World War 1 Timeline

1914 - 1919

1914 - Alliances Come Together

  • Triple Alliance is made up of; Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary

  • The Triple Alliance was formed when tensions in Europe stemming from the 1860's began to arise in 1914, as France and Germany became enemies as result of Germany gaining French territory in order to unify Germany.

  • In order for Germany to protect itself from its enemies in France, Germany agreed to form an alliance with their neighboring countries.

  • With the new alliance created Russia feared that the Triple Alliance, would result in Germany's expansion towards the East, and with Russia already in competition with Austria-Hungary for influence in the southeastern Europe, this caused heavy tensions to rise against the Triple Alliance.

  • In 1894, The Franco-Russian Alliance was signed by Russia, France, due to a common interest of opposing Germany, and Austria-Hungary, both countries shared

June 28, 1914 - The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife are assassinated during their visit, in Bosnian, the capital of Sarajevo.

  • The assassination was carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian, that was affiliated with the Serbian nationalist group, known as the Black Hand.

  • The assassination was the spark that started World War I, a month after the assassination, European countries, broke out in war.

July 28, 1914 - World War I Starts

  • After the assassination of Austria-Hungary's Archduke, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia on July 28, 1914

  • Responding to this declaration of Russia, immediately assembled its troops including the troops that were stationed along the Germany border.

  • Germany then declared war on both Russia and France, thus beginning World War 1 in Europe

  • Britain soon entered the war when German forces advanced in Belgium, and with Britain's earlier treaty with Belgium, Britain soon declared war on Germany

February 1915 - The German U-boats

  • In 1915, the conflicts in Europe as British naval forces, sets up blockades along the German ports, in order stop from being to Germany and its allies

  • In response to Britain's blockade along their ports, Germany announced that they would use submarines, also known as U-boats, to sink any ship in British waters.

April 22, 1915 - Germany Introduces Poison Gas To Warfare

  • On April 22, 1915 German forces shock the Allied forces by releasing 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas, on two French colonial divisions that were stationed at Ypres, Belgium

  • This attack is considered to be Germany's First major gas attack that devastated Allied Forces

  • Following this event, on January 1915, the German forces fired shells that were load with xylyl bromide, a more lethal type of gas, on Russian troops, that were stationed along the eastern front in Bolimov

  • These events soon later developed to war strategies, and led to the creation of gas mask that were also used later on in warfare
May 7, 1915 - German U-boats Sink The Lusitania

After Germany declared its submarines to sink ships in British waters, a German U-boat sinks a British passenger ship, known as the Lusitania, thus killing over 1,000 of ship passengers including 128 Americans.

March 24, 1916 - Germany Stirs Up More Tension Between The U.S.

  • Following the events on the attack of the Lusitania, tensions between the U.S. and German hardens, when a German U-boat torpedoes a French passenger ship in March 24, 1916

  • In response to the attack President Wilson threatened to break diplomatic relations with Germany, but Wilson dismissed the threat, and demanded that Germany discontinue any actions, that would risk war with the United States.

  • Not wanting to strengthen the Allied forces by drawing America into war, Germany promised, not to sink merchant ships without warning.

September 15, 1916 - Britain Introduces The Armored Tank

  • In 1916, Britain introduced the armored tank into World War I.

  • With the armored tank, troops were able to cross over trenches, without being harmed by barbed wire, or tench dug outs.

  • Although the armored tank is said to created in the year of 1915, the armored tank didn't make its to the battlefield until 1916.

January 16, 1917 - Zimmerman Telegram

  • German official Authur Zimmerman sends a telegram over to Heinrich Von Eckardt the German ambassador of Mexico, promising Mexico "lost territory" in the U.S. if Mexico allies with Germany and attacks the U.S.

  • If Mexico agrees to allies with Germany in WWI, Mexico would reclaim the lost territories of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

  • This telegram was later decoded by the British Cryptograhic office, and was given to the United States, in the late February of 1917

February 1, 1917 - Germany Resumes Submarine Wafare

  • On February 1, 1917, Germany resumed its unrestricted submarine warfare, a year after making a promise to the U.S. not to sink merchant ships

  • German military officials decided to continue submarine warfare, believing that they could starve Britain into submission, if German U-boats began to sink all ships in sight

  • But German military officials did not believe that the United States, would be able to raise an army and transport it over to Europe if America decided to go to war

  • Between February 3 - March 21, German U-boats sank six American ships, this action pushed President Wilson to involve America into World War I.

