Category Archive: 1914

The Christmas Truce

Christmas at the Front, 1914

Despite the stalemate, the war was initially fought in a ‘gentlemanly’ manner. For example, if one had to launch a bombardment, one would try to avoid mealtimes, when men would gather together, to limit the number of casualties. This attitude continued into the festive season, by which time, most had anticipated the war would already […]

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From First Shots to Stalemate

4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 22nd August, 1914

In France, the Commander in Chief of the French army, General Joseph Joffre, had adopted Plan XVII, which revolved around the recapture of the territories of Alsace and Lorraine. The bulk of the French army would, therefore, be stationed in that region, leaving only a small force in the north. Joffre erroneously believed that Germany […]

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War – At Last!

British volunteers for "Kitchener's Army" waiting for their pay in the churchyard of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, August 1914.

There was a general feeling of relief when war eventually broke out. There had been tension and certainty of conflict for so long, that many people now felt released from this and looked forward to the anticipated ‘adventure’ of war. Most assumed that this would be a short conflict and that it would definitely be […]

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The Final Straw

The Schlieffen Plan

Germany’s plan to quickly win the war in the West, before turning her full attention to the Eastern Front, known as the Schlieffen Plan, essentially involved a speedy attack through neutral Belgium and into Northern France. It was then anticipated that the German army would encircle Paris and turn back on itself, trapping the French […]

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Detonation

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie

On 28th June 1914, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie were assassinated during a state visit to Sarajevo. Their murderer, Gavrilo Princip, although born in the Empire of Austria-Hungary, was also a Serb. Austria-Hungary, therefore, used the assassination as an excuse to issue the Serbian government with a […]

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The Beginning

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

Europe, at the start of the twentieth century, was becoming an increasingly tumultuous place to live. Germany had developed into a powerful, industrialised and mechanised nation, with Kaiser Wilhelm II standing as a national figurehead of pride and ambition. Throughout most of his life, despite physical disabilities, he had longed for greatness and harboured hopes […]

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