The conflict was presented as a life-and-death struggle for national survival.
Something similar happened in Italy. In reality, although the sudden outbreak of a European war came as a shock, the attitude of the Austro-Hungarian population was even more of a surprise in its relative coherence: there was very little difference in terms of how the German, Hungarian, Polish and Czech populations of the empireand even the Serbian population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, responded to the war.
The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated generally accepted international law codified by several international agreements of the past two centuries.
Poland was restored and acquired new territory; so did Greece, Italy, and Romania, which doubled its former size.
The Great War discredited the concept of glory, a word that many Europeans simply could not swallow. It also stripped Germany of its colonies and imposed severe restrictions on the rebuilding of its army and fleet.
As already noted, even leaders in the defeated states hoped the Fourteen Points might produce an acceptable peace. Faced with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, Serbia found itself in a difficult position, already exhausted by the two Balkan Wars of which had ended just barely a year earlier, on 10 Augustwith the Treaty of Bucharest.
However, some suggest that the war was brought about by poor leadership at the time, others argue that the war was brought about by accident - that Europe stumbled into war due to tension between alliance systems.