The First World War (2003) s01e01 Episode Script

Part 1

NARRATOR: Kosutnjak Park, outside the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
In May 1914, a Bosnian student, Gavrilo Princip, came here with a Browning pistol for some target practice.
Princip was 19 years old According to his instructor, he was not a very good shot.
Other students were much more confident Whenever Princip missed the target people standing around would laugh at him That would drive him to tears Out of sight in the forest, he had a chance to get his eye in, shooting at trees.
His ultimate goal was far more ambitious.
PRINCIP: I am an adherent of the radical anarchist idea which aims at destroying the present system through terrorim In 1914, Princip's wish was granted.
The First World War began almost by accident.
It ended just as strangely.
In between, it was more destructive than any war had ever been.
More British, French and Italian soldiers died in the First World War than died in the Second.
It was the first genuinely global conflict, fought not just on the fields of France and Flanders, but up mountains, across deserts, at sea and in the air.
The First World War shaped the 20th century.
It sparked the Russian Revolution.
It launched America as a world power.
The fault lines from its failed peace settlement led the world to a second terrible war barely 20 years later, then to the Cold War.
But the ideas the men of 1914 fought for still shape our world today: nationalism and democracy, the rule of international law, and the rights of nations.
Now, after the collapse of Communism, the European map resembles the one redrawn by the First World War.
We live with its unresolved, bitter consequences: in the Middle East and the Balkans.
And it was in the Balkans that it all began, nearly a hundred years ago.
At the start of the 20th century, as at its close, the Balkans were the most unstable part of Europe.
Here, three great empires fought for power and influence: the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman.
For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Turks had the upper hand.
Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, were under their control.
They built over 80 mosques in Serbian Belgrade.
But by the 1900s, only this one was left.
Serbia had thrown the Turks out and set herself up as an independent Slav kingdom.
(Chanting) But right on Serbia's border was an even greater challenge to Slav nationalism: the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The old Turks of the south have gone But new enemies come from the north more fearsome and dangerous than the old They want to take our freedom and our language from us and crush us Gavrilo Princip was born in a poor, mountainous part of Bosnia.
His house was destroyed in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
His initials, carved in 1909, are one of the few signs he ever lived here.
The year before, control of Bosnia had been wrested from the Turks by the Austro-Hungarians, the enemy Princip wanted to destroy.
His particular target was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand, member of the ruling family, the Hapsburgs.
That extraordinary empire known as the Austrian-Hungarian Dual Monarchy is less an empire or a kingdom or a state than the personal property of the Hapsburgs whose hereditary talent for the acquisition of land is recorded on the map of Europe today The Empire was ruled by Franz Ferdinand's uncle, Franz Joseph.
He sat on two thrones, as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
By 1914, he'd been in charge for 66 years.
He'd spent them trying to resist change of any kind.
Hardly ever seen out of military uniform, he hated the idea of political reform.
As he told US President Theodore Roosevelt, You see in me the last European monarch of the old school Austria-Hungary was a key part of European security, a multi-national empire keeping the peace on the borders of the West.
The capital, Vienna, was one of the great cosmopolitan centres of Europe.
This was the Empire that produced Freud and Mahler, Schiele, Kafka and Strauss.
It contained at least ten different nationalities.
Not just Austrians and Hungarians, but Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, Italians, Croats and Bosnians.
A guide was prepared by the British Foreign Office, to help work out who was who.
Teutons anti-Slav vigorous and unpleasant manly and patriotic very tall big noses Slovaks Ignorant but artitic Ruthenes savage and ignorant but musical Czechs energetic forceful intensely national But it was also an empire in a state of constant crisis.
Pols all for Polish independence Bosnian Serbs Pro-Yugoslav Italians anti-Austrian In all the Empire, only the Hungarians and Austrians had any real power, and the Hungarians refused to share it with the rest.
For countries like Serbia, Austria-Hungary was the prison of nations, a repressive, undemocratic state, that ground small peoples under its heel.
