2014 marks the 100th anniversary of World War One, which killed more than 16 million people and changed the nature of military conflict. Vanessa Johnston reports.
It was supposed to be the war to end all wars -- World War One. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the global conflict, which killed more than 16 million people. It also changed the very nature of military conflict. The Great War was sparked with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife, as they traveled in an open topped car. An already unstable and volatile Europe descended into chaos. The Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire on one side. The Allied forces of Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Italy and Japan on the other. The war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918, introduced new technologies, including submarines and mines. They would drastically increase the number of casualties from previous wars. In the end, the Central Powers collapsed. As part of the peace agreement, Germany was allowed to remain a sovereign nation, but was strapped with an enormous reparations bill. The seeds of the Second World War had partly been sown.