History Notes: Key Events of World War – I that you need to know

World War – I Highlights & Key Events

World War – I often called the “the war to end all wars” is one of the biggest incidents of Modern History. The Allied powers, Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States, in order to protect each other’s allies, ended up being in a warzone with the Central Power including Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States. There were many  reasons associated with the outbreak of World War I including the Mutual Defence Alliance, Imperialism, MillitarismNationalism and the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand.  The assassination of ArchdukeFranz Ferdinand is considered as the immediate reason.

read more: Causes of World War – I


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world war first

The Key Events of World War I in Chronological order are mentioned below –

Jun 28, 1914 – Archduke Assassination

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria– Hungary got assassinated in Sarajevo. Death of Archduke is considered the prime reason behind the whole World War. Serbian nationalist Gavrilo assassinated him.


June 28, 1914 

Austria declared war on Serbia as revenge for the assassination of Archduke.


Jul 30, 1914

Mobilization of Russia

Russia, to defend their ally, Serbia mobilized its army against Austria – Hungary. This particular move was the spark that leads to a fire. This made the rest of the Great European powers to mobilise later.

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August 1, 1914

Germany also declared war on France, Russia’s ally and also began an invasion of neutral Belgium


Aug 4, 1914 

World War I Begins

Great Britain, France’s allies declared war against Germany. Germany invaded Belgium and hence the World War I began.


Late August 1914 

Battle of Tannenberg

The Russian army invaded Prussia and the Germans used their railway system to surround the Russians. This inflicted heavy causalities.


By the end of 1914

Germany’s advance into France met Belgium’s fierce resistance and the allies put Germans at a halt at the River Marne. The British troops were forced to retreat after the advancement of from northern coast of France to Belgian town. The British suffer huge losses at the First Battle of Ypres disappearing all hopes for quick ending of the war.


April  22, 1915 – Germans Fire

Germany fired chlorine gas-filled shells at the allied lines. This resulted in the collapse of the French lines although, Germany couldn’t take much advantage of it.


May 7, 1915 – Lusitania Sinks

A German submarine leads to the sinking of the ship – Lusitania.

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Sep 18, 1915 – Germany Limits Submarines

In reaction to the sinking of Lusitania, Kaiser Wilhelm suspends unrestricted submarine warfare. This turned out to be an attempt that kept the United States out of the war. Though it hampered German efforts to prevent American supplies from reaching France and Britain.


Sep 15, 1916 – First Tanks

The British were the first one to used tanks in a battle, at Delville Wood. Although coming out to be useful at breaking through barbed wire and clearing a path for the infantry. These tanks were primitive but they fail to be the decisive weapon.

Feb 1, 1917 Submarines Back

Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare in European waterways drawing the United States into the war and causing the defeat of Germany.


Feb 25, 1917 – Zimmerman Telegram

The Zimmermann Telegram was passed to the US government by the British. This telegram contained details of the German proposal of an alliance with Mexico against America.


Apr 2, 1917 – Wilson for War

Wilson outlines his case for war to Congress.


Apr 6, 1917 – U.S. Enters War

The US authorizes a declaration of war against Germany. The United States enters World War I on the side of France and Britain.


May 18, 1917 – Selective Service Act

Although Wilson criticized for destroying democracy at home while fighting for it abroad, he claimed that he could not see any other option and hence Congress passed the Selective Service Act authorizing the draft.


Mar 3, 1918 – Germany and Russia Peace

Germany signed a peace treaty with the Bolshevik government of Russia. This treaty gave Germany, huge tracts of the land of Ukraine and Poland. The Eastern front stayed in peace and hence Germany shifted their soldiers to Western Front. This created a problem for France, British and Americans.


May 28, 1918 – Battle of Cantigny

The Battle of Cantigny was the first major offensive war by America.


Jun 3, 1918 – Chateau-Thierry

American attacked Germany at Chateau-Thierry. This battle morphed into the Battle of Belleau Wood.


 Jun 6, 1918 – Battle of Belleau Wood

The U.S. Marine Corps attacks the Germans across an open field of wheat. This lead to huge casualties.


 Jun 26, 1918 – Belleau Wood Ends

The Battle of Belleau Wood ends and German advance on Paris. This had caused nearly 10000 American casualties.


Sep 12, 1918 – Battle of St. Mihiel

This battle began when 300,000 American troops fling themselves into the German lines.


Nov 9, 1918

Wilhelm Abdicates

Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates, ended all the hopes of Germany of winning the war. An Armistice was signed on Armistice Day that ended the fight on the Western Front also.


So, this was all about the summary of the key event that happened during World War I. The war created unrest in the whole world and disturbed the economy and balance of the whole world.

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