World War I was a global war largely focused on Europe. From 1914 to 1918 more than 9 million people died. DW looks back at the conflict and its political legacy.
World War I started with the shot heard around the world: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on July 28, 1914, in Sarajevo. The diplomatic crisis soon evolved into a conflict among international military alliances as Austria-Hungary and Germany joined up against the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Empire. As the conflict expanded around the world, more nations entered the battle: the United States and Japan joined the Allies and the Ottoman Empire aligned itself with the Central Powers. By the end of the war on November 11, 1918, more than 70 million troops had been mobilized into one the largest conflicts in history. In the war's aftermath, the map of Europe was redrawn. Several of the great powers ceased to exist and smaller independent nations were created. The League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing another war. However, in the decades following the defeat of Germany, fascism and the conditions for the start of World War II soon took root. This is a collection of DW's content on World War I.
The bell of Parliament's Big Ben clock tower in London chimed at 11 a.m. to mark the time World War I ended in 1918. In Paris, wreaths were laid at the Arc de Triomphe, where an eternal flame burns for unknown soldiers.
Britain and Belgium's royals, along with German top diplomat Sigmar Gabriel, have commemorated the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. Over half a million soldiers were killed in one of World War I's worst battles.
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The date of 11th November, or 11-11, has manifold associations around the world. In many countries, it is a day to remember the horrors of World War I, while in parts of Germany it marks the start of an insanely long party. And then there are the lanterns, the geese and so very much more. All packed into those four skinny digits - and that in one single day.