World War I

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Prayer written in German saying “Gott strafe England” (May God punish England) on a wall in France. Autochrome color picture made in 1917.

World War I was a world conflict, raging from August 1914 to the final Armistice on November 11, 1918. The Allied Powers, led by the British Empire, France, Russia until March 1918, and the United States after 1917, defeated the Central Powers, led by the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.


  • The First World War killed fewer victims than the Second World War, destroyed fewer buildings, and uprooted millions instead of tens of millions - but in many ways it left even deeper scars both on the mind and on the map of Europe. The old world never recovered from the shock.
    • Edmond Taylor, in The Fossil Monarchies
  • In war-time the word patriotism means suppression of truth”.


  • The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
  • Yesterday I visited the battlefield of last year. The place was scarcely recognisable. Instead of a wilderness of ground torn up by shell, the ground was a garden of wild flowers and tall grasses. Most remarkable of all was the appearance of many thousands of white butterflies which fluttered around. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell. It was eerie to see them. And the silence! It was so still that I could almost hear the beat of the butterflies' wings.
    • A British officer, 1919.
  • Soldiers! Heroes! The supreme command has erased our regiment from its records. Our regiment has been sacrificed for the honor of Belgrade and the Fatherland. Therefore, you no longer have to worry for your lives - they do not exist anymore. So, forward to glory! For King and Homeland! Long live the king! Long live Belgrade!
  • Gott strafe England was a common slogan of the German Army, which means May God punish England”.
  • In war there are three courses of action open to the enemy, and he usually chooses the fourth.
    • General Helmuth von Moltke'.
  • We will support Britain to the last man and the last shilling.
    • Andrew Fisher, Australian Prime Minister at the outbreak of the war.

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