celebrating peace and reconciliation


WW1 Facts

& timeline briefing notes on the Great War


Briefing notes on The Great War-


The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.


It is now commonly recognised that the methods and conditions employed in the armistice after 11th November 1918 precipitated the Second World War and many conflicts since.


See Time line PDF –


19 April 1839 Treaty of London - between the Concert of Europe (Austria, Prussia, Russia and UK), the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium. It was a direct follow-up to the 1831 Treaty of the XVIII Articles which the Netherlands had refused to sign, and the result of negotiations at the London Conference of 1838-1839.


Under the treaty, the European powers recognized and guaranteed the independence and neutrality of Belgium and confirmed the independence of the German-speaking part of Luxembourg. Article VII required Belgium to remain perpetually neutral, and by implication committed the signatory powers to guard that neutrality in the event of invasion 1914

June 28 Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian empire, in Sarajevo, Bosnia

July 28 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

July 29 - December 9 Austria-Hungary repeatedly invades Serbia but is repeatedly repulsed

August 1 Outbreak of war - Germany declares war on Russia

August 3 Germany declares war on France

August 4 Germany invades neutral Belgium

August 4 Britain declares war on Germany

August 4 US President Woodrow Wilson declares policy of US neutrality

August 14 Battle of the Frontiers begins

August 17-19 Russia invades East Prussia

August 23 Japan declares war on Germany

August 23 – September 2 Austria-Hungary invades Russian Poland (Galicia)

August 26-30 Battle of Tannenberg, which Russia loses; Germany's greatest success of the war on Eastern Front

September 5-10 First Battle of Marne, halts German advance, resulting in stalemate and trench warfare

September 9-14 First Battle of Masurian Lakes, which Russia loses

September 14 First Battle of Aisne begins

September 15 - November 24 The "race to the sea", trenches appear on September 15

September 17-28 Austro-German attack on western Poland

October 14 - November 22 First Battle of Ypres

October 29 Turkey enters the war on the side of the Central Powers

December 8 Battle of the Falkland Islands

December 16th Death of  Pt Theophilus Jones, first person to die on British Soil.

December 21 First German air raid on Britain

December 25 Unofficial Christmas truce declared by soldiers along the Western Front


1915

January 1 - March 30 Allied offensive in Artois and Champagne

January 15 Japan's 21 demands on China

January 19-20 First German zeppelin attack on England

February 4 German U-boat attacks on Allied and neutral shipping; declares blockade of Britain

February 7-21 Russians suffer heavy losses at Second Battle of Masurian Lakes (also known as the Winter Battle)

February - April Austro-Hungarian attack on Russian Poland (Galicia) collapses, with the Russians counterattacking

February 19-August Allied amphibious attack on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli (initiated by Winston Churchill, who resigns as a consequence) ends with the Turkish siege of the Allied forces

March 1 First passenger ship sinks, the British liner Falaba

March 11 Britain announces blockade of German ports

April-June Germans focus on Eastern Front, breaking through Gorlice-Tarnow and forcing Russia out of much of Poland

April 22 - May 25 First use of poison gas by Germany starts Second Battle of Ypres

April 25 Allied landing at Gallipoli

April 26 France, Russia, Italy and Britain conclude secret Treaty of London

May 2 Austro-German offensive on Galicia begins

May 7 U-boat sinks British liner Lusitania with the loss of American lives, creating a US-German diplomatic crisis

May 9 Second Battle of Artois begins

May 23 Ignoring treaty agreements with the Central Powers, Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary

May 25 British Prime Minister Asquith reorganises his Liberal government as a coalition of the parties

June 29 - December 2 Italians launch unsuccessful attack on Hungarians at 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Battles of Isonzo; there are to be 12 in total

August 4 Germans capture Warsaw

September 5 Tsar Nicholas takes command of Russian armies

September 22 Second Battle of Champagne begins

October 3 Anglo-French force lands at Salonika in Greece

October - November Austro-German-Bulgarian forces invade Serbia, expelling Serbian army from the country

