Questions tagged [world-war-one]

Questions on World War I, events that caused it, strategy and tactics employed by the battling sides and the consequences of this war.

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Why was Germany held accountable for WW1?

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. If the war was initially due to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian assassins, why did the Treaty of ...
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Why did Germany officially acknowledge the contents of the Zimmerman telegram?

The Zimmerman telegram was a diplomatic message from officials in Germany to the Mexican president, sent in 1917. After being intercepted and decoded by Britain's intelligence community, its contents ...
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Was the Zimmerman Telegram a ruse on the US or a way of Germany to incite Mexico to declare war on the US?

Prior to America's entry into WWI the Zimmerman Telegram was one incident that helped push America to declare war against Germany and join the Allies. While Mexico never fought against the US, so was ...
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What were the causes of the "Dardanelles" fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
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Is there any evidence to support the claim that the United States was "suckered into WW1" by Zionists, made by Benjamin Freedman in his 1961 speech?

In the comments to another question another user of History:SE made a remarkable, if unbelievable, claim: Actually, Germany was shocked when the US declared war and entered on the side of Great ...
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38 votes
3 answers
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Did the Germans purposefully arrange to send Lenin to Russia to start a revolution?

A recent documentary, The World Wars, on the History Channel suggested, strongly, that the Imperial German government secretly arranged safe-passage for Vladimir Lenin to return to Moscow from ...
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40 votes
2 answers
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In the "Christmas truce" of 1914 were there any football (soccer) matches between British and German troops?

British and German troops meeting in no man's land during the unofficial truce. Source: Wikipedia As the holiday season is upon us again this year, I am reminded of the 1914 Christmas truce (German: ...
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34 votes
6 answers
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Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
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1 answer
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Why did Russia support Serbia in the years leading to World War I?

Serbia, in its desires to develop a Slavic state, was hindered by Austria-Hungary, which took steps to stop Serbia, especially shown by the autonomy given to Albania by Austria. When Austria ...
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3 answers
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How did the US fall behind in airplane technology from 1909-1917?

In December 1902 a Wright brothers built glider flew 600 feet. A World Record December 17, 1903 The Wright built the first successful powered airplane and Wilbur Wright flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Need help identifying the military service and rank

Thinking WW1. Photos in box of family stuff.
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6 answers
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Was World War I a war of liberals against authoritarians?

An essay by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post, March 14, 2019, argues for rethinking the big theme of 20th-century history as a struggle between liberalism and authoritarianism, and for an ...
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34 votes
6 answers
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Why was the Treaty of Versailles so harsh?

When Germany signed the armistice in the first world war, they were still (technically) in a decent bargaining position. Germany still had troops in France and Belgium There were no enemy forces in ...
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How was Germany able to hold itself together, while Austria-Hungary could not?

After defeat in WWI, the monarchies of the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire rapidly crumbled, and their outlying provinces took the opportunity to declare independence and sovereignty. ...
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What were Germany's long-term aims in World War I?

In World War I, according to the Schlieffen Plan, Germany aimed to defeat France in several weeks, before freeing up soldiers to fight on the front against Russia. Suppose their plan would have ...
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29 votes
3 answers
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Why are the French and Indian Wars / Seven Years' War not considered WW 1?

The French and Indian Wars, which began in 1754, led to the Seven Years War beginning two years later in 1756; both ended in 1763. Why is this not considered World War 1? It was a world conflict, was ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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Last death caused by World War I

Today, I heard about seven deaths attributed to an explosion of a bomb from World War 2: Seven dead as war bomb explodes in Bangkok scrap yard Hopefully, the last death or deaths that can be ...
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28 votes
7 answers
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Why did trench warfare accept deadlocks?

As someone who has never studied military history or strategy I find it very hard to understand how and why both sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with ...
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22 votes
3 answers
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Why was the Western Front so static in World War I?

Once the German advance was halted, neither side could seriously advance for two years. This seems like an extraordinarily long time. Why didn't anyone succeed at going around the trenches or striking ...
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17 votes
5 answers
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Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.
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WWI trench tactics using shields?

Are there any records of WWI trench tactics involving shield formations similar to the example below of the ancient Testudo formation? . I imagine that it could have been successful if used to get ...
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World War 1 Indian propaganda posters

In World War 1, because war broke out between the triple entente and the central powers (and they happened to have a lot of foreign colonies), the allies made posters to recruit soldiers from all ...
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13 votes
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Did the Weimar governments publish revelatory WWI documents?

Consider this statement from a speech by Yegor Gaidar: Historically, such myths have a dangerous precedent--namely, Germany between World War I and World War II. Then, the legend went that ...
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18 votes
3 answers
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What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1?

What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1? The Eastern Crisis pertains to problems posed by the decay of the Ottoman Empire. Primary among these problems ...
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1 answer
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Did anyone face consequences (charges / court-martial) for the 1914 Christmas truce in WWI?

