World War I in Photos: Global Conflict

At the start of the war, the largest of the European belligerents were all colonial powers—they had people and valuable assets stationed all over the Earth. These multinational interests, along with overseas alliances and the modernization of sea transport, are what put the "world" in World War I. Enemy nations attacked each other's colonies and fleets, and laborers and soldiers were recruited from colonized countries, and brought to the front lines. Allied countries—many former colonies—shipped soldiers and supplies into battle, coordinating with their European counterparts. And, despite the fact that the Western Front is the best-known theatre of World War I, the Eastern Front—the battle between the Central Powers and the Russian Empire—was equally devastating and consequential, resulting in millions of deaths and divisions that continue to affect the region to this day. In this entry, a look at some of the diverse nations and cultures involved in the war. I've gathered photographs of the Great War from dozens of collections, some digitized for the first time, to try to tell the story of the conflict, those caught up in it, and how much it affected the world. This is part 8 of a 10-part series on World War I.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Mammoth Swing, Stanley Cup, Frog Wedding

    Art Basel displays in Switzerland, a volcanic eruption in North Sumatra, massive protests in Hong Kong, the L.A. Pride Festival in California, jackaroo and jillaroo school in Australia, and much more

  • Marmittes / Shutterstock

    The Cold War Bunkers of Albania

    The paranoid worldview of Enver Hoxha, the leader of Albania during the Cold War, led to a massive “bunkerization” project that resulted in the building of nearly 175,000 concrete bunkers across the country.

  • Christian Hartmann / Reuters

    Photos: Fans of the 2019 Women’s World Cup

    Less than a week into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 14 of the scheduled 52 games have already been played by some of the 24 national teams at stadiums in nine cities across France.

  • Dale De La Rey / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Massive Protests in Hong Kong

    Organizers claim that more than 1 million demonstrators took to the streets to denounce a proposed bill that would allow extradition to China and undercut Hong Kong’s independence.