Detailed Timeline of
Great War/World War I (1914
Austria's Ferdinand Assassinated in Bosnia - Trigger to War (June 28, 1914): Ferdinand, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne was assassinated while visiting Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Bosnian Serb revolutionary. The culprit escaped into Serbia. Serbia and Bosnia were in the midst of a pro-Slav movement, which opposed Austrian possession of Slav lands in the Balkans, such as Bosnia. Austria elected to deal harshly with Serbia, offering a list of steep demands. Austria-Hungary's demands included strict Serbian compliance with an investigation, harsh punishment against the suspected revolutionary group (the Young Bosnians), all with close Austrian oversight. Serbia was on the verge of accepting in order to avoid war over the matter, but was reassured support by Russia, who jumped on the opportunity to assert its will and influence in the Slavic nations of the Balkans. Austria consequently delared war on Serbia. Russia followed with a declaration of war on Austria-Hungary, setting into motion a chain reaction which brought the other European powers into the conflict, bringing to a head the tensions that had been building up for decades, instigating WWI.
(Timeline Continued Below)
Further Understanding: Causes of World War I
1. Colonial Rivalries. European powers shared an insatiable
appetite for expansionism and wealth creation. Natural resources were
required to feed their growing industrialization capabilities. Most land
throughout the world the could be feasibly conquered was already under
European colonial control, leaving colonial powers to fight over
increasingly limited territory, such as the African interior. By the
late 1800s, bitter rivalries developed as colonial powers butted heads
with greater frequency.
3. Unmitigated Nationalism. European kingdoms had given way to
nation-states throughout the 1800s following the Napoleonic Wars,
lending widespread support to colonial, economic and military expansion.
The Napoleonic Wars taught Europeans that it was critical to consolidate
and strengthen one's nation in relation to potential rivals.
Furthermore, new nations and new colonial powers such as the German
Empire and Italy (formed comparatively recently, during the mid-1800s)
were especially fervent, as they had been under foreign domination for
so long, and were eager to reverse the situation. Their tactics became
increasingly brutal and hostile as they felt compelled to play catch up
with established colonial powers such as the United Kingdom, France and
Austria Invades Serbia to Begin War (August 12, 1914): Austria-Hungary launches invasion of Serbia to start the Great War (WWI). In July, Austrian heir to the throne was assassinated in Bosnia (part of Austria-Hungary Empire), as part of a pan-Slavic movement based out of Serbia, with the objective of limiting Austrian influence and control in the Balkans. Russia encouraged Serbia to resist Austria-Hungary's subsequent demands, which included investigating and prosecuting the suspected group, under the oversight of the Austrians. Consequently, Austria invaded in August. Russia subsequently invaded Austria-Hungary, limiting its ability to conquer Serbia. In which case, Serbia was able to repel the Austrian offensive until late 1915.
Primary Combatants as of 1914:
Germany Invades Belgium/France - Beginning Trench Warfare (August 14, 1914): Germany invades Belgium as part of its plan to quickly defeat France, enabling it to divert most of its military resources to the eastern front to fight Russia. In order to out-flank the French military, which would concentrate along shared border and around Paris, it needed to launch from inside Belgium. Therefore, Belgium's neutrality was not honored. Germany enjoyed early success, steamrolling Belgium, and quickly taking ground inside France. However, France - with the help of UK and Canadian troops - was able to bog down the German military in trench warfare, forcing them into a two-front war after all.
Declarations of War:
4. UK and France Declared War on Germany and Austria-Hungary: As
part of its plan, the German Empire began its invasion to the west
within less than two weeks of declaring war on France. Its military
strategy to defeat France included the conquest of Belgium, a neutral
nation. This action, along with the fact that it was an ally with
France, drew the UK into WWI.
Naval Battle of Coronel - South America - Germany vs UK (Nov. 1, 1914): Germans invade and defeat British naval vessels off the southern coast of Chile, toward the southern tip of South America. This prompts the UK to send reinforcements, which meet the German squadron off the coast of the nearby Falkland Islands, a month later (Dec. 8). The British utterly destroy the Germans, ending their presence in the region.
Russia Invades German Empire and Austria-Hungary (1914): Russia mobilized troops along both its German and Austria-Hungary borders to support Serbia. Russia had encouraged Serbia to defy Austrian demands, pledging its aid in an attempt to increase its power and influence in the Slavic Balkan territories. This prompted Germany and Austria to declare war against Russia, eliciting the Russian invasions.
(Timeline Continued Below)
Germans successfully defend against Russian invasion of East Prussia (1914).
Russia Conquers Galacia Portion of Austria-Hungary (1914): Russians successfully invade Austria-Hungary, controlling most of Galacia. Forces Germans to divert more troops to aid its ally.
Ottoman Empire Invades Russia (1914): The Ottomans joined the Central Powers just as the war started, with an invasion of Russia, with the purpose of forcing it into a two-front war. The Ottomans' motivation was to regain territories lost in the past century, including Balkan territories, Middle Eastern territories to the UK, and Caucasus territories to Russia. Russia gained a decisive upper hand by the end of 1914.
UK-German Naval Warfare (1914): The UK devastates the German fleet off the west coast of South America, ending the German threat in that part of the world. The UK also successfully blockades the north coast of the German Empire, constricting their ability to bring in needed supplies. However, Germany is successful in harrassing Allied vessels in the North Atlantic.
United Kingdom imposes a naval blockade of Germany (1914).
Canada Joins United Kingdom (1914): Canada quickly joined the Allies to support the UK, its most important ally in the world, and to foster a greater sense of nation, as it was still a self-governing federation under British dominion. Canadia soldiers primarily served in the trenches in France, fighting against the Germans.
#1 - Mr Moanalot - 03/28/2012 - 14:02
helped with my history assessment
#2 - The guy - 05/02/2012 - 13:42
The map of 1914 Pre-World War Europe is slightly wrong.
There are 2 islands (Saaremaa and Hiiumaa) in western Estonia, that on this map have been combined into one big island and they have been marked as part of Sweden. Being an Estonian, I can assure that those islands were most definitely part of the Russian empire in 1914 like the rest of the country.
#3 - commenter - 06/03/2012 - 14:16
Good, but can you add something about how the war affected y
The political boundaries please?
#4 - Herp Derp - 12/05/2012 - 22:00
Thank you for this great information, I cited this website.
#5 - Blargh - 01/24/2013 - 13:18
Thank you, but could you please post more information about Austria-Hungary's recruiting soldiers?
#6 - person - 02/10/2013 - 17:49
this is very detailed
#7 - rachet - 03/28/2013 - 20:15
Hi there, do you know why the europeans were so eager to go to war?
#8 - Chloe - 04/16/2013 - 04:00