Teams of horses transport German 21cm morsers (heavy siege morters) along a road leading toward the front during World War 1. Gunners walk along beside them. Battery of the mortars being set up in a field by some houses near Mechelen (Malines) Belgium. The gun crews load and fire their mortars. Supplies are brought by horse-drawn wagon. Officers, soldiers, and some medical corpsmen (with red crosses on their sleeves) stand nearby as the battery of mortars fires. . (Note: The church shown, beginning TC: 1:28 is reportedly St. Joseph's, of the St. Joseph-Coloma parish on the southern outskirts of Mechelen/Malines, a city midway between Brussels and Antwerp. The church survived the war and still stands in 2014, although it is also reportedly in a bad state of repair.)
American President Woodrow Wilson visits Belgium. President Wilson visits Cardinal Mercier in Mechelen. Cardinal Mercier welcomes the President and they walk inside. Children standing along a road greet the President as he drives on the street.
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."