The First World War was a global conflict with men from across the world joining both sides to fight. The forces of the British Empire and her Allies fought those of the Central Powers: Germany, Austro-Hungry, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire across Europe, Africa and Asia. At sea, fleets of warships and merchant transport braved the waters of every ocean around the globe.
The Western Front was the major fighting front in Europe during the First World War, stretching some 700 kilometres through France and Belgium from the North Sea to the Swiss border.
Allied forces launched an amphibious invasion to seize the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire in April 1915. What was envisaged as a quick operation became a protracted campaign.
Middle Eastern Fronts
In November 1914, forces of the British Empire invaded Mesopotamia. British Empire forces would battle their way up the ancient waterways, across the open deserts, and the mountain ranges.
The Salonika Campaign was perhaps the most diverse of the First World War. By 1917, the Allies fielded 600,000 men in six national contingents: British, French, Greek, Italian, Russian and Serbian.
War at Sea
In 1914, the British Royal Navy was the most powerful fleet in the world. The First World War saw this dominance challenged by the German High Seas Fleet and by a new and terrifying weapon.
War in the Air
During the First World War thousands of men took to the skies to fight. By 1916, whole squadrons of aircraft were in action. They performed many tasks from observation to bombing raids.
It was in Africa, not Europe, that the first shots were fired by soldiers of the British Empire during the First World War. And it was in Africa, on 25 November 1918, that the last German troops surrendered.