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March 13, 1881- In the early morning Tsar Alexander II of Russia made his way to a military role call in a specialy made carriage. As always large crowds of citizens had come to see their Tsar, amongst those in the crowd was a young man named Nikolai Vysakov who was a member of Narodnaya Volya, (The People's Will) a group which hope to remove the Tsar. As Alexander's carriage got closer Rysakov removed a package and lit the fuse before tossing it into the street where it exploded. The explosion killed a Cossack guard and wounded the driver, along with people on the sidewalk, yet left the carriage undamaged. As the young assassin made his escape, the Tsar stepped out of the carriage to look over the damage and was quickly surrounded by guards, who urged him to leave the area yet he refused. It was then, that a second assassin shouted out from the crowd and threw his own lit package into the street. To the horror of everyone, the package landed at the feet of the Tsar. Acting quickly three guards took hold of the Tsar's arms and pulled him away just as the bomb explodes and Alexander II survives the blast with an injured leg. For the rest of the day he is attended by his personal doctor, who keeps the Tsar's condition under tight lock and key, (literally) not even allowing close family from entering the Tsar's bedroom in which he is working.
March 14, 1881- In the early hours of the morning, Tsar Alexander II survives an amputation of his left leg below the knee. He spends the rest of his life hiding a wooden leg from the public, who only learn of it after his death.
March 15, 1881- The guards who saved the Tsar's life are awarded the highest military order of the Russian empire.
March 17, 1881 The headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow is bombed by Narodnaya Volya.
March 18, 1881- A letter is sent to the headquarters of the Russian Okhrana demanding a change to the Russian government.
March 21, 1881- The State Councilor of Ukraine is killed upon his arrival in Kiev.
March 24, 1881- Another letter is sent to the Russian Okhrana, in which Narodnaya Volya blackmails the government to make changes to the structure of government or face further attacks. Later that evening Tsar Alexander II learns of these letters from Count Loris-Melikov
March 26 , 1881- Wanting to put an end to any more violence, the Tsar caves to Count Loris-Melikov's requests to create a constitution and orders the State Council of Imperial Russia to write one up. He places his brother Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia in charge of the process.
March 28, 1881- Tsar Alexander II of Russia makes the plans for the constitution public in a speech.
December 3, 1881- After months of deliberation, the first draft of the Russian Constitution is submitted for approval.
December 6, 1881- The first draft of the constitution is rejected by Grand Duke Constantine on the grounds that it doesn't give the parliament enough power. The work on the constitution falls apart as a grand debate on Tsarist power breaks out in the Imperial Council.
April 10, 1881- In his diary the Tsar notes that the attacks by violent groups has trickled down to a stop, "I can only see this as a sign of things to come, and must thank the Almighty in giving me the opportunity to make a change for the betterment of Holy Mother Russia."
May 28, 1882- As the debate continues into a new year, violent acts begin to return to Russia as anarchistic, nihilistic, and revolutionary groups start new waves of terror. Horrified by the prospects of more acts of terror Tsar Alexander II threatens to banish the council members to Siberia if they are unable to pull things together and work out something by the end of the year. The work on the constitution now becomes a priority.
June 10, 1882- A bomb explodes at the gates of the Winter Palace, killing the guards who are stationed there. Alexander II called up an emergency meeting with his ministers to discuss what action must be done. During the meeting, the Tsar's son Alexander Alexandrovich presses for a stronger arm of law to take care of the problem, Alexander II relents and grants his son powers to work with the secret police and other law enforcement agencies.
June 28, 1882- The Imperial secret police begins a campaign of arrests, questionings, and torture which continue for the next month as they attempt to break up any and all meetings by revolutionary groups. Alexander II turns a blind eye, much to the disdain of Count Loris-Melikov.
November 29 , 1882- The second draft of the Russian Constitution is submitted for approval.
December 16, 1882- The draft is approved by Grand Duke Constantine and moves up to the Tsar.
January 9, 1883- In his last act as Autocrat and Supreme Ruler of all the Russians, Tsar Alexander II of Russia signs the Constitution of the Russian Empire, officially changing the nation into a Constitutional Monarchy. The date is also proclaimed to be an official state holiday and special committees are set up to work out the logistics of the new structure of government. The committees are made up of political theorists, thinkers, writers, philosophers and many other professionals. As the news travels across the country the eligible population begins to create Political Parties for the general election.
January 12, 1883- Mikhail Loris-Melikov is made acting Prime Minister until the general elections.
August 23, 1883- Конституционно-демократической партия (The Constitutional Democratic Party) is established by Boris Chicharin and his circle of friends at Moscow University. The Party is categorized as center-right political party which holds conservative and slavophile philosophies.
