Comprehensive WW1 Timeline: On this page you can find
a detailed WW1 Timeline of the history of the World War I, divided into
five sections. This timeline starts from the beginning of WW1 in 1904
and continues until November 11th 1918 when the German politician
Matthias Erzberger signed the armistice agreement in the forest of
Below describes the divisions of WW1 Timeline into
1914 - WW1 begins with the belief that it will be a
quick war with swift victory on both sides
1915 - Trench warfare
1916 - Verdun in the west, Russia to the east
1917 - Turnips and Coca-Cola
1918 - Armistice and the end of WW1
It should be noted that emphasis was placed on
delivering a factual account of WW1 (see also
World War 1 Summary).
WW1 Timeline - Belief of a swift victory -
1914 – WW1 begins with the belief that it will be a
quick war with swift victory on both sides
28th June 1914 – Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand
and his wife, Sophie von Hohenberg are assassinated in the Serbian city
of Sarajevo, worsening the political situation in Europe.
This is a
pivotal moment in the history of WW1. Austria-Hungary declared war on
Serbia on July 28th 1914, plunging Europe into a four-year-long conflict
which would come to be known as World War 1 (see:
When was World War
Russia, with its close ties to Serbia, immediately
declared a general mobilization. In turn, the German Reich felt
threatened on its eastern borders, declaring war on Russia on August 1st
1914. A important date in the WW1 Timeline. Germany and Austria became
allies for the duration of the war.
In order to avoid a war with two fronts (east and
west), Germany declared war on France on August 3rd 1914, and proceeded
to enter Belgium and Luxembourg en route to France (known as the
Schlieffen Plan). This led to the Britain declaring war against Germany.
With this declaration – a landmark in WW1 Timeline –
Germany found herself at war with Serbia, France, England and Russia. A
few personal words from the author - “This is crazy! All of Europe was
now on fire!”
September 5th-12th 1914 saw the Battle of the Marne,
where the German army was halted and met with fierce resistance, forcing
the German army into a partial withdrawal.
September 12th – October 24th 1914: the focus of WW1
shifted towards the coast of the English channel, since England had
mobilized her troops. The “race to the sea” began with the goal of
taking major ports so as to hinder British ability to bring troops to
At this point, the structure of WW1 changed, with the
initial movement now bogged down in trench warfare. The German advance
was pointed towards the channel coast in order to cut off the supply of
British troops who were arriving in important supply ports (September
12th – October 24th).
WW1 Timeline - Trench warfare -
By 1915 the initial rapid pace of WW1 had ground to a
halt. Troops dug in on April 22nd 1915, and the German army first used
poisonous gas at this time in Ypres and Flanders.
Another important in the history of WW1 was the
sinking of the British passenger ship Lusitania on May 7th 1915, an act
which increased tensions between the United States and Germany.
On May 23rd 1915, Italy entered WW1. This was also a
history-defining moment, as Austria-Hungary now found herself fighting a
war on three fronts.
On October 14th 1915, Bulgaria joined the Axis powers.
WW1 Timeline - 1916 Verdun in the west, Russia to
the east -
On February 21st 1916, the Battle of Verdun began.
German Chief of Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn used an enormous amount of
weaponry against France in a war effort that was unprecedented at the
time. In the course of the battle, the French Fort Douaumont fell to the
Germans in February.
The middle of 1916, Russia launched a major offensive
on Germany's eastern front. The German Reich was so involved in fighting
on both fronts that it was in a precarious position. By October 24th
1915, it was clear to German generals that Verdun was lost, and France
began its counteroffensive (a important fact in the WW1 Timeline).
Interestingly, by the end of 1916, peace negotiations
were taking place – a fact not normally noted in history books. The
petition of the Axis powers was rejected by the Allies. Germany suffered
a “Turnip Winter” (Steckrübenwinter), during which food was scarce, and
WW1 Timeline - (1917) Turnips and Coca-Cola -
By this point in the war, Germany was in crisis
domestically. In the cities of Hamburg, Aachen and Cologne, protesting
was widespread. The homefront had broken away, and with that, the broad
support of the German population went too. The previous belief in a
quick war with an easy victory had been destroyed.
1917 saw enormous changes in Russia, too. In St.
Petersburg in March 1917, a soldier's mutiny saw Tsar Nicholas II losing
the support of his troops, and the rise of the Bolsheviks.
On April 6th 1917, the United States declared war on
Germany (important fact in the WW1 Timeline). This event was very important during WW1, since it meant that
the Allies now had a virtually unlimited supply of weapons and troops
from across the Atlantic .
WW1 Timeline - 1918 Armistice and the end of WW1 -
At the end of this topic “WW1 Timeline” is a
keyword-like summary of the main events of 1918:
January 8th 1918: US President Wilson's Fourteen
July 16th 1918: German troops arrive again at the
July 18th 1918: Counteroffensive
August 8th 1918 – the “Black Day of the German Army”
(Schwarze Tag des deutschen Heeres).
November 11th 1918 – November Armistice agreement
The WW1 Timeline reveals just how scarily fast a
local conflict can explode into a world war (see: The
Effects of World
War 1) .