www.whyville.net May 29, 2007 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

World War I

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Hello people, now I need a quick favor from you all. Grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and write everything you know about World War I. What you write? Did you write about Hitler? Wrong. Bombing of Pearl Harbor? Again Wrong. Nuclear Weapons? No once again wrong. So you may be asking, "What did happen during World War I?" I am going to tell you about it.

World War I began in 1914 in Europe and lasted until 1918. It was the Allied Powers against the Central Powers. The main Allied Powers were France, Russia, Britain, Italy, and United States (they didn't join the war until 1917). The main Central Powers were Austria-Hungary, Germany and Turkey (Ottoman Empire).

The problems started when everyone wanted to be the best. Nationalism was taking hold. Some countries thought they were the best and hated anyone who was not from their country. This is much more severe than it sounds; some people even wanted to kill and destroy other people's land and/or property. Another problem was militarism. People began making bigger armies and stronger weapons just to prove they were the best. A third problem was colonism. All the countries started making colonies in other parts of the world just to have more colonies than others. In other words it was a mess. People wanted to fight and they just needed one spark to set it off. On June 28, 1914 they got their spark.

On June 28, 1914 the Austrian-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was traveling with his pregnant wife Sophie in an open car. While they were traveling a man threw a grenade at their car but it just bounced. The archduke and his wife were getting the feeling that they weren't wanted so they persuaded their driver to leave and fast. The driver did leave and left all the crowds. He accidentally turned into a dark alley. There was a man there. The man shot and killed both the archduke and his wife. A few days later World War I had officially begun.

This war was different from other wars for many reasons. One thing was it was much more deadly. The reasons for this were the weapons. In the air there were planes dropping bombs on the ground and shooting each other down. One of the best pilots was the German "Red Baron". He shot down 80 planes before being shot down himself by a British plane.

Another weapon was the machine gun. The guns didn't have to be loaded as often making them quicker and deadlier.

The water was dangerous too. Mines floating on the water blew up passing ships. German U-boats shot torpedoes at ships including a British passenger ship called the Lusitania in 1915. This really ticked America off especially since 128 Americans were on the boat.

Another deadly weapon was gas. Depending on the type of gas it was it would burn you from the inside, suffocate you or blind you.

The new way of fighting was trench warfare. A trench is a hole in the ground that the soldiers lived in. They weren't fun. Your head always had to be down because if you lifted your head you could be shot at. It was wet too. Because of the conditions in the trenches soldiers contracted a disease called trench foot which turned your feet nasty and green.

By 1917 the soldiers were tired, homesick, and plain sick. The Central Powers were kicking some Allied butts but that was all about to change. In 1917 the Americans joined the war and within a year the Allies won.

So there you have it folks; a basic overview of World War I.

See you around Whyville!

Angalgirl over and out


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