Chronography of France & Germany ex World War Two

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Page last modified 27/1/2022

 

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Map of French railways

 

Click Here for maps of Alencon, 1975 and 2002 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Bordeaux, 1935 and 2006 (from Michelin maps)

Click Here for maps of Cholet 1978 and 2000 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Laval 1978 and 2000 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Metz, 1899 and 1988 (from Encuclopedia Britannica 1910 and Michelin)

Click Here for maps of Nantes, 1945 and 2006 (from Michelin maps)

Click Here for maps of Paris NW (Pontoise), 1960 and 2005 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Perpignan, 1977 and 2003 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Periguex, 1977 and 2001 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Poitiers, 1958 and 2000 (from Michelin maps)

Click Here for maps of Rochefort, 1976 and 2001 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Saintes 1976 and 2001 (near La Rochefort) (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Toulouse, ca. 1955 and 2006 (from Michelin maps); 1977 and 2001 (IGN 1:100,000 maps)

Click Here for maps of Vix (near La Rochelle) � disappearing wetlands and woods) (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)

 

France, INSEE, statistics site, https://www.insee.fr/fr/accueil

 

1)      Maps of Heligoland, Mediaeval times.

2)      Maps of France, Germany, 843 � 880.

3)      Maps of Germany at Treaty of Verdun and under Charlemagne.

4)      Growth of Prussia, 1415 � 1914.

 

For growth of Germany from Brandenburg 1415 click here.

 

Click Here for map of Berlin 1910

Click Here for maps of Dresden 1813 and now,

Click Here for image of Dresden 1945

Click Here for Youtube 54 minute video, Blitz on Dresden

Click Here for image of ElsenStrasse; 1961 (Berlin Wall just erected) and 2008

Click Here for map of Hamburg 1910.

Maps of Heligoland, Mediaeval times.

.Growth of Prussia, 1415 � 1914

Maps of France, Germany, 843 � 880.

Maps of Germany at Treaty of Verdun and under Charlemagne

 

For Dreyfus Affair see Jewish history

 

For ancillary dates of Clergy, Chancellors, Electors, Jurists, Marshals, Military leaders, Politicians, Statesmnen, click here

 

16/10/2020, A teenage Chechen refugee beheaded Samuel Paty, a French teacher who had shown his class at a school on the edge of Paris controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

26/9/2019, Jacques Chirac died aged 86. He had twice been President of France.

15/4/2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris was very severely damaged by fire. The fire was believed to have been caused by renovation works, which, having suffered delays due to lack of funding, had been going on for years; the blaze started shortly after 6pm local time.

 

Gilet Janue (Yellow Vest) protests across France

20/4/2019, Yellow Vest protests in Paris for the 23rd consecutive Saturday.

23/3/2019, Yellow Vest protestors caused disturbances in the Champs-Elys�es area of central Paris for the 19th consecutive Saturday. The previous Saturday, 16/3/2019, the level of destruction had ratcheted up with banks, cafes and shops being set fire to. President Macron put military soldiers on the streets on the 23/3/2019, raising fears that a protestor would be shot dead.

8/12/2018, Another weekend of rioting in Paris saw 1700 arrested and 71 injured. Riots also occurred in Brussels and Amsterdam.

1/12/2018, Rioting by the �yellow vests� in France escalated, with major unrest around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and in several other cities, also The Netherlands and Belgium were affected. 412 were arrested and 133 seriously injured, including 23 policemen, as several cars and other property was torched. The protestors took their name from the yellow high-visibility jacket that motorists in France must carry; the unrest was focussed on high fuel taxes. Protestors called for President Macron to resign.

24/11/2018, A week of rioting across France (began 17/11/2018) with 300,000 people protesting at high petrol taxes. By this date, one protestor had died and over 400 had been injured.

 

29/10/2018, Mrs Angela Merkel announced that she would not stand in 2021 for re-election as Chancellor of Germany, a post she had held since 2005. This followed disappointing election results for her Party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), and her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in elections in Hesse.

24/9/2017, German elections. Angela Markel�s CDU (Christian Democratic Union) Party still had the largest number of seats, but lost votes as her share fell to 33%, from 41.5% in 2013, the lowest since 1949. Meanwhile the Far Right AfD (Alternative for Germany) Party gained, securing 12.6% of the vote, especially in the rural east, on the back of concerns about immigration levels. In Saxony, the AfD got a vote of 27%.

6/7/2017, Anti-G20 Summit protestors in Hamburg blocked roads and set cars alight.

16/6/2017, German statesman Helmut Kohl died, aged 87.

7/5/2017, In the final round of the French Presidential Elections, Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche Party won 66.1% of votes cast, against 39.1% for Marine le Pen of the Front National. However Macron was only supported by 43.6% of the total electorate, le Pen receiving 22.4%, whilst 25.4% of voters abstained and 8.5% of ballot papers were left blank or spoilt, as a protest against both the candidates on offer.

17/5/2016, A wave of strikes hit France. Petrol stations ran dry as strikers picketed refinery gates. Workers were objecting to France introducing more flexible labour laws.

 

Racial tensions hit France and Germany

19/12/2016, A large lorry was driven into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin. The lorry had been hijacked by an Islamist terrorist who killed the Polish driver and drove it, laden with 25 tonnes of steel, into the market. 12 shoppers were killed and 48 injured.

26/10/2016, Demolition of the �Jungle� refugee camp at Calais began. Its residents were dispersed to reception areas across France. However some inhabitants set up their own unofficial tent cities in central Paris.

22/7/2016, A German-Iranian gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing 9 and injuring 21. He later killed himself.

14/7/2016, Islamist terrorists drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. 84 were killed and 202 injured, 18 critically. The lorry driver was shot dead by police. The lorry contained guns and explosives, raising fears that a worse attack could have been possible.

31/12/2015, Some 200 women alleged they had been groped, robbed and even raped during New Year�s Eve celebrations in Cologne by migrant gangs. Tensions in Germany over mass immigration increased.

13/11/2015, Multiple attacks by Islamic gunmen across six sites in Paris, including the Stade de France, the Bataclan concert hall, and the Cambodge restaurant. 132 dead and 352 injured, 99critically.

7/1/2015, Ten cartoonists were shot dead at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, along with 2 policemen, by Islamists in revenge for perceived anti-Islamic cartoons.

20/8/2014, Anti-Semitic attacks occurred in Paris. A synagogue in Sarcelles, a working-class suburb of northern Paris with many Sephardic Jews, known as �Little Jerusalem�, was threatened. Youths from the French Jewish defence League defended the synagogue so Muslims attacked Kosher shops instead. The Muslim attacks followed from the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

13/6/2014, A 17-year-old Roma youth was attacked by about 20 men and left in a coma in the northern Paris suburb of Pierrefitte sur Seine. Many Roma lived in makeshift camps and had been blamed for rat infestations and burglaries. There was conflict between Moroccans and Roma in Paris.

 

5/5/2011, Claude Schoules, the last known combat veteran of World War One, died in Australia, aged 110.

12/3/2008, Lazare Ponticelli, the last surviving French foot soldier of World War One, died aged 110.Born in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, he loved France and joined the French Foreign legion aged 16.When Italy joined the war he was enlisted in the Italian army but returned to France after the war and became a French citizen in 1939.

24/1/2008, The French bank, Societe General, revealed that a rogue trader, Jerome Kerviel (born 11 January 1977), had cost it 4.9 billion Euros (about US$ 7 billion, or UK� 3.7 billion). Kerviel was arrested on charges of breach of trust and falsifying documents, and the bank was fined 4 million Euros for failing to monitor his trading position. Daniel Bouton resigned as the banks chief executive. Kerviel was found guilty in October 2010 and sentenced to prison, but remained free pending an appeal. On 24 October 2012, a Paris appeals court upheld the October 2010 sentence to three years in prison with another two suspended, and ordered to reimburse 4.9bn euros to Societe General for its loss.

4/4/2006, France equalised the permissible age of marriage between males and females. Formerly, the Civil Code of 1804 had set this age as 15 for females and 18 for males.

22/11/2005, Angela Merkel became Germany�s first female Chancellor.

Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany

 

8/11/2005, French President Chirac declared a State of Emergency, on the 12th day of riots in France.

6/11/2005, Rioting continued in France, started by the death of 2 Algerian-origin boys by electrocution as they hid from police in Paris; by now some 1,300 cars had been torched.

29/5/2005, The French, in a referendum, resoundingly rejected the European Constitution.The margin was 45% to 55%.This was effectively a vote against the unpopular French President Chirac, and against globalisation.

27/1/2005, Nazi concentration camp survivors and world leaders gathered at the Polish town of Oswiecim, better known as Auschwitz, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet forces.

19/9/2004, In regional elections in the former East German States of Brandenburg and Saxony, neo-Nazi Parties gained votes, polling at 6% and 7% respectively. The Democratic Socialists (successors to the East German Communist Party) polled 28% and 23.6% respectively. The neo-Nazi gains were due to an economic crisis in whichunemployment had exceeded 20%.

22/4/2004, The last coal mine in France closed, ending nearly 300 years of coal mining.

10/2/2004, The French National Assembly voted 494 to 36 in favour of banning overt religious symbols, including Islamic headscarves and Christian crosses, in the country�s State schools.

14/7/2002. A neo-Nazi attempted to assassinate French President Jacques Chirac at the Bastille Day parade in Paris.

21/4/2002. In the French Presidential elections, the National Front candidate, Jean Marie Le Pen, scored a surprising second place with 17% of the vote to enter the run-off with the right wing candidate Jacques Chirac. Lionel Jospin, the left wing candidate, was narrowly beaten into third place. Jospin�s stance as �New Socialist�, not too far to the left, drove some left wing voters to fringe left parties, allowing Le Pen in. In the second round of voting on 5/5/2002 Chirac was unsurprisingly elected with a massive 82% of the vote, against 18% for Le Pen.

3/9/1999, After an 18-month French judicial inquiry, paparazzi press were cleared of responsibility for the car crash which killed Diana.

2/4/1998, In Bordeaux, France, Maurice Papon was convicted of complicity in Nazi crimes against humanity committed under the Vichy regime. He was sentenced to 10 years prison.

1/6/1997, The Socialist Party won French elections starting a period of �cohabitation� (cooperation) between a Left-wing Parliament and a Right-wing President. Socialist leader Lionel Jospin became Prime Minister.

3/12/1996, Algerian Islamic Fundamentalists exploded a bomb on the Paris Metro at Port Royal Station, at 6.05pm in the rush hour, killing 2 and injuring 50 others. Algerian fundamentalists had carried out 7 attacks on the Paris Metro in 1995. They were protesting at a referendum in Algeria, backing a crackdown on fundamentalist political Parties.

17/7/1996, In France, convicted war criminal Paul Touvier died in Fresnes Prison, of prostate cancer, see 17/3/1994.

29/1/1996. France bowed to international pressure and announced it had ended the current series of atomic tests at Mururoa Atoll in the south Pacific.

8/1/1996. President Mitterrand, (born 1916) died of cancer. He was President of France 1981-95.

25/7/1995. A bomb exploded on a train at the St Michel Metro station in Paris, killing seven people.

16/5/1995, Jacques Chirac became President of France.

7/5/1995. Jacques Chirac, Gaullist, was elected President of France. He defeated the Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin. Alain Juppe became Prime Minister of France.

Jacques Chirac became President of France

Restoration of Berlin as German capital

19/4/1999, The German Parliament returned to the new Reichstag buildings in Berlin.

8/9/1994, The last British forces left Berlin.

7/9/1994, The American flag was lowered over the US HQ in Berlin, formally ending American presence on the city after almost 50 years.

23/6/1993. The US lowered the Stars and Stripes for the last time at the Tempelhof airbase in Berlin after 48 years of military service there.

20/6/1991. The German Parliament voted to move the seat of government from Bonn to Berlin.

 

12/4/1999, Chancellor Gerhardt Schroder became leader of the German Social Democratic Party ()SDP)

27/9/1998, In German Parliamentary elections, the governing Centre-Right CDU/CSU-FDP coalition lost its overall majority. Gerhardt Schroder became Chancellor at the head of a �red-green� coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens.

7/7/1998, German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG agreed to pay compensation to those who were used as slave labour during World War Two.

14/4/1997, Former Nazi SS Captain Eric Priebke was retried; on 22/7/1997 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

7/7/1996, The German town of Konstanz elected a Green Mayor.

 

End of the Red Army

20/4/1998, In Germany, the Red Army Faction announced that it was ceasing operations and winding up, as it no longer had a political reason to exist.

13/2/1991. Germany�s Red Army Faction carried out a gun attack on the US Embassy in Bonn, claiming a link to the Gulf War.

30/11/1989, The Red Army, a West German terrorist group, blew up Alfred Herrhausen, head of the Deutschebank in Frankfurt.

 

Racism in Germany 1992/3

30/5/1993. Neo-Nazi skinheads attacked and set fire to a hostel housing Turkish migrant workers in the German steel town of Solingen. This was the worst of several such attacks on migrant workers. The German government responded with a crackdown on Neo-Nazis and more controls on immigration.

29/9/1992. Racism was on the rise in Germany. 28% of Germans aged between 16 and 24 had racist views, compared with 15% in 1990.

19/8/1992. Right wing rioting began in Rostock, Germany. Hundreds of right wing youths, throwing paving stones and firebombs, attacked an immigrant hostel, cheered on by local people, in the poor Lichtenhagen area of the city. Thousands of police were drafted in to restore order, which had broken down when many Romanian refuges, unable to secure a place in the hostel, had camped outside it. The asylum seekers were evacuated but fighting between police and youths continued for days and spread to other German cities. Germany had seen both a rise in asylum seekers and increased unemployment in the east since reunification, as eastern industries were exposed to competition from the more efficient west.

5/4/1992. Germany�s extreme Right gained in elections, over the issue of immigrants from eastern Europe.

 

20/4/1994, In France, Paul Touvier was found guilty of ordering the massacre of 17 Jews whilst serving in the Vichy France Milice.

17/3/1994, In France the trial of Paul Touvier, head of the Vichy militia during World War Two, began. In April 1994 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison on 17/7/1996.

3/2/1993. Statistics showed French women had the highest life expectancy in Europe at 81.1 years, 8 years more than French men.

20/12/1992, The Folies Bergere, Paris music hall which opened in 1869, closed down.

17/11/1992, In France, cave paintings were discovered at Cosquer that were estimated to date from 25,000 BC.

8/10/1992, Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, died.

6/7/1992. French lorry drivers blockaded roads, causing chaos.

1/6/1992, The terrorist Carlos the Jackal was sentenced to life imprisonment in France.

12/4/1992. Euro-Disney opened just east of Paris. The $4 billion, 4,800 acre, complex could accommodate up to 60,000 visitors a day. It had 6 hotels with a total of 5,200 rooms, and a total of 14,000 staff, or �cast members�. On 4/6/1992 Euro-Disney reported that it had received 1.5 million visitors, or 30,000 per day.

17/12/1990, Lothar de Matziere resigned from the German government after allegations that he had worked for the Stasi.

 

German Reunification

29/5/1994, Erich Honecker, leader of East Germany, (born 1912) died.

14/1/1993. Despite calls for his arrest on manslaughter charges, the former East German leader, Eric Honecker, 80 years old and with terminal liver cancer, was allowed to depart for Chile because of his failing health.

29/7/1992, Herr Honecker, former leader of East Germany, was forced to leave the Chilean Embassy in Moscow where he had taken refuge, to face manslaughter charges over the deaths of people trying to escape over the Berlin Wall to West Germany.

2/12/1990. Helmut Kohl of the Christian Democrats won the first election in the reunited Germany.

14/11/1990, Germany and Poland signed a treaty agreeing their border as the Oder-Neisse line.

3/10/1990. East and West Germany reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century. However the economy of the East was much poorer than the West and funds were needed for housing, education, and health. In July 1990 the currency of West Germany became that of the East. On reunification on 3/10/1990 Berlin became the capital city.

20/9/1990, The East and West German Parliaments passed legislation enabling reunification.

1/7/1990, The Deutschemark became the official currency of both East and West Germany.

18/5/1990. A treaty was signed in Bonn introducing German economic and monetary union. The reunification took place on 3/10/1990.

24/4/1990, East and West Germany agreed to merge their currencies and economies on 1/7/1990.

18/3/1990, East Germany held its first free elections since 1932.

9/3/1990. Talks on German reunification began in Berlin.

15/1/1990, Thousands stormed the Stasi HQ in Berlin in order to see their records.

22/12/1989. Berlin�s Brandenburg Gate reopened, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

3/12/1989. The East German leader Egon Krenz and the politbureau resigned. A USSR-USA summit was held in Malta. The Cold war was declared over at 12.55pm that day.

1/12/1989. The East German Parliament voted to remove the Communist monopoly on power.

13/11/1989, Hans Modrow was elected Prime Minister of East Germany.

10/11/1989, Bulldozers began to demolish the Berlin Wall.

9/11/1989. The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel between East and West Berlin. Thousands of East Berliners visited the West. 100,000 East Berliners visited West Berlin. The Berlin Wall originally went up on 13/8/1961.

7/11/1989, The entire East German Government resigned, replaced the following day with Hans Modrow as Prime Minister.

5/11/1989. Refugees were reportedly leaving East Germany at the rate of 300 an hour.

4/11/1989, See 7/10/1989. Pro-democracy rallies sparked by Gorbachev�s visit to East Germany resulted a a million-strong protest in East Germany.

