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 Detailed Timeline of European History
Pre-World War I (1816-1914) << World War I (1914-19) >> Inter-War Period (1919-39)

Great War/World War I (1914 - 1919)
A New Terrible Type of Warfare, New Nations Created in Europe

WWI Timeline:  |  1914  |  1915  |  1916  |  1917  |  1918  1919  |

Go to European History Interactive Map

World War I Interactive Map

Effect of World War I on Each Country

Beginning of Finnish Civil War (Jan, 1918): The Red Guard was in favor of a Soviet-style communist government, with close leanings towards Lenin's Soviet Union. The Whites were in favor of a democratic Republic. The Reds were supported by Russian (Soviet Union) troops, while the Whites were supported by the German Empire.

(Timeline Continued Below)

Germany Occupies Finland (May, 1918): After the Whites gained victory over the Reds in the Finnish Civil War in the same year fighting began (1918), they came under German control.

Defeat of GermanyGerman Offensive Halted by Allies on Western Front (May, 1918): In early 1918, the Germans were able to reallocate a large number of soldiers from the eastern front to the western front, due to the withdrawal of the Russians from the war. By Spring, they had pushed the front lines 60 miles to the west, within shelling distance of Paris. However, by the May, the Americans were being incorporated into the front lines, halting the German advance.

Allied Counter-Offensive on Western Front Breaks Germany (Aug-Nov, 1918): Once the Americans were placed into battle (more than 2 million in number), the Allies outnumbered the Germans, and by summer, began routinely breaking the German lines, causing Germans to surrender in large numbers. In November, the Germans signed an armistice to end all fighting on the western front, due primarily to mounting losses on the battlefield, and lack of continued support for the war at home.

Defeat of Austria-HungaryItaly Defeats Austria (Nov 3, 1918): After penetrating into NE Italy in 1917, the Austrians planned to break through Italian lines in order to capture key cities, such as Lombardy and Venice. The first effort in summer of 1918 was a terrible failure, resulting in the death of 100,000 Austrian troops. One final effort was made in October, which completely devastated the Austrian army, forcing them to end hostilities by signing an armistice, even though their front line was still inside the borders of Italy.

Germany Forced to Withdraw from Eastern European Countries (Nov, 1918): Upon ceding defeat due to its heavy losses on the Western Front, and the withdrawal of its own allies, Germany is forced to withdraw from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, enabling each to assert their own independence.

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German Revolution Begins (Nov, 1918): Before the signing of the armistice that ended the fighting in WWI, German sailors refused orders to engage in a naval battle against the British in the North Sea. The revolt spread throughout Germany, forcing the resignation of the Emperor in November. Immediately after, the interim government pulled Germany from the war. Political and civil strife, including armed conflicts would continue until the Weimar Republic was established in 1919. Small-scale armed rebellions would continue after that until as late as 1923.

End of World War IGerman Interim Government Officially Withdraws from War (Nov 11, 1918): With the war effort taking a turn for the disastrous for Germany, the emperor resigns on Nov 9. Just two days later, the interim government signs an armistice to end fighting. Germany was doomed when the Allies gained the decisive upper hand on the Western Front, after all of its fellow Central Powers had withdrawn from fighting in the face of defeat.

Ottomans Cede Defeat, Occupied by Allies (Nov, 1918): In 1918, the Allies achieved a series of decisive victories against the Ottomans in Palestine and Arabia. Baghdad was captured in 1917. Toward the end of 1918, the British and French had forced the Ottoman armies into a full retreat, inside Anatolia (modern Turkey), forcing an Ottoman surrender. The Allies would proceed to occupy various parts of the Ottoman Empire, including areas in Anatolia, the heart of the empire. It was the intention of the Allies to subdivide the entire Ottoman Empire amongst themselves, ending the sovereignty of the Turks and its dependents. As 1918 came to an end, the Turks began to take part in passive and active resistance, a precursor to Turkish War of Independence that would begin in 1919.

Independent Democratic Republic in Finland (Dec, 1918): Upon their official defeat in WWI, Germany relinquished control of Finland, enabling the Finns to form a sovereign government for first time (democracy).

Great Poland Uprising Against German Occupiers (Dec, 1918): After acknowledging defeat in November of 1918, the Germans continued to occupy Poland. The Polish, badly desiring independence, knew that the Germans were weakened, and were suffering from internal dissension. By December, the timing was right for an uprising. By early 1919, Polish rebel forces had overwhelmed German soldiers, taking control of their country, and becoming a sovereign republic.

