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.
Scenes in Lyndhurst, New Jersey after explosion in the Canadian Car and Foundry Company in Kingsland (in Meadowlands of New Jersey) during World War 1. The company built shells for shipment to Russia in World War I. Over 500,000 shells were destroyed in the blast and fire, bombarding the surrounding areas in Kingsland - Lyndhurst. Black smoke rising in the distance, at night, seen from the coast. Close views of industrial buildings and homes on fire. Night views of homes and buildings engulfed in flames. People walk through smoking wreckage afterwards and pick through debris. Devastation covers area flattened by explosion and fire. Twisted railroad tracks covered by debris. A pile of munitions shells in a heap in the burned out shell of a building. View of the D.L.&W (Delaware, Lackawanna & Western) Railroad Shops building at Kingsland (now Lyndhurst), with DL&W train car 605 parked in front. Railroad Shops building is pitted with holes and broken glass from 3-inch shell bombardment. Two men inspect a damaged railroad car with broken glass and a 3-inch shell embedded in the side of the car. A heavily damaged residential house with holes and blown-out windows, and a shell embedded in the front door. Citizens pick through wreckage in front of a building where only cement pilings remain. Scene shifts to Perth Amboy area, October 1918. View of displaced families made homeless by the T.A. Gillespie Shell Loading Plant explosion (Morgan Depot Explosion; largest munitions factory in the world). Refugees sit in a town square. Men, women, and children among the refugees. An Army soldier and Navy sailor seen near refugees as they eat and drink. View of Smith Street in Perth Amboy with shops damaged by the blast. Under Martial Law, U.S. Army troops patrol with rifles to prevent looting. Pedestrians and a streetcar pass. Sign along sidewalk for entrance to Michaels & Co. at 178 Smith Street. (Suspected cause of incidents: Gillespie - worker error; Kingsland - sabotage as in the 1916 Black Tom explosion.)
The German Army in conflict with Russia in World War I. A map of Soviet Russia, showing cities of Kiev and Odessa. Snow covered roads in Russia. German army vehicles move along the snow covered roads. Scene from First World War, of German General Paul von Hindenburg and his deputy, General Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff, leading procession of officials and officers across a railroad train platform. Lieutenant General Helmuth von Pannwitz, Cossack Cavalry Commander, on horseback in a public square. Lieutenant General Anton Denikin with Cossack troops in winter weather coats and hats, talking and laughing. German troops on the march. German commanders review troops occupying a city (Odessa, 1918?) What appears to be a baroque-style cathedral in background. Occupying German troops parade through streets of city. German soldiers on guard at a large building entrance. A sign on a building reads in German 'German Commander'.
Events during World War I. Tugboat and barge on river in Russia. Sidewheeler tugboat pulling a wooden barge fulled with construction equipment and materials. Two men stand in elevated stern deck holding a huge wooden boom attached to barge's rudder. Construction workers building a railroad bridge. They are working at edge of the river. View of destroyed building and large white building behind it.
Events during World War I. View into distance along newly laid railroad track, on round log ties, across plains of Russia. Railroad car containing construction materials. Construction workers maneuver wheel barrows of construction materials along a wooden path. Russian officers pose on platform, looking out over the newly laid tracks. A French officer is also seen on the platform.
Events during World War I. Elaborate civilian funeral procession. A white cart pulled by a draped horse, leads the procession, followed by a Crucifer and mourners, followed, in turn, by an elaborate carriage, containing a coffin, pulled by a team of 4 draped and plumed horses. A host of other persons follows the casket.