As the war gained momentum, and nation upon nation rallied its troops, it became evident the 20th century was upon us. Yet much of the world remained in the 19th century.
Cavalrymen rode to war on horseback wearing gaudy, plumed helmets and brightly-colored uniforms, brandishing sabers. Some even took along household items and servants, believing that military convention had changed little since Wellington and Napoleon met on the battlefields of Waterloo. World War One changed all that.
The powderkeg in the Balkans exploded in 1914. The tensions in Europe snapped. Armies marched, and four weary years later, in 1918, exhausted combatants laid down their arms. WWI was finally over.
An estimated 13,000,000 soldiers were dead or missing. Europe had lost almost an entire generation of men. Unknown numbers of civilians lay dead. The landscape of Europe looked like a lunar surface.
Almost overnight, empires that had taken centuries to build were gone. The United States had transformed itself into a world power. At the Paris peace negotiations, the world looked to Woodrow Wilson as peacemaker and embodiment of democracy.
The way war was fought changed forever.
Women now held jobs that in the past had been done exclusively by men. Many more women had joined the military, and played a major role in the victory. Americans who had never ventured beyond state borders found themselves in places they couldn't even pronounce. Yes, the face of the world had changed, and the War to End All Wars became the first in a long line of wars to come.