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

  • Carl Court / Getty

    Juhyo: The Snow Monsters on Japan’s Mount Zao

    Windblown ice and snow build up hulking shapes on the trees atop Mount Zao.

  • Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

    The Colorless Landscape Around Taal Volcano

    In the Philippines, parts of the landscape near Taal have gone completely gray, covered in a blanket of volcanic ash.

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos From the Pro-gun Rally in Virginia

    Thousands gathered around Virginia’s state capitol to protest proposed gun-control laws.

  • Chris Moore / Exploring Light Photography / Getty

    Georgia: Images of the Peach State

    A few glimpses into the lush, often historic features of Georgia, and some of the animals and people that call it home