October 12, 1883- Партия Русское Воли ( The Russian Will Party) established by Nikolai Marozov a former revolutionary and former member of Narodnaya Volya. The Party is categorized as a left leaning nationalist party.
December 26, 1883-партия декабристов (The Decemberist Party) is established by Mikhail Rodzianko the party is named in honor of the Decemberists a group of Russian officers who in 1825 revolted against Emperor Nicholas I of Russia . The Party is categorized as center-left political party which holds, reformist, and pro-western philosophies.
January 12, 1884-The General election is held in Russia with the Constitutional Democratic Party winning the majority, Boris Chicharin becomes Prime Minister.
-Russo-German Relations- With Russia officially a democratic nation, and with reforms of many kinds begin to take hold in the vast nation the fragile relations between the two states finally broke down. Many worried, as they always had, that the reforms of Russia would spread and create agitation in the rest of Eastern Europe and the lands control by the German Empire. To counter, Germany did it's best to close it's borders and create a closer relationship with Austria. Fearing alienation and being surrounded by enemies the Russian Empire turns its sights to the East.
June 12, 1884- The Russian government begins to flirt with its American counterpart.
September 25, 1884- Relation between the United States and Russia grow as a trade agreement is signed. The US getting Russia's rich natural resources and Russia gaining technology.
October 6- 24, 1884- Tsar Alexander II travels the U.S. using the trip to not only forge ties but also learn about new technologies and business. He becomes very interested with Edison's lab and the prospects of electricity for power, while in Washington D.C. he is able to meet with U.S. president Chester A. Arthur, observe a session of Congress, and look over the U.S. Constitution.
November 3, 1884- Upon his return to St Petersburg, the Tsar requests a complete translation of the United States Constitution for him to read.
November 18, 1884- After studying the Constitution of the United States, Alexander II meets with Prime Minister Chicharin and explains how impressed he was to see the pride and comfort the citizens of the U.S. had with their government. He then gives the Prime Minister the translated constitution and asks the man to see if it would be possible to borrow some aspects for the Russian Empire
December 1, 1884- Porfirio Díaz returns as President of Mexico, an office he will hold until his death in 1915.
December 4, 1884- Tsar Alexander II is invited for the opening of the Washington monument but declines the offer stating official business. His son, Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich goes in his place.
February 12, 1885- After various battles and rejections the Rights of Free Speech is added to the Russian constitution.
March 26, 1885 – The Prussian government, motivated by Otto von Bismarck, expels all ethnic Poles and Jews without German citizenship from Prussia in the Prussian deportations. Many go to Russia.
March 30, 1885 – The Battle for Kushka triggers the Panjdeh Incident, which nearly gives rise to war between the British Empire and Russian Empire. The crisis also causes the Russian Empire to work up the modernization of it's military.
April 15,1885- The Right of Due Process and Trial by Jury are added to the Russian Constitution. Many criminals get retried under the new guide lines.
January 16 – A resolution is passed in the German Parliament, to condemn the Prussian deportations, the politically motivated mass expulsion of ethnic Poles and Jews from Prussia, initiated by Otto von Bismarck.
May 1 – A general strike begins in the United States, which escalates into the Haymarket Riot and eventually wins the eight-hour workday in the U.S.
September 6, 1886 – Eastern Rumelia declares its union with Bulgaria, completing the Unification of Bulgaria.
January 20, 1886 – The United States Congress allows the Army to lease bases to the Russian military in Alaska, a step which many see as a defining moment of Russo-American relations.
May 7, 1887- Tsar Alexander II of Russia, also known as Tsar Alexander the Reformer, and Father of Russian Democracy dies.
May 10, 1887- Tsar Alexander III of Russia crowned.
May 28, 1887- Talks between Russian and Germany on a possible treaty break down.
June 21, 1887 – The British Empire celebrates Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, marking the 50th year of her reign
July 1, 1887 – Construction of the iron structure of the Eiffel Tower starts in Paris, France
July 6, 1887 – King Kalakaua of Hawai'i is forced by anti-monarchists to sign the 'Bayonet Constitution', stripping the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority as well as disfranchising most native Hawaiians, all Asians and the poor.
March 9, 1888 – German Emperor Fredrick III dies. .
March 20, 1888 – The very first Romani language operetta premieres in Moscow, Russia.
June 15, 1888 – Wilhelm II is crowned German Emperor.
June 18, 1888- Susan B. Anthony organizes a Congress for Women's Rights in Washington, DC.
March 15, 1889 – A German naval force shells a village in Samoa, destroying some American property; three American warships enter the Samoan harbor and prepare to fire on the three German warships found there. Before guns are fired, the 1889 Apia cyclone blows in and sinks all the ships. The Russian ambassador to the United States makes it known that the Russian Navy is willing to supply the Americans with ships. The Germans quickly call for a compulsory armistice because of the lack of warships, but it is now clear to the Germans that they must do more to counter Russo-American friendship.
