In the late nineteenth century, most European nations had some form of conscription. For example, in Germany, at 20 years of age, men were conscripted into the military for a period of two or three years, although financial restraints meant that in practice only around half actually completed their service. After their training, they were released back into civilian life, but could be called up again up to the age of 45. The most recent trainees were called up first, with those who had finished their training decades earlier filling roles behind the lines. It was a similar system in other nations. In this way, the army was able to expand very rapidly when war was declared in 1914.