In 1905, there were nationalist demonstrations in Vienna.
In 1912, there was rioting in Budapest.
By 1914, there had been ethnic unrest in nearly every part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Local parliaments were suspended, troops brought in to restore order.
Austria-Hungary's domestic problems gave opportunities to her enemies.
Serbia wanted the break-up of the Empire.
She welcomed national unrest, particularly in Croatia and Bosnia.
Backed by Slav Russia, Serbia saw herself as the only independent hope for Slavs living under foreign rule in the Balkans.
She wanted to unite them into a single South Slav state: Yugoslavia.
Dragutin Dimitrijevic was an officer in the Serbian Army.
He opposed any kind of friendship with Austria.
DIMTRIJEVIC: The blind surrender to Austria's embrace was a most shameful betrayal of Serbian traditions I realised that Serbia must in full measure become the leader not only of Serbs but of Yugoslavia Dimitrijevic believed killing kings could bring political change.
It had worked for him in the past.
In 1903 he led a palace revolution, killing the old King of Serbia, who was too close to Austria for the army's liking, and installing a new one.
The crowds expressed enormous joy They stuck flowers and leaves in their caps Windows were decorated with banners flowers garlands Belgrade was celebrating! (Cheering) The rest of the world was horrified at Serbia's bloody coup.
Serbia was treated like a rogue state: ''a nest of revolutionaries,'' one Foreign Minister complained.
Only two countries sent ambassadors to King Peter's coronation: Russia, Serbia's greatest ally, and Austria, her greatest enemy.
Dimitrijevic was also one of the founding members of the Black Hand, a secret military society that used terrorism and assassination to try and establish Yugoslavia.
He is said to have sent men to murder Austro-Hungarian military leaders and cabinet ministers.
He allegedly tried to kill Emperor Franz Joseph.
One saw him nowhere Yet one knew that he was doing everything By the spring of 1914, Gavrilo Princip was also in Belgrade, talking revolution with his friends.
Then the Young Bosnians heard that Archduke Franz Ferdinand would visit Sarajevo in June.
Here was their chance to match deeds to words.
Luckily for them, their plans reached the ears of Dimitrijevic and the Black Hand.
Dimitrijevic worked in the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, as Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence.
ln the spring of 1914, Major Voja Tankosic, also in the Black Hand, walked into his office with a question.
TANKOSIC: I've got some Bosnian youths pestering me These kids want to pull off some ''great deed'' at any cost They've heard that Franz Ferdinand is coming to Bosnia and have begged me to let them go there What do you say? I have told them they cannot go but they give me no peace Franz Ferdinand was going to Bosnia to observe the Austro-Hungarian Army's manoeuvres in the hills outside Sarajevo.
As intelligence chief, Dimitrijevic feared these manoeuvres were a smokescreen, that what Franz Ferdinand really planned was an invasion of Serbia.
As leader of the Black Hand, he believed anything that destabilised Austria-Hungary was good for his beloved Serbia.
Princip's plan to murder Franz Ferdinand suited him perfectly.
''Fine,'' he said.
''Let him go.
'' Unlike Gavrilo Princip, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was an excellent shot.
One of his castles, Konopischt, in what is now the Czech Republic, is full of the evidence.
By the age of 50, he'd shot 5,000 stags, as well as 200,000 other animals, all carefully numbered.
Anyone who diturbed the Archduke's peace at Konopicht by trespassing on his land as unsuspecting trippers sometimes did on Sundays had to reckon with being shouted at by an irascible and almost apoplectic proprietor who threatened to shoot anyone who dared set foot in his grounds a second time By 1914, Franz Ferdinand was Emperor-in-waiting.
Everyone knew it couldn't be long before his uncle died.
Even the official portrait was ready, Franz Ferdinand with the stars and sash only the Emperor could wear.
He had no time for the etiquette and convention that hemmed in the Vienna court.
