World War 1 – 1914 Timeline

What were the key events of 1914?

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    Franz Ferdinand_Sarajevo

    28th June, The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    On the 28 June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, visit Sarajevo in order to inspect the troops that are stationed there. This is a significant day as it is also Serbia's National Day and the visit is a direct insult to the Serbs who believe the area should belong to them. As a sign of defiance towards Austria-Hungary seven young Bosnian Serbs set out a plan to assassinate Franz Ferdinand.

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    29th June

    Secretary of the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service at Belgrade send a statement to Vienna accusing Serbia of being involved in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.


    5th July

    Kaiser William II promises German support for Austria-Hungary against Serbia.

    20th July

    Austria-Hungary send troops to the Serbian Frontier

    25th July

    Serbia orders the mobilisation of troops. Russia arranges for troops to be stationed on the Russo-Australian frontier.

    28th July

    Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia



    29th July

    Britain calls for international mediation to resolve the worsening crisis. Russia urges German restraint, but the Russians begin partial troop mobilization as a precaution. The Germans then warn Russia on its mobilisation and begin to mobilise themselves.

    30th July

    Austria - Hungarian warships bombard Belgrade, capital of Serbia.


  • 1st August

    France orders military mobilisation.
    Germany declares war on Russia.
    Italy and Belgium announces neutrality.

    3rd August

    Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium and so implements the Schlieffen Plan.

    4th August

    Britain gives Austria-Hungary an ultimatum to stand down from hostilities. When Australia-Hungary doesn't comply a state of war is declared at 11pm. This means Britain keeps the agreement to defend Belgium.

    5th August

    Kitchener appointed Secretary of State for War


    6th August

    Austria - Hungary declares war on Russia.

    7th August

    Troops from the British Expeditionary Force land in France

    11th August

    The slogan, 'Your King and Country needs you!' is published, with a call for the first 100,000 men to enlist. The call was answered within two weeks.

  • 20th August

    German troops occupy undefended Brussels, capital of Belgium. Following this, the main German armies continue westward and invade France according to their master strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan.

    23rd August

    Japan declares war on Germany.

    26th August

    On the Eastern Front, German troops in East Prussia oppose the Russian 2nd Army.  Five days later, after surrounding the Russians, the battle ends with a German victory and the capture of 125,000 Russians.


    5th September

    The Battle of the Marne marks the start of trench warfare. The battle was at the cost of 13,000 British, 250,000 French and 250,000 German casualties.

    19th October

    First Battle of Ypres

    29th October

    Turkey joins the central powers

    22nd November

    Trenches are established along the entire Western Front

  • 24th December

    A Christmas truce is announced


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Use this material to explore some of the main questions surrounding WW1!

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How and why did World War start? Who are the unsung heroes of the war? What was the true cost of the war? Who made the biggest sacrifice? What does it mean to really remember? This material encourages you to tackle these and other big […]

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