Monument to the Battle of Tannenburg (01:30)
In 1933, Hitler and Goering paid tribute to Field Marshall van Hindenburg at the location where Germany's destiny was sealed in 1914. (Credits)
Panic in Paris (01:50)
As Germans advanced in August 1914, many citizens emptied bank accounts and fled the city. The Felar family remained, confident in the French Army. As the school year began, children were taught about unwarranted German aggression. Refugees from Belgium and Northern France fled the German advance.
Advance on East Prussia (02:16)
German civilians fled as the Russians opened a new front to ease pressure on France. Russian soldiers said goodbye to their homeland; many were illiterate peasants that did not understand the conflict.
Defending East Prussia (02:33)
Generals von Hindenburg and Ludendorff took command. The German army was outnumbered but better armed and had a strategic railway system. The Russian armies were too far apart to aid one another. The Germans defeated General Samsonov's army near Tannenburg; French and British allies hid the loss.
Results of Tannenburg (01:46)
German refugees returned to East Prussia. To boost morale, surviving German soldiers were filmed receiving triple rations. Hindenburg was named field marshal but Ludendorff was overlooked. Russian commander-in-chief Grand Duke Nicholas downplayed defeat for Czar Nicholas II and said they should attack Austro-Hungary.
Conquering Galicia (01:31)
In September 1914, Russia captured an Austrian province. Austria lost 400,000 men, including Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, and Bosnians; Russia lost 200,000. Russia wanted to unite all Slavs under its empire.
Preparing to Defend France (03:06)
Seven German armies totaling 2 million men invaded the 370 mile long French front. French soldiers continued to fight as they retreated. Men on all sides suffered from heat, exhaustion, and foot sores. Field Marshal Sir John French told British soldiers the situation was grave. French civilians prayed and African colonial troops marched north.
First Battle of the Marne (03:10)
Defenses assembled around Paris but German forces changed direction to encircle the French army—opening themselves for attack along the Marne River. General Gallieni sent 6,000 men in Parisian taxis used as a propaganda stunt. One million French troops prepared for battle; General Joffre ordered them to hold the line.
Angels of Mercy (02:53)
French artillery units were effective during the First Battle of the Marne; shells were manufactured by women. On September 9, France and Britain were victorious but both sides lost 200,000 men. Young women enlisted as nurses. French troops believed the war would end soon.
Prisoners of War (02:11)
French media filmed German captives for propaganda. POWs were treated well on both sides. The Battle of the Marne saved Paris but the war was not over. Germans fled toward the north of France, completing Belgian conquest.
Fight for Belgium (03:24)
Hitler was among German soldiers plundering in Flanders. The British refused to abandon Ypres. Volunteer Canadian troops trained in England before embarking for France; King George V's son was in the navy.
Preparing for Trench Warfare (02:51)
In October 1914, German and British troops began digging trenches in Flanders. The Belgians had flooded the region and the soil was water logged. Eventually, a line of trenches stretched 435 miles along the French border.
Suicide of Europe (02:44)
In winter 1914, General Joffre launched offensives halted by German machine guns, leaving 100,000 French troops or wounded. On All Saints Day, Pope Benedict 15 appealed for peace. View rare images of enemies fraternizing on the front.
War Expands beyond Europe (02:46)
French, British and Belgian troops attacked German colonies in Africa to expand empires and obtain raw materials. Many Africans were conscripted; 100,000 lost their lives. Japan honored its alliance with Britain and attacked the German port of Tsingtao.
Middle East Involvement (02:40)
The Ottoman Empire held Istanbul and the Suez Canal, strategic Allied locations. Germany outbid Britain for Sultan Mehmed V's allegiance. The Young Turks held real power. Enver Pacha attacked Russia in the Caucasus, hoping Muslims would rise in holy war.
Turkish Defeat and Armenian Genocide (02:42)
Pacha's army failed in the Caucasus in December 1914 and no Muslims joined in holy war against Russia. The Young Turks scapegoated Turkey's Christian Armenian community. Those who survived the first massacres were sent to camps in Syria.
Underestimating Turkey (04:14)
In March 1915, an Allied fleet tried to take the Dardanelles Strait to prevent Bulgaria from entering the war. The Turks sank and damaged battle ships; Winston Churchill stepped down. Britain later attacked Gallipoli and failed, due to poor planning and superior Turkish firepower. Hear how Australian volunteers suffered.
Impasse on the Western Front (02:44)
By April 1915, heavy casualties began turning German public opinion against the war. Italy entered on the Allied side. In France, fighting was deadlocked in the trenches; morale suffered.
Invading Warsaw (02:41)
General von Falkenhayn allowed American journalist Wilbur Durborough to accompany German troops as they attacked Poland. Although neutral, U.S. hostility toward Germany had increased after the S.S. Lusitania was sunk. Durborough filmed Russian prisoners and Jewish Warsaw residents.
Birth of Industrial Warfare (01:25)
Zeppelins bombed London, threatening the British heartland. Both sides now focused on annihilating as many people as possible. New weapons were developed including toxic gases.
Credits: Apocalypse WWI: Episode 2—Fear (00:42)
Credits: Apocalypse WWI: Episode 2—Fear
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