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World War I
FOR MORE THAN FOUR years, the world was engaged in a war of a ferocity and scale never seen before. The conflict, known then as the Great War and today as World War I, arose out of the economic, colonial, and military rivalry of the European empires. The assissination in 1914 of the heir to one of those empires - Austria-Hungary - was the spark that set the rivalries alight. Within months, fighting had broken out in Europe, Africa and Asia. By the time the war ended in 1918, the old empires were in ruins, their place taken by a new world power - the USA.
Outbreak of war
On 28 June 1914, the heir to the Austrian throne was killed in Serbia. Austria invaded Serbia, Russia came to Serbia's aid, and Germany supported Austria. Fearing war on two fronts, Germany invaded Belgium and France. Britan then declaired war on Grmany.
The German plan was to sweep through Belgium and northern France to capture Paris and knock the French out of the war within weeks. This plan was thwarted by the French army at the River Marne. Both sides the dug lines of defensive trenches, which stretched from the English channel to the Swiss border, to protect their positions.
Manfred von Richthofen
The most famous pilot of the war was the German airman Manfred von Richthofen (1892-19)
Bombers of WW1(World War I)