Poor Germany always the gets the wrong blame for starting the First World War. However, the powder keg was already ignited even before Germany decided to honor his alliance with Austria-Hungary. Following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian Nationalist, the subsequent diplomatic crisis led to a declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on the Kingdom of Serbia. This, in turn, triggered off a long chain of alliances as the Great powers mobilized their forces to defend their allies and settle old scores. When the dust finally settled on 11 November 1918, Europe was in ruin with more than 18 million lives lost in the bloodshed. This classic internet meme below gives a nice metaphorical breakdown of the events as they unfolded during the great war. Though we do not claim it to be highly accurate, it still does more justice than the majority of our school textbooks.