PolandWest Prussia & Posen Lost by Germany Due to Russian-Supported Polish Revolt (1918): Awarded to Poland at the end of WWI. Poland gained part of this territory during the Great Poland Uprising, which began in 1918 and ended with the complete withdrawal of German troops in 1919. When it was clear to the Polish that the Germans were weakened from their defeat, and racked with internal strife, they were encouraged to revolt against their German occupiers. As a result, Germany's East Prussia was now separated from the rest of Germany.

Ottomans Defeat Armenians in the Caucasus Region (1918): Russia cedes territories gained in NE Anatolia as part of its withdrawal from the war. Armenians take the mantle though, and declare war on the Ottoman Empire, in an effort to carve out an independent Armenian nation. They are initially successful, before being overpowered by the Ottomans.

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African Theater (1918): A small German army continued to fight against Allies in East Africa until the armistice was signed by Germany to end all fighting in November of 1918. Upon receiving word, the small army left for Germany, as Germany had ceded any and all claims in Africa. This German armed unit never lost a battle, but it was too small to hold ground, and was continually on the move until the end of the war.

RomaniaRomania Liberated from German Control (1918): Romania had been forced into a peace treaty with Germany in 1917, since it was surrounded by enemy forces with the retreat and withdrawal of Russia. In 1918, after Austria-Hungary withdrew from the war, and Germany was at its breaking point, Romania officially re-entered the war on the side of the Allies, just one day before Germany would concede defeat to the Allies. German forces were quickly withdrawn, liberating Romania just as the war ended, while also invalidating the peace treaty which awarded portions of Romania to the Central Powers.

Bessarabia Awarded to Romania at Expense of Russia (1918): This traditionally Romanian region opted to leave Russia and become enjoined with Romania during the 1917 Communist Revolution. This was reaffirmed by the victorious Allies at the end of the war.

Transylvania Gained by Romania from Hungary (1918): The Romanians claimed Transylvania upon the end of the war, due to its majority Romanian population. Transylvania also contained a substantial Hungarian population, but the Allies preferred to award the region to Romania, a fellow ally.

Territory Ceded by Austria to Poland (1918): Polish-dominated region ceded to Poland from Austria-Hungary at the end of the war, at the urging of the Allies.

Alsace-Lorraine Lost to France at End of War (1918): As a concession to end the war, the Germans would cede Alsace-Lorraine to France. This region was traditionally French, but was gained by Prussia during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. It was a strategic territory with abundant coal deposits and a strong industrial infrastructure, which played a major role in the German build-up to WWI.

Allied-Mandated Separation of Austria and Hungary (1918): The Allies mandated that Austria and Hungary separate according to traditional territorial divisions. It was also mandated that Austria not combine with its fellow Germans of the newly-reconstituted German Empire, even though most Austrians favored unification with Germany.

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Formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Upon Break-Up of Austria-Hungary (1918): As fervent nationalism took much of Europe by storm during the 1800s, the South Slav nations had their own dreams of consolidating. This became more realistic as the Serbs escaped Ottoman rule, but the dream was blocked by Austria-Hungarian control of the Slovenes, Croats and Bosnians. Efforts to free Slavs under Austrian control contributed to the start of WWI. As WWI approached conclusion, and it was evident that Austria-Hungary would be defeated, the plans for a South Slav state were set into motion. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which also included Bosnians, Montenegrins and Macedonians) was officially formed on Dec. 1, 1918, just weeks after the fighting came to an end.

Post World War I Europe

(Timeline Continued Below)

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Czechs and Slovaks Unite for Form Czechoslovakia (1918): Both were repressed regions in the Austria-Hungary. Both also had a strong Slav heritage (Czech mixed with German, and Slovak mostly Slavic), each identifying more with Slav heritage. The Czechs had a greater capability of self-government in place. Hungary wanted to retain Slovakia, which was far less ready to govern itself. The Slovaks were far more inclined to join the Czechs than to remain with the repressive Hungarians, so the Czechs, with the permission of the Allies, moved in to occupy Slovakia. Hungary was unable to do anything about it after having just been thoroughly defeated in WWI. Thus, the new state of Czechoslovakia was formed. Naturally, the state was dominated by the Czechs. Despite being unified, ethnic differences would remain, eventually leading to a peaceful split in 1992, resulting in the successor states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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WWI Timeline:  |  1914  |  1915  |  1916  |  1917  |  1918  1919  |

Next: World War I (1919)

Previous: World War I (1917)

Effect of World War I on Each Country

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