World War I timeline, soldiers photos, and heroes

World War I timeline, soldiers photos, and heroes
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Liberty’s Victorious Conflict

Pictures speak louder than words. In these last pages are images of World War I fighter planes in combat, famous air fighters, pictures of recuperating soldiers, descriptions and photos of hospital train cars, and, finally, a World War I timeline of that happened between 1914 and 1917. These last pages also include a copy of Woodrow Wilson’s speech, recommending that America declare war on Germany.

Forward and America’s War Aims

The forward and “America’s War Aims” of this pictorial history book states the intended purpose of this photographic history of WWI (published before the war was even over).

“In the years to come, when studying The Great War, the most authentic records will be found in photographs. Men may disagree in their recollections, opinions may be colored by personal bias, but photographs cannot but show facts without any modification. Wherefore carefully selected pictures, such as appear in this collection, will form the most valuable data concerning the history of this period. Therefore to all this book has appeal; for its value today in showing what our boys went through; for its value in the many tomorrows as a historical document which our children will love, because it pictures what brother or father did in the great days”.

Woman’s Weekly. Copyright 1918 by The Magazine Circulation Company, Inc.

World War I timeline

The inclusion of a detailed documentation of major events from early on in World War I encapsulates the key moments and turning points of the conflict, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which sparked the outbreak of war, to significant battles, political maneuvers, and the eventual entry of the United States into the fray in 1917.


