WWI Timeline

  • Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

    Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
    Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are shot to death by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The killings sparked a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I by early August.
  • Germany invades Belgium

    Germany invades Belgium
    The German invasion of Belgium was a military campaign which began on August 4, 1914. The German troops crossed the border and began the Battle of Liège.
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    Battle of Marne

    First Battle of the Marne was an offensive during WWI by the French army and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against the advancing Germans who had invaded Belgium and northeastern France and were within 30 miles of Paris. The French threw back the massive German advance and thwarted German plans for a quick and total victory on the Western Front.
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    Gallipoli Campaign

    Gallipoli Campaign, also called Dardanelles Campaign, was an Anglo-French operation against Turkey, intended to force the 38-mile-long Dardanelles channel and to occupy Constantinople.
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    Battle of Verdun

    Battle of Verdun was a WWI engagement in which the French repulsed a major German offensive. It was one of the longest, bloodiest, and most-ferocious battles of the war; French casualties amounted to about 400,000, German ones to about 350,000. Some 300,000 were killed.
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    Battle of the Somme

    The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire.
  • Death of Grigori Rasputin

    Death of Grigori Rasputin
    Rasputin, a self-proclaimed holy man, is murdered by Russian nobles eager to end his influence over the royal family during the early morning of December 30, 1916 at the home of Felix Yusupov.
  • Tsar Nicholas abdicates

    Tsar Nicholas abdicates
    On March 15, 1917 (according to the western calendar) Tsar Nicholas II abdicated from the Russian throne. This brought to an end the Romanov dynasty that had ruled Russia for over three hundred years.
  • US declares war on Germany

    US declares war on Germany
    On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed joint resolution, ending America's neutral stance on the ongoing global conflict – later deemed a “World War” – and formally declaring war against Imperial German Government.
  • Lenin's return to from exile

    Lenin's return to from exile
    On April 16, 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, returns to Petrograd after a decade of exile to take the reins of the Russian Revolution.
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a separate peace treaty between the new Bolshevik government of Russia and the Central Powers, that ended Russia's participation in World War I. The treaty was signed at German-controlled Brest-Litovsk, after two months of negotiations.
  • Armistice ending WWI

    Armistice ending WWI
    On Nov. 11, 1918, after more than four years of horrific fighting and the loss of millions of lives, the guns on the Western Front fell silent. Although fighting continued elsewhere, the armistice between Germany and the Allies was the first step to ending World War I. The global reaction was one of mixed emotions: relief, celebration, disbelief and a profound sense of loss.
  • Treaty of Versailles signed

    Treaty of Versailles signed
    The Treaty of Versailles was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end.