How It Began
Updated - Saturday, 27 March, 2004
If you are new to the First World War - or are rusty after many years since history class - the reasons for the
so-called 'Great War' can be shrouded in confusion.
The Second World War was rather more straightforward: no questions there who did what and who was at
This website contains much material based in and around the events of World War One - but if you are
unsure how it began and who did what, well, where to begin? That's the purpose of this section of the site.
Admittedly the origins of the war remain somewhat controversial even after all these years, but the facts are
there. The articles contained here outline the run-up to the war, who was who, and explain why the
assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was by no means the sole cause of the conflict, how it
was spoiling anyhow.
Having read these primers you will hopefully be in a better position to explore the remainder of the site
which despite its size is, of course, still very much in development.
The Causes of World War One(click here)
What happened and why
Archduke Ferdinand's Assassination(click here)
Memoir of Archduke's assassination
The July Crisis(click here)
Events of July 1914 leading to war
How the War was Planned(click here)
Plan XVII, Schlieffen Plan, Plan B...
Balkan Causes of World War One(click here)
The Black Hand and the Serbian Government
Willy-Nicky Telegrams(click here)
Kaiser to the Tsar and the Tsar to the Kaiser
Austria's Ultimatum to Serbia(click here)
Austria-Hungary's reaction to the assassination
Map of Pre-War Europe(click here)
European borders prior to the onset of war
Archduke Franz Ferdinand(click here)
Heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne
Gavrilo Princip(click here)
Member of the Black Hand and Ferdinand's assassin
The Battle of Liege(click here)