Who started WW One?

About the Timeline

The central feature of this website is the Timeline. Access is through the horizontal menu under the masthead.

You can view it two ways. (1) Using the Top Timeline. This gives summary information for all countries throughout the crisis on one web page. If you click on a particular day or week for a country you will get detailed information for that period in that country. (2) Using the Main Timeline. This gives the detailed information and is divided into four periods each with its own web page.

The Timeline covers over 500 critical events (decisions, statements, messages, meetings, and actions) involving 50 or so politicians, military leaders, and diplomats, in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Russia, Britain, France and Belgium from the 29th June to the 4th August 1914, and the outbreak of World War One.

We believe the Timeline is the most detailed available. It is divided into the following periods:

Reaction: 29 June – 22 July (Twenty-four days)
From the day after the assassination of the Archduke and his wife at Sarajevo to the day before the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia.

Divided into four six day periods, 29th June – 4th July, 5th July – 10th July, 11th July – 16th July, 17th July – 22nd July

Ultimatum: 23 July – 27 July (Five days)
From the delivery of the ultimatum to the Serbian government to the British and Russian mediation proposals. Europe’s leaders realise the gravity of the Crisis.

Countries covered from left to right on your screen: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Russia, Britain, and France.

Mobilisation: 28 July – 1 August (Five days)
From Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia to Russian, French and German mobilisation. Mediation fails and military considerations become paramount. Germany declares war on Russia.

Countries covered: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, Britain, and France. Serbia not covered as it now plays little part in events.

Invasion: 2 August – 4 August (Three days)
Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium. Britain declares war on Germany.

Countries covered: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Britain, France, and Belgium. Belgium is now an important participant. Russia not covered.