Russia and the Great War
~ 1914 ~



1914 - The Storm Breaks

This section will focus on a the events of the Great War, as well as the costs in men and equipment. It was the most devastating conflict the world ever engaged in up to that point.  The war would sap the strength of the massive Russian military machine, and plunge the nation into revolution.

With few exceptions noted in parenthesis, all dates given below are according to the Gregorian  Calendar that was used by most of the world during this period.  Additionally, the dates below are color coded depending on where the selected event took place.  All dates in Black took place in Europe, while naval actions will be highlighted in Dark Blue, actions that took place in the Caucasus and Asia will be highlighted in Brown.

Back to
History and Battles
of the Great War



June 1914

28 June

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg are assassinated in Serajevo.
29 June The secretary of the Legation at Belgrade sends a message to Vienna suggesting Serbian involvement in the assassination.

Anti-Serbian riots take place throughout Bosnia.

July 1914
  4 July Funeral of Archduke Ferdinand at Artstetten.
9 July Emperor of Austria-Hungary receives a report of the assassination investigation
10 July Russian Minister to Serbia, M. Hartwig, dies suddenly at the Austrian Legation in Belgrade.
13 July Reports of projected Serbian attack on the Austro-Hungarian Legation.
15 July In the Hungarian Chamber Count Tisza states that relations with Serbia 'must be cleared up'.
17 July Reports reach Austria-Hungary that Serbia has called up 70,000 reservists and is preparing for war.

French president Poincare leaves Paris to visit Tsar Nicholas.

19 July A press scare concerning the 'Greater Serbia conspiracy' surfaces in Austria-Hungary.
20 July Tsar Nicholas welcomes President Poincare in Kronstadt.

Austria-Hungary begins preparations on Serbian frontier.

21 July Austria-Hungary holds conferences at Ischl and Budapest to discuss the Serbian situation.

The great Revolutionary Strike begins in Russia.

23 July Austria-Hungary presents Serbia with an ultimatum and demands an answer to it within 48 hours.
24 July Serbia makes an appeal to the Tsar and the Russian Duma meets to discuss the problem.
25 July Austria-Hungary refuses the Russian request to extend the deadline of the ultimatum.

Serbia orders a mobilization.

Russia plans to mobilize its 13th Corps along the Austro-Hungarian frontier if that nation moves against Serbia.

26 July Germany does not believe that Russia will fight, but threatens to mobilize if Russia does not stop its plans to mobilize.  Germany also asks France and Britain to stop Russia's plans.

Austria begins to mobilize its 8th Corps along the Russian frontier.

Russia declares that it will mobilize if Austria crosses the Serbian frontier.

27 July Tsar sends message to Belgrade stating that Russia cannot be indifferent to the fate of Serbia.  He also proposes to talk with government in Vienna about Serbia.
28 July Noon - Austria declares war on Serbia.  Also states that they want no mediation attempts but has no quarrel with Russia.

Russia states that it will order the full mobilization of its Southern Corps the following day.  Also states that it has no aggressive intentions against Germany.

Kaiser William states that he will use his influence with Austria to resolve the situation.

29 July Russia mobilizes its Southern Corps and states that England must take the lead in diplomacy to resolve the situation.

Russia is informed by Germany that a partial mobilization would most likely lead to a war with Germany.  Russia therefore decides on a full mobilization.

Austrians bombard Belgrade that afternoon.  Austrians fail to cross the Danube between Belgrade and Gradishte.

At 11:00 that night Tsar Nicholas attempts to stop the Russian mobilization.

30 July At 2:00am Russia proposes to Germany that it will stop mobilizing if Austria removes conditions of its ultimatum involving Serbian sovereignty.  

Lokal Anzeiger announces German mobilization, but it is officially contradicted soon after, but only after it has been sent to St. Petersburg.

Russians learn of Austrian mobilization and decide on a full mobilization.

31 July Russians begin the full mobilization.

Austria also announces a full mobilization.

Germany declares imminent danger of war and will mobilize if Russia does not stop all military measures within 12 hours.  Also sends a message of her intentions towards Russia to France and demands to know within 18 hours if France will remain neutral.

Turkey begins mobilizing.


August 1914

























1 August Tsar Nicholas receives message from King George of England that Germany recommended British proposals to Austria on the 30th, but that Russian mobilization plans were reported during the Austrian cabinet meeting.

Russia does not reply to German ultimatum that expired at noon.

French begin mobilization.

Germany begins mobilization at 5pm, declares war on Russia at 7:10pm falsely claiming that Russians had crossed the frontier and started the war.

Tsar Nicholas wires King George that he had to mobilize because of the Serbian situation, and though he promised not to move troops during the negotiations the Kaiser suddenly declared war.

2 August In Russia Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevitch is appointed to be supreme commander of Russian army.  STAVKA (supreme headquarters) is established at Baranovitchi.

German forces invade Poland and occupy Bendzin, Chenstokhov, and Kalish.

Libau bombarded by German light cruiser 'Augsburg'.

Russian forces raid East Prussia near Schwidden

3 August Skirmish between outposts near Libau.
Tsar Nicholas is proclaimed the Generalissimo of all Russian forces.

Germany declares war on France.  

British begin mobilization.

6 August Austrian forces attack Obrenovats in Serbia.  The attack fails and Austrian forces are forced to retreat, losing many guns in the retreat.
7 August Russian 1st Army under General Rennenkampf crosses into East Prussia in force.

Russian 9th Army begins assembling in Warsaw.

Bosnia entered by Serbian forces.

10 August Russian 1st Army reaches Tilsit in East Prussia after easy advance.

Austrian 1st Army under Dankl begins advance towards Lyublin and Kyeltsi in Poland.

11 August German ships 'Goeben' and 'Breslau' enter the Dardanelles after escaping from British ships.
13 August Austrians invade Serbia and force their way across the River Drina.
14 August 2nd Russian Army under General Ruzsky crosses the frontier in Galicia.  Defeats Austrians and captures Sokal.

Austrians push Serbians back and take Loznitsa.

16 August Russian armies advance through East Prussia.

Austrians capture Shabatz in Serbia, but Serbians halt the Austrian advance.

17 August Russians defeat the Germans at Stalluponen.
Germans fall back to Gumbinnen.
18 August Russian Southern Army invades Galicia in three columns following three rail lines converging on Lemberg.
Russian 3rd Army under General Brusilov moves west through Tarnopol and Sereth valley.  This threatens Austrian 2nd army.
19 August Austrian advance into Poland is stopped near Kyeltsi.

Austrian forces in Serbia defeated in Shabats.

20 August Battle of Gumbinnen
Russian 1st army defeats German 1st Corps and occupy Gumbinnen, Goldap, and Lyck.
Ludendorff and Hindenburg take command of German forces in the region.
21 August Russian 2nd Army under General Samsonov continues its advance into East Prussia and occupies many cities over the next three days.
Russian 8th Army crosses into Austria-Hungary.
22 August Russian forces evacuate Kyeltsi in Poland.

Serbian forces recover Shabats and Lornitz.  Austrians are defeated at the River Drina.

23 August Battle of Frankenau
Russian army drives German forces back.  Germans evacuate city of Insterburg in East Prussia.

Russian forces take Brody in Galicia.
Russian 4th Army is defeated by Austrians at Krasnik.
Russian 9th Army moves south.

24 August Russian forces continue to advance into East Prussia.

Austrian army advances beyond Kyeltsi in Poland.

25 August Russians defeated by Austrian 1st Army at Krasnik, then begins advance towards Lyublin.

Austrian invasion of Serbia ends in total defeat.

26 August Soldau is retaken by German forces in East Prussia.
Battle of Tannenburg begins.

Operations begin against Lemberg in Galicia.

27 August Russian forces capture Halicz and Tarnopol.
28 August Austrian army is defeated by Russian forces at Lutzow.
Russian army begins advance on Konigsberg.
29 August Battle of Tannenberg ends in the rout of General Samsonov's 2nd army.
30-31 August Germans capture many Russian prisoners (including General Samsonov) after Tannenberg battle.  General Rennenkampf is forced to withdraw to the border.
31 August Russians break Austrian line near Halicz.
September 1914
























1-2 September Russian forces begin a general withdrawal from East Prussia and move toward the River Bug.

Battle of Lemberg ends with rout of Austrian forces who lose 130,000 men.  Russian 3rd Army takes the city.

2 September Russian forces stop the Austrian advance into Poland at Lublin.
3 September Russian Southern Army captures Lemberg, the capital of Galicia.
4 September In Galicia the Russian army begins to organize a government to control the conquered regions.
5 September Austrian armies defeated at Tomashov, Poland by Russians.
6 September Russians break the center of Austrian army under Dankl at Krasnostav.
6-12 September Austrian and Russian forces begin Battle of Grodek in Galicia.
7 September Russian cavalry reaches the Carpathian mountains.
8 September Battle near Rava Russka in Galicia.  Also in the region General Brusilov's army takes Mikolajow in the Carpathians.
10 September Austrian Gen. Dankl is defeated in the Battle of Krasnik, while Archduke Joseph is defeated at Opole.
12 September Battles of Grodek and Rava Russka end with the total defeat of Austrian forces.  Grodek is captured by the Russians.

Austrians attempt to cross the San river in Poland under heavy fire.

