This Retreating World: 31 Remarkable Photos From The World War One Trenches

WW1 Photos Austrian Prisoners

Austrian prisoners pose for a picture in Russia in 1915. Source: Library of Congress

The First World War was not “the war to end all wars.” It was, instead, the beginning of the kind of modern mass violence that would scar the century. For the first time, the armies of Europe used such tools of slaughter as the flamethrower, poison gas, the tank, and war planes.

The war’s catalyst came in the summer of 1914, when Gavrilo Princip, a radicalized Yugoslav nationalist, fired two shots into a car in a Sarajevo side street, killing the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. In the following weeks, all knots of European diplomacy tightened, and a net of alliances dragged the continent into a war that would last for the next four years. 19 million people died, more than half of them civilians.

The gallery below offers a window into the fighting in Europe during the first truly modern war – a conflict that, whether we realize it or not, shaped the dimensions and norms of the world we live in today.

WW1 Photos Austro Hungarians
WW1 Photos German Cavalry
WW1 Photos Irish Rifles
WW1 Photos Russian Trench
This Retreating World: 31 Remarkable Photos From The World War One Trenches
View Gallery
John
John has been writing for All That Is Interesting since 2014 and now lives in Madrid, Spain, where he writes and consults on international development projects in East Africa.
Close Pop-in
Like All That Is Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds