WWI vs WWII: Difference and Comparison

The epic wars that the whole world faced were the First World war (WWI) and the Second World War( WWII). The First world war was fought from 1914 to 1918.

The intention to conquer more territories and colonies was a significant reason. Also, with the motive of dominating the ideologies, there were fierce wars.

Key Takeaways

  1. World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) were two global conflicts in the 20th century, with WWI occurring from 1914 to 1918 and WWII from 1939 to 1945.
  2. WWI was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and involved complex alliances, trench warfare, and new military technologies, resulting in an estimated 16 million deaths.
  3. WWII began with the German invasion of Poland. It was characterized by large-scale battles, aerial warfare, and the Holocaust, ultimately leading to an estimated 60 to 85 million deaths, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.


WWI which means world war 1, was a global conflict that involved European powers. WWII, or World War II, was a larger and more devastating global war which involved multiple continents and nations, and also resulted in very major changes in the balance of power and global dynamics.



Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWorld War IWorld War ll
Duration of the warWorld war 1 started in the year 1914 and lasted till 1918.The second world war started in the year 1939 and lasted till 1945.
Conflict betweenThe first world war was between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers.The second World War was fought between the Axis and the Allied powers.
GenocideThe Americans were forced into genocide by the Ottoman Turks.The Jews and Romans made the German Nazis commit genocide.
American PresidentWoodrow Wilson was the President of the US during the first World War.Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman served as the Presidents during the Second World War.
Weapons usedThe first world war used machine guns and poisonous gases.The second world war used modern machines like ships, planes, tanks, etc.


What Was WWI?

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Austria was assassinated on 28th June 1914.  This was a more significant trigger to start the war.

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 The countries Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria formed the Central Powers.  The Allied powers group in the earlier times consisted of France, Britain, Russia, Italy, and Japan.

At the end of the war, the Central Powers were defeated. To prevent further conflicts, the League of Nations was formed.


What Was WWII?

The unfinished wrath of the First World War was the primary reason for the Second World War. There were significant happenings in the Pacific, Africa, and Europe.

Apart from him, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco from Italy and Spain, respectively, were other notable leaders who had always been leading the war. Hitler supported Nazism, and Francisco supported Fascism.

German became a Nazism country with Hitler as its leader, and Italy turned to Fascism. Thus a great conflict was created.


Main Differences Between WWI and WWII

  1. World War 1 was fought between the countries to acquire territories and colonies. In contrast, the second world war was based on the domination of the ideologies like Communism and Fascism.
  2. The Napoleon wars led to the outbreak of World War 1. But the predecessor of the Second World War is World War 1
  3. World War 1 led to the burst of world war 2. After the second world war, there were cold wars
  4. H. H. Asquith (1908-1916) and David Lloyd George (1916-1922) served as the Prime Ministers of Britain during the First World War. Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Britain during World War 2
  5. The economic climate during the First World War was quite acceptable. But the Second World War outbreak caused the great depression, where people had to approach another national leader for their life.
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  1. https://is.muni.cz/th/fuw6w/BC_THESIS.pdf

Last Updated : 15 October, 2023

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