Phil Tomaselli outlines the crucial events of the war, from its outbreak in August 1918 to the Armistice in November 1918
Following Germany’s invasion of neutral Belgium, Britain declares war, supporting France and Russia against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Within days British troops have crossed to France.
The Battle of Mons occurs. British troops retreat almost to Paris before joining French counterattacks in September.
The First Battle of Ypres begins and the city is held (just). By Christmas an unbroken trench line runs from the Channel to the Swiss border.
The Battle of NeuveChapelle launches a series of battles (including Aubers Ridge and Festubert) in support of larger French attacks further south.
After Turkey joined the German side in late 1914, British, Empire and French troops begin landing at Gallipoli to clear a naval route to Constantinople.
Britain’s biggest land contribution so far, the Battle of Loos begins in support of French attacks. Despite some progress heavy casualties cause it to halt.
After exceptionally heavy fighting against determined Turkish resistance, Gallipoli is finally evacuated with virtually no casualties.
Heavy casualties and the relative failure of voluntary enlistment schemes force the introduction of conscription. Although there were exceptions, most young men could now be conscripted.
The first day of the Battle of the Somme. Despite 60,000 British casualties it’s decided to exploit successes in the south. The battle officially ends on 18 November.