Eastern Europe; key historical events

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22/5/2016, In Austrian Presidential elections, Mr Norbert Hofer of the far-Right lost to Mr Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens by the narrow margin of 0.6%. The result was connected to rising concern about migration into Europe from Asia and Africa.

26/5/2011, Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic was arrested in Serbia, for crimes of genocide.

28/2/2009, Former Serbian President Milan Milosevic was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribune for the Former Yugoslavia.

21/7/2008, Radovan Karadic, Serbian leader during the break-up of Yugoslavia, wanted for war crimes against the Bosnians, was captured and sent to The Hague for trial.

26/4/2008, Police arrested Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, Austria, after he held women and children for years in a dungeon below his home. He was jailed for life in March 2009.

17/2/2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.  The EU and NATO backed Kosovo, but Russia opposed it.

3/6/2006, Montenegro declared independence from Serbia.

20/2/2006, British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison by an Austrian court for Holocaust denial.

11/3/2006, Former President Slobodan Milosevic died, see 13/2/2002.

23/7/2004, The historic Mostar Bridge, destroyed on 9/11/1993, and subsequently restored, was reopened by Charles, Prince of Wales.

14/9/2003, In a referendum, Estonia approved joining the EU.

13/2/2002, The trial of former President Milosevic (born 20 August 1941) began in The Hague, under a UN war crimes tribunal. He was accused of presiding over the deaths of 250,000 non-Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. He died on 11 March 2006, with the trial still underway.

7/5/2001, In Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia, Muslims attempted to reconstruct the Ferhadja Mosque.  However a mass riot by Serb Nationalists ensued, and 300 elderly Bosnian Muslims were beaten and stoned to death.

1/4/2001, Former President Milosevic surrendered to police special forces, to be tried at The Hague for war crimes.

23/1/2001, The UN War Crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demanded that Serbia hand over ex-President Milosovic.

11/11/2000, A fire on a funicular railway in the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun killed 155 holidaymakers.

1/11/2000, Yugoslavia’s new democratic government joined the UN, after 8 years of the country being ostracised from the UN under President Milosevic.

5/10/2000, President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia resigned after widespread demonstrations across Serbia and the withdrawal of Russian support. He had lost the elections of 24/9/2000 but failed to acknowledge defeat; crowds stormed the parliament building and TV station in Belgrade in protest. Finally the election winner, Vojislav Kostunica, was able to take office.

26/9/2000, Anti-globalisation protests in Prague.  Some 15,000 protestors turned violent during the IMF and World Bank Summits.

10/12/1999, Franjo Tudjman, President of Croatia, died.

19/8/1999, In Belgrade, thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of President Slobodan Milosevic.

12/6/1999, The UN and NATO peacekeeping force KFOR entered Kosovo.

10/6/1999, NATO suspended air strikes against the Serbs after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.

9/6/1999, In the Kosovo War, Yugoslavia and NATO signed a peace treaty.

7/5/1999, In Yugoslavia, three Chinese Embassy workers were killed and twenty wounded when a NATO aircraft mistakenly bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

24/3/1999. NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia.  This was the first attack by NATO on a sovereign country. In Kosovo, there was escalating violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, and President Slobodan Milosevic was accused of ethnic cleansing, driving thousands of Albanians from their homes. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was to curb Serbian military activities.

20/3/1999, Serbs launched an offensive in Kosovo.

7/3/1997. Albania dissolved into chaos, and military firearms depots were looted.

22/3/1996. The War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague made its first indictment; three Muslims and a Croat were charged with torture, rape, and murder of Serbs.

19/3/1996, Sarajevo was reunited when Bosniak authorities took control of the last district occupied by Sertbs.

29/2/1996, The siege of Sarajevo ended.

14/12/1995, The Dayton Peace Accord was signed in Paris, ending the Yugoslav conflict.

4/12/1995, NATO troops landed in the Balkans.

25/11/1995, A ceasefire was declared in the Republics of former Yugoslavia, following a peace agreement signed at Dayton, Ohio. Bosnia would be a united Republic comprising the Muslim-Croat areas and the Serb Republic, unifying the city of Sarajevo. Individuals charged with war crimes were banned from holding public office.

16/11/1995, The UN tribunal charged Radovan Karadic and Ratko Mladic with genocide during the Bosnian War.

1/11/1995, Participants in the Yugoslav War began negotiations at the Wright  -Patterson air force base, Ohio, USA.

30/8/1995. UN forces attacked key Serb positions in Bosnia.  The NATO campaign continued into October.

28/8/1995, Serbian mortar bomb near Sarajevo market killed 37 civilians.

5/8/1995, Croatian forces captured the town on Knin.

4/8/1995, Croatians launched Operation Storm, against Serbian forces in Krajina, compelling them to retreat to Bosnia.

11/7/1995. Bosnian Serbs marched into Srebrenica as Dutch UN peacekeepers left. Later; large numbers of Bosniak men and boys were massacred.

3/6/1995. UN rapid intervention force sent to Bosnia.

5/8/1994. NATO air strike on Bosnian Serb positions near Sarajevo.

10/4/1994. NATO air strikes against the Serbs around Gorazde.

6/3/1994, A referendum in Moldova showed the electorate opposed to possible unification with Romania.

28/2/1994. Four Serbian planes shot down by US F-16 pilots over Bosnia, for violating the US-imposed no-fly zone there.

9/2/1994, The Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced.

5/2/1994. 70 killed and 200 injured in a Serb mortar attack on Sarajevo marketplace.

17/12/1993. Warring parties in Bosnia agreed to a ceasefire from the 23rd December to the 3rd January. However despite the ceasefire, on 25/12/1993, Serb gunmen fired over 1,300 rounds into Sarajevo, killing 6 civilians.

9/11/1993. The historic 16th century Mostar Bridge was demolished by a barrage of shells from Croat forces fighting Muslims.

13/6/1993. Serb shells hit a hospital in the Muslim town of Gorazde, killing 50 people.

18/4/1993. The Muslim town of Srebrenica surrendered to Serb forces.

7/4/1993. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the United Nations.

1/4/1993. Britain agreed to send aircraft to enforce the no-fly zone over Bosnia.

19/3/1993. UN relief convoy reached Srebrenica, Yugoslavia.

25/2/1993. The USA announced it was to drop food and medicine to Muslims besieged by Serbs in Bosnia.

26/1/1993. Vaclav Havel became the first president of the new Czech Republic. He was a centre-right candidate, opposed by Communists and the extreme-right Republican Party.

14/1/1993. The UK aircraft carrier Ark Royal set sail for the Adriatic as part of British reinforcements for peacekeeping troops in Bosnia. Also today the first British soldier was killed, shot by a sniper, in Bosnia, whilst escorting an ambulance.

1/1/1993.  Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics, in a ‘velvet divorce’.

25/11/1992, The Czechoslovak National Assembly voted for the country to split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on 1 January 1993.

29/10/1992. The Muslim town of Jajce fell to the Serbs.

3/8/1992. Reports from Bosnia told of Nazi-style concentration camps and ethnic cleansing.

20/7/1992, Vaclav Havel resigned as President of Czechoslovakia.

30/5/1992. The UN agreed wide-ranging sanctions against what was left of Yugoslavia as the Belgrade –Serbian government suppressed other races and attempted to establish a ‘greater Serbia’ by force. When in January 1992 the EC recognised Croatian and Slovenian independence, a third of Croatia was occupied by Serb forces. A new phrase entered the language – ‘ethnic cleansing’, as Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serbs were forcibly expelled from villages overrun by Serb forces. Images of concentration camps reminded people, of the horrors of World War Two as pictures of skeletal Bosnian detainees behind barbed wire reached the West. By mid-July 1992 the Bosnian capital Sarajevo had been under siege for over 100 days, shelled by Serb gunners in the hills above the city, and snipers roamed freely in the streets. Civilian casualties were appalling, and by the end of September 1992 relief efforts stalled. Winter loomed, and with it the spectre of mass starvation in the heart of Europe.

7/4/1992. The EC and USA recognised Bosnia-Hercegovina’s independence.

6/4/1992, Serbian troops began the siege of Sarajevo, after Serbs in Bosnia objected to Bosniaks and Croats seeking independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia.

21/2/1992, The UN Security Council approved Resolution 743 and decided to send peacekeeping troops to Yugoslavia.

15/1/1992. As the old Yugoslavia broke up, the EC recognised Slovenian and Croatian independence.

