World War I was the first war where the major superpowers of the world were fighting at the same time. It started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914. This event started a chain reaction that led to an outbreak of conflict throughout the European continent. After several years of fighting the United States would join the war. The Battle of Belleau Wood would be a turning point that would show the Germans, the French, and the rest of the world the devotion, courage, and more importantly, the power of the Marine Corps and the United States of America.
When Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, Austria-Hungary found out that it was a Serbian group that did it to try and break up the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary gave Serbia an ultimatum. In that ultimatum it stated that Serbia was to investigate the assassination of Ferdinand, stop all anti-Austria-Hungary propaganda, and to eliminate terrorist organizations in Serbia since the person who assassinated Franz Ferdinand supposedly belonged to one of those organizations. They were given 48 hours to comply with this but no one thought that Serbia would comply. Even the Serbian at the embassy in Austria packed his belongings and left.1 When the ultimatum was given, both countries started to form alliances. Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire would form the Central Powers while France, Russia, and Great Britain would form the Triple Entente also known as the Allies.
The Central Power alliance was formed when Germany decided to side with Austria-Hungary. When this happened, Russia started a mobilization to head south to the Balkans in order to keep their influence in the region. Before the ultimatum, Ru...
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...llery, machineguns, and fierce hand to hand combat while they were trying to be poisoned with mustard gas.
“Austria-Hungary issues ultimatum to Serbia.” The History Channel website. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/austria-hungary-issues-ultimatum-to-serbia
“German submarine sinks Lusitania.” The History Channel website. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/german-submarine-sinks-lusitania
Duffy, Michael. “Battles-The Battle of Belleau Wood, 1918.” First World War. Last modified August 22, 2009. http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/belleau.htm
Hanlon, Michael. “Chateau-Thierry The Battle for Belleau Wood.” Doughboy Center. http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/ct_bw.htm
Kozaryn, Linda. “Marines’ First Crucible: Belleau Wood.” American Forces Press Service. Last modified June 18, 1998. http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=43169
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