World War I Essay: Example and Tips

Tips for writing World War 1 essay

  1. When writing an essay on history, the author’s aim is to be objective. Look through different sources (books, journals, internet…). If you have such an opportunity, foreign language sources will also facilitate in learning a different viewpoint on a historical event.
  2. World War 1 is a rather broad topic and you are not able to cover it all in one essay. That is why try to narrow it to something more specific.
  3. Use only reliable sources for references. There is enough scientific literature about World War 1, do not use unknown sources of information. Pay attention to the authors you cite.
  4. Follow the standard rules of writing an essay. Structurally it should consist of three logical parts: introduction (for catching reader’s attention), main body (usually consisting of three paragraphs), conclusion (where author sums up what has been already told).

Example of topics for World War 1 essay

  1. Causes of World War 1
  2. Role of England in World War 1
  3. Aftermaths of World War 1
  4. Brief history of World War 1 – example

World War 1 essay example

Introduction paragraph

The First World War of 1914 – 1918 has become one of the most bloody and large-scale conflicts in human history. It began on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. 38 countries participated in this conflict. If we talk briefly about the causes of the First World War, then it can be confidently asserted that serious economic contradictions of the alliances of world powers that were established at the beginning of the century provoked this conflict. It is also worth noting that, probably, there was a possibility of a peaceful settlement of these contradictions. However, feeling the increased power, Germany and Austria-Hungary moved to more decisive actions.

Participants of World War 1

Participants in the First World War were:

  • on the one hand, the Quadruple Alliance, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey (Ottoman Empire);
  • on the another hand, block of the Entente, which consisted of England, Russia, France and the allied countries (Italy, Romania, later the USA and many others).

The outbreak of the First World War was provoked by the murder of the heir to the Austrian throne of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by a member of the Serbian nationalist terrorist organization. The murder, committed by Gavrilo the Principle, provoked the conflict between Austria and Serbia. Germany supported Austria and entered the war.

The course of World War 1

Historians divide the course of the First World War into five separate military campaigns.

The beginning of the military campaign is 1914, July 28. On August 1, Germany, which entered the war, declares war on Russia, and on August 3, France. German troops invade Luxembourg and, later, Belgium. In 1914, the most important events of the First World War unfolded on the territory of France and are known today as “Running to the Sea”. Seeking to encircle the enemy’s troops, both armies moved to the coast, where the front line eventually closed. France retained control of the port cities. Gradually, the front line stabilized. The calculation of the German command for the rapid seizure of France was not justified. Since the forces of both sides were exhausted, the war took a positional character. Such are the events on the Western Front.

Military operations on the Eastern Front began on August 17. The Russian army launched an offensive on the eastern part of Prussia and initially it turned out to be quite successful. The victory in the Battle of Galicia (August 18) was accepted by the majority of the society with joy.

Events in the Balkans were not very successful either. The Belgrade captured earlier by Austria was repulsed by the Serbs. Japan proceeded to take action to seize the island colonies of Germany. However, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Germany, opening the Caucasian front and depriving Russia of convenient communication with the allied countries. As a result, at the end of 1914, none of the countries participating in the conflict was able to achieve its goals.

The second campaign in the chronologies of the World War 1 dates back to 1915. On the Western Front, there were fierce fighting clashes. Both France and Germany made desperate attempts to turn the situation in their favor. However, the huge losses incurred by both sides did not lead to serious results. In fact, the front line did not change by the end of 1915. Neither the spring offensive of the French in Artois, nor the operations carried in Champagne and Artois in the autumn, the situation has not changed.

1915 was marked by the entry into the war of Italy (May 23). Despite the fact that the country was a member of the Quadruple Union, it announced the outbreak of war against Austria-Hungary. But on Oct. 14, the Alliance of the Entente declared war on Bulgaria, which led to a complication of the situation in Serbia and its rapid collapse.

It should be noted that military actions developed not only on land. Between the blocs of the world’s strongest powers, there was a fierce confrontation on the water. It was in the spring of 1916 that one of the main battles of the World War 1 on the sea was the Jutland. In general, at the end of the year the Antanta block became the dominant one. The proposal of the Quadruple Alliance for Peace was rejected.

During the military campaign of 1917, the superiority of forces towards the Entente increased even more, and the USA joined the obvious winners. But the weakening of the economies of all the countries participating in the conflict, as well as the growth of revolutionary tension, led to a decrease in military activity. The German command decides on strategic defense on land fronts, while at the same time, focusing on attempts to withdraw England from the war using an underwater fleet. In the winter of 1916-17 there were no active military operations in the Caucasus. The situation in Russia has become more acute. In fact, after the October events, the country withdrew from the war.

1918 brought the Entente major victories, which led to the end of the First World War.

After the actual withdrawal from the war of Russia, Germany managed to liquidate the eastern front. It was made peace with Romania, Ukraine, Russia. The terms of the Brest Peace Treaty concluded between Russia and Germany in March 1918 proved to be the hardest for the country, however, this agreement was soon annulled.

Later, Germany occupied the Baltic states, Poland and partly Belarus, after which it threw all its forces on the Western front. But, thanks to the technical superiority of the Entente, German troops were defeated. After Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria made peace with the Entente countries, Germany was on the brink of disaster. Due to revolutionary events, Emperor Wilhelm leaves his country. November 11, 1918 Germany signed an act of surrender.


According to modern data, losses in the First World War amounted to 10 million soldiers. There is no exact data on losses among civilians. Presumably, due to difficult living conditions, epidemics and famine, twice as many people died.

At the end of the World War 1, Germany was to pay reparations to the Allies for 30 years. It lost one-eighth of its territory, and the colonies withdrew to the victorious countries. The coast of the Rhine was occupied by the Allied forces for 15 years. Similarly, Germany was forbidden to have an army of more than 100 thousand people. Strict restrictions were placed on all types of weapons.

The consequences of the World War 1 affected the situation in the victor countries. Their economy, with the possible exception of the United States, was in a difficult state. The standard of living of the population has sharply decreased, the national economy has fallen into decay. At the same time, military monopolies were enriched.