8/1/1992, Bosnian Serbs declared their own Republic within Bosnia and Hercegovina in protest at Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats decision to seek recognition from the EC.

7/12/1991, After a 67-day siege, Serbian forces bombarded the centre of Dubrovnik.

23/11/1991. Croats in Vukovar surrendered to Serb forces. Serbs now planned to attack the 150,000 Croats in Osijek region. Capture of Osijek would give the Serbs control of the fertile eastern plains of Croatia.

18/11/1991, Gustav Husak, former President of Czechoslovakia and Communist Party leader, who crushed the Prague Spring in 1968, died in Prague aged 78.

26/10/1991. The Yugoslav army was besieging Dubrovnik and shelling its historic centre.

14/10/1991 Communist rule ended in Bulgaria.

8/10/1991, The Croatian Parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.

2/10/1991, The Yugoslav Army bombarded Dubrovnik.

8/9/1991, Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia.

26/8/1991. Yugoslav Federal forces and Serb guerrillas launched a fierce attack on Vukovar in eastern Croatia. The city of 50,000 people was roughly half Serb and half Croat. Yugoslav planes bombed Vinkovici, 20 miles from Vukovar.

29/7/1991, Yugoslavia edged further into civil war. The country’s ethnic mix in 1991 was 36% Serb, 20% Croatian, 9% Moslem, 8% Slovene, 8% Albanian, 6% Macedonian, 3% Montenegrin, 2% Hungarian. The two richest republics, Slovenia and Croatia, seceded, against the wishes of the militarily strongest republic, Serbia. Two helicopters were shot down over the Slovenian capital, Llubljana, where Federal tanks were on the streets. Airports and borders were closed. An EC delegation went to Belgrade to warn that all EC aid will be cut off if the Federal, Yugoslav, army did not return to barracks in Slovenia and elsewhere.

27/7/1991. A week of violence in Yugoslavia left 50 dead.

11/7/1991. Violence between Serbs and Croats continued to escalate, especially in eastern Croatia where Serb and Croat villages and even houses were mixed together.

25/6/1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The European Community and the USA said they would not recognise this move.

16/6/1991. The Soviet Army finally left Hungary after 47 years.

12/5/1991. Serbs in Croatia voted for union with Serbia. On 20/5/1991 Croatia voted overwhelmingly for independence from Serbia. Croatia formally declared independence on 30/5/1991. This was the beginning of a bloody conflict that ended with the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

2/5/1991. Clashes between Serbs and Croats left 35 dead.

31/3/1991, (1) Albania had its first multi-party elections.

(2) In Yugoslavia, troops moved to control fighting between Serbs and Croats.

9/3/1991. Albanian troops fired on 4,000 people trying to board a boat to flee to Italy. In Yugoslavia, a crowd of at least 70,000 fought with riot police in Belgrade. The crowd was demanding an end to Communist control of the media. One 18 year old youth was killed by a rubber bullet and over 70 others were injured. Police used live ammunition and water cannon as well as rubber bullets. The crowd marched on parliament and the television centre.

15/2/1991, The Visegrad Agreement was signed; the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland agreed to move towards free-market systems.

26/12/1990, Exiled King Michael of Romania, who fled his country in 1947 at gunpoint for Switzerland, attempted to return to Romania. He landed at Bucharest Airport in a private jet with his wife and daughter. However he was stopped by police who disputed the validity of his travel documents, and sent back to Geneva. The Romanian authorities did not wish to see a Royalist revival, and said Michael could return after the forthcoming elections.

23/12/1990. Slovenia voted in a referendum to secede from Yugoslavia.

10/12/1990, In the Serbian Republic, the Communist Party won free elections.

9/12/1990, Slobodan Milosevic became President of Serbia.

28/10/1990. In Moldavia, troops kept ethnic Moldavians and Gaugaz Turks apart.

2/9/1990, Transdnistria declared its independence from the Moldovan SSR; no other country recognised this.

17/8/1990. Armed Serb Nationalists seized Croatian territory near the town of Knin.

13/7/1990, 4,500 Albanian refugees arrived at the Italian port of Brindisi.

14/6/1990, In Bucharest, Romania, street battles erupted between students demanding democracy and miners supporting the interim regime of Ilescu.

10/6/1990, In Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel’s Civic Forum Party and its Slovak allies won 170 out of the 300 seats. Tough economic reforms lay ahead.

21/5/1990, Ion Iliescu elected President of Romania, in Romania’s first post-Communist free elections.

26/2/1990. Soviet troops began withdrawing from Hungary. By July 1991, all 73,500 should have gone.

18/2/1990, Demonstrators in Romania stormed the headquarters of the provisional government, demanding the resignation of President Ion Iliescu and Prime Minister Petre Roman.

2/1/1990. All 40 members of the Romanian Politburo were arrested.

29/12/1989, (1) The Czechs elect playwright Vaclav Havel as President.

(2) Alexander Dubcek, the reformist leader sacked in 1968 was elected leader of Czechoslovakia’s federal assembly.

25/12/1989, President Ceausescu and his wife were tried and shot. On 27/12/1989 the Romanian press was freed.

22/12/1989. A Romanian revolution overthrew President Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu’s son Nicu was arrested, and the Queen cancelled Nicolae’s honorary knighthood. Ion Iliescu took over as President.

20/12/1989. President Nicolae Ceausescu declared a state of emergency. His last public appearance with his wife Elena was in Bucharest on 21/12/1989. As he addressed the crowd of 100,000, in University Square, there were catcalls of ‘murderers of Timisoara’. Ceausescu was hustled back indoors and Romanian television ceased broadcasting the event. This was the signal for a general uprising that afternoon, and the Securitate began firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Many were wounded or killed but the crowd sensed the army was now with them, except for diehard factions of the Securitate.

17/12/1989. In the town of Timisoara, in Transylvania, Romania, troops fired on 10,000 demonstrators, killing 2,000. Ethnic Hungarians within Romania were protesting against the suppression of the Hungarian language in schools, also books in Hungarian.

15/12/1989, In Bulgaria, 50,000 demonstrators outside Parliament demanded the end of Communist rule.

26/11/1989. The Bulgarian government voted to disband the secret police.

24/11/1989. President Ceausescu was re-elected as leader of Romania. However in Czechoslovakia the Communist leadership resigned.

17/11/1989, In Czechoslovakia, students protesting peacefully in Prague were severely beaten by riot police. This sparked a revolution which toppled the Communist government on 29/12/1989. Protestors grew from 200,000 on 19/11/1989 to an estimated 500,000 on 20/11/1989.

14/11/1989. Czechoslovakia lifted travel restrictions.

3/11/1989. Political unrest in Bulgaria.

9/10/1989, East Germans in Leipzig demonstrated, demanding the legalisation of opposition groups and democratic reforms.

7/10/1989. The Hungarian Communist party changed its name to the Socialist Party.

4/10/1989. 10,000 East Germans left Prague by train for West Germany.

27/9/1989. Hungary abolished its restrictive emigration laws.

26/9/1989. Over 1,500 East German refugees occuppied the West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw.

16/9/1989. Hungary opened its border with Austria to refuges fleeing the East on 11/9/1989. At least 16,000 East German refugees cross from Hungary into Austria.

10/9/1989, Hungary began accepting many refugees from East Germany. Hungary opened its border with Austria, providing a route to the West. The East German Government condemned the move as ‘treachery’.

23/8/1989, 2 million Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians formed an uninterrupted 600 kilometre human chain to demand independence from Moscow. Hungary removed all border restrictions with Austria.

17/5/1989, The Communist Government of Czechoslovakia freed playwright Vaclav Havel after he served just three months of a nine month sentence.

15/3/1989. 15,000 Hungarians marched in Budapest, calling for democracy.

1/3/1989, A curfew was imposed in Kosovo; protests continued at alleged intimidation of the Serb minority.

27/2/1989, Belgrade imposed emergency powers in Kosovo as Yugoslavia’s Serbs attempted to resist secession by ethnic Albanians.

21/2/1989. Czech writer Vaclav Havel was jailed for anti-government demonstrations.

19/1/1989, Police in Prague used tear gas and water cannon to break up a large demonstration commemorating te 20th anniversary of the death of Jan Palach, a student who burnt himself to death in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The 1989 protests were led by Vaclav Havel, a dissident writer who led the Charter 77 human rights movement.

