Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade December 2001

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Germany's Bad Mistake Throughout the early twentieth century, Austria-Hungary fought against Serbia for control of Serbia in the Balkan Wars. Near the end of the wars, a Serbian assassinated Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, in his car within a mile of the border. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This sparked the "Great War" in 1914. Germany immediately gave any military and financial assistance that Austria-Hungary needed; this was the first vital mistake Germany made in deciding its fate in the "War to end all Wars." In what seemed to be an instant, Russia took the side of Serbia, thinking of it as Russia's "little Slavic brother." Due to the dawn of the Russian Revolution in the early 1910's, Russia was unable to send troops fast enough to meet Germany on its Eastern Front and to supply the troops with adequate weapons.

In fear of a full German invasion, France immediately partnered with Russia.

With experienced commanders, France had troops ready to battle Germany on the Western Front of its country. Because of a long history of loyalty and partnership with France, England was urged to join the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. This formed the Triple Entente.

The plan for Germany's troops was to fight the French on the Western Front and control Paris. They would then rush to the Eastern Front, where they planned to defeat the Russians in less than three weeks.

A mass of battles started within two weeks on the Western Front between France and England and Germany. One of the most famous battles, The Battle of the Marne, started on September 6, 1914 and went on for four days. The battle took place near the Marne River, forty-eight miles from Paris. All available troops were immediately sent to fight...