World War I

World War I was a global conflict of the early 20th century from 1914-1918, between the Central Powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, and the Allied powers, primarily Great Britain, France, Russia, and later the United States. World War I was ignited in the Balkan city of Sarajevo in June 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and war was declared in August. World War I was characterized by the horror of trench warfare on the Western Front and the rise of Bolshevism in the East, and millions died in the catastrophic conflict. The causes of World War I were many, including various territorial disputes, a major arms race, conflicting political ideologies, and more. World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles; however, the agreement left many issues unresolved and heaped blame and the requirement for reparations on Germany, sowing the seeds of World War II.

Native Americans demostrated extraordinary service, honor, and heroism during World War I. Anglo officers revered them for their abilities, but no one early on thought their language would help confound the Germans.

World War I

Choctaw Code Talkers in World War I

By Richard L. Hayes

The affection that Europeans have for the Great American West is well known, so it shouldn’t be surprising that several traveling Wild West Shows happened to be in enemy territory when World War I broke out. Read more

German cruiser SMS Konigsberg, displacing 3,400 tons, sailed from Germany for Africa in April 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I.

World War I

The German Cruiser Konigsberg

By Michael Vogel

The field telephone rang on the bridge of the trapped German cruiser SMS Konigsberg. On the other end of the line, the coast watcher spoke the words that had been dreaded for almost eight months—the British were coming. Read more

Baron Manfred von Richthofen was not the first flyer to be awarded the “Blue Max.” In fact, he waited anxiously for it. The award goes back to the 17th century.

World War I

The Pour le Mérite

By Robert Whiter

It was early in the year 1917, and a member of the Luftstreiknafte (German Army Air Service), Freiherr (Baron) Manfred von Richthofen, was feeling a trifle disgruntled. Read more

World War I

Mata Hari: The Dancing Spy

By Robert Heege

Just before six o’clock on the morning of October 15, 1917, a caravan of five rickety automobiles departed the prison at Saint-Lazare and proceeded to make its way post-haste through the gaslit streets of Paris. Read more

Mike Mannock mixes it up with three German aircraft in this depiction of one of his fights. Mannock’s true record is difficult to determine; he set up and wounded enemy aircraft for younger pilots to finish off.

World War I

Famous Fighter Aces: Edward Mannock

By Mauriel P. Joslyn

The agent from the American consul followed a Turkish guard through the prisoner compound. It was early 1915, and he had come on behalf of the Red Cross seeking prisoner exchange for the worst cases in this miserable, disease-ridden place. Read more

World War I

World War I’s Second Battle of Ypres: Salient of Death

By Mike Phifer

Despite the incessant German shelling that had been hammering away at the French lines to their immediate left near the rubble-strewn city of Ypres in northwestern Belgium, the largely untested soldiers of the Canadian 1st Division found the early spring day of April 22, 1915, surprisingly warm and pleasant. Read more

World War I

WWII Spies: Oreste Pinto

By Robert Whiter

Two men were seated on either side of a paper-strewn table inside an office of MI5, the British intelligence service, in the Royal Victoria Patriotic School at Clapham, London, shortly after the fall of France in the spring of 1940. Read more

The sky lit with explosions, the 3rd Australian Division moves out of the trenches at Messines. During the attack, Captain Jacka’s company captured three machine gun nests and an artillery position.

World War I

Australia’s Venerable Albert Jacka

By Thomas G. Bradbeer

He had the distinction of being the first Commonwealth soldier to receive the Victoria Cross for valor in World War I, and many observers felt that Australian-born Albert Jacka should have earned at least three of Great Britain’s highest award. Read more

World War I

The U.S. Splinter Fleet

By A.B. Feuer

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the nation’s Navy was shockingly short of combat ships—particularly the submarine chasers that would be vital to combating the German U-boat menace. Read more

World War I

Manhattan’s First Terror Attack: Decades Before 9/11

By Cowan Brew

In the summer of 1916, America was an island of peace in an ocean of war. The guns of August 1914 had been blazing away in Europe for nearly two years now, primed by a booming American munitions industry that found itself growing rich on the long-distance suffering of others. Read more