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WORLD 28 Jul 2014 Start of First World War commemorated on centenary

The event acknowledged to have triggeredWorld War I occurred on 28 Jun 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hun

July 28, 2013 - NULL

WORLD 28 Jul 2014 Start of First World War commemorated on centenary

The event acknowledged to have triggeredWorld War I occurred on 28 Jun 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated with his wife by Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on Jul 28, starting the so-called "Great War." It began with France, the United Kingdom and Russia allied against Germany and Austria-Hungary. By the time the conflict often referred to as "the War to End All Wars" ended at the 11th hour of 11th

WORLD 28 Jul 2014 Start of First World War commemorated on centenary

The event acknowledged to have triggeredWorld War I occurred on 28 Jun 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated with his wife by Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on Jul 28, starting the so-called "Great War." It began with France, the United Kingdom and Russia allied against Germany and Austria-Hungary. By the time the conflict often referred to as "the War to End All Wars" ended at the 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month in 1918, it had drawn in much of the world. The peace terms of the Versailles Treaty are widely regarded as having set the stage for WWII. The centenary invites a re-examination of the role of Allied figures such as Gertrude Bell and TE Lawrence in the treaty, which is also sometimes linked to several present-day conflicts in the Middle East. The military and civilian casualties of the war - fought mainly by soldiers in trenches -- numbered in the tens of millions. The commemorations and other centenary events, some starting in 2013, will be as global as the conflagration.

The war ended with the allies -- primarily France, The United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, with other nations that included Japan, Belgium, Australia and Canada in a position to dictate the peace terms to the Central Powers -- Germany, Austria-Hungary, The Ottoman Empire and other countries. Russia surrendered to Germany in 1917 after the Bolsheviks took power.

The Versailles Treaty the combatants signed on 28 Jun 1919 officially ended World War I. Historians generally agree that the punitive conditions imposed on Germany in the treaty laid the ground for the eventual rise of Nazis in Germany and World War II. The treaty also re-drew the map of much of many countries held fast by the Ottoman Empire for centuries, setting up several of the most intractable Middle East conflicts of today.

The centenary invites new biographies of the Arabists responsible for the map drawing. Ahead of the Paris conference that gave rise to the treaty, Britain and France carved up the Middle East into their own zones of influence. The Arabists include British explorer Gertrude Bell, often referred to as the "uncrowned queen of Iraq" because of her deep involvement with the country during the critical period of its birth. Due to her extensive knowledge of the Middle East, Bell became a vital source of information to the British during World War I, and in 1921, she was asked to draw up the borders of the new nation of Iraq and helped choose its first ruler, Prince Faisal. And British military officer TE Lawrence -- Lawrence of Arabia -- found fame in World War One for his role in the war on behalf of the Arabs as well as his own country.

Germany was not invited to the treaty conference. The three men most influential in the debates were Britain's Prime Minister David Lloyd George, France's Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau of France and President Woodrow Wilson of the United States. The sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat drew the United States out of a period of isolationism and into the war on 6 Apr 1917. (WRITTEN MAR 2013)

TAGS:

Centenary, centennial, commemorations, World War One starts, World War I starts, WWI starts, First World War starts, War to End All Wars, Great War, start of, start World War One, start World War I, start WWI, start First World War, June 1914, July 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip, assassin, assassination, Sarajevo, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Serbia, T.E. Lawrence, TE Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, WWI Allies, WWI Central Powers, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Ottoman Empire, David Lloyd George, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, President Woodrow Wilson

RELATED READING:

First World War Centenary web
http://www.1914.org/

World War I (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/

First World War erupts in Europe (History.com)
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-world-war-erupts-in-europe

Who's Who - TE Lawrence (firstworldwar.com)
http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/lawrencete.htm

The British 'queen' of Iraq (BBC)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4043407.stm

Date written/update: 2013-07-28