Sixty years ago, on November the 11th, 1918, the First World War ended. At exactly?
Sixty years ago, on November the 11th, 1918, the First World War ended. At exactly 11 o'clock in the morning, the guns stopped firing all along the principal front, in Western Europe. Fighting in other theatres of war had already ended.
SYNOPSIS: Crowds poured out that day into the streets of London and other capital cities of countries that had taken part. The people were jubilant. In Britain, they cheered King George the Fifth and Queen Mary. But the mood, even among the victors, was less one of triumph than of relief. Four years of murderous slaughter were over. In Europe, the main arena, it had been, after the first few months, a new kind of war: static, stubborn and muddy. Thousands died in offensives that gained a few metres (yards) of territory. The number of combatants killed, on both sides, is put at about 8??? million.
At sea, the submarine for the first time played a major role in naval warfare. The Germans made the greatest use of it, against merchant shipping on which Britain in particular depended for its survival. The days of the battle ship were coming to an end; submarine and air weapons, first developed in this world war, would make big ships too vulnerable in the next.
Air warfare was then in its infancy. At first, aircraft were used mainly for reconnaissance. But techniques of air fighting were evolved that were to be perfected in the Second World War.
The tank was the third modern weapon to make its debut in this war. It helped provide an answer to the defensive strength of barbed wire and the machine gun.
Politically, three great European empires perished in the cataclysm. ???aiser Wilhelm of Germany -- seen by his enemies as the epitome of German militarism -- was widely blamed for starting the war. He lost his throne when his country was defeated. But he himself escaped demands for his death, and lived on in retirement at Doorn in the Netherlands for more than 20 years.
Franz-Josef of Austria was 83 when the war started. He died in 1916; but his heir and grand-nephew, Charles I, saw the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire two years later.
First to go, in point of time, was the Russian Empire of Tsar Nicholas II. He was forced to abdicate in 1917, and met his death, with his family, at the hands of the Bolsheviks the following year. For military disaster, exhaustion and misery, had brought revolution to Russia. The Soviet State, brought to birth by Vladimir Ilich Lenin, was to prove a permanent legacy of the First World War.
The Treaty of Versailles, which ended the war, and its associated pacts, brought two new European states int??? being: Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, It also awarded extensive territory to a newly-restored independent Poland. The treatment of Germany by the peacemakers has been blamed by some historians for sowing the seeds of the Second World War, which broke out 20 years later.