He defied his uncle by marrying Sophie Chotek, who was not of royal blood.
FRANZ FERDINAND: The most intelligent thing I've ever done in my life has been the marriage to my Soph She is everything to me my wife my adviser my doctor my guardian angel In a word my entire happiness Franz Ferdinand also had radical ideas for political reform.
He recognised that the less power national minorities had within the Empire, the more they'd look to other countries for help.
The old system allowed ethnic Germans and Hungarians to dominate the government.
It was a system that couldn't last.
FRANZ FERDINAND: I can't help being surpried that there is any loyalty left among the nationalities after their treatment for so many years past I must have them with me This is the only salvation for the future In 1914, the German Emperor came to stay with Franz Ferdinand at Konopischt.
The Kaiser had a simple solution for dealing with troublesome national minorities.
KAISER: The Slavs are born not to rule but to obey This must be brought home to them And if they imagine they can look to Belgrade for their salvation they must be cured of this belief But Franz Ferdinand had a better idea.
He thought political reform was the best way to keep the Austrian Empire on its feet, and protect his own future as Emperor.
He had this map drawn up, showing how the Hapsburg Empire could become the United States of Great Austria.
Above all, Franz Ferdinand wanted to avoid war in the Balkans.
One night, he made a toast after dinner.
To peace! What would we get out of war with Serbia? We'd lose the lives of young men and we'd spend money better used elewhere And what would we gain for heaven's sake? A few plum trees some pastures full of goat droppings and a bunch of rebellious killers Gavrilo Princip crossed the border from Serbia into Austria-Hungary here at the Drina river.
He paddled out to Isakovic Island, where there was a Serbian guard post.
The soldiers helped him wade ashore into Bosnia.
From here, he made his way to Sarajevo, where he met up with six others in on the plot.
The Serbian Major Tankosic had supplied them with four pistols, six bombs, and suicide pills in case of capture.
They were already in Sarajevo when Franz Ferdinand arrived outside the capital on 25 June.
They planned to attack him three days later, as he drove from the railway station to the Town Hall.
One would be stationed at the first bridge on this road.
Princip and the others would cover the rest of the route.
Franz Ferdinand chose the date of his visit badly.
Sarajevo was decked in flags for the occasion.
But 28 June was Serbian National Day, a natural focus for hatred of the Hapsburgs, as the Serbian Ambassador to Vienna warned.
This will cause much discontent Some young Serb might put a live round rather than a blank in his gun and fire it Therefore it might be good if Archduke Franz Ferdinand were not to go to Sarajevo But the Austrians laughed off the Ambassador's fears.
On the morning of 28 June, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie arrived by train in Sarajevo.
Despite the warnings, security was light.
No soldiers lined the streets, just a handful of policemen.
The royal car was a Gräf & Stift tourer.
At Franz Ferdinand's request, it travelled with the top down, very slowly, so the crowds could see him, and he could see the sights.
As the procession passed the first bridge, the conspirator there threw his bomb.
Sitting opposite the royal couple was Oskar Potiorek.
POTIOREK: The explosion came immediately after the Archduchess's cry to ''drive on quickly!" I was sure no damage had been done to our car, and the Archduke commented very calmly, I've always thought something like this might happen The bomb had bounced off the car, exploding behind it and wounding two officers and some onlookers.
Franz Ferdinand stopped to ask after the casualties, before hurrying on to the Town Hall.
There the Mayor of Sarajevo began his official welcome speech.
The Archduke interrupted.
Lord Mayor what is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a friendly visit and someone throws a bomb at me This is outrageous! So far, the Young Bosnians' plans had gone badly wrong.
Franz Ferdinand was alive.
Official security was now on high alert.
Gavrilo Princip turned to go home, stopping on the corner of Franz Joseph Street to buy a sandwich.
Then his luck changed.
Franz Ferdinand had left the Town Hall.
