Timeline - 1917

Group photograph The First World War spanned four years and involved many nation states.

This section lists the events of the year 1917, the fourth year of the war.  This year saw the adoption by the German high command of the disastrous policy of unrestricted submarine warfare - disastrous in that it brought about America's entry into the war within the space of a couple of months, and ultimately led to her downfall the following year.

Meanwhile the British launched a major offensive at Passchendaele in autumn 1917: as at the Somme the previous year it proved a highly costly failure.  1917 also saw Russia's exit from the war amid two revolutions, the first in February and a second in October.

For a day by day account click any given month using the sidebar to the right.

Date Event
TimelineJanuary 10 Allies state peace objectives in response to US President Woodrow Wilson's December 1916 peace note
TimelineJanuary 31 Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare
TimelineFebruary 1 Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare
TimelineFebruary 3 US severs diplomatic ties with Germany
TimelineFebruary 23 - April 5 German forces begin withdrawal to strong positions on the Hindenburg Line
TimelineFebruary 24 Zimmermann Telegram is passed to the US by Britain, detailing alleged German proposal of an alliance with Mexico against the US
TimelineFebruary 26 US President Woodrow Wilson requests permission from Congress to arm US merchantmen
TimelineMarch 1 Zimmermann Telegram published in US press
TimelineMarch 11 British capture Baghdad
TimelineMarch 12 US President Woodrow Wilson announces arming of US merchantmen by executive order after failing to win approval from Congress
TimelineMarch 15 Tsar Nicholas II abdicates as a consequence of Russian Revolution
TimelineMarch 20 US President Woodrow Wilson's war cabinet votes unanimously in favour of declaring war on Germany
TimelineApril 2 US President Woodrow Wilson delivers war address to Congress
TimelineApril 6 US declares war on Germany
TimelineApril 9-20 Nivelle Offensive (Second Battle of Aisne, Third Battle of Champagne) ends in French failure
TimelineApril 9 Canadian success at the Battle of Vimy Ridge
TimelineApril 16 Lenin arrives in Russia
TimelineApril 29 - May 20 Mutiny breaks out among French army
TimelineMay 12 - October 24 10th, 11th and 12th Battles of Isonzo fought, ending in Italian failure
TimelineMay 28 Pershing leaves New York for France
TimelineJune 7 British explode 19 large mines under the Messines Ridge
TimelineJune 15 US Espionage Act passed
TimelineJune 26 First US troops arrive in France, 1st Division
TimelineJune 27 Greece enters the war on the side of the Allies
TimelineJuly 2 Pershing makes first request for army of 1,000,000 men
TimelineJuly 6 T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs capture Aquaba
TimelineJuly 11 Pershing revises army request figures upwards to 3,000,000
TimelineJuly 16 Third Battles of Ypres (Passchendaele) begins
TimelineJuly 31 Major British offensive launched at Ypres.
TimelineSeptember 1 Germany takes the northernmost end of the Russian front in the Riga offensive
TimelineOctober 24 Austria-Germany breakthrough at Caporetto on Italian front
TimelineNovember 7 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia results in Communist government under Lenin taking office
TimelineNovember 20 British launch surprise tank attack at Cambrai
TimelineDecember 7 US declares war on Austria-Hungary
TimelineDecember 9 Jerusalem falls to Britain
TimelineDecember 22 Russia opens separate peace negotiations with Germany (Brest-Litovsk)

3 British Officers were executed by courts martial during the war, as opposed to 316 Private soldiers and 24 Non-Commissioned Officers.  The vast majority were for desertions.

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