By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Sunday marked the 100-year anniversary of the start of the “The Great War.”
For about four years, from July, 1914-November, 1918, the world’s most powerful nations battled–much of it over the same relatively small area of land in eastern France.
World War I was supposed to be the war that ended all wars.
In the end, nine million combatants were killed, largely because of advances in devastating mechanized weaponry far outpaced the ability of armies to move quickly.
After a 1918 German offensive along the western front, United States forces entered the conflict in support of the Allies and drove back the Germans. On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, Germany agreed to a cease-fire, known as Armistice Day.
In Chicago, young men prepared for battle, like these students at the University Of Chicago, who trained on historic Stagg Field.
It was underneath that same field about 30 years later that Enrico Fermi successfully built a nuclear reactor, leading to the development of the Atomic Bomb that ended World War II.
Although the United States entered the battle relatively late, a total of 114,000 Americans perished in the war.