Key Historical Figures of World War I (2023)

World War 1lasted just over four years and included many belligerent nations. Consequently, there are a lot of famous names involved. Here are 28 of the most important figures from the conflict.


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Prime Minister Herbert Asquith

Key Historical Figures of World War I (1)

Prime Minister of Britain since 1908, he oversaw Britain’s entry into World War One when he underestimated the scale of the July crisis and relied on the judgment of colleagues who had supported theFarmer war. He struggled to unite his government, and after the disasters of the Somme and a rising in Ireland was forced out by a mixture of press and political pressure.


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Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg

Key Historical Figures of World War I (2)

As Chancellor of Imperial Germany from 1909 until the start of the war, it was Hollweg’s job to try and prise apart the triple alliance of Britain, France, and Russia; he was unsuccessful, thanks partly to the actions of other Germans. He managed to calm international events in the years before the warbut seems to have developed a fatalism by 1914, and he gave Austria-Hungary backing. He appears to have tried to direct the army east, to meet Russia and avoid antagonizing Francebut lacked the power. He was in charge of the September Programme, which spelt out enormous war aims, and spent the next three years trying to balance the divisions in Germany and maintain some diplomatic weight despite the actions of the military, but was worn down into accepting Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and ousted by the military and the rising Reichstag parliament.


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General Aleksey Brusilov

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The most talented and successful Russian commander of the First World War, Brusilov started the conflict in charge of the Russian Eighth Army, where he contributed significantly to success in Galicia in 1914. By 1916 he had stood out enough to be put in charge of the southwest Eastern Front, and the Brusilov offensive of 1916 was hugely successful by the standards of the conflict, capturing hundreds of thousands of prisoners, taking territory, and distracting the Germans from Verdun at a key moment. However, the victory was not decisive, and the army began to lose further morale. Russia soon fell to revolution, and Brusilov found himself with no army to command. After a period of difficulty, he later commanded Red forces in theRussian Civil War.


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Winston Churchill

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As First Lord of the Admiralty when war broke out, Churchill was instrumental in keeping the fleet safe and ready to act as events unfolded. He oversaw the movement of the BEF perfectly, but his interventions, appointments, and actions made him enemies and undermined his previous reputation for successful dynamism. Associated heavily with the Gallipoli expedition, in which he made critical mistakes, he lost the job in 1915but decided to command a unit on the Western Front, doing so in 1915-16. In 1917, Lloyd George brought him back to government as Minister of Munitions, where he made a significant contribution to supplying the army, and again promoted tanks.


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Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau

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Clemenceau had established a formidable reputation before the First World War, thanks to his radicalism, his politics, and his journalism. When war broke out, he resisted offers to join the government and used his position to attack any faults he saw in the army, and he saw many. By 1917, with the French war effort failing, the country turned to Clemenceau to halt the slide. With boundless energy, iron will and fierce belief, Clemenceau drove France through total war and the successful conclusion of the conflict. He wished to inflict a brutally harsh peace on Germanyand has been accused of losing the peace.


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General Eric von Falkenhayn

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Although Moltke tried to use him as a scapegoat in 1914, Falkenhayn was chosen to replace Moltke late in 1914. He believed victory would be won in the west and only sent troops east with reservation, earning him the enmity of Hindenburg and Ludendorff, but did enough to ensure the conquest of Serbia. In 1916 he unveiled his coldly pragmatic plan for the west, the ​war of attrition atVerdun, but lost sight of his objectives and saw the Germans suffer equal casualties. When an under-supported east suffered setbacks, he was further weakened and replaced by Hindenburg and Ludendorff. He then took command of an army and defeated Romania, but failed to repeat the success in Palestine and Lithuania.


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Archduke Franz Ferdinand

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It was theassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, which sparked off the First World War. Ferdinand wasn’t well liked in Austria-Hungary, partly because he was a difficult man to deal with, and partly because he wished to reform Hungary to give the Slavs more say, but he acted as a check on Austrian actions immediately before the war, moderating response and helping to avoid conflict.


