The GREAT WAR


To try to make the sequence of the Great War's main events clearer, I have constructed the following table. While it is subjective and far from exhaustive, I hope that it will give assistance to all those interested in the study of this tragic time in twentieth century history.


A CHRONOLOGY of EVENTS

DATE REGION EVENT

1914

23 June GERMANY A deepened Kiel Canal opened by the Kaiser
28 June BALKANS/Bosnia Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria assassinated at Sarajevo
23 July BALKANS/Belgrade Austrian ultimatum presented to Serbia
25 July BALKANS Serbia orders mobilisation
26 July - Austria starts mobilisation on Russian border
26 July BALKANS Montenegro orders mobilisation
28 July - Austria declares war on Serbia
31 July - Russia announces her general mobilisation
31 July - Austria announces her general mobilisation
31 July - Turkey start mobilisation
01 August - Belgian mobilisation begins
01 August - French mobilisation begins
01 August - Germany orders general mobilisation
Germany declares war on Russia
02 August - German troops invade Luxembourg
German troops start invasion of France
02 August - Germany invades Poland
03 August - Germany declares war on France
04 August - Germany declares war on and invades Belgium
-- 07/08 - Liége captured
-- 20/08 - Brussels captured
04 August - Sir John Jellico takes command of British Fleet
04 August - War declared between Germany and Gt. Britain
05 August - Austria declares war on Russia
07 August -
01 September
EASTERN FRONT Russia invades Prussia
-- 26 - 29/08 Russians defeated at Battle of Tannenberg
10 August -
20 September
EASTERN FRONT Austria invades Poland
10 - 12 August - France and Gt. Britain declare war on Austria
13 - 25 August BALKANS First Austrian invasion of Serbia
20 August -
05 September
WESTERN FRONT Germans advance on Paris
-- 21/08 - French defeated at Charleroi, and
-- 23/08 - Namur
23 August - Japan declares war on Germany
23 August WESTERN FRONT Battle of Mons
26 August WESTERN FRONT Battle of Le Cateau
06 - 10 September WESTERN FRONT Battle of the Marne
-- The "Race to the Sea" begins
07 - 17 September BALKANS Second Austrian invasion of Serbia
14 - 28 September WESTERN FRONT Battle of the R. Aisne
25 - 29 September WESTERN FRONT Battle of Albert
01 - 02 October WESTERN FRONT Battle of Arras
03 October -
01 November
EASTERN FRONT Austro-German invasion of Poland
09 October WESTERN FRONT Antwerp falls
11 October -
20 November
WESTERN FRONT Battle of Flanders:
-- 12/10 - 08/11 Battle of La Bassée
-- 12/10 - 14/11 Battle of Yser
-- 19/10 - 20/11 First Battle of Ypres
29 October - Turkey enters war on the side of Germany
01 November NAVAL Battle of Coronel (off the coast of Chile)
02 - 13 November EASTERN FRONT Second Russian invasion of Prussia
05 November - Gt. Britain declares war on Turkey
08 November -
15 December
BALKANS Third Austrian invasion of Serbia
-- Belgrade captured 02/12

1915

24 January NAVAL Battle of Dogger Bank
03 February MIDDLE EAST Turks make unsuccessful attack on Suez Canal
06 February -
21 March
EASTERN FRONT Russians driven from East Prussia
18 February NAVAL German submarine blockade begins
19 February -
06 April
NAVAL British attacks on the Dardanelles:
-- 26/02 - Entrance cleared
-- 18/03 - Attack on the Narrows fails
08 March -
15 March
WESTERN FRONT Battle of Neuve Chappelle
09 April GALLIPOLI Under Generals Sir Ian Hamilton and d'Amade, British and French forces concentrate outside the Dardanelles
April - July MIDDLE EAST Turkish massacres of 800,000 (?) Armenians
22 April -
24 May
WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of Ypres
25 - 28 April GALLIPOLI British troops land at Gallipoli. Heavy fighting.
28 April -
03 July
EASTERN FRONT Massive Austro - German attacks in Galicia. Severe Russian losses
07 May NAVAL Lusitania torpedoed
09 May WESTERN FRONT Battle of Aubers Ridge
15 - 25 May WESTERN FRONT Battle of Festubert
26 May - British Coalition government formed
26 June - 04 July WESTERN FRONT Battle of the Argonne
15 July -
30 September
EASTERN FRONT Serious Russian defeats in Poland and Western Russia
06 - 10 August GALLIPOLI Landings and Battle of Sulva Bay
19 September -
early December
BALKANS Austro - German invasion of Serbia. Serbia suffers heavy defeats
21 September -
December
SALONIKA Anglo - French attacks in Macedonia.
25 September -
end of October
WESTERN FRONT Franco - British attacks in Champagne and Artois.
-- Battle of Loos
-- 29/09 Vimy Ridge captured
14 - 19 October - Allies declare war on Bulgaria
November GALLIPOLI Decision taken to retire from Dardanelles
19 December WESTERN FRONT General Haig appointed Commander-in-Chief of British forces.
20 December GALLIPOLI Anzac and Sulva Bays evacuated

