World War I Key Events

Timeline created by dylanbaldy
In History
  • Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand
    Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and wife by Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip
    Austro-Hungarian government blamed Serbian government
  • Germany announces support for Austria-Hungary

    Germany announces support for Austria-Hungary
    Austria-Hungary seeks German support for war in case of Russian militarism
    Germany announces full support for Austro-Hungary if they retaliate Serbia
  • Austria-Hungary gives Serbia ultimatum

    Austria-Hungary gives Serbia ultimatum
    Austria-Hungary demands Serbia find and eliminate terrorist organizations in Serbia; Serbia refuses
  • Russia Promises Support to Serbia

    Russia Promises Support to Serbia
    Russia promises to help Serbia if attacked by Austro-Hungary
  • Beginning of World War I; Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia

    Beginning of World War I; Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia
    Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia
  • Russia mobilizes troops

    Russia mobilizes troops
    Russia mobilizes troops to support Serbia to its borders with Germany and Austro-Hungary
  • Germany Declares War on Serbia; Germany Enters War

    Germany Declares War on Serbia; Germany Enters War
    Germany Declares War on Serbia due to alliance with Austria-Hungary; Germany Enters War
  • Germany Declares War on France; France Enters War

    Germany Declares War on France; France Enters War
    French first to employ tear gas, using grenades filled with ethyl bromoacetate or chloroacetate on German
  • Germany invades Belgium, Belgium Enters War; Schlieffen Plan

    Germany invades Belgium, Belgium Enters War; Schlieffen Plan
    Germany invades Belgium, Belgium Enters War
    Schlieffen Plan: strategy for Germany to avoid fighting at its eastern and western fronts simultaneously
    Designed meticulously to deal a swift "right hook" attack on France then advance to Russia
    Devised by Count Alfred von Schlieffen, chief of Imperial German General Staff
    Assumed Russia was slow and France was weak
    Failed
  • Great Britain Declares War on Germany; Great Britain Enters War

    Great Britain Declares War on Germany; Great Britain Enters War
    Great Britain Declares War on Germany; Great Britain Enters War
  • Austria-Hungary Declares War on Russia

    Austria-Hungary Declares War on Russia
    Austria-Hungary Declares War on Russia
  • Japan Declares War on Germany, Japan Enters War

    Japan Declares War on Germany, Japan Enters War
    Japan Declares War on Germany, Japan Enters War
  • Battle of Tannenberg Begins

    Battle of Tannenberg Begins
    Russians defeated
    First battle fought on Eastern Front
    Outnumbered Germans victorious over Russians
    Germany’s greatest victory
    Diverted Germans from attacking France
    General Alexander Samsonov and Russian Second Army defeated by Germans and most slaughtered or captured
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    Battle of Tannenberg

    Russians defeated
    First battle fought on Eastern Front
    Outnumbered Germans victorious over Russians
    Germany’s greatest victory
    Diverted Germans from attacking France
    General Alexander Samsonov and Russian Second Army defeated by Germans and most slaughtered or captured
  • Ottoman Empire Enters World War I

    Ottoman Empire Enters World War I
    Ottoman Empire/Turkey enters war on Central Powers side and helps Germany attack on Russian naval bases
  • Battle of Marne Begins

    Battle of Marne Begins
    Battle of Marne begins
    major strategic defeat of Germans
    Allies stop German invasion of Paris
    marked end of Schlieffen Plan and prevented German plan for swift and decisive victory
    General Michel Maunoury and French 6th Army forced German 2nd Army and General Karl von Bulow to retreat
    Beginning of trench warfare
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    Battle of Marne

    Battle of Marne begins
    major strategic defeat of Germans
    Allies stop German invasion of Paris
    marked end of Schlieffen Plan and prevented German plan for swift and decisive victory
    General Michel Maunoury and French 6th Army forced German 2nd Army and General Karl von Bulow to retreat
    Beginning of trench warfare
  • First German Aircraft Shot Down by Allied Plane

    First German Aircraft Shot Down by Allied Plane
    First German Aircraft Shot Down by Allied Plane
  • First German Chemical Warfare Usage

    First German Chemical Warfare Usage
    Germany’s earliest use of chemical weapons, fired shells with lung irritant dianisidine chlorosulfate at British army at Neuve-Chapelle
  • Christmas Truce

    Christmas Truce
    Christmas Truce
    Cease-fire between forces on the Western Front
  • First Instance of Large-Scale Use of Gas As Weapon

    First Instance of Large-Scale Use of Gas As Weapon
    Germany fired shells with liquid xylyl bromide tear gas on Russians in Battle of Bolimov
    Instead of vaporizing, it froze so failed to have desired effect
  • Germany Initiates Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    Germany Initiates Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
    all merchant ships would be subject to attack if in British waters
  • Second Battle of Ypres Begins; Chlorine Gas Usage

