Soldiers of the Great War Volume 2

World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the United States and Turkey, and was also fought in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. One of the deadliest conflicts in history, an estimated 9 million were killed in combat, while over 5 million civilians died from occupation, bombardment, hunger or disease. The genocides perpetrated by the Ottomans and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic spread by the movement of combatants during the war caused many millions of additional deaths worldwide.

In 1914, the Great Powers were divided into two opposing alliances, the Triple Entente, consisting of France, Russia, and Britain, and the Triple Alliance, made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Tensions in the Balkans came to a head on 28 June 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian heir, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia and the interlocking alliances involved the Powers in a series of diplomatic exchanges known as the July Crisis. On 28 July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia; Russia came to Serbia’s defence and by 4 August, the conflict had expanded to include Germany, France and Britain, along with their respective colonial empires. In November, the Ottoman Empire, Germany and Austria formed the Central Powers, while in April 1915, Italy joined Britain, France, Russia and Serbia as the Allied Powers.

Facing a war on two fronts, German strategy in 1914 was to defeat France, then shift its forces to the East and knock out Russia, commonly known as the Schlieffen Plan. This failed when their advance into France was halted at the Marne; by the end of 1914, the two sides faced each other along the Western Front, a continuous series of trench lines stretching from the Channel to Switzerland that changed little until 1917. By contrast, the Eastern Front was far more fluid, with Austria-Hungary and Russia gaining, then losing large swathes of territory. Other significant theatres included the Middle East, the Alpine Front and the Balkans, bringing Bulgaria, Romania and Greece into the war.

Shortages caused by the Allied naval blockade led Germany to initiate unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, bringing the previously neutral United States into the war on 6 April 1917. In Russia, the Bolsheviks seized power in the 1917 October Revolution and made peace in the March 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, freeing up large numbers of German troops. By transferring these to the Western Front, the German General Staff hoped to win a decisive victory before American reinforcements could impact the war, and launched the March 1918 German spring offensive. Despite initial success, it was soon halted by heavy casualties and ferocious defence; in August, the Allies launched the Hundred Days Offensive and although the German army continued to fight hard, it could no longer halt their advance.

The Central Powers began to collapse; Bulgaria signed an Armistice on 29 September, followed by the Ottomans on 31 October, then Austria-Hungary on 3 November. Isolated, facing revolution at home and an army on the verge of mutiny, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and the new German government signed the Armistice of 11 November 1918, bringing the fighting to a close. The 1919 Paris Peace Conference imposed various settlements on the defeated powers, the best known being the Treaty of Versailles. The dissolution of the Russian, German, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires led to numerous uprisings and the creation of independent states, including Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. For reasons that are still debated, failure to manage the instability that resulted from this upheaval during the interwar period ended with the outbreak of World War II in 1939. (Wikipedia)

A Canadian Post in front of Mons meets a German wagon containing four escaped German soldiers, who are being taken to Mons, so that they can give information regarding the retreating enemy. November, 1918.
Washing day on the bank of the Scarpe. Feuchy, 5 June 1917.
Troops of the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers in a captured dug-out at Feuchy cross roads. Feuchy was captured by the 9th Division, 9 April 1917.
Royal Engineers laying a light railway over captured ground near Feuchy, April 1917.
Major Jacob Epstein. 38th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.
Two Gurkha riflemen at Scheidemuhl prisoner of war camp near Posen.
A German prisoner. September 1918.
German Prisoners, September 1918
A German Prisoner. September 1918.
Cassel Prisoners of War Camp. A black French prisoner
Russian prisoners captured during the siege of Przemysl before disinfection and cleaning, June 1915.
Private D. W. Finch of the 9th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Sapper E. Higgins of the Royal Engineers, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Sapper J. G. Munro of the 50th Signal Company, Royal Engineers, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Private Thomas Conley of the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Private J. Rawson of the 4th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Private J. Brett of the 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, a POW returned from Germany. The private was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918, and then sent to work on railway buildings behind the German lines until rendered too sick to continue work.
Group of Italian prisoners captured by the Germans during the Battle of Caporetto, November 1917.
Group of Italian prisoners captured by the Germans during the Battle of Caporetto, November 1917.
Romanian prisoners of war using scales to weigh out bread rations.
Prisoner of war with a piece of bread.
Three Romanian prisoners of war carrying soup bowls.
An Austro-Hungarian prisoner taken by the British army on the Italian Front.
Cheerful Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoners, father and son, captured by the British in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoners, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918
Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Austro-Hungarian prisoner, captured by the British, in a POW camp, July 1918.
Priest speaking to a Romanian prisoner as a firing squad waits to execute him.
Firing squad executing a prisoner.
A smiling German prisoner captured in the Battle of Messines, 8th June 1917.
German prisoners sleeping after being captured in the Battle of Messines, 8th June 1917.
A German prisoner captured in the Battle of Messines, 8th June 1917.
German prisoners sleeping after being captured in the Battle of Messines, 8th June 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Canadians tending to wants of nerve-stricken prisoners. September, 1916
Prisoners captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917.
Prisoners captured by Canadians. Battle of Amiens. August, 1918.
German prisoners and Canadian Red Cross men assist in the despatching of wounded on a light railway. Vimy Ridge. April, 1917
German prisoners bringing in wounded. Advance East of Arras. October, 1918
Prisoners captured by Canadians. Battle of Amiens. August, 1918

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