  • 1914
    • Murder at Serajevo of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand.
    • Liege occupied (Aug. 9); Brussels (Aug. 20).
    • Aug. 16: British expeditionary force landed in France.
    • Aug. 18: Russia completes mobilization and invades East Prussia.
    • Aug. 23: Tsingtau bombarded by Japanese.
    • Aug. 25-Dec. 15: Russians overrun Galicia. Lemberg taken (Sept. 2); Przemysl first attacked (Sept. 16); siege broken (Oct. 12-Nov. 12). Fall of Przemysl (Mar. 17, 1915). Dec. 4, Russians 25 miles from Cracow.
    • Aug. 26: Germans destroy Louvain. Russians severely defeated at Battle of Tannenberg, East Prussia.
    • Sept. 6-10: Battle of the Marne. Germans reach the extreme point of their advance; driven back to the River Aisne. The battle line then remained practically stationary for three years (front of 300 miles).
    • Oct. 9: Germans occupy Antwerp.
    • Oct. 16-28: Battle of the Yser, in Flanders. Belgians and French halt German advance.
    • Oct. 17-Nov. 17: French, Belgians, and British repulse German drive in the first battle of Ypres, saving Channel ports (decisive day of battle, Oct. 31).
    • Oct. 28: De Wet’s Rebellion in South Africa.
    • Nov. 7: Fall of Tsingtau to the Japanese.
    • Nov. 10-Dec. 14: Austrian invasion of Serbia (Belgrade taken Dec. 2, recaptured by Serbians Dec. 14).
    • Nov. 10: German cruiser “Emden” caught and destroyed at Cocos Island.
    • Dec. 8: British naval victory off the Falkland Islands.
    • Dec. 17: Egypt proclaimed a British Protectorate, and a new ruler appointed with the title of sultan.
    • Dec. 24: First German air raid on England.
  • 1915
    • Jan. 1-Feb. 15. Russians attempt to cross the Carpathians.
    • Jan. 24. British naval victory in North Sea off Dogger Bank.
    • Feb. 4. Germany’s proclamation of “war zone” around the British Isles after Feb. 18.
    • Feb. 18. German official “blockade” of Great Britain commenced. German submarines begin campaign of “piracy and pillage.”
    • Feb. 19. Anglo-French squadron bombards Dardanelles.
    • Mar. 17. Russians captured Przemysl and strengthened their hold on the greater part of Galicia.
    • Apr. 17-May 17. Second Battle of Ypres. British captured Hill 60 (April 19); April 23, Germans advanced toward Yser Canal. Asphyxiating gas employed by the Germans. Failure of Germany to break through the British lines.
    • Apr. 26. Allied troops land on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
    • Apr. 30. Germans invade the Baltic Provinces of Russia.
    • May 7. Cunard line steamship “Lusitania” sunk by German submarine (1,198 lives lost, 114 being Americans).
    • May 23. Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary.
    • June 3. Przemysl retaken by Germans and Austrians.
    • June 22. The Austro-Germans recapture Lemberg.
    • July 15. Conquest of German Southwest Africa completed.
    • July 12-Sept. 18. German conquest of Russian Poland. Germans capture Lublin (July 31); Warsaw (Aug. 4); Ivangorod (Aug. 5); Kovno (Aug. 17); Novogeorgievsk (Aug. 19); Brest-Litovsk (Aug. 25); Vilna (Sept. 18).
    • Aug. 4. Capture of Warsaw by Germans.
    • Aug. 19. White Star liner “Arabic” sunk by submarine; 16 victims, 2 Americans.
    • Oct. 5. Allied forces land at Salonika, at the invitation of the Greek government.
    • Oct. 6-Dec. 2. Austro-German-Bulgarian conquest of Serbia. Fall of Nish (Nov. 5); of Prizren (Nov. 30); of Monastir (Dec. 2).
    • Dec. 19. The British forces withdrawn from Anzac and Suvla Bay (Gallipoli Peninsula).
  • 1916
    • Jan. 8. Complete evacuation of Gallipoli.
    • Feb. 10. Germany sends memorandum to neutral powers that armed merchant ships will be treated as warships and will be sunk without warning.
    • Feb. 16. Kamerun (Africa) conquered.
    • Feb. 21-July. Battle of Verdun. Germans take Ft. Douaumont (Feb. 25). Great losses of Germans, with little results. Practically all the ground lost was slowly regained by the French in the autumn.
    • Mar. 8. Germany declares war on Portugal.
    • Mar. 24. French steamer “Sussex” is torpedoed without warning: about 60 passengers, including American citizens, are killed or wounded.
    • Apr. 17. Russians capture Trebizond.
    • Apr. 24-May 1. Insurrection in Ireland.
    • Apr. 29. Gen. Townshend surrendered to the Turks before Kut-el-Amara.
