One month after a Bosnian-Serb assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, on a street corner in Sarajevo, the Austro-Hungarian Empire on
July 28, 1914 declared war on Serbia, effectively beginning World War I.
Ferdinand’s murder sent the Great Powers into a war that would last five years and cost the lives of 10 million troops.
Thought of as the “war to end all wars,” World War I marked a number of firsts in military conflict, including the use of planes, tanks, and chemical weapons.
On June 28, 1919, the victorious Allied leaders signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World War I and spurring German nationalism, which in turn gave Nazi leader Adolf Hitler a political platform.
Here’s a few colorized photographs published by The Open University showing life during World War I.
Soldiers could spend the majority of their deployments in the trenches. Here, a soldier receives a haircut from a barber on the Albanian front.
Trenches provided no protection against the deployment of chemical weapons. Here, a Canadian soldier poses with his horse while wearing a gas mask at the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps Headquarters.
Chemical weapons represented a fearsome technological advance on the battlefield. But carrier pigeons, carried by mobile pigeon lofts, were still used to transport messages back to headquarters from the front lines.
World War I was truly a global conflict. These soldiers were members of the 1st Australian Imperial Force, and are pictured here at a military base in their home country.
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