15/9/1988. The Federation of Yugoslavia looked increasingly fragile as 200,000 Serbs protested in Belgrade against persecution of them in the province of Kosovo by ethnic Albanians. Kosovo was the home of Serbian culture, and had a Serbian king for two centuries. By 1988 it was populated by 1.7 million ethnic Albanians and only 200,000 Serbs. Serbs make up 40% of Yugoslavia’s 23 million population. Serbians organised more mass anti-Albanian demonstrations on 25/9/1988.

14/4/1988, President Caesescu of Romania announced plans to demolish 8,000 villages and forcibly resettle their population in urban areas.

8/6/1986, Kurt Waldheim was elected president of Austria, amid controversy over his alleged collaboration with the Nazis in World War Two.  He was inaugurated on 8/7/1986.

11/4/1985. In Albania, Communist leader Enver Hoxha died.

4/5/1980. Joseph Tito, President of Yugoslavia since 1953, died, aged 87, after a long illness. He was born in Kumrovec, near Zagreb, Croatia, on 7/5/1892; one of 15 children in a peasant family. He became a metal worker and an active trade unionist. In World War One he fought on the Carpathian and Bukovinan fronts before being seriously wounded, in 1916, by a howitzer, captured, with his entire brigade, and incarcerated in the Urals. After 1917 he joined the Bolshevik Revolution and fought in the Red Guard during the Russian Civil War. On returning to Croatia he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY), for which he was imprisoned for 5 years. In August 1936 he was nominated General Secretary of the CPY Politburo, escaping the Stalinist purges that saw off most of his contemporaries. Yugoslavia was initially neutral in World War Two, but Hitler invaded it after the overthrow of the pro-Axis Prince Paul. Tito led a successful guerrilla campaign against the Nazis and by 1943 was able to form a provisional government with himself as President, also as Secretary of Defence and Marshall of the Armed Forces. His rule was generally popular; he was seen as a patriot and war hero, and he gave Yugoslavia prosperity and stability until his death in 1980. His funeral was attended by 140 state delegations; only the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005 had more delegations and news coverage.

3/2/1980. The Communist leader of East Germany, Mr Honecker, praised the efforts of East German spies in the West.

23/12/1979. In Czechoslovakia, playwright Vaclav Havel was convicted of subversion.

23/6/1978, Josip Broz Tito was nominated Yugoslav President for life.

13/3/1977, Czech secret police tortured to death the leader of the Charter 77 Movement, Jan Potocka.

7/1/1977, Civil Rights campaigners in Czechoslovakia published their Charter 77, following the signing by the Czechoslovak Government of the International Convention on Human Rights in 1976. In practice, many civil rights such as freedom of expression had been suppressed following the ‘normalisation’ that followed the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Charter’s signatories included Jiri Hajek, who was Czechoslovak Foreign Minister in 1968, and the writer Vaclav Havel. The signatories were greatly harassed by the Communist administration, but the Charter contributed to the downfall of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, when Havel became President.

21/12/1975, Left wing terrorists, including Carlos The Jackal, kidnapped delegates of an OPEC conference in Vienna. They killed three hostages, extorted US$ 3 million, and vanished into the Middle East.

4/9/1974. The USA established diplomatic relations with East Germany.

29/7/1971. Tito was re-elected president of Yugoslavia.

3/11/1970. Peter II, King of Yugoslavia, died.

26/6/1970, Dubcek was expelled from the Czech Communist Party.

15/12/1969. Dubcek was made Czechoslovak Ambassador to Turkey. He was expelled from the Czech Communist party on 26/6/1970.

17/4/1969, Alexander Dubcek was replaced as First Secretary of the Czech Communist Party.

19/1/1969, A 21-year-old student, Jan Palach, set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square, Prague, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

16/10/1968, The Czechoslovak Government signed, under duress, an agreement that Warsaw Pact troops would remain in the country indefinitely.

13/9/1968, Press censorship was reimposed in Czechoslovakia.

27/8/1968. Russian patrols watched the streets of Prague after a failed anti – Communist uprising. Tanks had first entered Czechoslovakia on 20/8/1968. The Soviets overthrow President Dubcek, and 175,000 troops, mostly Russian, occupied the major cities of Czechoslovakia. Prague was put under curfew. 20 people were reported dead and at least 200 injured, many of them students, after the anti-Soviet protests.

22/8/1968, Soviet tanks entered Prague.

21/8/1968, President Dubcek was arrested and taken to Moscow. He returned to Czechoslovakia on 27/8/1968, having agreed to Soviet demands.

20/8/1968. (+8,505) Russia sent tanks into Czechoslovakia. Dubcek had said on 18/7/1968 he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 5/4/1968.

29/7/1968, President Dubcek met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the village of Cierna nad Tisou (on the Czech-USSR border). Brezhnev agreed that Czechoslovakia could follow ‘its own road to Socialism’ and Dubcek promised ‘Socialist solidarity’. The meeting closed on 1/8/1968.

18/7/1968, Dubcek said he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 20/8/1968.

5/4/1968, In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek began a programme of reform which was to lead to a measure of political democracy and restoration of personal freedoms, see 5/1/1968 and 20/8/1968.

23/3/1968, President Dubcek was summoned to an emergency Warsaw Pact meeting to try and stop his liberal policies in Czechoslovakia.

13/3/1968. Dubcek abolished press censorship in Czechoslovakia.

5/1/1968. Alexander Dubcek became the Czech leader, replacing Novotny.  Czech discontent at oppressive government from Prague and economic exploitation by the USSR led to criticism of the Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Novotny (see 25/2/1948), at a Workers Union Congress in June 1967, and to student demonstrations in October 1967.  See 5/4/1968.

9/12/1967. Nicolae Ceausescu became President of Romania.

1964, Construction work began on the Iron Gates Dam on the Danube, between Yugoslavia and Romania.

17/6/1958. Ex-Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy was executed after a secret trial, two years after the suppressed Hungarian Revolution.

10/12/1956,  Martial law was declared in Hungary.

9/11/1956. The UN told the USSR to leave Hungary.

4/11/1956, 16 Soviet divisions moved into Hungary, with 2,000 tanks, to suppress the Hungarian Revolution.

28/10/1956, Imre Nagy ordered a cease fire by security forces.

27/10/1956, Prime Minister Imre Nagy formed a new Hungarian Government, see 5/11/1956.

25/10/1956. In Poland, thousands demonstrated in favour of the new regime in Hungary. Hungarian security forces fired on demonstrators near the Hungarian Parliament, killing some 600 people.

24/10/1956, The Hungarian Government declared martial law and Soviet tanks appeared in Budapest.

23/10/1956. Anti Communist uprising began in Hungary, see 5/11/1956. Protests were against the pro-Soviet regime which had replaced the reforming regime of Imre Nagy. Stalin's statue in Budapest was torn down and the return of Nagy only served to inflame matters further. The uprising was crushed on 26/10/1956.

15/12/1955, Bulgaria was admitted to the United Nations.

15/5/1955. Austria became de jure an independent state within its 1937 borders under the Austrian State Treaty, signed by the USA, USSR, France, and Britain (see 7/1/1946). All the four-power occupation forces were withdrawn by 25/10/1955. On 5/11/1955 Austria declared itself constitutionally to be permanently neutral.

15/10/1953 , Italy and Yugoslavia were in dispute over a piece of territory around Trieste. UK and USA forces as well as the UN were dragged in to the argument.

15/3/1953, Tito visited Britain.

14/1/1953. Marshall Tito was elected President of Yugoslavia. He had been leader of Yugoslavia since 1945.

23/10/1951, Fatmir Sejdiu, President of Kosovo, was born.

7/9/1950. All religions were dissolved in Hungary.

30/5/1950. Yugoslavia and Albania severed relations.

3/9/1948, Eduard Benes, Czech President until the Communist take-over, died.  See 6/6/1948.

28/6/1948. Yugoslavia ceased to be a Soviet satellite. Yugoslavia strengthened its ties with the West, and with Turkey and Greece. On 14/11/1951 a US-Yugoslav military agreement was reached providing for supply of tanks and heavy artillery to the Yugoslav Army. On 28/2/1953 a Turkish-Greek-Yugoslav treaty of friendship and co-operation was signed in Ankara, and on 9/8/1954 the three governments strengthened this treaty into a military and defensive alliance.

