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A Chronology of World War I: 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919


August, 1914
1 Outbreak of World War I; German declaration of war on Russia
4 Wilson proclaims US neutrality

September, 1914
5 Opening of the First Battle of the Marne
14 Opening of the First Battle of the Aisne; start of trench warfare

December, 1914
21 First German air raid on Britain


February, 1915
4 Germany announces "war zone" in British waters
19 British begin naval action against the Dardenelles

March, 1915
1 American citizen dies in sinking of first passenger ship, the
British liner, Falaba

April, 1915
22 Second Battle of Ypres begins
25 British landing on Gallipoli Peninsula
26 France, Russia, Italy and Britain conclude secret Treaty of London

May, 1915
7 Lusitania sunk by German U-boat off Irish coast
23 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary

August, 1915
19 Two Americans die in sinking of Arabic off Ireland
21 The Washington Post carries story that General Staff is planning to send a force of 1 million soldiers overseas
24 War College Division denies allegations in Washington Post

December, 1915
4 Henry Ford's peace ship, Oskar II, begins voyage to Europe


January, 1916
27 Wilson launches nationwide whistle-stop campaign to generate support for Preparedness with three speeches in New York

February, 1916
3 Wilson delivers final speech of Preparedness campaign in St. Louis
21 Beginning of ten month Battle of Verdun

March, 1916
9 Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico
15 Pershing starts pursuit of Villa into Mexico
24 French passenger ship, Sussex, torpedoed

April, 1916
4 American naval and military attaches in Paris and London draft plan for mobilizing US shipping to carry an American army to Europe, but their plan is ignored
24 Rebellion begins in Ireland on Easter Monday
27 Marshal Lord Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, asking for American military participation in Europe

May, 1916
4 Germany renounces submarine policyÑ"Sussex Pledge"

June, 1916
3 National Defense Act authorizes five-year expansion of US Army, but at the same time drastically limits size and authority of US War Department General Staff

July, 1916
1 Battle of the Somme opens; British suffer approximately 60,000 casualties on the first day
29 US Marines land in Haiti
30 Jersey City,N.J. munitions plant destroyed; German sabotage suspected

August, 1916
31 Germany suspends submarine assaults

September, 1916
15 Tanks introduced on the Somme battlefield by the British

October, 1916
15 Germany resumes U-boat attacks under search and destroy rules

November, 1916
7-9 Wilson wins reelection, which was in doubt until the California returns
28 First Germany airplane raid on London
29 US occupation of Santa Domingo proclaimed

December, 1916
12 Germans issue peace note suggesting compromise peace


January, 1917
9 German leaders decide to launch unrestricted U-boat warfare
31 Germany announces resumption of unrestricted U-boat warfare

February, 1917
1 Germany resumes unrestricted U-boat warfare
3 US severs relations with Germany
24 Great Britain releases Zimmermann Note to US
26 Wilson requests authority from Congress to arm US merchant ships

March, 1917
1 Zimmermann Note released to press by State Department; Armed Ship Bill passes House
4 Senate adjourns without passing Armed Ship Bill; "Little group of willful men" successfully filibuster
12 Wilson announces arming of merchant ships by executive order
15 Culmination of "February Revolution"; Czar Nicholas II abdicates
29 Wilson publicly calls for a national army to be "raised and maintained exclusively by selective draft"

April, 1917
German submarine campaign exacts heaviest damage of war: 881,027 gross tons, 500,000 of which are British
2 Wilson delivers war address to Congress at 8:32 pm
6 US declares war on Germany
16 Lenin arrives in Russia

May, 1917
18 Selective Service Act signed by Wilson

June, 1917
7 General Staff issues plan to ship American forces at a rate of 120,000 per month beginning in August; this rate of dispatch would not be realized until April 1918
15 Espionage Act
26 First US troops (1st Division) arrive in France

October, 1917
3 War Revenue Act; graduated income tax authorized

November, 1917
7 Bolsheviks seize power in Russia

December, 1917
7 United States and Austria-Hungary at war
9 Jerusalem captured by British
22 Central Powers and Soviets open peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk


January, 1918
8 Wilson's Fourteen Points speech to joint session of Congress

March, 1918
3 Soviet Russia and Central Powers make peace with Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

May, 1918
16 Sedition Act; amendment to Espionage Act of 1917
25 German U-boats make their first appearance in US waters

July, 1918
2 Allied Supreme War Council supports intervention in Siberia
6 Wilson agrees to American intervention in Siberia
15 Opening of last phase of German offensive (Second Battle of the Marne)
18 Allied counterattack seizes strategical initiative from Germans; nine US divisions participate

September, 1918
4 American troops land at Archangel in North Russia
12 United States launches St. Mihiel offensive

October, 1918
3-4 Germans and Austrians send notes to Wilson requesting an armistice
21 Germany ceases unrestricted U-boat warfare

November, 1918
3 Mutiny of the German fleet at Kiel
5 Congressional elections result in Republican control of Congress
11 Armistice goes into effect at 11 AM, the eleventh day of the eleventh month
18 Wilson announces that he will attend peace conference personally


January, 1919
5 Sparticist (Communist) revolt begins in Berlin
18 Peace negotiations start at Paris
25 Peace conference accepts principle of League of Nations

February, 1919
28 Lodge starts campaign against League of Nations

March, 1919
4 Founding of Comintern (Third International) at Moscow

April, 1919
3 Wilson becomes sick with influenza
7 Allies evacuate Odessa

June, 1919
28 Treaty of Versailles signed in Hall of Mirrors at Versailles



This site was updated on 25-Jul-14.

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