World War 1 Visual Timeline

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    A Serbian nationalist student, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, when their open car stopped at a corner on its way out of the town.
  • Austria declares war on Serbia

    The Austrian government blamed the Serbian government for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife and declared war on Serbia.Although Russia was allied with Serbia, Germany did not believe that she would mobilise and offered to support Austria if necessary.However, Russia did mobilise and, through their alliance with France, called on the French to mobilise.
  • First Battle of the Marne

  • Beginning of Trench Warfare

  • Sinking of the Lusitania

    There outraged protests from the United States at the German U-boat campaign, when the Lusitania, which had many American passengers aboard, was sank. The Germans moderated their U-boat campaign.
  • Battle of Verdun

    The 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 the Somme

    The 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.
  • Germany begins unrestricted warfare

  • US declares war on Germany

    The United States of America declared war on Germany in response to the sinking, by German U boats, of US ships.
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

  • World War I ends

    At 11 am, in the French town of Redonthes, the Armistice was signed bringing the war to an end.
  • Treaty of Versailles signed