First World War


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria


Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Ilić. The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's south-Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Greater Serbia or a Yugoslavia. The assassins' motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as Young Bosnia. Serbian military officers stood behind the attack.

Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia


At 11:00 AM on July 28th, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia. Following instructions from Bethmann Hollweg, Prince Tschirschky did not present Wilhelm’s “Stop in Belgrade” proposal until noon. Later that day, Austrian monitors bombarded Belgrade. In Russia, partial mobilization was ordered for the four military districts bordering Austria-Hungary.Wilhelm sent a telegram to Nicholas asking for Russian support for the Austrian war against Serbia.Nicholas replied: “Am glad you are back…I appeal to you to help me. An ignoble war has been declared on a weak country… Soon I shall be overwhelmed by pressure brought upon me…to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such as a calamity as a European war, I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far.”

Russian mobilization against Austria


On July 30th, Nicholas sent a message to Wilhelm informing him that he had ordered partial mobilization against Austria, and asking him to do his utmost for a peaceful solution. Upon hearing of Russia’s partial mobilization, Wilhelm wrote: “Then I must mobilize too.” The German Ambassador in St. Petersburg informed Nicholas that Germany would mobilize if Russia did not demobilize at once.

Germany declares war on Russia


German troops invade Luxemburg


Germany declares war on France


Germany declares war on Belgium


Battle of Verdun

02/21/1916 - 12/18/1916

The Battle of Verdun was one of the major battles during the First World War on the Western Front. It was fought between the German and French armies, from 21 February to 18 December 1916, on hilly terrain north of the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France.

Battle of the Somme

7-1-1916 - 11-18-1916

The Battle of the Somme also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on either side of the river Somme in France. The battle saw the British Expeditionary Force mount a joint offensive, with the French Army against the German Army, which had occupied large areas of France since its invasion of the country in August 1914. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the war; by the time fighting paused in late autumn 1916, the forces involved had suffered more than 1 million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded.

End of WW1