18/10/1989, Erich Honecker was dismissed as General Secretary of of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany).

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

7/10/1989. On a visit to East Germany, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the East German government to introduce reforms. See 4/11/1989.

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

13/6/1989, Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor Kohl agreed that East and West Germany should be reunited.

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

 

5/10/1989, In Paris, the Moulin Rouge celebrated its centenary.

14/7/1989. Margaret Thatcher upset French festivities on Bastille Day when she denied that the French Revolution had inspired Human Rights.

13/6/1989, The wreck of the German battleship Bismarck which was sunk in 1941, was discovered 600 miles west of Brest, France.

29/3/1989, In France, President Mitterrand inaugurated the huge glass Louvre Pyramid.

24/9/1988, Large and angry protests against the World Bank and IMF meetings in West Berlin.

10/5/1988. President Mitterand of France won a second term. The Right was split, but the far Right Jean Marie Le Pen got 14.38% of the vote, 4 million votes. In Marseilles, Le Pen led with 28% of the vote.

26/8/1987, The funeral and burial of Rudolf Hess.

17/8/1987. Former top Nazi Rudolf Hess, born 1894, committed suicide in Spandau Prison, Berlin, after 46 years spent there.He was 93 when he died. He had been the only inmate, and demolition of the prison began almost immediately.

4/7/1987. Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, 73. was convicted in France, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

5/8/1987, Georg Gassman, German politician, died.

20/3/1986, In France, Jacques Chirac, Gaullist, was appointed Prime Minister.

16/3/1986, In French elections, the opposition won a narrow majority ending five years of Socialist rule.

28/12/1985, Fernand Braudel, French historian, died aged 83.

22/9/1985, French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that French agents had sunk the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10/7/1985. The French Defence Minister was forced to resign.

23/8/1985, Hans Tiedge, Head of West German counter-intelligence, was discovered to be an East German agent.

15/7/1983. Armenian terrorists set off a bomb at Paris airport.

6/5/1983, West Germany pronounced that the �Hitler Diaries� were a fake, made from paper not available until at least 1955.The magazine Stern was swindled out of an undisclosed sum for the �diaries�. See 23/4/1983.

23/4/1983, The German weekly magazine Stern announced it had possession of hitherto unknown �Hitler Diaries�. See 6/5/1983.

6/2/1983, The trial of Klaus Barbie began in Lyons, France. Known as the �Butcher of Lyons� during World War Two, Barbie deported hundreds of French Resistance fighters and Jews on trains to Nazi death camps Barbie was tracked down to Bolivia by Nazi-hunters Serge and Beatie Klarsfeld in 1971 but not extradited until 1983.

5/2/1983. Klaus Barbie was extradited from Bolivia to France to face Nazi war crimes charges.

19/1/1983, The Nazi war criminal, Klaus Barbie, was arrested in Bolivia.

18/10/1982, Pierre Mendes France, French politician, died aged 75.

1/10/1982, In Germany, the Christian Democrat leader Helmut Kohl was elected, replacing Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of West Germany.

20/11/1981, The USSR contracted to supply natural gas to West Germany.

21/6/1981, In French elections, Socialists won a landslide victory in the second round of elections to the National Assembly. The new Assembly included three Communists.

10/5/1981. The Socialist, Francois Mitterand was elected President of France. He defeated Valery Giscard D�Estaing.

1980, The Green Party was established in Germany.

24/12/1980, Death of German commander Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, who was briefly Fuhrer in 1945.

10/10/1980, East Germany banned the sport of hang-gliding, in case it was used to escape to West Germany.

5/10/1980, West Germany re-elected Chancellor Helmut Schmidt with an increased majority.

26/9/1980. In Munich, neo-Nazis planted a bomb at a beer festival killing 12 and injuring 200 people.

13/8/1980, French fishermen blockaded Channel Ports, in a campaign for government aid.

26/6/1980, French President Giscard D�Estaing disclosed that France had the capability to produce a neutron bomb.

18/3/1980, Erich Fromm, German sociologist, died aged 79.

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

16/10/1979, 23 people died when a tsunami hit Nice, France.

16/9/1979, Three families fled East Germany by balloon.

29/7/1979, Herbert Marcuse, German philosopher, died aged 81.

2/5/1979, Riots on Longwy, France, over the proposed closure of steel plants.

26/6/1978, A bomb set off by Breton nationalists damaged Versailles.

10/9/1977. The last official execution by guillotine in France; execution of Hamida Djandoubi. See 17/6/1939.

4/9/1977, E F Schumacher, German economist, died aged 66.

28/4/1977, In Germany, the Baader Meinhof terrorists, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan Raspe, dedicated to the violent overthrow of capitalism, were jailed for life. The trial began on 21/5/1975.

7/4/1977, In Germany, terrorists murdered the Attorney-General who was prosecuting the Baader-Meinhof gang.

3/10/1976, In German elections, Helmut Schmidt�s Social-Democrat-led coalition was returned to power with a reduced majority.

9/5/1976, The terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, 42, hanged herself in her prison cell in Stuttgart.

27/5/1975, Jacques Chirac became Prime Minister of France.

26/5/1976, Martin Heidegger, German philosopher, died aged 86.

21/5/1975, The trial of the Baader Meinhof terrorist group began. On 284/1977 they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

27/2/1975, Peter Lorenz, Chairman of the West Berlin Christian Democratic Union, was kidnapped by terrorists. He was released on 5/3/1975 after demands that 5 terrorists were released from German jails and flown out of the country were met.

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

19/5/1974, Valery Giscard d�Estaing was elected President of France.

16/5/1974, Helmut Schmidt became Chancellor of West Germany.Chancellor Brandt had resigned on 6/5/1974 over a spy scandal.

6/5/1974, Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, was forced to resign after he unwittingly employed an East German spy as a secretary. There had been warnings fro 4 years that Gunter Guillaume was a spy.Brandt became Foreign Minister in 1966 and West Germany�s first Social Democratic Chancellor in 1969. In 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price for his policies of detente with the Communist bloc.

2/4/1974. Georges Pompidou, French president from 1969, died in office, from cancer, aged 62.

5/9/1973, Jordanian terrorists held 13 hostages in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Paris.

22/6/1973. East and West Germany were accepted into the UN.

9/6/1973, Erich von Manstein, military adviser to Adolf Hitler in World War Two (born in Berlin, 24/11/1887) died, having been imprisoned by the British in August 1945. His advice on attacking France through the Ardennes in 1940 was crucial to Nazi success here.

24/11/1972, Finland became the first western nation to formally recognise East Germany.

8/11/1972, East and West Germany signed the Basic Treaty, agreeing to respect each other�sindependence and sovereignty. The East claimed that this Treaty finalised the division of Germany; the West claimed it did not preclude the possible later reunification of Germany should the Cold War come to an end. In any case the Treaty was a political triumph for Chancellor Willy Brandt and his policy of Ostpolitik, allowing for personal contact between the leaders of East and West Germany.

16/6/1972, German police captured Ulrike Meinhof, the last member of the Baader Meinhof gang still at large.

11/5/1972, In West Germany, The �Red Army Faction� set off a bomb at the American 5th Army Corps base.

5/7/1972, Pierre Mesmer succeeded Jacques Chaban-Delmas as Prime Minister of France.

23/1/1972, Jerome Guedj, French Socialist Party politician, was born.

3/9/1971, The USA, Britain, France and the USSR signed the Berlin Agreement on communications between West Berlin and West Germany.

3/5/1971, Erich Honecker succeeded Walter Ulbricht as First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany.

9/11/1970. Charles De Gaulle died, aged 79 of a heart attack, in Colombey les Deux Eglises. See 28/4/1969. He had been President of France between 1944 and 1945, and between 1959 and his resignation on 28/4/1969.

21/10/1969. Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of West Germany. He succeeded Kurt Georg Kiesinger.

15/6/1969, Pompidou became President of France, see 28/4/1969.

28/4/1969. General De Gaulle, 79 years old, resigned as Prime Minister of France. President Pompidou, who became French President on 15/6/1969, succeeded him.De Gaulle lost a referendum on changes to French regional institutions.De Gaulle was resented for high taxation to pay for the French military, whilst health, education, and social services were neglected, leading to French student riots in spring 1968.De Gaulle retired to Colombey.See 9/11/1970.

1/4/1969. France formally left NATO.

1968, The Krupp steel business in Germany ceased to be a family business of the Krupp family. The Krupp family, present in the Essen, Ruhr, region since the 16th century, had been major arms manufacturers for over 300 years. Under Alfred Krupp (1812-87) the business became the largest cannon manufacturer in the world from 1847 onwards, also having ownership of mines and other neterprises in the Ruhr region. Afred�s son, Friedrich Alfred Krupp (1854-1902) diversified into shipbuilding and armour plate. Freidrich committed suicide following accusations of immoral conduct and his daughter, Bertha (1886-1957) took over the business. In 1902 she married Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, and he was allowed to change his name to Gustav Krupp von Bohlen (1869-1950). The Krupp enterprise manufactured armaments for Gremany and its Allies during both World wars; between the Wars it made tractors for the Weimar Republic. The Krupp family, from 1932, vigorously supported Hitler, as did their son Alfred Felix Krupp (1906-67). In 1943 Hitler passed a special Lex Krupp to ensure the business would remain in Krupp family hands.

In 1945 Gustav Krupp was indicted at Nuremberg as a major war criminal, having utilised 130,000 slave labourers at Essen and Auschwitz, and for inhumane treatment of foreign workers; however he was deemed too frail to stand trial. Alfred Krupp was conicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in 1947; however he wasd released in 1951 to assist on the economic recovery of west Germany. By 1963 he was the most powerful industrialist in the Common Market. Just before his death in 1967 the Krupp enterprise encountered financial problems and was sold out of the family.

30/6/1968. De Gaulle won massive support in French elections.

12/6/1968, The French Government banned demonstrations and dissolved 11 student organisations,

11/6/1968, East Germany began requiring visas for West Germans to cross its territory.

30/5/1968, French President De Gaulle announced he would not resign, and called a General Election.

25/5/1968. Riots continued in Paris. Demonstrators erected barricades and students stormed the Bourse and set fire to the interior. In London a demonstration of support for the rioters was made outside the French Embassy; the police moved in and arrests were made, resulting in fines totalling �145 for 17 people. In north London, students at Hornsey College of Art continued a sit in of the main building, demanding �a change to the college�s educational system�.

22/5/1968. Striking French workers now numbered 9 million.

19/5/1968. Two million workers in France were on strike.

17/5/1968. French President Georges Pompidou appealed to ordinary Parisians to help stop the anarchy as student riots continued in Paris, with 30,000 people involved in a day and a night of violence. Students at The Sorbonne were locked out of campus, causing further unrest; the demonstrations were against the Vietnam War.

The Cannes Film Festival collapsed in chaos as striking technicians and directors caused film screenings to be cancelled, and three days later the number of striking French workers had risen to about six million.

6/4/1968, In East Germany, 94.5% of voters approved the new socialist constitution.

2/4/1968, Two West German terrorists, Baader and Ensslin, firebombed a Frankfurt department store, in protest against the bombs being dropped by the US on Vietnam.

22/3/1968, Student �anarchists� rioted and occupied an administration building at Nanterre University, France. The riots soon spread to other universities.

20/3/1968, Six French students were arrested in Paris during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.

19/4/1967, Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963, died.

2/6/1967, Rioting in West Berlin against the visit of the Shah of Iran, in which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death resulted in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.

1/7/1966, France withdrew its armed forces from NATO.

11/3/1966, De Gaulle announced that France was to withdraw from NATO and that NATO must remove its bases from France by the end of 1966.

19/12/1965. De Gaulle was re-elected president of France.

6/12/1965. General De Gaulle failed to win the French presidential election outright, necessitating a second ballot between him and Monsieur Mitterand.

23/6/1963, US President Kennedy began a five-day tour of West Germany, including West Berlin. He promised, �we shall risk our cities to defend yours�.

22/1/1963, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) signed a Treaty of Friendship with French President Charles de Gaulle, marking �the end of a century of hostility and suspicion between the two nations�.

11/12/1962, In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialist and Free Democrats was formed.

 

Berlin Wall, construction 1961

5/10/1964, 57 people escaped from East to West Berlin through a 98 metre tunnel under the Berlin Wall.

17/8/1962, Peter Fechter, 18, became the first person to be killed whilst trying to cross the Berlin Wall. He was shot dead by border guards.

5/5/1962. Eleven elderly East Berliners escaped to the West through a tunnel. They had dug the tunnel six feet high so the women wouldn�t have to crawl.

28/10/1961, The Berlin Crisis, US and Soviet tanks began a gradual withdrawal from stand-off positions either side of the border.

17/8/1961, Construction of the Berlin Wall began, see 13/8/1961. The Soviets had hidden building materials close to the site of the wall, so construction was rapid.2,000 people a day had been leaving the east for West Germany.

13/8/1961. East German border guards stopped cars passing through the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.The border between East and West Berlin was sealed, at first with barbed wire, later by the Berlin Wall, erected on 17/8/1961. On 22/8/1961 a 100 metre no-man�s-land was created either side of the Berlin Wall.

The Wall was 96 miles long and 3.6 metres high. It had 302 armed watchtowers and 20 bunkers.192 persons were killed at the Wall, and another 200 wounded by shooting. The East German Government called the barrier �an anti-fascist protection wall�. A second wall was added in June 1962, and a third in 1965, reinforced by a fourth in 1975. The Berlin Wall finally came down on 8/11/1989.

31/8/1960. East Germany closed the border with West Berlin.

 

French 5th Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle. Plans for Algerian independence, opposed

4/9/1963, Robert Schuman, French Prime Minister, died.

21/6/1963, France withdrew its navy from NATO.

22/8/1962, Opponents of Charles de Gaulle�s plan to grant Algeria independence attempted to assassinate him.

21/1/1962 . In Paris OAS terrorists opposed to President De Gaulle�s plans for Algeria planted ten plastic explosives bombs

8/1/1961, France held a national referendum on whether Algeria should be granted independence. The result was in favour of independence.

29/5/1959, Charles de Gaulle formed a �Government of National Safety� in France.

8/1/1959, Charles de Gaulle was installed as first President of the 5th Republic.See 21/12/1958.

21/12/1958. De Gaulle was elected the first President of the Fifth Republic, with 78% of the vote.He now had the strong Presidency he had desired in 1945 (see 13/11/1945). See 29/5/1958.

5/10/1958, In France the Fifth Republic was formed.

29/5/1958. De Gaulle was voted into power in France, to deal with the crisis in Algeria. See 21/12/1958.

 

7/11/1961, Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany for the fourth time.

29/5/1961, The Western European Union agreed that West Germany would be allowed to build destroyers equipped to fire nuclear weapons.

16/7/1960, Albert Kesselring, German Air Commander on all fronts during World War Two, condemned as a war criminal, died.

31/5/1960, Walter Funk, Nazi government official, died aged 69.

14/9/1958, Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, visited French Prime Minister De Gaulle at his home in Colombey les deux Eglises to discuss Franco-German relations.

28/5/1958, Pierre Pflimlin resigned as French leader.

14/5/1958, In France, Pierre Pflimlin, Popular Republican, formed a government.

18/4/1958, Maurice Gamelin, French Army General, died aged 85.

19/10/1957, West Germany severed diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia after Yugoslavia recognised East Germany.

3/10/1957, Berlin voted in its youngest ever mayor, 44-year-old Willy Brandt.

15/9/1957, Konrad Adenauer�s Christian Democratic Union Party won a massive victory in German general elections.

12/6/1957, In France, Maurice Bourges-Manoury, Radical, formed a Government.

21/5/1957, In France, Guy Mollet, Socialist, resigned as Prime Minister after a Government defeat in the Assembly.

1/1/1957, The Saar was formally integrated in the German Federal Republic.

For Suez Crisis 1956 see Egypt

16/10/1956, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd visited Paris and met with French Minister Guy Mollet and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau to discuss joint action against Egypt.

30/9/1956, Doenitz (born 1891), German Admiral during World War Two, and technically head of State of Germany from Hitler�s suicide on 1/5/1945 until his internment on 23/5/1945, was released from Spandau Prison.He had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1946 by the Allied Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

5/6/1956, In Luxembourg, Chancellor Adenauer of Germany and Prime Minister Mollet of France agreed that the Saar would have political union with Germany from 1/1/1957, and economic union after a longer period.

1/5/1956. Germans demonstrated in favour of reunification.

19/4/1956, Prince Rainier of Monaco married American actress Grace Kelly.

8/3/1956, West Germany amended its Constitution to allow for the use of conscription for the military.

1/2/1956, Following French elections on 2/1/1956, Guy Mollett formed a Socialist government in France.

6/10/1955, The first group of German PoW�s released from World War Two captivity in Russia were brought to the Russian-Polish border at Bialystok, to be taken on to West Germany. By the end of 1955, over 9,000 such PoWs had been repatriated,

9/9/1955, The West German Chancellor, Dr Adenauer, went to Moscow as a guest of the Soviet Government. At a dinner with Marshall Bulganin, they agreed to the final release of German prisoners of war from World War Two back to West Germany, after more than a decade in captivity.

9/5/1955. West Germany became a member of NATO.

5/5/1955. West Germany became a sovereign state (see 26/5/1952); the Allied occupation by France, UK and USA officially ended.