6/6/1948,  In Prague, President Benes resigned.  He had been attempted to maintain a neutral government in Czechoslovakia but the Communist, Klement Gottwald succeeded in introducing a Russian-oriented political system.  Benes died three months later (3/9/1948), a broken man.

10/3/1948, Ian Masaryk, Czech politician, died in Prague under suspicious circumstances after the Communists gained control.

25/2/1948. Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.  In Czech elections in May 1946 the Communists, under Gottwald, secured 114 of the 300 seats and became leader of a coalition government.  However by 1948 the Communists were losing popularity in Czechoslovakia, because Gottwald had declined Marshall Aid and because he was appointing his own supporters to senior positions in the police force.  A new Czech election was due in May 1948; before this could take place Gottwald organised what was effectively a Communist Revolution, backed by the workers militia and the police; there were no Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia at this time.  Gottwald died in March 1953 and was succeeded as Communist dictator by Novotny, who ruled until early 1968.  See 5/1/1968.

30/12/1947. King Michael of Romania abdicated, and a Communist republic was set up.

31/8/1947. The Communists won Hungarian elections.

18/4/1947, Tiso was executed, see 22/5/1945.

21/11/1946, Bulgarian Communist Georgi Dimitrov returned from Moscow to become President of Bulgaria.

16/9/1946, King Simeon and the Queen Mother left Bulgaria.

15/9/1946, The Bulgarian People’s Republic was proclaimed.

10/9/1946, A referendum in Bulgaria gave a 92% vote in favour of a Republic. 

8/9/1946. Communists took control in Bulgaria. 

26/5/1946. The Communists gained power in Czechoslovakia.

1/2/1946. Hungary declared itself a republic.

11/1/1946. General Enver Hoxha’s “Democratic Front” won 95% of the vote in Albania and proclaimed a People's Republic. King Zog of Albania had been deposed on 2/1/1946. See 7/4/1939.

7/1/1946. Austria was established as a de facto independent state, divided into four zones of military occupation, as was Germany. See 15/5/1955. Vienna was also divided into four zones, apart from the Innere Stadt district which was occupied jointly by all four powers (Britain, France, the USA, and the USSR).

2/1/1946. King Zog of Albania was deposed in his absence. He was born Ahmed Bey Zogu, a member of the Zogolli family. The Zogolli led a powerful Moslem faction in the mountains of Albania, so when in 1912 Zog joined the powerful anti-Turkish movement, pressing for Albanian independence, Muslims abandoned traditional religious ties in a push for national freedom. Under King William, Zog achieved high office and in 1922 became Prime Minister. He was forced to flee abroad in 1924 but returned to Albania in 1925 to become President of Albania. He played off various opposing factions within the religiously divided state and gathered enough personal power to have himself declared King in 1928. However he was unable to withstand Mussolini in Italy and had to allow the Italians to invade in 1939 to prepare to invade Greece. His credibility ruined, Zog was easily ousted by the Communists in 1946.

21/1/1945, Russia and Hungary signed an armistice. Hungarian borders were returned to their position at 31/12/1937, renouncing the Vienna Awards.

29/11/1945. King Peter of Yugoslavia was ousted from power and a Communist Republic declared.

12/11/1945. Marshall Tito’s National Front Party secured an overwhelming majority in general elections.

10/11/1945, The Communist Enver Hoxha established a Republican government in Albania, recognised by the UK, USA, and the USSR.

22/5/1945, Tiso, President of ‘Slovakia’, was arrested whilst in hiding in Austria.  He was tried for wartime collaboration in a Czechoslovak court and sentenced to death in April 1947.  Some Czechoslovaks pressed for a reprieve but the national government wanted the death sentence and he was executed, see 26/10/1939 and 18/4/1947.

15/5/1945, The last Nazi fighters in Yugoslavia ceased resistance.

8/5/1945, The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Some 400,000 Hungarisna had been killed, and excesses such as rapes by Soviet troops, summary arrests, and deportations to Soviet labour camps continued after this date. Total property damage at 22 billion pre-War Pengo amounted to five times national income for 1938 and about 40% of the country’s total wealth. All bridges over the rivers Danube and Tisza had been destroyed. A quarter of Hungary’s housing stock had been damaged or destroyed, along with half its industrial buildings. Half of all agricultural livestock and a third of agricultural machinery was lost; along with radical Soviet land reform that caused the 1945 harvest to be just 30% of per-War levels. The economy collapsed amidst rampant inflation, with food obtainable only by bartering objects likely to retain some value.

2/12/1944, Ibrahim Rugova, president of Kosovo, was born.

15/10/1944, Sali Berisha, President of Albania, was born.

29/11/1943, The Jacje Congress began (ended 30/11/1943). Delegates from various regions of Yugoslavia met in the Bosnian town of Jacje, which had been taken by Tito’s partisans from the Nazis in September 1942. The Congress was organised by the AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist National Liberation Committee), and decided on various aspects of Yugoslavia’s post war governance and leadership.

28/8/1943, Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria, died.

10/1942, In Albania the Balli Kombetar,the national resistance movement to Axis occupation, was formed. Led by Ali Klissura and Midhat Frasheri, it was a liberal-Communist organisation. It wished to include Kosovo in a future independent Albania; however the other A;lbanian resistance movement, the Communist resistance (under pressure from their Yugloslav backers) did not desire Kosovo to be part of Albania. Under Allied insoistence these two resistance groups joined forces in 1943. After World War Two ended the leaders of Balli Kombetar were mostly purged as Enver Hoxha strove to eliminate all internal dissent to his regime.

5/5/1941, Natalija Obrenovic, Queen of Serbia, died.

11/4/1941. Hungary regained the Bacska region from Yugoslavia.

7/9/1940, The Germans imposed the Treaty of Craiova on Romania, by which southern Dobruja was ceded to Bulgaria.  This frontier was reconfirmed by Treaty in February 1947.

6/9/1940, King Carol II of Romania abdicated in favour of his son Michael, by pro-Nazi Ion Antonescu.

2/9/1940, To bring Bulgaria onto the Axis side, Germany awarded it the Southern Dobruja, from Romania.  See 1/3/1941.

30/8/1940, The Second Vienna Award restored the territory of Northern Transylvania to Hungary, from Romania. However Hungary, although succeeding in breaking the power of the ‘Little Entente’ against it (the nations of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Serbia), had only managed to regain some of its lost territories (from the pre-World War One era) by becoming almost totally dependent on the Nazi economy and politics of Germany.

11/8/1939, The Axis Conference opened at Salzburg.

11/4/1939. Hungary left the League of Nations.

4/4/1939, Hungary annexed further territory in eastern Slovakia, giving it a common frontier with Poland.

16/3/1939, Slovakia became a German protectorate.  Hungary annexed Ruthenia, another part of Czechoslovakia.

14/3/1939, Josef Tiso proclaimed the independent people’s republic of Slovakia, see 26/10/1939.

2/11/1938, The First Vienna Award returned 12,000 square kilometres of Slovakia, a strip along the Hungarian-Slovakian frontier, to Hungarian rule (see 20/9/1938). There was, however, disappointment in Hungary that a common frontier with Poland had not been attained.

8/10/1938. Ruthenia granted autonomy.

For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany

6/10/1938. Slovakia granted autonomy. In Britain 30 Tory MPs protested at Chamberlain’s appeasement, uneasy that one country had been allowed to win by force against another.

20/9/1938, The Hungarian leaders, Imredy and Kanya, were summoned to Germany. Hitler told them he had no objections to Hungary’s desires to regain Slovakia and Ruthenia, so long as Hungary actively took part in the destruction of Czechoslovakia.

18/7/1938, Marie, Queen of Romania, died.

16/10/1937. Fascists formed a Nazi party in Hungary.

14/9/1937, Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia when that country was formed in 1918, died aged 87.

22/4/1937. The Austrian Chancellor, Schuschnigg, met Mussolini.

15/2/1937, The Balkan Entente Conference was held at Athens.

5/10/1936. Vaclav Havel, Czech playwright, human rights campaigner, and President, was born.

1/4/1936. Austria introduced conscription.

9/10/1934, Alexander (1888 – 1934), King of Yugoslavia since 1921, was assassinated by Croatian terrorists from the Ustase Movement in Marseilles.  He was succeeded by his 11-year old son Peter II (1923-1970).

19/5/1934. In Bulgaria, Fascists seized power in a coup aided by King Boris.

30/4/1934, Chancellor Dollfuss became dictator of Austria.

17/2/1934. A Socialist revolt in Austria was brutally crushed.

