World War I Breakdown
World War I Breakdown
A cool, sunny summer morning some 87 years ago, two bullets were fired in a Sarajevo street that would soon set in motion a series of events that would throw the world into a struggle against itself. Gavrilo Princip was the young man who fired those two fateful shots that hit Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie. The royal couple was returning from City Hall and was in route back to the Capitol. Princip, fueled with hatred at the Austro-Hungarian Empire and having a strong, loyal feeling to the Slavic nationalism motto, murdered the two, in hopes that their death would unlock the shackles binding his people to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (Death, 1998) It was the fact that European titans were blind-sighted by different nationalistic and imperialistic views that would soon throw the world into war. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the breaking point, as on July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, officially starting what would become a four-year full-fledged world war. Sir Edward Gray dramatized the impact of the war well, saying, "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime," as citied in (Kirchberger, 1992, p.45). It would be during this war, World War I, that much advancement would be made, many battles fought, and many lives lost.
With Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, many countries began to take sides. Russia and Germany who were former alliances, split up due to political differences. Germany drew alliances with Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria forming the Central Powers. Twenty-eight countries including Serbia, Russia,
the British Empire, and the United States formed alliances with each other creating the "Allies and Associated Powers" (WWI, 2001). The world seemed set-up against itself.
The Allied and Central Powers spent most of their time waging fights on three main fronts: Eastern, Western, and Serbian. On the Western front, the Allied Army had been forced back towards Paris as the German Army continued to advance towards the French and British Armies. Paris seemed a vital city, as the bulk of the French and British Armies fell back to the Marne River, to protect it, setting the stage for the Battle of the Marne. The battle began on September 5, 1914. Although no fighting began until the 9th, the British developed...