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When Did the Great War start?

The Great War was a military conflict centered on Europe that began in the summer of 1914. The fighting ended in late 1918. This conflict involved all of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centred around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed, due largely to great technological advances in firepower without corresponding ones in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in history.

The term The Great War is particularly common in American English, whereas in Britain and the The Commonwealth, it is more commonly called the First World War. This term was first coined in 1920 as the title of Charles a Court Repington's book, but references to it being the first war did not become popular until World War II. During and in the aftermath of the conflict it was called the Great War, particularly in British newspapers, whereas US media preferred simply the the World War. It was also known as the War To End All Wars.

The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, is seen as the immediate trigger of the war. Long-term causes, such as imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, such as the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, France, and Italy, played a major role. Ferdinand's assassination by a Yugoslav nationalist resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia. Several alliances formed over the past decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; as all had colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world.

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Why Collect Great War Relics

Collecting Great War relics allows the collector to come into physical contact with history and with those who participated in it. It is an interesting experience to read on a certain aspect of Great War history and then be able to hold or own an item that was actually there. Information is contained in war relics. Owning an item is part of the learning experience - it helps bring history alive.

But why collect artefacts from the Great War? Understanding the Great War and the events that took place around it helps us understand why many things are as they are today. For many, there is an immediate or personal family connection to the war - collecting can preserve the memory of their family's contributions, it can also help them connect and reconcile events that were directly or indirectly significant in their personal histories.

For others, collecting Great War Relics is a way of connecting personal interest and business. As with all types of antiques, there is no certainty that a Great War Relic will appreciate in value - what's desirable today may be out of favour tomorrow when a collector decides to sell, and speculating and knowing the form is part of the fun. However based on today's market demands, and the very limited supply of original relics, Great War Relics are becoming great antiques to invest in.

Whatever the motivations, collecting Great War relics is a great way to spend your time and a great way to remember the sacrifices of all those who were involved. Whether it is Great War helmets, uniforms, medals, weapons or photos, you can usually find it on the open market. So get started, browse the categories and see what Great War relics you can hunt down.

 
Collecting other Conflicts?
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Korea War
Zulu War
Cold War
Afghanistan War
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Bosnian War
Medieval War
American Civil War
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WWI Militaria
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World War
Crimean War
Falklands War
Pacific War
Boer War
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