Petit atlas en ligne : 40 cartes sur la première guerre mondiale.

40 maps that explain World War I

by Zack Beauchamp, Timothy B. Lee and Matthew Yglesias on August 4, 2014

One hundred years ago today, on August 4, 1914, German troops began pouring over the border into Belgium, starting the first major battle of World War I. The Great War killed 10 million people, redrew the map of Europe, and marked the rise of the United States as a global power. Here are 40 maps that explain the conflict — why it started, how the Allies won, and why the world has never been the same.

Map 5 The German and French war plans emphasized attacks

Site 40 maps 2000px-Schlieffen_Plan_fr.svg
German and French war planners both believed the war was going to be an offensive one. The German plan, conceived by strategist Alfred von Schlieffen, envisioned a rapid German march primarily through Belgium into French territory. The French strategy, Plan XVII, sent French troops directly across Franco-German border, as well as through Luxemburg and Belgium. This partially explains where the main battle lines were during the war, but according to some historians it means much more than that. A very contentious line of scholarship holds that World War I was caused by these plans, because every state believed that the key to victory was a quick offensive strike and that a war, under those terms, could be won quickly and comparatively cheaply.

Titles of the 40 maps


1. European alliances in 1914

2. The unification of the German Empire

3. Two wars in the Balkans fail to settle regional rivalries

4. European powers carve up Africa

5. The German and French war plans emphasized attacks

6. Ethno-linguistic map of Austria-Hungary

War breaks out

7. Franz Ferdinand is assassinated

8. The world mobilizes for war

9. WWI’s first battle: the attack on Liège

10. Paris is saved in the Battle of the Marne

11. Germany routs Russia in the Battle of Tannenberg

12. The British blockade the German Empire

13. German submarine warfare, 1915

Major European battles

14. Austria-Hungary conquers Serbia

15. The 12 battles of the Isonzo

16. The Gallipoli campaign: the Allies try to invade Turkey

17. Bloody battle at Verdun

18. The high point of the Russian war effort

19. The Battle of Jutland: the biggest naval fight of World War I

20. Where the war stood in 1916

The war outside Europe

21. German colonies in Southwest Africa and elsewhere come under attack

22. Germany’s most famous naval raider, the Emden

23. Britain conquers Palestine

24. Lawrence of Arabia and Britain’s betrayal of Arab allies

25. Ottoman Turks commit genocide against the Armenians

The technology of the Great War

26. Trench warfare on the Western Front

27. This German supergun could hit a target 80 miles away

28. The tank makes its debut

29. The 80 victories of the Red Baron

30. The French rail network in 1914

Allied victory

31. Germany resumes submarine warfare against American ships

32. The Zimmermann telegram: Germany proposes a Mexican war against the US

33. The United States mobilizes for war

34. Russia capitulates in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

35. Spring 1918: Germany’s last offensive

36. A continent on the brink of famine

Consequences of the war

37. Changes to Europe after World War I

38. The war devastated European economies

39. Sykes-Picot and the breakup of the Ottoman empire

40. The Bolshevik revolution sparks civil war in Russia