    Second Battle of Ypres Begins; Chlorine Gas Usage
    Second Battle of Ypres
    first full-scale deployment of deadly chemical warfare agents
    first successful gas attack
    used chlorine gas on French army
    created by Fritz Haber
    Chlorine First Killing Agent
  • Sinking of Lusitania Ship

    Sinking of Lusitania Ship
    Sinking of passenger ship Lusitania
    torpedoed by German U-boat submarine commanded by Kapitanleutnant Walther Schwieger
    total of 1,198 drown, 128 US citizens
  • Italy Enters WW1, Declares War on Austria-Hungary

    Italy Enters WW1, Declares War on Austria-Hungary
    Italy Enters WW1, Declares War on Austria-Hungary
  • First Zeppelin Raid on London

    First Zeppelin Raid on London
    First Zeppelin Raid on London
    German army officer Count Ferdinand Zeppelin developed Zeppelin which had five machine guns and could carry 2000 kg bombs but extremely vulnerable to attack and bad weather
  • Germany Suspends Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    Germany Suspends Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
    Germany suspends policy of unrestricted submarine warfare due to worldwide outrage
  • Bulgaria Enters War, Joins Central Powers

    Bulgaria Enters War, Joins Central Powers
    Bulgaria enters war on side of Central Powers
    declares war on Serbia
  • British First Usage of Gas at Battle of Loos

    British First Usage of Gas at Battle of Loos
    British first use of gas at Battle of Loos, used chlorine gas
    attempt was disaster, wind caused it to linger in no man’s land or blow back on British trenches
  • Phosgene Introduced As Chemical Weapon

    Phosgene Introduced As Chemical Weapon
    Germans first use phosgene on Allied troops in Belgium
    more potent killing agent but symptoms took 24 hours
  • Battle of Verdun Begins

    Battle of Verdun Begins
    one of longest and most savage WW1 battles
    lasted until 19 December 1916
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    Battle of Verdun

    one of longest and most savage WW1 battles lasting until 19 December 1916
  • Battle of Jutland

    Battle of Jutland
    Battle of Jutland
    largest naval battle of World War 1
    Britain’s Royal Navy Grand Fleet and German Navy’s High Seas Fleet fought to a draw, though both sides claimed victory
    Stopped Germans from challenging British control of North Sea
    Confirmed British naval dominance and secured its control of shipping lanes
  • Brusilov Offensive Begins

    Brusilov Offensive Begins
    Most successful Russian offensive and one of most successful breakthrough operations of World War 1
    Led by Russian commander Aleksei Brusilov
    Short, sharp artillery bombardment and shock troops to exploit weak points
    Last major Russian offensive of war
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    Brusilov Offensive

    Most successful Russian offensive and one of most successful breakthrough operations of World War 1
    Led by Russian commander Aleksei Brusilov
    Short, sharp artillery bombardment and shock troops to exploit weak points
    Last major Russian offensive of war
  • Battle of Somme Begins

    Battle of Somme Begins
    joint operation between British and French against Germans Intended to achieve decisive victory over Germany
    First day was bloodiest day in British military history
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    Battle of Somme

    joint operation between British and French against Germans intended to achieve decisive victory over Germany
  • First use of British Tanks

    First use of British Tanks
    First use of British tanks at Flers-Courcelette
  • US President Woodrow Wilson Re-Elected

    US President Woodrow Wilson Re-Elected
    Ran on slogans "He kept us out of war" and "America First"
  • First Use of Mustard Gas as Chemical Warfare Agent

    First Use of Mustard Gas as Chemical Warfare Agent
    First Use of Mustard Gas as Chemical Warfare Agent
    Developed by German Chemist Fritz Haber
    Used by German army against British and Canadian soldiers near Ypres, Belgium
  • Great Britain Intercepts Zimmermann Telegram

    Great Britain Intercepts Zimmermann Telegram
    Zimmermann Telegram from Germany to Mexico intercepted by Britain and communicated to US
  • US severs Diplomatic Relations with Germany

    US severs Diplomatic Relations with Germany
    US severs Diplomatic Relations with Germany after Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare
  • US Alerted About Zimmermann Telegram

    US Alerted About Zimmermann Telegram
    US informed about Zimmermann Telegram from Germany to Mexico
  • Germany Sinks SS Aztec

    Germany Sinks SS Aztec
    Germany sinks SS Aztec
    SS Aztec US cargo ship bound for France
    28 Americans drown
  • US Enters War, Declares War Against Germany

    US Enters War, Declares War Against Germany
    US enters war, declares war against Germany, passed by Senate
  • Selective Service Act Authorized

    Selective Service Act Authorized
    US Congress authorizes Selective Service Act, initiating first draft since Civil War
  • First US Troops Land in France