4/2/1934, Hungary established diplomatic relations with the USSR.

30/1/1934. All Austrian political parties were banned except the 'Fatherland Front'. 

10/11/1933. Dolfuss declared martial law in Austria.

7/3/1933. Chancellor Dolfuss suspended the Austrian Parliament.

6/2/1932. The Fascists staged a successful coup in Memel, Lithuania.

1930, The Balkan Entente was set up. It included Greece, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia; it was essentially a defensive alliance against the expansionist aims of Bulgaria, which was seeking to regain territories lost to Greece and Yugoslavia under the Treaty of Neuilly (1919). In the 1930, as authoritarian regimes gained power in all members of the Balkan Entente, the entire region moved politically closer to Germany and Italy.

9/11/1930. Social Democrats won elections to the Austrian Parliament.

8/6/1930, King Carol II returned from exile to take the throne of Romania.

27/10/1929, Elections in Czechoslovakia were won by the Republican Party of Agricultural and Smallholder Peoples.

3/10/1929. The name of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was changed to Yugoslavia. The name change was an attempt to eradicate longstanding historical divisions within the country.

21/5/1929, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia used his dictatorial powers to ban the Croat Party and other political factions.

6/1/1929, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia became dictator.

1/9/1928. Zogu was proclaimed King Zog I of Albania.

13/1/1928. Allied military control in Bulgaria ended.

11/11/1927, France and Yugoslavia made a friendship treaty.

20/7/1927, King Ferdinand of Romania died, aged 61. He was succeeded by his nephew, 5-year old Michael I.

15/7/1927. Vienna faced a General Strike as Socialists rioted. The left wing was upset that Austrian courts were much more lenient on offences committed by right-wing offenders, even up to murder.

5/4/1927, Hungary signed a ‘Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation’ with the Italian leader, Mussolini. Hungary needed allies, and Italy strengthened its influence in the Danube Basin.

1/1/1927. Hungary reformed its currency with a new unit, the Pengo, equivalent to 12,500 paper Crowns. The country had suffered rampant inflation in the early 1920s, and the League of Nations now helped with economic reconstruction.

3/2/1926. Czech became the official language of Czechoslovakia.

24/12/1924. Albania was declared a republic.

6/9/1923, King Peter of Yugoslavia was born.

31/1/1923, Hungary was admitted to the League of Nations.

18/9/1922. Hungary applied to join the League of Nations.

16/8/1922, Peter I of Yugoslavia died, aged 77, and was succeeded by his 33-year old son, Alexander I.

13/7/1922, Montenegro joined Yugoslavia.

14/12/1921, A (somewhat dubious) plebiscite resulted in the retention by Hungary of the Sopron district, which would otherwise have gone to Austria.

27/11/1921, Alexander Dubcek, Czechoslovak politician, was born in Uhrovek.

25/10/1921, King Michael of Romania was born, son of King Carol II.

22/9/1921. The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia joined the League of Nations.

16/8/1921. King Peter of Yugoslavia died at Belgrade.

3/3/1921, Poland signed an alliance with Romania. This resulted in a decline in previously-close Hungarian-Polish relations.

12/11/1920, The first Treaty of Rapallo was signed, between Italy and Yugoslavia, settling territorial disputes in the Adriatic and pledging collaboration to prevent a Hapsburg restoration. The town of Fiume, seized by Italian Nationalists in September 1919, was to return to Free City status. However, although the Nationalists were ejected from Fiume by the Italian Navy, Fiume did not regain this status and in 1924, when Mussolini came to power, Italy abrogated these terms and retained control of Fiume (although Yugoslavia controlled the adjacent port of Susak). After World War Two, Fiume became part of the Republic of Croatia, itself a part of Yugoslavia.

4/6/1920. At Versailles, the Treaty of Trianon cut Hungary to 25% of its former size. The population of Hungary was cut from 21 million in 1914 to under 8 million after this Treaty.

For main European events of World War One see France-Germany

16/12/1919, German troops left Latvia and Lithuania.

28/11/1919. Latvia declared war on Germany. German troops left Latvia and Lithuania on 16/12/1919.

27/11/1919. Bulgaria signed the Treaty of Neuilly, recognising the independence of Yugoslavia.  Western Thrace was ceded to Greece, thereby cutting off Bulgaria from the Mediterranean, and two small regions were ceded to Yugoslavia.  The southern Dobruja was  retained by Romania.  Bulgaria was liable to pay reparations and its army limited to 20,000 men.

10/9/1919, The Treaty of St Germain was signed by the Allies with Austria at the Paris Peace Conference. Austria had to pay large reparations to the Allies, and recognise the independence of Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

11/5/1919, The population of Vorarlberg, the westernmost province of Austria, voted for union with Switzerland by a large majority.  However this transfer was not supported by the Allies or the Swiss Government, and Vorarlberg became one of the nine Austrian Bundeslander.

22/3/1919. Bela Kun declared Hungary a Soviet Republic.

22/1/1919, Czechoslovakia occupied Teschen (Tesin).

11/1/1919. Romania annexed Transylvania.

4/12/1918. The proclamation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, or Yugoslavia.

29/11/1918. King Nicholas of Montenegro was deposed and his country was united with Serbia under King Peter.

24/11/1918, (1) Serbia took control of the Backsa, Baranya and western Banat regions from Hungary.

(2) The Communist Party of Hungary (Kommunistik Magyarorszagi Partja) was founded, and soon after, started publishing its own newspaper, Voros Ujsag (Red News)

16/11/1918, Hungary was proclaimed an independent Republic.

14/11/1918. Tomas Masaryk was elected first President of Czechoslovakia.

13/11/1918, Charles, the former Austro-Hungarian Emperor, formally renounced any participation in the Government of Hungary.

12/11/1918, The Republic of Austria was declared, ending the Hapsburg Dynasty, as Emperor Charles abdicated.

30/10/1918. The Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed.  It was led by Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes.

28/10/1918, Czechoslovakia declared its independence.

29/10/1918, Croatia declared its independence.

17/10/1918. (1) Yugoslavia became independent from Austro-Hungary.

14/10.1918, The Czechoslovak National Council, meeting in Paris, organised a provisional Government headed by Thomas Masaryk as President.

(2) Hungary declared its independence from Austria.

3/10/1918, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated.

30/9/1918. Slovak Nationalist parties in Hungary voted to join with Czechoslovakia.  However the Slovaks soon found the Czech government more centralist than they expected, or desired, and pressure grew for Slovak separation from Czechoslovakia.

20/7/1917, The Pact of Corfu proclaimed the Union of South Slavs, or Yugoslavia.  When Serbia was invaded in World War One, the Serbs established a government in exile on Corfu.  The Serbian Prime Minister Paslic agreed with the leader of the south Serbs, Ante Trumbic, that the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and Montenegrins, should unite to form a single state; Yugoslavia.  In the 1920s, Serbia came to dominate this union, and other national groups claimed Paslic had tricked Trumbic at Corfu.

21/11/1916. Emperor Franz Josef, ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire since 1848, died. He was succeeded by his 29-year old grandson, Charles I.

16/9/1916. A provisional ‘government of Czechoslovakia’ was recognised by Britain and France.

15/12/1915, Serbian troops retook Belgrade from the Austrians.

6/12/1915. Germany occupied Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ending Rumania’s war effort against Germany. See 30/11/1918.

17/10/1915. Russia and Italy followed Britain and France in declaring war on Bulgaria.

16/10/1915. The Allies blockaded Bulgarian ports.  France declared war on Bulgaria.

15/10/1915. Britain declared war on Bulgaria. France declared war on Bulgaria on 16/10/1915.

14/10/1915. Bulgaria and Serbia each declared war on the other.

12/10/1915. The UK government broke off relations with Bulgaria.

22//9/1915. Bulgaria mobilised its army and declared war on Serbia.

For main European events of World War One see France-Germany

6/9/1915. Bulgaria signed a military accord with Germany and Austria.  Bulgaria was seeking territory held by Greece and Serbia that it felt should be Bulgarian, see 10/8/1913.  See 15/9/1915.

29/6/1913. Bulgaria signed a defensive pact with Austro-Hungary.

2/4/1913, Montenegro rejected demands from five European nations (Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia) to withdraw its troops from Albania.

10/1/1913, Gustav Husak, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, was born.

25/12/1912, Italy sent troops to Albania to suppress unrest there.