23/2/1955, In France, Edgar Faure formed a Radical government.

25/1/1955. The USSR officially ended the war with Germany.

23/10/1954. NATO voted to end the occupation of West Germany and to form the Western European Union. West Germany became a member of NATO.

17/7/1954, In West Germany, Theodor Heuss was elected President.

17/6/1953. In East Berlin, Soviet tanks crushed an anti-Soviet uprising. Hundreds of East Germans took to the streets in a protest that began over increased work quotas and food shortages caused by the collectivisation of agriculture (see 12/7/1952).The protests escalated to demands for free elections. The first people to protest were construction workers on Stalinallee, a new highway slicing through east Berlin. After Stalin�s death in March 1953 some liberation was hoped for, but instead work quotas were raised by 10%. Churches were also to be abolished. Food prices were high, there was little meat and no fruit at all. Red Army tanks were brought in and the Soviet military commander proclaimed a state of emergency. 50 people were killed by Soviet forces, at least 20 of whom were summarily executed, and over 1,000 were convicted of taking part in the �attempted fascist coup�. Churchill and the other western powers were reluctant to intervene because they feared a reunited Germany. In a memo of 22/6/1953 Churchill felt a divided Germany was safer at present, but feared to say so in public for fear of German public opinion.

6/4/1953, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer visited New York; on 14/5/1953 he visited London.

31/8/1952, During the past month, 16,000 people had escaped from east to West Berlin,

1/6/1952. The Soviet Iron Curtain isolated West Berlin.

20/8/1952, Kurt Schumacher, German politician, died aged 56.

28/5/1952, Communist demonstrations in Paris, France.

1/4/1952, Vincent Bollore, French industrialist, was born.

29/3/1952, In France, the government of Edgar Faure fell after failing to get the National Assembly to approve tax increases. Antoine Pinay, Conservative, formed a government with Gaullist support.

29/2/1952, In France, Prime Minister Edgar Faure resigned after 40 days in office. He was succeeded by Paul Reynaud.

11/1/1952, French General de Lattre de Tassigny died of cancer in Paris. He was the chief architect of the French defence plan in World War Two.

13/12/1951, The French National Assembly ratified the Schuman Plan. This placed French and German steel iron and coal industries under one common authority, to which other countries could also accede.

17/6/1951, Elections for the French Assembly gave 107 seats to the Gaullists; 97 to the Communists; 94 to the Socialists; 87 to the Conservatives; 82 to the Popular Republicans; and 77 to the Radical Socialists.

10/3/1951, In France, political deadlock was resolved when Henry Queuille formed a government.

28/2/1951, In France, the government of Rene Pleven fell over issues of electoral reform.

26/1/1951, Gilles Lemaire: French politician, was born.

24/6/1950, Georges Bidault, French Prime Minister, resigned after his government was defeated in a vote on a technical issue.

30/3/1950, Leon Blum, French statesman, died

3/3/1950. France granted the Saar autonomy.

5/9/1948, In France, Robert Schuman became President of the Council while being Foreign Minister, As such, he was the negotiator of the major treaties of the end of World War II.

30/8/1947, About 90 people were killed and 60 injured in a cinema fire in the Rueil district of Paris, France. Police said the blaze was caused by a wire in the second balcony that short-circuited

14/4/1947, In France, De Gaulle organised the RPF (Rassemblement du Peuple Francais) Party, also known as �Gaullists�, to unite and reform anti-Communists.

16/1/1947, In France, Vincent Auriol was elected President.

16/12/1946, In France, Leon Blum formed a Socialist government.

10/11/1946, In France, elections to the National Assembly produced 166 seats for the Communists, 158 for the Popular Republican Movement, 90 for the Socialists, 55 for the Radical Socialists, 70 for the Conservatives and 5 for the Gaullists. There was political deadlock.

17/5/1946. France nationalised its coal mines.

 

De Gaulle Presidency 1945-46

20/1/1946. De Gaulle resigned.Goiun became President of France.

21/12/1945, France appointed Jean Monnet as head of a commission to repair and develop French industry.He evolved the Monnet Plan which with 5 years enabled French industry to surpass its per-war output level.

13/11/1945. De Gaulle was elected President of France by the unanimous vote of all 555 deputies.However he resigned within ten weeks when the Fourth Republic disagreed with his idea for a strong US-style Presidency.See 21/12/1958.

21/10/1945, Elections in France provided gains for the Left. The Communists won 148 seats, the Socialists 134, Radical Socialists 35 (the Popular Republican Movement won 141 seats), Conservatives 62 seats, others 2 seats.

 

Inception of, and division between, post war East and West Germany

26/5/1952, A treaty was concluded for West Germany to be a sovereign state (see 5/5/1955), so long as Germany contributed to Western defence.Fears of the Soviet Union overrode fears of German aggression.

15/10/1950, In East German elections, a vote of 99.7% was recorded for the Communist-dominated National Front Party.

15/6/1950. West Germany admitted to the Council of Europe.

8/2/1950, The Stasi was founded in East Germany.

7/10/1949. The German Democratic Republic was set up in East Germany.

15/9/1949, Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany.

20/6/1949, The USA, the USSR, France, and the UK signed a Four-Power agreement on Berlin, including a clause ensuring the freedom of movement within the entire city.

23/5/1949. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was formally established, with its capital at Bonn.

28/4/1949, The Allies set up the International Authority for the Ruhr, or IAR.This was dissolved on 10/8/1952 when the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) came into force.

18/6/1948, Germany replaced the old Reichsmark with the Deutschemark.

 

Soviet blockade of West Berlin

6/10/1949, The Berlin airlift ended.It had carried on from 12/5/1949 despite the Soviet lifting of the land blockade.

12/5/1949. The Soviet blockade of West Berlin was called off after 11 months, it began 28 June 1948. It had cost the Allies �200 million to fly in food and essential supplies, with up to 200 flights a day.

9/5/1949. Prince Ranier III became Head of State of Monaco, succeeding his grandfather Prince Louis II.

5/5/1949, The USSR announced it would lift the blockade of Berlin on 12/5/1949.

28/6/1948. The Anglo-US airlift to Berlin began; see 12/5/1949.

24/6/1948. The Russians began a blockade of West Berlin.The Berlin Airlift began on 28/6/1948 and delivered some 7,000 tons of food supplies to the city over a period of three months by British and American aircraft, defying the Soviet land blockade. The airlift continued until 30/9/1949, although the Soviet blockade was lifted on 12/5/1949. See 30/3/1948.

18/4/1948, All roads between Berlin and West Germany were now blocked by the Soviets.

1/4/1948. The Soviets suspended all rail services between Berlin and West Germany.

30/3/1948, The Russians imposed restrictions on Western traffic into West Berlin. See 26/4/1948. The West feared that the USSR was trying to absorb West Berlin; Moscow said it was responding to the West creating West Germany out of the three western occupation zones.

 

Judicial dealings with Nazis

23/7/1951, Marshal Petain, Head of Vichy France between 1940 and 1944, died in prison in the Ile d�Yeu, aged 95, serving a life sentence for collaboration, having been reprieved from a death sentence in 1945.

9/6/1951. In West Germany, the last Nazis convicted of war crimes were hanged.

15/1/1951, Ilse Koch, the �Bitch of Buchenwald�, wife of the Commandant of Buchenwald concentration camp. was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Court in West Germany.

6/1/1948, The Ministries Trial began in Nuremberg. Twenty-one officials of various ministries of the Third Reich went on trial, facing charges for their roles in atrocities committed by the Nazis.

19/4/1947, The Flick Trial began in Nuremberg. Friedrich Flick and five other leading Nazi industrialists were put on trial for using slave labour, among other crimes.

16/10/1946. After 216 meetings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, from 20/11/1945, the verdicts on 24 top Nazis charged with war crimes were delivered on 30/9/1945. 3 Nazis were acquitted; Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen and Hans Fritzsche. A fourth defendant, Robert Ley, had committed suicide in prison before the trials were completed. The industrialist Gustav Krupp was judged to be unfit to stand trial through senile dementia. The remaining 19 defendants were found guilty. Four of them, Karl Donitz, Baldur von Shirach, Albert Speer and Konstantin von Neurath, received sentences of between 10 and 20 years. Three defendants, Rudolf Hess, Walther Funk and Erich Raeder, received life sentences. Rudolf Hess was detained at Spandau Prison, Berlin, until his death in 1987. The remaining 12 defendants were sentenced to death. Martin Bormann was not executed as he had been tried in absentia having escaped the Allied authorities. Hermann Goering committed suicide in prison a few hours before he was due to be hanged. The remaining ten, Hans Frank, Willhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel and Arthur Seiss-Inquart, were hanged on 16/10/1946.

As regards lesser Nazis, the problem facing the Allies was that millions of Germans had joined the Nazi Party, some merely for reasons of self-preservation, so it was impractical to prosecute all those who had served Hitler. Ultimately, out of a population of 44.5 million Germans in West Germany,209,000 were prosecuted. In East Germany the Soviets prosecuted a much smaller number, just over 17,000. This was because many Nazis were executed by the Soviets without a formal legal process.

13/9/1946, Captain Amon Goth, 37, Nazi SS officer who had carried out the mass executions of more than 13,000 Jews in Krakow and Tarnow, and the Szebnia concentration camp, was hanged, along with Dr. Leon Gross, a Jew who had collaborated with him at the Plaszow concentration camp.

17/6/1946, The Allied decided not to try Hirohito as a war criminal.

22/5/1946, Karl Hermann Frank, the Nazi ruler in Czechoslovakia who ordered the massacre at Lidice, was hanged in Prague.

21/3/1946. Goering denied he knew anything of the �final solution�.

7/2/1946. Hess was on trial at Nuremberg for war crimes.

8/1/1946. The trial of Goering and Von Ribbentrop began.

3/1/1946. Nazi propagandist William Joyce, the notorious Lord Haw Haw, was hanged in London for treason. He was known as Lord Haw Haw for the falsely posh nasal tones of his radio broadcasts telling of German military �successes� (often false). He had been convicted on 19/9/1945.

20/11/1945. The Nuremberg Trials began. Setting up a war crimes tribunal was unprecedented and an act of doubtful legality, but the world had a keen desire to see revenge for the atrocities the Nazis had committees, especially in their concentration camps. 24 Nazi leaders were on trial. Defendants included Goering, Hess, and Ribbentrop. On 16/10/1946 the executions of the guilty began. These included Von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, and Streicher.

2/11/1945, 42 staff members of Dachau concentration camp were indicted at Nuremberg.

24/10/1945. Vidkun Quisling was hanged as a war criminal, at Askerhus Fortress, Oslo. He had joined the Norwegian Fascist Party (Nasjonal Samlung) in 1933, and had encouraged Hitler to invade Norway. He was also held responsible for sending nearly 1,000 Norwegian Jews to Nazi concentration camps. See 10/9/1945.

15/10/1945, Pierre Laval, leader of the French Vichy government, was executed for treason for collaboration with the Nazis.

9/10/1945. Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of Vichy France, was sentenced to death.

10/9/1945. Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death at Oslo for collaborating with the Nazis. He had been puppet Prime Minister during the Nazi occupation of Norway. He was executed on 24/10/1945, by firing squad, at Akershus Fortress, Oslo.

15/8/1945, Marshal Petain was convicted of treason (see 23/7/1945) and sentenced to death. Like all death sentences on minors and women, this was commuted by President De Gaulle to life and the 90-year-old Marshal was confined to the Ile de Yeu off the Vendee coast. In June 1951 Petain, feeble and devoid of mental faculties, was released; he died less than a month later. Overall in France the purge of collaborators, known as l�epuration (the purification) lasted from September 1944 to the end of 1949. Just over 2,000 death sentences were handed down, of which 768 were carried out. Even the entertainer Maurice Chevalier, who had merely entertained French PoWs in Germany, narrowly escaped a firing squad. Some 12x this number of those officially executed were summarily shot by firing squad immediately after liberation.

23/7/194, Marshal Petain was charged with treason, see 15/8/1945.

28/5/1945, Lord Haw Haw, William Joyce, was arrested, see 3/1/1946. William Joyce, known as Lord Haw Haw for his falsely posh tones in his pro-Nazi radio broadcasts, was arrested in Denmark and charged with treason.

23/5/1945. Heinrich Himmler, former Nazi Chief of Police, killed himself whilst in British custody. He had joined the waves of German civilian refugees unnoticed after VE Day and wandered aimlessly until he encountered a British checkpoint at Bremervorde, where his true identity was uncovered. As he was being searched he bit into a cyanide capsule and died.

10/5/1945, Vidkun Quisling was captured by Resistance fighters in Norway.

Judicial dealings with Nazis

 

Post World War Two political developments (see above for judicial dealings with Nazis)

25/11/1947. The USSR demanded war reparations from Germany.

10/2/1947. A Peace Treaty concluded in Paris between Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria made the following provisions. a) Most of the Italian province of Venezia Giulia, with its predominantly Slovene and Croat population, as well as the enclave of Zadar (Zara) and all the Adriatic Islands were ceded to Yugoslavia. b) A Free Territory of Trieste, demilitarised and neutral, was to be formed. However this was impractical and on 5/10/1954 the British, US, Italian, and Yugoslav governments agreed to divide the territory between Italy and Yugoslavia. c) Romania ceded Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the USSR. The Russian occupation of these areas had been by aggression on 27/6/1940; the population of Bessarabia was however mainly Romanian.

1/1/1947. The USA and British zones in West Germany were merged.Russia objected, and so did France, who wanted a divided Germany, and had annexed the Saar from French-occupied Germany.

26/10/1946, Otto Thierack, German Reich minister of Justice 1942-45, hanged himself in Neumunster internment camp to avoid being brought to trial.

20/8/1946, The German Army was officially dissolved by the Allied Control Commission.

29/7/1946, The Paris Peace Conference began.

26/3/1946, Allied Control Commission set limits on the level of German industrial production.

31/12/1945, Most Berliners were subsisting on just 800 calories a day; in 1946 in the British sector rations dropped on occasion to a slow as 400 calories a day, less than was received by the inmates at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Not only was food desperately short but numbers to be fed were swollen by huge numbers of German refugees from eastern Europe. Medical supplies were also virtually non-existent, and 43 of Berlin�s 44 hospitals had been destroyed or badly damaged. Typhoid spread due to broken water mains and damaged sewers. Then mosquitoes and other insects feeding on corpses spread disease, and dysentery killed 6 out of 10 babies born in Berlin in July 1945. Another lethal hazard was unexploded ordnance, shells, mines and grenades. In 1945 Berlin women outnumbered men by 3 to 1.

12/9/1945, An estimate of War casualties reckoned that Britain had lost 420,000 members of the armed forces; the US had lost 292,000, and the USSR, 13 million. German loss of military men was put at 3.9 million, Japan�s at 2.6 million. British civilian casualties from air raids were set at 60,000, with 860,000 severely injured.

7/9/1945, Berlin Victory Parade of 1945: The Allies held a victory parade in Berlin. The Soviet JS-3 heavy tank was displayed in public for the first time.

2/8/1945, The Potsdam Conference (began 16/7/1945) ended without agreement on the future of Europe. The Soviets would not agree to free elections in Eastern Europe.

26/7/1945. In the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany, the banks were closed and citizens ordered to hand over all their gold, silver, foreign currency and other valuables to the Russians, who were also dismantling factories and taking them to Russia as reparations.

17/7/1945, The Potsdam Conference began, attended by Allied leaders Truman, Stalin, and Churchill (later replaced by Attlee).

5/6/1945. Allied commanders signed a pact for the occupation of Germany; it was t be divided into 4 zones, British, French, USA, and USSR.

14/5/1945, The last of Germany�s U-Boats in the Atlantic surrendered at Londonderry.

11/5/1945. Prague, the last European capital, was liberated.

Post World War Two political developments (see above for judicial dealings with Nazis)

 

8/5/1945. VE Day. The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Field Marshall Keitel signed the final capitulation. The Channel Islands remained under Nazi occupation till the following day, 9/5/1945. Street parties were held all over Britain.

UK Bomber Command has calculated the following statistics relating to the Second World War. 55,573 aircrew were killed, of whom 47,130 died on operations, 138 died as PoWs, and 8,090 were killed in �mon-operational incidents� (mostly flying accidents). Of those killed, 38,462 were British, 9,980 were Canadian, 4,050 were Australian and 1,703 were New Zealanders. 530 RAF groundcrew were killed, and 759 injured, in incidents such as bombs detonating when being loaded onto aircraft or being jammed in the bomb bay. Total bombs dropped on Axis countries amounted to 955,044 tons, of which 657,674 tons was dropped on Germany itself. 336,037 bombing raids were carried out by the RAF. 8,655 aircraft were reported as missing (failed to return). By the end of 1944 Allied raids had reduced German oil production by 40%, so that many German tanks and aircraft became unuseable due to lack of fuel, even if they were serviceable.

German civilian casualties have been estimated at between 350,000 and 600,000.

Some 3.4 million German houses and flats had been destroyed out of a total of 17.1 million; a further 30% of homes had been severely damaged by bombing. The desperate housing shortage was exacerbated by an influx of some 10 million refugees from eastern Europe. Many Germans lived 5 or 6 to a room, or existed in makeshift shelters. Some, as at Dachau near Munich, lived in former concentration camps.

In Greater Manchester 684 people died in the bombing, and an additional 2,364 were injured.

