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World War 1 Timeline



A Brief Historical Summary of the World War
Source: "Williamson County, Illinois, in the World War : containing a brief review of the World War, complete history of Williamson County's activities, photographs and service records of Williamson County's soldiers, sailors and marines, industrial review of business and professional firms who have made this history possible" by S. S. Baird, Marion: Williamson County War History Society, c1919

Submitted by K. Torp


June 28 Archduke Ferdinand and wife assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

July 28 AustriaHungary declares war on Serbia.

Aug. 1 Germany declares war on Russia and general mobilization is under way in France and A ustriaHungary.

Aug. 2 German troops enter France at Cirey; Russian troops enter Germany at Schwidden; German army enters Luxemburg over protest and Germany asks Belgium for free passage of her troops.

Aug. 3 British fleet mobilizes; Belgium appeals to Great Britain for diplomatic aid and German ambassador quits Paris.

Aug. 4 France declares war on Germany; Germany declares war on Belgium; Great Britain sends Belgium neutrality ultimatum to Germany; British army mobilized and state of war between Great Britain and Germany is declared. President Wilson issues neutrality proclamation.

Aug. 5 Germans begin fighting on Belgium frontier; Germany asks for Italy's help.

Aug. 6 Austria declares war on Russia.

Aug. 7 Germans defeated by French at Altkirch.

Aug. 8 Germans capture Liege. Portugal announces it will support Great Britain; British land troops in France.

Aug. 10 France declares war on AustriaHungary.

Aug. 12 Great Britain declares war on AustriaHungary; Montenegro declares war on Germany.

Aug. 15 Japan sends ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from Japanese and Chinese waters and evacuate Kiaochow; Russia offers autonomy to Poland.

Aug. 20 German army enters Brussels.

Aug. 23 Japan declares war on Germany; Russia victorious in battles in East Prussia.

Aug. 24 Japanese warships bombard Tsingtao.

Aug. 25 Japan and Austria break off diplomatic relations.

Aug. 28 English win naval battle over German fleet near Helgoland.

Aug. 29 Germans defeat Russians at Allenstein; occupy Amiens; advance to La Fere, sixtyfive miles from Paris.

Sept. 1 Germans cross Marne; bombs dropped on Paris; Turkish army mobilized; Zeppelins drop bombs on Antwerp.

Sept. 2 Government of France transferred to Bordeaux; Russians capture Lemberg.

Sept. 4 Germans cross the Marne.

Sept. 5 England, France, and Russia sign pact to make no separate peace.

Sept. 6 French win battle of Marne; British cruiser Pathfinder sunk in North Sea by a German submarine.

Sept. 7 Germans retreat from the Marne.

Sept. 14 Battle of Aisne starts; German retreat halted.

Sept. 15 First battle of Soissons fought.

Sept. 20 Russians capture Jaroslau and begin siege of Przemysl.

Oct. 910 Germans capture Antwerp.

Oct. 12 Germans take Ghent.

Oct. 20 Fighting along Yser river begins.

Oct. 29 Turkey begins war on Russia.

Nov. 1 British cruiser fleet destroyed in action off coast of Chile.

Nov. 7 Tsingtao falls before Japanese troops.

Nov. 9 German cruiser Emden destroyed.

Dec. 8 German fleet destroyed in battle off Falkland islands.

Dec. 11 German advance on Warsaw checked.

Dec. 14 Belgrade recaptured by Serbians.

Dec. 16 German cruisers bombard Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby, on English coast, killing fifty or more persons; Austrians said to have lost upwards of 100,000 men in Serbian defeat.

Dec. 25 Italy occupies Avlona, Albania.


Jan. 1 British battleship Formidable sunk.

Jan. 8 Roumania mobilizes 750,000 men; violent fighting in the Argonne.

Jan. 11 Germans cross the Rawka, thirty miles from Warsaw.

Jan. 24 British win naval battle in North Sea.

Jan. 29 Russian army invades Hungary; German efforts to cross Aisne repulsed.

Feb. 1 British repel strong German attack near La Bassee.

Feb. 2 Turks are defeated in attack on Suez canal.

Feb. 4 Russians capture Tarnow in Galicia.

