Chronology of the First World War
- 28. Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to throne of
Austria-Hungary, and his wife at Sarajevo, Bosnia.
- 28. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
- 29. Russian mobilization ordered.
- 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
- 6. Austria-Hungary at war with Russia.
- 7. French forces invade Alsace. Gen. Joffre in supreme command of French
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 5. Great Britain and France declare war on Turkey.
- 5. Cyprus annexed by Great Britain.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 22. Poison gas first used by Germans in attack on Canadians at Ypres,
- 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
- 31. German Zeppelins bombard suburbs of London.
- 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.
- 9. German Southwest African surrenders to British South African troops
under Gen. Botha.
- 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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 5. Nish, Serbian war capital, captured by Bulgarians.
- 24. Serbian government transferred to Scutari, Albania.
- 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
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- 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.
- 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.
- 9. Germany declares war on Portugal on the latter's refusal to give up
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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,
- 6. Germans capture Fort Vaux in Verdun attack.
- 21. Allies demand Greek demobilization.
- 27. King Constantine orders demobilization of Greek army.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 24. Fort Douaumont recaptured by French.
- 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.
- 1. Allied troops enter Athens to insist upon surrender of Greek arms and
- 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.
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- 1. Turkey declares its independence of suzerainty of European powers.
- 1. Ivernia, Cunard liner, is sunk in Mediterranean.
- 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
- 3. British advance on Bapaume.
- 3. Mexico denies having received an offer from Germany suggesting an
- 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.
- 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
- 9. Liberia breaks with Germany.
- 11. Russian Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates demands peace
- 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.
- 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.
- 1. Russians begin offensive in Gallicia, Kerensky, Minister of War, leading
- 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,
- 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.
- 1. Pope Benedict XV makes plea for peace on a basis of no annexation, no
- 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.
- 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
- 29. Turkish Mesopotamian army, under Ahmed Bey, captured by British.
- 6. Peru and Uruguay break with Germany.
- 9. Poelcapelle and other German positions captured in Franco- British
- 17. Antilles, American transport, westbound from France, sunk by submarine;
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 7. Finland declares independence.
- 8. Jerusalem, held by the Turks for 673 years, surrenders to British, under
- 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.
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- 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
- 23. German offensive redirects towards Amiens and Paris.
- 28. German Operation 'Mars' repulsed at Arras.
- 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.
- 27. German offensive 'Blucher' launched.
- 29. German troops advance to the Marne but are stopped by US Divisions.
- 15-16. Austrian offensive at Asiago defeated by combined British and French
- 15. Ludendorff launches final offensive.
- 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.
- 12. American offensive at St Mihiel.
- 23. British 15th Cavalry Brigade attacks Haifa.
- 26. Allied offensive at Meuse-Argonne.
- 26. Ludendorff is dismissed.
- 28. Kiel mutiny by German sailors.
- 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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