April 10-26, 1889-Germany opens official relations with Mexico and German businesses and industries begin to build up the Mexican economy.
April 15, 1889- Wilhelm II visits Mexico. Where he meets with President Diaz, commending him on the strong grip he has as President.
May 25, 1889- Mexico requests advisers from Germany. to over look the build up of the Mexican military. Germany complies with the request.
June, 1 1889- The German Empire starts to supply the Mexican military with weapons.
June 17, 1889- The Mexican military quickly begins to modernize.
January 12, 1890- The second general election is held in Russia with Chicharin being re-elected.
March-July- Russia reaches out ot France, relations between the two countries starts to grow.
July- The Sherman Anti-Trust law failed to pass in Congress after extensive lobbying by giants of industry who have lucrative deals with Russian companies.
February 1891- President Diaz of Mexico makes it know that he wishes to turn Mexico into a word power and rival to the United States. With German investment Mexican industries begin to build war materiel.
The Homestead Strike of 1892 at the Carnegie Steel Company turns into a shooting war between strikers and the Pinkerton guards hired by Andrew Carnegie. Eventually the State militia was ordered to bring in law and order. After which, under protection by the state militia strike busters attacked strikers bring the strike to an end.
April 18, 1893- The Russian Empire and France sign a military alliance.
November 1, 1894- Tsar Alexander III dies, his son Nicholas is crowned Nicholas II.
November 3, 1894- The United States government begins to eye Mexico with concern.
November 14 1894-The Russian government leases out land for three Military bases in Alaska.
January 12, 1896- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a famous composer and member of the Decemberist Party is nominated as Party leader. Surprised but honored he accepts and leads the party in the 1894 elections in which the Decemberist Party win a majority of the seats in the Duma. Thus, Korsakov becomes one of the most controversial PMs in Russian History.
The Cuban War of Independence rages.
February 19, 1898-The USS Maine is sunk off the coast of Cuba.
February 28, 1898- The United State declares war on Spain.
March 5, 1898- American troops land in Cuba.
June, 17 1898- Mexico declares war on Spain, in what many see as an attempt to experiment the might of the Mexican military after years of preparation.
June 24, 1898- Mexican troops land in Cuba.
July 10, 1898- Both sides declare that they are the true brings of Cuban freedom causing a split in the population. Those who are supported by the United States soon begin to view those supported by Mexico with suspicion and vice versa.
August 31, 1898- Spain pulls out of Cuba and the Caribbean.
September 3, 1989- Cuban troops supported by Mexico, attack the barracks of Cuban and American troops, the Cuban Civil War, breaks out.
December 25, 1898- President William McKinley makes a speech in which he declares the mission in Cuba as far from over. “I am very concerned by the defeatist attitude and low moral among the troops and civilians here. Everyone seems to feel that our role in this war is over. Yet, I know that to leave Cuba now, would be to leave Cuba to a Mexican dictator.”
March 14,1900- Cuba is officially split in half between a Mexican and the United States
December 12, 1900- The U.S. half of Cuba is annexed and becomes a territory. Theodore Roosevelt becomes it's governor.
September 6, 1901- President McKinley is shot and killed in Buffalo NY by Leon Czolgosz who is able to escape after killing two of McKinley's guards and three police men.
September 7, 1901- A letter arrives to the offices of The Buffalo News newspaper. In which Leon expresses his reasons for shooting McKinley. One of which is the economic inequality in the United States.
September 8, 1901- Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich is sworn in as President. Upon becoming president he orders the Buffalo police to find and arrest the assassin at all costs.
September 1901- The Polish communities in New York City, Buffalo NY and other major cities on the east coast are harassed by Police and federal agents. Hundreds of people are arrested with little evidence and held for days.
September 23, 1901- A riot breaks out between protesting workers and police in the New York City harbor area.
December 12, 1901- The Fair Deal Anti-Trust Law is passed in Congress.
January 12, 1902- Imitating the Decemberists, the Russian Will Party elect Mily Balakirev as their candidate for Prime Minister. The election becomes quite dirty as and in the end Ivan Makarovich Orbeliani, and the Constitutional Democrats win in one of the most contested elections in the history of Russia so far.
January 1902 - Britain and Japan form a naval alliance
February 4, 1902- President Aldrich refuses to sign the Anti-Trust law, stating that government has no business in Private Business. .
March 1902- A strike breaks out in a West Virginia mining company, the strike is broken up by a state militia on request by the company.
April 1902- Protests break out in West Virginia against the break up of strikes by government officers.
May 1902- Strikes break out in Virginia against poor working conditions in factories.