Feb. 8 Turks along Suez canal in full retreat; Turkish land defenses at the Dardanelles shelled by British torpedo boats.

Feb. 11 Germans evacuate Lodz.

Feb. 12 Germans drive Russians from positions in East Prussia, taking 26.000 prisoners.

Feb. 14 Russians report capture of fortifications at Smolnik.

Feb. 16 Germans capture Plock and Bielsk in Poland; French capture two miles of German trenches in Champagne district.

Feb. 17 Germans report they have taken 50.000 Russian prisoners in Mazurian lake district.

Feb. 18 German blockade of English and French coasts put into effect.

Feb. 1920 British and French fleets bombard Dardanelles forts.

Feb. 21 American steamer Evelyn sunk by mine in North sea.

Feb. 22 German war office announces capture of 100000 Russian prisoners in engagements in Mazurian lake region; American steamer Carib sunk by mine in North sea.

Feb. 28 Dardanelles entrance forts capitulate to English and French.

March 4 Landing of allied troops on both sides of Dardanelles straits reported; German U4 sunk by French destroyers.

March 10 Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins.

March 14 German cruiser Dresden sunk in Pacific by English.

March 18 British battleships Irresistible and Ocean and French battleship Bouvet sunk in Dardanelles strait.

March 22 Fort of Przemysl surrenders to Russians.

March 23 Allies land troops on Gallipoli peninsula.

March 25 Russians victorious over Austrians in Carpathians.

April 8 German auxiliary cruiser. Prinz Eitel Friederich, interned at Newport News, Va.

April 16 Italy has 1,200.000 men mobilized under arms; Austrians report complete defeat of Russians in Carpathian campaign.

April 23 Germans force way across Ypres canal and lake 1 600 prisoners.

April 25 Allies stop German drive on Ypres line in Belgium.

April 29 British report regaining of twothirds of lost ground in Ypres battle.

May 7 Liner Lusltania torpedoed and sunk by German submarine off the coast of Ireland with the loss of more than 1 000 lives. 102 Americans.

May 9 French advance two and onehalf miles against German forces north of Arras, taking 2.000 prisoners.

May 23 Italy declares war on Austria.

June 3 Germans recapture Przemysl with Austrian help.

June 18 British suffer defeat north of La Bassee canal.

June 28 Italians enter Austrian territory south of Riva on western shore of Lake Garda.

July 3 Tolmino falls into Italian hands.

July 9 British make gains north of Ypres and French retake trenches in the Vosges.

July 13 Germans defeated in the Argonne.

July 29 Warsaw evacuated ; Lublin captured by Austrians.

Aug. 4 Germans occupy Warsaw.

Aug. 14 Austrians and Germans concentrate 400000 soldiers on Serbian frontier.

Aug. 21 Italy declares war on Turkey.

Sept. 1 Ambassador Bernstorff announces Germans will sink no more liners without warning.

Sept. 4 German submarine torpedoes liner Hesperian.

Sept. 9 Germans make air raid on London, killing twenty persons and wounding 100 others; United States asks Austria to recall Ambassador Dumba.

Sept. 20 Germans begin drive on Serbia to open route to Turkey.

Sept. 22 Russian army retreating from Vilna, escapes German encircling movement.

Sept. 25-30 Battle of Champagne, resulting in great advance for allied armies and causing Kaiser Wilhelm " to rush to the west front; German counter attacks repulsed.

Oct. 5 Russia and Bulgaria sever diplomatic relations; Russian, French. British, Italian, and Serbian diplomatic representatives ask for passports in Sofia.

Oct. 10 Gen. Mackensen's forces lake Belgrade.

Oct. 12 Edith Cavell executed by Germans.

Oct. 13 Bulgaria declares war on Serbia.

Oct. 15 Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria.

Oct. 16 France declares war on Bulgaria.

Oct. 19 Russia and Italy declare war on Bulgaria.

Oct. 27 Germans join Bulgarians in northeastern Serbia and open way to Constantinople.

Oct. 30 Germans defeated at Mitau.

Nov. 9 Italian liner Ancona torpedoed.

Dec. 1 British retreat from near Bagdad.

Dec. 4 Ford "peace party" sails for Europe.

Dec. 89 Allies defeated in Macedonia.

