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World War I

World War I - The Great War
World War I or the First World War lasted from 1914 to 1918. Most of the world’s major countries were involved in warfare as part of one of the two opposing alliances–the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. Over 70 million military personnel were involved in active warfare. The War is remembered in history as one of the most widespread and significant wars ever fought. As the first global conflict, it greatly affected the economy and politics of Europe and the colonies of European nations. World War I is also known as the Great War, due to its catastrophic consequences including almost 9 million casualties.

Over 65 million troops were deployed by both the Central and Allied Powers in World War I. The army, navy, and air forces of most countries were involved in the war. Besides Europe and the United States, the war involved the African and Asian colonies of the European nations. World War I is regarded as the first instance of Total War in the world.

  Troops Deployed  
Allied Powers Central Powers
42,189,000 22,850,000

  Country-wise deployment of troops  
Russia 12,000,000
Germany 11,000,000
Great Britain 8,905,000
France 8,410,000
Austria-Hungary 7,800,000
Italy 5,615,000
United States 4,355,000
Turkey 2,850,000
Bulgaria 1,200,000
Japan 800,000
Romania 750,000
Serbia 707,000
Belgium 267,000
Greece 230,000
Portugal 100,000
Montenegro 50,000

Death and Damages
Despite their victory, World War I caused untold damages to the life and property of Allied Nations. The Central Powers faced their share of causalities and losses at the end of the war. The war was a shock to the world in general, and Europe in particular. The European nations had been lulled into a sense of security by the absence of any major war in the century preceding World War I. At the end of the Great War, the countries involved could only estimate their damages.

Austria - Hungary1,200,0003,620,000
Britain and Colonies908,3712,090,212

Financial Impact
The financial implications of the war were calamitous. Although World War I cannot be said to have directly caused the Great Depression, the financial strains of the Great War certainly acted as catalysts. The following table shows the costs incurred by the warring nations in U.S. dollars from 1914 to 1918.

CountryCost (in USD)
Germany 37,775,000,000
Britain 35,334,012,000
France 24,265,583,000
USA 22,625,253,000
Russia 22,293,950,000
Austria - Hungary 20,622,960,000
Italy 12,413,998,000
Colonies (Allied) 4,493,813,000
Romania 1,600,000,000
Turkey 1,430,000,000
Belgium 1,154,468,000
Bulgaria 815,200,000
Other Countries 500,000,000
Serbia 399,400,000
Greece 270,000,000
Japan 40,000,000