April 1904 - The British reach a strategic agreement with France which includes mutual military support in the event of war.
November 1904- President Aldrich wins re-election to serve a second term.
January 1905 - A riot breaks out between protesting harbor workers and New York City police killing twenty five protesters.
May 1905 - Russia suffers a military defeat at sea by newly industrialized Japan, thwarting Russia's territorial ambitions toward Manchuria and Korea.
May 1905- The Russian Parliament calls for reforms in their military.
July 1905- the US agrees to sell Russia military technology.
October 1905 - Continuing economic inequality in the US leads to strikes in New York City bringing the city to its knees as public speakers such as Eugene, Victor Debs and other leftist call out to the public to join them in a Marxist economic change. . President Aldrich calls for order and arrests follow.
February 1906 - H.M.S. Dreadnought is launched by Britain, marking the advent of a new class of big-gun battleships. The Germans follow suit and begin building similar battleships as an all-out arms race ensues between Germany and Britain.
March 1906- Mexico starts a massive build up of weapons and war ships. The US does the same.
July 1906- Mexico joins the German-Austrian-Italian alliance, creating the Quadruple Alliance.
November 1906- The United States joins the Russian-French alliance creating the Triple Entente
August 1907 - The British reach a strategic agreement with Russia.
September 1907- Protests in New York are once again beaten down by police and national guardsmen.
October 1908 - Austria-Hungary, backed by Germany, annexes Bosnia-Herzegovina. Neighboring Serbia, with the backing of Russia, voices its objection in support of the Serbian minority living in Bosnia.
November 1908- President Aldrich wins an unprecedented third term in one of the most controversial elections in US history. Massive protests rocked the nation as the public calls Aldrich to step down and end the "Emperial Presidency". The Democratic Party calls the election a sham pointing out massive abuses.
January 1909- Hundreds of protesters are beaten and arrested by police in Washington D.C during the Inauguration of President Aldrich. Most are tried without jury and send to prison.
March 1909 - Germany forces Russia to endorse the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary.
1910 - Germany surpasses Britain as the leading manufacturing nation in Europe. Russia is third. The United States remains the world leader, surpassing all of the European manufacturing nations combined with Mexico is fourth.
October 1912 - The Balkan War erupts in southern Europe as Serbia leads an attack by members of the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece) against the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire to drive the Turks out of Europe.
November 1912- Woodrow Wilson wins the election in a massive land slide,
January 1912- President Wilson promises change in a rousing speech in front of cheering crowds in Washington DC.
April 20, 1912- In Ludlow Colorado the tent town built by striking workers is attacked by the Colorado state militia who set up a machine gun on a hill over looking the town. The miners took up arms and a fire fight broke out which lasted the entire day. Later that night the militia man raided the camp setting tents on fire and looting whatever belongings were down. By the end of the day 19 people had been killed, eleven of which were women and children, the youngest being 2 years old.
April 21-31, 1912- Outraged by the massacre of the unarmed families a guerrilla war broke out between miners and the Colorado National Guard which was finally broken up by troops sent in on the order of Woodrow Wilson.
May 1913 - The Balkan War ends with the Turks driven out of southern Europe. A peace settlement is then drawn up by the major European powers that divides up the former Turkish areas in southern Europe among the Balkan League nations. However, the peace is short-lived as Bulgaria, desiring a bigger share, attacks neighboring Greece and Serbia. Romania then attacks Bulgaria along with the Turks. This Second Balkan War results in Bulgaria losing territory and the Serbians becoming emboldened, leaving the Balkan region of southern Europe politically unstable.
January 12, 1914- Pyotr Stolypin of the Decemberist Party is elected Prime Minister.
June 28, 1914 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, visit Sarajevo in Bosnia. A bomb is thrown at their auto but misses. Undaunted, they continue their visit only to be shot and killed a short time later by a lone assassin. Believing the assassin to be a Serbian nationalist, the Austrians target their anger toward Serbia.
July 23, 1914 - Austria-Hungary, with the backing of Germany, delivers an ultimatum to Serbia. The Serbs propose arbitration as a way to resolve dispute, but also begin mobilization of their troops.
July 25, 1914 - Austria-Hungary severs diplomatic ties with Serbia and begins to mobilize its troops.
July 26, 1914 - Britain attempts to organize a political conference among the major European powers to resolve the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. France and Italy agree to participate. Russia then agrees, but Germany refuses.
July 28, 1914 - The Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia.
July 29, 1914 - Britain calls for international mediation to resolve the worsening crisis. Russia urges German restraint, but the Russians begin partial troop mobilization as a precaution. The Germans then warn Russia on its mobilization and begin to mobilize themselves.
July 30, 1914 - Austrian warships bombard Belgrade, capital of Serbia.