Dec. 15 Sir John Douglas Haig succeeds Sir John French as chief of English armies on west front.


Jan. 8 British troops at Kutel Amara surrounded.

Jan. 9 British evacuate Gallipoli peninsula.

Jan. 13 Austrians capture Cetinje, capital of Montenegro.

Jan. 23 Scutari, capital of Albania, captured by Austrians.

Feb. 22 Crown prince's army begins attack on Verdun.

March 8 Germany declares war on Portugal.

March 15 Austria-Hungary declares war on Portugal.

March 24 Steamer Sussex torpedoed and sunk.

April 18 President Wilson sends note to Germany.

April 10 P resident Wilson speaks to congress, explaining diplomatic situation.

April 24 Insurrection in Dublin.

April 29 British troops at KutelAmara surrender to Turks.

April 30 Irish revolution suppressed.

May 3 Irish leaders of insurrection executed.

May 4 Germany makes promise to change methods of submarine warfare.

May 13 Austrians begin great offensive against Italians in Trentino.

May 31 Great naval battle off Danish coast. (Battle of Jutland.)

June 5 Lord Kitchener lost with cruiser Hampshire.

June 11 Russians capture Dubno.

June 29 Sir Roger Casement sentenced to be hanged for treason.

July 1 British and French begin great offensive on the Somme.

July 6 David Lloyd George appointed secretary of war.

July 9 German merchant submarine Deutschland arrives at Baltimore.

July 23 Gen. Kuropatkin's army wins battle near Riga.

July 27 English take Delville wood; Serbian forces begin attach on Bulgars in Macedonia.

Aug. 2 French take Fleury.

Aug. 3 Sir Roger Casement executed for treason.

Aug. 4 French recapture Thiaumont for fourth time; British repulse Turkish attack on Suez canal.

Aug. 7 Italians on Isonzo front capture Monte Sabotino and Monte San Michele.

Aug. 8 Turks force Russian evacuation of Bitlis and Mush.

Aug. 9 Italians cross Isonzo river and occupy Austrian city of Goeritz.

Aug. 10 Austrians evacuate Stanislau; allies take Doiran, near Saloniki, from Bulgarians.

Aug. 19 German submarines sink British light cruisers Nottingham and Falmouth.

Aug. 24 French occupy Maurepas, north of the Somme; Russians recapture Mush in Armenia.

Aug. 27 Italy declares war on Germany; Roumanla enters war on side of allies.

Aug. 29 Field Marshal von Hindenburg made chief of staff of German armies, succeeding Gen. von Falkenhayn.

Aug. 30 Russian armies seize all five passes in Carpathians into Hungary.

Sept. 3 Allies renew offensive north of Somme; Bulgarian and German troops invade Dobrudja, in Roumania.

Sept. 7 Germans and Bulgarians capture Roumanian fortress of Tutrakan; Roumanians take Orsova, Bulgarian city.

Sept. 10 G e r m a nBulgarian army capture Roumanian fortress of Silistria.

Sept. 14 British for first time use "tanks."

Sept. 15 Italians begin new offensive on Carso.

Oct. 2 Roumanian army of invasion in Bulgaria defeated by Germans and Bulgarians under Von Mackensen.

Oct. 4 German submarines sink French cruiser Gallia and Cunard liner Franconia.

Oct. 8 G e r m a n submarines sink six merchant steamships off Nantucket, Mass.

Oct. 11 Greek seacoast forts dismantled and turned over to allies on demand of England and France.

Oct. 23 GermanBulgar armies capture Constanza, Roumania.

Oct. 24 French win back Douamont, Thiaumont field work. Haudromont quarries, and Caillette wood near Verdun, in smash of two miles.

Nov. 1 Italians, in new offensive on the Carso plateau, capture 5,000 Austrians.

Nov. 2 Germans evacuate Fort Vaux at Verdun.

Nov. 5 Germans and Austrians proclaim new kingdom of Poland, of territory captured from Russia.

Nov. 6 Submarine sinks British passenger steamer Arabia.

Nov. 7 Cardinal Mercier protests against German deportation of Belgians; submarine sinks American steamer Columbian.

Nov. 8 Russian army invades Transylvania, Hungary.

Nov. 9 AustroGerman armies defeat Russians in Volhynia and take 4,000 prisoners.

