On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated. This event sparked off a war that was change the lives of millions of people around the world. More than 70 million military personnel were mobilised, and over 9 million combatants were killed. Entire generations of young men from towns and villages across Europe were wiped out. The conflict drew in the world's great global powers, including the British Empire, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, the United States and Japan, as well as many other nations.
World War I transformed the way in which wars were fought. Cavalry charges and `staged' clashes were consigned to history, making way for trench warfare, heavy artillery, machine guns and poison gas. Troops learnt to exist for months in confined spaces and ruined landscapes, fighting horrifying battles to push their line forward by only a few hundred yards. World War I changed the face of European society and politics forever, and set the scene for a subsequent world war. On 11 November 1918, an armistice at last came into effect, and we continue to remember today the moment when the guns fell silent on the Western Front. The World War I Story is the perfect pocket narrative of one of the largest conflicts in human history: the Great War.