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WW1 Timeline

1914

Tours that cover key moments of WW1

4th August British Declaration of War

On August 4th 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany. It was a decision that is seen as the start of World War One. Britain, led by Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, had given Germany an ultimatum to get out of Belgium by midnight of August 3rd.

23rd August Battle of Mons

in their first confrontation on European soil since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, four divisions of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Sir John French, struggle with the German 1st Army over the 60-foot-wide Mons Canal in Belgium, near the French frontier.

Learn about this on the following tours:

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | First and Last Shots | First Shots and the Battle of Mons 100 years | The Battlefields of Belgium – WWI, WWII & Waterloo

6th September Battle of the Marne

was the culmination of the German advance into France and pursuit of the Allied armies which followed the Battle of the Frontiers in August, which had reached the outskirts of Paris. The counterattack of six French field armies and the British Expeditionary Force along the Marne River forced the German Imperial Army to abandon its push on Paris and retreat north-east, leading to the "Race to the Sea" and setting the stage for four years of trench warfare on the Western Front.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Miracle of the Marne & The Battle Verdun | Great War Centenary Tour - The Western Front From End to End

12th Spetember Battle of the Aisne

was the Allied follow-up offensive against the right wing of the German First Army (led by Alexander von Kluck) and the Second Army (led by Karl von Bülow) as they retreated after the First Battle of the Marne earlier in September 1914.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Great War Centenary Tour - The Western Front From End to End

28th Spetember Siege of Antwerp begins

as an engagement between the German and the Belgian, British and French armies around the fortified city of Antwerp during World War I. German troops besieged a garrison of Belgian fortress troops, the Belgian field army and the British Royal Naval Division in the Antwerp area, after the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders

16th October Battle of Yser starts

was a battle which took place in October 1914 between the towns on Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide along a 22 mile long stretch of the Yser river and Yperlee canal in Belgium.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | Great War Centenary Tour - The Western Front From End to End | Walking Ypres

19th October First Battle of Ypres starts

was a First World War battle fought for the strategically important town of Ypres in western Belgium in October and November 1914. The German and Western Allied attempts to secure the town from enemy occupation included a series of further battles in and around the West Flanders Belgian municipality.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | All Quiet on the Western Front | Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1 | First Battle of Ypres Centenary | Armistice Centenary in Flanders

31st October First Battle of Ypres at its height

Ypres was the last major obstacle to the German advance on Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais. The French strategy was to prevent German forces from outflanking the Allied front from the north. This was the last major German option, after their defeats at the First Battle of the Aisne and First Battle of the Marne.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | All Quiet on the Western Front | First Battle of Ypres Centenary | Armistice Centenary in Flanders

22nd November First Battle of Ypres ends

The end of the battle was not immediately apparent to the Allies. Several German attacks were made from 12–14 November. Stout British defences, heavy snowfall and hard frost ended large scale fighting. The British 8th Division was deployed to the front on 13 November, providing much needed reinforcement.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | All Quiet on the Western Front | First Battle of Ypres Centenary | Armistice Centenary in Flanders

25 December Christmas Truce

was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking the Ypres Salient | Armistice Centenary in Flanders

1915

22nd April Second Battle of Ypres – First Use of Gas

was a battle of the First World War fought for control of the strategic Flemish town of Ypres in western Belgium, following the First Battle of Ypres the previous autumn. It marked the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

The Old Contemptibles in Flanders | Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | All Quiet on the Western Front | Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1 | The Battlefields of Belgium – WWI, WWII & Waterloo

25th April Landings at Gallipoli

was a campaign of World War I that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire. The peninsula forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, a strait that provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire, one of the Allied powers during the war. Intending to secure it, Russia's allies Britain and France launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of Constantinople.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Gallipoli Battlefields

9th May Battle of Aubers Ridge

was a British offensive on the Western Front on 9 May 1915 during World War I. The battle was part of the British contribution to the Second Battle of Artois, a Franco-British offensive intended to exploit the German diversion of troops to the Eastern Front.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1

25 September Battle of Loos

was the largest British offensive mounted in 1915 on the Western Front during World War I. The first British use of poison gas occurred and the battle was the first mass engagement of New Army units.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1

25th September Battle of the Champagne

The battle led to Verdun being stripped of its artillery, drawing the attention of the German commanders. French success was due largely to the weakness of German defence in the Champagne region.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Miracle of the Marne and the Battle of Verdun

1916

21st February Battle of Verdun

was a battle fought between the German and French armies, on hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Miracle of the Marne and the Battle of Verdun | Great War Centenary Tour - The Western Front From End to End

1st July Battle of the Somme begins

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Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking The Somme | Shot At Dawn - Military Executions in WW1

15th September Flers-Courcelette: First use of tanks

was a battle within the Franco-British Somme Offensive, the battle went on for one week. Flers–Courcelette began with the objective of cutting a hole in the German line by using massed artillery and infantry attacks.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking The Somme

18th November End of the Battle of the Somme

The battle was one of the largest of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of humanity's bloodiest battles.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking The Somme | Shot At Dawn - Military Executions in WW1

1917

9th April Battle of Arras

was a British offensive during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Australian troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front

16th April Second Aisne: Chemin des Dames

was a French attempt to inflict a decisive defeat on the German armies in France by an offensive of several French army groups. The attacks became known as the Nivelle Offensive with a British attack at Arras.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Great War Centenary Tour - The Western Front From End to End

7th June Battle of Messines

was an offensive conducted by the British Second Army, under the command of General Sir Herbert Plumer, on the Western Front near the village of Messines in Belgian West Flanders during the First World War.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | All Quiet on the Western Front | Shot At Dawn - Military Executions in WW1

31st July Third Battle of Ypres

was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the British and their allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking the Ypres Salient | Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1 | The Battlefields of Belgium – WWI, WWII & Waterloo | Shot At Dawn - Military Executions in WW1

1918

21st March Kaiser’s Battle: German attack on the Somme

was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Walk the Somme

9th April Battle of the Lys

was part of the 1918 German offensive with the objective of capturing Ypres, forcing the British forces back to the channel ports and out of the war.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | Walking the Ypres Salient

23rd April Raid on Zeebrugge

was an attempt by the Royal Navy to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge. The British intended to sink obsolete ships in the canal entrance, to prevent German vessels from leaving port.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1

8th August Second Battle of the Somme

was fought on the Western Front from the end of the summer, in the basin of the River Somme. It was part of a series of successful counter-offensives in response to the German Spring Offensive, after a pause for redeployment and supply.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Walking the Somme

28 September Fifth Battle of Ypres

a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium, German morale waned and the increasing numbers of American soldiers arriving on the Western Front gave the Allies a growing advantage over the German forces.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

All Quiet on the Western Front | Victoria Cross Heroes of WW1 | Flanders Fields - Britain's Bastion On The Western Front | The Battlefields of Belgium – WWI, WWII & Waterloo

29th September Battle of the Hindenburg Line

was of a series of offensives by Allies launched against the Central Powers on the Western Front, essentially pushing the Germans out of France, forcing them to retreat beyond the Hindenburg Line.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

Walking the Somme

11 November Armistice Signed

signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

Learn more about this on the following tours -

First & Last Shots of WWI | The Battlefields of Belgium – WWI, WWII & Waterloo | Armistice Centenary in Flanders 2014

Visit. Understand. Never Forget.

Visiting battlefields from any conflict is both a fascinating and moving experience. Soldiers who fought those wars left behind a legacy; their name on a war memorial, an experience passed down to the family or a faded photograph in a frame. How do we understand the significance of that legacy and how do we understand what the battlefields mean to us now?