When did World War One start, how many people died and what was life like for the soldiers in the trenches?

IT was a war unprecedented in the destruction and deaths caused, which led to the fall of four imperial dynasties.

Millions died in World War One, as much of Europe, Russia, the US and the Middle East became embroiled in an international conflict. As Remembrance Day 2019 approaches, we take a look at the devastating war.

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Troops spent much of the war in trenches as they battled for their country[/caption]

When did World War One start?

The outbreak of the war began on June 28, 1914, when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot dead in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

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 Ferdinand triggered a chain of events within these countries which resulted in the war.

Tensions boiled throughout July 1914 until August 1 saw Germany order general mobilasation and declare war again Russia.

After sending troops into Luxembourg and demanding free passage through Belgium for German troops, Germany declared war on France on August 3.

Great Britain then declared war on Germany on August 4 before Austria Hungary declared war on Russia on August 5.

Serbia followed suit, declaring war against Germany on August 6.

Montenegro against Austria-Hungary on August 7 and against Germany on August 12. then France and Great Britain declared war against Austria-Hungary on August 10 and August 12, respectively.

Finally Japan declared against Germany on August 23, Austria-Hungary against Japan on August 25 and against Belgium on August 28.

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Many men lived and died in the muddy trenches along the Western Front[/caption]

When did World War One end?

After many years of battle the Russian government collapsed in the midst of a revolution.

This in addition to further military defeat granted the Germans a victory.

German troops then carried out an offensive along the Western Front in 1918 but the Allies drove back the Germans.

Eventually the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to an armistice on November 4, and days later, on the 11, Germany also agreed – ending the war.

How many people died in World War One?

Some 8,500,000 died in the conflict, as a result of wounds and/or disease.

The Battle of the Somme, on July 1, 1916, saw 57,470 personnel from the British Army die in a single day.

The greatest number of casualties came from artillery.

Poison gas and small arms followed on as the next biggest killers.

It has been estimated the number of civilian deaths during the war – largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters and massacres – reached 13,000,000.

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Some 8,500,000 died in the conflict, as a result of wounds and/or disease[/caption]

What was life like in the trenches?

Much of the war was fought by soldiers living in trenches along the Western Front.

They were long, narrow ditches dug into the ground where soldiers lived all day and night.

German trenches lined one side and the Allied trenches lined the other – the middle was No Man’s Land.

Soldiers had to cross the hazardous space if they wanted to attack.

Trenches were dirty and contained the living and the dead.

Rats infested the trenches and soldiers had a bad lice problem.

They couldn’t sleep much and lived in constant fear of attack.


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