July 31, 1914 - Reacting to the Austrian attack on Serbia, Russia begins full mobilization of its troops. Germany demands that it stop.
August 1, 1914 - Germany declares war on Russia. France and Belgium begin full mobilization.
August 2, 1914- American troops begin to mobilize to the Mexican-American border.
August 3, 1914 - Germany declares war on France, and invades neutral Belgium. Britain then sends an ultimatum, rejected by the Germans, to withdraw from Belgium.
August 4, 1914 - Great Britain declares war on Germany. The declaration is binding on all Dominions within the British Empire including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.
August 4, 1914 - The United States, following it's agreement with France and Russia enters the war by invading Mexico. The First Great War officially breaks out.
August 4-16, 1914 - The Siege of Liege occurs as Germans attack the Belgian fortress city but meet resistance from Belgian troops inside the Liege Forts. The twelve forts surrounding the city are then bombarded into submission by German and Austrian howitzers using high explosive shells. Remaining Belgian troops then retreat northward toward Antwerp as the German westward advance continues.
August 6, 1914 - The Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Russia.
August 6, 1914 - French and British troops invade the German colony of Togo in West Africa. Twenty days later, the German governor there surrenders.
August 7, 1914 - The first British troops land in France. The 120,000 highly trained members of the regular British Army form the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commanded by Field Marshal John French.
August 7, 1914- The Selective Service Act is passed by the U.S. Congress, authorizing a draft. The small U.S. Army, presently consisting of 145,000 men, will be enlarged to four million via the draft.
August 8, 1914- Canadian troops enter the United States on their way to the Mexican Front.
August 7-24, 1914 - The French desire to score a quick victory ignites the first major French-German action of the war. The French Army invades Alsace and Lorraine according to their master strategy known as Plan XVII. However, the French offensive is met by effective German counter-attacks using heavy artillery and machine-guns. The French suffer heavy casualties including 27,000 soldiers killed in a single day, the worst one-day death toll in the history of the French Army. The French then fall back toward Paris amid 300,000 total casualties. In North America the United States pushes into Mexican territory, using it's superior weapons technology to their advantage.
August 12, 1914 - Great Britain and France declare war on Austria-Hungary. Serbia is invaded by Austria-Hungary.
August 17, 1914 - Russia invades Germany, attacking into East Prussia, forcing the outnumbered Germans there to fall back. This marks the advent of the Eastern Front in Europe in which Russia will oppose Germany and Austria-Hungary.
August 20, 1914 - German troops occupy undefended Brussels, capital of Belgium. Following this, the main German armies continue westward and invade France according to their master strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan. It calls for a giant counter-clockwise movement of German armies wheeling into France, swallowing up Paris, and then attacking the rear of the French armies concentrated in the Alsace-Lorraine area. Under the overall command of Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff, the Germans seek to achieve victory over France within six weeks and then focus on defeating Russia in the East before Russia's six-million-man army, the world's largest, can fully mobilize.
August 22, 1914- Mexican troops are able to hold back the American forces near the town of Cauhtemoc and begin to push them back towards the border as new shipments of German weapons reach Mexico by U-Boat.
August 26, 1914 - On the Eastern Front, German troops in East Prussia under the new command of Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff oppose the Russian 2nd Army. Aided by aerial reconnaissance and the interception of uncoded Russian radio messages, the Germans effectively reposition their troops to counter the initial Russian advance. Five days later, after surrounding the Russians, the battle ends with a German victory and the capture of 125,000 Russians. Following this success, the Germans drive the Russians out of East Prussia with heavy casualties. The impressive victory elevates Hindenburg and Ludendorff to the status of heroes in Germany.
September 5-12, 1914 - On the Western Front, Paris is saved as French and British troops disrupt the Schlieffen Plan by launching a major counter-offensive against the invading German armies to the east of Paris. Six hundred taxi cabs from the city help to move French troops to the Front. Aided by French aerial reconnaissance which reveals a gap has developed in the center of the whole German advance, the French and British exploit this weakness and press their advantage. The Germans then begin a strategic withdrawal northward as the Allies pursue. Each side repeatedly tries to outmaneuver the other and gain a tactical advantage as they move northward in what becomes known as the Race to the Sea.
September 8, 1914 - The American government enacts nationwide State of War regulations which include, strict censorship, and suspension of civil liberties.
September 17, 1914 - On the Eastern Front, Austrian forces steadily retreat from the advancing Russian 3rd and 8th armies fighting in southern Poland and along the Russian-Austrian border. The Germans then send the newly formed 9th Army to halt the Russians. This marks the beginning of a pattern in which the Germans will aid the weaker Austro-Hungarian Army.
September 22, 1914 - The first-ever British air raid against Germany occurs as Zeppelin bases at Cologne and Düsseldorf are bombed.