5/12/1912, Italy, Germany and Austria renewed their Triple alliance for a further six years.

1911, The secret organisation ‘Ujedinjenje ili Smrt’ (Unification of Death), commonly known as the ‘Black Hand’ was formed by Serbian nationalist Army officers. Its objective was the political unificastion of all Serbian peoples in the Balkans; this organisation was behind the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, the event that precipitated World War One.

24/2/1909. Serbia made demands on Austria for Bosnia-Hercegovina.

15/11/1908. Austria sent troops to the Serbian frontier.

28/10/1908, Enver Hoxha, Stalinist dictator of Yugoslavia from the end of World War Two till his death in 1985, was born.  He declared the country atheist in 1967.

7/10/1908. Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking advantage of instability within the Ottoman Empire. Though formally part of the Ottoman Empire, its Serb-Croat population favoured union with Serbia. Other European countries were shocked at Austria’s move. Serbia was especially angry that Serbs in the region had not got autonomy. However Russia agreed with Austria not to oppose this annexation in return for Austria supporting the opening of the Dardanelles to Russian warships. Turkey accepted cash compensation for the loss of Bosnia and Hercegovina on 12/1/1909. See 1/12/1908.

1/9/1903, Macedonian rebels blew up a Hungarian steamer, killing 29.

31/8/1903, Unrest continued in the Balkans, with atrocities committed by all sides.

11/6/1903, King Alexander of Serbia and Queen Draga were assassinated in Belgrade by army officers.

23/6/1902. Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Italy renewed the Triple Alliance.

7/6/1896, Imre Nagy, Prime Minister of Hungary 1953-55 and 1956, was born.

4/10/1892, Engelbert Dolfuss, Austrian dictator, was born.

7/5/1892, Josip Broz (Marshal Tito), Yugoslav Communist President, was born in Kumrovec, near Klanjec, on the border of Croatia and Slovenia.

6/5/1891. The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria, and Italy was renewed.

18/9/1885, Eastern Rumelia, formerly a province of Turkey, proclaimed its unity with Bulgaria to its north.

28/5/1884, Eduard Benes, Czech politician and founder of modern Czechoslovakia, was born in Kozlany, Bohemia.

20/5/1882. Austria formed a Triple Alliance with Germany and Italy; this threatened Russia.

3/1/1879, Sofia was designated the capital of Bulgaria.

4/1/1878, Sofia was captured by Russian troops from the Ottoman Empire.

8/7/1876. The Austrian and Russian foreign Ministers, Andrassy and Gorchakov, met at the Reichstadt in Bohemia to discuss the future of the Balkans on the conclusion of the current conflict.

29/7/1875. The peasants of the two mountain provinces of Bosnia and Hercegovina put up resistance to the Ottoman Turks.  The Bosnians wanted to join Serbia but the Hercegovinians wanted to join Montenegro. See 16/9/1875.

1/1/1873, The cities of Pest, Buda and Obuda were merged to form Budapest.

20/7/1868, Miron Cristea, Prime Minister of Romania, was born.

8/6/1867, The Hapsburg Emperor, Francis Joseph I, was crowned Apostolic King of Hungary at Buda.

15/3/1867. Austria and Hungary buried their differences and agreed to joint rule, sharing defence, foreign, and financial matters but with separate parliaments. However the Czechs, annoyed by the minor role they were given in this arrangement, walked out of the Parliament on 22/8/1868.

3/10/1866, A peace treaty was concluded between Austria and Italy.  Austria surrendered Venetia to Italy. 

23/8/1866. The Treaty of Prague was signed, ending the war between Austria and Prussia.

24/6/1866, The Italians fighting the Austrians were defeated at Custozza.

10/3/1864, Maximilian II, King of Bavaria, died.

26/2/1861, Ferdinand I, King of Bulgaria, was born.

10/11/1859, A peace treaty signed at Zurich ended the war between France, allied to Piedmont, and Austria. The effects of the treaty were crucial in the unification of Italy. Under its terms, Lombardy passed from Austria to Piedmont, with the exception of the Quadrilateral forts (see 24/6/1859) which were retained by Austria. Piedmont compensated France 60 million lire for the cost of the war with Austria. Plebiscites were held in various territories to determine which State they would join.

10/7/1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed.

24/6/1859, At the Battle of Solferino, Lombardy, Italy, the French under Napoleon III defeated the Austrians.

4/6/1859, The Battle of Magenta. France defeated Austrian forces and captured Milan.

30/5/1859, Battle of Palestro; Austria defeated by Piedmont.

20/5/1859, Italian Wars of independence, Austria defeated by Piedmont.

See Italy for War of Italian Independence against Austria

3/5/1859. France declared war on Austria.

5/1/1858, Joseph Radedtsky, Austrian Field-Marshal and national hero, died in Milan aged 91.

2/12/1854, Austria formed a strategic alliance with Britain and France.

7/3/1850, Thomas Masaryk, the first President of Czechoslovakia in 1918, was born in Hodonin, Moravia.

13/8/1849, The Hungarian General, Gorgey, surrendered unconditionally to the Russian Commander in Chief, Field Marshall Paskevic. The Hungarian leader, Kossuth, who had urged the continuation of the conflict right up to the end, escaped to Turkey.

28/7/1849, Hungary’s Diet passed the Nationalities Law, granting the non-Magyar peoples of Hungary substantial rights in the use of their native languages, also regional autonomy. This was a last-ditch effort by the Diet to win over the loyalty of the peasants and make them more willing to fight against Austria; a string of Hungarian defeats, and the entry of Russia on Austria’s side, had demoralised the Hungarian Army and created a shortage of recruits.

21/5/1849, Buda Castle was stormed by Austrian forces.

2/12/1848, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicated in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph.

7/9/1848. The Congress in Vienna, which opened on 22/7/1848, abolished serfdom, and the feudal system of land tenure. This greatly benefited the Czechs, who since the Battle of the White Mountains, 1620, had become a peasant nation, with only the beginnings of a middle class by 1800. After serfdom was abolished, the system of peasant ownership of land allowed national wealth to be built up, and personal liberty enabled an educational system to be established.

23/3/1848. Hungary proclaimed its independence from Austria.  On 5/1/1849 Budapest surrendered to the Austrians.

15/3/1848, The Hungarian revolution began in Budapest.

6/11/1846. Following uprisings in March 1846, the small republic of Cracow was annexed to Austrian-controlled Galicia, losing its independence.

18/8/1830, Birth of Franz-Joseph I, Emperor of Austria who invaded Serbia, ultimately starting World War One.

5/11/1817. Serbia was granted partial autonomy by the Ottoman Turks.

28/10/1813. British troops occupied Ragusa (Dubrovnik).

28/5/1812, The Treaty of Bucharest was signed.

20/2/1811, Austria declared itself bankrupt.

14/10/1809. Austria signed the Peace of Schonbrunn, ceding its Illyrian provinces to France.  Austria lost Galicia, Salzburg, and Istria.

8/10/1809, Metternich was appointed Austrian Foreign Minister.

26/12/1805. Austria abandoned the Third Coalition by signing the Peace of Pressburg with France.  Austria was forced to surrender Venetia to the Kingdom of Italy, newly founded by Napoleon.  Austria also surrendered Tyrol to Bavaria and its remaining Swabian lands to Wurttemberg and Baden.

See France-Germany for more events of Napoleonic Wars

20/10/1805. The outnumbered French army of Napoleon defeated an Austrian army at Ulm. Napoleon had already realised he cold not gain control of the English Channel, or overcome British naval supremacy, so before the Battle of Trafalgar he had directed his forces eastwards, against Austria. Austria had to submit to the Treaty of Pressburg, by which Venetia was ceded to the French Kingdom of Italy and the States of the Lower Rhine were forced into the Confederation of the Rhine, a French dependency. The Electors of Bavaria and Wurttemberg became Kings independent of Austria, and Austria had to pay Napoleon a war contribution of 40 million francs.

29/11/1780. Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, died in Vienna.

13/5/1779, At the Peace of Teschen, Austria made peace with Frederick of Prussia.  Austria received a small part of Bavaria, the Innvertiel, and renounced all claims to the Bavarian inheritance.

2/11/1766, Joseph Radetsky, Austrian Field Marshal, was born in Trebnitz, near Tabor.

15/2/1763, Austria, seeing hope for a decisive victory over Prussia recede with peace between Russia and Prussia, made peace with Prussia at Hubertusberg this day.  Frederick evacuated Saxony but retained Silesia.  Austria had failed to destroy Prussia before Prussian power was consolidated.