He should have been driven along the river, travelling too fast to give any other assassins a chance.
But his driver took a wrong turn , at the corner of Franz Joseph Street.
As the royal car tried to reverse onto the main road, Princip came face-to-face with his target.
At that moment I heard the crack of a pistol shot followed swiftly by another and saw in the same split second a man standing right in front of me being thrown to the ground by the people around him and the shining sabre of a security guard descending on him A thin stream of blood spurted from His Highness's mouth onto my right cheek The Duchess cried out ''In heaven's name what has happened to you?'' Then she slid off the seat and lay on the floor of the car I thought she had simply fainted Then I heard His Imperial Highness say ''Sopherl Sopherl don't die Stay alive for the children!" I asked him if he was in great pain He answered me quite distinctly ''It's nothing'' Franz Ferdinand and Sophie died on the way to hospital.
The people of Sarajevo didn't know that a clutch of Serbian army officers had secretly sponsored the assassination.
But they made the same leap the world did: that Serbia had as good as pulled the trigger herself.
The pro-Austrian element in the crowd went wild The excitement of the moment turned into fury against everyone and everything Serbian Serbian shops school and churches were smashed and looted the streets choked with furniture clothes bicycles books even icons and crosses twisted and befouled lying in heaps in the gutters Over 200 Serbs were arrested in Sarajevo alone.
Local officials hanged some in the city prison.
Many more died in pogroms across Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The funeral of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie was held in Vienna on 4 July.
Oskar Potiorek had already written to the Foreign Ministry, calling for Austria-Hungary to take revenge against Serbia.
We must take the first opportunity for a destructive blow against Serbia to give the Monarchy a few decades of calm internal development Serbia must learn to fear us again Austro-Hungarian Chief of Staff Conrad von HÃtzendorf agreed.
This is not the crime of a single fanatic Assassination represents Serbia's declaration of war on Austria-Hungary If we miss this occasion the Monarchy will be exposed to new explosions of ethnic unrest Austria-Hungary must wage war for political reasons In life, the Crown Prince had been a champion of peaceful co-existence with Serbia.
In death he was becoming a cause for war.
The murder of Franz Ferdinand did not immediately set Europe alight.
International tensions in early July remained low.
But behind the scenes in Vienna, Austria-Hungary's leaders were planning how to take revenge on Serbia, without getting stamped on by Serbia's powerful friends.
Even before the assassination, Army Chief of Staff Conrad von HÃtzendorf had pressed for war against Serbia no fewer than 20 times.
Now he made his case again .
I expressed to His Majesty my opinion that war with Serbia was unavoidable ''That is entirely correct'' said His Majesty ''But how are you going to wage war if everyone in particular Russia is going to attack us?'' "We have backing from Germany," I replied His Majesty gave me a searching look and said ''Can you be certain of that?'' This was the moment when what could have been just another war in the Balkans began to turn into the First World War.
Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph now asked the German Kaiser for support.
On 6 July, he got just the answer he wanted.
The German Government is of the opinion that we must decide what is to be done Whatever we decide we may always be certain that we will find Germany at our side a faithful ally and friend of our monarchy Germany's crucial decision to back Austria was made with no care for the consequences.
Neither the Kaiser nor his senior political and military leaders took any steps to find out what Austria-Hungary had in mind.
It was an extraordinary oversight .
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because nothing in the Balkans happened in isolation.
Europe was divided into two camps.
On one side were Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
On the other were France and Russia.
War with one could mean war with the others.
No-one knew how Russia would respond if one of the leading Balkan countries was attacked.
She might go to war with Austria to protect Serbia.
Then Germany would have to fight to protect Austria.
(General conversation) The Germans thought the Russians might stay out of it.
The German Ambassador in St Petersburg insisted Russia couldn't risk war for fear of internal revolution.
The German Foreign Minister decided Austria would quietly settle with Serbia.
The German Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, was almost as confident.