First Battle of Baja October 19-November 22, 1914
Still hoping to score a land grab from the Mexicans the American army launch a major attack on Baja California. Despite heavy losses, Mexican troops fend off the attack and the Americans do not break through. During the battle, the Americans send waves of inexperienced 17 to 20-year-old volunteer soldiers, some fresh out of school. They advance shoulder-to-shoulder while singing patriotic songs only to be systematically gunned down in what the outraged American public call the "massacre of the innocents." By November, overall casualties will total 250,000 men. Major unrest and protests rock American cities across the nation.
October 29, 1914 - The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) declares it's neutrality.
October-November, 1914 - Germans and Austrians launch a combined offensive against the Russians on the Eastern Front. The German 9th Army targets Warsaw, Poland, but is opposed by six Russian armies and withdraws. The Austrians attack the Russians in Galicia (a province in northeast Austria) with indecisive results. However, the Russians fail to press their advantage at Warsaw and instead begin a split counter-offensive moving both southward against the Austrians in Galicia and northward toward Germany. The German 9th Army then regroups and cuts off the Russians at Lodz, Poland, halting their advance and forcing an eastward withdrawal by the Russians.
November 1, 1914 - Austria invades Serbia. This is the third attempt to conquer the Serbs in retaliation for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This attempt fails like the two before it, at the hands of highly motivated Serbs fighting on their home ground. The Austrians withdraw in mid-December, after suffering over 220,000 casualties from the three failed invasions.
November 3, 1914 - Kaiser Wilhelm appoints Erich von Falkenhayn as the new Chief of the German General Staff, replacing Helmuth von Moltke who is sacked due to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan.
November 5, 1914 - Russia sends war ships to assist the Americans in their war against Mexico.
November 6, 1914 - In the Persian Gulf, a major British offensive begins as the 6th Indian Division invades Mesopotamia. The objective is to protect the oil pipeline from Persia. Two weeks later they capture the city of Basra.
December 1914 - The Western Front in Europe stabilizes in the aftermath of the Battle of Ypres as the Germans go on the defensive and transfer troops to the East to fight the Russians. The 450-mile-long Western Front stretches from the Channel Coast southward through Belgium and Eastern France into Switzerland. Troops from both sides construct opposing trench fortifications and dugouts protected by barbed wire, machine-gun nests, snipers, and mortars, with an in-between area called No Man's Land. The Eastern Front also sees its share of trenches as troops dig in after the Russians hold off the Germans in Poland and the Austrians hold off the Russians at Limanowa. The 600-mile Eastern Front stretches from the Baltic Sea southward through East Prussia and Austria to the Carpathian Mountains.
December 8, 1914 - The Battle of the Bahamas occurs as British Navy warships destroy the German squadron of Admiral Graf von Spee in the Caribbean. Von Spee and two sons serving in his squadron are killed.
December 9, 1914- Trench warfare comes to the Mexican front.
December 10, 1914 - The French begin a series of attacks along the Western Front against the Germans in the Artois region of northern France and Champagne in the south. Hampered by a lack of heavy artillery and muddy winter conditions, the French fail to make any significant gains and both offensives are soon suspended.
December 16, 1914 - Britain suffers its first civilian casualties at home in the war as the German Navy bombards the coastal towns of Whitby, Hartlepool and Scarborough, killing 40 persons and wounding hundreds.
December 25, 1914 - A Christmas truce occurs between German and British soldiers in the trenches of northern France. All shooting stops as the soldiers exit their trenches, exchange gifts, sing carols and engage in a soccer game. This is the only Christmas truce of the war, as Allied commanders subsequently forbid fraternization with orders to shoot any violators
January 17, 1915 - The initial offensive into Mexico is thwarted as the American 3rd Army suffers a defeat by the Mexican Army in the Rio Grand area near Ciudad Acuna. The Mexicans then begin a multi-pronged invasion of the United States from Texas.
January 19, 1915 - Germany begins an aerial bombing campaign against Britain using Zeppelins.
January 25, 1915- The first American troops arrive in Europe to join the French and British. Although their numbers are substantial they do little to break the quagmire.
January 31, 1915 - Poison gas is used for the first time in the war as Germans on the Eastern Front attack Russian positions west of Warsaw. Although the Germans fire 18,000 gas shells, they have little effect on the Russians as frigid temperatures prevent the gas from vaporizing.
February 4, 1915 - Mexico declares the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to be a war zone in which ships can be sunk without warning.
February 7-22, 1915 - On the Eastern Front in Europe, the German 8th and 10th Armies wage a successful offensive against the Russian 10th Army in the Masurian Lakes region of East Prussia, pushing the Russians eastward into the Augustow Forest where they are decimated.