    • May 16-June 3. Great Austrian attack on the Italians through the Trentino.
    • May 31. Naval battle off Jutland.
    • June 4-30. Russian offensive in Volhynia and Bukovina. Czernowitz taken (June 17); all Bukovina overrun.
    • July 1-Nov. Battle of the Somme. Combles taken (Sept. 26). Failure of the allies to break the German lines.
    • Aug. 6-Sept. New Italian offensive drives out Austrians and wins Gorizia (Aug. 9).
    • Aug. 27-Jan. 15, 1917. Romania enters war on the side of the Allies and is crushed. (Fall of Bucharest, Dec. 6; Dobrudja conquered, Jan. 2; Focsani captured, Jan. 8).
    • Nov. 6. British liner “Arabia” torpedoed and sunk without warning in the Mediterranean.
  • 1917
    • Jan. 22. President Wilson addresses the Senate, giving his ideas of steps necessary for world peace.
    • Jan. 31. Germany announced unrestricted submarine warfare in specified zones.
    • Feb. 3. United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany; Bernstorff dismissed.
    • Feb. 18. Italians and French join in Albania, cutting off Greece from the Central Powers.
    • Feb. 24. Kut-el-Amara taken by British under Gen. Maude (campaign begun Dec. 13).
    • Feb. 26. President Wilson asks authority to arm merchant ships.
    • Mar. 11. Baghdad captured by British under Gen. Maude.
    • Mar. 11-15. Revolution in Russia, leading to abdication of Czar Nicholas II (Mar. 13). Provisional government formed by Constitutional Democrats under Prince Lvov and M. Milyukov.
    • Mar. 17-19. Retirement of Germans to “Hindenburg line.” Evacuation of 1,300 square miles of French territory, on front of 100 miles, from Arras to Soissons.
    • Apr. 6. United States declares war on Germany.
    • Apr. 9-May 14. British successes in Battle of Arras (Vimy Ridge taken Apr. 9).
    • Apr. 16-May 6. French successes in Battle of the Aisne between Soissons and Rheims.
    • May 15-Sept. 15. Great Italian offensive on Isonzo front (Carso Plateau). Capture of Gorizia (Aug. 9). Monte San Michele taken (Aug. 24), Monte Santo (Aug. 24), Monte San Gabriele (Sept. 14).
    • May 15. Gen. Petain succeeds Gen. Nivelle as commander in chief of the French armies.
    • June 7. British blow up Messines Ridge, south of Ypres, and capture 7,200 German prisoners.
    • June 10. Italian offensive on Trentino.
    • June 12. King Constantine of Greece forced to abdicate.
    • June 26. First American troops reach France.
    • June 29. Greece enters war with Germany and her allies.
      Here is where I stopped scanning the World War 1 Timeline (I think I got interrupted and forgot where I was, so resumed scanning at page 5).; thus the below is continued and pasted from the text of this book on
    • July 1. Russian army, led in person by Kerensky, begins a short-lived offensive in Galicia, ending in disastrous retreat (July 19-Aug. 3).
    • July 4. Resignation of Bethmann Hollweg as German chancellor. Dr. George Michaelis becomes chancellor (July 14).
    • July 20. Drawing in Washington of names for the first army under selective service.
    • July 20. Kerensky becomes premier on resignation of Prince Lvov.
    • July 30. Mutiny in German fleet at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. Second mutiny Sept. 2.
    • July 31-Nov. Battle of Flanders (Passchendaele Ridge); British successes.
    • Aug. 15. Canadians capture Hill 70, dominating Lens.
    • Aug. 19. New Italian drive on the Isonzo front (Carso Plateau). Monte Santo captured (Aug. 24).
    • Sept. 3. Riga captured by Germans.
    • Sept. 15. Russia proclaimed a republic.
    • Oct. 24-Dec. Great German-Austrian counterdrive into Italy. Italian line shifted to Piave River, Asiago Plateau, and Brenta River.
    • Oct. 23-26. French drive north of the Aisne wins important positions, including Malmaison Fort.
    • Oct. 26. Brazil declares war on Germany.
    • Oct. 27. Second Liberty Loan closed ($3,000,000,000 offered; $4,617,532,300 subscribed).
    • Nov. 2. Germans retreat from the Chemin des Dames, north of the Aisne.
    • Nov. 3. First clash of Americans with German soldiers.
    • Nov. 7. Overthrow of Kerensky and provisional government of Russia by the Bolsheviks.
    • Nov. 18. British forces in Palestine take Jaffa.