Nov. 13 British launch new offensive in Sommu region on both sides of Ancre.

Nov. 14 British capture fortified village of Beacourt, near the Ancre.

Nov. 19 Serbian, French and Russian troops recapture Monastir; Germans cross Transylvania Alps and enter western Roumania..

Nov. 21 British hospital ship Britannic sunk by mine in Egean sea.

Nov. 23 Roumanian army retreats ninety miles from Bucharest.

Nov. 24 GermanBulgarian armies take Orsova and TurnuSeverin from Roumanians.

Nov. 25 Greek provisional government declares war on Germany and Bulgaria.

Nov. 28 Roumanian government abandons Bucharest and moves capital to Jassy.

Dec. 5 Premier Herbert Asquith of England resigns.

Dec. 7 David Lloyd George accepts British premiership.

Dec. 8 Gen. von Mackensen captures big Roumanian army in Prohova valley.

Dec. 12 Chancellor von BethmanHollweg announces in reichstag that Germany will propose peace; new cabinet in France under Aristide Briand as premier, and Gen. Robert Georges Nivelie given chief of command of French army.

Dec. 15 French at Verdun win two miles of front and capture 11.000.

Dec. 19 Lloyd George declines German peace proposals.

Dec. 23 Baron Burian succeeded as minister of foreign affairs in Austria by Count Czernin.

Dec. 26 German proposes to President Wilson "an immediate meeting of delegates of the belligerents."

Dec. 27 Russians defeated in fiveday battle in eastern Wallachia, Roumania.


Jan. 1 Submarine sinks British transport Ivernia.

Jan. 9 Russian premier, Trepoff, resigns. Golitzin succeeds him.

Jan. 31 Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare.

Feb. 3 President Wilson reviews submarine controversy before congress; United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany; American steamer Housatonic sunk without warning.

Feb. 7 Senate indorses president's act of breaking off diplomatic relations.

Feb. 12 United States refuses German request to discuss matters of difference unless Germany withdraws unrestricted submarine warfare order.

Feb. 14 Von Bernstorff sails for Germany.

Feb. 25 British under Gen. Maude capture KutelAmara; submarine sinks liner Laconia without warning; many lost, including two Americans.

Feb. 26 President Wilson asks congress for authority to arm American merchantships.

Feb. 28 Secretary Lansing makes public Zimmerman note to Mexico, proposing MexicanJapaneseGerman alliance.

March 9 President Wilson calls extra session of congress for April 16.

March 11 British under Gen. Maude capture Bagdad; revolution starts in Petrograd.

March 15 Czar Nicholas of Russia abdicates.

March 17 French and British capture Bapaume.

March 18 New French ministry is formed by Alexander Ribot.

March 21 Russian forces cross Persian border into Turkish territory; American oil steamer Healdton torpedoed without warning.

March 22 United States recognizes new government of Russia.

March 27 Gen. Murray's British expedition into the Holy Land defeats Turkish army near Gaza.

April 2 President Wilson asks congress to declare that acts of Germany constitute a state of war; submarine sinks American steamer Aztec without warning.

April 4 United States senate passes resolution declaring a state of war exists with Germany.

April 6 House passes war resolution and President Wilson signs joint resolution of congress.

April 8 Austria declares severance of diplomatic relations with United States.

April 9 British defeat Germans at Vimy Ridge and take 6,000 prisoners; United States seizes fourteen Austrian interned ships.

April 20 Turkey severs diplomatic relations with the U. S.

April 28 Congress passes selective service act for raising of army of 500,000; Guatemala severs diplomatic relations with Germany.

May 7 War department orders raising of nine volunteer regiments of engineers to go to France.

May 14 Espionage act becomes law by passing senate.

May 18 President Wilson signs selective service act. Also directs expeditionary force of regulars under Gen. Pershing to go to France.

May 19 Congress passes war appropriation bill of $3,000000,000.

June 5 Nearly 10,000,000 men in U. S. register for military training.

June 12 King Constantine of Greece abdicates.

June 13 Gen. Pershing and staff arrive in Paris.

June 15 First Liberty loan closes with large oversubscription.

June 26 First contingent American troops under Gen. Sibert arrives in France.