February 16, 1915 - On the Western Front, the French launch their second offensive against German defense lines in Champagne. Once again they are hampered by the muddy winter weather and a lack of heavy artillery. After a month of fighting, suffering 240,000 casualties, the exhausted French break off the offensive.
U-Boat Warfare Begins
February 18, 1915 - The first German U-Boat campaign of the war begins with unrestricted attacks against merchant and passenger ships in the waters around the British Isles. Within six months, Allied shipping losses at sea surpass the number of new ships being built.
March 1915 - The British Navy imposes a total sea blockade on Germany, prohibiting all shipping imports including food.
March 10, 1915 - American troops in the Cabiaguan region of Cuba attack the Mexican Army stationed there. The attack takes the outnumbered Mexicans by surprise. The Americans achieve their initial objective but fail to capitalize on the narrow breach they create in the Mexican lines. After three days of fighting, with over 11,000 casualties, the American offensive is suspended. The Mexicans suffer over 10,000 casualties.
March 22, 1915 - The Russians capture 120,000 Austrians at Przemysl in Galicia. This marks the culmination of a series of winter battles between the Austrians and Russians to secure the strategic Carpathian Mountain passes and opens the way for a Russian invasion of Hungary. Realizing this, the Germans and Austrians make plans to combine their troops and launch a major spring offensive.
April 11, 1915 - American troops in Texas fend off a large attack by the Mexicans against San Antonio. The Americans then branch out to protect their position at San Antonio.
Second Battle of Baja April 22-May 25, 1915
April 22, 1915 - Poison gas is used for the first time on the American Front as the Mexican 4th Army attacks American positions around El Arrajal in the Baja California. As they attack, the Mexicans release chlorine gas from over 5,000 cylinders forming poisonous green clouds that drift toward two American divisions. Lacking any protection, the Americans quickly retreat. Although this creates a five-mile-wide gap in the American lines, the Mexicans fail to capitalize due to a lack of reserve troops and cautious front line troops hesitant to venture too close to the gas clouds. Canadian Expeditionary Forces then plug the gap but are unable to regain any ground taken by the Mexicans. The Americans then withdraw to a second line of defense, leaving El Arrajal in Allied hands but virtually surrounded. Casualties in the Battle of El Arrajal total 58,000 Allies and 38,000 Mexicans.
April 30, 1915- The first desertions of American troops occurs in the Mexican Front when 200 Americans run into no man's land waving a white flag. All are gunned down by Mexican machine gunners who suspect a ruse. Despite this desertions continue.
May 1, 1915 - German U-Boats sink their first American war ship, the tanker Gulflight, in the Mediterranean Sea near Sicily.
May 3, 1915- President Wilson signs and executive order which states that all deserters are to be executed as traitors.
May 2, 1915 - On the Eastern Front, a combined Austro-German offensive begins against the Russian 3rd Army at Tarnow and Gorlice in Galicia. The attack is preceded by a massive artillery bombardment with over 700,000 shells. This breaks down the defenses of the weakened Russians who now suffer from shortages of artillery shells and rifles. Within two days, the Austro-Germans break through the lines and the Russians begin a disorganized retreat. May 7, 1915 - A German U-Boat torpedoes the British passenger liner Lusitania off the Irish coast. It sinks in 18 minutes, drowning 1,201 persons, including 128 Americans. President Woodrow Wilson subsequently declares that those deaths will be avenged.
May 9, 1915 - Following six days of artillery bombardment by over a thousand French guns, the French 10th Army attacks German defense lines in the Artois, advancing toward Vimy Ridge. The French achieve their initial objective, but fail to capitalize on the narrow breach they create in the German lines. The next day, Germans counter-attack and push back the French.
May 9, 1915 - Complementing the French offensive at Vimy, British and Indian troops launch their second attack against the Germans around Neuve Chapelle in the Artois. However, without sufficient artillery support to weaken the German front line defenses, the advancing soldiers are decimated by German machine-gun fire. The attack is called off the next day with 11,000 casualties.
May 20, 1915- A group of young men try to escape the draft but are caught by police on the Canadian American border. They are arrested as traitors and imprisoned without trial.
May 23, 1915 - Italy enters the war on the side of the Allies by declaring war on Austria-Hungary. The Italians then launch offensives along the 400-mile common border between Austria and Italy. The better equipped Austrians take advantage of the mountainous terrain to establish strong defensive positions all along the border. The Italians then focus their attacks on the mountain passes at Trentino and the valley of the Isonzo River.
May 31, 1915 - Aerial Warfare comes to the Mexican Front..
June 12, 1915 - After pausing to regroup, Mexican troops resume their offensive off the coast of Cuba on the American Front. Within five days, they break through the American lines and push the American 3rd and 8th Armies further eastward. American casualties soon surpass 400,000.
