A brief history of the First World War

As apart of my work at Swindon 105.5 i have been given the challenge to create a number of pieces on World war one and remembrance day.

Remembrance Day is approaching where we remember the soldiers of the First World War. So in order to truly appreciate their sacrifices we should learn the history of World War 1.

On the 28th June 1914 heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Serbian terrorist group “the black hand”.

A month later Europe is on the brink of war as Austria- Hungary backed up by Germany declares war on Serbia. Russia then steps in to defend Serbia, causing Germany to declare war on Russia and their ally France.

On the 4th August Germany attacks France through Belgium. Therefore, Britain and the rest of Europe help to protect Belgium. Meaning Britain has declared war, dragging the rest of the British Empire with them.


On the 7th August 1914 the war begins in Africa. As the German empire have four colonies in Africa. This causes the British and French forces to invade.

The 23rd August is the battle of Mons in Belgium and is Britain’s first engagement with France. Germany orders the destruction of the British army. Out gunned and outnumber they face many casualties leading to Britain to start recruiting.

The 5th September is the battle of Marne. As Germany approaches Paris the French and British fight along the river Marne, leading to over 500,000 casualties.

On the 10th October the Indian army allies with the British side for the battle of Labassee in northern France.

31st October Japan ally’s with the Britain and attacks Germany on the port of Tsingtao.

In the New Year on the 3rd January 1916 both sides begin to use poison gas aka. Tear gas.

tear gas

On the 27th January 1916 after huge deaths on the western front Britain introduces conscription. All single males aged 18 to 41 can be sent to war.

On the 21st February 1916 is the battle of Verdin. This was the longest battle of World War 1. Lasting 9 months and 600,000 people were killed.

Later on the 31st may 1916 Germany heads to the English coast to attack the British fleet. It’s the biggest Navel battle of the war. Britain loses more ships but Germany retreats.


1st July 1916 was the battle of Somme. This was the bloodies battle where 20,000 Brits died on the first day. With France, Italy and Russia on our side they hoped to attack but Germany gunned downed the charging soldiers, causing over a million casualties.

On the 6th April 1917 America joined the war. As Germany attacks commercial ships that America has sent to Britain, causing many American deaths. As a result, the president declared war.


8th November 1917, Russia leaves the war in a peace treaty. This then allows Germany to gain large parts of Europe.

21st March 1918, as Germany is no longer under threat from Russia, Germany gains a 50 mile front, pushing allies back 40 miles. However, Germany was unable to sustain the attack.

In July 1918 allies carry out a series of attacks known as the hundred day offensive. This causes the Germans to concede the war is lost.

Finally, on the 11th November 1918 the war is ended by Germany surrendering and signing an armistice. The fighting ends at 11 AM. 11.11.11, the day of remembrance.



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