The Great War What were the war aims OR military strategies of the various belligerents in World War I How was the Great War the first truly global conflict

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World War I began after Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Saajevo on June 18, 1914. This resulted in a declaration of war made by Austria-Hungary against Serbia on July 31, 1914. At the time, several military experts thought that the war would be quick, ending after a few decisive battles demonstrated who would be the victor.


Reflecting on what happened during the Russo-Japanese War, Block felt that this new, technological sort of war would destroy Europe. 1
A new belief circulated amongst European General Staffs that contingency plans needed to be made allowing them to win any future war they might come upon. The main problem that followed from this, however, was the fact that they did not understand the concept of modern war, and thus the plans they put together actually resulted in a catastrophic war of attrition. Four reasons actually caused this catastrophe. The first issue was the fact that industrialization resulted in weapons and equipment being made on a large scale. Next, there was a huge population growth which allowed for the manpower necessary to create the large armies necessary to fight the war. Third, reserves became a popular concept, and this allowed the armies to grow quickly. Last, the creation of large railroad networks allowed for armies to be supplied in the trenches. The combination of these four concepts would alter the face of war forever, and this resulted in a near death struggle by the end of 1914 that neither country wanted nor expected. Furthermore, none of the European rulers could discover a way to end the terrible war or justify the large amount of men lost to it during the first months of war. ...
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