A copy of the Daily Mail from Dec. 31, 1914 reports on the Christmas truce. Source: The Star As a follow-up to this question about impromptu football / soccer games between troops from opposite ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Why did the French Army melt film during WWI?

I have just watched the film Hugo which is in part a telling of the life of Georges Méliès. Part of the film is that he sold his films which were then melted down to make heels for shoes. I did some ...
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10 votes
4 answers
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What are some examples of clauses against unifications in peace treaties?

I have learned in school that the Treaty of Versailles (after World War I in 1919) contained a clause that forbade unification of Germany and Austria. Presumably it is Article 80: Germany ...
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1 answer
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Was Marshal Foch predicting WW2 20 years in advance just a coincidence?

The Allied Supreme Commander at the end of WW1, Ferdinand Foch, seemingly predicted at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles hostilities with Germany recurring in the future. His prediction for the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How common was the German desire for revenge for the humiliation of 1918 armistice?

The author of the article "How Peace Kept WWI Alive" (here in English) at spiegel.de writes about the relationship between the two World Wars. The article says (emphasis added) that The experience ...
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5 votes
2 answers
295 views

Where can I find financial data for the first world war? [closed]

I want to analyse the first world war on the financial aspect. Here are some of my questions. Which countries borrowed money to win the war? Where were weapons manufactured? Where can I get ...
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1 vote
6 answers
570 views

What other pairs of wars have had a ~25 year interval?

The I and II world wars are 25 years apart, which is within the length of one generation. This is interesting, because it creates a premise for an entire part of a generation to be both without ...
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1 vote
1 answer
231 views

WWI: British blockade of Germany (and neutrals)

How did the British maintain an effective blockade of Germany in WWI? The distant blockade required vast resources. The policy of blockading neutrals and other unlawful matters aroused international ...
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31 votes
2 answers
20k views

Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?

Why in WW1 or WW2 or ever nobody invaded Switzerland? All other countries was in some wars. How Switzerland do it and should we learn from them? I hear that many people with power have money in swiss ...
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19 votes
7 answers
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Was there ever any doubt which side the USA would join?

From a British perspective in both WW1 and WW2 the USA have entered the war at a later stage and supported the allies. The decision for the US to enter the war has often been portrayed to be based on ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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Why did WWI include Japan?

WWI mainly developed in Europe. It only included the USA because Germans attacked a US ship. What did Japan have to do with Europe?
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13 votes
2 answers
893 views

Re: WWI, is the term "Allies" a retronym?

Were Allies of WWI called "Allies" at the time (in English), or is that a term we started applying later? Did they just refer to themselves as the (Triple) Entente?
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8 votes
2 answers
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How was Switzerland able to stay neutral during WWI and WWII?

It is amazing Switzerland was able to stay neutral. It is not just a matter of choice and only up to Switzerland. Each side of the warring faction can take this hard stand "If you are not for me, then ...
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6 votes
2 answers
458 views

Was Russia ready for amphibious invasion of Istanbul in 1914?

I've been reading The Russian Origins of the First World War by Sean McMeekin, in which he makes some very interesting claims about what the strategic situation prior to the July crisis looked like ...
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5 votes
2 answers
578 views

How common was it for Red Cross personnel to fight (in both World Wars)?

How common was it for Red Cross medical personnel to take part in military action on the battlefields (in both World Wars)? How was this received by the combatants (friendly and enemy)? The question ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Was Wilhelm II aware of the Franco-Russian Military Convention 1892?

The second sentence of Article 1 of the Convention reads, If Russia is attacked by Germany, or by Austria supported by Germany, France shall employ all her available forces to attack Germany. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why did Germany request compensation after the Agadir (2nd Moroccan) crisis?

The way I learned it, France sent troops to Morocco to suppress revolts there on the request of the Sultan. Germany saw it as France trying to take over Morocco and sent a gunboat to Agadir. Their ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How much influence did the Zimmerman Telegram have? [duplicate]

The Zimmerman telegram provoked USA to join WW1 against Germany. If the telegram hadn't been sent, would USA have entered war against Germany? The reason I ask is because it seems very strange. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
91 views

Post world war one mandates model

Pre World War One and during World War One, the game of world politics was that of direct empirical rule, whereas afterwards, the mandate model was accepted. This stated that for A type mandates there ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What kind of rifle used this shell case?

Please, anyone able to tell me what kind of shell is it and what mean this symbol on the bottom ? Is it from 1917?
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-3 votes
1 answer
567 views

Was Germany responsible for WW1? [duplicate]

I know that the US, England, and France decided that Germany was responsible for WW1, but was this a fair assessment? Why/why not?
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-4 votes
1 answer
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was communism a weaponized idea deployed against Imperial Russia? [closed]

I remember a lecture by a historian praising Imperial Germany for defeating Imperial Russia by both political (financing and "deploying" Lenin) and military means, a feat that both Napoleon and Hitler ...
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