The global conflict diplomats and dynasties alike had said would never happen exploded into life on 28 June 1914. It was an all consuming war that resulted in the death of over 9 million military personnel across the globe. Previous military tactics were abandoned for more 'modern' strategies that saw forces dig in and engage in trench warfare. This painfully slow and desperately exhausting means of fighting saw the development of machine guns, poison gas and the introduction of the first battle tanks. A compelling exploration of warfare at its most horrific.
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated. This event sparked off a war that was to change the lives of millions of people around the world. More than 70 million military personnel were mobilised, and over 9 million combatants were killed. Entire generations of young men from towns and villages across Europe were wiped out. The conflict drew in the world's great global powers, including the British Empire, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, the United States and Japan, as well as many other nations. World War I transformed the way in which wars were fought. Cavalry charges and 'staged' clashes were consigned to history, making way for trench warfare, heavy artillery, machine guns and poison gas. Troops learnt to exist for months in confined spaces and ruined landscapes, fighting horrifying battles to push their line forward by only a few hundred yards. World War I changed the face of European society and politics forever, and set the scene for a subsequent world war. On 11 November 1918, an armistice at last came into effect, and we continue to remember today the moment when the guns fell silent on the Western Front.