 

For Chronography of World War Two in Europe and North Africa, from the invasion of Poland 1939 to VE Day 1945, click here

 

The start of major fighting in World War Two. Hostilities began between Germany and Poland, and Germany and France.

 

Germany invaded Poland; start of World War Two, with Britain and France involved.

31/8/1939, In Gleiwitz, a small German town close to the border with Poland, a small force of Nazi agents, dressed in Polish Army uniforms, took over the local radio station and broadcast anti-German propaganda in Polish. They then took bodies from Dachau concentration camp, dressed these in Polish Army uniforms, and mutilated the corpses to make identification impossible. Within a few hours Adolf Hitler was denouncing the �Gleiwitz Incident� in the German Reichstag and using it as a pretext to invade Poland.

26/8/1939, Daladier and Chamberlain attempted to negotiate with Hitler, but nothing was achieved.

25/8/1939, Britain signed an assistance pact with Poland, the Anglo-Polish Alliance. Britain had seen Hitler seize Czechoslovakia, in breach of the Munich Agreement; Hitler was now demanding the return of Gdansk (Danzig) and the coastal strip of land linking Germany to East Prussia (depriving Poland of its Baltic coast).Britain therefore abandoned its policy of appeasement with Germany.

23/8/1939. Hitler and the USSR concluded a 20 year non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This left Hitler free to invade Poland.Hitler believed the German-Soviet pact would lead France and Britain to withdraw their guarantees of assistance to Poland.When instead Britain reaffirmed its support for Poland on 25/8/1939, Hitler postponed the attack on Poland, originally scheduled for the night of 25-26/8/1939.�� Diplomatic moves with Britain failed to dislodge UK support for Poland, and Hitler invaded on 1/9/1939.

22/8/1939, Hitler gave the Obersalzberg Speech to commanders of the Wehrmacht, detailing the pending invasion of Poland and plans for extermination of the Poles.

3/4/1939, Hitler ordered his generals to prepare plans for invading Poland.

31/3/1939. The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, pledged to defend Poland, if attacked by Germany; so did France.

28/3/1939. Hitler�s deputy Von Ribbentrop signed an agreement with the USSR that they would both invade Poland. See 31/3/1939 and 1/9/1939.

27/3/1939, Nazi Germany began an anti-Polish propaganda campaign against �oppression of Germans in German lands now controlled by Poles�.

Germany invaded Poland; start of World War Two, with Britain and France involved.

 

Nazi Germany annexes Memel (Lithuania)

23/3/1939, Between 5 and 7 a.m. German troops crossed into Memel. 31 ships of the German fleet arrived at the port at 10:20 a.m. Aboard the Deutschland, Hitler signed the decree formally turning the Territory over to Germany.

22/3/1939. Memel, part of Lithuania, was ceded to Germany, see 20/3/1939.

20/3/1939, Germany issued an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding the return of Memel, ceded by Germany in 1919.

16/1/1939, Lithuania and Germany signed a non-aggression pact. However in March 1939 Germany seized the Lithuanian territory of Memel-Klaipeda, where many ethnic Germans lived.

 

Nazi Germany annexes the remainder of Czeckoslovakia

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

15/3/1939. Germany occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia (Bohemia and Moravia). The Sudetenland had already been occupied by Germany. Hitler described this as his last territorial claim in Europe. See 6/6/1938.

9/3/1939. President Hacha of Czechoslovakia sacked his pro-German prime Minister. Germany invaded a week later.

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 Ruthenis, so long as Hungary actively took part in the destruction of Czechoslovakia.

 

Refugees from Spanish Civil War flee to France

13/2/1939, France closed its border with Spain.

9/2/1939, In Spain, Franco�s army, pursuing the fleeing Republicans north from Barcelona, reached the French border. France had given refuge to the Republican forces, having confiscated their vehicles and weapons.

30/1/1939, France opened refugee camps for Republican women and children fleeing Barcelona after the defeat of the Republicans there on 26/1/1939. By March 1939, these camps at Argeles and other locations in SE France housed 250,000 refugees. This population movement was known as the Retirada (withdrawal).

 

Final prelude to War 1938-39, last attempts to preserve peace in Europe

22/5/1939. Hitler and Mussolini signed the 'Pact of Steel' in Berlin.

15/4/1939, US President Roosevelt asked Hitler and Mussolini for assurances that they would not attack 31 named States.

13/4/1939, Britain and France guaranteed the independence of Romania and Greece.

17/3/1939, The French Parliament granted Edouard Daladier extensive powers to accelerate rearmament.

14/2/1939 The German battleship Bismarck was launched.

27/1/1939, Hitler approved Plan Z, an ambitious naval construction program that would give the Kriegsmarine some 800 ships by 1948.

1/11/1938, In Britain, Balloon Command was formed, under Fighter Command, to establish barrage balloon protection for 12 cities including Bristol and Cardiff. Experiments with barrage balloons had been carried out by the Germans back in 1917; the Allies also used them to protect Venice in 1918. The idea was to hoist a �barrage� of cables to prevent bomber aircraft diving low, so their accuracy was impaired. With the balloons, they could still dive but could not pull out afterwards without hitting a cable and crashing. The balloon wincher faced danger from lightning bolts, and from the static electric charge built up on the wincher, especially in wet weather. An operator had to jump away from the winch when leaving to avoid electrical conductance between his body and the winch and earth.

24/10/1938, Hitler demanded the return from Poland to Germany of Danzig.Poland refused.

 

1935-38, Nazi Germany annexes the Sudetenland (Czeckoslovakia)

5/10/1938, President Benes of Czechoslovakia resigned.

1/10/1938. Germany annexed the Sudetenland, see 6/6/1938.

30/9/1939, Chamberlain told a crowd �I believe it is peace in our time� and waved the agreement he had made with Hitler at Munich, bearing Hitler�s signature.Chamberlain said �How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.

29/9/1938. In Munich, Chamberlain appeased Hitler over Sudetenland.Under the Munich Agreement, an agreement between Germany, Britain, France, and Italy, the Sudetenland was surrendered to Nazi Germany.No Czech representative was present.

15/9/1938. Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler at the Berchtesgarten, over the Czech crisis. Hitler declared he only wanted the Sudetenland.

7/9/1938. Sudetenland gained autonomy from Czechoslovakia, see 6/6/1938.

15/8/1938. Chamberlain visited Hitler for crisis talks.

12/8/1938. Germany mobilised its forces.

6/6/1938. President Benes of Czechoslovakia offered self-government to the Sudetenland. However on 27/9/1938 Hitler stated his intention to annex the Sudetenland. On 21/9/1938 Prague agreed to Anglo-French proposals to cede the Sudetenland to Germany. Czechs protested. German troops entered the Sudetenland on 1/10/1938, as Teschen, in Czech Silesia, was annexed by Poland. On 5/10/1938 President Benes of Czechoslovakia resigned.

20/5/1938. Czechoslovakia ordered 400,000 troops to the Austro-German border.

28/4/1938. Anglo-French talks on the Sudeten question. President Benes was urged to make concessions.

24/4/1938, Sudeten German leader Konrad Henlein presented a list of demands in a speech in Karlsbad. The principal demand was the creation of an autonomous German state within Czechoslovakia. Though left unsaid, it was readily inferred that this state could then vote to secede and join Germany.

23/4/1938. Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia demanded total self-government.

24/3/1938. The British Prime Minister, Chamberlain, announced that Britain would not oppose the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, in the interests of peace. However Britain would fight for France and Belgium.

29/11/1937, Sudeten Germans walked out of the Czech Parliament following a ban on political meetings.

17/11/1937, Lord Halifax arrived in Berlin for talks with Hitler on the Sudetenland; this was the first step in the process of appeasement.

17/10/1937. Sudeten Nazis rioted in Czechoslovakia.

19/5/1935. The Nazi Party made gains in elections in the Sudetenland.

 

1936-38, Nazi Germany annexes Austria

13/3/1938 Austria was declared to be part of the German Third Reich (the Anschluss, or �joining�); a province of Germany called Ostmark.A Nazi-controlled referendum gave a �vote� of 99.75% in favour of unification. The Anschluss had been expressly forbidden by the Treaties of Versailles and St Germain, 1919, and a proposed customs union between the two countries in 1931 had been vetoed by France and Czechoslovakia. However after Austrian Chancellor von Schuschnigg was forced to resign in early 1938, the Germans occupied Austria and formally declared a union anyway.

12/3/1938. Germany invaded Austria.This was 24 hours before an Austrian plebiscite was to have been held concerning closer relations with Germany. At 10.00 am German troops crossed into Austria, thereby tearing up Article 88 of the Treaty of Versailles, which forbade union of Germany and Austria.

11/3/1938, Hitler demanded the resignation of Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schusnigg, after Schusnigg tried to forestall Hitler�s demands for unification with Germany by a referendum.

1/3/1938, Field Marshal Hermann Goering was named Chief of Staff of Germany�s Luftwaffe.

12/2/1938. Hitler insisted that Austria released Nazi prisoners.

15/1/1937. Austria announced an amnesty for Nazis.

11/7/1936, Austria and Germany entered closer relations.Hitler forbade the Austrian Nazis from mounting another uprising to preserve a face of legality.

 

19/7/1938, King George VI of Britain visited Paris.

10/3/1938, In France, the Chautemps Government collapsed, weakening the French administration.

20/12/1937, Erich Ludendorff, German general who helped formulate strategy in World War One, died.

24/11/1937, In Germany, Walter Funk replaced Dr Schacht as Minister of Economics.

18/11/1937, A Fascist plot was discovered in Paris.

22/10/1937. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor arrived in Berlin to meet Hitler, study housing conditions, and hear a concert by the Nazi District Orchestra. The Duke had been advised not to go to Germany, but, having abdicated as King, he wanted to show he still had influence.

12/7/1937, Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister of France, was born.

4/2/1937, The German Ambassador gave King George VI a Nazi salute.

 

Consolidation of Nazi power in Germany; political, cultural and economic

22/4/1938, Nazi Germany decreed that Jewish-owned businesses were forbidden from changing their names.

4/2/1938. Hitler took over as War Minister in Germany. Joachim Von Ribbentrop became Foreign Minister.

5/9/1937. A huge rally marked the start of the Nazi congress in Nuremberg.

19/7/1937, In Berlin, the Germans staged an exhibition, intended as mocking, of �degenerate art�; art condemned by the Nazis.

16/7/1937, The Buchenwald concentration camp opened in Germany, on a plateau overlooking Weimar. The first inmates were mainly political prisoners, but most of the 238,980 prisoners ultimately sent there were Jews, of whom 56,545 died in the gas chambers.

For details of Nazi anti-Semitism, see Judaism, history

2/6/1937, German War Minister Werner von Blomberg began a three-day visit to Italy to discuss German-Italian military ties.

20/6/1937, All Catholic schools in Bavaria were closed by the Nazis.

30/1/1937, Hitler made a speech on the 4th anniversary of the beginning of the Nazi Revolution.He spoke of having friendly relations with other European powers but also spoke of the need for �lebensraum� � living space � stating that Germany needed colonies for economic expansion. He also promised to respect the neutrality of Belgium and The Netherlands.

16/1/1937, The Kiel Canal was supposed to be open without restriction for all shipping. This day Germany abrogated a condition of the Treaty of Versailles by requiring that ships now obtain permission for transit from their naval command.

5/1/1937, Nazi Germany recommended its artists depict at least four children in illustrations of German families.

1/12/1936. In Germany the Hitler Youth Law was ratified, making membership of the Hitler Youth compulsory for children aged 10 to 18.

25/11/1936. Germany and Japan agreed to protect world civilization from the Bolshevik menace, and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, organised by Ribbentrop.Germany recognised the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria.See 6/11/1937.

14/11/1936, Germany denounced the clauses of the Versailles Treaty internationalising its waterways.

1/11/1936. Mussolini announced an anti-Communist �axis� with Germany, and urged France and Britain to join.

20/10/1936, Hitler established closer relations with Mussolini, using the Spanish Civil war as a pretext.

24/8/1936, Germany extended conscription from one year to two.

16/8/1936. Hitler�s dreams of the proof of Aryan supremacy at the Berlin Olympics were shattered when the Black athlete, Jesse Owens, won four gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres relay, and the long jump. After Owens�s second win, Hitler stormed out of the stadium in disgust.

11/8/1936, Joachim von Ribbentrop was appointed German Ambassador to London.

1/8/1936. Adolf Hitler opened the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin.The Olympic flame was carried to the venue from Greece for the first time.See 16/8/1936.

1/5/1936, Starting on this day, every newlywed couple in Nazi Germany was to receive a copy of Mein Kampf from the registrar.

18/2/1936, Charlie Chaplin�s film, Modern Times, was banned in Nazi Germany because it had �Communist tendencies�. Many suspected the real reason for the ban was the resemblance of Charlie Chaplin to Hitler in the film.

15/2/1936, Hitler announced that every German household would have a Volkswagen car.

6/2/1936. Hitler opened the Winter Olympic Games in Germany.

30/11/1935. Non-belief in Nazism was made legal grounds for divorce in Germany.

12/10/1935, Hitler banned American jazz from German radio, calling it decadent. Music of Jewish or Black origin was also banned.

 

4/1/1937, Paul Behncke, German admiral, died aged 67.

17/7/1936, France nationalised its munitions industry.

30/6/1936, The Fascist Party in France was suppressed.

4/6/1936, In France, Leon Blum formed a Leftist Popular Front government.

8/5/1936, Oswald Spengler, German historian, died aged 55.

3/5/1936, The Left won in French elections.

4/6/1935, In France, Pierre Laval formed a government.

31/5/1935, In France, politician Pierre Flandin lost power.

2/5/1935. France and the USSR signed a mutual defence pact in case of attack.See 7/3/1936.

14/4/1935. Britain, France, and Italy agreed to form a united front against German re-armament.

15/10/1934, Raymond Poincare, French statesman, died aged 74.

9/10/1934, Alexander (1888 � 1934), King of Yugoslavia since 1921, was assassinated by Croatian terrorists from the Ustase Movement in Marseilles. The French Foreign Minister, Louis Barthou, was also killed. Alexander I was succeeded by his 11-year old son Peter II (1923-1970). Alexander�s cousin, Paul (1893-1976) acted as Regent until 27/3/1941; however just a fortnight after this, Peter II was forced into exile by invading German forces.

 

Increasing power of Hitler and the Nazis

29/3/1936. Hitler won 99% of the vote in German 'elections'.

12/3/1936, Germany threatened to enter a state of "honourable isolation" and increase its military presence in the Rhineland if France and Belgium continued to mass troops on their eastern borders.

7/3/1936. The German Army re-entered the Rhineland, supposedly a demilitarised area. A token force of 22,000 troops marched into the 50-kilometre wide strip of territory bordering the Rhine, goose-stepping through Essen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Cologne. France wanted action but Britain did not object. This was in breach of the Treaties of Versailles and Locarno. Germany justified its move by saying the French-Soviet pact, concluded in 1934 and ratified by the French government in early 1936, was against the Locarno Treaty.

7/11/1935, Germany introduced a new Reichskriegsflagge (Reich war flag). It resembled the national swastika flag, with elements of the old Imperial war flag included.

15/9/1935. The Swastika was made the official flag of Germany.

15/8/1935. Hitler decreed that the Swastika was to be Germany�s national flag, and banned German-Jewish marriages.

18/6/1935. France was angry at an Anglo-German naval deal that allowed Germany to build up its naval strength, albeit to only 35% of the Royal Navy. This was in contravention of the Treaty of Versailles.

8/5/1935, The UK Cabinet heard that it was estimated that the RAF was inferior to the Luftwaffe by 370 aircraft and that in order to reach parity the RAF must have 3,800 aircraft by April 1937�an extra 1,400 on the existing air programme. It was learnt that Germany was easily able to outbuild this revised programme as well. On 21 May 1935, the Cabinet agreed to expanding the home defence force of the RAF to 1,512 aircraft (840 bombers and 420 fighters).

7/4/1935. In the free city of Danzig, the Nazis won 60% of the vote.

29/3/1935, Stalin and Eden met in Moscow to discuss German re-armamament.

16/3/1935, Germany announced it was reintroducing conscription, for one year (see 24/8/1936), with a view to building a peacetime army of 35 divisions.This was in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles; other Europeanpowers protested but did nothing else.

15/3/1935. France extended compulsory military service to two years.

11/3/1935. In Germany, Hermann Goering announced the creation of the Luftwaffe, or German air force.

13/1/1935. A plebiscite in the Saar indicated a desire to return to Germany.The vote was 90.36% in favour of joining Germany, with an almost-100% turnout.The Saar rejoined Germany on 1/3/1935.2,000 refugees fled the Saar for France.

1934, Nazi Germany began the Erzengungsslacht program to make the country self-sufficient in food. By 1937 Germany was producing 90% of the food it consumed.

28/11/1934. Churchill warned of growing German air strength.

24/10/1934. Nazi labour movement formed.

18/9/1934. Britons first heard Lord Haw Haw (Irishman William Joyce) make a pro-Nazi broadcast.

4/9/1934. In Germany, 750,000 attended the opening of the Nazi Party Conference.

19/8/1934. A plebiscite in Germany gave sole power to the Fuhrer; agreeing to his merging the offices of President and Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. Of 45.5 million voters, 38m voted for Hitler, 4.25m voted against him, and 870,000 spoilt their ballot papers.

3/8/1934, Following the death of Hindenberg, the German Cabinet merged the offices of President and Chancellor, and made Hitler �Der Fuhrer�.