The crime of Sarajevo was reprehensible But politically it would have the positive result of making Russia thoroughly digusted with the Serbs It was Germany's confident support that pushed Austria forward.
But far from plunging the world into war out of aggression, Germany was just nudging it closer, out of incompetence and wishful thinking.
The Kaiser was so sure no war was brewing that he went on holiday.
In Sarajevo, the trial of Gavrilo Princip was underway.
The court heard plenty of evidence to prove that Serbian army officers had helped him, and with Germany's unconditional support, that was enough for Austria.
She sentenced Princip to 20 years in jail, where he died in 1918.
She sent Serbia an ultimatum.
This document was Austria's excuse for war.
It was filled with demands so extreme and insulting that Serbia could never accept them.
But just in case they did, the Austrian Ambassador in Belgrade was ordered to reject any reply as unacceptable.
He delivered the ultimatum at 6pm on 23 July 1914.
Slavka Mihajlovic was a Belgrade doctor.
The news of the ultimatum spread quickly and soon there was a real alert Streets and bars were crowded with anxious people Everybody wondered what answer our Government would give whether a new war would be avoided Austria's ultimatum caught the world's diplomats napping.
The French Government the French press and public opinion have been inconceivably surprised Paris is almost dead All the ambassadors but one are out of town The Italian Ambassador is in Ireland The Kaiser was on his yacht in Norway when the text of the Austrian ultimatum arrived.
The Kaiser arrived on deck as usual after breakfast and said to me - I was still holing the wirelss message ''That's a pretty strong note for once in a while'' ''It certainly is'' I replied ''but it means war'' Whereupon the Kaiser observed that Serbia would never risk a war She might not have risked it on her own.
But on 24 July, the Serbian Regent, Prince Alexander, telegrammed Russia for help.
In St Petersburg, the Russian Foreign Minister spoke frankly to the British Ambassador.
Austria would not have acted so aggressively without the consent of Germany I hoped the Britih Government would declare itself on the side of France and Russia without delay Russia was convinced that Germany was warmongering.
On 26 July, she called up her reserves.
This was the second key stage of the crisis, as Britain's Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, warned on the 28th.
From the moment the dispute ceases to be one between Austria-Hungary and Serbia and becomes one in which another Great Power is involved it cannot but end in the greatest catastrophe that has ever befallen the continent of Europe Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia that same day.
The first shots of the war were fired from here, the Austrian fortress of Zemun , just across the river from Belgrade.
In the dead of night, Voja Tankosic had the Black Hand blow the only railway bridge.
Windows shattered to smithereens and broken glass covered the floor Patients started screaming Then there was another explosion and another one (Cannon fire) So it was true The war had begun How well our old city deserved the name the Turks had given her the House of Wars Shells fired from all sides were cris-crossing above her The Austrians had peculiar weapons the so-called ''monitors'' little boats armed with heavy guns circling Belgrade like rabid dogs and firing from every direction (Gunfire) It was still only a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia .
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and on 29 July, as the shells fell on Belgrade, there was a final attempt to keep it that way.
A series of last-minute telegrams flashed across Europe.
Tsar to Kaiser.
Cousin to cousin.
Dear Willy An ignoble war has been declared on a weak country The indignation in Russia is enormous Dear Nicky I am exerting my utmost influence on the Austrians I confidently hope you will help me Dear Willy My troops shall not take any provocative action But by now, the crisis was beyond the control of monarchs or politicians.
It was in the hands of the military.
From the moment Russia mobilised her army, German generals knew their own clock was ticking.
The alliance between France and Russia meant that Germany faced a war on two fronts.
Her only hope was to deal with France in the west, before the main Russian armies could invade from the east.
That left no time to wait and see.
For Germany, Russian mobilisation meant war.
(Marching steps) Germany hadn't looked for a fight.
Her generals knew a European war would be long and devastating, even for the victors.
But if it was going to happen , they thought, better sooner than later.
