Chronology of the Great War

Timeline of the First World War

 


1914

The First Battle of Marne 

Date
Event
June 28
The archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophia are assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip.
July 28
The Emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph, declares war on Serbia.
July 31
Russia, an ally of Serbia, mobilizes her armed forces.
August 1
Germany declares on Russia.
August 3
Germany declares war on France.
August 4
Germany declares war on Belgium, though Belgium is neutral. 
Britain declares war on Germany.
U.S. under President Woodrow Wilson declares policy of U.S. neutrality.
August 6
Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia.
August 14
The Battle of the Frontiers begins.
August 23
Japan declares war on Germany.
Austria-Hungary invades Russian Poland (Galicia).
August 26-30
German troops, led by Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg are victorious against Russia at the Battle of Tannenberg. This is hailed as the greatest victory on the Eastern front.
September 5-10
First Battle of the Marne stops the German advance in France.
September 9-14
First Battle of Masurian Lakes is fought.
September 14
First Battle of Aisne begins.
September 15
The first trenches of the Western front are dug.
November 24
First Battle of Ypres.
October 29
Turkey enters the war.
December 8
Battle of the Falkland Islands.
December 21
First German air raid on England
December 25
Unofficial Christmas Truce declared by soldiers along the Western Front.

 

1915


Results of German Zeppelin raid on England

Date
Event
 
January
German Zeppelin air raid on England.
January 1-March 30
Allied offensive in Artois and Champagne.
January 15
Japan makes demands on China.
February-April
Austrian-Hungarians attack Russian Poland (Galicia).
February 4
Submarine blockade of Great Britain declared by Germany. 
February 7-21
Russians suffer heavy loss of life at Second Battle of Masurian Lakes.
February 19-August
Allied amphibious attack on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli. 
March 1
The British liner Falaba becomes the first passenger ship to sink.
March 11
British announce blockade of German ports.
April-June
German break through Gorlice-Tarnow on the Eastern front. Force Russia out of most of Poland.
April 22-May 25
Germans begin Second Battle of Ypres and use poison gas.
April 25
Allied begin battle for Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli. The battle lasted nine months.
April 26
France, Russia, Italy and Britain conclude secret Treaty of London.
May 2
Austrian-Hungarian offensive on Poland begins.
May 7
The Lusitania sunk by the Germans. 1,198 civilians die. Diplomatic crisis begins.
May 9
Second Battle of Artois begins.
May 23
Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
May 25
Asquith, British Prime Minister reorganizes his government as a coalition.
June 29-December 2
Italians launch unsuccessful attacks on Hungarians at Battles of Isonzo.
August 4
Germans capture Warsaw.
September 5
Tsar Nicholas takes command of the Russian army.
September 25
British use gas at the battle of Loos.
September 22
Second Battle of Champagne begins.
October 3
British and French forces land at Salonika in Greece.
October-November
Austrian, German, and Bulgarian forces invade Serbia.
December 19
Sir Douglas Haig becomes commander of British Expeditionary Force.
December 28
Allies begin withdrawal of troops in Gallipoli.

 

1916

Sykes-Picot agreement

Date
Event
 
February 21-December 18
Longest battle in war, Verdun, begun by the Germans.
March 9
Pancho Villa stages raid on Columbus, New Mexico.
March 11-November 14
Battles of Isonzo between Italy and Austria and Hungary continue.
March 24
The Sussex, a French passenger ship torpedoed.
April
British forces begin advance on Baghdad.
April 24
Easter rebellion starts in Ireland.
May 4
Germany renounces submarine policy.
May 19
The Sykes-Picot agreement made between Britain and France.
May 31-June 1
The Battle of Jutland, largest naval battle in history is fought.
June-August
Turkey is defeated by the Russians.
June 4-September 20
Russian offensive in Carpathia nearly ends Austrian Hungarian involvement in the war.
June 5
Hussein, with help of British led by T.E. Lawrence, leads Arab revolt against the Turks.
July 1
Beginning of the Battle of the Somme.
July 29
U.S. marines land in Haiti.
August-December
Romania enters the war but is defeated by the Germans.
August 28
Italy declares war on Germany.
August 31
Germany halts submarine assaults.
September 15
British tanks used for the first time on the Somme.
October 15
Germany resumes U-boat attacks.
November 7-9
Woodrow Wilson re-elected.
November 18
End of the Battle of the Somme.
November 28
First German air strikes on Britain.
November 29
U.S. occupation of Santo Domingo proclaimed.
December 7
David Lloyd George replaces Asquith as Prime Minister.
December 12
Germany suggests compromise peace in issuance of a peace note.
December 18
Wilson requests statements of war objectives from nations at war in peace note.
 