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Field Marshal Sir John French

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A cavalry commander who made his name in Britain’s colonial wars, French was the first commander of the British Expeditionary Force during the war. His early experiences of modern warfare at Mons gave him the belief that the BEF was at risk of being wiped out, and he may have grown clinically depressed as the war continued in 1914, missing chances to act. He was also suspicious of the Frenchand had to be persuaded by a personal visit from Kitchener to keep the BEF fighting. As those above and below him grew frustrated, French was seen to fail significantly in the battles of 1915 and replaced by Haig at the end of the year.


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Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Key Historical Figures of World War I (9)

Before the war broke out, Foch’s military theories — which argued the French soldier was disposed to attacking — profoundly influenced the development of the French army. At the start of the war, he was given troops to commandbut made his name in collaborating and ​coordinating with other allied commanders. When Joffre fell, he was sidelined, but made a similar impression working in Italy, and won over allied leaders enough to become the Allied Supreme Commander on the Western Front, where his sheer personality and guile helped him maintain success for just about long enough.


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Emperor Franz Josef Habsburg I

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Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef I spent much of his sixty-eight-year reign keeping an increasingly fractious empire together. He was largely against war, which he felt would destabilize the nation, and the capture of Bosnia in 1908 was an aberration. However, in 1914 he appears to have changed his mind after the assassination of his heir Franz Ferdinand, and it’s possible the weight of family tragedies, as well as the pressures of holding the empire intact, made him allow a war to punish Serbia. He died in 1916, and with him went a great deal of the personal support that had held the empire together.


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Sir Douglas Haig

Key Historical Figures of World War I (11)

A former cavalry commander, Haig worked as Commander of the British 1stArmy in 1915, and used his political connections to criticize the BEF’s commander, French, and have himself named a replacement at the end of the year. For the remainder of the war, Haig led the British army, mixing faith that a breakthrough could be achieved on the Western Front with a total imperturbability at the human cost, which he believed was inevitable in modern war. He was certain victory should be actively pursued, or else the war would last decades, and in 1918 his policy of wearing the Germans down and developments in supply and tactics meant he oversaw victories. Despite a recent turn to his defense, he remains the most controversial figure in the English historiography, for some a bungler who wasted millions of lives, for others a determined winner.


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Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg

Key Historical Figures of World War I (12)

Hindenburg was called out of retirement in 1914 to command the Eastern Front in tandem with the formidable talents of Ludendorff. He was soon just the gloss on Ludendorff’s decisions, but was still officially in charge and given total command of the war with Ludendorff. Despite the failure of Germany in the war, he remained hugely popularand would go on to become the President of Germany who appointed Hitler.

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Conrad von Hotzendorf

Key Historical Figures of World War I (13)

The head of the Austro-Hungarian army, Conrad is perhaps the individual most responsible for the outbreak of World War One. Before 1914 he had called for war perhaps over fifty times, and he believed strong action against rival powers was needed to maintain the empire’s integrity. He wildly overestimated what the Austrian army could achieve, and put in place imaginative plans with little regard to reality. He started the war by having to divide his forces, thus making little impact on either zone and continued to fail. He was replaced in February 1917.


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Marshal Joseph Joffre

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As Chief of the French General Staff from 1911, Joffre did much to shape the way France would respond to war, and as Joffre believed in a strong offense, this involved promoting aggressive officers and pursuing Plan XVIII: an invasion of Alsace-Lorraine. He advocated full and fast mobilization during the July Crisis of 1914but found his preconceptions shattered by the reality of war. Almost at the last minute, he changed plans to stop Germany just short of Paris, and his calmness and unflustered nature contributed to this victory. However, over the next year, a succession of critics eroded his reputation, and he fell open to massive attack when his plans for Verdun were seen to have created that crisis. In December 1916 he was removed from command, made a Marshal, and reduced to performing ceremonies.


