What Are Some Important Events of World War I?


Quick Answer

Important events of World War I include the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, several countries declaring war on one another, the Battle of Tannenberg, and the entrance of the United States into the war. Other key moments are the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the 1918 Spring Offensive and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

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Full Answer

Although many political, social and economic conditions led to the start of World War I, it officially began when the Archduke of the Austria-Hungary throne, Franz Ferdinand, was murdered on June 28, 1914, by Serbians. At this point, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and its ally, Germany, declared war on Russia, Serbia's ally. The United Kingdom allied itself with Russia because Germany invaded Belgium.

The first major battle of the war was the Battle of Tannenberg on Aug. 26,1914, followed by trench warfare at the First Battle of Marne in France on September 5 of the same year. The battle pitted the United Kingdom and France on one side and the Germans on the other. German U-boats hedged in the United Kingdom, making it difficult for military, merchant and civilian vessels to get in and out of the country.

On March 15, 1917, unrest inside Russia followed by the uprising and Bolshevik Revolution on November 7 pulled Russia out of the war, and it signed a peace treaty with Germany and Austria-Hungary. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, declaring war on Germany. Germany's Spring Offensive on March 21, 1918, failed, and it was followed by major casualties on July 15 at the Second Battle of the Marne.

Germany surrendered and signed the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, then participated in the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, to officially end the war.

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