13 September Russian forces end their retreat and turn and counterattack the Germans pursuing them.  They defeat the Germans at Sredniki.
14 September Russians cross the San river in pursuit of Dankl's Austrian army.
15 September Russians occupy Czernowitz in Bukovina and prepare to meet the Germans on the river Niemen.
16 September Russian advance towards Przemysl in Galicia.  
18 September Russians take Sandomierz in Poland.
20 September Russians abandon Augustovo on the Prussian frontier, Germans lay siege to Osovyets.
21 September Germans reach the river Niemen on the Prussian frontier.
Russian forces take Jaroslau in Galicia.
22 September Russian army approaches Przemysl.
24 September Przemysl is occupied by the Russians.
25 September Russian forces are driven across the river Niemen and begin defensive operations there.
26-28 September Battle of the Niemen and Seige of Osovyets
In both cases the Germans are repulsed by Russian defenders.

Russian army occupies Rzeszov in Galicia.

27 September Russian army moves toward Krakow and the Carpathian passes.
28 September In Galicia town of Krosno and Dukla Pass are taken by the Russians.  Hungary is also raided by Russian cavalry formations.
29 September German forces withdraw from Niemen and Osovyets.
30 September In southwest Poland German forces entrench south of Kyeltsi.

October 1914




















1-9 October Battle of Augustovo.
Russians recover Augustoveo and attack the retreating Germans.
2 October Russian army recovers Mariampol along East Prussian frontier.
3-7 October First joint Austrian-German operation begins with objective of taking Warsaw.  German forces assume overall command.  The attack makes rapid advances against the Russian center line.  The force eventually pushes the Russians back to the river San.

Russian raiders withdraw from Hungary.

8 October Lyck is taken by Russian forces in East Prussia.
9-29 October Austro-German force approaches Ivangorod and begins a three week battle.
10 October Germans occupy Lodz.

Russians resume calavry raids against Dukla and Uzsok passes in Hungary.

11 October Germans take Sochaczew in Poland.

In Galicia the Russian army is forced to end seige of Przemysl, Austrians also recover Jaroslau.

Russian cruiser 'Pallada' is sunk by German submarine in the Baltic.

13 October German army takes Lyck in East Prussia.
14 October Germans take Mlava.
In Poland the Germans announce that the country is occupied up to the river Vistula.
15-23 October First Battle for Warsaw.
Fighting begins along the river Vistula as Germans advance to within seven miles of the city.
16 October Russians prepare to withdraw from Warsaw in the face of heavy assault.
17 October Russian reinforcements arrive at Warsaw and save the city from capture.

German cruiser 'Friedrich Carl' is sunk by a Russian mine.

18 October Austrian forces attempt to cross the river San and fail.
19 October German army crosses the Vistula at Josefov and other locations.
20 October Russian forces in Warsaw region begin to take the offensive as German attacks begin to weaken.
21 October Germans begin retreat from Warsaw.

Battle of Kasimiryev
Russian forces under Gen. Russki destroys German forces who had crossed the Vistula.

23 October Germans abandon the seige of Ivangorod.
Russian army begin to harrass the German retreat and retake Jaroslau.
25 October German army is in full retreat across Poland.
27 October Russians win battles along a line from Petrokov to Radom.
28 October Russians recover Lodz in Poland and defeat Austria at Sambor.

German warship 'Emden' appears at Penang and destroys Russian shipping including the cruiser 'Zhemchug'.

29 October Turkish fleet attacks Odessa, Novorossisk, and Theodosia.  Russians lose several ships including a destroyer.
30 October At Bakalaryevo, Poland the Russian army defeats German forces.

The battle of the Vistula River ends with Russian troops under General Russki pushing General Hindenburg's forces back to their original positions. The battle cost the Germans 42,000 men.

31 October Russians occupy Czernowitz in Bukovina.
Late October Russia has raised 82 infantry divisions against the Central Powers, with 16 more defending the Baltic and Black sea coasts.
November 1914


























1 November Germans continue their retreat across Poland.
2 November Russian army re-enters East Prussia.
3 November Joint Austro-German force is destroyed Kyeltsi, Poland by the Russian army.

Bayazid in Armenia is occupied by the Russians.

4 November Austrians are defeated by the Russian army at Jaroslau.  The Russians take 19,000 prisoners and 40 guns.

Russians advance from the Caucasus and occupy Diadin in Armenia.

5 November German forces in Poland moves their headquarters back to Chenstokhov in face of Russian advance.
6 November Austrians retreat towards Krakow.
7 November German warship 'Breslau' bombards Russian base at Poti.

Russians bombard Turkish ports in the Black Sea.

8 November Russians enter Eydtkuhnen and Stalluponen in east Prussia.  Thay also advance into the Imperial Forest of Rominten.
9 November Germans in Poland evacuate Kalish and Chenstokhov.  Silesia is invaded by Russian cavalry.  The German rail line is cut at Pleschen.

Battle of Koprukeui in Armenia.