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Mustafa Kemal

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A professional Turkish soldier who predicted that Germany would lose a major conflict, Kemal was nonetheless given a command when the Ottoman Empire joined Germany in the war, albeit after a period of waiting. Kemal was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula, where he played a crucial role in defeating the Entente invasion, propelling him to the international stage. He was then sent to fight Russia, winning victories, and to Syria and Iraq. Resigning in disgust at the state of the army, he suffered from health problems before recovering and being sent to Syria again. As Ataturk, he would later lead a rebellion and found the modern state of Turkey.


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Field Marshal Horatio Kitchener

Key Historical Figures of World War I (16)

A famed imperial commander, Kitchener was appointed British War Minister in 1914 more for his reputation than his ability to organize. He almost immediately brought a realism to the cabinet, claiming the war would last years and require as large an army Britain could manage. He used his fame to recruit two millionvolunteers through a campaign which featured his face, and kept French and the BEF in the war. However, he was a failure in other aspects, such as securing Britain’s turn to total waror providing a coherent organizational structure. Slowly sidelined during 1915, Kitchener’s public reputation was so great he couldn’t be fired, but he drowned in 1916 when his ship, traveling to Russia, was sunk.


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Key Historical Figures of World War I (17)

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Although by 1915 his opposition to the war meant that he was only the leader of a small socialist faction, by the end of 1917 his continued call for peace, bread and land had helped him take charge of a coup d’etat to lead Russia. He overruled fellow Bolsheviks who wanted to continue the ​war and entered into talks with Germany which turned into the Brest-Litovsk treaty.


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British Prime Minister Lloyd-George

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Lloyd-George’s political reputation in the years before the First World War was one of a vocal anti-war liberal reformer. Once conflict broke out in 1914, he read the public mood and was instrumental in getting the Liberals to support intervention. He was an early ‘Easterner’ — wanting to attack the Central Powers away from the Western Front — and as Minister for Munitions in 1915 intervened to improve production, throwing open the industrial workplace to women and competition. After politicking in 1916, he became Prime Minister, determined to win the war but save British lives from his commanders, of whom he was deeply suspicious and with whom he warred.After World War 1, he wanted a careful peace settlementbut was pushed into a harsher treatment of Germany by his allies.


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General Erich Ludendorff

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A professional soldier who had gained a political reputation, Ludendorff rose in esteem in seizing Liege in 1914and was appointed Hindenburg’s Chief of Staff in the east in 1914, so he could make an impact. The pair — but chiefly Ludendorff with his considerable talents — soon inflicted defeats on Russia and pushed them right back. Ludendorff’s reputation and politicking saw he and Hindenburg appointed in charge of the entire war, and it was Ludendorff who drew up the Hindenburg Programme to allow Total War. Ludendorff’s power grew, and he both authorized Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and tried to win a decisive victory in the west in 1918. The failure of both — he innovated tactically, but drew the wrong strategic conclusions — caused him a mental collapse. He recovered to call for an armistice and to create a German scapegoatand effectively started the ‘Stabbed in the Back’ Myth.


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Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke

Key Historical Figures of World War I (20)

Moltke was the nephew of his great namesake but suffered an inferiority complex to him. As Chief of Staff in 1914, Moltke thought war with Russia was inevitable, and it was he who had the responsibility of implementing the Schlieffen Plan, which he modified but failed to plan through properly pre-war. His changes to the plan and the failure of the German offensive on the Western Front, which owed a deal to his inability to cope with events as they developed, opened him up to criticism and he was replaced as Commander in Chief in September 1914 by Falkenhayn.


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Robert-Georges Nivelle

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A brigade commander in the early part of the war, Nivelle rose to command first a French division and then 3rdCorps at Verdun. As Joffre grew wary of Petain’s success, Nivelle was promoted to command the 2ndArmy at Verdun and had great success in using creeping barrages and infantry attacks to retake the land.

In December 1916 he was chosen to succeed Joffre as head of the French forces, and his belief in artillery supported frontal assaults was so persuasive the British put their troops under him. However, his grand attack in 1917 failed to match his rhetoric, and the French army mutinied as a result. He was replaced after just five months and sent to Africa.