December 19 Sir Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as commander of British Expeditionary Force

December 28 Allies begin withdrawal of troops from Gallipoli

1916

February 21 - December 18 German attack on Verdun in the longest battle of the war, ultimately defended by the French at great cost to both sides

March 11 - November 14 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Battles of Isonzo between Italy and Austria-Hungary

April British forces in Mesopotamia begin advance on Baghdad

March 9 Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico

March 24 French passenger ship, Sussex, torpedoed

April 24 Easter rebellion starts in Ireland

May 4 Germany renounces submarine policy

May 19 Britain and France conclude Sykes-Picot agreement

May 31 - June 1 Battle of Jutland, the biggest naval battle in history, ultimately without a clear victor

June - August Turkish forces, led by Enver Pasha, are defeated by the Russians in the Caucasus

June 4 - September 20 Russian Brusilov offensive in Carpathia nearly knocks Austria-Hungary out of the war

June 5 With British support (led by T.E. Lawrence), Hussein, grand sherif of Mecca, led an Arab revolt against the Turks in the Hejaz

July 1 Start of the Battle of the Somme, with the greatest number of casualties in British military history, 60,000

July 29 US marines land in Haiti

August - December Romania enters the war with the Allies, but is quickly overrun by German forces

August 28 Italy declares war on Germany

August 31 Germany suspends submarine assaults

September 15 Tanks introduced for the first time on the Somme battlefield by the British

October 15 Germany resumes U-boat attacks

November 7-9 US President Woodrow Wilson secures re-election

November 18 End of the Battle of the Somme

November 28 First German airplane (as opposed to zeppelin) air-raid on Britain

November 29 US occupation of Santa Domingo proclaimed

December 7 David Lloyd George replaces Asquith as British Prime Minister

December 12 Germany issues peace note suggesting compromise peace

December 18 US President Woodrow Wilson requests statements of war objectives from warring nations in peace note

1917

January 10 Allies state peace objectives in response to US President Woodrow Wilson's December 1916 peace note

January 31 Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare

February 1 Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare

February 3 US severs diplomatic ties with Germany

February 23 -April 5 German forces begin withdrawal to strong positions on the Hindenburg Line

February 24 Zimmermann Telegram is passed to the US by Britain, detailing alleged German proposal of an alliance with Mexico against the US

February 26 US President Woodrow Wilson requests permission from Congress to arm US merchantmen

March 1 Zimmermann Telegram published in US press

March 11 British capture Baghdad

March 12 US President Woodrow Wilson announces arming of US merchantmen by executive order after failing to win approval from Congress

March 15 Tsar Nicholas II abdicates as a consequence of Russian Revolution

March 20 US President Woodrow Wilson's war cabinet votes unanimously in favour of declaring war on Germany

April 2 US President Woodrow Wilson delivers war address to Congress

April 6 US declares war on Germany

April 9-20 Nivelle Offensive (Second Battle of Aisne, Third Battle of Champagne) ends in French failure

April 9 Canadian success at the Battle of Vimy Ridge

April 16 Lenin arrives in Russia

April 29 - May 20 Mutiny breaks out among French army

May 12 - October 24 10th, 11th and 12th Battles of Isonzo fought, ending in Italian failure

May 28 Pershing leaves New York for France

June 7 British explode 19 large mines under the Messines Ridge

June 15 US Espionage Act passed

June 26 First US troops arrive in France, 1st Division

June 27 Greece enters the war on the side of the Allies

July 2 Pershing makes first request for army of 1,000,000 men

July 6 T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs capture Aquaba

July 11 Pershing revises army request figures upwards to 3,000,000

July 16 Third Battles of Ypres (Passchendaele) begins

July 31 Major British offensive launched at Ypres.