    First US Troops Land in France
    First American troops land in France
    American Expeditionary Force (AEF) led by Commander-in-Chief John J Pershing
  • Third Battle of Ypres Begins

    Third Battle of Ypres Begins
    terrible conditions with heavy rain led to terrible problems and impossible use of tanks
    German first effective use mustard gas as a vesicant/blistering agent
    although not effective killing age, caused internal and external bleeding and attacked bronchial tubes
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    Third Battle of Ypres/Passchendaele

    terrible conditions with heavy rain led to terrible problems and impossible use of tanks
    German first effective use mustard gas as a vesicant/blistering agent
    although not effective killing age, caused internal and external bleeding and attacked bronchial tubes
  • Use of Mustard Gas by Allies

    Use of Mustard Gas by Allies
    Allies begin using mustard gas against German troops
  • President Wilson Announces 14 Point Peace Program

    President Wilson Announces 14 Point Peace Program
    Wilson outlined vision for stable, long-lasting peace in Europe
    guidelines for rebuilding of postwar world
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Russia Leaves War

    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Russia Leaves War
    Russia and Germany sign Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, officially removed Russia from World War I
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    German Spring Offensives

    Calculated gamble for Germany in trying to tip balance on Western Front once and for all
    German offensives tactical successes but strategic failures
  • US War Department Authorizes Chemical Warfare Service

    US War Department Authorizes Chemical Warfare Service
    US War department authorizes Chemical Warfare Service(CWS)
    Major General William L. Sibert served as first director
    CWS coordinates all aspects of chemical warfare including administration, research, gas defense, gas offensive, development and medical training
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    Battle of Amiens

    Start of Hundred Days campaign, four-month period of Allied success, Allied counter-attack
    British Expeditionary Force (BEF) combining scientific artillery methods and flexible infantry firepower with use of tanks and aircraft
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    Battle of Megiddo

    British Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Allenby led Egyptian Expeditionary Forces (EEF), led to collapse of Ottoman Turkish Forces
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    Us Meuse-Argonne Offensive

    Marshal Ferdinand Foch ordered General John Pershing leading AEF attack to attempt to cut-off entire German Second Army
    largest offensive in US history, major role in bringing end to war
    Allied troops break through Hindenburg Line
    British first usage of mustard gas
    Fought until End of War
  • Germany Requests Armistice, Allies Refuse

    Germany Requests Armistice, Allies Refuse
    Germany requests armistice, Allies refuse
    German Chancellor Prince Maximillian requests immediate armistice with terms to President Wilson
    German government of Max von Baden asked President Woodrow Wilson for a ceasefire on 4th October, 1918.
    Baden: "It was made clear by both the Germans and Austrians that this was not a surrender, not even an offer of armistice terms, but an attempt to end the war without any preconditions that might be harmful to Germany or Austria."
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    Battle of Vittorio Veneto

    Italian Army heavily defeats Austro-Hungarian forces, brought dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated

    German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated
    German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates and flees to Holland
    forced to abdicate and lived in Holland for rest of his life
  • Germany Signs Armistice, End of World War I

    Germany Signs Armistice, End of World War I
    Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch orders all hostilities on Western Front cease at 11am Paris time
    Germany had to surrender 30,000 machine guns, 2,000 aircraft, 5,000 locomotives, 5,000 lorries, and all its submarines
    1.3 million casualties caused by chemical weapons; 90,000 to 100,000 fatalities primarily from phosgene
  • Allied Troops Occupy Germany

    Allied Troops Occupy Germany
    Allied troops move into Germany and begin occupation
  • Paris Peace Conference

    Paris Peace Conference
    Allied Nations propose constitution for League of Nations to promote international cooperation
    32 state leaders attended, negotiations dominated by five major powers responsible for defeating Central Powers: US, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan
    Georges Clemenceau (France), David Lloyd George (Britain), Vittorio Orlando (Italy), and Woodrow Wilson (US)
    imposed territorial losses, financial liabilities and military restrictions on all members of Central Powers
  • Treaty of Versailles

    Treaty of Versailles
    Germany forced to sign Treaty of Versailles
    Germany cedes Alsace-Lorraine to France, recognizes Belgian sovereignty, disarms and agrees to pay war reparations
    US Senate refuses to ratify Treaty of Versailles thus preventing US from joining League of Nations
  • Treaty of Sevres

    Treaty of Sevres
    Treaty of Sevres officially ends war between Allies and Ottoman Empire and marks beginning of Ottoman Empire’s partitioning
  • Geneva Protocol

    Geneva Protocol
    Geneva Protocol is a treaty prohibiting use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflict
    prohibits the use of "asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices" and "bacteriological methods of warfare".
    no prohibition of production, storage, or transfer of these weapons