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Nine European Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII in May of 1910, four years before the war began. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel II of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of Greece and King Albert I of Belgium. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Within the next decade, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Ferdinand's empires would engage in bloody warfare with the nations led by King Albert I and King George V. The war was also a family affair, as Kaiser Wilhelm II was a first cousin to King George V, and an uncle to King Albert I. Of the remaining monarchs pictured, over the next decade one would be assassinated (Greece), three would keep their nations neutral (Norway, Spain, and Denmark), and two would be forced out of power by revolutions.
The conflict, called the Great War by those involved, was the first large-scale example of modern warfare - technologies still use in battle today were introduced in large scale forms then, some (like chemical attacks) were outlawed and later viewed as war crimes. The newly-invented aeroplane took its place as an observation platform, a bomber, and an anti-personnel weapon, even as an anti-aircraft defense, shooting down enemy aircraft. Here, French soldiers gather around a priest as he blesses an aircraft on the Western Front, in 1915.
1915, British soldiers on motorcycles in the Dardanelles, part of the Ottoman Empire, prior to the Battle of Gallipoli.
A dog belonging to a Mr. Dumas Realier, dressed as a German soldier, in 1915.
Ottoman Turk Machine Gun Corps at Tel esh Sheria Gaza Line, in 1917, part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. British troops were battling the the Ottoman Empire (supported by Germany), for control of the Suez Canal, Sinai Peninsula, and Palestine.
An aerial view of the Hellish moonscape of the Western Front during World War I. Hill of Combres, St. Mihiel Sector, north of Hattonchatel and Vigneulles. Note the criss-cross patterns of multiple generations of trenches, and the thousands of craters left by mortars, artillery, and the detonation of underground mines.
A color photograph of Allied soldiers on a battlefield on the Western Front. This image was taken using the Paget process, an early experiment in color photography.
German soldiers flee a gas attack in Flanders, Belgium, in September of 1917. Chemical weapons were a part of the arsenal of World War I armies from the beginning, ranging from irritating tear gases to painful mustard gas, to lethal agents like phosgene and chlorine.