1917 and World War One

1917 and World War One

In 1917, Germany's use of unrestricted submarine warfare resulted into the United States finally entering into World War One. However, the year was also set to go down in history due to the Battle of Passchendaele - otherwise known as the Third Battle of Ypres - which took place on the Western Front between July and November. This battle took place on the fields of Flanders and is thought to have been one of the bloodiest of the war.

The year 1917 also played host to the Battle of Cambrai, which began with a surprise mass tank attack on the Germans by the British. Once of the most notable things to come out of the attack was the damage done to the German Hindenburg Line, which had previously been thought of as impenetrable.

However, it wasn't all positive news for the Allies. In November, the 12th and final Battle of Isonzo on the Alpine Front saw more than 300,000 Italian soldiers killed. In fact, at least 60,000 soldiers from both sides dying as a result of avalanches. The result of the loss was the overthrowing of the Bolsheviks and the installation of Communist leader Lenin.

11 January: Saboteurs destroyed an ammunition plant in New Jersey.


19 January: The Zimmerman telegram was sent, intercepted by the British and passed on to the Americans.


22 January: Woodrow Wilson made his “peace without victory” speech to the Senate.


31 January: Germany informed the US and other neutrals that she would resume unrestricted submarine warfare.


1 February: Germany resumed its unrestricted submarine warfare campaign.


3 February: The US grain ship “Housatonic” was sunk by a U-boat and Wilson severed diplomatic ties with Germany.


10 February: The first use of the convoy system for British merchant ships taking coal to France.


25 February: The Cunard liner “Laconia” was sunk by a U-boat and four US citizens died. Wilson referred to this as “an overt act”.


12 March: President Wilson ordered the arming of US merchant ships. Russian troops mutinied and joined demonstrators in Petrograd.


14 March: Provisional Government, headed by Prince Lvov, is proclaimed in Russia.


15 March: Tsar Nicholas II abdicated.


20 March: Preliminary bombardment for the Arras assault started.


6 April: The United States declared war on Germany.


16 April: France launched the unsuccessful Nivelle Offensive. Lenin returned to Russia from Switzerland.


17April: First signs of a mutiny in the French Army witnessed at Aisne.


20 April: Nivelle admitted that his offensive had failed in its object but the attacks continued until May 9th.


2 May: The first US destroyer flotilla arrived at Queenstown, Ireland.


10 May: The first use of the convoy system for an Atlantic crossing.


12 May: Pétain replaced Nivelle as French commander-in-chief.


18 May: The Compulsory Service Act was introduced in the United States.


19 May: Russia’s Provisional Government stated that it would not seek a separate peace settlement with Germany and Austria.


27 May: French troops refused to obey orders as the mutiny spread.


1 June: A whole regiment mutinied at Missy-aux-Bois.


17 June: Gotha bombers bombed London. 158 were killed with 425 wounded. – the worst British civilian casualties of the war.


25 June: The first contingent of US troops landed in France.


27 June: General Edmund Allenby was appointed commander of British forces in Palestine.


31 July: Start of the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres).


21 August: A Sopwith Pup, launched from the light cruiser ‘Yarmouth’ shot down Zeppelin L23 over the North Sea.


20 September: The British 2nd army launched an attacked along the Menin Road.


26 September: British troops launched an attack on Polygon Wood.


October 12th: ANZAC forces made limited progress at Passchendaele.


24 October: The start of the Battle of Caporetto, which ended on October 30th.


6 November: Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front and captured Passchendaele. Lenin took power in Russia with the Bolsheviks in charge of Moscow and Petrograd but not much else.


20 November: The start of the Battle of Cambrai; British used tanks en masse and made significant gains.


21 November: The hospital ship “Britannic” was sunk by a mine in the Eastern Mediterranean; at 47,000 tons the “Britannic” was the largest ship to be sunk by a mine.


26 November: Russia requested an armistice with the Germans.


30 November: A German counter-offensive took back much of the land captured by the Allies.


4 December: Battle of Cambrai ended.


5 December: An armistice was signed between Germany and Russia.


7 December: A squadron of US battleships arrived at Scapa Flow.


9 December: Britain captured Jerusalem from the Turks.


11 December: General Allenby, commander of British forces in Palestine, entered Jerusalem.


15 December: Russia and Germany signed an armistice.


22 December: Peace talks between Germany and Russia started at Brest-Litovsk.


MLA Citation/Reference

"1917 and World War One". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.