On this day: WWI ends, unknown soldiers are buried

At 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the First World War ended. Known then only as the Great War or the War to End All Wars, it had been the greatest war the world had ever seen, and people believed there would never be another like it.

The armistice agreement was signed by Germany at 5 a.m. in a railroad car at Rethondes, having lost most of its manpower and supplies and facing an invasion.

World War I ended with nine million soldiers killed and 21 million wounded, and at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure caused by the war.

The war is believed to have started on June 28, 1914 with the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip. Austro-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination and wanted to declare war immediately, but because Serbia had Russia on its side, the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until we assured that Germany would support them.

The declaration of war came exactly one month after the assassination on July 28, prompting the great powers of Europe to take sides and destroying peace on the continent.

An artist’s rendering of the murder of Gavrilo Princip of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, which sparked World War I, on June 28, 1914. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

France sided with Russia, prompting France and Germany to declare war on each other, and when Germany invaded Belgium, Belgium’s ally, Britain declared war on Germany.

In all, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire fought against the Allied powers that consisted of Great Britain, France, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States.

What was then believed to be a swift war turned into a protracted and horrible war lasting almost four years, with more than a million soldiers dying by the end of 1914.

During the following years, many battles were fought throughout Europe without a clear victor prevailing over his enemy, but two things tipped the balance towards the end of the war.

The first event was in 1917, when the Russian Revolution broke out in Russia and the Bolsheviks took power. As soon as they won, the Bolsheviks set out to negotiate peace with Germany in an attempt to end the war.

The second event that brought the war to an end was in 1918, when the Americans joined the war and sided with the Allies. The additional power brought by the Americans overwhelmed Germany, forcing them to sign the armistice on November 11.

One result of the war was a large number of unidentified fallen soldiers. To honor those whose fates were unknown or their identities had not been recognized, one of the unidentified soldiers was buried at Westminster Abbey in England on November 11, 1920. On the same day, France buried one of its own soldiers. strangers at the Arch. of Triomphe.

A year later, in 1921, the United States did the same. On November 11, an unknown soldier was carried in a procession through Washington DC and buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The graves of the unknown soldiers act as a collective memorial to a terrible war that took too many lives and those who could not be identified by their families.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *