History Timeline

World War 1 Timeline



YEAR 1914:

  • June 28 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife Countess Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian-Serb student and member of the Young Bosnia. The assassination in Sarajevo triggers World War I but the main cause of the Great War is economic and colonial rivalry between the European Great Powers.

  • July 6 - Chancellor of the German Empire, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg assures Austria-Hungary full German support. He also states that the decision for war or peace is in Austrian hands but advises against the latter.

  • July 23 - Austria-Hungary delivers an unconditional ultimatum to Kingdom of Serbia which is not expected to be accepted.

  • July 27 - Russian Imperial Council decides to support Serbia.

  • July 28 - Austria-Hungary declares war on the Kingdom of Serbia.

  • July 31 - Russian Tsar Nicholas II orders general mobilization.

  • July 31 - German Empire sends an ultimatum to Russia demanding demobilization within the next twelve hours.

  • August 1 - German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire.

  • August 2 - Germany occupies Luxembourg.

  • August 2 - Germany delivers an ultimatum to Belgium demanding free passage to France.

  • August 2 - Germany and the Ottoman Empire sign a secret alliance foreseeing Ottoman intervention in the war in case of Russian attack on Germany.

  • August 3 - German troops invade Belgium.

  • August 3 - German Empire declares war on France.

  • August 4 - Great Britain delivers an ultimatum to Germany demanding to respect the Belgium neutrality. However, the British ultimatum is practically a declaration of war because the Germans already invaded Belgium.

  • August 4 - Russian troops under the command of Paul von Rennenkampf invade Germany.

  • August 4/5 - President of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson declares neutrality in the European war.

  • August 6 - Serbia declares war on Germany.

  • August 8 - British troops land in France.

  • August 11 - France declares war on Austria-Hungary.

  • August 12 - Great Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary.

  • August 14-24 - Allies are defeated by the Germans in the Battle of the Frontiers.

  • August 15 - Japan issues an ultimatum to Germany demanding to withdraw from the Chinese waters and Tsingtao (today's Qingdao).

  • August 18 - Serbian forces severely defeat the Austro-Hungarian army in the Battle of Cer.

  • August 20 - German troops enter Brussels.

  • August 23 - Japan declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary.

  • August 25 - German troops occupy Namur (southeastern Belgium).

  • August 28 - British navy defeats the Germans in the Battle of Heligoland Bight.

  • August 30 - The German Eight Army under the command of Paul von Hindenburg decisively defeats the Russian Second Army under the command of Alexander Samsonov in the Battle of Tannenberg which started on August 26.

  • August 30 - French counterattack at Saint-Quentin fails. German troops reach the Marne River.

  • September 2- Ottoman Empire starts mobilization.

  • September 5 - Members of the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia) sign a secret agreement in London promising not to make a separate peace with the Central powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria from 1915).

  • September 11 - Austro-Hungarian forces are severely defeated by the Russians in the Battle of Galicia (started on August 26).

  • September 12 - The French troops halt the German advance in the First Battle of the Marne setting stage for the four years of trench warfare on the Western Front.

  • September 14 - German troops defeat the Russian First Army in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes and force the Russians to withdraw from Germany.

  • September 14 - Erich von Falkenhayn succeeds Helmuth von Moltke the Younger as Chief of the German General Stuff.

  • September 22 - German SM U-9 sinks three British cruisers while patrolling southern North Sea.

  • September 23 - The British clash with the advancing German army in the Battle of Mons but are forced to retreat.

  • September 23 - The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) bombards the Zeppelin sheds at Düsseldorf.

  • September 27 - Russian troops invade Hungary.

  • October 14 - Canadian troops land in Britain.

  • October 22 - Allies win the First Battle of Ypres (started on October 14) but suffer severe losses.

  • October 28 - Gavrilo Princip is sentenced to 20 years in prison. He did not receive a death penalty because being 27 days short of his twentieth birthday. He died in prison in 1918.

  • November 1 - British Royal Navy is defeated by the German Kaiserliche Marine in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of central Chile.

  • November 5 - Britain annexes Cyprus.

  • November 5 - The British Indian Expeditionary Force "B"; is defeated by the Germans under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck in the Battle of Tanga.

  • November 7 - The Japanese occupy Qingdao.

  • November 9 - Serbian forces decisively defeat the Austro-Hungarian army in the Battle of Kolubara driving the Austro-Hungarian forces out of Serbia.

  • November 9 - Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney defeats German light cruiser SMS Emden in the Battle of Cocos.

  • November 21 - Indian troops capture Basra.

  • December 8 - British Royal Navy decisively defeats the Imperial German Navy in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

  • December 17 - Australian and New Zealand troops capture Samoa.

  • December 25 - Unofficial Christmas truce ends hostilities during Christmas.

YEAR 1915

  • January 18 - Japan sends the Twenty-One Demands to the Chinese nominal government.

  • January 19 - The first Zeppelin raid on Britain.

  • January 24 - British Grand Fleet defeats the German Imperial Navy and sinks the SMS Blücher in the Battle of Dogger Bank.

  • February 4 - Beginning of German submarine blockade of Great Britain.

  • February 19 - Beginning of the naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign.

  • February 22 - Germans win the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes (started on February 7).

  • March 11 - Great Britain declares blockade of Germany.

  • April 22 - Germans use poison gas for the first time in history in the Second Battle of Ypres.

  • April 25 - Allied forces land in Gallipoli. Beginning of the Gallipoli Campaign.

  • April 26 - Italy and the Triple Entente sign the London Pact.

  • May 1 - German submarine sinks the American tanker Gulflight.

  • May 1 - Germans launch the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive forcing Russians to withdraw from Galicia.

  • May 7 - German U-boat U-20 sinks the ocean liner RMS Lusitania.

  • May 15 - British admiral John Fisher resigns as First Sea Lord because of disputes with First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill over Gallipoli Campaign.

  • May 17 - Winton Churchill is dismissed as the First Lord of the Admiralty.

  • May 23 - Italy enters the World War I on the Allies' side and opens the Italian Campaign.

  • July 9 - Germans surrender to the South African forces in South-West Africa (today's Namibia).

  • August 5 - Germans capture Warsaw.

  • August 6-21 - Allies capture the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Sari Bair.

  • September 28 - The British Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force defeats the Ottoman Turks at Al-kut.

  • October 5 - Allies launch the Macedonian Front also known as Salonika front to aid the Serbs.

  • October 6 - Serbia is invaded by German and Austria-Hungarian troops under the command of Field Marshal August von Mackensen.

  • October 9 - Austro-Hungarian and German forces capture Belgrade.

  • October 14 - Bulgaria declares war on Serbia.

  • November 6 - French offensive against the Germans known as the Second Battle of Champagne (started on September 25) fails.

  • November 25 - Serbian Field Marshal Radomir Putnik orders retreat to the Adriatic coast through Montenegro and Albania to be transported by the Allied ships to Corfu.

  • December 19 - Allies withdraw from Gallipoli.

  • December 19 - Douglas Haig replaces John French as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.

  • December 30 - British passenger liner SS Persia is sunk by a German U-boat.

YEAR 1916

  • February 21 - Beginning of the Battle of Verdun.

  • March 15 - German Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz resigns as Secretary of State of the Imperial Naval Office.

  • April 29 - The Ottoman forces recapture Al-Kut from the British.

  • May 8 - New Zealand and Australian forces land in France.

  • May 31 - June 1 - The largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Jutland ends inconclusively.

  • June 18 - German flying ace Max Immelmann is shot down over Sallaumines.

  • June 29 - Greece enters World War I on Allies' side.

  • June - Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, a British Army officer also known as Lawrence of Arabia initiates the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks.

  • July 1 - Beginning of the Battle of the Somme or the Somme Offensive.

  • August 9 - Italians capture Gorizia during the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo (August 3-August 18).

  • August 27 - Romania enters World War I on Allies' side.

  • August 28 - Italy declares war on Germany.

  • August 30 - Paul von Hindenburg succeeds Erich von Falkenhayn as Chief of the German General Staff.

  • September 4 - The British capture Dar es Salaam.

  • September 11- September 18 - The French and Serbian armies break through at the Salonika Front.

  • September 20 - The Brusilov Offensive (started on June 4) ends with severe defeat of Austria-Hungary.

  • November 13 - The Battle of Somme ends with failure of the British and French armies to break through the German lines.

  • December 12 - Allies reject the German peace proposal.

  • December 13 - Joseph Joffre is replaced by General Robert Nivelle as Commander-in-Chief of the French Army.

  • December 18 - The French defeat the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

YEAR 1917

  • January 31 - Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare.

  • February - The Germans begin to withdraw to the Hindenburg Line.

  • March 8 - March 15 (February 23-30 Old Style) - The February Revolution in Russia. Tsar Nicholas II abdicates.

  • March 11 - The British capture Baghdad.

  • April 6 - The United States of America declares war on Germany.

  • April 9 - May 16 - The Battle of Arras, a British offensive at the French city of Arras fails.

  • April 16 - May 9 - The Nivelle Offensive, a French attempt to break through the German lines fails.

  • May 2 - Outbreak of French Army Mutinies.

  • May 15 - Robert Nivelle is replaced by Philippe Petain as Commander-in-Chief of the French Army.

  • June 4 - Brazil declares war on Germany.

  • July 1 - July 19 - The Kerensky Offensive, the last Russian offensive in World War I fails.

  • July 17 - Winston Churchill is appointed Minister of Munitions.

  • July 19 - Mutiny in the German navy.

  • July 19 - The Reichstag Peace Resolution of 1917.

  • July 31 - November 6 - Allies capture Passchendaele in the Battle of Passchendaele or the Third Battle of Ypres.

  • September 5 - Leaders of the mutiny in the German imperial fleet, Albin Köbis and Max Reichpietsch are executed.

  • September 9 - Coup d'etat led by General Lavr Kornilov against the Russian Provisional Government fails.

  • October 24 - November 19 - The Italian Second Army is decisively defeated by the Central Powers in the Battle of Caporetto also known as the Twelfth Battle of Isonzo.

  • October 25 (November 7 Gregorian calendar) - The October Revolution in Russia.

  • November 8 - Luigi Cadorna is dismissed as Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Army.

  • November 17 - The British capture Jaffa.

  • November 20 - December 3 - The Battle of Cambrai noted for the first successful use of tanks.

  • December 7 - The United States of America declares war on Austria-Hungary.

  • December 8 - December 26 - The British capture the city of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire.

  • December 15 - Russia and Germany sign armistice.

YEAR 1918

  • January 8 - US President Woodrow Wilson presents his Fourteen Points.

  • January 25 - Russia is proclaimed a Soviet Republic.

  • February 9 - The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed by the Central powers and Ukrainian People's Republic.

  • March 3 - Russia signs the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with Germany.

  • March 21 - The Germans launch the Spring Offensive.

  • March 26- General Ferdinand Foch is appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies.

  • April 21 - German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen known as the "Red Baron" is shot down over the Morlancourt Ridge.

  • May 7 - Romania is forced to sign the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central powers.

  • July 15 - August 6 - The Germans are decisively defeated by the Allies in the Second Battle of Marne.

  • August 8 - November 11 - Allies decisively defeat the Germans in the Hundred Days Offensive.

  • September 19 - October 1 - Allies decisively defeat the Ottoman forces in the Battle of Megiddo.

  • September 29 - Bulgaria signs an armistice with the Allies.

  • October 1 - The British and Arab troops capture Damascus.

  • October 20 - The Germans suspend submarine warfare.

  • October 28 - Austria-Hungary seeks armistice based on Wilson's Fourteen Points.

  • October 29 - The Wilhelmshaven mutiny.

  • October 30 - The Armistice of Mudros signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies ends hostilities in the Middle East.

  • October 31 - Austria-Hungary is officially dissolved.

  • November 3 - Outbreak of the German Revolution.

  • November 3 - Austria-Hungary signs general armistice with the Allies in Padua.

  • November 9 - German Emperor Wilhelm II abdicates.

  • November 11 - The armistice signed between the Allies and Germany in Compiegne Forest de facto ends the World War I (officially the Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1919).

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