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General John Pershing

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Pershing was selected by US President Wilson to command the American Expeditionary Force in 1917. Pershing immediately confounded his colleagues by calling for a million-strong army by 1918, and three million by 1919; his recommendations were accepted.

He kept the AEF together as an independent force, only putting US troops under allied command during the crisis of early 1918. He led the AEF through successful operations in the later part of 1918and survived the war reputation mostly intact.


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Marshal Philippe Petain

Key Historical Figures of World War I (23)

A professional soldier, Pétain moved slowly up the military hierarchy because he favored a more offensive and integrated approach than the all-out attack popular at the time. He was promoted during the warbut came to national prominence when he was chosen to defend Verdun once the fortress complex seemed in danger of failing.

His skill and organization allowed him to do so successfully until a jealous Joffre promoted him away. When the Nivelle offensive in 1917 led to mutiny, Pétain took over and calmed the soldiers into remaining a working army — often through personal intervention — and commanded successful attacks in 1918, although he showed signs of a worrying fatalism that saw Foch promoted above him to keep a grip. Sadly, a later war would ruin all he achieved in this one.

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Raymond Poincaré

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As President of France from 1913, he believed war with Germany was inevitableand prepared France appropriately: improve the alliance with Russia and Britain, and expand conscription to create an army equal to Germany. He was in Russia during much of the July crisisand was criticized for not doing enough to stop the war. During the conflict, he tried to keep the union of government factions togetherbut lost power to the military, and after the chaos of 1917 was forced to invite an old rival, Clemenceau, into power as Prime Minister; Clemenceau then took the lead over Poincaré.


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Gavrilo Princip

Key Historical Figures of World War I (25)

A young and naïve Bosnian Serb from a peasant family, Princip was the man who succeeded — at the second attempt — to kill Franz Ferdinand, the trigger event for World War One. The extent of the support he received from Serbia is debated, but it’s likely he was heavily supported by them, and a change of mind higher up came too late to stop him. Princip doesn’t appear to have held much of an opinion about the consequences of his actions and died in 1918 during a twenty-year prison sentence.


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Tsar Nicholas Romanov II

Key Historical Figures of World War I (26)

A man who wished for Russia to gain territory in the Balkans and Asia, Nicholas II also disliked war and tried to avoid conflict during the July crisis. Once the war began, the autocratic Tsar refused to allow the liberals or elected Duma officials a say in the running, alienating them; he was also paranoid of any criticism. As Russia faced multiple military defeats, Nicolas took personal command in September 1915; consequently, the failures of a Russia unprepared for modern war were associated firmly with him. These failures and his attempt to crush dissent by force led to a revolution and his abdication. Bolsheviks killed him in 1918.


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Kaiser Wilhelm II

Key Historical Figures of World War I (27)

The Kaiser was the official head (Emperor) of Germany during World War 1but lost much practical power to military experts early on, and almost all to Hindenburg and Ludendorff in the final years. He was forced to abdicate as Germany rebelled late in 1918, and he didn’t know the announcement was being made for him. The Kaiser was a leading verbal saber rattler before the war — his personal touch caused some crises, and he was passionate about gaining colonies - but calmed down notably as the war progressed and he was sidelined. Despite some Allied demands for a trial, he lived in peace in the Netherlands until his death in 1940.


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US President Woodrow Wilson

Key Historical Figures of World War I (28)

US President from 1912, Wilson’s experiences of the US Civil War gave him a lifetime enmity towards war, and when World War One started, he was determined to keep the US neutral. However, as the Entente powers grew in debt to the US, the messianic Wilson became convinced he could offer mediation and establish a new international order. He was re-elected on the promise of keeping the US neutral, but when the Germans started Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, he entered the war determined to impose his vision of peace on all the belligerents, as governed by his Fourteen Points plan. He had some effect at Versailles, but couldn’t negate the French, and the US refused to support the League of Nations, ruining his planned new world.


