Timeline of World War One

Timeline of WWI


June 28, 1914:

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia.


July 28, 1914:

-Austria-Hungary declares war on Servia.

Britain orders its warships to various war bases, especially off the northeast coast of Scotland where it can dominate the North Sea and block the German fleet’s access to the world’s oceans.


July 29, 1914:

Bulgaria declares its neutrality.

-Germany mobilizes its navy.

Russia signs mobilization order to become effective on August 4.

-First engagement of WWI occurs when Austro-Hungarian warships on the Danube River bombard Belgrade, the Serbian capital.  Serbian artillery replies.


July 30, 1914:  The Dutch government declares its neutrality in the war.


August 1, 1914: 

-Germany begins to mobilize against Russia and declares war.

France agrees to issue a general mobilization order.


August 2, 1914:  German troops occupy neutral Luxembourg demanding free passage through Belgium to pre-empt a French attack on Germany.  Turkey makes secret alliance with Germany.


August 3, 1914:

Belgian government denies Germany free passage through their territory and receives confirmation that Britain and France will provide armed support to combat German attacks.

Britain signs a general mobilization order.

Germany declares war against France.

Italy declares its neutrality.

-Romania declares armed neutrality, but sides with Russia in October, when it closes its borders to German supplies bound for Turkey.

Turkey declares armed neutrality and mobilizes its forces.


August 4, 1914:

-Britain declares war when Germany rejects their ultimatum requesting that their troops leave Belgian soil.  Being a dominion of Britain, Canada is automatically at war on the 4th.

-Germany declares war on Belgium and invades with their First and Second army.

-United States government declares its neutrality.


August 5, 1914:

-Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia.

Montenegro declares war on Austsria-Hungary.

Germany launches a night attack against Belgium, but is blocked.

Canada – Governor General declares war between Canada and Germany.


August 6, 1914:

-Serbia declares war on Germany.


August 7, 1914:

-Advance guard of 100,000-strong British Expeditionary Force reaches Mons, France.


August 10:

France declares war on Austria-Hungary.

Belgium – the first of Liege’s 12 forts falls to the Germans.


August 12:

-Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary.


August 12-21:

-Balkans, Serbia-invaded by Austro-Hungarian troops, but after fierce resistance, the invaders begin to withdraw by August 16.


August 14:

-Britain – Novelist H. G. Wells calls the conflict “The War to End All Wars.”


August 15:

-Japan demands that the Germans evacuate their colony based at the port of Tsingtao in China.


August 16:

-Germany – Austrian-born Adolf Hitler volunteers to fight with the German Army, and serves on the Western Front as a messenger, receiving wounds, and receiving various medals for valor.


August 17-20:

-Fighting continues against East Prussia, Belgium, with the Germans occupying Brussels & considering airship bombing attacks on London, British ports, & major naval bases.


August 20-25:

-With the last “Battle of the Frontier” at Mons, the battles switch to the wooded Ardennes region to the north of Metz.


August 23:

-Japan declares war on Germany, but concentrates efforts against the German colony port of Tsingtao in China.


August 26-31:

-Major German victory at Tannenberg.  Russian losses are enormous.


August 28:

-Sea War, North Sea – British sink four German vessels, losing none of their own in the battle, signaling a clear-cut success by the British, and causing Germany to shelve plans to use the High Seas Fleet in large-scale offensive operations in the North Sea.


August 30:

-Air War, France – Paris becomes the first capital city to suffer aerial bombardment when a German Taube monoplane drops four small bombs and propaganda leaflets.


September 5:  

The First Battle of the Marne begins.  Trench warfare begins as soldiers on both sides dig in.



 From here on in, skip over to Wikipedia to follow the comprehensive timeline they provide for World War I :