March 1917 - Russia Drops Out of the War

  • Riots began to breakout in Russia, as the result of civil unrest, and Russia's depleted resources from the war

  • Because of the riots, Russian Empire leader, Czar Nicholas, abdicated his throne of the Empire, causing the Russian Revolution, to began

  • While trying to stabilize the Russian government, leaders of the temporary Russian government still wanted Russia to be in war

  • However the government was unable to deal adequately with the conflicts affecting the nation, Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik Party, seized power over Russia, and established a Communist government in November of 1917

April 2, 1917 - President Wilson Ask Congress To Declare War On Germany

  • Following the events of the destruction of Germany U-boat warfare, and the Zimmerman Telegram, given to Mexico from Germany, President Woodrow Wilson addresses Congress asking them to declare war on Germany

  • Within days of Wilson's declaration to Congress, the Senate, the House and Woodrow Wilson, enters the United States into WWI

  • This declaration was succeeded with only 50 representatives, and 6 senators voting against going into war

May 18, 1917 - The Selective Service Act of 1917

  • In April 1917, America enters into WWI, but with having only 200,000 troops in the army, and the National Guard, America was in desperate need of more men power

  • Although many American men volunteered to be in the army in support more were still needed

  • In order to solve to problem Congress, along with Wilson's supporters believed that a draft was needed in order to get more troops, leading to the creation of the Selective Service system to be established

  • The established Selective Service Act of 1917 demanded that men between the age of 21 and 30 must be drafted to go to war

  • To determine the order in which men were called to be drafted, the Selective Service System, used a lottery system to choose who should be drafted

June 15, 1917 - The Espionage Act of 1917

  • In 1917, after United States' declaration on entering WWI, The Espionage Act of 1917 is enforced by the United States Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, under President Wilson

  • The Espionage Act made it illegal for American citizens, to aid American enemies, give false reports, or interfere with the war effort

July 4, 1917 - The Integration of The 39rd Infantry Division

  • On July 4, 1917, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, General John J. Pershing arrived in Paris, France, to meet with British and french commanders.

  • British and French commanders wanted General Pershing, to integrate his troops into their armies

  • Although General Pershing refused the idea at first, Pershing eventually allowed an African American unit, known as the the 39rd Infantry Division, to be transferred to the French
Trench Warfare

As artillery fire voomes across the battlefield of WW1, both sides of the war decided to build networks of trenches stretching from to avoid weaponry fire, only to be faced with barbed wire, and diseases such as trench foot, and the flu.

March 3, 1918 - The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

  • After pulling Russia of the war, Russian Communist Leader, Vladimir Lenin agreed to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, on March 3, 1918

  • Under the treaty, Russia gave up the Ukraine, its Polish and Baltic territories, and Finland.

  • With the eastern front covered, Germany was able to concentrate its forces in the west

March 21, 1918 - Germany's Last Stand

  • On March 21, 1918, Germany launches a massive gas attack, and artillery bombardment along the Western Front

  • Given their strength by reinforcements from the Russian front, the German forces were able to push deep in the Allied forces lines

  • By early June, the German forces were less than 40 miles away from Paris, France

  • In late of May 1918, as the Germany's offense continued, the American forces launched their first major attack, quickly capturing the Village of Cntigny

  • On June 1, 1918, the American and French forces were able to stop Germany's offense on Paris, at the town of Chateau-Thierry


  • On July 15, the Germans launched one last massive attack in an attempt to take over Paris, but the French and American troops stood their ground

May 16, 1918 - The Sedition Act of 1918

  • May 16, 1918, the american government established the The Sedition Act of 1918, making it illegal for American citizens to speak against the war activities

  • In practice, The Sedition Act, allowed officials to prosecute anyone who criticized government

  • The Sedition Act of 1918, along with the Espionage Act of 1917, led to the conviction of 2,000 Americans

September 26, 1918 - America's Massive Attack On Germany

  • On September 26, 1918, America launches the most massive offense for the American Expeditionary Force, in the region between the Meuse River, and the Argonne Forest

  • Although German forces suffered great casualties, their positions slowly fell to the advancement of American troops.

  • By early November, American troops were able to create a hole on the eastern flank of the German lines, thus leading to the retreat of German forces

October 1918 - The War Comes To An End

  • Following the events of Germany's retreat by U.S. forces, the countries of Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia declares for independence

  • By early November 1918, the government of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, surrenders to the Allies

  • On November 9, 1918, after losing power following the events of the Allied forces' advancement, the German Emperor steps down, and Germany becomes a republic

  • Two days after the event on November 11, 1918, Germany signs an armistice, agreeing to stop fighting, and although this agreement was made, World War 1 still continued
January 18, 1919 - The Treaty of Versallies

In January 18, 1919 delegates from 27 countries, excluding Russia, meet in the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France for a peace conference that will end World War 1.