1916

21 February -
06 December
WESTERN FRONT Battle of Verdun
09 March - Germany declares war on Portugal
21 May WESTERN FRONT British lose Vimy Ridge
31 May -
01 June
NAVAL Battle of Jutland
04 June -
11 August
EASTERN FRONT Brusilov's massive Russian offensive in Galicia and southern Russia.
05 June - Death of Lord Kitchener (Drowned at sea)
01 July -
19 November
WESTERN FRONT Franco - British Offensive:
Battle of the Somme
-- 15/09 First use of tanks
01 August -
03 November
ITALY Severe fighting on Isonzo Front
27 August - Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff take command of German armies
28 August - Rumania declares war on Austria
29 August - Germany declares war on Rumania
04 October -
23 December
EASTERN FRONT Austro - German attacks on Rumania - severe Rumania losses
09 November -
18 November
WESTERN FRONT Battle of the River Ancre - concludes the Battle of the Somme
07 December - LLoyd George succeeds Asquith as British Prime Minister
-- 16/12 - Forms new War Cabinet

1917

01 February - Germany starts policy of unrestricted submarine warfare
03 February - USA severs diplomatic relations with Germany
21 February -
31 March
WESTERN FRONT German retreat to Hindenburg Line
09 March RUSSIA Revolution in Russia:
-- 09/03 - Food riots in Petrograd
-- 13/03 - Provisional government formed
-- 15/03 - Tsar abdicates, and
-- 21/03 - made prisoner
11 March MIDDLE EAST British capture Baghdad
18 March, and after WESTERN FRONT After German retreat:
- British occupy Péronne
- French occupy Noyon
06 April - USA declares war on Germany
09 April WESTERN FRONT Battle of Arras begins
-- Canadians capture Vimy Ridge
16 April WESTERN FRONT Nivelle offensive - Second Battle of the R. Aisne - Chemin des Dames
-- French suffer heavy losses
-- Nivelle dismissed, and
-- 15/05 - succeed by General Pétain
April - August WESTERN FRONT Mutinies in French armies
07 June WESTERN FRONT Start of Battle of Messines
-- British capture Messines - Wytschaete Ridge
25 June WESTERN FRONT First American fighting contingent arrives in France
30 June - Greece breaks off relations with Germany and Austro-Hungary
01 July EASTERN FRONT Russian offensive in Galicia
-- initial success, but
-- 23/07 Russians routed
31 July -
10 November
WESTERN FRONT Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) begins
14 August - China declares war on Germany and Austro-Hungary
19 August -
20 September
ITALY Italy attacks on Isonzo-Carso front
02 - 30 September - Numerous German air-raids on London and south-east England
24 October ITALY Austro-German attacks break through Italian defences
16 November RUSSIA Bolshevist government formed
06 November WESTERN FRONT Village of Passchendaele captured by Canadians
15 November - Clémenceau becomes French Prime Minister
20 November WESTERN FRONT Start of Battle of Cambrai - Massed tanks spearhead attack
25 November - 04 December WESTERN FRONT Many of Battle of Cambrai's initial gains by British lost to German counter-attacks
15 December EASTERN FRONT Peace negotiations started between Russia and Germany at Brest-Litovsk
07 December - USA declares war on Austria
09 December MIDDLE EAST Capture of Jerusalem by General Allenby