Who played a major role in World War 1? ›

During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Canada, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers).

Who won World War 1 simple answer? ›

Who won World War I? The Allies won World War I after four years of combat and the deaths of some 8.5 million soldiers as a result of battle wounds or disease.

What was really the main cause of ww1 worksheet answers history project? ›

The immediate cause of World War I that made the aforementioned items come into play (alliances, imperialism, militarism, nationalism) was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. In June 1914, a Serbian-nationalist terrorist group called the Black Hand sent groups to assassinate the Archduke.

Who were the big three leaders in ww1? ›

Delegates from 32 countries met for the Versailles Conference (January 1919), but most decisions were made by 'the Big Three' – Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France, Woodrow Wilson, President of America, and David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain.

Who were the three leaders in ww1? ›

Did you know that at the time of the First World War, the rulers of the world's three greatest nations – King George V of Great Britain and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia on the one hand, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany on the other – were first cousins?

Who was the most famous hero of ww1? ›

1. Alvin York. Sergeant Alvin York was once described as World War I's “greatest civilian soldier,” yet he began the conflict as a conscientious objector.

Who was the most famous soldier in World War 1? ›

John Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Who led America during World War 1? ›

Although many countries were drawn into the conflict of World War I, the United States maintained a policy of isolationism advocated by President Wilson. Elected in 1912 as the 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson served from 1913 to 1921.

Who won the first war ever? ›

Historians believe the first war in recorded history took place in Mesopotamia in 2,700 B.C. between the forces of Sumer and Elam. Enembaragesi, the King of Kish, led the Sumerians to victory over the Elamites in that war.

Who won the first war? ›

The first World War was won by the Allies consisting of the United Kingdom, France, United States, Japan, Italy. They defeated the Central Powers consisting of Imperial Germany, Austro-Hungary Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It lasted from 1914 and lasted until the signing of the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919.

What were the 5 main causes of ww1? ›

The main causes of World War 1 were alliances between countries, militarism, nationalism, imperialism, secret diplomacy, and internationalism.

What are the 4 main ideas of ww1? ›

The M-A-I-N acronym – militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism – is often used to analyse the war, and each of these reasons are cited to be the 4 main causes of World War One. It's simplistic but provides a useful framework.

Why did Germany start ww1? ›

Germany sought to break up the French-Russian alliance and was fully prepared to take the risk that this would bring about a major war. Some in the German elite welcomed the prospect of beginning an expansionist war of conquest. The response of Russia, France and later Britain were reactive and defensive.

Who were the Big 5 in ww1? ›

The five great powers (France, Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States) controlled the Conference. The "Big Four" were French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, US President Woodrow Wilson, and Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando.

Who led the Germans in World War 1? ›

Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the German kaiser (emperor) and king of Prussia from 1888 to 1918, was one of the most recognizable public figures of World War I (1914-18).

Who were the leaders of the Big 4 ww1? ›

- Photo shows "Big Four" world leaders at World War I Peace Conference in Paris, May 27, 1919. From left to right: Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Premier Vittorio Orlando, Premier Georges Clemenceau, and President Woodrow Wilson.

Who was the bad leader in ww1? ›

Winston Churchill is often hailed as the model of a great leader, but a hundred years ago this month, in the early days of World War I, his leadership was dreadful. As Britain's lord of admiralty (secretary of the navy), he made the fateful decision to attack Turkey on its Dardanelles coast, specifically at Gallipoli.

Who was the bravest soldier in ww1? ›

Sgt. Henry Johnson's actions on the night of May 15, 1918 earned him the nickname “Black Death.” Defending Allied lines, he saved a fellow Soldier from capture and prevented a German raid from reaching his French allies. However, the United States refused to recognize Johnson's extraordinary actions.

Who was the main villain in ww1? ›

Gavrilo Princip. A teenage Serbian militant who assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. Princip was armed and trained by a Serbian terrorist group known as the Black Hand. His assassination of Ferdinand is widely considered to be the opening shot of World War I.