 

4/5/1936, Ludwig von Falkenhausen, German General, died aged 91.

2/8/1934. Paul von Hindenburg, German military leader and President from 1925, died aged 86.

31/7/1934, The murderers of Chancellor Dolfuss were executed.

30/7/1934, Kurt von Schuschnigg was appointed Chancellor of Austria.

27/7/1934, Louis HG Lyautey, French Minister of Defence 1916-17, died aged 79

26/7/1934. Following the murder of Chancellor Dollfus in Austria, on 25/7/1934 in a failed Nazi coup, the Austrian government ordered the round up of all Nazis. Over 150 Austrian Nazis were arrested. The Nazis in Austria had attempted an unsuccessful coup against the Dollfus administration; Dollfus was a devout Catholic and violently anti-Socialist. He had used the army to crush the schutzbund, the big socialist defence force established in the housing estates outside Vienna. The workers held out against the army for five days. A Nazi gang broke into the Austrian Chancellery; Dollfus was shot in the throat and left to bleed to death for four hours. When it was clear the Nazi coup was going to fail the gang took other government ministers hostage and negotiated a promise of safe conduct to the German border. This promise was withdrawn when it was discovered that Dollfus was dead. Three police and two Nazis died in a three hour battle for the radio station.

25/7/1934, Engelbert Dolfuss (1892-1934), Chancellor of Austria, was assassinated in Vienna by rebel Austrian Nazis.Otto Planetta was convicted of the crime and hanged.

20/7/1934, In Germany, the SS was constituted an independent organisation within the Nazi Party.

13/7/1934. Heinrich Himmler (33) was put in charge of Germany�s concentration camps.

3/7/1934. German Vice-Chancellor Von Papen resigned.

30/6/1934. Hitler�s rival Ernst Rohm and hundreds of influential Nazis were murdered by the SS in the �night of the long knives�. Hitler justified this by claiming the SS were planning to overthrow him. The Army probably also threatened to take over unless Hitler got rid of the brownshirt thugs and stopped talk of socialist revolution. So they were crushed and the blackshirts, or SS, emerged triumphant.

3/5/1934. The author H G Wells predicted there would be a major world war by 1940.

23/4/1934, Berlin police prohibited fortune-telling.

29/3/1934, Germany published its defence estimates' which showed a total increase of one-third and an increase of 250% in its air force

12/2/1934, General Strike in France began (until 13/2/1934) in protest at the dangers of Fascism.

6/2/1934, Riots in Paris between far Right and Communist factions. These riots continued until 9/2/1934. They had been sparked by the suicide, on 3/1/1934, of the Russian-born Serge Stavisky, a dubious speculator who had been protected from prosecution by corrupt government officials. There were allegations that he had in fact been killed to protect these officials, and both Far Right and Communist factions protested over the inefficiency and corruption of the French administration. Civil war loomed in France, until the establishment of a group of new government officials who were innocent of any corruption allegations.

26/1/1934. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Poland.

30/1/1934. In Germany the regional Lander Diets were abolished and power centralised.

1/1/1934. Sterilisation became law in Germany.

23/12/1933, In Germany, the sentences were announced at the Reichstag Fire Trial.

12/12/1933. In Germany, the new Reichstag met but adjourned indefinitely.

12/11/1933. In a plebiscite in Germany, the Nazis won 92% of the vote.

14/10/1933. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations.

23/10/1933, Albert Sarraut became Prime Minister of France.

27/9/1933, In Germany the National Synod elected the pro-Nazi Ludwig Muller as Reichs-Bishop. Opponents rallied round Pastor Neimoller and formed the anti-Nazi Confessional Church.

21/9/1933,The Reichstag Fire trial began.

2/9/1933, Adolf Hitler addressed a huge crowd at Zeppelin Field, promising that the Nazi Party would meet in Nuremberg for the next 1,000 years.

25/8/1933, The Haavara (�transfer�) Agreement was signed between the Nazi German Government and Zionist Jews. It provided for the relocation of Jews from hostile Germany to what was then British Mandated Palestine, and for these Jews to take some assets that would otherwise have been confiscated by Germany. Advantages to Nazi Germany included the removal of Jews from their territory and a possible easing of sanctions on the country which had been imposed by Jews in the rest of Europe, which were a threat to the still-fragile German economy. The Agreement was cancelled in 1939 after Hitler invaded Poland. Hitler inititally opposed the Haavara Agreement, but supported it in the period 1937-9.

25/7/1933. Hitler�s Cabinet announced that disabled people would be sterilised.

14/7/1933. Nazis banned all other political parties in Germany.

4/7/1933. The Deutsche Volkspartei (DVP) was dissolved. The DVP had been formed in December 1918 as a moderate right-wing Party representing liberalism and industry. Its leader, Streseman, served as German Foreign Minister from 1923 until his death in 1929; he did much to alleviate the harsher provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. However from 1930 the DVP lost most of its electoral support.

22/6/1933, In Germany, the Social Democrat Party was suppressed.

19/6/1933. The Prime Minister of Austria, Engelbert Dollfuss, banned all Nazi organisations.

30/5/1932, German Chancellor Heinrich Briening (1885-1970) was ousted from office by the pro-Nazi Franz von Papen.Breining had been appointed as Chancellor by President Hindenburg on 28/3/1930, as a counterweight to Nazi influence.Breining escaped from Germany to Holland in 1934 and went on to lecture at Harvard.

28/5/1933. The Nazis won elections in the free city of Danzig.

21/5/1933. Britain signed a ten-year non-aggression pact with Italy, France, and Germany.

17/5/1933, Hitler made the first of his �Peace� speeches.

16/5/1933, Hitler gave a secret instruction to begin mass production of weaponry for the German Army.

9/5/1933. Hitler ordered the burning of more than 25,000 books. �Un-German� volumes were thrown onto a huge bonfire outside Berlin University. Other similar fires took place in other German cities and over 1 million books may have been burned altogether.

6/5/1933, In a prelude to mass book burnings in Germany, a gang of students destroyed the work of Magnus Hirschfeld, burning the contents of the Institut f�r Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sex Research) in Berlin. Hirschfeld was out of the country at the time and never returned to Germany. He died in 1935 aged 67.

2/5/1933, Trades Unions were forbidden in Germany. The

ADGD (Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) had been formed in 1919, as a federation of German Trades Unions, and had gained a total membership of 5 million workers. On this day it was banned by the Nazi Party.

26/4/1933, The Gestapo German secret police force was established.

29/3/1933, Austrian Nazis staged a large demonstration, in defiance of Chancellor Dollfuss. Meanwhile Germany instituted a punitive 1,000 Mark tourist tax on any German visiting Austria, which severely damaged the Austrian tourist industry.

23/3/1933. Germany passed 'Enabling Laws' giving Hitler dictatorial powers.

21/3/1933, The first meeting of the German Reichstag, after the fire of 27/2/1933.The Reichstag met in the garrison church in Potsdam, a historical site of Prussian military power.

See Jewish History 1930s for anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany

14/3/1933. Goebbels was appointed as Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. The Nazis banned Kosher meat.

5/3/1933. The Nazis won almost half the seats in the German elections (43.9% of the vote). The Communists won 12.3% of the vote.Hitler capitalised on the Reichstag Fire (27/2/1933) to raise the spectre of a Bolshevist takeover of Germany. The result was, Nazis 288 seats, Social Democrats 120 seats, Communists 81 seats, Centre 74 seats, National People�s Party 52 seats, Others 32 seats.

1/3/1933. The Nazis began mass arrests of all political opponents.

28/2/1933, In Germany, the Reichstag Fire Decree banned the Communist Party.

 

26/2/1933, James Goildsmith, financier, was born in Paris.

31/1/1933, Edouard Daladier became Prime Minister of France.

28/1/1933, In Germany, Kurt von Schleicher�s Government fell, after the Left and Centre failed to reach agreement.

18/12/1932, In France, Edouard Herriot resigned after defeat over proposal to pay War Debt to the USA, and Joseph Boncour formed a Government.

4/12/1932, In Germany, Kurt von Schleicher attempted to form a coalition with a majority in the German Parliament, but failed.

29/11/1932. (1) Jacques Chirac, French Prime Minister 1995-2007, was born in Paris.

(2) The USSR and France signed a non-aggression pact.

20/7/1932, As law and order deteriorated in Prussia, Chancellor Franz von Papen dismissed the Prussian Social Democrat Prime Minister (Otto Braun) and the Prussian Minister of the Interior (Severing).

4/6/1932, Second Government of Edouard Herriot began in France.

2/6/1932, In Germany, Franz von Papen, having been repudiated by the Centre Party, formed a non-party �Cabinet of Barons�.

10/5/1932, Albert Lebrun succeeded Doumier as French President.

8/5/1932, The Left gained around 100 seats in French elections.

7/5/1932, Albert Thomas, French socialist politician (Minister of Armament in WW1), died aged 53

6/5/1932, President Doumer of France was assassinated.

13/4/1932. The Nazi paramilitary SA and SS were banned in Germany.

10/4/1932. Paul Von Hindenburg won the German Presidency against Adolf Hitler after a second ballot to secure a majority. See 31/5/1932. Paul von Hindenburg received 19.5 million votes, 53%, against Hitler, 13.4 million votes, 36.8%. Thalmann received 3.7 million, 10.2%.

13/3/1932. Hindenburg defeated Hitler in the German presidential elections.Paul von Hindenbiurg received 18.6 million votes (49.6%); Adolf Hitler received 11.3 million votes (30.1%), and the Communist Ernst Thalmann received 4.9 million votes (13.2%). Because Hindenburg was o.4% below an absolute majority, a second round was held on 10/4/1932.

10/3/1932, Paul von Hindenburg gave a radio address in his one and only public speech of the German presidential campaign, emphasizing his non-party status and pledging to "oppose those who merely stand for party interests"

6/1/1932, Andre Maginot, French politician, died.

 

Nazi electoral resurgence 1929-33. Reichstag Fire, Hitler becomes Dictator

27/2/1933. The German Reichstag burned down. The fire was blamed on a simple-minded Dutch Communist, Marinus Van Der Lubbe, who police found in the Reichstag grounds. Marinus Van Der Lubbe was guillotined on 10/1/1934. However many suspect the Nazis. Hitler now pressed for, and succeeded in getting, dictatorial powers from President Hindenburg, and the lack of a majority in the Reichstag was no longer a hindrance to the Nazis.

10/2/1933. Hitler made a speech in Berlin attacking democracy.

30/1/1933. Adolf Hitler, 43 years old, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by 85-year old President Paul Von Hindenburg. Hitler�s Cabinet included only two Nazis; Hermann Goering (Minister without Portfolio) and Wilhelm Frick (Minister of the Interior). Franz von Papen was vice-Chancellor, and Constantin von Neurath was Foreign Minister.

19/11/1932, At President Hindenburg�s invitation, Adolf Hitler attempted to form a coalition with a majority in the German Parliament, but failed.

17/11/1932. In Germany, Prime Minister Von Papen resigned after failing to form a government. Hitler refused the Chancellorship, if it meant a coalition with other parties, as Hindenburg wanted.

6/11/1932, In Germany�s last elections before Hitler assumed absolute power, the Nazi Party lost 34 Reichstag seats, with gains for the Communists. The Nazis won 192 seats, Social Democrats 121 seats, Centre Party 70 seats, Communists 100 seats, National People�s Party 52 seats, Others 45 seats.

2/11/1932, In Germany 12 died in clashes between Communists and Nazis.

14/9/1932, Germany withdrew from the Geneva Disarmament Conference (until December 1932), demanding to be allowed to possess armaments equal to the other powers.

12/9/1932. Von Papen dissolved the Reichstag.

30/8/1932. Herman Goering, Nazi Party, was elected President of the Reichstag.

13/8/1932. Hitler refused to serve as Chancellor under Von Papen.

4/8/1932. Nazi versus Communist riots in Berlin.

31/7/1932. The Nazis were now the biggest party in the Reichstag, with 230 seats, but without an overall majority.

26/7/1932. The War Minister of Germany, Kurt Von Scheidler, said that Germany was ready to re-arm.

16/6/1932, In Germany, a ban on Nazi storm troopers, in place since April, was lifted.

31/5/1932. (see 10/4/1932) President Hindenburg invited Franz Von Papen to form a government. On 1/6/1932 Von Papen formed one that excluded the Nazis. However on 14/6/1932 Hitler promised to co-operate with Von Papen. On 16/6/1932 the ban on Nazi storm troopers in Germany was lifted.

24/4/1932. The Nazis led in four state elections (Prussia, Bavaria, Wurttemberg and Hamburg; in Prussia they were the largest single Party in Parliament). In the Prussian state Parliament, their share of the seats rose from 6 to 162.

25/2/1932. Adolf Hitler was granted German citizenship. He had been technically stateless since renouncing Austrian citizenship in 1925.

22/2/1932. The Nazis choose Hitler as presidential candidate.

30/12/1931. The Nazi Party was formed in Holland.

15/11/1931. The Nazi Party won elections in the state of Hesse.

17/10/1931, 100 were injured in fighting between Nazis and Communists in Braunschweig, Germany.

9/7/1931, In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and German Nationalist leader Alfred Hugenberg agreed to cooperate.

5/4/1931, Germany formed a customs union with Austria. See 25/3/1931.

25/3/1931. Germany announced plans for a customs union with Austria, in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.France and Britain strongly objected. See 5/4/1931.

2/2/1931. The Nazis demanded that Germany withdraw from the League of Nations.

23/9/1930, Three Reichswehr artillery officers went on trial before the Leipzig Supreme Court in Germany, charged with high treason for conspiring with the Nazis to overthrow the German Government.

15/9/1930. Adolf Hitler, because he was an Austrian citizen, was barred from taking his seat at the Reichstag. There was further trouble at the Reichstag when Nazi deputies turned up, on 13/10/1930, wearing uniform; this was illegal for civilians.

14/9/1930, The Berlin stock market fell 20 points as news that the Nazis (denouncing the Versailles Treaty) had gained 107 seats to become the second largest party after the Socialists.Before the elections they had only 12 seats. Their vote rose from 800,000 in 1928 to 6.409,000, only 2,000,000 behind the Socialists. Adolf Hitler played on voter�s fears of economic chaos and social disorder. He blamed Jews and Bolsheviks as the cause of the nation�s problems and promised to make Germany great again.

23/2/1930, Nazi thug Horst Wessel died in a Berlin hospital of blood poisoning, aged 22. He had been shot in a street brawl 14/1/1930. The Nazis made him a martyr, and used his �Horst-Wessel-song�, with anti-Semitic lyrics and a tune plagiarised from older Hamburg sailor�s ballads.

23/1/1930, In Germany, Wilhelm Frick was appointed Minister for Education and the Interior in Thuringia, the first Nazi party member to become a Minister in State Government.

8/12/1929. Hitler�s Nazi Party won municipal elections in Bavaria.

 

7/11/1931, French police launched large raids against Corsican bandits.

13/5/1931, In France, Paul Doumier was elected President.

 

1929 - 31, German banking and unemployment Crisis (see Hyperinflation 1923-24 below)

22/7/1931. Britain, France, and the USA renewed credits for Germany to help it through financial problems.

13/7/1931. All German banks closed till 5/8/1931 following the collapse of Danatbank.

13/6/1931. German bank failure (Danatbank) caused the closure of all German banks.

11/5/1931. In Austria, the bankruptcy of Credit-Anstalt began Europe�s financial collapse.

24/2/1931. German unemployment reached almost 5 million.

15/2/1929. German unemployment was over 3 million. In 1926 it had been 2 million, falling to around 1.3 million in 1927 and 1928.

 

27/1/1931, Pierre Laval became Prime Minister in France.

7/1/1931, State funeral of MarshaL Joffre in Paris.

3/1/1931, Joseph Joffre, French marshal and commander in chief of the French armies on the Western Front, died.

16/9/1930, The Berlin city council met for the first time since summer recess, but broke up in turmoil after the Communists and Nazis introduced a motion demanding that the council dissolve. The motion was defeated.

15/7/1930, Jacques Derrida, French philosopher, was born (died 2004).

17/5/1930, French Prime Minister Andr� Tardieu decided to withdraw the last French troops from the Rhineland (they departed by 30/6/1930).

3/4/1930. Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, was born.

27/3/1930, In Germany, Hermann Muller�s Government resigned because of Social Democrat opposition to planned cuts in Unemployment Benefits.

6/3/1930, Alfred von Tirpitz, German Admiral, died.

24/11/1929, Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France, died.

22/9/1929. Communists and Nazis fought on the streets of Berlin.

27/9/1929, In France, Raymond Poincare resigned due to ill health. Aristide Briand became Prime Minister.

3/5/1929. Severe civil unrest in Berlin.

1/5/1929, Communists in Berlin attacked policemen. Three days of clashes ensued, with 15 dead.

20/3/1929. The French military commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch died aged 68.

6/2/1929, Germany ratified the Kellogg-Briand anti war pact.

15/1/1929 The USA ratified the Kellogg-Briand anti war pact.

1928. Jean Marie Le Pen, French Far Right Wing politician was born, son of a Breton fisherman. He formed the National Front Party in 1972.

27/8/1928. In Paris, 15 nations signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war. The USSR signed the pact on 6/9/1928.

28/6/1928, In Germany, Hermann Muller, Social Democrat, was appointed Chancellor following the resignation of Wilhelm Marx on 13/6/1928.

