The British did not engineer The Great War, they got played.
As for the Otterman Empire, they where an inevitable casualty. The other ancient empire, would be the Tsars Russia. Yet while the Tsar had selectively taken on board modern world practices, the Otterman had not attempted to adjust to the 20th century.
The way to solve these sort of big problems, is to start by asking the right classical questions.
Here are two all time classic starting points
(a) "Follow the money"
(b) "Cui Bono - Who stands to Gain"
The Great War obliterated the Tsars Russia, but then again the Tsar had told the banks such as rothschild, warburg etc to get lost, so no great surprise.
The Otterman empire was pathetic, it had less content than a wet paper bag.
The various european empires took a big hit, they all lost more than they gained, but most survived, all be it some what bankrupt.
America made a ridiculous amount of money, and went from being ignored as some colonial back water to owning all the damn gold, and as the biggest power broker on the block, it set up the League of Nations and set the basis of international political discussion that continues to this day.
America sat at home for pretty much the entire war. While horrific offensives such as the Somme cost the British, French and Germans just over a million men. The British paid for the Somme in loans from America. The cost of these loans is beyond comprehension. The British went bankrupt. Just take 1917-1918 when the British borrowed 4 Billion US Dollars . . . has anyone any idea what that would be in today's money ? The British have still not repaid the loans of the first world war back to america.What's a little debt between friends?http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4757181.stm
And, that is just the British, spare a thought that the French also ran out of there reserves of Gold, over seas investments etc . . .
Yea, Cui Bono.
And lets debunk the american military, while we are here.
The Americans lost 116,500 men 'fighting ' The Great War. Over 16 million people died in The Great War. To put that in perspective, that is about 0.1% of the population of America at that point in time. In other words, while America's entry into the War was decisive, it was for long term strategic reasons. The war had crippled the european powers, they where bankrupt, troops were on the verge of mutiny, they had run out of everything.
German high command gave in because of the threat of american troop involvement. They knew that after the last great offensive, which they nearly won, but ultimately the Luddendorf spring offensive failed, they could not win, but they could only destroy germany by trying. They called for an armistice. Tragically, because months earlier they really had almost won the war, many of the troops never understood why the high command capitualted in autumn of 1918, a real cause for the Nazis and what they called the great betrayal.
Yea, America got really, really, really, rich and suffered insignificant casualties.
If you think I am being too harsh, consider America has about 33,000 deaths a year from road accidents. So since the Great War actually went on for 4 years, 33,000 x 4 = the number of actual casualties.