World War I was unlike any war anybody had seen before. This war introduced machines and airplanes, armored battleships and oversized zeppelins, tanks and poison gas. Nobody knew what fate had in store, all they knew was that there was a war and the men were required to fight to defend their homelands.
By 1913, Europe had not seen a war in over forty years. Everybody was living in and enjoying the Belle Epoque—a time of great technological, scientific and artistic advancements. In addition to all the discoveries, London had inaugurated its first underground train, the Eiffel Tower that loomed over Paris outraged the French, and humanity finally conquered the sky.
In June of 1914, the small German town of Bad-Kissingen was busy with preparations for a local celebration. Russian army general Alexei Alexivich Brusilov and his wife were among the visitors to this small town. The place was a favorite tourist attraction because of the mineral waters that were rumored to have healing properties. Later that evening, a piece of scenery that looked like the Kremlin went up in flames during the fireworks show. The locals cheered while the Russians screamed in outrage. Even though everything seemed to go back to normal the following morning, a mortal threat was brewing that nobody knew about.
Within weeks, entire residential districts were being bombed in capital cities and nobody could really believe that all this was provoked by the murder of one man.
The Russians who went out to defend their territory were mostly uneducated farmers. Most of them couldn’t even read and write, yet they were thrust into a new way of fighting that included aerial bombing and recently designed heavy, modern artillery. And as expected, thousands lost their lives, as Germany—the ruthless monster— kept moving further with France next in line.
The German army was twice as large as France’s army and the soldiers were much better prepared and armed. The British sent their soldiers to aid France, but 87,000 men were not enough.
Many of the men who went to war didn’t expect it to last long. But after six months had gone by, the war had spread beyond European borders. In November of 2014 Turkey declared war on Russia. Although winter was coming, the Turks did not provide their soldiers with winter clothing because they fully expected to get their supplies from the Russians they were planning to kill.
When the Armenian volunteered as soldiers in support of Russia, they were massacred because the Turks blamed them for their defeat. They were called traitors and enemies of the government. The truth was that the Armenian interfered with the Turk geopolitical strategy. This first ever genocide became known as ‘The Great Crime’. The Nazis later adapted many of their ethnic-cleansing strategies.
In 1917 the was was still going on and then the Russian Emperor Nicholas II abdicated the throne. This news brought an avalanche of chaos. Find out what happened next.
Russian with English subtitles. 10 episodes, approximately 50 minutes each.