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France in World War I World War I, sometimes referred to as The Great War, was the first conflict that

involved most of the dominant countries of the world. The economic powers of the world began to militarize and imperialize before the war began. These factors along with intense nationalism and strong alliances created a nuclear environment in Europe that could explode into a worldwide conflict at any time. A Serbian man assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, was the final event that pushed Europe into total chaos. The two sides originally fighting this war were the Triple Entente (France, the United Kingdom, and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria Hungary). Because Austria-Hungary was allied with Germany and Serbia was allied with Russia (who was also allied with France and the UK), an entangling of alliances soon dragged Europe into war. France played a very important part in World War I. Germany began to invade France at the beginning of the war. This area of German-French conflict became known as the Western Front. The Allies and Central Powers both created detailed networks of trenches where the fighting took place. Each side would use the trenches to protect themselves from the firing and gunshots of the other side, however trench conditions were often horrific and led to the spread of diseases as well as the manifestation of new diseases, such as trench foot. The area of land between two opposing trenches was known as no man land, and on the Western Front, this stretch of land remained mostly the same because the French and Germans were at a stalemate.

At the beginning of the war, the French Army had 47 divisions in 21 regional corps, which totaled more than 777,000 French troops. Majority of these troops were deployed in France, however some were sent to the Eastern Front. Heavy losses along the Western Front in the first couple months of the war forced the French to conscript men up to the age of 45. About 40% of French troops on the Western Front were artillerymen, using machine guns and tanks to try to take down the enemy. During the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, the Germans began using several types of gas to poison those in the Allied trenches. This technique, although inhumane and violating the Hague Convention, became a battle-winning method for the Germans. Later on in the war, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers while Italy, Japan, and The United States joined the Allied Powers. Russia was forced to withdraw themselves from the war due to their own civil war and revolution. After nearly destroying both France and Germany, an armistice was reached on November 11, 1918. The Allied forces had won the war, but at great cost. Of the more than 8 million men called to fight in the French army, 1.3 million of them were dead and 4.2 million were injured. The fighting had also devastated France, leaving them in debt and in need of repair. The United States created the League of Nations, which forced Germany to pay enormous amounts of war reparations to the Allies, especially France. In the time following World War I, France attempted to repair itself from the horrors of war before the next World War just a mere 20 years later.

Works Cited "French Army and the First World War." French Army and the First World War. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWfrenchA.htm "The First World War in France." The First World War in France. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013. http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion/europe/france/france/ww1/fren chww1.html "World War I." About.com 20th Century History. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013. http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwari/p/World-War-I.htm