In a word . . . armistice

The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and established the Communist order which dominated there and eastern Europe for much of the 20th century

 

It was 99 years ago today and the world would never be the same.

Armistice Day is the name given to November 11th, 1918, marking the formal end of World War I. It took effect at 11 o’clock in the morning, the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918.

Thus ended “the war to end all wars”. Not.

As many as 135 countries including Ireland – then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland – took part. Sixteen million people died, with the total of civilian and military casualties estimated at around 37 million.

It began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in the Serbian city of Sarajevo. This led to war between Austria and Serbia. Germany was allied to Austria-Hungary and Russia to Serbia.

Germany feared that because Austria-Hungary had attacked Serbia, Russia would attack Austria-Hungary. So Germany decided to attack Russia. But Russia was allied to France and the Germans thought the French might attack them to help Russia.

So the Germans attacked France first, thinking they could take France out before Russia might attack them. Germany invaded Belgium to reach Paris before Russia could get its troops organised.

Britain, already worried about Germany’s growing military and naval power, was allied to Belgium and declared war on Germany.

The Turks (Ottoman Empire) were allied to Germany and bombarded Russia. In 1917 the US entered the war on the Allied side.

What began on July 28th, 1914, continued until November 11th, 1918.

It was first major war where tanks, aeroplanes, and submarines were used. It ended four empires – the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires – and set the British empire on a downward slope.

The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and established the Communist order which dominated there and eastern Europe for much of the 20th century. It left Europe deep in debt and made the US the leading 20th century power in the world.

The harsh terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles with Germany laid the basis for the rise of Hitler in that country and for World War II, which began in 1939.

The so-called “war to end all wars” simply laid the grounds for World War II, which began just 20 years after Versailles.

Armistice from French armistice, itself from Latin solstitium – Latin arma for “arms” plus stitium from root sta- “to stand, make or be firm”.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.