    • Nov. 22-Dec. 13. Battle of Cambrai. Successful surprise attack near Cambrai by British under Gen. Byng on Nov. 22 (employs “tanks” to break down wire entanglements in place of the usual artillery preparations). Bourlon Wood, dominating Cambrai, taken Nov. 26; Surprise counterattack by Germans, Dec. 2, compels British to give up a fourth of ground gained. German attacks on Dec. 13 partly successful.
    • Nov. 29. First plenary session of the Inter-Allied Conference in Paris. Sixteen nations represented. Col. E. M. House, chairman of American delegation.
    • Dec. 6. U.S. destroyer “Jacob Jones” sunk by submarine, with loss of over 40 American men.
    • Dec. 6. Explosion of munitions vessel wrecks Halifax.
    • Dec. 6-9. Armed revolt overthrows pro-Ally administration in Portugal.
    • Dec. 9. Jerusalem captured by British force advancing from Egypt.
    • Dec. 15. Armistice signed between Germany and the Bolshevik government at Brest-Litovsk.
    • Dec. 23. Peace negotiations opened at Brest-Litovsk between Bolshevik government and Central Powers, under presidency of the German foreign minister.
  • 1918 (not scanned but pasted below for completeness of this World War I Timeline)
    • Jan. 5. Premier Lloyd George outlines British peace terms.
    • Jan. 20. Naval battle at entrance to Dardanelles.
    • Jan. 21. Americans placed in charge of sector on French front.
    • Jan. 24. Chancellor von Hertling speaks on German war aims.
    • Jan. 30. Peace strikes occur in Germany.
    • Feb. 5. U.S. Transport Tuscania is torpedoed.
    • Feb. 6. Ukraine-Teuton peace treaty signed.
    • Feb. 19. Gen. Sir Henry H. Wilson made British chief of staff.
    • Feb. 21. German troops occupy Rovno and Reval in Russia.
    • Feb. 22. British capture Jericho.
    • Feb. 28. Allied ambassadors leave Petrograd.
    • Mar. 2. Russia accepts German peace terms.
    • Mar. 3. Romania accepts German armistice conditions.
    • Mar. 5. Bolshevik government flees from Petrograd to Moscow.
    • Mar. 7. Finland and Germany sign peace treaty.
    • Mar. 8. Russian congress of soviets ratifies peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
    • Mar. 20. United States and Britain requisition Dutch ships.
    • Mar. 21. Germans begin big offensive on western front at St. Quentin.
    • Mar. 23. Paris bombarded by a gun seventy miles away.
    • Mar. 27. Premier Lloyd George asks the United States to hurry troops to Europe.
    • Mar. 28. Allies placed under the supreme command of Gen. Foch.
    • Mar. 29. Gen. Pershing places American forces at Gen. Foch’s disposal.
    • Mar. 30. American troops march to the front.
    • Apr. 5. Japanese force lands in Vladivostok.
    • Apr. 9. Germans begin Flanders offensive.
    • Apr. 15. Secretary Baker returns from Europe.
    • Apr. 16. Bolo Pasha executed for treason.
    • Apr. 20. Americans win the battle of Seicheprey.
    • Apr. 23. Ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend blocked by sinking old British cruisers.
    • Apr. 30. Gavrilo Princip, assassin of Franz Ferdinand, dies in prison.
    • May 8. Germans meet defeat near Ypres.
    • May 10. Additional vessels sunk at Zeebrugge and Ostend harbor entrances.
    • May 16. Sinn Fein leaders arrested in Ireland.
    • May 27. Germans begin another phase of the great offensive, crossing the Aisne.
    • May 28. Americans take the village of Cantigny.
    • May 31. U.S. Transport President Lincoln sunk, returning from France.
    • May 31. Germans reach Chateau Thierry on the Marne but are stopped by French and American Marines.
    • June 3. German submarine raid off the American coast.
    • June 6. American marines gain two miles in battle near Veuilly.
    • June 7. Americans win the second battle northwest of Chateau Thierry.
    • June 9. Germans begin offensive between Montdidier and the Oise.
    • June 11. Americans capture Belleau Wood.
    • June 15. Austrians begin offensive against Italians and cross the Piave.
    • June 18-22. Austrian offensive ends in disastrous failure.
    • June 26. Americans win the battle north of Belleau Wood.
    • July 1. U.S. transport Covington sunk.
    • July 1. Americans capture the village of Vaux.
    • July 6. President Wilson and cabinet decide to take joint action with allies in Russia.
    • July 9. Richard von Kuehlmann resigns as German foreign secretary.
    • July 9. Italian and French troops begin successful advance in Albania.
    • July 13. Three American army corps formed in France.