According to all competent observation Russia will be prepared to fight in a few years Then she will crush us by the number of her soldiers Then she will have built her Baltic Sea Fleet and strategic railways Our side meanwhile will have grown steadily weaker On 1 August, Germany declared war on Russia.
Two days later, she declared war on Russia's ally, France.
Across Europe, ten million men headed off to fight.
For all the bands and flag-waving, many went unwillingly to war.
Where are we off to? France? Belgium ? Or the East? At the station people waved goodbye some with handkerchiefs I thought of my wife and child left alone at home In fact it wasn't so much a thought as a fearful shadow flitting over my soul God! How long is this town? My bayonet's digging in My collar 's strangling me But when I look up I see a pretty girl She was so full of admiration so moved by it all that I realise we've got to look handsome and walk tall Off we march to the sound of shrill brass although where we are going you die you're defaced hacked up torn apart All down the line my comrades straighten up at the sight of her There is great excitement among my comrades The bachelors are calm They're even joking about it Family men are depressed Some are saying we'll get nothing from this war We'll get beaten by the Germans What's in it for us peasant-soldiers? Why have we got to fight for some offended Serbs? The leaders had little better idea why they were fighting than the men.
They had no lists of war aims.
Germany and Austria, Serbia, Russia and France were all convinced they were fighting a defensive war, forced on them by someone else.
The only great power in Europe still on the sidelines was Britain.
On 2 August 1914, Britain was still at peace.
But only just.
We've been in a state of great excitement as the reservists are being called up All the railways are guarded Everything points to the great war so long expected being upon us But Britain was the only Great Power who could not claim she was the victim of aggression.
Nobody had attacked her, so why should she fight? It wasn't really to defend the rights of small nations, at least, not Serbia, according to the Manchester Guardian .
If it were physically possible for Serbia to be towed out to sea and sunk there the air of Europe would at once seem cleaner Nor was Britain bound by treaty obligations, as the Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, assured Parliament.
We are not parties to the Franco-Russian alliance We do not even know the terms of the alliance (Ticking) But in private, Grey and other leaders knew that Britain had to fight.
If Britain stayed neutral, the war would still threaten the country's vast empire, its global trade and security.
And Britain needed to stay on friendly terms with France and Russia.
Even in peacetime, she was not powerful enough to defend her empire against everyone.
In Africa and lndia, the safety of Britain's colonies depended on French and Russian goodwill.
In 1914, Britain feared her friends just as much as her enemies.
If we fail Russia now we cannot hope to maintain that friendly co-operation with her in Asia that is of such vital importance to us Above all, Britain could never afford to have Europe dominated by a triumphant Germany.
If Germany overran the Channel ports, Britain's control of the seas would be under threat.
Prime Minister Herbert Asquith took a pragmatic view.
It is quite against Britih interests that France should be wiped out At 11 pm on 4 August, Britain declared war on Germany.
It was like awaiting the signal for the pulling of a leaver which would hurl millions to their doom The deep notes of Big Ben rang out into the night the first strokes in Britain's most fateful hour since she arose out of the deep Every face was suddenly contracted into a painful intensity It's horrible to think of all the suffering which may follow our mobiliation I suppose the less one thinks of it the better We never talk of death and very selom think much about it It's when everyone is asleep and you are awake that sometimes you look into the future and wonder The British Government had a War Book, listing all that had to be done in an emergency.
The country's leaders knew war would be a long and painful struggle, a slow, grinding process of blockade, of starving the enemy out.
But most civilians had no idea what they were getting into.
Across Europe, there was a run on the banks.
The war couldn't last longer than a year, the French Finance Minister told a British general, because the money to pay for it would run out.
Most people expected Britain, with the largest navy in the world, to fight a sea war.
The Foreign Secretary reassured the nation.
For us with a powerful fleet which we believe able to protect our commerce to protect our shores and to protect our interests if we are engaged in war we shall suffer but little more than we shall suffer if we stand aside Bert Fielder was a sergeant in the Royal Marines.