June 29 Greece severs diplomatic relations with Teutonic allies.

July 9 President Wilson drafts state militia into federal service. Also places food and fuel under federal control.

July 13 War department order drafts 678,000 men into military service.

July 14 Aircraft appropriation bill of $640,000.000 passes house; Chancellor von BethmannHollweg's resignation forced by German political crisis.

July 18 United States government orders censorship of telegrams and cablegrams crossing frontiers.

July 19 New German Chancellor Michaelis declares Germany will not war for conquest; radicals and Catholic party ask peace without forced acquisitions of territory.

July 22 Siam declares war on Germany.

July 23 Premier Kerensky given unlimited powers in Russia.

July 28 United States war industries board created to supervise expenditures.

Aug. 25 Italian Second army breaks through Austrian line on Isonzo front.

Aug. 28 President Wilson rejects Pope Benedict's peace plea.

Sept. 10 Gen. Korniloff demands control of Russian government.

Sept. 11 Russian deputies vote to support Kerensky. Korniloff's generals ordered arrested.

Sept. 16 Russia proclaims new republic by order of Premier Kerensky.

Sept. 20 Gen. Haig advances mile through German lines at Ypres.

Sept. 21 Gen. Tasker H. Bliss named chief of staff, U. S. army.

Oct. 16 Germans occupy islands of Runo and Adro in the Gulf of Riga.

Oct. 25 French under Gen. Petain advance and take 12,000 prisoners on Aisne front.

Oct. 27 Formal announcement made that American troops in France had fired their first shots in the war.

Oct. 29 Italian Isonzo front collapses and AustroGerman army reaches outposts of Udine.

Nov. 1 Secretary Lansing makes public the Luxburg "spurlos versenkt" note.

Nov. 9 Permanent interallied military commission created.

Nov. 24 Navy department announces capture of first German submarine by American destroyer.

Nov. 28 Bolsheviki get absolute control of Russian assembly in Russian elections.

Dec. 6 Submarine sinks the Jacob Jones, first regular warship of American navy destroyed.

Dec. 7 Congress declares war on AustriaHungary.

Dec. 8 Jerusalem surrenders to Gen. Allenby's forces.


Jan. 5 President Wilson delivers speech to congress giving "fourteen points" necessary to peace.

Jan. 20 British monitors win seafight with cruisers Goeben and Breslau, sinking latter.

Jan. 28 Russia and Roumania sever diplomatic relations.

Feb. 2 United States troops take over their first sector, near Toul.

Feb. 6 United States troopship Tuscania sunk by submarine, 126 lost.

Feb. 11 President Wilson, in address to congress, gives four additional peace principles, including self determination of nations; Bolsheviki declares war with Germany over, but refuse to sign peace treaty.

Feb. 13 Bolo Pasha sentenced to death in France for treason.

Feb. 25 Germans take Reval, Russian naval base, and Pskov; Chancellor von Hertling agrees "in principle" with President Wilson's peace principles, in address to reichstag.

March 1 Americans repulse German attack on Toul sector.

March 2 Treaty of peace with Germany signed by Bolsheviki at BrestLitovsk.

March 4 Germany and Roumania sign armistice on German terms.

March 13 German troops occupy Odessa.

March 14 All Russian congress of Soviets ratifies peace treaty.

March 21 German spring offensive starts on fifty mile front. British prisoners and 200 guns.

March 23 German drive gains nine miles. "Mystery gun" shells Paris.

March 24 Germans reach the Somme, gaining fifteen miles. American engineers rushed to aid British.

March 25 Germans take Bapaume.

March 27 Germans take Albert.

March 28 British counter attack and gain; French take three towns: Germans advance toward Amiens.

March 29 "Mystery gun" kills seventyfive churchgoers in Paris on Good Friday.

April 4 Germans start second phase of their spring drive on the Somme.

April 10 Germans take 10000 British prisoners in Flanders.

April 16 Germans capture Messines ridge, near Ypres; Bolo Pasha executed.

April 23 British and French navies "bottle up" Zeebrugge.

April 26 Germans capture Mount Kemmel, taking 6,500 prisoners.

May 5 Austria starts drive on Italy.

May 10 British navy bottles up Ostend.