1917
Chemin des Dames

Date
Event
January 10
Allies state peace objectives in response to Wilson’s 1916 peace note.
January 19
Germany urges Mexico to enter war against U.S. Telegram translated by the British.
February 1
Germany declares unrestricted submarine warfare.
February 3
U.S. breaks ties with Germany.
February 23-April 5
German forces begin withdrawal to strong positions of the Hindenburg Line.
February 24
Wilson requests permission from Congress to arm U.S. merchant marines.
March 11
British capture Baghdad.
March 12
Wilson announces the arming of U.S. merchant marines by his executive order after request fails to get approval from Congress.
March 15
Tsar Nicholas II abdicates.
March 20
U.S. war cabinet votes to declare war on Germany.
April 2
Wilson delivers war address to Congress.
April 6
Wilson asks Congress for declaration of war against Germany.
April 9-20
Nivelle Offensive, Second Battle of Aisne and Third Battle of Champagne, ends in French failure.
April 9
Canada wins at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
April 16-29
French suffer 250,000 casualties as they advance at Chemin des Dames.
April 16
Lenin arrives in Russia.
April-June
Over half a million French soldiers refuse to continue the failed offensive.
May 12-October 24
Last battles of Isonzo fought, the Italians lose.
May 18
U.S. passes the Selective Service Act allowing the government to draft men.
May 28
Pershing leaves for France.
June 7
British explode mines under the Messines Ridge.
June 15
U.S. Espionage Act passed.
June 26
First U.S. troops arrive in France.
June 27
Greece enters the war.
July 1-16
Russian army begins the last offensive in Galicia.
July 2
U.S. General John Pershing requests 1,000,000 men for the army.
July 3
First group of U.S. forces lands in France.
July 6
T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs capture Aqaba.
July 11
Pershing asks for 2,000,000 more men.
September 1
Germany takes the northernmost end of the Russian front.
October 23
U.S. troops enter trench warfare in France.
October 24
Austria-Germany breakthrough at Caporetto on Italian front.
November 7
Lenin leads Bolsheviks and overthrows Russian government.
November 20
British launch attack at Cambrai.
December 3
Leon Trotsky signs an armistice for the Russian government with Germany.
December 7
U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary.
December 9
British capture Jerusalem from Turks and Arab allies.
December 22
Russia opens separate peace negotiations with Germany.
 

1918
1918 Influenza Outbreak

 Date
Event
1918
Influenza kills more people than the war.
January-September
T.E. Lawrence leads Arab guerrillas in campaign against Turks in Arabia and Palestine.
January 8
Wilson presents his 14 Points as the pathway to world peace.
February 11
Wilson makes “Four Principles” speech to Congress.
March 3
Soviet Russia concludes peace negotiations with Germany (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk)
March 21
Germans begin the first of five major offensives to win the war.
March 26
Dooullens Agreement made giving French General Ferdinand Foch “coordinating authority” over the Western Front.
April 9
Germany launches the Battle of the Lys.
April 14
Foch appointed Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces on the Western Front.
April 22
Baron von Richthofen (the Red Baron) is killed.
April 25
Australians and British troops stop the German advance near Amiens.
May 23
German shell Paris.
May 25
German U-boats appear in U.S. waters.
May 27
The Battle of the Aisne begins in French sector.
May 28
U.S. forces win at the Battle of Cantigny.
May 31
Germans stopped by American forces at Chateau-Thierry.
June 6
U.S. captures Bouresches and southern part of Belleau Wood.
June 9
Germans begin the Battle of the Matz.
June 15
Italians defeat Austrian-Hungarian forces at the Battle of Piave.
July
German troops moving from the Eastern to Western Front begin to desert.
   

1919


 

 
January 18 Start of Paris Peace Negogiations.
June 21 German High Seas Fleet is scuttled at Scapa Flow.
June 28 Treaty of Versailles is signed by Germany and the Allies.
November 27 Treaty of Neuilly is signed by Bulgaria and the Allies.

 

 

 
1920  
June 4
Treaty of Trianon is signed by Hungary and the Allies.
August 10
Treaty of Sévres is signed by the former Ottoman Empire and the Allies.