Who was the most successful ww1 fighter? ›

Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the 'Red Baron', is perhaps the most famous air ace of the First World War. Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918), also known as the 'Red Baron', is perhaps the most famous air ace of the First World War. He was the highest-scoring ace of the war with 80 official victories.

Who were the most powerful in ww1? ›

There were two main power blocs in World War I: the Triple Entente of Britain, Russia, and France, as well as the Triple Alliance of Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Germany. Q: What country was the most powerful during World War I? Great Britain was the most powerful of all countries at the beginning of World War I.

What famous people died in ww1? ›

  • Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Jan 11 American writer and satirist (Devil's Dictionary, Nuggets & Dust), dies at 71.
  • George Westinghouse (1846-1914) ...
  • Frederic Mistral (1830-1914) ...
  • Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914) ...
  • John Philip Holland (1840-1914) ...
  • John Muir (1838-1914)

Who saved US in ww1? ›

That pigeon's name is "President Wilson" -- an unsung hero of World War I that made a daring flight to save U.S. troops exactly 100 years ago on Friday. President Wilson was a military carrier pigeon, one of many in the U.S. Army Signal Corps that delivered messages between commanders and troops on the front lines.

What were American soldiers called in ww1? ›

Indelibly tied to Americans, “Doughboys” became the most enduring nickname for the troops of General John Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces, who traversed the Atlantic to join war weary Allied armies fighting on the Western Front in World War I.

What was the deadliest battle in US history? ›

The deadliest single-day battle in American history, if all engaged armies are considered, is the Battle of Antietam with 3,675 killed, including both United States and Confederate soldiers (total casualties for both sides was 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing Union and Confederate soldiers September 17, 1862).

What was the longest war ever? ›

Some historians consider England's Scilly conflict to be the longest war in known history, dragging on for a staggering 335 years. Yet one side was not a country in its own right, there were no casualties for the entire duration, and not a single shot was fired.

Who started the longest war? ›

The longest continual war in history was the Iberian Religious War, between the Catholic Spanish Empire and the Moors living in what is today Morocco and Algeria. The conflict, known as the “Reconquista,” spanned 781 years — more than three times as long as the United States has existed.

Who brought World War 1 to an end? ›

The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended World War I, was signed on June 28, 1919. The main authors of the treaty were the leaders of France, England, Italy and the United States.

Who was the youngest soldier to fight in ww1? ›

Soldier. He enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment in August 1915 at the age of twelve, and fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, then aged thirteen. In the 106th Machine Gun Company of the Machine Gun Corps he fought in the Battle of Delville Wood which saw some of the worst casualties on the Somme.

How many horses died in ww1? ›

Eight million horses, donkeys and mules died in World War 1 (WWI), three-quarters of them from the extreme conditions they worked in.

How many died in ww1? ›

Some 8,500,000 soldiers died as a result of wounds or disease during World War I. Perhaps as many as 13,000,000 civilians also died. This immensely large number of deaths dwarfed that of any previous war, largely because of the new technologies and styles of warfare used in World War I.

How did ww1 start kids? ›

On the 18th June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, who was the heir to the throne for the Austria-Hungarian empire. He was shot by a Serbian man, who believed that Serbia should have control over Bosnia, not Austria. As a result, Austra-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

Who declared war first? ›

The 'Great War', which began on 28 July 1914 with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war with Serbia, was the first truly global war. It began in Europe but quickly spread throughout the world.

Why was ww1 won? ›

Most historians tell us that the U.S. Army arrived too late on the Western Front to affect the war's outcome, an outcome determined by Allied grit, better tactics, the British blockade of German ports, and, ultimately, German exhaustion and revolution.

Why did America enter ww1? ›

Germany's resumption of submarine attacks on passenger and merchant ships in 1917 became the primary motivation behind Wilson's decision to lead the United States into World War I.

What if Germany won ww1? ›

If Germany had won on the Western Front, it would have acquired some French territory and maybe Belgium. The Germans probably wouldn't have been able to enjoy their victory for long. Britain would have retained its independence, protected by its navy that might have continued the hunger blockade against Germany.

