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.
Nations mobilizing for World War 1 (The Great War).from 1914 through 1917-18. Civilians in a Slavic country react to information fastened on a large circular post. Closeup of British Mark II tanks moving near the camera, followed by view of British Whippet tank in front of army trucks. Uniformed, armed, German troops assembling in a town square. German General Paul von Hindenburg leading members of his staff and a diplomat, on inspection of troops. A Russian officer on horseback with troops assembled in a city park. Unusual grouping of Military officers from Germany (wearing Picklehaube helmets); France; and Russia (including a Cossack), gathered in front of a Russian Orthodox Church (presumably somewhere in Russia) prior to World War 1. Anachronistic view of middle-aged Winston Churchill giving an address, before numerous microphones. U.S. Marines hurrying along a waterfront pier, past a variety of boats docked in a city marina. American soldiers looking at a U.S. Connecticut-class battleship docked at a pier, displaying a large American flag, during World War 1. Camera pans across the pier. Crew members seen on Japanese battleship, Settsu. Japanese troops disembarking from a transport ship covered with ice.
From a documentary film entitled "World War I". Events leading to World War I. Soldiers at a parade. In August 1914 the leading nations of Europe prepare to go for a war. Soldiers on the battle field. The scenes after the war show damage to life and material. Smoke all around. A tank on the battle field. Sketches of the U.S. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson explain people to be neutral in the war. A sketch of a soldier carrying an artillery.
Sketches depict World War I, the industries in the United States. Workers work inside the factory. A sketch of Thomas Woodrow Wilson. People hold strike posters. The President addresses a gathering. A cartoon depicts the concern of the President in the domestic reforms. Sketch of the President sitting in a chair and other officials stand near him. Animation of a map shows Serbia. Sketches of assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary. Serbia raises a war against Austria and Russia assists. Soldiers on horses prepare for war. Soldiers carry weapons as they run. Germany assists Austria in the war. Soldiers on horses carry weapons. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson seeks to help the world. Sketches of soldiers on horses during a fight and of an injured soldier during the war.
Relative oil production of the United States and other countries for the year 1914 is depicted. A political map of the United States shows some states with dots and some with crosses and some states with dots and crosses both. A box on the top left corner of the map shows the state of Alaska. A map of the continent of South America with oil production of some of its countries. A box on the top right side of the map shows oil production in Trinidad. A map of Russia shows its neighboring countries such as Germany, Galicia, Roumania and others. Relative oil production in these countries is depicted using crosses and dots. Boxes on the top right corner of the map show relative oil production in Japan and Formosa. Another map shows India, Tibet and neighboring countries. Relative oil production in these countries is depicted. A box in the lower middle of the map shows relative oil production in Dutch East Indies.
Tsar Nicholas II is seen with Grand Duke, Nicholas Nikolaevich (the tall officer in his retinue) during a military review at beginning of World War 1. Along with senior Russian officers, they review troops in formation at a parade ground near St. Petersburg (Petrograd) Russia. After reviewing the formation, they walk past a low platform in the center of the field, where Russian Orthodox Metropolitan vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) of Petrograd (St. Petersburg) stands with several priests. With their hats removed, The Tsar and his party review a military unit in formation, whose members also have their their hats removed. The Tsar and party approach the Bishop and stop to cross themselves. The Bishop responds with a slight bow to the Tsar. Scene changes to members of the French military mission to Russia standing at the edge of the parade grounds. Next, the Tsar and his retinue walk to take up a position from which to review Russian troops on parade. Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, in uniform, walks with his father. As troops pass in review, young Alexei is seen at left of the screen standing at attention. Scene shifts to another part of the grounds, where camera pans across the Tsar and party to military representatives from other nations.
Headlines of prominent newspapers show rising tensions prior to World War 1. Headline of New York American 'Czar expects war declaration today, England and Germany ready to strike, Austrians and Serbs in big battle'. Montage of headlines. Berliner Tageblatt New York Times headlines say 'Austria and Serbia ready for war, Russia gives warning to Germany, London still sees hope for peace'. NY Times and Freier Press headlines the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Serbian police dragging the assassin. Blood stained tunic of Archduke. Burial ceremony of Archduke with coffin covered with Austrian flag. Czar Nicholas II of Russia reviews troops. Mass demonstration in streets of Moscow. Civilians armed with rifles marching in demonstration. Leon Tortosky saluting, Bolshevik troops in parade. Food distribution to children and people eating on snow covered streets of Moscow. Headlines showing Russian entry in World War I. Snow covered Kremlin. Vladimir Lenin at a desk. Talks.