    • July 14. Germans cross the Marne and threaten Chalons and Epernay.
    • July 15. British and American troops occupy the Murman coast of Russia.
    • July 18. French, Americans, and British begin a great counter-attack on the German right flank and win an important victory.
    • July 19. United States cruiser San Diego sunk.
    • July 20. Germans hurriedly retreat across the Marne.
    • July 20. Liner Justicia torpedoed and sunk.
    • July 21. Americans and French capture Chateau Thierry.
    • July 30. German Crown Prince flees from the Marne and withdraws the army.
    • Aug. 2. Soissons recaptured by Foch.
    • Aug. 4. Americans take Fismes.
    • Aug. 5. American troops landed at Archangel.
    • Aug. 7. Americans cross the Vesle.
    • Aug. 16. Bapaume recaptured.
    • Aug. 28. French recross the Somme.
    • Sept. 1. Foch retakes Peronne.
    • Sept. 12. Americans launch a successful attack in the St. Mihiel salient.
    • Sept. 28. Allies win on a 250-mile line from the North Sea to Verdun.
    • Sept. 29. Allies cross the Hindenburg line.
    • Sept. 30. Bulgaria surrenders, after a successful allied campaign in the Balkans.
    • Oct. 1. French take St. Quentin.
    • Oct. 4. Austria asks Holland to mediate with allies for peace.
    • Oct. 5. Germans start abandonment of Lille and burn Douai.
    • Oct. 6. Germany asks President Wilson for an armistice.
    • Oct. 7. Americans capture hills around Argonne.
    • Oct. 8. President Wilson refuses armistice.
    • Oct. 9. Allies capture Cambrai.
    • Oct. 10. Allies capture Le Cateau.
    • Oct. 11. American transport Otranto torpedoed and sunk; 500 lost.
    • Oct. 13. Foch’s troops take Laon and La Fère.
    • Oct. 14. British and Belgians take Roulers; President Wilson demands surrender by Germany.
    • Oct. 15. British and Belgians cross the Lys river, take 12,000 prisoners, and 100 guns.
    • Oct. 16. Allies enter Lille outskirts.
    • Oct. 17. Allies capture Lille, Bruges, Zeebrugge, Ostend, and Douai.
    • Oct. 18. Czechoslovaks issue declaration of independence; Czechs rebel and seize Prague, capital of Bohemia; French take Thielt.
    • Oct. 19. President Wilson refuses Austrian peace plea and says Czechoslovak state must be considered.
    • Oct. 21. Allies cross the Oise and threaten Valenciennes.
    • Oct. 22. Haig’s forces cross the Scheldt.
    • Oct. 23. President Wilson refuses latest German peace plea.
    • Oct. 27. German government asks President Wilson to state terms.
    • Oct. 28. Austria begs for separate peace.
    • Oct. 29. Austria opens direct negotiations with Secretary Lansing.
    • Oct. 30. Italians inflict a great defeat on Austria; capture 33,000; Austrians evacuating Italian territory.
    • Oct. 31. Turkey surrenders; Austrians utterly routed by Italians: lose 50,000; Austrian envoys, under white flag, enter Italian lines.
    • Nov. 1. Italians pursue beaten Austrians across the Tagliamento river; allied conference at Versailles fixes peace terms for Germany.
    • Nov. 3. Austria signs armistice amounting virtually to unconditional surrender.
    • Nov. 4. Allied terms are sent to Germany.
    • Nov. 7. Germany’s envoys enter allied lines by arrangement.
    • Nov. 11. Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates.
    • Nov. 10. Former Kaiser Wilhelm and his eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm, flee to Holland to escape widespread revolution throughout Germany.
    • Nov. 11. At 11:00 a.m. the armistice which had been signed by the German plenipotentiaries takes effect and fighting in the great war is at an end.

Concluding these first few pages of WWI history

As the 100 year centennial of World War I nears (as of this original post writing in January 2018), little did the writers of this book guess that these pages would be carefully digitally preserved for the great grand children and great great grandchildren to learn about “what brother or father did in the great days”. These images and documents not only commemorate the events and heroes of World War I but also serve as a reminder of the lessons learned from one of the most pivotal periods in world history.

First written 1/2018. Expanded and edited 2/2024 to include and complete the World War I timeline and clarify text

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