What are the 8 Central Powers? ›

Member states
CountryPopulation (millions)
Germany (1914)Total77.7
Austria-Hungary (1914)50.6
Ottoman Empire (1914)23.0
Bulgaria (1915)4.8
3 more rows

What was World War 1 about short summary? ›

World War I was a global conflict that took place between 1914 and 1918. Also known as the Great War or First World War, it was fought mainly in Europe, but it also spread to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Most of the war was fought using artillery (large weapons such as cannons), machine guns, and rifles.

Who were the Central Powers in ww1? ›

The Allies described the wartime military alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire as the 'Central Powers'.

Why did Germany lose ww1? ›

Germany lacked the necessary raw materials to make cordite (the vital propellant for bullets and shells) and explosives. Austria-Hungary was hampered by a lack of rail transport and rail infrastructure. Britain had a manpower shortage and a paucity of acetone, the key component for making cordite.

Why did Russia join WW1? ›

Russia entered World War I in August 1914, drawn into the conflict by the alliance system and its promises of support to Serbia, its Balkan ally. 2. War patriotism helped douse anti-government sentiment, which had been building steadily in months beforehand, peaking with a general strike in July 1914.

Why did Russia start WW1? ›

After assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne in June 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on the Russia's ally Serbia, which made Russia enter WW1 in support of Serbia. During the war, Russia had some success against Austria-Hungary, but suffered major defeats by Germany.

Why did France join WW1? ›

The French, in 1914, entered the war because they had no alternative. The Germans had attacked them. History can be very simple at times.

Who was the main character of First World War? ›

Franz Ferdinand

The archduke of Austria, nephew of Emperor Franz Joseph, and heir to the Habsburg throne. Franz Ferdinand's assassination on June 28, 1914, by Serbian militant Gavrilo Princip, is widely considered the unofficial start of World War I.

Who was the most famous general in ww1? ›

Pershing. General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing GCB (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948), nicknamed "Black Jack", was a senior United States Army officer. He served most famously as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on the Western Front during World War I, from 1917 to 1918.

Who was the first soldier in ww1? ›

Albert Mayer (soldier)
Albert Otto Walter Mayer
Born24 April 1892 Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, German Empire
Died2 August 1914 (aged 22) Joncherey, France
BuriedGerman Military Cemetery, Alsace, France
AllegianceGerman Empire
6 more rows

Who was the first person to declare war in ww1? ›

On July 28, 1914, one month to the day after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, effectively beginning the First World War.

Who fought first in world war 1? ›

Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, beginning World War I.

Who was the ww1 woman hero? ›

Julia Catherine Stimson (1881 - 1948) American nurse Julia Catherine Stimson devoted her military service to saving as many lives as she could — and she became the first woman to achieve the rank of major in the U.S. Army.

Who was the deadliest person in ww1? ›

The deadliest sniper of WWI was Francis Pegahmagabow, an Ojibwa soldier. He's the most decorated First Nations soldier in Canadian history.

Who is the greatest military leader in history? ›

The most famous military leaders in history are: Alexander the Great. Genghis Khan. Napoleon Bonaparte.

Who had the greatest army in ww1? ›

When World War I broke out in 1914, the Russian Empire had the world's largest standing army, with approximately 1,400,000 soldiers on active duty. The Russian Army bore the brunt of the fighting on the Eastern Front and also saw action on the Balkan Front and the Western Front.


1. History of World War 1 (in One Take) | History Bombs
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2. WW1: How Tension Between The Imperial Powers Started A War| The Great War In Numbers | Timeline
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3. How WWII Shaped Our Nation's Leaders | Presidents at War: Full Episode | History
4. The First World War: The War to End War | WW1 Documentary
5. The Permanent Scars Of The First World War | The Long Shadow Full Series | Timeline
(Timeline - World History Documentaries)
6. World War I: One Word | History


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