He reassured his wife.
My dear Nell I don 't think this war is going to be half as bad as people expect it to be You see it's not a hard job for England so there is no need to worry yourself As long as I can keep you informed as to where I am it'll all be all right But the weapons with which the world went to war were so new that few had ever been fired in anger.
Countries were armed with battleships and submarines less than ten years old.
Nobody really knew how to use them.
All the European powers had been stockpiling new artillery, machine guns, explosive shells.
But none had fought a major war in Europe for over 40 years.
The crisis had begun in the Balkans, and as the Austrians faced up to the Serbs, the First World War started here as it would go on everywhere else.
A war in which old scores would be settled and the rule book thrown away.
The war is taking us into a country inhabited by a population inspired with fanatical hatred towards ourselves An attitude of extreme severity extreme harshness and extreme distrust is to be observed towards everybody In some sectors, Serbian civilians did fight a guerrilla war, not in uniform, not in the regular army.
It was hard for the Austrians to tell who was a real enemy, who was not.
But their reprisals against the Serbian people were vicious.
This was a war of nationalities and races.
Not just against an enemy army, but against whole peoples.
In the first month of the war, 4,000 civilians in western Serbia were killed or disappeared.
They burnt houses down looted raped killed 17 people - all women, girls children tied with rope dead in a ditch by the road All of them slaughtered At 9am I went to Lešnica to get some supplies for the battery In the town you could see the atrocities left behind by the enemy Ten people some children among them had been hanged near the church About a hundred people their throats cut at the railway station A terrible sight to cast your eyes on At the Serbian town of Prnjavor, this memorial commemorates those who died.
The Serbian Government commissioned a report into the massacres The massacres of the civil population were systematically organised by the command of the invading army It's upon the command that all responsibility must rest and also the disgrace with which this army has covered itself for all time Austria-Hungary was far less ruthless when it came to fighting the Serbian Army.
That too set a pattern for the war, a foretaste of the military weakness which would dog Austria-Hungary's partnership with Germany.
This was a war in which events on one front could have a critical effect on another.
Germany was relying on her ally Austria-Hungary to hold the Eastern Front.
With Russia massing on her borders, Germany was horrified to learn Austria had concentrated her reserves not against Russia but down in the Balkans, to deal with Serbia.
Meanwhile, the main Serbian army had marched up from the south of the country, gathering numbers as it went.
On 12 August, it finally met the Austrians, at Cer Mountain.
The Serbs had taken up strong defensive positions along the mountain range, and waited for the Austrians to walk into the trap.
(Explosion) The Serbs surrounded us The Serbian artillery had the range perfectly Unluckily so we were told by senior officers we had arrived at the Serbian artillery practice area Laughable! (Explosions) The Serbs easily beat off the Austro-Hungarian attack.
We could see the enemy retreating along the river Their ammunition train left all their carts in the valley and ran away as soon as they were hit by our artillery A beaten army - no an uncontrolled mob ran towards the border in senselss panic Drivers whipped their horses officers and soldiers shoved and squeezed through between the columns of wagons Austro-Hungarian prisoners, captured in the first Allied victory of the war.
Austria had thought Serbia would be a pushover, swift revenge for the murder of Franz Ferdinand.
But Serbia had scattered the Austrian Army.
The victories of 1914 cost Serbia 130,000 men.
''They did not die in vain,'' reads the inscription on this memorial to Serbia's dead.
Every nation would learn that nothing in this war would be easy, quick or clean.
On the Western Front, a French ambulance driver wrote to his son.
Do you ever think of your daddy walking day and night over ploughed fields and getting very used to shells exploding all over the place? I'd really like to hear from you How's school Don't be too quick to learn the geography of Europe I think it's all about to change In the next episode of The First World War: German armies roll into Belgium and France, leaving a trail of atrocities.
And France, aided by Britain , fights for her life.