World War I - Europe
June 28 - Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
July 5 - Kaiser Wilhelm II promises "blank check" to Austria against Serbia
July 28 - Austria declares war on Serbia
July 30 - Russia mobilizes its army against Austria-Hungary
August 1 - Germany declares war on Russia
August 3 - Germany declares war on France
August 4 - Germany invades Belgium (WWI BEGINS)
August 4 - Britain declares war on Germany
August 15 - Japanese ultimatum to Germany demanding Jiaozhou (China)
August 23 - Japanese enters war on side of Allies
August 25-30 - Battle of Tannenberg (Russia defeated)
September 7-14 - First Battle of Masurian Lakes
September 6-12 - First Battle of the Marne
October 18 - First Battle of Ypres
October 29 - Ottoman Empire joins Central Powers
November 2 - Russia declares war on Ottoman Empire
November 2 - Britain begins naval blockade of Germany
November 5 - Britain and France declare war on Ottoman Empire
December - first Zeppelin is used
December 24 - Christmas truce
January 1 - Bread rationing introduced in Germany
January 18 - Japanese present 21 Secret Demands to China
February 19 - Britain bombards Turkish forts in the Dardanelles
April 24 - Beginning of Armenian Massacres/Genocide
April 25-Jan. 9, 1916 - Battle of Gallipoli
May 7 - Lusitania is sunk by German U-Boat
May 23 - Italy enters war on side of Allies
August 5 - Germans captures Warsaw from Russia
October 14 - Bulgaria enters war
January 27 - Britain begins conscription
February 21-Dec. 18 - Battle of Verdun
May 4 - Germany signs Sussex Pledge agreeing not to bomb ships without warning
May 31-Jun. 1 - Battle of Jutland (Naval war)
June 4-Sept. 20 - Brusilov Offensive
July 1 - Nov 18 - Battle of the Somme
September 15 - 1st tanks are used
December 7 - David Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister
February 1 - Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare
February 25 - Zimmerman Telegram intercepted
March 15 - Tsar Nicholas II abdicates
April 6 - United States enters war on Allied side
July 31-Nov. 10 - Third Battle of Ypres
October 24 - Battle of Caporetta (Italy defeated)
November 7 - Bolshevik Revolution in Russia
December 5 - Armistice signed between Germany and Russia
December 9 - Britain captures Jerusalem
January 8 - Wilson issues Fourteen Points
March 3 - Brest-Litovsk treaty is signed between Germany and Russia
March 21-Jul. 18 - German Spring Offensives (beginning with Operation Michael)
March 29 - Marshall Foch is appointed Allied Commander on Western Front
July 15 - Second Battle of the Marne begins
August 8-Nov. 11 - Hundred Days Campaign to push Germans out of France
August 8-Aug. 11 - Battle of Amiens (start of Hundred Days Campaign)
September 19-25 - Battle of Megiddo, Ottoman Empire collapses
October 4 - Germany asks Allies for an armistice
October 29 - Germany's navy mutinies
October 30 - Ottomans (Turkey) makes peace
November 3 - Austria makes peace
November 9 - Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates
November 10 - Germany signs armistice with Allies (END OF WWI)
January 4 - Peace conference meets at Paris
June 28 - Treaty of Versailles is signed by Germany
LONG TERM CAUSES
League of the Three Emperors (1873-1887)
Germany + Austria + Russia
Collapsed with rivarly between Austria (Franz Joseph I) and Russian (Alexander III)
Dual Alliance (1879-1918)
Germany + Austria-Hungary
Secret treaty, defensive
Germany (under Bismarck) and Austria would help each other if Russia attacked
Neutrality if attacked by another country
For 5 years, then renewed regularly until 1918
Made Russia afraid
Triple Alliance (1882-1915)
Germany + Austria + Italy
Secret agreement bringing Italy into the Dual Alliance (Germany/Austria)
Italy wanted support against France in North Africa (Tunisia)
Germany and Austria-Hungary would help Italy if attacked by France
Italy promised to be neutral if in war between Austria-Hungary and Russia
Reinsurance Treaty (1887)
Germany (Bismarck) + Russia
Signed after the Three Emperors League collapsed
German and Russia would remain neutral if the other was involved in war with a third power.
Reinsurance Treaty ended in 1890
When new Kaiser, William II, replaced Bismarck with Gen.. Leo von Caprivi
Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902-1923)
Britain + Japan
To defend British interests in the Far East against Russia
Japan used alliance to take German territory in China
Entente Cordiale (1904)
France + Britain
Series of treaties, not formal, no military provisions
Ended 1000 years of conflict
Allowed freedom of action in UK in Egypt and France in Morocco
Confirmed at the Algeciras Conference 1906
Anglo-Russian Entente (Aug. 1907)
Britain + Russia
Ended "Great Game" (competition for colonies Russia v. Britain)
By identifying areas of control in Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet
After humiliating defeat of Russia in Russo-Japanese War (1905)
And emergence of German Empire as a world power.
Russia + Britain + France
Germany's new prime minister, Caprivi, didn't renew Reinsurance Treaty with Russia
Political isolation of France and Russia drove them together (despite different politics)
France invested in Russia
In exchange for Russia security against Germany (two-front war)
German-Ottoman Alliance (Aug. 2, 1914)
Germany + Ottoman Empire
Germany had already planned to build a Berlin to Baghdad Railroad.
Germany convinced Ottoman sultan to issue a fatwa to turn Muslims in British and French colonies against Allies
Muslims in British Egypt and India
Muslims in French Algeria and Morocco.
Ottoman Empire ("Sick man of Europe")
Because Europeans couldn't agree on ways to divide it
Ottoman weakness encouraged Serbia and Montenegro
To help fellow Slavs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Revolt against Ottomans
Bulgaria also rebelled
Wanted to control Constantinople and Dardanelles
And gain access to Mediterranean
(warm water ports)
Treaty of San Stefano 1878
After Russian defeat of Ottomans in war
Russia got territory and indemnity.
But Austria feared growth of Russia
Would threaten their own interests in Balkans
Britain feared disruption of balance of power
And threat to Suez Canal with Russia in Mediterranean
Congress of Berlin 1878
Met under Bismarck, the "Honest Broker"
Germany didn't want territory
Bulgaria (a Russian client) reduced by 2/3 with no access to Aegean Sea.
Austria given Bosnia-Herzegovina to "occupy and administer"
Britain got Cyprus and encouraged to occupy Tunisia
Russia, Bulgaria and other Balkan states disappointed.
KAISER WILHELM (WILLIAM) II
Succeeded his father (Wilhelm I) in 1888 at 29
Grandson of Queen Victoria of Britain (see family tree above)
Believed in rule by divine right
Ambitious, wanted equality with Britain (navy and colonies)
Dismissed Otto von Bismarck
Replaced Bismarck with Leo von Caprivi in 1890
Germany Antagonized Britain
At first Wilhelm wanted alliance with Britain - but Britain wanted "splendid isolation"
Germany blocked British ambition to connect Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt) by railroad
Germany sympathized with Boers in Boer Wars
Insulted Britain by congratulating Paul Kruger (president of Boer Transvaal) for repulsing British raid without assistance.
1898 German naval law provided for 19 battleships
1900 law doubled the number
Architect was Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz
Openly proclaimed that Germany's naval policy was aimed at Britain
Caused naval war with Britain
Britain, an island, vowed to have a navy larger than next two nations combined.
Germany Antagonized France
First Moroccan Crisis
William II wanted to prove that British-French alliance was weak.
March 1905 William II went to Tangier and made speech in favor of Moroccan independence
A challenge to France which wanted to colonize Morocco.
Germany demanded an international conference to show their power
Austria sided with Germany
Spain, Italy, US, Britain and France allied against Germany
French position in Morocco was confirmed
German bullying drove British and French closer together.
IMMEDIATE CAUSES OF WORLD WAR I
Austria-Hungary took over Bosnia 1908
Serbians angry because they wanted to expand Serbia
June 28, 1914
A Serbian nationalist killed Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne
Assassin, Gavrilo Princip was from the Black Hand
Serbian terrorist organization
One month later, Austria gave Serbia an ultimatum
Serbia had to let Austria conduct its own investigation in Serbia
Serbia had to suppress all anti-Austrian propaganda
Serbia had to eliminate all terrorist organizations
Or Austria would declare war.
Austria asked Germany for aid in the event of a war with Serbia and its ally, Russia
Germany offered a "Blank Check"
On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia
Russia deployed troops
Germany employed the Schlieffen Plan
Designed in 1905 by Count von Schlieffen (chief of the German general staff)
To deal with a potential two-front war.
By quickly defeating France by surprising them by going through Belgium
Then swinging around to Russia
The plan was modified by Helmuth von Moltke (the new chief).
Who reduced the size of the attacking army.
Hoping to quickly defeat Russia's ally France by going through neutral Belgium
Britain, France's ally, entered the war on Aug. 4th after Germany attacked neutral Belgium
WORLD WAR I BATTLES
Battle of Tannenberg (Aug. 26-30, 1914), German Victory
Germans wanted to counter Russians who had advanced quicker than anticipated.
Russians sent 2 armies to East Prussia while bulk of Germans were in the west fighting France
Germans under leadership of Paul Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff.
Russians, separated by the Masurian Lakes, unable to communicate with each other.
Germans intercepted unencoded wireless messages from Russians
Samsonov and Rennenkampf
Germans surprised Samsonov's army near village of Tannenberg southwest of Masurian Lakes.
Samsonov's troops retreated, they were cut off by Germans who slaughtered them.
Samsonov went into the forest and shot himself.
For fast rail movements by the Germans and failure of Russians to encode their radio messages.
Brought prestige to Hindenberg and Ludendorff.
Resulted in almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army and suicide of its commanding general, Alexander Samsonov.
Follow-up battles (First Masurian Lakes) destroyed most of the First Army as well
Kept Russians off balance until spring of 1915
First Battle of the Marne (Sept. 6-10, 1914)
Germany hoped to avoid a two-front war by knocking out France then turning to Russia (Schlieffen Plan)
German First Army detoured from its planned route in order to concentrate its force on Paris.
Opened a gap in the German's eastern flank and exposed its western flank.
Desperate French armies were rushed to the front in Parisian taxicabs.
British army entered the war.
Early Germany successes but then French and British counter-offensive at Marne
After seven days, the Allies halted the Germans and drove them back several miles.
Shattered German hopes that the Schlieffen Plan would succeed.
Both sides extended their lines more than 400 miles from the Swiss border to the North Sea and dug in for the winter.
Germany now stuck in a two-front war
German failure to defeat French and British meant Germans couldn't adequately fight Russians.
Meant war would not be quick.
Marked end of mobile warfare on the Western Front but stagnation into trench warfare.
Battle of Gallipoli (Apr. 25-Jan. 9, 1916) Ottoman victory
To allow Allied ships to pass through Dardanelles, capture Istanbul (Constantinople) and knock Ottoman Turks out of the war.
To relieve pressure on the Russians on the Caucasus front
Strongly supported by Winston Churchill, the first lord of the Admiralty.
Mistaken belief that Ottomans could easily be defeated.
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) involved.
As well as Indian and French divisions.
Naval bombardment was affected by bad weather -- needed land troops.
Turkish forces under Mustafa Kemal (later known as Ataturk).
Only successful because it pullled Turkish forces away from the Russians
Failed to produce decisive results
Poor miltiary leadership
Faulty tactics (no surprise)
Acute shortage of shells
Political and diplomatic repercussions.
Gave impression throughout the world that the Allies were militarily inept.
Hastened Asquith's resignation and his replacement by David Lloyd George (Dec. 1916)
Deprived Russians of Allied aid through Dardanelles
Battle of Verdun (Feb. 21-Dec. 18, 1916) (French victory)
Germans wanted to "bleed the French to death" by forcing them to sustain massive casualties defending Verdun (battle of attrition)
Since Britain could not be assaulted directly except by submarine warfare.
Longest battle (9 months) and one of the costliest
Germans fired a million shells in one day.
Began with German attack on fortified French town of Verdun
700,000 died on both sides.
Drastically reduced the number of French troops available.
Britain and its Empire would have to lead the "big push" on the Western Front
Battle of Jutland (May 31-Jun. 1, 1916) (Allied victory)
Germans tried to lure British navy to openly engage on the seas
In order to break the British blockade of Germany and allow German naval vessels access to the Atlantic.
British Royal Navy's fought German's Navy off the coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula.
Largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in the war.
Last major battle in world history fought primarily by battleships.
British naval victory allowed Britain to implement blockade of Germany.
Battle of the Somme (Jul. 1- Nov. 18, 1916), Stalemate
British attack to relieve pressure on Verdun.
Joint operation between British and French forces
Intense German pressure on the French at Verdun throughout 1916 made action on the Somme increasingly urgent
Meant Britain (under Sir Douglas Haig) would take on the main role in the offensive.
Ended in stalemate (British had advanced only 5 miles)
Sparked first feature-length war documentary ("The Battle of the Somme") hoping to rally support for war and aid recruitment. The movie was brutal and controversial.
First tanks used in warfare (3 mph).
Battle claimed the life of the son of the British PM (Herbert Asquith)
Adolf Hitler was wounded in the leg during the Battle of the Somme.
Casualties (more than 300,000 dead):
First day July 1, was bloodiest in British military history, 19,240 killed (1 every 4.4 second)
Represented the loss and apparent futility of the war.
"Here chivalry disappeared for always" (Ernst Junger)
Ended British "pals battalion" (recruiting volunteer friends, neighbors, co-workers)
Brusilov Offensive (Jun. 4-Sept. 20, 1916)
To relieve pressure on the French at Verdun and the Western Front as a whole.
Also to draw Austro-Hungarian forces away from the Italian Front
And put pressure on the already strained and demoralized Austro-Hungarian Army.
Russia had suffered a series of crushing defets in the first year of war.
Brusilov Offensive was the most successful Russian offence
Named after Russian commander Aleksei Brusilov, who led it.
Brusilov used a short, sharp artillery bombardment and shock troops to exploit weak points.
Coincided with the British attack on the Somme
Forced Germany to redirect troops to the Eastern Front to support Austria.
Reinforced Austria-Hungary's growing dependence on Germany
Strained German resources.
Russia's last major offensive in the war which led to an overall weakening (militarily and politically) of both Russia and Austria-Hungary.
Led to revolution in Russia and the collapse of the Russian Army
Battle of Passchendaele/Third Ypres Campaign (Jul. 31- Nov. 10, 1917)
British tried to break through the German "crust"
The area around the Belgian town of Ypres was key battleground throughout the war.
By 1917, British forces were suffering steady casualties
Sir Douglas Haig hoped to threaten the German submarine base at Bruges as the German U-boat campaign was threatening Britain with defeat.
Scarcely moved the front at all
Symbolized the horror associated with the war on the Western Front.
German Spring Offensives (Mar. 21-Jul. 18, 1918)
Germany to use troops freed from Eastern Front by the collapse of Russia
To achieve a victory on the Western Front before American troops arrived.
Operation "Michael," the first offensive.
Huge concentration of Germany artillery, gas, smoke and infantry.
German Army (under Erich Ludendorff) gained miles.
Weary Allied forces were beginning to suffer manpower shortages.
Allies appointed Marshal Ferdinand Foch as Allied Generalissimo to coordinate united defense.
German offensives were tactical successes but strategic failures.
Advances had no decisive goal other than to punch a hole in Allied line.
Battle of Amiens (Aug. 8-11, 1918) Allied victory
Counter punch to the German Spring Offensive.
Beginning of the Hundred Days Campaign
American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under Gen. Pershing, had arrived
British Expeditionary Force (BEF) reinforced by troops returning from Palestine Campaign
BEF struck on River Somme., east of Amiens,
To force Germans away from Amiens-Paris railway
German army was exhausted and morale was disintegrating because of lack of supplies and influenza.
Foch favored series of limited attacks in quick succession to liberate vital railway lines around Paris.
To divert attention and resources from one spot to another.
German defeat on Aug. 8 led Ludendorff to dub it "The Black Day of the German Army"
Lundendorff told Kaiser Wilhelm II that "the war must be ended"
Wilhelm II said end should not come until Germany made progress
So that there was bargaining room.
German army continued to fight but was plagued by disorder and desertion.
Battle of Megiddo (Sep. 19-25, 1918), Allied victory
To protect the Suez Canal and take Ottomans out of the war
Beginning of final British-led offensive in Sinai and Palestine
Combined cavalry, infantry, artillery, armored cars, aircraft
Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) under leadership of British Lt. Gen. Sir Edmund Allenby.
Offensive against Ottoman forces in northern Palestine and Jordan Valley.
Plan: to encircle Ottoman forces regrouping in the area around Megiddo and cut off their escape routes.
Deception convinced Ottoman forces that an Allied attack would come further east.
Decisive victory over the Ottoman Turks and their German allies.
Armistice signed at Mudros
Victory opened way to Damascus
Start of series of important Allied victories
Ultimately led to collapse of Ottoman Turkish forces and their withdrawal from the war.
First plane was flown by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk
Used for reconnaissance (along with balloons and zeppelins)
Planes targeted each other in "dog fights"
First time a plane was launched from a moving ship (HMS Hibernia) was May 1912.
First used by German Army in Verdun in 1915 for trench warfare
Unlike grenades, flamethrowers could kill soldiers (burning them alive) without damaging the bunkers (which could be used by Germans)
First used by Germans in April 1915 near Ypres
Used by both sides in trench warfare.
Gas mask was invented to protect soldiers from gas
To safely transport troops across the no-man's land between trenches.
British Mark I was invented in 1915, used in 1916
Emitted a small amount of flammable material that left a phosphorescent trail.
Made it easier to fight at night
It could also ignite hydrogen destroying German zeppelins
Portable X-Ray Machine
Called the "Petite Curie" after inventor, Marie Curie
Daylight Savings Time
German authorities decreed that closed should move forward an hour on April 30, 1916 to save coal for heating and light.
Britain followed, then other countries in Europe and the U.S. in 1918.
Daylight Savings was discontinued after the war but eventually returned.
Not invented in WWI but popularize to keep hands free and maintain accuracy
To help children who were suffering from rickets (from a vitamin D deficiency)
Stainless steel (for better guns that didn't rust)
Kotex sanitary pads for Red Cross nurses.