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World War 1

  • Archduke Assassination

    Archduke Assassination
    Extended Info on Assassination Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo. His death is the event that sparks World War I.
  • Russia Mobilizes

    Russia Mobilizes
    Russia mobilizes its vast army to intervene against Austria-Hungary in favor of its ally, Serbia. This move starts a chain reaction that leads to the mobilization of the rest of the European Great Powers, and inevitably to the outbreak of hostilities.
  • World War 1 Begins

    World War 1 Begins
    Germany invades Belgium to attack France, beginning World War I.
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    Battle of Tannenberg

    The Battle of TannenbergThe Russian army marched into Prussia. However, because of the differences in railway gauge between Russia and Prussia it was difficult for the Russians to get supplies through to their men. The Germans, on the other hand, used their railway system to surround the Russian Second army at Tannenberg before it's commander could realise what was happening. The ensuing battle was a heavy defeat for the Russians with thousands of men killed and 125,000 taken prisoner.
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    First Battle of the Masurian Lakes

    Having defeated the Russian Second army, the Germans turned their attention to the Russian First army at Masurian Lakes. Although the Germans were unable to defeat the army completely, over 100,000 Russians were taken prisoner.
  • Turkey

    Turkey entered the war on the side of the central powers and gave help to a German naval bombardment of Russia.
  • Russia Declared War on Turkey

    Because of the help given by Turkey to the German attack of Russia, Russia declared war on Turkey.
  • Germans Fire

    Germans Fire
    The Germans fire shells filled with chlorine gas at Allied lines. This is the first time that large amounts of gas are used in battle, and the result is the near-collapse of the French lines. However, the Germans are unable to take advantage of the breach.
  • Lusitania Sinks

    Lusitania Sinks
    Sinking of the LusitaniaA German submarine sinks the passenger liner Lusitania. The ship carries 1,198 people, 128 of them Americans.
  • Italy

    Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies.
  • First Tanks

    First Tanks
    The British employ the first tanks ever used in battle, at Delville Wood. Although they are useful at breaking through barbed wire and clearing a path for the infantry, tanks are still primitive and they fail to be the decisive weapon, as their designers thought they would be.
  • Germany Limits Submarines

    Germany Limits Submarines
    Reacting to international outrage at the sinking of the Lusitania and other neutral passenger lines, Kaiser Wilhelm suspends unrestricted submarine warfare. This is an attempt to keep the United States out of the war, but it severely hampers German efforts to prevent American supplies from reaching France and Britain.
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    Battle of Verdun

    The Battle of VerdunThe Germans mounted an attack on the French at Verdun designed to 'bleed the French dry'. Although the fighting continued for nine months, the battle was inconclusive. Casualties were enormous on both sides with the Germans losing 430,000 men and the French 540,000.
  • Battle of Jutland

    Battle of Jutland
    The Battle of JutlandThis was the only truly large-scale naval battle of the war. German forces, confined to port by a British blockade, came out in the hope of splitting the British fleet and destroying it ship by ship. However, the British admiral, Beatty, aware that the German tactics were the same as those used by Nelson at Trafalgar, sent a smaller force to lure the German's into the range of Admiral Jellicoe's main fleet. Although Beatty's idea worked, the exchange of fire was brief and the German's withdrew.
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    Battle of the Somme

    The Battle of SommeThe battle was preceded by a week long artillery bombardment of the German line which was supposed to destroy the barbed wire defences placed along the German line but only actually succeeded in making no mans land a mess of mud and craters. The five month long battle saw the deaths of 420,000 British soldiers (60,000 on the first day), 200,000 French soldiers and 500,000 German soldiers all for a total land gain of just 25 miles.
  • First Aeroplane Raid

    First Aeroplane Raid
    The War in the AirThe first German air raid on London took place. The Germans hoped that by making raids on London and the South East, the British Air Force would be forced into protecting the home front rather than attacking the German air force.
  • Lloyd George Becomes Prime Minister

