Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the AustriaHungarian throne, is shot dead in Sarajevo by a political dissident.
Austria-Hungary sends troops to the Serbian border.
Serbia and Russia mobilise their armies. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Germany declares war on Russia. Germany declares war on France. Britain declares war on Germany after they invade Belgium. USA declares neutrality. A Royal Navy cruiser is sunk by German mines in the North Sea, killing 150 men and inflicting the first casualties on Britain. First members of the British Expeditionary Force arrive in France to assist with the land campaign. Lord Kitchener makes his first call for more men to enlist in the military. Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) gives the UK government sweeping powers to suppress public criticism and imprison people without trial in order to aid the war effort. First battle of Ypres begins as Allied and German troops attempt to reach sea ports in Belgium. Britain and the Ottoman Empire declare war on each other. German battleships bombard Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough, killing 137 civilians. Allied troops land at Gallipoli under heavy fire. The first Zeppelin raid on London kills seven people. Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst organises the ‘Right to Serve’ march in London calling for women to be allowed to work to help with the war effort. Battle of Loos begins and the British forces use gas for the first time, however wind blows it back onto their own troops, killing seven and injuring 2,625. The third day of the Battle of Loos sees the highest British death toll of any battle so far, with 8,246 men being killed. Battle of Verdun, which causes almost a million casualties over 10 months, begins. The Battle of Jutland begins between German and Royal Navy fleets of dreadnoughts. Neither side claims decisive victory and no other naval battles are fought for the rest of the war. German U-boat torpedoes British passenger liner Lusitania, pictured below, drowning almost 1,200 people including many children. Right: A sailor pays his respects to victims. British tanks used for the first time in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. David Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister. Tsar Nicholas II abdicates as Moscow falls to the Russian Revolution. America declares war on Germany and begins to mobilise troops immediately. Germany launches the first major bombing raid on London, killing 162 people. The Battle of Passchendaele ends with the Allies having advanced five miles and suffering half a million casualties. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk sees Russia agree a peace deal with Germany and its allies. The Royal Family drops its Germanic name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in favour of Windsor. Sailors in the German High Seas Fleet mutiny and refuse to fight the Royal Navy. Armistice negotiations begin. The King of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, abdicates and flees to Holland.
The Armistice is signed, ending the war between Germany and the Allies.
Henry Gunther, a US soldier of German descent, is the last man to be killed in action.
The Armistice comes into effect. The Treaty of Versailles is signed.