It was poetic that the war would end where it began, in the Balkans. An Allied offensive against a weary Bulgaria led to an armistice, forcing the Ottoman Empire--and Austria and Germany--also to sue for peace.
The policies of the new Bolshevik government befuddled both the Allies and the Central Powers. Both sides in the war sought better relations with Moscow, but the murders of the Imperial family signaled that the Bolsheviks were not ready to make nice.
The end of the war on the Eastern Front and the Italian defeat at Caporetto gave Austria-Hungary a badly needed military respite. But domestically, the country was crumbling, economically, socially, and politically. Discontent has reached critical mass.
The length and the toll of the Great War were a tragedy, but for Czech and Slovak nationalists, they also presented an opportunity to shake off the bonds of Habsburg rule and achieve independence.
In Russia, the Bolshevik government succeeds in throttling the Constituent Assembly and taking full control of the national government. They find themselves up against an array of enemies, including Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been fighting in the Russian Army.
A year after the US declared war on Germany, America's contribution to the war effort was still small. Later in 1918, after working through some political and organizational difficulties, American units began to make a difference on the battlefield.
Now that peace had come on the Eastern front, German soldiers were redeployed to the Western Front in one last-ditch attempt to win the war before the number of US troops on the Western Front became overwhelming.
Leon Trotsky challenged the Allies to state what great cause they were fighting for that justified continuing the war. With the Central Powers showing signs of readiness to negotiate, Woodrow Wilson lays out his conditions.
The Great War was framed in the West as a fight for the future of democracy, but in this episode we ponder how the demands of war are weakening democracy at home.