In the first airborne attack on British soil, Zeppelins bomb Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, killing five civilians.
Battle of the Dogger Bank
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes result in huge Russian losses but halt German advance
Blockade of Britain by German U-boats begins. All vessels are considered viable targets, including those from neutral countries.
Allied naval bombardment of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli begins.
The British Offensive at Neuve Chapelle begins. Allied losses amount to 12,800 in two days. Some of the blame falls on the poor quality and lack of British shells, initiating the ‘Shell Crisis’.
Combined French and British naval attack on the Dardanelles. When this fails the army assumes responsibility.
Second Battle of Ypres begins. First use of poison gas by Germany.
Allied landing at Gallipoli – 70,000 British, Commonwealth and French troops are under heavy fire. On ‘Y’ Beach, 1,200 out of a force of 1,500 men are casualties.
Austro-German offensive on Galicia begins.
German U-boat torpedoes British liner Lusitania with the loss of American lives, creating a US-German diplomatic crisis.
Battle of Aubers Ridge
Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
The ‘Shell Crisis’ exposes the failings of the British Government in supporting front line troops. Discontent over rising casualty figures grows and a coalition government is formed as Prime Minister Asquith struggles to maintain control of the House of Commons.
Churchill forced to resign as First Lord of the Admiralty after the Gallipoli landings debacle, but continues as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The first Zeppelin raid on London kills seven and injures 35. British morale is shaken as Germany demonstrates it can attack the capital at will.
The Third and final Battle of Krithia begins at Gallipoli as Allies attempt to push inland from their beach-heads. British losses amount to 6,000 men.
British troops reach the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, and re-occupy Aden.
German troops use flame throwers for the first time against the British lines at Hooge, near Ypres.
Germans annex Warsaw.
Allies land two divisions at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. They opt not to take the strategic heights overlooking the beaches and are eventually pinned to the coast by Turkish troops.
A U-boat bombards Whitehaven, proving that Britain’s maritime defences can be breached by German submarines.
The Battle of Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli, is the final British offensive in the Dardanelles. They are repelled and lose 5,000 men.
The Great Allied Offensive focuses on Loos and Champagne. At the Battle of Loos the British use gas for the first time but the wind blows this over their own troops resulting in 2632 casualties – seven are killed.
British and Canadian regiments take Hill 70 at Loos and break the German line, but lack of reserves to exploit the breach results in limited success. The Canadians alone receive over 9,000 casualties.
Under German pressure to open up military rail links to Constantinople and the Middle East, the Austro-Hungarians step up their campaign against the Serbians. Anglo-French forces land at Salonika to counter allied German expansion in the Balkans.
British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by German firing squad for helping POWs escape from Belgium to Holland. She becomes a popular martyr and British heroine.
Steel helmets introduced on the British Front.
Battle of Ctesiphon, 25 miles south of Baghdad. Allies inflict heavy casualties on the Turks, but are forced to retire to Kut due to lack of supplies. The Turkish soldiers give chase and besiege the town.
Sir Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.
Allies complete the evacuation of 83,000 troops from Suvla Bay and ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli. Not one soldier or sailor is killed in the withdrawal and the Turkish are unaware of the evacuation