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World War 1 Chronology


1914


June


  • 28. Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife at Sarajevo, Bosnia.

July


  • 28. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
  • 29. Russian mobilization ordered.

August


  • 1. Germany declares war on Russia.
  • 1. France orders mobilization.
  • 2. Germany demands free passage through Belgium.
  • 3. Germany declares war on France.
  • 3. Belgium rejects Germany's demand.
  • 4. Germany at war with Belgium. Troops under Gen. Von Kluck cross border. Halted at Liege.
  • 4. Great Britain at war with Germany. Kitchener becomes Secretary of War.
  • 5. President Wilson tenders good offices of United States interests of peace.
  • 6. Austria-Hungary at war with Russia.
  • 7. French forces invade Alsace. Gen. Joffre in supreme command of French army.
  • 7. Montenegro at war with Austria.
  • 7. Great Britain's Expeditionary Force lands at Ostend, Calais and Dunkirk.
  • 8. Serbia at war with Germany.
  • 12. Great Britain at war with Austria-Hungary.
  • 12. Montenegro at war with Germany.
  • 17. Belgian capital removed from Brussels to Antwerp.
  • 19. Canadian Parliament authorises raising expeditionary force.
  • 20. Germans occupy Brussels.
  • 23. Japan at war with Germany. Begins attack on Tsingtau.
  • 24. Germans enter France near Lille.
  • 25. Austria at war with Japan.
  • 26. Viviani becomes premier of France.
  • 28. Austria declares war on Belgium.
  • 30. Amiens occupied by Germans.
  • 31. Russian army of invasion in East Prussia defeated at Tannenberg by Germans under Von Hindenburg.

September


  • 3. Paris placed in state of siege: Government transferred to Bordeaux.
  • 6-10. Battle of Marne. Von Kluck is beaten by Gen. Joffre, and the German army retreats from Paris to the Soissons-Rheims line.
  • 14. French reoccupy Amiens and Rheims.
  • 29. Antwerp bombardment begins.

October


  • 2. British Admiralty announces intention to mine North Sea areas.
  • 9. Antwerp surrenders to Germans. Government removed to Ostend.
  • 13. British occupy Ypres.
  • 14. Canadian Expeditionary Force of 32,000 men lands at Plymouth.
  • 15. Germans occupy Ostend. Belgian government removed to Havre, France.

November


  • 5. Great Britain and France declare war on Turkey.
  • 5. Cyprus annexed by Great Britain.

December


  • 8. Off the Falkland Isles, British squadron under command of Rear-Admiral Sturdee, sinks three of the German cruisers which had destroyed the Good Hope and Monmouth on Nov. 1. The Dresden escapes.
  • 16. German squadron bombards Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby on east coast of England.


1915


February


  • 10. Prussians defeated by Germans in Battle of Masurian Lakes.
  • 18. German submarine 'blockade' of British Isles begins.
  • 25. Allied fleet destroys outer forts of Dardanelles.

March


  • 2. Allied troops land at Kum-Kale, on Asiatic side of Dardanelles.
  • 10. British take Neuve Chapelle in Flanders battle.
  • 22. Austrian fortress of Przmysl surrenders to Russians.

April


  • 22. Poison gas first used by Germans in attack on Canadians at Ypres, Belgium.

May


  • 1. American steamer Gulflight torpedoed off Scilly Isles by German submarine; 3 lives lost.
  • 2. British South Africa troops under General Botha capture Otymbingue, German Southwest Africa.
  • 7. Germans capture Libau, Russian Baltic port.
  • 7. Lusitania, Cunard liner, sunk by German submarine off Kinsale Head, Irish coast, with loss of 1152 lives; 102 Americans.
  • 23. Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary and begins invasion on a 60 mile front.
  • 31. German Zeppelins bombard suburbs of London.

June


  • 4-6. German aircraft bomb English towns.
  • 15. Allied aircraft bombs Karlsruhe, Baden, in retaliation.
  • 22. Lemberg recaptured by Austrians.
  • 26. Montenegrins enter Scutari, Albania.

July


  • 9. German Southwest African surrenders to British South African troops under Gen. Botha.

August


  • 5. Warsaw captured by Germans.
  • 6. Gallipoli Peninsula campaign enters a second stage with the debarkation of a new force of British troops in Suvla Bay, on the west of the peninsula.
  • 8. Russians defeat German fleet of 9 battleships and 12 cruisers at entrance of Gulf of Riga.
  • 19. Arabic, White Star liner, sunk by submarine off Fastnet; 44 lives lost; 2 Americans.
  • 25. Brest-Litovsk, Russian fortress, captured by Austro-Germans.
  • 28. Italians reach Cima Cista, north-east of Trent.
  • 30. British submarine attacks Constantinople and damages the Galata Bridge.
  • 31. Lutsk, Russian fortress, captured by Austrians.

