New recruits try on their uniforms. On the 28th of June, in Sarajevo, gavrilo princip(a Slav nationalist) assassinated archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarianempire. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the killing and because Europe was linked by a series of diplomatic alliances – USTRIA- Hungary/German/Italy (Central Powers) and Britain/ France/ Russia (Tripleentente/ Allied forces) – the affair escalated into full-scale war.
On the 4th of August, Britain declared war after Germany invaded neutral Belgium (Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary on the12th of August). The British government had previously promised to defend Belgium and felt that German troops directly across the channel were too close for comfort. On the 7th of August, 4 divisionsmaking up a British expeditionary force crossed to France to attempt to halt the German advance. With French forces, they were successful in achieving their objective at the battle of Mons (August) andthe battle of Marne (September). As each side tried to outflank the other, a “race to the sea” developed and this meant that huge trench systems took shape from the Swiss border through all of northernFrance. With these trench systems and weapons such as the machine gun, defending was considerably easier than attacking, and so within months of beginning, the war was already showing signs ofstagnating.
Although the war in Europe was the main focus – as with the first battle of Ypres(October) – the conflict soon truly became a “world war”: Japan was allied to the entente forces and the Ottomanempire soon joined the central powers. Conflict between the imperial forces of these competing power-blocks in Africa and south America aggravated the situation.
* Germany invades Belgium.
*Britain declares war on Germany
* Japan joins the allied forces: Ottoman empire soon joins the central powers.
War spreads to the seas.
* Women take up men’s jobs.
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