for one side to advance on the other.

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trenches conditions

  • Life in the trenches was very difficult because they were dirty and flooded in bad weather. Many of the trenches also had pests living in the trenches including rats, lice, and frogs. Rats in particular were a problem and ate soldier’s food as well as the actual soldiers while they slept. Lice also caused a disease called Trench Fever that made the solders’ itch terribly and caused fever, headache, sore muscles, bones, and joints.
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Douglas Haigh Butcher o/ Somme

In an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front and relieve the pressure on the French at Verdun, Haig ordered the Somme offensive, which began on 1 July 1916. The British army suffered 60,000 casualties (just under 20,000 of whom were killed) on the first day, the highest in its history, and Haig's conduct of the battle made him one of the most controversial figures of the war. In July 1917, a new offensive - the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele) resulted in further heavy casualties, but did succeed in weakening the German army and helped prepare the way for its defeat in 1918.Haig believed that the war could only be won on the Western Front. This caused friction with Lloyd George, secretary of state for war and prime minister from December 1916 who disagreed with this strategy, supported alternative schemes and intrigued against Haig. The great German attacks of the spring of 1918 almost broke the British army, but inspired the creation of a single command of allied forces on the Western Front under the French commander Ferdinand Foch, strongly supported by Haig. Between August and November 1918 the Allied forces under Haig's command achieved a series of victories against the German army which resulted in the end of the war.

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The cold war

 this term is used to describe the relationship between America and the Soviet Union 1945 to 1980. Neither side ever fought the other – the consequences would be too appalling – but they did ‘fight’ for their beliefs using client states who fought for their beliefs on their behalf e.g. South Vietnam was anticommunist and was supplied by America during the war while North Vietnam was pro-Communist and fought the south (and the Americans) using weapons from communist Russia or communist China. InAfghanistan, the Americans supplied the rebel Afghans after the Soviet Union invaded in 1979 while they never physically involved themselves thus avoiding a direct clash with the Soviet Union.

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The cold war 2


Soviet Union

Free elections No elections or fixed Democratic Autocratic / Dictatorship Capitalist Communist ‘Survival of the fittest’ Everybody helps everybody Richest world power Poor economic base Personal freedom Society controlled by the NKVD (secret police) Freedom of the media Total censorship

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The Cold War 3

* American fear of communist attack 

* Truman’s dislike of Stalin 

* USSR’s fear of the American’s atomic bomb

 * USSR’s dislike of capitalism 

* USSR’s actions in the Soviet zone of Germany 

* America’s refusal to share nuclear secrets 

* USSR’s expansion west into Eastern Europe + broken election promises 

* USSR’s fear of American attack * USSR’s need for a secure western border * USSR’s aim of spreading world communism

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History exam


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