The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 was seen by many European leaders as an opportunity to curb the power of their economic and military rivals. Both governments and their peoples believed they were fighting a justifiable war and most believed the conflict would be brief.
By Christmas 1914 hopes of a short war had evaporated, particularly on the Western Front, where lines of opposing trenches faces each other from the North Sea to Switzerland. Casualties had been enormous and would continue to grow for the next four years. By the need of the war in 1918 estimates suggest that there were around eight million military deaths and some 21 million men wounded.
The armistice in 1918 also signalled the end of the old Europe; the ware had brought about the downfall of three empires: the Austro-Hungarian, German, and Russian. It also was the emergence of the United States as a leading international power. However the peace settlements were to lay the foundations for the outbreak of World War II.
World War I Day by Day is a chronological history of the conflict from the opening shots at Sarajevo in June 1914 to the armistice in November 1918. All of the major war theatres are covered as is the fighting in the air and at sea. The dated entries also discuss espionage, home fronts, politics and technology.
In addition, there are a number of longer features highlighting the conflict's decisive weapons, key personalities and events and strategy and tactics. The book also contains 400 photographs and maps.