September 1 Germany takes the northernmost end of the Russian front in the Riga offensive

October 24 Austria-Germany breakthrough at Caporetto on Italian front

November 7 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia results in Communist government under Lenin taking office

November 20 British launch surprise tank attack at Cambrai

December 7 US declares war on Austria-Hungary

December 9 Jerusalem falls to Britain

December 22 Russia opens separate peace negotiations with Germany (Brest-Litovsk)

1918

January - September T.E. Lawrence leads Arab guerrillas in successful campaign against Turkish positions in Arabia and Palestine

January 8 US President Woodrow Wilson makes "Fourteen Points" speech to Congress

February 11 US President Woodrow Wilson makes "Four Principles" speech to Congress

March 3 Soviet Russia concludes separate peace negotiations in treaty of Brest-Litovsk

March 21 Germany launches Spring push, eventually mounting five major offensives against Allied forces, starting with the Battle of Picardy against the British

March 26 Doullens Agreement gives General Ferdinand Foch "co-ordinating authority" over the Western Front

April 9 Germany launches second Spring offensive, the Battle of the Lys, in the British sector of Armentieres

April 14 Foch appointed Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces on Western Front

May 25 German U-boats appear in US waters for first time

May 27 Third German Spring offensive, Third Battle of the Aisne, begins in French sector along Chemin des Dames

May 28 US forces (28th Regiment of 1st Division) victorious in first major action, Battle of Cantigny

June 6 US 3rd Division captures Bouresches and southern part of Belleau Wood

June 9 Germans launch fourth Spring offensive, Battle of the Matz, in French sector between Noyan and Montdider

June 15 Italians prevail against Austro-Hungarian forces at Battle of Piave

July 6 US President Woodrow Wilson agrees to US intervention in Siberia

July 15 Final phase of great German Spring push, the Second Battle of Marne, begins

July 16-17 Former Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, and children, are murdered by the Bolsheviks

July 18 Allies counterattack against German forces, seizing initiative

August 3 Allied intervention begins at Vladivosto

August 8 Haig directs start of successful Amiens offensive, forcing all German troops back to the Hindenburg Line; Ludendorff calls it a "black day" for German army

September 12 US forces clear the St.-Mihiel salient, during which the greatest air assault of the war is launched by the US

September 19 Start of British offensive in Palestine, the Battle of Megiddo

September 26 Battle of the Vardar pits Serb, Czech, Italian, French and British forces against Bulgarian forces

September 26 Meuse-Argonne offensive opens; the final Franco-American offensive of the war

September 27 -October 17 Haig's forces storm the Hindenburg Line, breaking through at several points

September 29 Bulgaria concludes armistice negotiations

September 28 -October 14 Belgian troops attack at Ypres

October 3-4 Germany and Austria send peace notes to US President Woodrow Wilson requesting an armistice

October 17 -November 11 British advance to the Sambre and Schledt rivers, taking many German prisoners

October 21 Germany ceases unrestricted submarine warfare

October 27 Erich Ludendorff resigns

October 30 Turkey concludes an armistice with the Allies

November 3 German fleet mutinies at Kiel

November 3 Trieste falls to the Allies; Austria-Hungary concludes an armistice

November 7-11 Germany negotiates an armistice with the Allies in Ferdinand Foch's railway carriage headquarters at Compiegne

November 9 Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates

November 10 Kaiser Wilhelm II flees to Holland

November 10 German republic is founded

November 11 Armistice day; fighting ceases at 11am

1919

January 10-15 Communist revolt in Berlin

January 18 Start of peace negotiations in Paris

January 25 Peace conference accepts principle of a League of Nations

February 6 German National Assembly meets in Weimar

February 14 Draft covenant of League of Nations completed

May 6 Peace conference disposes of German colonies

May 7 - June 28 Treaty of Versailles drafted and signed

June 21 German High Seas Fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow

July 19 Cenotaph is unveiled in London


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