HISTORY: The World War I From 1914 To 1918; Over 30 Nations Declared War. Learn About Disastrous Battles

Over 30 nations declared war between 1914 and 1918. The majority joined on the side of the Allies, including Serbia, Russia, France, Britain, Italy, and the United States. They were opposed by Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire, who together formed the Central Powers.

During the war, France had a series of disastrous battles. The first month of the conflict had effects that lasted right up to the end of 1918 since the German advance resulted in the country being split into three, war-front France, occupied France, and behind-the-lines France.

Within the first year of the war France has affected, 20,000 industrial compounds were destroyed, 2.5 million agricultural hectares were devastated, 2,000 kilometers of canals and 2,000 bridges were destroyed, as well as 62,000 kilometers of road and more than 5,000 kilometers meters of railroads were out of order in all of France.

The war against Germany on the western front was fought mainly in France, which caused a drop in the economy. France experienced a dramatic decrease in manpower; infrastructure and agriculture were likewise damaged due to bombardments and trench warfare. These all contributed to the heavy decline in the economy.

PICTURE: French soldiers resting outside the railway station Gare de l’Est in Paris, 1916

Germany had formally surrendered on November 11, 1918, and all nations had agreed to stop fighting while the terms of peace were negotiated. On June 28, 1919, Germany and Allied Nations including Britain, France, Italy, and Russia signed the Treaty of Versailles, formally ending the war.

During the battle, wives lost their husbands, brothers, father, and relatives. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 10 million civilians. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies) lost about 5.7 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million.

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