Throughout the war, a handful of other nations will join the conflict despite how brutal it ends up becoming. The Ottoman Empire joins Germany's alliance in October, wary of growing British influence in the Middle East. Italy joins Britain, France and Russia in 1915, hoping to fulfill irredentist territorial claims against Austria-Hungary. Later that year, Bulgaria joins Germany, seeking to avenge its loss against Serbia in the Second Balkan War, a war which immediately preceded WW1. The final major power to join the war is the United States, which allies with Britain and France in 1917 after continued diplomatic provocation by the Germans.
The war is incredibly brutal for both sides. The British navy enacts a total blockade of Germany which the German fleet is unable to break, causing nationwide starvation. Most of northern France is devastated by the horrors of trench warfare, and the French army suffers particularly high casualties per capita. German armies advance deep into Russia and take as much food as they can from the occupied territories to alleviate the conditions of the British blockade, leading to grueling famine conditions in Russian territories such as Poland, Ukraine and the Baltics.
By 1917, Russia is too exhausted and unstable to continue fighting. The Tsar is overthrown, a series of revolutions begin, and the nation sues for peace. Most of its most industrious and developed territories are conquered and made into German puppet regimes in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
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