1918

03 March EASTERN FRONT Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed between Russia and Central Powers
21 March -
29 April
WESTERN FRONT Great German "Spring" attack launched. The first attack - the Michael offensive- made against the British:
-- 21/03 - British lines penetrated
-- 22/03 - Germans reach the Somme. Péronne lost
-- 26/03 - Albert and Noyon lost
-- 27/03 - Germans checked at River Scarpe
-- 28/03 - French counter-attacks hold Germans in Somme region
-- 23/04 - Heavy German attacks gain Villers-Bretonneux
26 March WESTERN FRONT Allies hold "crisis" conference at Doullens on "Unity of Command"
29 March WESTERN FRONT General Foch appointed to co-ordinate actions of Allies
01 April WESTERN FRONT Royal Air Force created
09 - 29 April WESTERN FRONT Germans attack in Belgium - the Georgette offensive. Very heavy fighting.
-- 15/04 - Bailleul lost
-- 16/04 - Wytschaete and Meteren lost
-- 17/04 - Germans capture Kemmel and Dranoutre
14 April WESTERN FRONT General Foch appointed Commander-in-Chief of all Allied Armies in France
22 - 23 April NAVAL Successful Zeebrugge raid
01 May WESTERN FRONT American troops join front line at Amiens front
24 May - British soldiers landed at Murmansk
27 May -
02 June
WESTERN FRONT Germans attack on the Aisne - the Blucher offensive.
-- 29/05 - French driven back across Aisne, and Germans capture Soissons
-- 30/05 - Germans reach Marne
09 - 13 June WESTERN FRONT Germans attack towards Compiègne - the Gneisenau offensive
-- 11/06 - German advance checked
15 - 23 June ITALY Massive Austrian attack at the Piave river. Eventually repulsed with very heavy losses
15 July -
04 August
WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of the Marne. Fifth and last German attack - the Friedensturm - of their Spring Offensive.
-- 18/07 - Massive Allied counter-attack south-west of the Marne
-- 22/07 - Germans on retreat
-- 02/08 - French retake Soissons
16 July RUSSIA Tsar and family shot at Ekaterinenburg
01 August RUSSIA Allies land soldiers at Archangel
03 August RUSSIA Allied soldiers land at Vladivostock:
-- 03/08 - British
-- 16/08 - Japanese
-- 17/08 - American
06 - 12 August WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of Amiens. Massive Allied attack with 2,000 guns and 200 tanks on 15 mile front drives in German lines.
-- 18/08 - German retreat from Ancre begins
09 - 16 August WESTERN FRONT French advance and capture Lassigny
17 - 20 August WESTERN FRONT French drive Germans from Aisne Heights
21 - 31 August WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of Bapaume. British recapture:
-- 22/08 - Albert
-- 29/08 - Bapaume
-- 31/08 - Péronne
26 August -
03 September
WESTERN FRONT Battle of the Scarpe. British:
-- 26/08 - capture Monchy-le-Preux, and
-- 02/09 - Break through Drocourt-Quéant switch line
03 - 09 September WESTERN FRONT Germans fall back to Hindenburg Line.
British:
-- 04/09 - Force Canal du Nord
-- 04/09 - Retake Ploegsteert, Bailleul, Kemmel, and Neuve Chapelle
-- 06/09 - Americans reach the Aisne
12 - 13 September WESTERN FRONT American capture St. Mihiel salient
14 September WESTERN FRONT Germans retreat to area between Meuse and Moselle
19 - 30 September MIDDLE EAST Successful British offensive in Palestine. Defeat of Turkish armies.
-- 30/09 - British enter Damascus
26 - 29 September WESTERN FRONT Great American attack in the Argonne.
26 - 30 September WESTERN FRONT Successful French attacks in Champagne
26 September -
05 October
WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of Cambrai. British troops attack on 30 mile front between St. Quentin and the Sensée.
28 September -
22 October
WESTERN FRONT Battle of Flanders.
British:
-- 01/10 - reach outskirts of Menin
-- 14/10 - liberate Roulers,
-- 15/10 - Menin,
-- 16/10 - Courtrai,
-- 17/10 - Douai
-- 18/10 - Lille.
Belgians:
-- 17/10 - enter Ostend
-- 17/10 - liberate Zeebrugge and Bruges
28 September WESTERN FRONT Battle of St. Quentin. British, French, and Americans attack on 12 mile front, cross St. Quentin Canal, and capture Bellecourt.
-- 01/10 - French take St. Quentin
-- 03/10 - Hindenburg Line stormed and crossed
29 September EASTERN FRONT Bulgaria signs armistice with Allies, and
-- 30/09 - surrenders
28 September -
18 October
WESTERN FRONT Fierce American fighting in the Argonne Forest, and,
-- 09/10 - Germans evacuate Argonne
05 - 16 October WESTERN FRONT French attack on the Aisne, and,
-- 16/10 cross river
06 - 12 October WESTERN FRONT Second Battle of Le Cateau.
British capture:
-- 08/10 - Cambrai, and
-- 10/10 - Le Cateau
17 October - Proclamation in Prague of Czechoslovakian Republic.
17 - 25 October WESTERN FRONT Battle of the Selle.
-- 20/10 - British cross river.
21 - 31 October WESTERN FRONT Stiff fighting north of Verdun and on Meuse by Americans and French
24 - 30 October ITALY Third Battle of the Piave.
-- 28/10 - River crossed followed by a general Italian-British advance
25 - 30 October MIDDLE EAST Turkish army surrenders to British in Mesopotamia
26 October - Ludendorff resigns
27 October - Austro-Hungary applies to USA for armistice
30 October - Allies sign armistice with Turkey
31 October - Austrian soldiers seek armistice.
Revolution in Vienna.
Hostilities between Allies and Turkey end.
01 - 11 November WESTERN FRONT Franco-American attack on Forêt de Bourgogne. Rapid American advance.
-- 06/11 - French enter Rethel, and Americans, Sedan.
01 - 11 November WESTERN FRONT British advance between Sambre and Scheldt (Battle of Sambre).
British:
-- 02/11 - enter Valenciennes, clear Forêt de Mormal and by
-- 11/11 have liberated Avesnes, Maubeuge, and Mons.
03 November - German sailors mutiny at Kiel
04 November - Hostilities between Austro-Hungary and Allies come to an end
Revolution in Hamburg
08 November WESTERN FRONT Marshal Foch receives German peace delegates
09 November - Revolution in Berlin
10 November - Kaiser abdicates and flees with Crown Prince to Holland.
Germany proclaimed a republic.
11 November WESTERN FRONT British enter Mons
General armistice signed at 5 a.m.
Hostilities come to an end at 11 a.m.
16 November - Allied soldiers begin their move towards Germany
Poland declared an independent and sovereign state
21 November NAVAL German Battle Fleet surrenders to British off Firth of Forth
23 November BALKANS Yugo-Slav state proclaimed
01 December - Allies enter Germany



Copyright © Karl W. Murray, January 1998


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