    Lloyd George Becomes Prime Minister
    Lloyd George became Prime Minister of the war time coalition. His war cabinet, unlike that of his predecessor, met every day. However, there was considerable disagreement among the members of the Cabinet, especially between Lloyd George and his war secretary, Sir Douglas Haig. Lloyd George suspected Haig of squandering life needlessly and was suspicious of his demands for more men and freedom of action in the field.
  • Zimmerman Telegram

    Zimmerman Telegram
    British intelligence gives Wilson the so-called Zimmermann Telegram, a message from German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann proposing that Mexico side with Germany in case of war between Germany and the United States. In return, Germany promises to return to Mexico the "lost provinces" of Texas and much of the rest of the American Southwest. Mexico declines the offer, but the outrage at this interference in the Western Hemisphere pushes American public opinion to support entering the war.
  • Wilson For War

    Wilson For War
    With German submarine warfare continuing unabated, the final straw came on April 1, 1917, when the armed U.S. steamer Aztec was torpedoed near Brest. The next day, Wilson stepped before Congress to deliver his historic war message, making clear exactly how high he considered the stakes of the war to be. Despite the risks, Wilson felt the U.S. could not stand by any longer; the nation had an obligation to step forward and fight for the principles upon which it had been founded.
  • U.S. Enters War

    Congress authorizes a declaration of war against Germany. The United States enters World War I on the side of France and Britain.
  • Selective Service Act

    Selective Service Act
    Congress passes the Selective Service Act authorizing the draft. Although criticized for destroying democracy at home while fighting for it abroad, President Wilson claims he sees no other option and signs the bill into law.
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    Battle of Passchendaele

    The Battle of PasschendaeleThe operation commanded by the French General, Nivelle, went wrong and caused the loss of many French soldiers. Haig protested to the British government and advocated trying his own scheme for a breakthrough. At the resulting battle of Passchendale, Haig broke his promise to call off the battle if the first stage failed because he did not want to lose face with the government.
  • Germany and Russia Peace

    Germany and Russia Peace
    Treaty of Litovsk The Germans sign a peace treaty with the new Bolshevik government of Russia. The terms of the treaty give Germany huge tracts of land that had been the Ukraine and Poland, and peace on the Eastern Front allows Germany to shift soldiers to the Western Front, causing serious problems for the French, British, and Americans.
  • Battle of Cantigny

    Battle of Cantigny
    The Battle of CantignyThe Battle of Cantigny is the first major American offensive of the war. Though small in scale, the Americans fight bravely and soon go on to larger attacks against German positions.
  • Chateau-Thierry

    The Americans attack the Germans at Chateau-Thierry. This battle would morph into the larger Battle of Belleau Wood.
  • Battle of Belleau Wood

    Battle of Belleau Wood
    The Battle of Belleau WoodThe Battle of Belleau Wood begins as the U.S. Marine Corps attacks the Germans across an open field of wheat, suffering huge casualties.
  • Belleau Wood Ends

    The Battle of Belleau Wood ends with the final expulsion of the Germans from the wood, which marks the farthest German advance on Paris. The area has changed hands six times during the three-week battle, which has caused nearly 10,000 American casualties.
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    Battle of Amiens

    The Battle of Amiens The British general, Haig, ordered the attack of the German sector at Amiens. At the same time the news came through that the allies had broken through from Salonika and forced Bulgaria to sue for peace.
  • Battle of St. Mihiel

    Battle of St. Mihiel
    The Battle of St. Mihiel begins when 300,000 American troops under the direct command of General Pershing fling themselves into the German lines.
  • Armistice with Turkey

    The allies had successfully pushed the Turkish army back and the Turks were forced to ask for an armistice. The terms of the armistice treaty allowed the allies access to the Dardenelles.
  • Armistice Day

    Armistice Day
    An Armistice is signed ending fighting on the Western Front.
  • Wilhelm Abdicates

    Wilhelm Abdicates
    Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates, ending all German hope for a victory. He and his retinue quietly slip over the border into the Netherlands where he lives out the remainder of his life in relative peace and writes a self-promoting memoir defending his actions in the war.