There are many different reasons and answers to the question “How did World War 1 start?”. It was a complicated time and a lot of events happened and built up to the eventual start of WW1. Below are some interesting facts about the build up to World War 1 and why it started.
- Many of the large countries in Europe had a defence alliance. This alliance is a treaty which meant that if war did break out, the countries in the alliance would also have to enter the war.
- There were two alliances involved. Britain, France, Ireland and Russia were an alliance called Triple Entente, while Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary which was known as the Central Powers.
- On June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated. This triggered a series of events that lead to WW1 breaking out.
- Austria-Hungary threatened war on Serbia. This was because a Serbian terrorist group called The Black Hand had killed Franz Ferdinand, using a Bosnian man named Gavrilo Princip.
- Germany sided with Austria-Hungary and Russia sided with Serbia. The demands that Austria-Hungary had set were very tough and almost impossible to meet. It was only a matter of time until a war in Europe broke out.
- On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared War on Serbia. Germany supported them because of the defence alliance and declared war on Russia. Then on August 3, 1914, Germany also declared war on France.
- German troops marched to France on August 4, 1914. They chose a route which went through Belgium, and because Britain had agreed to keep Belgium neutral, they declared war on Germany.
- Britain and Germany fought on August 23, 1914. The Battle of Mons took place in Belgium and this was the first of many battles between the British and German troops on the Western Front.
More About World War 1
Looking for more interesting facts and information about World War 1? Take a look at our WW1 facts page to understand more about this famous and historical war.