American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) being greeted by Belgian citizens During World War 1. Towns people pose with school children in front of a Gateway tunnel to their town. Several hold American flags. American soldiers mingling with the Belgians. One soldier holds a Belgian boy on his shoulder. Camera pans upward revealing that the tunnel is under a fortress. (World War I; World War 1; WWI; WW1)
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.
Famous World War 1 aviators from various countries. Several aviators stand on airfield in Belgium. Aviators of World War I are decorated, seen in footage from several different ceremonies. Includes French aviators Georges Guynemer and Charles Nungesser, German pilot Manfred Richthofen (the Red Baron), and Canadian aviator Billy Bishop in ceremonies. A plane on the airfield. King Albert of Belgium is taken for a flight over Germany. Planes in flight. View of aviator Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, smiling beside a barracks building. View of soldiers gathered at Quentin Roosevelt's grave with primitive cross marker dated July 14, 1918.
Canadian troops in West Flanders, Belgium near Ypres and Albert during World War 1. An animated map shows the region and the Somme River. Canadian troops hunkered down in grass and shrubs on a hill overlooking flat terrain. Shells exploding on horizon in background. A large contingent of Canadian troops marching downhill with left-shouldered arms. Senior officers walk out of a courtyard gate. Next, General Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Militia and Defence, is seen shaking hands with several officers. Scene shifts, after he greets only two, and shows Canadian troops marching in platoons along a dusty road. Next, Canadian soldiers are seen moving supplies by horse-drawn wagons along a tree-lined road leading into a town. Final scenes show the war-damaged Albert Basilica. The camera pans upward, along its tower, to the Golden Virgin statue at its top, which is leaning precariously to one side, almost falling off its base. (The statue became the subject of British superstition that the war would end when the statue fell. But British artillery, itself, knocked it down while targeting the tower to prevent its use by the Germans as an observation post, during the 1918 Spring offensive)
Map showing Germany and nearby regions after conclusion of World War I. Writing indicates areas on map including Battle Line at End of Hostilities, Line to Which Germans Must Retreat, and Neutral Zone (between the two areas). Slate indicates that German Kaiser Wilhelm II had just abdicated (28 November, 1918) and shows footage of Kaiser Wilhelm II on horseback at a formal event. Next scene shows a massive human formation of soldiers in the shape of the Liberty Bell known as "The Human Liberty Bell", formed by 25,000 officers and men at Camp Dix, New Jersey to celebrate the armistice in World War 1 and the abdication of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Camera pans upward to show the human bell from base to top. Next scenes show key Allied military leaders in World War I: British General Haig reviewing troops; France General Philippe Petain emerging from a building; Group of French soldiers marching; Italian General Diaz together with French officers reviewing troops; and King Albert of Belgium exiting a building outside Paris during World War 1 and entering a waiting horse-drawn carriage. View of United States President Woodrow Wilson reading newspaper and seated in a chair. (World War I; World War 1; WWI; WW1)
Funeral procession in a city square in Belgium during World War 1, circa 1918. Several horse drawn carriages with caskets pass by. Each coffin is separately escorted by Belgian soldiers in World War I uniforms and civilian men and women carrying flowers and wreaths. Belgian people gather to see parade on both sides of street.