September


  • 6. Czar Nicholas of Russia assumes command of Russian armies. Grand Duke Nicholas is transferred to the Caucasus.
  • 25. Allies open offensive on Western front and occupy Lens.

October


  • 5. Franco-British force lands at Salonika and Greek ministry resigns.
  • 9. Belgrade again occupied by Austro-Germans.
  • 12. Edith Cavell, English nurse, shot by Germans for aiding British prisoners to escape from Belgium.
  • 13. London bombarded by Zeppelins; 55 persons killed; 114 injured.
  • 14. Bulgaria at war with Serbia.
  • 15. Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria.
  • 17. France at war with Bulgaria.
  • 19. Italy and Russia at war with Bulgaria.
  • 29. Briand becomes premier of France, succeeding Viviani.

November


  • 5. Nish, Serbian war capital, captured by Bulgarians.
  • 24. Serbian government transferred to Scutari, Albania.

December


  • 4. Henry Ford, with large party of peace advocates, sails for Europe on chartered steamer Oscar II, with the object of ending the war.
  • 13. Serbia in hands of enemy, Allied forces abandoning last positions and retiring across Greek frontier.
  • 15. Gen. Sir Douglas Haig succeeds Field Marshal Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of British forces in France.
  • 20. Dardanelles expedition ends; British troops begin withdrawal from positions on Suvla Bay and Gallipoli Peninsula.
  • 22. Henry Ford leaves his peace party at Christiania and returns to the United States.


1916


January


  • 11. Greek island of Corfu occupied by French.
  • 13. Cettinje, capital of Montenegro, occupied by Austrians.
  • 29-31. German Zeppelins bomb Paris and towns in England.

February


  • 10. British conscription law goes into effect.
  • 19. Kamerun, German colony in Africa, conquered by British forces.
  • 21. Battle of Verdun begins. Germans take Haumont.
  • 25. Fort Douaumont falls to Germans in Verdun battle.

March


  • 9. Germany declares war on Portugal on the latter's refusal to give up seized ships.
  • 15. Austria-Hungary at war with Portugal.
  • 24. Sussex, French cross-channel steamer, with many Americans aboard, sunk by submarine off Dieppe. No Americans lost.
  • 31. Melancourt taken by Germans in Verdun Battle.

April


  • 19. President Wilson publicly warns Germany not to pursue submarine policy.
  • 20. Russian troops landed at Marseilles for service on Frenchfront.
  • 24. Irish rebellion begins in Dublin. Republic declared. Patrick Pearse announced as first President.
  • 29. British force of 9000 men, under Gen. Townshend, besieged in Kut-el-Amara, surrenders to Turks.
  • 30. Irish rebellion ends with unconditional surrender of Pearse and other leaders, who are tried by court-martial and executed.

May


  • 8. Cymrio, White Star liner, torpedoed off Irish coast.
  • 14. Italian positions penetrated by Austrians.
  • 15. Vimy Ridge gained by British.
  • 26. Bulgarians invade Greece and occupy forts on the Struma.
  • 31. Jutland naval battle; British and German fleets engaged;heavy losses on both sides.

June


  • 5. Kitchener, British Secretary of War, loses his life when the cruiser Hampshire, on which he was voyaging to Russia, is sunk off the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
  • 6. Germans capture Fort Vaux in Verdun attack.
  • 21. Allies demand Greek demobilization.
  • 27. King Constantine orders demobilization of Greek army.

July


  • 1. British and French attack north and south of the Somme.
  • 14. British penetrate German second line, using cavalry.
  • 15. Longueval captured by British.
  • 25. Pozieres occupied by British.
  • 30. British and French advance between Delville Wood and the Somme.

August


  • 3. French recapture Fleury.
  • 27. Roumania declares war on Austria-Hungary.
  • 28. Italy at war with Germany.
  • 28. Germany at war with Roumania.
  • 31. Bulgaria at war with Roumania. Turkey at war with Roumania.

September


  • 2. Bulgarian forces invade Roumania along the Dobrudja frontier.
  • 13. Italians defeat Austrians on the Carso.
  • 15. British capture Flers, Courcelette, and other Germans positions on Western front, using tanks.
  • 26. Combles and Thiepval captured by British and French.
  • 29. Roumanians begin retreat from Transylvania.

October


  • 24. Fort Douaumont recaptured by French.