10/2/1763. The end of the Seven Years War. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal, as well as becoming pre-eminent in India; Britain therefore became the world’s major colonising power. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, which set Prussia on the road to also becoming a major European power.

29/10/1762, The Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Freiburg.  The war was making Austria bankrupt and Austria was questioning whether the war was worth it for the recovery of one province.  Austria and Prussia agreed on an armistice on 24/11/1762  for the winter of 1762/3.

See also France-Germany for Seven Years War

9/10/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Schweidnitz.

16/8/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Reichenbach.

21/7/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Burkersdorf.

22/5/1762, Peace was formally agreed between Russia and Prussia (Treaty of Hamburg). Russian forces began to return home.

16/12/1761 The Russians under Pyotr Aleksandrovitch Rumyantsev captured the Prussian port and fort of Kolberg. It had been a bad year for Frederick of Prussia, with French forces making progress eastwards in south western Germany, and the Austrians under Laudon capturing Schweidnitz on 1/10/1761, ensuring they could over-winter in Silesia. Frederick had failed to prevent the Russian Army, 50,000 strong, joining up with the 72,000-strong Austrian Army on 23/8/1761. Frederick’s biggest concern was that since the change of monarch and the resignation of Pitt in Britain, he could no longer rely on British support. Without a major change of fortune, Prussia faced certain defeat in 1762.

3/11/1760 Frederick of Prussia won the Battle of Torgau against the Austrians but failed to follow up this success and achieve his objective of capturing Dresden.

25/10/1760, George II died suddenly at 8am, in Kensington, London, aged 76. His successor George III was inclined to concentrate on British, not Hanoverian, interests, and disliked William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had promoted the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Without British help, Prussia could not continue fighting.

26/7/1760, The Austrians under Laudon captured Glatz from Prussia.

23/6/1760, The Austrians under Laudon defeated the Prussians at Landshut.

14/9/1759, The Austrians under Daun took Dresden from the Prussians.

19/8/1759, The Battle of Lagos. Choiseul had managed to extricate France from much of its commitment to support Austria, so the French could commit more resources to fighting Britain. Choiseul planned an invasion, with landings from London to Scotland. To transport this invasion the French Mediterranean fleet was ordered to sail from Toulon to join the Atlantic fleet at Brest. On its way northwards past Portugal, the French fleet was attacked by Admiral Edward Boscawen off Lagos, Portugal, and scattered. Meanwhile Edward Hawke was blockading the French port of Brest (see 9/11/1759).

12/8/1759, Frederick, who had been unable to prevent the Austrians under Daun and the Russians under Saltykov joining forces, was heavily defeated by them at Kunersdorf. Frederick lost 18,000 men in six hours. The Russians did not capitalise on this victory, but Daun then marched on Dresden.

1/8/1759, At the Battle of Minden (Seven Years War), six British-Allied army regiments defeated a larger French force, in north-west Germany.

23/7/1759. 70,000 Russians under Saltykov defeated 26,000 Prussians under von Wedel at Zullichau.

9/7/1759, The French, under the Duc de Broglie, took Minden on the River Weser.

13/4/1759, Ferdinand of Brunswick, who had enjoyed success against the French in southwest Germany, was defeated at Bergen, near Frankfurt am Main, by the Duc de Broglie.

14/10/1758, The Austrians under Daun launched an unexpected counter-attack against the Prussians at Hochkirk; Prussian losses were 9,500 against 7,500 for the Austrians. Daun began an advance on Dresden, but fell back to Pirna when he heard of Frederick’s march on Lusatia. However the Austrian victory at Hochkirk raised French morale; they had been inclined to abandon the war against Prussia.

25/8/1758, Frederick of Prussia moved around Fermor’s east flank and his 36,000 men attacked the Russians at Zorndorf (Sarbinowo). Prussian losses were 13,500, against Russian casualties of 42,000 (21,000 killed). Frederick now left Christoph von Dohna to pursue the defeated Russians; Frederick moved south to assist his brother, Prince Henry, against the Austrians under Daun at Dresden.

20/8/1758, Frederick’s forces arrived at Frankfurt on Oder, ready to attack the Russians besieging Kustrin.

15/8/1758, Russian forces under Fermor began a siege of the Prussians at Kustrin.

23/6/1758, Emmerlich’s Anglo-Hanoverian army, 40,000-strong, defeated 70,000 men under the Comte de Clermont at Krefeld. This victory enabled Emmerlich to hold all of northern Germany against France, despite French victories further south in Hesse and Thuringia.

16/4/1758, Frederick of Prussia defeated the Austrians at Schweidnitz, Silesia.

27/3/1758, An Anglo-Hanoverian force under Ferdinand of Brunswick crossed the Rhine at Emmerlich, near the Dutch frontier (see 23/6/1758).

22/1/1758, William Fermor, Scottish emigrant to Russia who had taken the place of Apraksin (see 30/8/1757) in September 1757, took the East Prussian capital, Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) from Prussia. However a spring thaw melted the snow and made the roads impassable, temporarily immobilising Fermor.

5/12/1757, Frederick of Prussia, now confronted by an Austrian army which had invaded Silesia and seized Breslau, defeated them this day at Leuthen and recovered Breslau, capital of Silesia. Frederick’s 43,000 men attacked the 72,000 Austrians under Charles of Lorraine with a sudden cavalry charge followed by a heavy artillery bombardment. Frederick’s losses amounted to 6,000, against 22,000 lost by Charles, including 12,000 taken prisoner. Meanwhile the Swedes, who had invaded Prussian Pomerania in September 1757 (without Russian approval), were also forced back into Swedish Pomerania, where they held against the Prussians at Stralsund. With the Russians under Apraksin also having retreated (see 30/8/1757), the was began to turn in Prussia’s favour.

22/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Breslau (Wroclaw) from Prussia.

11/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Schweidnitz (Swidnica) from Prussia.

5/11/1757, Frederick, faced by a French Army advancing from Thuringia towards Berlin, won a major victory against them at Rossbach. 21,000 Prussian troops faced 41,000  French and allied men but the cautious tactics of the French commander Soubise were at odds with his more aggressive ally Saxe-Hildburghausen, and the Prussian cavalry forces were more mobile, under the leadership of Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz. In two hours fighting, the Prussian lost 550 men against allied losses of 7,000. Encouraged by this victory the British repudiated Klosterzeven (see 26/7/1757) and sent troops to reinforce the Hanoverians.

7/9/1757, Prussian forces under Fredrick Francis of Brunswick-Bevern were defeated at Moys (Zgorzelec) in Silesia by the Austrians.

30/8/1757, A Russian army of 90,000, having crossed Poland and entered Prussia, heavily defeated the Prussians under Hans von Lehwaldt at Gross-Jagersdorf, west of Gumbinnen. Unexpectedly the Russian commander, Apraksin, then withdrew. The health of the Russian Empress Elizabeth, who hated Prussia, was becoming uncertain and her successor, the future Peter III, liked Frederick and opposed the fight against Prussia. Therefore Apraksin risked the displeasure of his future master if he continued his aggression in Prussia.

26/7/1757, A French Army of 100,000 defeated the Hanoverian, Prussian and British allied forces under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of King George II of England. This was at Hastenbeck, south west of Hanover. On 8/9/1757 the French forced Cumberland to sign the Convention of Klosterzeven, which stipulated the disbandment of Cumberland’s forces in Germany.

18/6/1757, Frederick, ruler of Prussia, sought to turn back an advancing Austrian army, 50,000 strong under von Daun, but was heavily defeated at Kolin this day.  Frederick had to give up Bohemia and raise the siege of Prague.

6/5/1757, The Battle of Prague. Frederick’s Prussian Army of 64,000 routed an Austrian Army of 66,000 under Browne and Prince Charles of Lorraine. This defeat came before the Austrians could be reinforced by more troops under Leopold Joseph, Graf von Daun. 14,000 Austrians were killed, 16,000 escaped to join von Daun, and the rest fled into Prague itself where they were besieged by Frederick.

