World War I, also known as the Great War and "The War To End All Wars," was a global military conflict which took place primarily in Europe between 1914 and 1918. More than nine million soldiers and civilians died. The conflict had a decisive impact on the history of the 20th century.
The fighting that took place along the Western Front occurred along a system of trenches and fortifications separated by an area known as no man's land. These series of fortifications ran from the North Sea to Switzerland. This system of static trench warfare defined the war for many. On the Eastern Front, the vast eastern plains and limited rail network prevented a trench warfare stalemate. But the scale of the conflict was just as large. The Middle East and the Italian Front saw heavy fighting as well, with lighter fighting in Africa and the Pacific Islands. Hostilities also occurred at sea and, for the first time, in the air. Finally, the strain that fighting a total war imposed on the great powers created opportunities for disaffected segments of the population in places such as Russia, Arabia, Lithuania, Ireland, and, in the end, Germany itself, to rise to rebellion against their governments.
The war caused the disintegration of four empires: the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman and Russian. Germany lost its overseas empire and states such as Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Palestine, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Yugoslavia gained independence. The cost of waging the war set the stage for the breakup of the British Empire as well.
World War I marked the end of the old world order, which had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars. The Treaty of Versailles was designed to end the war, hobble Germany, and expand the power of the victors. Instead, it set the stage for World War II.
Note: World War I as described above applies to all timelines with a POD after 1918.
World War I in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit
The years following World War I were lean ones in Germany, and Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party were able to exploit discontent over these conditions and rise to power. They promised Germany rearmament and revenge, and the victors of World War I failed to stop him. Germany launched World War II, which was interrupted by the arrival of the Race's Conquest Fleet.
After the Race defeated Germany in the Race-German War of 1965 and imposed its own harsh peace, the winners of World War I warned Atvar of their own difficulties enforcing the Treaty of Versailles. Atvar boasted that the Race was more thorough and patient than the human powers, but his successors fared little better than the British and French in enforcing their terms, and within a few decades Germany was once again able to threaten the Race.
Noteworthy World War I veterans who also fought the Race include Mutt Daniels, whose experience as a soldier earned him the rank of sergeant when the Race invaded U.S. soil, and; Heinrich Jäger, who saw the first British tanks and subsequently became a skilled German tank commander.
World War I in Curious NotionsEdit
Europe saw a brief conflict in 1914. The Schlieffen Plan, Germany's plan for a two front war against France and Russia proved quite successful in the fall of 1914, aided in part by the slow Russian offensive (which had been much quicker in the home timeline). Germany defeated its Entente enemies, and began its rise as a global power, eventually becoming master of the world.
World War I in "Ils ne passeront pas"Edit
World War I was a bleak, ugly event in human history. The Battle of Verdun was such a terrible battle that when God attempted to pass judgment on Earth (as foretold in the Book of Revelation) at Verdun, the French and German troops assumed that they'd been victims of some new weapon, and so viewed the affair with indifference.
World War I in "Shtetl Days"Edit
The war that was once known as either the "Great War" or the "World War" came to be known as the War of Humiliation by the German Empire, which "remedied" its defeat by winning the War of Retribution.
Germany triumphed over its enemies in the brief conflict of 1914 when Alfred von Schlieffen personally oversaw the implementation of his plan for a two-front war. It occupied the Low Countries and France after the war, and helped Russia put down a communist revolution in 1916.