It was on this day in 1914 that the German army invaded Belgium which started one of the deadliest and most destructive wars in our history, also known as World War I. It was a war that lasted more than four years and saw 70 million military personnel mobilized. As a result of the war, there were nearly 16 million deaths, 9 of those being combatants and 7 of them being civilians.
The event that is coined as a major spark to the war is when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot to death, along with his wife. He was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire and was in Serbia despite the fact people would probably want him dead in the country. After he died, Austria-Hungary hoped it would give them a reason to go to war with Serbia, however that was all shot down when Russia intervened in support of Serbia. With that being said, Austria-Hungary backed down until they got word that Germany would have their support. When they got word, they declared war on Serbia. Then, all hell broke loose.
Austria-Hungary started to attack Serbia, Russia ordered mobilization on Austria Hungary, France helped Russia, Germany and France went to war since France was helping Russia, Germany invaded Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany. It was a massive train wreck that involved one ally helping another ally, sparking another war after war. It was mayhem.
As the end of 1914 neared, there didn’t seem to be an end in sight or even close for either side, which was unexpected seeing as to how each country thought it would only take a couple months. However, after a couple months, no progress was made, just more deaths.
Three years later, near the end of 1917, a new leadership broke out in Russia and they immediately set sight on declaring peace with Germany. With the Americans helping with troops and resources to sweeten the negotiations, things finally started to work in the Allies’ favor. In November of 1918, an armistice agreement was signed by Germany with the Allies. The war was finally over.
However, peace wouldn’t be kept for long. After the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, which officially ended all of the wars, Germany was punished and it ended up destabilizing Europe. Ironically, World War I has been coined as the “war to end all wars.” However, it would actually be the war that would lay the foundation for World War II, a war no one wanted to be involved in.
World War I was one of the most deadliest and destructive conflicts in the history of the world. It saw way too many deaths, way too much destruction and so much money in “repairs.” With what we are seeing in the world today, we need to avoid letting “history repeat itself” or else we could be in for something similar to what we’ve already seen. And it never ends well.
Please, let’s not let history repeat itself. For everyone’s sake.