1/5/1757, Austria and France signed the Second Treaty of Versailles, allying themselves for an offensive against Prussia. Under this Treaty, Austria would regain Silesia (from Prussia) but would cede the Austrian Netherlands (to be divided between King Louis XV of France and his Spanish Bourbon cousin Philip Duke of Parma). Philip’s Italian possessions would revert to Austrian rule. France would garrison 105,000 of its troops in Prussia, in addition to supplying 30,000 men to the Austrian Army (increased from an earlier figure of 24,000). France would provide an annual subsidy to Austria of 12,000,000 livres. Meanwhile on 11/1/1757 France had concluded a secret treaty with Russia whereby France agreed to help Russia in the event of any attack on Russia by Turkey (contravening a long-standing detente between France and Turkey). In return for this Russia would supply 80,000 men against Prussia. Allparties swore not to make separate peaces with Prussia, which was to be partitioned between the Allies.

16/10/1756, The army of Saxony capitulated to Frederick of Prussia at the fortress of Pirma.  See 18/4/1857. Most of the Saxon Army joined with Prussia.

1/10/1756, The Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague).  The Prussians defeated the Austrians. Russia would have marched to help Austria against Prussia, but this would entail Russian troops crossing Poland. Although France would nominally have welcomed this, as it would relieve the French from helping Austria, and Poland was allied to France, in secret the French would not welcome any Russian influence upon Poland.

10/9/1756, Frederick entered the Saxon capital, Dresden, with his army of70,000. The Saxon Army, 20,000, fell back to Pirna to the south east. Prussia assured Poland of it’s good intentions but was not believed; Poland was also friendly with France. Meanwhile an Austrian army under Ulysses von Browne, of 32,000 men, was moving from Bohemia to unite with the Saxons. To counter this threat, Frederick moved into Bohemia, towards Lobositz (see 1/10/1756).

29/8/1756. Frederick II of Prussia invaded Saxony, setting off a European war. Britain was allied with Prussia, against Austria and France, see 16/1/1756, and 1/7/1756. Austria wanted to regain its province of Silesia,  taken by Frederick II of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Frederick , believing in attacking first, invaded Saxony to detach it from the Franco-Austrian alliance.

25/12/1745, The Peace of Dresden concluded the Second Silesian War.  Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, and recognised Francis as ruler of Austria.

15/12/1745, Frederick invaded Bohemia, and occupied most of Saxony.  On this day his chief general, Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, defeated the Austrians and Saxons at Kesselsdorf, near Dresden.

4/6/1745, The Austrians attacked Silesia, allied with troops from Saxony,  but were defeated by Prussia at Hohenfriedburg.

28/7/1742, Maria Theresa of Austria made peace with Prussia; ceding control of all of Silesia to Prussia.

11/6/1742, The Peace of Breslau concluded the First Silesian War.  Austria ceded most of Silesia along with Glatz to Prussia, retaining only the principalities of Troppau and Teschen.  In return Frederick promised his neutrality.

17/5/1742, The Prussian cavalry defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Chotusitz.

10/4/1741, The German Emperor crossed the Silesian frontier, advanced as far as Breslau, and this day defeated an Austrian Army near Mollwitz.  This was during the War of the Austrian Succession.

8/2/1741. Neisse and Brieg still held out but the Prussians stormed and occupied Glogau on 9/3/1741. At the Battle of Mollwitz, 10/4/1741, the Prussians narrowly won the day. Europe realised that Prussia was now a major military power and France sent an envoy, Marshal Belleisle, to negotiate an alliance with Frederick.  The ‘Silesian adventure’ now became the War of the Austrian Succession. France supported the Elector of Bavaria. Sweden was supposed to stop Russia attacking Prussia but on 3/9/1742 the Swedes were heavily defeated by the Russians at Wilmanstrand, and Sweden capitulated in 1742 at Helsingfors, the Swedish capital. At the Peace of Dresden, 25/12/1745 Frederick recognised the Elector of Bavaria as ruler of Austria in return for his acquiring Silesia. The war of the Austrian Succession ended on 18/10/1748 with the Peace of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).

16/12/1740. Without a declaration of war. Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia, an Austrian province. He occupied Silesia quite easily, besieging the few towns of Glogau, Breig, and Neisse still held by the Austrians. In February 1741 Austria prepared to reconquer Silesia.

See also events in Germany

20/10/1740, Emperor Charles VI died unexpectedly.

22/8/1717. Austrian forces took Belgrade from the Ottoman Turks.

13/5/1717, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, was born in Vienna.

30/4/1711, The Peace of Szatmar effected a reconciliation between the absolutist Hapsburg Austrian monarchy and the Hungarians.

6/7/1686. The Austrians took Buda from the Ottoman Turks and annexed Hungary.

11/9/1683. The conquering armies of Islam under Vizier Kara Mustafa were defeated at the gates of Vienna. The Turks had been besieging Vienna since July 1683. Relief came under Poland’s King John III and Charles, Duke of Normandy. The Ottoman Sultan ordered Mustafa to commit suicide.

1/4/1683, Poland made a treaty of mutual defence with the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, against the threat from Ottoman Turkey

14/3/1647, The Treaty of Ulm. Elector Maximillian I of Bavaria made an agreement with France to end his alliance with Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.

6/3/1645, Battle of Jankow, Bohemia.

9/6/1642, Battle of Schweidnitz, Moravia.

30/5/1635, The Peace of Prague was signed, ending the Thirty Years War.

8/11/1620, Protestant Bohemian forces were defeated by the Catholics under Maximillian  at the Battle of the White Mountain (Thirty Years War)

3/7/1620, The Treaty of Ulm was signed.

5/8/1619, In the Thirty Years War, Bohemian forces defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Vestonice.

10/6/1619, In the Thirty Years War, Protestant forces were defeated at the Battle of Zablati.

23/5/1618, The defenestration of Prague.  Rebel nobles hurled the Holy Roman Emperor’s  advisers from the windows of Hradcany Castle (they survived due to landing in a refuse heap), triggering the Thirty Years War (Reformation).

6/5/1600, Prince Sigismund Bathory of Transylvania lost the city of Suceava to Michael the Brave of Hungary.  The districts of Transylvania, Moldovia, and Wallachia became united for the first time as Romania, but the union dissolved a year later when Michael the Brave was killed.

6/4/1490, Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, died suddenly, aged 50. He was succeeded by Ladislas II of Bohemia.

17/6/1462, Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, massacred an Ottoman army, killing 15,000, near Targoviste, capital of Wallachia.

22/7/1456,  John Hunyadi, King of the Hungarians, defeated an invading Ottoman Turkish army at Belgrade. This halted the ambitions of Sultan Mahomet II to occupy Vienna and then Rome, which Mahomet regarded as still the ‘capital of Europe’.

27/3/1443, Matthius Corvinus, King of Hungary, second son of John Hunyadi, was born.

20/12/1355. Stephen Urosh of Serbia died whilst on route to attack Constantinople. Under his reign Serbia had expanded greatly, conquering Macedonia, Epirus, and Thessaly, as well as maintaining his father’s conquest of Bulgaria. However, see 15/6/1389.

26/8/1346. John the Blind, King of Bohemia, was killed at Crecy whilst assisting the French. Born on 10/8/1296, son of Count Henry III of Luxembourg (later Emperor Henry III), he married (1310) the heiress of the Kingdom of Bohemia, thereby becoming its King in 1311. He acquired Silesia from Poland. In 1334 he married Beatrix of the House of Bourbon, thereby allying with France. He had been blind from 1340.

1/11/1339, Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, was born.

10/8/1296, John the Blind, King of Bohemia, was born, see 26/8/1346.

10/7/1290, Ladislaus IV, King of Hungary, was murdered.

25/8/1278, Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, was killed in the Battle of Durnkrut. Ottokar II had previously lost a battle with Rudolf I of Hapsburg (Habichtsburg, or Hawk’s castle, a town now in Switzerland) in 1276; refusing to accept this defeat, he prepared to attack again. However Rudolf launched a pre-emptive strike, with 2,000 horsemen, and the support of Ladislav of Hungary. This battle paved the way for the rise of the Hapsburg Dynasty.

6/8/1272, Stephen V, King of Hungary, died.

11/4/1241, The Mongols defeated King Bela IV of Hungary at Mohi.

9/4/1241. The Mongols defeated an army of Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Liegnitz, Silesia.

2/2/1207, Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, was established as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.

28/9/990. King Wenceslas of Bohemia, the Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol, died in Stara Boleslav.

28/9/929, Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia, was born.

4/7/907. The Bavarians suffered a disastrous defeat by the Hungarians.

2/5/907, King Boris I of Bulgaria died.

9/4/809, The Bulgars captured Sofia.

 

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