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The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
OverviewTotal WarSlaughterNagel/StockwellEtem/Wegner
Australian headquarters staff wading ashore at Gallipoli, 1915'God, all this soldier wants is to keep this land from the British and the French.  Grant me this wish.' -- Hasan Etem, Turkish soldier in a letter to his mother

Total War
Armenian child
Armenian child
By 1915, the conflict had spread across boundaries between continents and peoples, becoming a global war--a fact grimly confirmed by the unlikely battle between Turks and Australians on the Turkish cliffs of Gallipoli. The Allied force eventually abandoned the assault with 46,000 dead.

French Soldiers

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This total war effected the lives of many different people: in some communities unprecedented casualty rates especially among young officers stripped young women of all their male contemporaries; West African soldiers were shipped in from the colonies to fight in the trenches; brave Englishwomen traded other jobs for more dangerous jobs in weapons factories. Everyone was affected. The first genocide of the 20th century -- the ultimate form of total war against civilians -- was also part of this conflict. Turkish ethnic cleansing practices killed more than a million Armenians. A practice later noted by Hitler when he remarked to his high command: "Who remembers the Armenia massacres today?"

Top Photo: Australian headquarters staff wading ashore at Gallipoli, 1915

Map of Gallipoli

Historian Commentary Women's Contribution to the War Effort
Gail Braybon, Author

Woman in gas mask factory
Woman in gas mask factory
I think many [British] women did find the war a genuinely liberating experience. It was very important to them that they were actually supporting the war effort, although lots of them didn't really think much about what the war was about. They knew that their friends, relations, husbands, sons were abroad. They were dying. There was a shell shortage. And they felt they really could do something to support the war effort. It was very exciting for a lot of them.

Explore Further
* Gallipoli
* Australia, a member of the allies (Channel 4, UK)
* The Western Front and the Birth of Total (BBC)
* The Armenian trail of tears (Channel 4, UK)
* The Broken Years by Bill Gammage (Cairns, University of Queensland Press, 1975)
1914-1919 Timeline
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U-boat sinks Lusitania Gallipoli German Zepplins bomb England 1919 1918 1917 1916 1915 1914