Opening scene shows a man being roughed up by a group of men in an alleyway. A slate comments (in French) that when nations are bellicose, an assassination can cause a world war. Next, a slate shows picture of the world and states (in English) "One murder may start a world war." Another slate (in French) states that In 1914, while Europe's armies and fleets were more powerful than they had ever been, the nephew of the Emperor of Austria (Archduke Ferdinand) was assassinated. A front page is shown of newspaper, "Journal De Geneve" carrying the story. Next scene is a view of the city of Sarajevo. The ancient Emperor's Mosque dominates the scene. A slate appears asking Where is Sarajevo? It is followed by a map of Europe in 1914, which zooms in on Austria and Serbia and identifies and labels Sarajevo,in Austria, close to the Serbian border. Slates (in French) says Austria accused Serbia of War and other nations enter the melee. Animated World map shows the nations getting involved, starting with the German Empire in 1914, including its African colonies, and then successively showing Russia, France, Belgium,Great Britain, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. Map advances to 1915, showing the Italian empire, Bulgaria,and Central Arabia. In 1916 it adds Portugal, Roumania. Next, the U.S.A. is added in, 1917, along with Central and South America, Greece, Siam, and China. Finally, the slate shows the war ending in 1918. Slate shows Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month (November), with time shown on hands of Big Ben in London.
Events early during World War I. Belgian soldiers fire artillery during the war. Washington Post newspaper headline in August 1914 announces invasion of Belgium by German forces. German forces move past large crowds in the streets of a city. Artillery fired on a battlefield.
The general staff of the Third Division of Belgian Army. The staff members stand outside a building. It is Winter, 1914, and the officers are dressed warmly. Trees in the background are devoid of leaves. (World War i; World War 1; WWI; WW1)
Troops of the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, U.S. 2nd Armored Division, pass in review before their Commanding General, Brigadier General Isaac White, who stands on a stage with Belgian officials, in the town of Hasselt, Belgium during World War 2. The troops are led by the 66th Armored Regiment military band. A contingent of the marchers carries numerous American flags. Civilian spectators line the sidewalks, and Belgian officials in formal dress with medals, watch the parade which ends at a World War I memorial monument in the square. General White carries wreath of flowers and places them at the foot of the memorial, which is inscribed: "1914 - 1918." The U.S. troops parade from the scene. Group of children applaud. Camera focuses on young woman, in crowd, smiling and applauding. View of flag bearing inscription: "Hasselt Liberators."
German cavalry on horseback entering Belgium and Berman infantry marching in France, at the start of World War 1 (1914). The famed Taxicab army is seen carrying French soldiers in Paris. General Ferdinand Foch reviewing elements of the French 9th Army. French and British troops firing a British BL 8-inch howitzer. French troops rushing across no-man's land of trenches and barbed wire, as shells burst. German soldiers taken prisoners in trench. General Foch shaking hands with U.S. General Pershing, aboard a U.S. warship. Sketch of signing of the armistice, November 1, 1918 on a railway carriage at Compiegne. Monument to Marshal Foch. Monument to Minister of War, Andre Maginot. concrete being poured. French construction of the Maginot Line. Animated illustrated cross-section of the line.View of troops moving on rail cars in the Maginot line. Glimpse of Maginot line guns on surface. At outbreak of World War 2, French troops deploy to the Maginot line. French troops inside bunkers and tunnels of Maginot Line. Marshal Petain reviewing the troops as they deploy. Muzzle of a Maginot line gun. Hitler with Military Chiefs planning. View of French Foreign Minsister, Aristide Briand,during signing of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand antiwar pact in Paris.Frank R. Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State at the table to Briand's left. His signature on the document. A field full of French Bloch MB.150 airplanes. French airman poses with Potez 58 airplane. French AMC 34 tanks. Crowd milling about at Renault Building and unrest elswhere in Paris, France. Newspapers chronicle failure of the League of Nations. Movie cartoon about weakening of France by Nazi inspired social strife and sabotage. French Army troops in mess hall eat at long tables and pour wine with meal. Idle French troops across the Rhine River targeted by German propaganda and psychological warfare including banners; messages by balloons;German bands playing French tunes; large loudspeakers broadcasting in French.
Initial German advances in World War 1. German troops entering Luxembourg and Belgium. They are seen crossing bridges (possibly at Remich and Wasserbillig). Local inhabitants stand and watch as horse-drawn German wagons of supplies pass along a road. They pass over a pontoon bridge. Troops and supplies passing over a suspension bridge and then over a pontoon bridge. One wagon carries pine trees with German flags atop them. German army trucks moving over a stone bridge with structures built across it. Imperial high command observing movements of German military forces. Crown Prince Wilhelm (William) of Prussia, appointed Commander of the German 5th Army, is seen in the uniform of a Leib Hussar, with toten kopf (death head) emblem on his fur busby. He converses with his father, Kaiser Wilhelm II. They are accompanied by high ranking German officers. German forces entering Brussels, Belgium.