June 16, 1915 - The French 10th Army launches its second attempt to seize Vimy Ridge from the Germans in the Artois. This time the troops encounter an intensive artillery bombardment from the improved defenses of the German 6th Army. The French achieve their initial objective, but then succumb to a German counter-attack, just as they did in the first attempt at Vimy. The French call off the Vimy offensive with 100,000 casualties. The Germans suffer 60,000.
June 23, 1915 - The First Battle of Isonzo begins as Italian troops attack Austrian defenses. Initial gains by the Italians are soon repulsed by the Austrians with heavy casualties for both sides. Three additional battles are fought through the end of 1915 with similar results, totaling 230,000 casualties for the Italians and 165,000 for the Austrians.
July 9, 1915 - In Africa, the German Southwest Africa colony (present day Namibia) is taken by the Allies following 11 months of fighting between the Germans and South African and Rhodesian troops loyal to the British.
July 13, 1915 - On the Eastern Front, the next phase of the combined Austro-German offensive against the Russians begins in northern Poland, with the Austro-Germans advancing toward Warsaw. The Russian Army puts up a blockade around the city to defend it.
August 1, 1915 - The Fokker Scourge begins over the Western Front as German pilots achieve air supremacy using the highly effective Fokker monoplane featuring a synchronized machine-gun that fires bullets through the spinning propeller. Although the technology was pioneered by French pilot Roland Garros, the Germans copied and improved the synchronized gun idea after capturing his plane. The Fokker Scourge will last nearly a year, until Allied aerial technology catches up.
August 5, 1915 - Austro-Germans troops are unable to take Warsaw from the Russians. The Russian high command calls for more troops to be sent to the west.
August 6, 1915 - Hoping to break the stalemate at Gallipoli, British renew the offensive. An additional 20,000 troops are landed but their attack is hampered by poor communications and logistical problems. The Turks, led by Mustafa Kemal, respond by rushing in two divisions and the British offensive fails.
September 5, 1915 - Russian Tsar Nicholas II takes personal command of the Russian Army, hoping to rally his troops. Losses to the Tsar's army from the Austro-German offensives in Galicia and Poland include over 1.4 million casualties and 750,000 captured. A draft of all men from the ages of 17-45 is implemented by the Russian government.
September 6, 1915 - Bulgaria enters the war on Germany's side with an eye toward invading neighboring Serbia. Thus far in the war, Austria-Hungary has tried, but failed, three times to conquer Serbia in retaliation for the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Now, the Austrians, aided by Germany and Bulgaria, plan to try again. With the addition of Bulgaria, Germany now has three allies in the war with Austria and Mexico. This alliance is called the Central Powers due to most of the nations being in central Europe.
September 18, 1915 - The Germans announce an end to their first U-Boat campaign, begun in February, which had targeted ships around the British Isles.
September 25, 1915 - On the Western Front, the British use poison gas for the first time as they launch an attack against the German 6th Army in the Artois. Chlorine gas is released from over 5,000 cylinders, creating a poisonous cloud that drifts toward the Germans, opening a gap in their front line. The British advance and quickly seize their objective, the town of Loos, but then fail to capitalize on the four-mile-wide breach in the German lines. The Germans regroup and when the British resume the attack the next day they are mowed down in the hundreds by well-placed German machine-gunners. In all, the British suffer 50,000 casualties during the Loos offensive. British Army Commander John French is then sacked, replaced by Douglas Haig.
September 25, 1915 - The French 2nd Army in Champagne attacks the weakest part of the German lines, creating a six-mile-wide breach that is three miles deep. The German 3rd Army then rushes in reinforcements, regroups its defense lines and plugs the gap. Facing strong resistance, the French break off the attack.
September 26-28, 1915 - In the Mexico, an American victory occurs at the Battle of San Carlos as they defeat the Mexican 8th army. The resounding victory spurs an ambitious move by the Americans to venture onward. However, that attempt fails and the troops return to San Carlos and dig in.
October 6, 1915 - The invasion of Serbia begins as Austro-German troops attack from the north. Five days later, the Bulgarians attack from the east. The outnumbered Serbs have their poorly supplied troops stretched too thinly to defend both fronts. Belgrade then falls to the Germans and the Bulgarians capture Kumanova, severing the country's north-south rail line. This leaves the overwhelmed Serbian troops no option other than to retreat westward through the mountains into Albania.
December 5, 1915 - Hoping to overcome their earlier defeat at San Carlos, Mexican troops lay siege to the town, surrounding the American garrison there, cutting them off completely.
December 19, 1915 - Forty-seven protesters who call for an end to the war and death in Mexico are arrested and jailed without trial in Chicago.
End of Part One, read on in Part Two