November


  • 2. Fort Vaux evacuated by Germans.
  • 7. Woodrow Wilson re-elected President of the United States.
  • 13. British advance along the Ancre.
  • 21. Britannic, mammoth British hospital ship, sunk by mine in Aegean Sea.
  • 22. Emperor Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary, dies. Succeeded by Charles I.
  • 23. German warships bombard English coast.
  • 28. Roumanian government is transferred to Jassy.

December


  • 1. Allied troops enter Athens to insist upon surrender of Greek arms and munitions.
  • 6. Bucharest, capital of Roumania, captured by Austro-Germans.
  • 7. David Lloyd George succeeds Asquith as Prime Minister.
  • 15. French complete recapture of ground taken by Germans in Verdun battle.
  • 18. President Wilson makes peace overtures to belligerents.
  • 26. Germany replies to President's note and suggests a peace conference.
  • 30. French government on behalf of Entente Allies replies to President Wilson's note and refuses to discuss peace till Germany agrees to give restitution, reparation and guarantees.


1917


January


  • 1. Turkey declares its independence of suzerainty of European powers.
  • 1. Ivernia, Cunard liner, is sunk in Mediterranean.

February


  • 3. United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany. Count Von Bernstorff is handed his passports.
  • 7. California, Anchor liner, is sunk off Irish coast.
  • 13. Afric, White Star liner, sunk by submarine.
  • 17. British troops on the Ancre capture German positions.
  • 25. Laconia, Cunard liner, sunk off Irish coast.
  • 26. Kut-el-Amara recaptured from Turks by new British Mesopotamian expedition under command of Gen. Sir Stanley Maude.
  • 28. United States government makes public a communication from Germans to Mexico proposing an alliance, and offering as a reward the return of Mexico's lost territory in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
  • 28. Submarine campaign of Germans results in the sinking of 134 vessels

March


  • 3. British advance on Bapaume.
  • 3. Mexico denies having received an offer from Germany suggesting an alliance.
  • 10. Russian Czar suspends sittings of the Duma.
  • 11. Bagdad captured by British forces under Gen. Maude.
  • 14. China breaks with Germany.
  • 15. Czar Nicholas abdicates. Prince Lvoff heads new cabinet.
  • 17. Bapaume falls to British. Roye and Lassigny occupied by French.
  • 18. Peronne, Chaulnes, Nesle and Noyon evacuated by Germans, who retire on an 85-mile front.
  • 18. City of Memphis, Illinois, and Vigilancia, American ships, torpedoed.
  • 19. Alexander Ribot becomes French premier, succeeding Briand.
  • 21. Healdton, American ship, bound from Philadelphia to Rotterdam, sunk without warning; 21 men lost.
  • 26-31. British advance on Cambrai.

April


  • 1. Aztec, American armed ship, sunk in submarine zone.
  • 5. Missourian, American steamer, sunk in Mediterranean.
  • 6. United States declares war on Germany.
  • 7. Cuba and Panama at war with Germany.
  • 8. Austria-Hungary breaks with United States.
  • 9. Germans retreat before British on long front.
  • 9. Bolivia breaks with Germany.
  • 13. Vimy, Givenchy, Bailleul and positions about Lens taken by Canadians.
  • 20. Turkey breaks with United States.
  • 22. President Wilson suggests to the belligerents a peace without victory.
  • 31. Germany announces intention of sinking all vessels in war zone around British Isles.

May


  • 9. Liberia breaks with Germany.
  • 11. Russian Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates demands peace conference.
  • 15. Gen. Petain succeeds Gen. Nivelle as Commander-in-Chief of French armies. Gen. Foch is appointed Chief of Staff.
  • 16. Bullecourt captured by British in the Arras battles.
  • 17. Honduras breaks with German.
  • 18. Conscription bill signed by President Wilson.
  • 19. Nicaragua breaks with Germany.
  • 22-26. Italians advance on the Carso.

June


  • 5. Registration day for new draft army in United States.
  • 7. Messines-Wytschaete ridge in English hands.
  • 8. Gen. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of American expeditionary force, arrives in England en route to France.
  • 18. Haiti breaks with Germany.

July


  • 1. Russians begin offensive in Gallicia, Kerensky, Minister of War, leading in person.
  • 3. American expeditionary force arrives in France.
  • 6. Canadian House of Commons passes Compulsory Military Service Bill.
  • 12. King Constantine of Greece abdicates in favour of his secondson, Alexander.
  • 16-23. Retreat of Russians on a front of 155 miles.
  • 20. Alexander Kerensky becomes Russian premier, succeeding Lvoff.
  • 20. Drawing of draft number for American conscript army begins.
  • 22. Siam at war with Germany and Austria.
  • 31. Franco-British attack penetrates German lines on a 20-mile front.

