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Clockwise from top: Destruction after the Battle of Namur, German tanks rolling into Russian-controlled Poland, French soldiers waiting inside a trench near Brussels, German soldiers in combat near Lille, Albatros D.III fighters of Jagdstaffel 11
| Entente: |
| Triple Alliance: |
|Commanders and leaders|
| Georges Clemenceau |
| Wilhelm II |
Paul von Hindenburg
Franz Joseph I †
Conrad von Hötzendorf
Victor Emmanuel III
The Continental War (sometimes referred to as the European War or Eurasian War) was an armed conflict involving Europe's continental based great powers between 1914 and 1917. Triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, it originally started as a war between Russia and Serbia against Austria-Hungary. It grew into a full war across most of the European continent after Germany honored its alliance with the Austro-Hungarians, causing France to do the same with its alliance.
The French anticipated a German attack through Belgium and invaded the neutral state in August. This caused most of the fighting to shift into the Benelux region after the British and Belgians allowed German troops to move into the country; albeit Britain still claimed neutrality in the conflict. By 1914, Austro-Hungarian and German forces had made breakthroughs on the Eastern Front, however were fighting a stalemate towards the west.
With Russian forces beaten back on the Eastern Front, along with a German offensive into French-occupied Belgium, the war soon turned in favor of the Triple Alliance by 1916. With the French Army crushed at the Battle of Verdun and the Germans nearing Paris, France sued for peace with Germany in December of 1916.
Towards the east, the Germans were able to send hundreds of thousands of troops east to defeat the remaining Russian forces. Within weeks, with the success of the Baltic Offensive, Russia sued for peace with Germany.