The world war was a global conflict that was fought in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It began on July 1, 1914 and ended in 1945 with the defeat of the German and Japanese armies.
The European nations had become very wealthy, and they wanted to expand their empires. They had strong militaries and had joined together to form opposing military alliances.
This had caused the European nations to become very tense and distrust each other. They all hoped that they would not have to fight each other.
But if the European nations had to fight each other, they would have to do it quickly. Because of the new technologies that were available, everyone knew that it was possible to begin a war without letting an enemy get a chance to prepare for it.
Because of this, people thought that the first country to mobilize (get their troops together and move to their borders) would win the war. They thought that the railroads could transport large numbers of soldiers and weapons to their country’s borders fast.
In the summer of 1914, a war was started between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. This was because a Bosnian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, and the government of Austria-Hungary then decided to take action.
The war was fought on the Western Front in Europe and the Eastern Front in Africa. In the western front trench warfare lasted for a long time, with large numbers of battles taking place. The Eastern Front was far less extensive, but combat still took place there.