WWI Timeline

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
    Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were both assassinated by a Bosnian Serb nationalist in Sarajevo. This caused Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. The result of this was a chain reaction of many other countries declaring war as well. Austria, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Britain, Montenegro, and Japan were all at war against each other. Each country was either on the Central Powers, with Germany, or Allied, with Great Britain.
  • Christmas Truce

    Christmas Truce
    On Christmas Day, 1914, soldiers were made to celebrate the holiday on the Western Front. However, the glum mood changed when they heard the sounds of Christmas carols across No Man’s Land. This caused the troops from both sides to venture out and exchange greetings. Thousands of soldiers shared the holiday spirit together in a short and spontaneous truce amongst one another.
  • German Chlorine Gas

    German Chlorine Gas
    On April 22, 1915, the Germans used poison gas for the very first time, in the 2nd battle of Ypres. This is marked as the first successful assault using poison gas on the Western Front. Over 1,100 Allied troops died and over 7,000 suffered from the effects of the chlorine gas. This started an increase in the use of poisonous gases to take out large troops quickly and efficiently. If the gas didn't kill the soldier, it made them immobile and defenseless.
  • Edith Cavell Execution

    Edith Cavell Execution
    Edith was a nursing instructor for the Red Cross and helped save many lives. She was well known in the nursing world and had a huge reputation. Not only was she known as a nurse, but she was also known among the British soldiers as a safe harbor. Considering this, she was violating German military law and her actions were punishable by death. A Frenchman eventually exposed her, which resulted in her capture. After questioning her, she was killed under accusations of being a spy for the Allies.
  • Period: to

    Battle of Jutland

    The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of WWI. The battle was vast and consisted of 250 ships and around 100,000 men. After exchanging naval attacks, the Germans realized they were outgunned and fled from the British fleet. The Germans lost 11 ships, and more than 2,500 men. However, The British lost 14 ships and over 6,000 men. This battle gave evidence of the British’s naval dominance and opened up controls of shipping lanes for the British to use for the maritime blockade.
  • Period: to

    Battle of Somme

    The Battle of Somme is referred to as one of the most deadly and costly battles in human history. It took place along the Western Front, but by the end, the Germans had retreated six miles and both sides suffered from extreme losses. On just the first day alone, 38,000 British soldiers were wounded and 19,240 were killed. These brutal numbers continued for five months. The Allied came out victorious and caused the Germans to reposition themselves in a less secure and strategic location.
  • United States Joins WWI

    United States Joins WWI
    On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Two days later, the vote was in support of declaring war. President Wilson came to his decision when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare. The Germans had torpedoed and sunk an American steamship, the Aztec. This caused the loss of many American lives and spurred the public into wanting to join the Allied.
  • Selective Service Act

    Selective Service Act
    After Congress had passed the Selective Service Act, men between the ages of 21 and 30 were required to join the draft. Before the Act, there were only 73,000 men who volunteered in the Army. On the very first day of the draft, millions of men registered into the military service. However, by the time WWI had ended, approximately 24 million men had drafted under the Selective Service Act. There were three different registration dates, June 5, 1917, June 5, 1918, and finally, September 12, 1918.
  • German's Exploding Hand Grenade

    German's Exploding Hand Grenade
    Harold had brought a wounded German officer back to the medical tent. He then left the tent to go help load another injured soldier into the ambulance, when he heard an explosion. Upon returning to the tent, he found the German officer, who had exploded a hand grenade inside his pocket. This killed the German, along with another injured man lying on a stretcher next to him. After disposing of the two bodies, everyone continued caring for the wounded.
  • Harold Saves Injured Men

    Harold Saves Injured Men
    They always loaded the injured with their heads towards the door so that they could quickly put on their gas masks. To prepare for this, they set the five stretchers on the ground behind the ambulance. Suddenly, the brake slipped and the ambulance started rolling down towards the injured and defenseless men on the ground. In quick thinking, Harold stuck his foot out under the nearest wheel to hold the rig. He then kept his foot there until someone went around to the front and reset the brake.
  • Harold Joins the US Army

    Harold Joins the US Army
    On October 17, 1917, Harold was released from the French Army and sworn into the US Army, as a Cadet in the Air Corps. Harold said that the flying requirements were “...safely getting the plane in the air, fly in the air, and get the plane back down on the ground with a safe landing, he was required to cut his engine at a variety of specified heights, and land on a spot marked on the airfield.”. Once these requirements were met they received a French Brevet since the school was under the French.
  • Life in Issoudun

    Life in Issoudun
    Harold talked about how horrible the sleeping quarters were in Issoudun. He said it was impossible to sleep because of how cold it was. The beds were four posts strung with chicken wire instead of bed springs. Many men walked around all night looking for a stove to help warm them up. Along with this, the little amount of food that they were given was poor quality. These things together made Harold regret joining the United States Army.
  • "Most Completely Furnished Toilet in the Camp"

    "Most Completely Furnished Toilet in the Camp"
    One morning, Harold and some other men were tasked with building an outhouse. Once they finished building the exterior, they were stumped on how to design the toilet seats. After discussing how to continue, they decided to find the biggest man in the group and have him sit on the board so they could trace around his seat. They then did this with a medium-sized man and lastly one of the smaller men. Once the outhouse was completed, it was voted “the most completely furnished toilet in the camp”.
  • Harold is Sent on a Mission

    Harold is Sent on a Mission
    Harold was sent, along with 3 others, up to General William Mitchell at First Army Headquarters. Following this, they went straight to the hangar and flew to their new airfield. After arriving, they were told to report to General Mitchell. The General told them that their job was to fly over the Boise de Consonvoy to learn what was within the dense forest. This information would help them know what artillery to prepare, and if the Americans needed to fall back to allow the French to catch up.
  • Treaty of Versailles

    Treaty of Versailles
    The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palace of Versailles on June 28, 1919, in Paris. It wrote out peace terms between Germany and the Allies. The treaty held Germany responsible for starting the war and demanded that Germany pay the huge sum of Allied war losses. The total payment was 132 billion gold Reichsmarks, which is about $33 billion. The intent was to limit Germany's economic recovery and prevent it from being strong enough to cause another world war.