Indian Army in World War 1

Prelims level : Mains level : GS-I: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars.
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  • World War I was the Great War…A conflict on a grand scale…. From 1914 to 1918 it embroiled most of the nations of Europe. Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions.
  • The Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey were pitted against the Allies — France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States… It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers.
  • In carnage, and destruction the war was unprecedented. World War I was one of the great watersheds of 20th-century geopolitical history. It led to the fall of four great imperial dynasties in Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.
  • It triggered the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and, destabilised European society… Ironically it also sowed the seeds for World War II. More notably the war marked the exceptional role of the Indian Army that fought with distinction selflessly in battlefields far away from home… for a cause that had nothing to do with their homeland.
  • 13 Lakh Indian Soldiers fought in world war 1.
  • Served in France, Belgium, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Sinai.
  • Fought against Germans in East Africa, Western front.

Killed in European trenches:

  • 69,214 soldiers were wounded, 100 million British pounds to fund world war 1 and also with 1.7 lakh animals.
  • 37 tonnes of supply, clothing, sand bags, and weapons.
  • In 1914, Jawans stopped German forces in y pres.
  • 4000 Soldiers killed in battle of Newe chapelle.
  • 1,000 Soldiers were killed in Gallipoli and 7,00,000 fought in Mesoptamia.

Battle of HAIFA:

  • 400 lancers of 15th cavalry fought.
  • Jodhpur, Mysore, Hyderabad, Bhavanagar, Baroda, Idar and Jamnagar.
  • 23 September 1918: Indian troops seized Haifa
  • Troops battled 1500 men of Turkish army.
  • Lancers fought with only spears.
  • 1,350 Germans, ottoman prisoner captured.


  • The Triple Alliance, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy.
  • The Triple Entente Great Britain, France and Russia.


  • 28 June 1914, Archduke Frang Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria – Hungary killed by a Serbian man.
  • Austria – Hungary declared war on Serbia.
  • Russia got involved because Russia had an alliance with Serbia.
  • Germany then declared war on Russia because Germany had an alliance with Austria – Hungary. 4th August 1914 – Britain declared war on Germany because of its invasion of neutral Belgium.
  • 7 August 1914 – first shots of world war one was fired in Africa
  • 23 August 1914 – The Battle of Mons in Belgium was the British Army’s first engagement in France.
  • 5 September 1914. As the German Army advances towards Paris, French and British soldiers counter attack along the line of the River Marne.
  • 10 October 1914, the Indian Army joins the war.
  • 31 October 1914, siege of Tsing tao.
  • 3 January 1915, first use of poison gas.
  • 25 April 1915, Australian, New Zealand, British, French and Indian Troops mount on Amphibious landing to take the peninsula of Gallipoli. But the Allies suffer a crushing defeat.
  • 7 may 1915, the sinking of the Lusitania by the u – boat.
  • 27 January 1916 – conscription introduced in Britain.
  • 21 February 1916 – this is the longest single battles of world war one and lasts nine months. The Germans fail to break through or exhaust the French army defeat.
  • 31 May 1916 – In the biggest naval battle of the war the British lose more ships than the Germans and fail to destroy the German high seas fleet. But the Germans Navy retreats and remains bottled up in its North Sea and Baltic ports.
  • 1 July 1916 – the Battle of the Somme is one of the largest and bloodiest conflicts of world war one nearly 20,000 British soldiers die on the first day.
  • 6 April 1917- America enters the war.
  • 8 November 1917 – in March 1917 there is a popular uprising in Russia and TSAR Nicholas II abdicates. Russia leaves the war signing an army tice in December.
  • 21 March 1918, Germany launches the spring offensive.
  • 11 November 1918 – Armistice.
  • 1919 – The treaty of Versailles imposes harsh terms on Germany forcing them to accept the blame for the war.

Causes / Mutual Defensive Alliances:

  • Austria – Hungary Prepared for war against Serbia, which was allied with Russia.
  • Russia got involved to defend Serbia
  • Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia
  • France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria – Hungary.
  • Germany attacked France through Belgium pulling Britain into war.
  • Later Japan, Italy and us Entered on the side of the allies.


  • British empire extended over 5 continents and France had control of large areas of Africa.
  • Rise of industrialism led the need of new markets.
  • Amounts of land’s owned by Britain and France increased the rivalry with Germany.
  • Desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation.


  • Colonial rivalry had led to a naval arms race between Britain and Germany.
  • British – German dispute also led to greater naval co – operation between British and France.



  • Nationalism was a greater cause of WW1, Nationalist groups in Austria – Hungary and Serbia wanted independence.
  • France wanted Alsace Lorraine back from Germany.


  • War caused downfall of 4 monarchies Germany, Turkey, Austria – Hungary and Russia.
  • Beginning of the end of European supremacy.
  • Emergence of USA as a super power.
  • WWI changed the face of modern warfare forever.
  • Casualties of men led to women becoming bread winners.
  • New boundary lines draw for Austria, Germany and Turkey.
  • Inflation shot up in most countries.
  • Japan Become a powerful country in Asia
  • epidermis
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