13/6/1928, In Germany, Chancellor Wilhelm Marx resigned.

22/4/1928. In French elections Right-wing Parties won 325 out of the 610 seats.

28/3/1928. France shortened its term of compulsory military service to one year.

16/9/1927. President Von Hindenburg repudiated German responsibility for the Great War (World War One).

24/7/1927, The Menin Gate, a memorial at Ypres to the soldiers of the British Empire, was unveiled by Lord Plumer.

7/2/1927, Emile Coue, French psychotherapist, died at Nancy.

8/9/1926. The League of Nations voted to admit Germany as a member. On 11/9/1926 Spain left the League in protest at Germany joining.

24/4/1926. Germany signed a friendship treaty with the USSR.

13/3/1926. Germany was refused a place on the League of Nations Council.

8/2/1926. Germany applied to join the League of Nations.

2/2/1926, Giscard D�Estang, French President, was born.

1/12/1925, The Peace of Locarno was signed (by UK, France, Italy, and Germany), guaranteeing peace and existing national frontiers in Europe.

27/11/1925, Aristide Briand formed a Government in France.

16/10/1925, France and Germany concluded the Locarno Treaty, guaranteeing their mutual frontier. Italy and Britain also signed.Germany reaffirmed its renunciation of Alsace-Lorraine and guaranteed not to attack France or Belgium.Russia feared the Locarno Treaty meant an alliance of western powers against it, see 24/4/1926.

12/10/1925, Germany and the USSR signed a commercial treaty.

5/10/1925, The Locarno Conference opened, to decide the German border and future of the Rhineland.

13/7/1925. French troops begin to withdraw from the Rhineland.

25/4/1925. Hindenburg became President of Germany. He won 48.5% of the popular vote, against 42.5% for Wilhelm Marx of the Centre Party.

10/4/1925, In France, Paul Painleve became Prime Minister after the defeat of Edouard Herriot.

26/3/1925, Hindenburg was elected President of Germany.

15/1/1925, After a month of intense political negotiations in Germany, Hans Luther (Independent) succeeded Wilhelm Marx as Chancellor, and Gustav Stresemann became Foreign Minister.

 

Nazis 1919 � 1929, start of Party, then electoral decline; but see 1930s

20/5/1928, In Germany, Socialists won the elections. The result was, Social Democrats rose from 131 seats to 153, to become the largest party but without an overall majority. Centre Party, 62 seats. Communists, 54 seats. German National People�s Party, 73 seats. German People�s Party, 45 seats. Nazis, 12 seats.

29/8/1926. A Nazi Party rally was held at Nuremberg.

9/11/1925. The German Schutzstaffel, or Protection Squad (SS), was formed.

18/6/1925. France accepted German proposals for a security pact. Hitler�s Mein Kampf was published.

27/2/1925, Hitler spoke at a Nazi meeting at a Munich beer hall.

14/2/1925. The ban on the Nazi Party in Bavaria was lifted.

20/12/1924. Adolf Hitler was freed from prison on parole after serving just 8 months of his jail term for high treason.

7/12/1924, In German elections, the Communists (45 seats) lost ground to the Social Democrats (131 seats). The Conservative Nationalists also gained (103 seats) whilst the Nazis slumped to 14 seats. The Centre Party won 69 seats.

8/7/1924, Adolf Hitler resumed leadership of the Nazi Party.

4/5/1924, In elections to the German Parliament (Reichstag), the Nationalists made gains, winning 95 seats, as did the Communists with 62 seats. The Social Democrats won 100 seats and the Centre Party had 65 seats. For the first time the National Socialist (Nazi) Party entered Parliament, with 32 seats.

1/4/1924. Adolf Hitler was jailed for 5 years for his part in the abortive Munich beer hall putsch.

26/2/1924, Adolf Hitler was charged with treason for his part in the abortive Munich beer hall putsch.

9/11/1923. The Munich beer hall putsch marked the start of Hitler�s rise to power in Germany. This putsch against the Bavarian Government failed and Hitler was arrested on 11/11/1923 in a village outside Munich and imprisoned.Hitler then spent several months in prison in Landsberg Am Lech, Bavaria, where he dictated part of his Mein Kampf to Rudolf Hess.

2/9/1923, Hitler fiercely denounced the Weimar Republic.

27/1/1923. The German Nazi Party held its first rally, in Munich.

29/7/1921 Hitler became President of the National Socialist Party.

1/4/1920, The Nazi Party was officially founded in Germany.

24/2/1920. The National Socialist Workers (Nazi) party, led by Adolf Hitler, published a programme for a Third Reich.

5/1/1919.The Nazi (National Socialist) Party was founded in Germany. Adolf Hitler, a soldier in World War One who was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery, and who was angry at the armistice terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, and extremely opposed to Communism, headed the new Party. Hitler was a poor student in the Austrian secondary school system. He became an artist but failed to gain entry to the Academy of Fine Arts; Hitler was a melancholic character, obsessed by fears that Jews, linked to communists, would take over the world.

 

2/12/1924, The UK and Germany signed a trade pact.

13/6/1924, Gaston Doumergue became the 13th President of France.

1/6/1924, Raymond Poincare resigned as Prime Minister of France.

11/5/1924, In French elections the Left bloc emerged with the largest number of seats, 287 out of 581.

28/12/1923. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who designed the 300 metre Eiffel Tower, Paris, died aged 91.

 

German Hyperinflation Economic Crisis 1923-24 (See banking failures and unemployment 1929-31 above) (see also Reparations 1921-32 below)

7/11/1924, Germany announced its first balanced budget since the war.

30/8/1924, The German Reichsbank was made independent of the government.It issued a new currency, the ReichsMark, at 1,000,000 million old Marks to the new currency.

6/6/1924, The German Reichstag approved the Dawes Plan by a 247�183 vote.

15/11/1923. Rampant German inflation peaked with the Mark worth 4,200,000 Million to the US Dollar, and 10,000,000 Million to the UK Pound � if you could find anyone willing to change your marks for dollars. It had been 4.2 to the Dollar in 1914, 350,000 to the pound (1 pound was 5 dollars) on 1/6/1923, and 622,000 to the pound on 22/6/1923. A loaf of bread cost 63 pfennigs in 1918, and 250 pfennigs in January 1923. But by July 1923 a loaf cost 3,465 pfennigs, and by November 1923, 201,000 million marks. Workers were paid twice a day and by the evening a loaf of bread would cost what a house was worth in the morning.

Money had effectively become worthless; trade was done by barter. Middle class families with cash in the bank had been ruined. The problem had been that, after French troops occupied the Ruhr to enforce war reparations, the German Government began to print marks in huge numbers. German industry was unable to produce the goodsto match the vast increase in money supply. On 15/11/1923 Germany introduced the Rentemark, tied to the country�s real estate. Each rentemark was worth 1,000 million old marks.

11/10/1923, The German Mark reached 10,000 million to the UK Pound.

1/10/1923, The German mark reached 242,000,000 to the US$

27/9/1923. Martial law was proclaimed in Germany, under Article 48 of the Constitution.

15/9/1923, As the German economy deteriorated, the German Bank Rate was raised to 90%.

10/8/1923, Civil unrest began in Germany; strikes and riots, until 13/8/1923.

1/7/1923, The German Mark reached 160,000 to the US$.Pre 1914 it had been 4.20; during 1922 the rate fell from 162 to over 7,000 to the US$.

1/2/1923. Inflation in Germany continued; �1 was now worth 220,000 Marks. On 2/1/1922�1 had been worth 30,000 Marks.

12/1/1923 Germany protested at the occupation of the Ruhr (see 11/1/1923) and ceased all coal reparations shipments to France.The French erected customs posts and economically divided the region from the rest of Germany.This was a serious blow to the German economy, especially after the loss of the industrial Upper Silesia to Poland.The resultant economic disruption hit the German economy and its currency began to collapse.See 31/7/1925.

2/1/1922. As inflation soared in Germany, �1 bought over 30,000 German Marks. See 1/2/1923.

4/11/1921. The German currency began to collapse.

 

6/8/1923, In Germany, Gustav Stresemann was appointed Chancellor following the sudden resignation of Wilhelm Cuno. Stresemann formed a coalition Government.

31/5/1923, Prince Ranier III, prince of the House of Grimaldi, was born in Monaco.

23/12/1922, Birth of Helmut Schmidt, German Chancellor.

22/11/1922, Wilhelm Cuno succeeded Wirth as German Chancellor.

4/9/1922, Silesia voted to remain with Prussia.

14/7/1922, French President Millerand escaped an assassination attempt.

24/6/1922, German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, aged 54, was murdered by anti-Semitic nationalists.

16/4/1922. Germany restored relations with the USSR, signing the Second Treaty of Rapallo. Secretly, the USSR agreed to let Germany build and test weapons in Soviet territory that were forbidden within Germany under the Treaty of Versailles.

26/2/1922, Britain and France concluded a 20-year alliance.

25/2/1922, The French murderer Henri Landru, known as Bluebeard, was guillotined. He had killed 10 women after luring them to his flat by dating adverts in newspapers.

31/1/1922, In Germany, Walter Rathenau was appointed Foreign Minister.

15/1/1922, In France, Raymond Poincare formed a Government in France, following Aristide Briand�s resignation on 12//1/1903.

17/10/1921, Ludwig III, King of Bavaria, died.

12/10/1921, The Council of the League of Nations awarded the upper two thirds of Silesia to Poland (along with most of its coal mines and steelworks). Germany reluctantly accepted the decision.

21/9/1921, Large explosion at German factory near Mannheim; 2,000 killed or injured.

26/8/1921, The former German Finance Minister, Mathias Erzberger, was assassinated by a nationalist gang.

25/8/1921. Peace treaty (Treaty of Berlin) signed between Germany and the USA.

28/5/1921, In Germany, Chancellor Wirth appointed industrialist WalterRathenau as Minister for Reconstruction, including responsibility for reparations.

20/5/1921, Germany and China resumed diplomatic relations.

6/5/1921, Germany and Russia signed a peace treaty.

 

German Reparations Crises 1921-34. Terms eased, Allied occupation ended

27/4/1934, Britain and France warned Germany not to default on reparations payments.

9/7/1932. In Switzerland, the Allies voted to ease Germany�s economic crisis by suspending the repayment of war debts.

7/1/1932, German Chancellor Heinrich Bruning declared that Germany could not, and would not, resume Reparations payments.

30/6/1930. France pulled the last of its troops out of the Rhineland, 5 years before the date set by the Versailles Treaty.

12/10/1929, The last British troops left the Rhineland, moving out of their base in Wiesbaden.

8/6/1929. At The Hague, Germany�s war debts were rescheduled. Germany was no longer required to pay for the reconstruction of France�s war-damaged provinces. The Young Plan, named after its American author Owen Young, removed controls on the German economy. However Germany must still repay �1.65 billion over the next 40 years, including �2 million a year that Britain insists upon to cover its American debt. Militant Germans, including the Nazis, demonstrated against these payments.

30/1/1926. British troops ended a 7-year occupation of the Rhineland.

30/11/1924, The last French and Belgian troops left the Ruhr.

17/8/1924. French and Belgian troops agreed to withdraw from the Ruhr within 1 year following Germany�s agreement on war reparations.

16/8/1924, The Allies and Germany accepted the Dawes Plan, for a revised timetable of reparations.

8/8/1924, A ten-nation summit agreed a plan drawn up by US banker Charles Dawes, designed to assist Germany�s economy and fulfil reparation payments.

27/10/1923, French troops occupied Bonn and Wiesbaden.

30/9/1923, A German uprising in Dusseldorf against French occupation of The Ruhr.

31/3/1923, Rioting German workers at the Krupps works in Essen in French-occupied Ruhr were shot by French troops.

12/1/1923 Germany protested at the occupation of the Ruhr (see 11/1/1923) and ceased all coal reparations shipments to France.The French erected customs posts and economically divided the region from the rest of Germany.This was a serious blow to the German economy, especially after the loss of the industrial Upper Silesia to Poland.The resultant economic disruption hit the German economy and its currency began to collapse.See 31/7/1925.

11/1/1923, Germany defaulted on reparations payments (see 26/12/1922), and French and Belgian troops occupied Essen and The Ruhr.

16/12/1922, The Reparation Commission accused Germany of intentional shortfalls in wood and coal deliveries to France.See 11/1/1923.

13/1/1922, At a conference at Cannes, the Allies agreed to postpone Germany�s reparation payments.

15/12/1921. Germany sought a moratorium on reparations.

14/10/1921, Demolition of the great fortress of Heligoland was completed.

30/9/1921. French troops pulled out of the Ruhr.

4/5/1921. France invaded the Ruhr to enforce reparations.

2/5/1921, France mobilised its troops in preparation for an invasion of the Ruhr.

27/4/1921, The Allies claimed �6,650 million (132,000 million gold Marks) compensation from Germany. Germany reluctantly agreed, but it would put a great strain on the German economy.The Fehrenbach German government at once resigned.The Allies threatened that if Germany did not agree, they would occupy the Ruhr.

24/4/1921. Germany pleaded in vain to the USA for aid on reparations. On 27/4/1921 reparations were set at �6.65 billion.

23/3/1921. Germany defaulted on reparations.

20/3/1921, A plebiscite in Upper Silesia resulted in a majority vote for remaining with Germany.Germany tried to claim that the whole territory should therefore remain as German, no part passing to Poland.The resultant crisis, with France supporting Poland, was passed to the League of Nations, see 20/10/1921.

8/3/1921. Because of Germany�s failure to give a satisfactory response to demands for war reparations, Allied troops occupied the Ruhr towns. Germany agreed to pay war reparations on 11/5/1921. These consisted of �10 billion in gold over the next 42 years plus a 12.5% tax on Germany�s exports.

1/3/1921, Allied troops entered Germany to enforce war reparations payments.

24/1/1921, The Reparations Conference in Paris fixed German war reparations at US$ 56 billion, to be paid over 42 years; of this sum, France would get 52%. German politician reacted with outrage, seeing this as �enslavement of the German economy�, and defaulted on repayments on 23/3/1921. Under pressure from the US, the Allies reduced their claim but when Germany defaulted on this, too, they reoccupied the Rhineland.

 

Communist agitation in western Europe, 1918 - 23

23/10/1923, A Communist uprising occurred in Hamburg.

22/10/1923, Communists in Hamburg led by Ernst Th�lmann were secretly called on to mobilize.

24/3/1921, Pro-Communist riots in Hamburg, Germany.

30/12/1920, The French Communist Party was founded at Tours.

2/5/1919. German troops entered Munich to crush the fledgling Soviet Republic in Bavaria.

22/2/1919. After the murder of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Kurt Eisner, a Soviet Republic was declared in Bavaria.

4/2/1919, The �Soviet Republic of Bremen� was suppressed.

11/1/1919. The Spartacus League initiated a week of revolt in Berlin. Led by Rosa Luxembburg and Karl Leibknecht, they wanted a Communist workers Statein Germany

10/1/1919, Bremen declared itself a Soviet Republic; this was crushed on 4/2/1919,

30/12/1918, The German Communist Party was founded.However within a fortnight, irregular German troops had murdered its leaders.

 

28/1/1921, In Paris, a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown nSoldier was installed below the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the dead of World War One.

21/1/1921, The French Chamber of Deputies approved Aristide Briand as the new Premier, along with his government, with a vote of 475 to 68 of confidence in his more moderate policy regarding German reparations due to France.

16/1/1921, In France, Aristide Briand formed a Government.

10/12/1920, Woodrow Wilson and Leon Bourgeois were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

23/9/1920, Alexandre Millerande was elected President of France, succeeding Paul Deschanel who had resigned due to ill-health.

 

International adjustments immediately post World War One. German War Trials finally begin

10/1/1921, In Leipzig, war trials began at the German Supreme Court.

10/8/1920. Other post-war provisions included the creation of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia,Galicia was given to Poland, Transylvania to Romania, and Istria, Trentino, and South Tyrol to Italy. Greece and Yugoslavia acquired parts of Bulgaria.German East Africa went to Britain, the Samoan Islands to New Zealand, and South West Africa to South Africa.Germany itself lost territory to Poland, France, Denmark, and Lithuania.

19/4/1920, The Conference of San Remo opened.Following on from the London Conference (see 12/1/2920), post World War One frontiers in Europe were settled.

11/7/1920, The result of a plebiscite in East and West Prussia was a 97% vote to remain with Germany.

14/3/1920, A plebiscite in the middle zone of Schleswig favoured integration with Germany.

6/2/1920, The League of Nations took over administration of Saarland from France.

5/2/1920, Germany refused to hand over alleged war criminals to the Allies.

23/1/1920, The Netherlands refused to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm II, as demanded by the Suprme Allied War Council.

20/1/1920, Peace Talks in Paris concluded, see 18/1/1919.

12/7/1919, Britain and France authorised the resumption of commercial relations with Germany.

4/7/1919. France demobilised its troops.

28/6/1919. The Treaty of Versailles was signed. This peace treaty between the Allies and the Germans was signed at Versailles and officially ended World War One, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand started it. Alsace Lorraine was returned to France, German colonies were under mandate, German East Africa went to Britain and German South West Africa (Namibia) to South Africa.The west bank of the Rhine and a zone 30 miles deep on its east bank was demilitarised. See 7/5/1919.