May 24 British ship Moldavia, carrying American troops, torpedoed; 56 lost.

May 27 Germans begin third phase of drive on west front; gain five miles.

May 28 Germans take 15,000 prisoners in drive.

May 29 Germans take Soissons and menace Reims. American troops capture Cantigny.

May 30 Germans reach the Marne, fiftyfive miles from Paris.

May 31 Germans take 45,000 prisoners in drive.

June 1 Germans advance nine miles; are fortysix miles from Paris.

June 3 Five German submarines attack U. S. coast and sink eleven ships.

June 5 U. S. marines fight on the Marne near Chateau Thierry.

June 9 Germans start fourth phase of their drive by advancing toward Noyon.

June 10 Germans gain two miles. U. S. marines capture south end of Belleau wood.

June 12 French and Americans start counter attack.

June 15 Austrians begin another drive on Italy and take 16,000 prisoners.

June 17 Italians check Austrians on Piave river.

June 19 Austrians cross the Piave.

June 22 Italians defeat Austrians on the Piave.

June 23 Austrians begin great retreat across the Piave.

July 18 Gen. Foch launches allied offensive, with French, American, British, Italian and Belgian troops.

July 21 Americans and French capture Chateau Thierry.

July 30 German crown prince flees from the Marne and withdraws army.

Aug. 2 Soissons recaptured by Foch.

Aug. 4 Americans take Fismes.

Aug. 5 American troops landed at Archangel.

Aug. 7 Americans cross the Vesle.

Aug. 16 Bapaume recaptured.

Aug. 28 French recross the Somme.

Sept. 1 Foch retakes Peronne.

Sept. 12 Americans launch successful attack in St. Mihiel salient.

Sept. 28 Allies win on 250 mile line, from North sea to Verdun.

Sept. 29 Allies cross Hindenburg line.

Sept. 30 Bulgaria surrenders, after successful allied campaign in Balkans.

Oct. 1 French take St. Quentin.

Oct. 4 Austria asks Holland to mediate with allies for peace.

Oct. 5 Germans start abandonment of Lille and burn Doual.

Oct. 6 Germany asks President Wilson for armistice.

Oct. 7 Americans capture hills around Argonne.

Oct. 8 President Wilson refuses armistice.

Oct. 9 Allies capture Cambrai.

Oct. 10 Allies capture Le Gateau.

Oct. 11 American transport Otranto torpedoed and sunk; 500 lost.

Oct. 13 Foch's troops take Laon and La Fere.

Oct. 14 British and Belgians take Roulers; President Wilson demands surrender by Germany.

Oct. 15 British and Belgians cross Lys river, take 12,000 prisoners and 100 guns.

Oct. 16 Allies enter Lille outskirts.

Oct. 17 Allies capture Lille. Bruges, Zeebrugge, Ostend, and Douai.

Oct. 18 CzechoSlovaks issue declaration of independence ; Czechs rebel and seize Prague, capital of Bohemia; French take Thielt.

Oct. 19 President Wilson refuses Austria peace plea and says CzechoSlovak state must be considered.

Oct. 21 Allies cross the Oise and threaten Valenciennes.

Oct. 22 Haig's forces cross the Scheldt.

Oct. 23 President Wilson refuses latest German peace plea.

Oct. 27 German government asks President Wilson to state terms.

Oct. 28 Austria begs for separate peace.

Oct. 29 Austria opens direct negotiations with Secretary Lansing.

Oct. 30 Italians inflict great defeat on Austria; capture 33,000; Austrians evacuating Italian territory.

Oct. 31 Turkey surrenders ; Austrians utterly routed by Italians; lose 500,000; Austrian envoys, under white flag, enter Italian lines.

Nov. 1 Italians pursue beaten Austrians across Tagliamento river; allied conference at Versailles fixes peace terms for Germany.

Nov. 3 Austria signs armistice amounting virtually to unconditional surrender.

Nov. 4 Allied terms are sent to Germany.

Nov. 7 Germany's envoys enter allied lines by arrangement.

Nov. 9 Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates and crown prince renounces throne.

Nov. 10 Former Kaiser Wilhelm and his eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm, flee to Holland to escape widespread revolution throughout Germany.

Nov. 11 Germany signs armistice, ending war.




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