World War I Major Events

  • June 28th, 1914

    On this day, the archduke, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated. This sparked a chain reaction that caused the biggest war Europe, and the world, had ever seen.
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    World War I

  • Austria Rejects Serbia's Request

    On July 28, Austria rejected Serbia’s offer and declared
    war. That same day, Serbia’s ally, Russia, took action. Russian leaders ordered the mobilization of troops toward the Austrian border.
  • August, 1914

    Germany declares war on Russia.
  • September, 1914

    Russia fared somewhat better against the Austrians. Russian forces defeated the Austrians twice in September 1914, driving them deep into Austria. Not until December of that year did the Austrian army—with German assistance—manage to turn the tide.
  • September 5th, 1914

    On September 5, the Allies attacked the Germans northeast of Paris, in the valley of the Marne River.
  • February, 1915

    By early 1915, opposing armies on the Western Front had dug
    miles of parallel trenches to protect themselves from enemy fire. This set the stage for what became known as trench warfare.
  • February, 1916

    In February, the Germans launched a massive
    attack against the French near Verdun. Each side lost more than 300,000 men.
  • July, 1916

    In July of 1916, the British army tried to relieve the pressure on the French. British forces attacked the Germans northwest of Verdun, in the valley of the Somme
    River. In the first day of battle alone, more than 20,000 British soldiers were killed. By the time the Battle of the Somme ended in November, each side had suffered over half a million casualties.
  • January, 1917 - German Strategy

    In January 1917, the Germans announced that their submarines would sink without warning any ship in the waters around Britain. This policy was called unrestricted submarine warfare.
  • United States Enters The War

    On this date, the U.S. enters the war on the side of the allies. The war had already taken the lives of millions, spanning over three years.
  • November, 1917

    In November 1917, Communist leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power. Lenin insisted on ending his country’s involvement in the war.
  • March, 1918

    In March 1918, Germany and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended the war between them.
  • July, 1918

    In July 1918, the Allies and Germans clashed at the Second Battle of the Marne.
    Leading the Allied attack were some 350 tanks that rumbled slowly forward, smashing through the German lines. With the arrival of 2 million more American troops, the Allied forces began to advance steadily toward Germany.
  • World War I Ends

    Germany and Paris sign an armistice in a rail car, in the middle of a forest, ending the war.
  • Treay of Versailles Signed

    The Treaty of Versailles between Germany and the Allied powers was signed on June 28, 1919 — five years to the day after Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo.