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June 28 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated in

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					Timeline – World War I 

1914
June 28                   Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated in Bosnia

July 28                   Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

July 31                   Labor leader Andrew Fisher declares Australians will defend Britain
                          'to our last man and our last shilling'

August 1                  Germany declares war on Russia

August 3                  Germany declares war on France

August 4                  Germany invades neutral Belgium. Britain declares war on Germany.
                          Australia pledges a force of 20,000 to be placed at Britain's disposal
                          but by the end of the war over 400,000 Australians have gone into
                          uniform.

September 6               First Battle of Marne. Over half a million casualties on both sides.

October/November First battle of Ypres in Belgium

October 29                Turkey enters the war

1915
March 11                  British naval blockade of Germany comes into force

April 25                  70,000 Allied troops land at Gallipoli

April/May                 Second battle of Ypres. Germany uses poison gas for the first time

May 23                    Italy enters the conflict, declaring war on Austria- Hungary

December 20               The evacuation of more than 80,000 Allied troops is completed at
                          Suvla Bay and ANZAC Cove Gallipoli

1916
February 21               The beginning of the battle of Verdun, France. A bitter battle between
                          French and German forces that lasted until 19 December 1916.
                          Germany’s plan in attacking Verdun is to deplete the French army to a
                          point where France will ‘bleed to death’ and be forced out of the war,
                          causing England to seek a compromise with Germany. Around
                          800,000 men will be killed or wounded in the nine months of fighting
                          at Verdun



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March 20      Anzac corps arrive in France. Many who have survived Gallipoli are
              now sent to the major theatre of war, the Western Front

June 24       The British Somme offensive begins with a week-long artillery
              bombardment. A week later on July 1 the offensive starts. 20,000
              British troops are killed on the first day, the greatest loss the British
              army has ever suffered in a single day during any war

July 1        First day of the battle of the Somme. 20,000 dead, 40,000 wounded.
              For the next four months the battle continues. In the end casualties
              reach more than 1.2 million on both sides

July 19-20    Battle of Fromelles, a small French village on the Somme. It is the first
              battle fought by Australians on the Western Front. 5, 533 Australians
              are killed or wounded, most on the night of 19-20 July

July 23       Battle of Pozieres begins. The village of Pozieres and its nearby
              windmill are the highest points of vantage on a key ridge. They are
              held by the Germans and are prime objectives in the Battle of the
              Somme. 16,780 Australians will die or be wounded in a series of
              battles fought at Pozieres until September 3, making it the bloodiest
              battleground for Australians in the entire Western Front campaign

November 18   The Somme offensive finally ends. A total of 1.1 million British,
              French and German soldiers have been killed or wounded

December 12   Germany sends a peace missive to the Allies raising the possibility of
              ending the war but without suggesting specific terms. The note is
              rejected and the war continues

December 18   The end of the battle of Verdun



1917
February 1    Germany says it will continue unrestricted submarine warfare with the
              aim of starving Britain into surrendering

February 3    The United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany

February 21   Germany strategically concedes ground to the Allies on the Western
              Front as they withdraw to a new, heavily fortified and more easily
              defended line 10-50kms behind the forward trenches. The new line is
              known to the Germans as the Seigfried Line and to the Allies as the
              famous Hindenburg Line



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March 1-12    1st Russian Revolution. Tsar Nicholas II abdicates on 15 March. The
              Russian army, though reduced, remains in the war

April 6       U.S. declares war on Germany

April 9       Battle of Vimy Ridge. Canadian troops capture the ridge, earning
              themselves a reputation as elite fighters. Their victory comes at a cost
              of over 10,000 casualties

April 11      First battle of Bullecourt. Australian and English troops attempt to
              breakthrough the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt with the support of
              British tanks. The tanks are not successful and Australians will remain
              wary of this new technology until much later in the war. Over 1,000
              Australians become prisoners of war at Bullecourt, the largest number
              in a single action in the First World War

May 3         Second battle of Bullecourt

May 17        Bullecourt captured. After two failed attempts the Allies are finally
              successful. The victory comes at a price of 7,000 casualties

June 7        Battle of Messines in Belgium. This is a major engagement for New
              Zealand troops

July 31       Third battle of Ypres in Belgium. Also known as the Battle of
              Passchendaele, the third battle of Ypres was the collective name given
              to fighting in the Flanders region of Belgium in the second half of
              1917. The major actions involving Australians were at Menin Road,
              Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, and Passchendaele. It is
              from the battlefields of Flanders that the iconic images of men and
              horses stuck, sometimes drowning in mud and shell holes are drawn.

November 10   The end of third battle of Ypres. The Allies have gained an important
              five miles of high ground at the cost of 140,000 lives.

December 6    Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia conclude an armistice on the
              Eastern Front. For the Allies this means one million German soldiers
              will soon be free to reinforce their countrymen on the Western Front.

1918
March 3       Germany and Russia sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which takes
              Russia out of the war. Russia hands over 25% of its territory, including
              valuable agricultural and industrial land.

March 21      The German Spring Offensive, known as Kaiserschlacht begins.
              Germany’s aim is to use soldiers freshly released from the Russian
              front to break through Allied lines on the Somme before thousands of

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               fresh American troops arrive to bolster Allied numbers in France. It is
               a last determined push to win the war. Germany makes significant
               advances into Allied territory with the first of these attacks known as
               ‘Operation Michael.”

March 26       Marshal Ferdinand Foch is given 'coordinating authority' over all
               Allied troops on the Western Front. A quarter of a million American
               troops are now based in France and a further 250,000 will arrive every
               month until the end of the war.

April 4        First action at Villers-Bretonneux. Villers Bretonneux is in the Somme
               region and within artillery range of Amiens, a major town and a
               military objective for the Germans.

April 5        The German offensive is halted outside Amiens by a combined British
               and Australian force. The German commander Ludendorff calls off his
               army’s attack, known as the Michael offensive.

April 25       Australian and British troops drive the Germans out of the French
               village of Villers-Bretonneux. To this day the tiny village maintains a
               museum dedicated to the Australian troops of WW1 and its primary
               school sports a sign – “Australia, Never Forget” in the playground.

July 4         Battle of Hamel, France. The Battle of Hamel was the first set-piece
               operation planned and conducted under Lieutenant General Sir John
               Monash. Monash’s planning for this battle drew him great praise.

July 15        Germany launches its last great offensive of the war. The Allied Forces
               gather a major force in northern France to hit back.

August 8       The Allied Forces launch a major offensive known as the Battle of
               Amiens. Germans troops are pushed back eight miles and sustain
               27,000 casualties on the first day. The German commander Ludendorff
               calls this the 'Black Day' of the German army. Morale plummets as
               many Germans realise they can no longer win the war after this defeat.


August 31      Battle of Mont St Quentin. Mont St Quentin overlooks the town of
               Peronne. Under the leadership of Lieutenant General Sir John Monash,
               much-reduced Australian divisions overcome the Germans in control
               of the rise. Mont St Quentin is seen by many historians as the crowning
               achievement of the AIF in World War 1.

September 17   The 1st and 4th Australian divisions attack the Hindenburg Line.

September 29   The Allied Forces breach Germany’s last fixed line of defence on the
               Western Front, the Hindenburg Line.


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October 5     Capture of Montbrehain, France. Montbrehain was the AIF's final
              action in France in the First World War.

October 29    German sailors hear that they will be ordered to engage the British
              fleet, even though they know the war is already lost. The sailors start a
              mutiny at Kiel. News of the mutiny spreads throughout Germany and
              inspires other insurrections



November 8    Armistice negotiations begin between the Allies and Germany. The
              Allies present their ceasefire terms to the Germans at Compiègne


              Revolution in Berlin



November 9    Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates and flees to Holland. Germany becomes a
              republic

November 11   Germany signs the Armistice at 5am to take effect at 11am. The First
              World War is over




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