World War I Facts

July 7, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on World War I Facts 

World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand.

The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.

Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock. The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.

Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.

World War 1
During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sung Christmas carols to each other. A football match was played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.

Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.

Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.

Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.

How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed

February 25, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed 

1914
June 28th

Francis Ferdinand assassinated at Sarajevo

July 5th

Kaiser William II promised German support for Austria against Serbia

July 28th

Austria declared war on Serbia

August 1st

Germany declared war on Russia

August 3rd

Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Germany had to implement the Schlieffen Plan.

August 4th

Britain declared war on Germany

August 23rd

The BEF started its retreat from Mons. Germany invaded France.

August 26th

Russian army defeated at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes.

September 6th

Battle of the Marne started

October 18th

First Battle of Ypres

October 29th

Turkey entered the war on Germany’s side. Trench warfare started to dominate the Western Front.

1915

January 19th

The first Zeppelin raid on Britain took place

February 19th

Britain bombarded Turkish forts in the Dardanelles

April 25th

Allied troops landed in Gallipoli

May 7th

The “Lusitania” was sunk by a German U-boat

May 23rd

Italy declared war on Germany and Austria

August 5th

The Germans captured Warsaw from the Russians

September 25th Start of the Battle of Loos

December 19th

The Allies started the evacuation of Gallipoli

1916

January 27th

Conscription introduced in Britain

February 21st

Start of the Battle of Verdun

April 29th

British forces surrendered to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia

May 31st

Battle of Jutland

June 4th
Start of the Brusilov Offensive

July 1st

Start of the Battle of the Somme

August 10th
End of the Brusilov Offensive

September 15th

First use en masse of tanks at the Somme

December 7th

Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister

1917

February 1st

Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign started

April 6th

USA declared war on Germany

April 16th

France launched an unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front

July 31st

Start of the Third Battle at Ypres

October 24th

Battle of Caporetto – the Italian Army was heavily defeated

November 6th

Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front

November 20th

British tanks won a victory at Cambrai

December 5th

Armistice between Germany and Russia signed

December 9th

Britain captured Jerusalem from the Turks

1918
March 3rd

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between Russia and Germany.

March 21st

Germany broke through on the Somme

March 29th

Marshall Foch was appointed Allied Commander on the Western Front

April 9th

Germany started an offensive in Flanders

July 15th

Second Battle of the Marne started. The start of the collapse of the German army

August 8th

The advance of the Allies was successful

September 19th

Turkish forces collapsed at Megiddo

October 4th

Germany asked the Allies for an armistice

October 29th

Germany’s navy mutinied

October 30th

Turkey made peace

November 3rd

Austria made peace

November 9th

Kaiser William II abdicated

November 11th

Germany signed an armistice with the Allies – the official date of the end of World War One.

Post-war – 1919

January 4th

Peace conference met at Paris

June 21st

The surrendered German naval fleet at Scapa Flow was scuttled.

June 28th

The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Germans

Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. World War I began

July 28, 2011 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comment 
On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. World War I began as declarations of war by other European nations quickly followed.

world war one

The ‘Great War’, which began on 28 July 1914 with Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war with Serbia, was the first truly global war.  It began in Europe but quickly spread throughout the world.  Many countries became embroiled within the war’s first month; others joined in the ensuing four years, with Honduras announcing hostilities with Germany as late as 19 July 1918 (with the record going to Romania, who entered the war – albeit for the second time – one day before it finished, on 10 November 1918).

Detailed below is a list of the nations who formally declared hostilities during World War One, along with their date of entrance.  Nations of the British Empire, e.g. Australia, Canada and New Zealand, automatically entered the war with Britain’s decision to enter the fray on 4 August 1914.

Note that on numerous occasions hostilities were assumed without a formal declaration, e.g. Russia with Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1914.

Australia
Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914

Austria-Hungary
Declared war with Serbia on 28 July 1914
Declared war with Russia on 6 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 28 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 15 March 1916

Belgium
Invaded by Germany on 3 August 1914

Bolivia
Severed relations with Germany on 13 April 1917

Brazil
Severed relations with Germany on 11 April 1917
Declared war with Germany on 26 October 1917

Bulgaria
Declared war with Serbia on 14 October 1915
Declared war with Romania on 1 September 1916

Canada
Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914

China
Severed relations with Germany on 14 March 1917
Declared war with Germany on 14 August 1917
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 14 August 1917

Costa Rica
Severed relations with Germany on 21 September 1917
Declared war with Germany on 23 May 1918

Cuba
Declared war with Germany on 7 April 1917

Ecuador
Severed relations with Germany on 8 December 1917

France
Invaded by Germany on 2 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 16 October 1915

Germany
Declared war with Russia on 1 August 1914
Declared war with France on 3 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 9 March 1916

Greece
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 27 June 1917
Declared war with Bulgaria on 27 June 1917
Declared war with Germany on 27 June 1917
Declared war with Turkey on 27 June 1917

Guatemala
Declared war with Germany on 23 April 1918

Haiti
Declared war with Germany on 12 July 1918

Honduras
Declared war with Germany on 19 July 1918

Italy
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915
Declared war with Turkey on 21 August 1915
Declared war with Germany on 28 August 1915
Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915

Japan
Declared war with Germany on 23 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 25 August 1914

Liberia
Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914

Montenegro
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 5 August 1914
Declared war with Germany on 8 August 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915

New Zealand
Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914

Nicaragua
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 8 May 1918
Declared war with Germany on 8 May 1918

Panama
Declared war with Germany on 7 April 1917
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 10 December 1917

Peru
Severed relations with Germany on 6 October 1917

Portugal
Entered war against Germany on 9 March 1916
Entered war against Austria-Hungary on 15 March 1916

Romania
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 27 August 1916
Exited war with Treaty of Bucharest on 7 May 1918
Re-entered the war on 10 November 1918

Russia
Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915

San Marino
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 3 June 1915

Serbia
Declared war with Germany on 6 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914

Siam
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 22 July 1917
Declared war with Germany on 22 July 1917

Turkey
Declared war with Romania on 30 August 1916
Severed relations with United States on 23 April 1917

United Kingdom
Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915

United States of America
Declared war with Germany on 6 April 1917
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 7 December 1917

Uruguay
Severed relations with Germany on 7 October 1917

Reference:
Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Volume 27, Funk & Wagnall, 1983