An Overview of World War I
When the Great War began in August 1914, many people thought it would be over by Christmas. Instead it lasted for more than four years and claimed millions of lives.
The most dominant feature of the conflict was the seemingly endless miles of trenches that faced each other, often just a few hundred yards apart. The only way of attacking was through brutal frontal assaults. Often thousands of men died in a few hours. When they weren’t fighting, men lived in subhuman conditions in the trenches.
Many people hoped that the horrors of the Great War would make it the “war to end all wars.” It wasn’t. The victorious Allies imposed very harsh terms on the defeated Germans. These terms led directly to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the outbreak of World War II just twenty years later.