22/6/1919, The German National Assembly at Weimar authorised the signing of the Peace Treaty.

20/6/1919, The German Chancellor, Schiedemann, fell due to his opposition to the Paris Peace Plan. On 21/6/1919 Gustave Bauer formed a Cabinet comprising Social Democrats, Centre, and Democrats.

29/5/1919, German delegates made counter-proposals to the Paris Peace conference,

7/5/1919, Peace terms were dictated to Germany.Germany had to ceded Alsace-Loraine to France; Upper Silesia, most of Poznan, and West Prussia went to Poland.This separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany as Poland gained a corridor to the sea at Danzig.North Schleswig went to Germany and Memel went to Lithuania. See 28/6/1919.

6/5/1919. Peace conference shared out former German colonies.

4/4/1919. At Versailles, the Germans agreed to make Danzig a �free city�.

11/3/1919. The Allies agreed to supply famine-hit Germany with food.

18/1/1919, Peace talks opened at Versailles.See 20/1/1920. 27 nations attended; Germany was excluded

12/1/1919, Delegates arrived in Paris for the Peace talks, see 18/1/1919.

6/12/1918. Allied troops occupied Cologne.

5/12/1918, The British Prime Minister demanded that the ex-German Kaiser be prosecuted by an International Court.

2/12/1918, One of the last acts of the British War Cabinet; it demanded the extradition of the German Kaiser Wilhelm.

1/12/1918. The British Second Army entered Germany.

30/11/1918. German occupation of Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ended, see 6/12/1916.

25/11/1918, French troops entered Strasbourg.

23/11/1918, Mutinous German sailors occupied the Chancellery and took Ebert hostage; he was rescued on 24/11/1918 by soldiers from Potsdam.

21/11/1918. Surrender of the German Fleet to the Allies at Scapa Flow, for internment. On 21/6/1919 it was scuttled at Scapa Flow, in the Orkneys.

18/11/1918. The German occupation of Brussels ended, see 20/8/1914.

 

21/6/1920, In Germany, Konstantin Fehrenbach of the Centre Party became Chancellor. His coalition Government of Social Democrats and Centre Party was joined by the People�s Party.

14/6/1920, Max Weber, German sociologist died aged 56.

6/6/1920, In Germany, the first elections held after the Treaty of Versailles showed a shift away from the Social Democrats and Centre, towards extremist Parties.

19/3/1920. In Germany, Socialists rebelled and captured Essen.

13/3/1920. A pro-Royalist coup was attempted in Berlin, led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp. The German Government had to retreat to Stuttgart but the German workers opposed the coup and began a general strike; the coup plotters had to flee.

17/1/1920, Paul Deschanel was elected President of France.

31/7/1919. Germany adopted the Weimar Constitution, named after the town where the constitution was drafted.

19/2/1919, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was shot by an anarchist.

23/1/1919. The Socialists won the German elections.

23/12/1918, Helmut Schmidt, German leader, was born (died 2015)

 

For World War One 1914 � 18 click here

 

27/2/1915, In Paris, the Moulin Rouge burnt down.

16/3/1914, Madame Caillaux, wife of the French Finance Minister, shot dead the editor of Le Figaro to protect her husband against libel.

18/12/1913, Willy Brandt, German Chancellor, was born in Lubeck as Karl Herbert Frahm.

20/11/1913, The Zabern Incident. A German officer insulted Alsatian recruits, causing friction between France and Germany.

7/4/1913, Jean Constans, French politician, died in Paris (born 3/5/1833 in Beziers).

24/2/1913, Jules Gabriel Compayre, French educationalist, died in Paris (born 2/1/1843 in Albi).

21/1/1913, In France, Aristide Briand succeeded Poincare as Prime Minister.

5/1/1913, Gottlieb von Jagow became German Foreign Minister.

18/2/1912, The German Kaiser, Wilhelm, declined to meet the Socialist winners of the General Election.

6/2/1912, Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler, was born.

 

Western European nations begin a military build up

7/8/1913, France passed an Army Bill, imposing three year�s compulsory military service.

5/3/1913, 71 sailors drowned when the German destroyer S-178 was accidentally rammed by the German cruiser Yorck in the North Sea off of Helgoland.

6/6/1913. Germany passed a Bill for a large increase in its army.

8/12/1912, The German Kaiser held a secret meeting with his military chiefs. It was agreed that the Schlieffen Plan, to quickly conquer France before turning east on Russia, should not be delayed much beyond 1914 because after that swifter Russian mobilisation would cause a collapse of the German Eastern Front before France fell. The Schlieffen Plan, named after Graf Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff 1890-1905, was to attack France through Belgium, by-passing the heavily-fortified Franco-German frontier. German troops defending this frontier were to be reduced, possibly even allowing for French advances into Germany here. However the German advance through Belgium would then swing eastwards to the south west of Paris and come round to hit the French Army in the rear. Schlieffen allowed for ten German divisions to hold the Russian front until France could be crushed (six weeks allowed for this task); also for a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 to assist the French.

27/8/1911. At Hamburg the German Kaiser made his �place in the sun� speech, foreshadowing a large increase in the German navy. Britain responded by increasing its navy, although Anglo-German relations remained friendly.

1/8/1911. Germany began to fortify Heligoland, a small island in the North Sea.

21/7/1911, Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned Germany not to threaten British interests in the western Mediterranean, or Gibraltar.See 1/7/1911.Germany denied such ambitions, but Britain began preparing for war with Germany.

8/3/1911, Britain stated it would not assist France if it was attacked by Germany.

24/2/1911, The Reichstag voted to increase the German Army by half a million men.

7/6/1909. France joined the arms race by announcing it was to spend �120 million on new naval ships.

6/8/1908, The British Admiralty stated that the new battleships being built by the Germans would be the most heavily armed in the world.

8/7/1908. The German Navy was catching up in strength with the British, according to the 'World Navy List'.

14/6/1908, A fourth German naval Bill authorised expenditure on four more large naval vessels.

5/6/1906, Germany decided to build more battleships.

10/2/1906, Britain launched the revolutionary new battleship Dreadnought.She made every other warship obsolete, outgunning and outranging them all. Her new steam turbine propulsion made her much faster than older ships. This marked the start of a keen naval arms race between Britain and Germany. Germany now realised that the latest class of battleships were too big to pass through the Kiel Canal. The Russo-Japanese War demonstrated the need for such battleship innovation, as naval battles were now fought at long range, using torpedoes, and torpedo boats therefore had to be destroyed at a distance with accurate long-range artillery.

19/9/1905, Britain and Germany held simultaneous war manoeuvres.

 

Germany backs down over Morocco rivalry with France

27/11/1912. France and Spain agreed on their respective spheres of influence in Morocco.

4/11/1911, Germany settled the Morocco crisis with France. Germany agreed to allow France a free hand in Morocco, in exchange for territory in the Congo.

10/7/1911, Russia warned Germany that it supported France in the Morocco crisis.

1/7/1911, Germany sent the gunboat Panther to Agadir, Morocco, to protect German commercial interests there from French expansion in Morocco.Britain was concerned about Germany�s ambitions in Africa so close to Gibraltar.See 21/7/1911.

 

31/8/1911, The Director of the Louvre art gallery, Paris, was sacked following the theft of the Mona Lisa (22/8/1911). The painting was not recovered until two years later.

16/8/1911, E F Schumacher, German economist and statistician, was born (died 1977).

11/7/1911, In Paris, 60,000 stonemasons went on strike.

5/7/1911. Birth of Georges Pompidou, in Montboudif, Auvergne. He was French President from 1969 until his death in 1974.

26/5/1911, The German Reichstag granted the former French territory of Alsace-Lorraine its own legislature and a large measure of autonomy.

15/5/1911, King George V and his cousin the Kaiser reasserted their friendship.

10/3/1911. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time as standard time across the country.

17/1/1911, An attempt was made on the life of the French Prime Minister, Aristide Briand.

24/7/1909, Aristide Briant became French PM.

8/7/1909, Gaston Galliffet, French General, died (born 23/1/1830).

18/6/1909, Joan of Arc was beatified by the Pope, 478 years after the English burnt her at the stake in Rouen.

8/5/1909, Friedrich von Holstein, German statesman, died (born 1837)

13/9.1908, In Germany the Social Democrats staged a rally at Nuremberg.

31/8/1907, The UK and Russia agreed an entente, defining spheres of influence in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan.There was an implicit agreement that Britain would not allow Russia to control the Bosporus, and the entente opened up the London money markets to Russia, allowing it to recover from the Japanese defeat of 1904/5. France was also part of this agreement, forming a Triple Entente to contain the newly unified Prussian-dominated Germany.

3/8/1907, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II met at Swinemunde to discuss the Baghdad Railway.

2/5/1907, King Edward VII of Britain met the French President in Paris.

12/3/1907, The French battleship Jena exploded at Toulon, killing 118.

28/1/1907, 164 miners died in a pit explosion at Saarbrucken, Germany.

11/1/1907, Pierre Mendes-France, French politician, was born (died 1982)

13/12/1906, A revolt of the Centre Party in the German Reichstag opposed spending on colonial wars. Von Bulow dissolved the Reichstag; in subsequent elections the Socialists lost ground.

25/10/1906, Georges Clemenceau became PM in France.

24/4/1906, The Nazi collaborator William Joyce, or �Lord Haw Haw�, was born in Brooklyn, New York City.

5/4/1906, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany dismissed Count Friedrich Holstein, a key advisor in the Foreign Department, ending fears of a German war with France over Morocco.

19/3/1906, Adolf Eichmann, German Nazi responsible for the execution of millions of European Jews during World War II, was born in Solingen. See Jewish History.

11/3/1906, 1,200 miners died in a pit explosion in northern France.

4/2/1906, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian who was part of the group who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was born.

17/1/1906, In France, Clement Fallieres was elected president, through the influence of Georges Clemenceau.

1/1/1906, General Von Moltke was made head of the German armed forces.

29/11/1905, Marcel Lefebvre, French Roman Catholic Bishop, was born (died 1991)

25/9/1905, Jacques Cavaignac, French politician, died (born 21/5/1853).

13/9/1905, Rene Goblet, French politician, died (born 26/11/1828).

24/7/1905, Kaiser William of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia signed the Treaty of Bjorko at a meeting in Finland. This proposed a mutual defence pact between the two countries if either was attacked by another European power. However the Russian Foreign Office opposed the Treaty because it threatened Russia�s relationship with France, upon whom Russia was dependent for aid. The German Chancellor, Von Bulow also opposed the Treaty, and Franco-German tension over the Morocco crisis left the Treaty dead in the water.

6/6/1905, Theophile Delcasse, French Foreign Minister since 1898, resigned under pressure from Germany.

1/5/1905, In talks lasting until the 5th May, Paul Rouvier, French Prime Minister, failed to settle the Moroccan Question with Germany.

31/3/1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Tangier, Morocco, to give a speech in favour of Moroccan independence. This was intended to humiliate France, who saw Morocco as their own protectorate, and to test the closeness of the Franco-British entente. Germany intended to subsequently �grant France limited control in Morocco�, a move supposed to bring France closer to Germany and away from Britain. However Germany was surprised by the forcefulness with which British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey backed France; Germany was further isolated from France, Britain and hence Russia too. This event paved the way for the Agadir crisis of 1911.

19/3/1905, Albert Speer, architect for the Nazis, was born.

10/1/1905, Clemence Michel, French anarchist, died.

15/10/1904, George, King of Saxony, died.

12/7/1904, Britain and Germany signed a five-year treaty, to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than by military means.

28/8/1904. A treaty was concluded in London whereby France would allow the British freedom of action in Egypt in return for the British allowing the French a free hand in Morocco. For many years the nominally independent Sultanate of Morocco had been losing power as it became increasingly dependent on French, Spanish, and German business and subsidies for financial security. In October 1904 the French also concluded a secret treaty with the Spanish. This disturbed Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany who saw his country being squeezed out of North Africa. Wilhelm II therefore landed at Tangier on 31 March 1905. The sultan sided with the Germans and serious friction with the French resulted. On 161/1906 the Algecieras Conference was held. German claims were backed by Austria whilst French claims were backed by Britain. Germany failed to curb France�s privileged position in Morocco. See 8/4/1904.

8/4/1904. Entente Cordiale set up between Britain and France. Each country recognised the other�s colonial interests.France agreed not to interfere in Egypt and England agreed not to interfere in Morocco. Germany, which also wanted control in Morocco, felt threatened by this entente. Britain had become unpopular with many countries after the Boer War, and needed friends; relations with France had been strained since the Fashoda incident in 1898. Now both Britain and France felt anxious over the rise of the German economy and military might, especially its navy. The entente meant Britain�s navy could concentrate on defending the North Sea whilst France�s monitored the Mediterranean. See 28/8/2904.

1/2/1904, Britain agreed with France to remain neutral if there was war between Russia and Japan.

6/7/1903, French President Emile Loubet, and Theophile Delcasse, visited London to begin the Entente Cordiale.

4/3/1903, King Edward VII of Britain concluded a visit to Paris, during which Anglo-French relations were strengthened.

1/2/1903, Martin Delbruck, Prussian statesman, died (born 16/4/1817).

22/11/1902, In Germany, the steel magnate Friedrich Krupp (1854-1902), head of Germany�s largest manufacturing firm and the richest man in the country, died unexpectedly of a stroke.He was aged 48.Friedrich�s father Alfred had founded the Krupp Company but Freidrich had been in charge since the age of 33 when his father died.

8/11/1902, The Kaiser arrived in London on a 12-day State Visit to try and improve Anglo-German relations.

1/11/1902, France signed the Franco-Italian entente with Italy. Italy assured France it would remain neutral if France was attacked.

7/8/1902, Rudolf Bennigsen, German politician, died (born in Luneburg 10/7/1824).

10/6/1902, Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony from 1873 (born 23/4/1828) died.

3/6/1902, In France, Rene Waldbeck-Rousseau resigned, despite having a majority on the Chamber, over disputes with extremists. He was succeeded by Emile Combes, who pursued a strongly anti-clerical policy.

27/10/1901, Negotiations on an Anglo-German alliance broke down, after the British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, made an anti-German speech in Edinburgh.

5/8/1901, Victoria, Empress of Germany, 60, daughter of Queen Victoria of the UK, sister of King Edward VII, wife of Kaiser Friedrich III, and mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, died aged 60.

1/7/1901, France enacted its anti-clerical Association Law, which outlawed all religious institutions not formally registered with the State.

29/5/1901, Lord Salisbury, in a confidential memo, decided against developing an alliance between Britain and Germany.

24/4/1901, 200 were killed in an explosion at a chemical factory in Griesheim, Germany.

6/3/1901, Anarchists attempted to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm, who escaped with face wounds.

21/12/1900, Leonhard Blumenthal, Prussian Field-Marshal, died in Quellendorf (born in Schwedt on Oder 30/7/1810).

16/12/1900, France and Italy agreed to respect each other�s sphere of influence in North Africa.

16/11/1900, In Germany, a woman hurled an axe at Kaiser Wilhelm, but failed to kill him.

10/11/1900, The first World Fair closed in Paris; it had been open since 14/4/1900. It had included over 70,000 exhibitors, and co-run with the Olympic Games also in Paris this year. The scale of the event meant that, despite huge numbers of visitors, it was a financial loss, covered by the French Government, Culturally however the event was good for France, promoting art-nouveau, and precipitating a rash of construction projects in France including new boulevards, new Paris rail termini, and the Paris Metro.

7/10/1900, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler was born in Munich. He was leader of the Nazi SS, second in command to Hitler from 1929, and gained notoriety in 1934 when he masterminded the assassination of several Nazis whose loyalty to Hitler was in question. He controlled the concentration camps in which millions of Jews, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah�s Witnesses, and others, died.

2/8/1900, In Paris, anarchist Francois Salsou attempted to assassinate the Shah of Persia, but he survived.

16/6/1900, Francois Joinville, French statesman, died (born 14/8/1818).

12/6/1900, A second German Naval Act proposed a fleet of 38 battleships within the next 20 years.

29/4/1900, A footbridge collapsed at the Great World Exhibition, Paris, killing 10 people.

14/4/1900, The World Exhibition opened in Paris. See 10/11/1900.

28/3/1900, Vincent Benedetti, French diplomat, died in Paris (born in Bastia, Corsica 29/4/1817).

23/3/1900, Erich Fromm, German social psychologist, was born (died 1980).

1899, The Right-wing French movement Action Francaise was founded by the poet and political journalist Charles Maurras (1868-1952). It sought to rally the defeated opponents of Dreyfus, and was anti-Semitic, nationalistic and royalist. Its influence peaked in the 1920s. Supporting the Vichy Government of 1940-44, the movement became indistinguishable from fascism.

2/5/1899, Martin Simson, German politician, died (born 10/10/1810)

16/2/1899, Francois Faure, President of France, died (born 30/1/1841).

6/2/1899, Georg Caprivi, German statesman (born 24/2/1831) died.

28/7/1898,Bismarck died, three years after his wife, at Friedrichsruh.He was a Prussian politician and founder of the modern state of Germany.

28/3/1898, Germany passed an Act allowing for substantial expansion of its navy.

13/2/1898, August Potthast, German historian (born 13/8/1824), died.

29/10/1897, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi political leader and propagandist, was born in Rheydt, son of a factory foreman.

15/6/1897, Tirpitz was appointed German Naval Secretary.