10 November Russian army enters Goldap in East Prussia.
12 November Russians occupy Miechow near Krakow, they also enter Przemysl region.  Russian army enters Johannisburg in East Prussia.
13 November Russian advance moves towards Thorn.  In Galicia the Russian army occupies a line of Dunayets and threatens Krakow.
14 November Germans halt Russian advance into East Prussia.  German army launches powerful offensive along the Vistula from Thorn.
15 November Russians retreat in the face of the German offensive and take up defensive positions from Gombin to Lodz.

'Breslau' is intercepted by Russian squadron, 'Goeben' moves in to support 'Breslau' and both ships escape Russians in fog.

16 November Germans overrun Russian rearguard at Kutno and Vlotslavek.
17 November Heavy fighting around Plotsk.

Russians begin to recover the Carpathian passes in Galicia.

18 November Russian army defeated at Soldau in East Prussia.
In Poland the Russians retreat towards Lovich.

Austro-German offensive into Galicia begins from Krakow.

Turkish offensive in Armenia forces Russians to retreat.

Libau on the Baltic is shelled by German ships.

'Goeben' and 'Breslau' are attacked by Russian squadron in the Black Sea.  'Goeben' is damaged.

19 November In Poland Gen. Mackensen captures Pointek and moves towards Lodz.
20 November Germans begin attacks along Russian line from Lovich to Skiernievitse.
21 November Germans attack Russian army at Lovich.
22 November  Germans engaged in heavy fighting around Lodz.

Russians take 6,000 Austrian prisoners in Galicia along the Krakow-Chenstokhov line.

Russians take Koprukeui in Armenia.

23 November Russian line between Rzgov and Kolyushki is shattered by Germans under General Mackensen.
24 November Arrival of Russian reinforcements helps stabilize the Russian line.  Heavy fighting continues around Lodz and Strykov.
25 November Three German divisions are nearly encircled at Lodz, but escape due to Rennenkapf's delay.

Russian cavalry again raids Hungary.

26 November Austrians in Bukovina again evacuate Czernowitz.
28 November Russians crush German army near Brzezany in Poland.

Carpathian passes are again secured by Russian army. 

29 November Germans bombard Lodz.
30 November Battle of Lodz increases in intensity.
December 1914


























1 December Fighting in suburbs of Lodz becomes intense.

Russians capture Sarai and Bashkai in Armenia.

2 December Russians capture Bartfeld in Hungary.
4 December Russian army captures Vieliczka and resumes advance on Krakow.
6 December Lodz is evacuated by Russian forces which pull back towards the Bzura-Ravka lines.
7 December Second Battle of Warsaw begins as Germans attack.

Russians attack East Prussia and also bombard the fortifications of Krakow.

9 December Heavy fighting around Mlava and Petrokov.
10 December Austrians defeated near Krakow.  Russian army takes 4,000 prisoners.
11 December Russian army repels German attacks north of Lovich.
12 December Austro-German counter offensive launches from Hungary.  It takes the Dukla Pass and threatens Russian army at Krakow.
13 December Battle for Krakow ends because of offensive from Hungary.
15 December Heavy fighting around Sokhachev in Poland.
16 December Russians end their retreat in Poland and prepare to defend a line from Bzura-Ravka-Pilitza some 30 miles southwest of Warsaw.
17 December German army occupies Petrokov in Poland.

Turks retake Koprukeui and begin to force Russian army back.

18 December Austrians recover Lupkow Pass over the Carpathians.
19 December Austrian garrison in Przemysl launches desparate sortie but are repelled by Russians.
20 December Russians hold the Bzura-Ravka-Pilitza line despite heavy German assaults.

In Galicia the Russian army begins to counterattack and recover the Carpathian passes.

Turks defeated by Russians near Lake Van.

21 December Germans fail to cross the Bzura in Poland.
22 December A second Austrian sortie from Przemysl is repulsed by Russians.
23 December Germans manage to cross the Bzura at two points.

Russians lift siege of Krakow.

24 December Reports of Romanians uprising in Transylvania.
25 December German army is driven back from the river Bzura.  Russians defeat Austrians at Tarnow.  These two events end the joint Austro-German offensive.
26 December Germans abandon attempt to capture Warsaw by attacking across the river Bzura.
27 December Russian army defeats Germans at Skiernevitse.  Russian forces also occupy the Carpathian passes again.
28 December German army in Poland is in retreat, but entrenches west of river Bzura.
29 December Russian armies in Galicia force Austrian army to retreat.
30 December Germans in Poland fight determined rearguard actions at Bolimov and Inovlodz.
31 December Austro-German forces in retreat in both Poland and Galicia.

Hungary is again raided by Russian cavalry from Carpathian passes.


Back to Top To 1915 >>

Back to History and Battles
of the Great War