August


  • 1. Pope Benedict XV makes plea for peace on a basis of no annexation, no indemnity.
  • 7. Liberia at war with Germany.
  • 8. Canadian Conscription Bill passes its third reading in Senate.
  • 14. China at war with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
  • 15. Canadian troops capture Hill 70, dominating Lens.
  • 19. Italians cross the Isonzo and take Austrian positions.
  • 28. Pope Benedict's peace plea rejected by President Wilson.

September


  • 3. Riga captured by Germans.
  • 14. Paul Painleve becomes French premier, succeeding Ribot.
  • 16. Russia proclaimed a republic by Kerensky.
  • 20. Costa Rica breaks with Germany.
  • 21. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss named Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
  • 26. Zonnebeke, Polygon Wood and Tower Hamlets, east of Ypres, taken by British.
  • 29. Turkish Mesopotamian army, under Ahmed Bey, captured by British.

October


  • 6. Peru and Uruguay break with Germany.
  • 9. Poelcapelle and other German positions captured in Franco- British attack.
  • 17. Antilles, American transport, westbound from France, sunk by submarine; 67 lost.
  • 23. American troops in France fire their first shot in trench warfare.
  • 23. French advance northeast of Soissons.
  • 24. Austro-Germans begin great offensive on Italian positions.
  • 25. Italians retreat across the Isonzo and evacuate the Bainsizza Plateau.
  • 26. Brazil at war with Germany.
  • 31. Beersheba, in Palestine, occupied by British.

November


  • 1. Germans abandon position on Chemin des Dames.
  • 3. Americans in trenches suffer 20 casualties in German attacks.
  • 6. Passchendaele captured by Canadians.
  • 6. British Mesopotamian forces reach Tekrit, 100 miles northwest of Bagdad.
  • 7. The Russian Bolsheviki, led by Lenin and Trotzsky, seize Potrograd and depose Kerensky.
  • 8. Gen. Diaz succeeds Gen. Cadorna as Commander-in-Chief of Italian armies.
  • 10. Lenin becomes Premier of Russia, succeeding Kerensky.
  • 15. Georges Clemenceau becomes Premier of France, succeeding Painlove.
  • 21. Ribecourt, Flesquieres, Havrincourt, Marcoing and other German positions captured by British.
  • 23. Italians repulse Germans on the whole front from the Asiago Plateau to the Brenta River.
  • 24. Cambrai menaced by British, who approach within three miles, capturing Bourlon Wood.

December


  • 1. German East Africa reported completely conquered.
  • 1. Allies' Supreme War Council, representing the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy, holds first meeting at Versailles.
  • 3. Russian Bolsheviki arrange armistice with Germans.
  • 5. British retire from Bourlon Wood, Graincourt and other positions west of Cambrai.
  • 7. Finland declares independence.
  • 8. Jerusalem, held by the Turks for 673 years, surrenders to British, under Gen. Allenby.
  • 10. Panama at war with Austria-Hungary.
  • 11. United States at war with Austria-Hungary.
  • 15. Armistice signed between Germany and Russia at Brest-Litovsk.
  • 17. Coalition government of Sir Robert Borden is returned andconsidered confirmed in Canada.


1918


March


  • 21. Ludendorff launches his series of major offensives, known as the 'Kaiserschlacht' in an effort to gain a decisive victory before the effect of the America entering into the War can be fully realised. Major successes are reported.
  • 23. German offensive redirects towards Amiens and Paris.
  • 28. German Operation 'Mars' repulsed at Arras.

April


  • 4-5. Australians halt German advance at Villers Bretonneux.
  • 9. German launch 'Georgette' offensive against British at Lys.
  • 23-24. British attempt to blockade Ostend harbour fails.

May


  • 27. German offensive 'Blucher' launched.
  • 29. German troops advance to the Marne but are stopped by US Divisions.

June


  • 15-16. Austrian offensive at Asiago defeated by combined British and French force.

July


  • 15. Ludendorff launches final offensive.

August


  • 8. Anglo-French counter-attack at Amiens supported by heavy artillery and 400 tanks achieves major successes. Ludendorff describes it as 'the Black Day' for the German army.

September


  • 12. American offensive at St Mihiel.
  • 23. British 15th Cavalry Brigade attacks Haifa.
  • 26. Allied offensive at Meuse-Argonne.

October


  • 26. Ludendorff is dismissed.
  • 28. Kiel mutiny by German sailors.

November


  • 1. Americans breakthrough German defences at Meuse.
  • 3. German Sailors Soviet take control of Kiel.
  • 3. Americans cut vital Lille-Metz rail link.
  • 11. On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the Armistice is signed effectively halting the War. The final Treaty of Versailles, is signed on June 28, 1919.


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