The First World War began in 1914. It was a war that devastated much of Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. Over two million people were killed and more than 55 million others were wounded.
It was also a war that sparked the creation of the United Nations. At first, the structure of the organization was debated. This included issues such as the use of a veto in the Security Council, the treatment of refugees, and the structure of regional collective security.
The Axis Powers were the three major powers that participated in the conflict: Germany, Italy, and Japan. Allies included the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium.
In October 1940, Italy attacked British forces in Egypt from Italian-controlled Libya. Britain responded by launching an operation against Turkey in the Middle East, which strengthened the British defences of the Suez Canal.
In addition to causing massive destruction, the First World War fueled an exodus of European military personnel from Allied colonies in Africa. Nearly a quarter of a million Africans were involved in the war.
The Allied colonial regimes were challenged by revolts, protests, and armed risings throughout Africa. By the end of the war, every country in Africa had committed to one side or the other.
The Germans were forced to pay reparations to their war winners. Although the treaty was not perfect, it forced Germany to accept its role in the conflict.
As part of the peace treaty, the Central Powers were deprived of 13 percent of their European territory. They were also limited in their navy and army.