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A Farewell To Arms

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Many events led up to the outbreak of World War I. World War I began with a territorial dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia after the Balkan wars of 1912-1913. Serbian nationalists took on the cause of the South Slavs of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, deciding that it was time for these people to be liberated. Then, on June 28, 1914, the archduke of Austria and his wife were shot dead by a Serbian radical while touring Sarajevo (Moss, 112).

Once Austria-Hungary was promised the support of Germany they declared war on Serbia. Immediately, Russia and France came to Serbia’s aid and positioned troops against Austria-Hungary, causing Germany to declare war on both of these defenders. Once Germany moved into Belgium to position for an attack Great Britain declared war on Germany. This all lead to September 5, 1914, the signing of the Treaty of London, marked by the Allied Powers (Russia, France, and Great Britain). “If everybody would not attack the war would be over.” (Hemingway, 169), the people anticipated the wars end much earlier than it was in actuality. “But as the armies entrenched themselves on both the western front, where the Central Powers faces the French and British, and the eastern front where the Central Powers faced the Russians, prolonged battles proceeded.” (Moss, 112).

Italy also obtained a great part in the matter. Since 1882 Italy had been allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary through the Triple Alliance, but because this was a defensive pact and Germany and Austria-Hungary were the aggressors, Italy did not have to enter the war on either side. Italy was determined to profit from the conflict and compromised with both sides for land. The Allied Powers took the negotiation and Italy joined them in the fight against the Central Powers. Italy signed the Treaty of London in secret on April 26, 1915, and their role was to divert the Austrian forces



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