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World War I

Family of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria


Archduke Franz Ferdinand with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberh, and their three children (from left), Prince Ernst von Hohenberh, Princess Sophie, and Maximilian, Duke of Hohenburg.  1910


On the morning of June 28, 1914,  a 19-year old Bosnian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip  assassinated  Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.   He started a chain reaction that would lead directly to the start of World War I.

July, 28, 1914;  Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

August 1, 1914;   Germany declares war on Russia.

August 3, 1914;   Germany declares war on France.

August 4, 1914;   the United Kingdom  declares on France.

August 6, 1914;  Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia and Serbia declares war on Germany.

August 19, 1914;  U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announces the U.S. will remain neutral.

woodrow-wilsonThis painting of Woodrow Wilson hangs above the Grand Staircase in the White House.

August 26, 1914;   The beginning of the Battle of Tannenberg.

battle-at-tannenbergAfter the battle, the Swedish soldiers surrender to the Russian troops.


September 4, 1914;  The first Battle of the Marne begins.  Trench warfare begins as soldiers on both sides dig in.  The first major trench lines were completed in November 1914. By the end of that year, they stretched 475 miles, starting at the North Sea, running through Belgium and northern France, and ending in the Swiss frontier.

battle-of-marne-british-and-french-troopsBritish and French in the first Battle of Marne which prevented the Germans from conquering France in the first six months of the war.


The First Battle of the Marne, the Race to the Sea, the Siege of Antwerp, and the First Battle of Ypres in the West; Austrian defeats in Serbia and in Galicia in the East. Reprisals against Germans in Britain, mass enlistment in the British Empire, and Christmas at the front lines.

September 5, 1914;  The Battle of Ypres begins.



Hitler was in a battle near Ypres as a volunteer in a Bavarian Regiment.  Although 3,000 out of the 2,500 in his regiment were killed, wounded or missing, Hitler escaped without a scratch.

Hitler’s moustache was called a Kaiser moustache.  When in the trenches, he was ordered to trim his moustache.  His new style was called a Toothbrush moustache.  He needed to do this to wear the gas mask.  Source Wikipedia.adolf-hitler-ww-i-30-kickass-facts1

November 3, 1914;  The United Kingdom announces that the North Sea is a military area, effectively creating a blockade of goods into Germany.

December 24, 1914;  The unofficial Christmas truce is declared.


On Christmas day, 1914 cespite orders to the contrary made by British Commanders an informal cease fire took place between German and British Soldiers on the western front.

February 4, 1915;  Germany declares a “war zone” around Great Britain.

February 19, 1915;  The Dardanelles Campaign begins.

April 22, 1915;  The Second Battle of Ypres begins.  it is during this battle that the Germans first used poison gas.

April 25, 1915;  The Battle of Gallipoli begins.

May 7, 1915;  The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat, U-20

lusitaina-sinkingBritish ocean liner RMS Lusitania

The Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat May 7, 1915.  There were 1,959 people on board of which 1,198 died.  Included in that number were 128 Americans.   Captain William Thomas Turner was the ships captain.