7/5/1897, Henri Aumale, French statesman, died in Zucco, Sicily (born 16/1/1822 in Paris).

19/2/1897, French tightrope walker Charles Blondin died. He was born on 28/2/1824.

8/12/1896, Ernst Engel, German political economist, died (born 21/3/1821).

26/10/1896, Paul Challemel-Lacour, French politician, died (born 19/5/1827).

18/8/1896, Richard Avenarius, German philosopher, died in Zurich (born 19/11/1834 in Paris).

20/1/1896, Henry Prince of Battenberg died (born 5/10/1859).

1895, In France the CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail) was formed, a Trades Union organisation.

29/12/1895, Leander Starr Jameson, an agent of the British South Africa Company, invaded the Boer Republic of Transvaal with 470 men. On 2/1/1896 Jameson surrendered At Doorn Kop after a defeat at Krugersdorp. On 3/1/1896 Kaiser William II sent a telegram to Paul Kruger congratulating him on the defeat of Jameson. This caused outrage in Britain, which saw the telegram as an attempt by Germany to expand its influence in Africa. Britain mocked the German Navy, saying it would be �child�s play� for the British Navy to wipe it out. Wilhelm I now decided on a course of massive expansion of the German Navy, seeing Britain no longer as an ally but a potential threat.

24/11/1895, Saint Hilaire Barthelemy, French politician, was born in Paris (died 24/11/1895).

22/7/1895, Heinrich Gneist, German politician, died (born 13/8/1816)

28/1/1895, Francois Canrobert, French military leader (born 27/6/1809) died.

12/12/1894, Auguste Burdeau, French politician, died (born 1851).

24/6/1894, The President of France, Marie Francois Carnot, was stabbed to death at Lyons by an Italian anarchist.

26/4/1894, Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler�s deputy, was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

15/3/1894, Germany and France signed a treaty outlining their spheres of influence in tropical Africa

10/2/1894, Germany signed a commercial treaty with Russia.

4/1/1894, Russia and France signed a treaty of mutual defence. Despite huge differences between their political systems, both countries felt threatened by encirclement. France felt threatened by a rare entente between Germany and Britain. Russia saw itself threatened to the south and east by the British Empire in central and eastern Asia.

17/10/1893, Marie MacMahon, French President, died (born 13/7/1808).

22/8/1893, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha, died (born 21/6/1818).

13/7/1893, Germany passed a bill to substantially increase the size of its army.

30/4/1893, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler�s foreign minister, was born

17/3/1893, Jules Ferry, French politician, died (born 5/4/1832).

12/1/1893, Hermann Goering, German Nazi leader and founder of the Luftwaffe, was born in Rosenbaum, Bavaria.

17/8/1892, Russia and France signed a military convention.

2/5/1892, Baron Mandred von Richtofen, German air ace of World War One, known as the �Red Baron� because he flew a red Fokker, was born in Schweidnitz in Prussia, to aristocratic parents.

4/3/1892, Jean Jurian de la Graviere, French Admiral, died.

24/1/1892, Henri Baudrillart, French economist, died in Paris (born in Paris 28/11/1821).

30/12/1891, Antoine Pinay, French statesman, was born

12/12/1891, Charles Freppel, French politician and Bishop, died (born 1/6/1827).

15/11/1891, Birth of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, commander of the Afrika Corps, in Heidenheim, Germany.

30/9/1891, George Boulanger, French General, committed suicide in Brussels (born in Rennes 29/4/1837).

16/9/1891, Karl Doenitz, German Admiral, was born in Berlin.

9/9/1891, Francois Grevy, French President 1879-87, died (born 15/1/1813)

1/5/1891, In a violent clash between striking French workers and French troops, nine workers, including two children, were killed as troops opened fire. 60 more workers were injured. The workers were campaigning for an 8 hour day.

24/4/1891, Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian general, died.

22/11/1890, Charles de Gaulle, French President, was born in Lille (died 1970).

17/9/1890, Jules Joffrin, French politician, died (born 16/3/1846).

9/8/1890, Heligoland was formally transferred from Britain to Germany.

1/7/1890, Britain and Germany signed the Heligoland Treaty, by which Germany gave up claims in East Africa, including Zanzibar, in return for the British island of Heligoland in the Elbe estuary. Germany soon made Helogoland a major naval base for the defence of the newly constructed Kiel Canal.

18/3/1890, Prince Otto von Bismarck was dismissed from the German Chancellorship by Kaiser Wilhelm II, after 29 years as Germany�s first Chancellor. Bismarck�s foremost achievement had been the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership, but there had been increasing political dissent between Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm from 1888.

18/3/1890, Prince Otto von Bismarck was dismissed from the German Chancellorship by Kaiser Wilhelm II, after 29 years as Germany�s first Chancellor. Bismarck�s foremost achievement had been the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership. He had held Germany back from a damaging competitive rush for colonies that would cause conflict with other European powers, and he negotiated the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia that limited the possibility for conflict between them. However when Wilhelm II succeeded his father Kaiser Frederick III, German policy changed. Bismarck was replaced by Leo von Caprivi, who allowed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia to lapse. This pushed Russia into closer relations with France, Germany�s enemy. Meanwhile Germany pursued a fruitless attempt to make a friendship treaty with Britain.

6/5/1889, The official opening of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, to the public. It was only intended to stand for 20 years, but soon acquired iconic status.

20/4/1889. Birth of Adolf Hitler, in Braunau, Austria (died 1945). His father was a customs official who changed his name from Schicklgruber.

17/6/1888, Heinz Guderian, German World War Two General, was born.

15/6/1888, Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, died. He was succeeded by his 29-year son, Wilhelm II, who was the last German monarch.

9/3/1888, Death of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, aged 90. He was succeeded by his 57-year old son, Friedrich Wilhelm, but he died of cancer later in the year, on 15/6/1888.

27/2/1888, As Italian-French relations deteriorated, France imposed selective duties against Italian products. Italy retaliated in kind on 1/3/1888.

2/12/1887, Francois Grevy, President of France from 30/1/1879, resigned after a scandal involving his son in law Daniel Wilson

24/11/1887, Erich von Manstein, military adviser to Adolf Hitler in World War Two, was born in BerlinHe died on 9/6/1973, having been imprisoned by the British in August 1945. His advice on attacking France through the Ardennes in 1940 was crucial to Nazi success here.

18/7/1887, Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian diplomat who turned traitor, was born in Fyresdal, Telemark province, southern Norway.

14/7/1887, Alfred Krupp, German manufacturer of arms in Essen, the Ruhr, died.

23/5/1887. The French crown jewels went on sale and raised six million francs.

29/1/1887, Construction work began on the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

14/1/1887. Bismarck dissolved the Reichstag because it refused to vote for the military budget.

11/1/1887, Bismarck proposed an expansion of the German Army.

29/6/1886, Robert Schuman, French politician and Prime Minister, was born in Luxembourg.

13/6/1886, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, drowned, probably suicide.

16/1/1886, Frederic Falloux, French politician died (born 11/5/1811). He organised the Loi Falloux (Education-Schools, France, 15/3/1850).

20/11/1885, Albert Kesselring, German Air Force Commander, was born in Markstedt.

9/9/1884, The foundation stone for the new German Reichstag Parliament building was laid (see 19/4/1871). The building opened in 1894.

24/8/1883, Henri Chambord, contender for the French throne, died (born 29/9/1820).

29/4/1883, Franz Schulze-Delitzsch, German economist, died in Potsdam (born 29/8/1808 in Delitzsch).

12/5/1881, Tunisia became a French Protectorate. The French invaded in April 1881 when the Tunisian first minister made various reforms taking away French economic privileges. This French move was disturbing to Italy, who had believed that Britain would never permit an extension of French power in North Africa.

29/10/1879, Franz von Papen, German politician and ambassador, was born in Werl, Westphalia.

20/10/1879, Bernhardt von Bulow, German statesman, died (born 2/8/1815).

1/10/1879, An Austro-German alliance was signed.

2/6/1879, Louis, Prince Imperial of France and prospective Napoleon IV, was killed by a Zulu assegai. The French suspected British connivance.

19/11/1878, Theresa Essler, wife of Prince Adalbert of Prussia, died (widowed 1873).

19/10/1878, Bismarck passed an anti-Socialist law, placing many restraints on socialist meetings and banning trade union activities.

7/8/1876, Dutch spy, Mata Hari (Margarete Gertrude Zelle), who passed secrets to the Germans in World War One, was born in Leeuwarden. The French arrested her in 1917 and she was executed by firing squad.

5/1/1876, Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor, was born in Cologne.

29/10/1873, John, King of Saxony, died (born 12/12/1801). King Albert of Saxony succeeded his father to the throne. He was born on 23/4/1828, and died on 10/6/1902.

16/9/1873, The last German troops left France. An economic recovery of France had taken place, which was to enable it to build up its military forces.However a recession began in France from 1873 onwards.

24/5/1873, M Thiers ceased to be President of France.

9/1/1873, Napoleon III of France, nephew of Bonaparte, died in exile at Chislehurst, Kent, to where he had withdrawn following his defeat by the Prussians and his imprisonment at Wilhelshohe Castle.

30/9/1872, The last date for the inhabitants of Alsace, conquered by Germany in 1870, to opt for either German nationality and remain or French nationality and leave for France. Around 45,000 opted to leave for France.

29/8/1871, Albert Lebrun, French President, was born.

7/4/1870, Gustav Landauer, German anarchist, was born.

 

Birth of the unified German State, centred on Berlin

19/4/1871,The new German Parliament, the Reichstag, began planning for a permamnent home. This was not started until 9/6/1884.

3/3/1871, The first all-German elections were held, and returned a Parliament dominated by the National Liberal Party. The German Union was changed by this Parliament from a Bund (Federation, as proposed by Bismarck, to reassure states reluctant to join a Prussian-dominated union such as Baden and Wurttemberg that their autonomy would not be lost), to the more centralist term Reich, organised from Berlin. This was the Second Reich, (First Reich = Holy Roman Empire) which fell in 1918. The red-black-white colours of its flag inspired the colours of the Nazi Third Reich.

18/1/1871, William I, King of Prussia, was declared Emperor of Germany at Versailles.

 

Paris Commune set up, suppressed.

28/5/1871, The Paris Commune, set up on 28/3/1871, was brutally suppressed by French government troops. Urban warfare in Paris had killed 33,000 and left sections of the city in ruins. Other Communes in Lyons and Marseilles had also collapsed. The Paris Communards had failed to adequately man a fort defending the west of Paris.

21/5/1871, The Treaty of Frankfurt was ratified.

10/5/1871, Germany and France signed a peace treaty at Frankfurt. France surrendered all of Alsace and most of Lorraine to Germany. France also had to pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs to Germany, the equivalent amount that Napoleon I imposed on Prussia in 1807; a German army was to remain in France till this is paid. The British Prime Minister, Gladstone, protested that Alsace and Lorraine should not be handed over without a vote by the people living there. Prussia�s Prime Minister, Bismarck, placed no limit in the treaty on the size of France�s future army, gambling that France was already isolated and humbled by her defeat at Sedan.

28/3/1871, French proletarian radicals proclaimed a �Paris Commune�, backed by intellectuals and workers, hoping to exploit popular discontent at France�s humiliating loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. The French Government fled to Versailles. See 28/5/1871.

18/3/1871, The Commune insurrection against the French Government began in Paris.

1/3/1871, In France, Napoleon III was deposed and the Paris Commune set up.

 

End of Franco-Prussian War; France totally defeated.

26/2/1871. Prussia and France signed a preliminary peace treaty at Versailles.

17/2/1871, The Pact of Bordeaux was signed.

16/2/1871The French fortress of Belfort capitulated to the Germans.

28/1/1871. Starving and surrounded by Prussian troops, Paris surrendered to Germany. During the 5-month siege, balloons were used to maintain contact with the rest of France. Finally, a 3-week artillery bombardment destroyed all resistance. All the animals at Paris Zoo had been eaten (which one was eaten last?)

 

Seige of Paris, 9/1870 � 1/1871. Defeat of France by Prussia.

27/1/1871, German forces grew impatient with the length of the siege of Belfort and on this day General von Tresckow launched an attack on the city which was repulsed and the siege operations resumed.

22/1/1871, The Moselle railway bridge at Fontenoy was blown up.

19/1/1871, Germany defeated the French at the Battle of St Quentin.

15/1/1871, Battle of Lisaine, near Belfort; Germany defeated France.

10/1/1871, The Battle of Le Mans began; Germany defeated France.

9/1/1871, The Battle of Beaugency, near Orleans; Germany defeated France. Germany advanced towards Tours.

8/1/1871. Prussian troops bombarded Paris.

2/1/1871, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Baupame.

23/12/1870, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Hallue, near Amiens. German forces now advanced south west towards Rouen.

2/12/1870,Germany defeated France at the Battle of Loigny, near Orleans.

28/11/1870. The Germans in the Franco-Prussian War took Amiens.

9/11/1870, The Battle of Coulmiers, near Orleans; France defeated Germany.

3/11/1870. The Prussians besieged Belfort, 275 miles ESE of Paris. The siege continued until the armistice of 15/2/1871.

27/10/1870. The French at Metz, 140,000 troops, surrendered to Prussia after a two-month seige. In November 1870 the southern German states of Wurttemberg and Bavaria joined with the North German Confederation, ensuring Prussian political hegemony. Francois-Achille Bazaine (1811-88), Marshall of France and commander of the 180,000 men besieged at Metz, was accused of treachery and after a court martial at Versdailles in 1873 was sentenced to death. This was commuted by President Macmahon to 20 years imprisonment. In August 1874 Bazaine escaped from the island fortress of Ste Narguerite and fled to Madrid. His supporters maintained that Bazaine was a scapegoat for general French military inefficiency and for the failures of other Field Commmanders from more distinguished families.

7/10/1870, Gambetta, French Minister of the Interior, escaped the siege of Paris in a balloon.Reaching the safety of Tours, he encouraged the French troops.

28/9/1870. Strasbourg, under siege by Prussia since August 1870, was surrendered by the French.

19/9/1870. Siege of Paris by the Germans began.

 

Franco-Prussian War, 7/1870 � 2/1871. Prussia defeated France.

4/9/1870. France formed a Republic (The Third Republic) and a government of national defence was formed.

2/9/1870. Napoleon III of France capitulated to Prussia at Sedan. Fighting had lasted 44 days, and the 380,000 strong Prussian army had triumphed over the 235,0000 strong French army. Only a hastily assembled French National Guard stood between the Prussians and Paris. Empress Eugenie and the prince imperial fled to England. Napoleon III was held as prisoner in the comfortable royal apartments of Wilhelmshohe Castle. The French had sent a force to relieve their main Army besieged at Metz but this army, 84,000 men, 2,700 officers, 39 generals, surrendered to Prussia.

1/9/1870, (1) The Battle of Sedan; the Germans defeated the French.

(2) The siege of Metz began.

30/8/1870, Battle of Beaumont; Germany defeated France.

18/8/1870. Prussian forces defeated the French at the Battle of Gravelotte.

16/8/1870,The French lost to the Prussians at the Battle of Vionville.

13/8/1870, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Noisseville.

6/8/1870, Battle of Froeschwiller, in NE France; Germany defeated France.

4/8/1870. Germany defeated France at the Battle of Wissembourg, in NE France.

2/8/1870, Prussia had mobilised rapidly and now had 380,000 troops on the French border.

19/7/1870, France declared war on Prussia. The origins of this war lay in the vacancy of the Spanish throne, which the French regarded as their sphere of influence. There was a Hohenzollern (German) candidate for the Spanish throne, and Napoleon III demanded, not only the withdrawal of the Hozenhollern claim to the Spanish throne, but the guarantee from Germany never again to claim this position. In the Ems telegram of 13/7/1870 the Prussian King, in Ems, wrote to Bismarck declining to give such a guarantee.

France was unprepared for war and its army disorganised,and within a month the main French Army was besieged at Metz. See 2/9/1870. See also French Railways 11/6/1842.

 

29/2/1868, Ex-King Louis of Bavaria died in Munich, aged 81. Louis was a patron of the arts and his capital, Munich, was a centre of culture. Louis had an affair with an Irish dancer, Marie Gilbert (stage name Lola Montez). This affair provoked a revolution; Louis had to abdicate in 1848, and Marie died destitute in New York in 1861, aged 43.

 

Supremacy of Prussia 1861-69

17/6/1869 Wilhelmshaven, Germany�s first military port, was officially inaugurated.

3/2/1868, Karl Mathy, Baden statesman who worked for German unity, and who helped found the newspaper Deutsche Zeitung, which promoted the unification of the German states, died (born 17/3/1807).

1/7/1867. The German Federal Constitution came into force.

17/4/1867, The North German Reichstag adopted the new federal Constitution.Four years later all of the German Empire had adopted it.

8/2/1867, As Prussia became increasingly powerful under Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck and King Wilhelm I, political differences between Germany and the Hapsburgs of Austria, who had ruled Austria since 1278. This weakened Austria to the point where Hungary threatened to break away, and to save the unity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was forced to agree to a Dual Monarchy, where each State had a separate government and a convoluted system of joint Ministers to oversee the Empire. However this in turn alienated ethnic minorities within Austro-Hungary, ultimately sparking off demands for Serbian independence and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that led to World War One.

3/10/1866, The states north of the Mainz joined a new North German Confederation under Prussian leadership.Austria was finally excluded from the German Confederation.The formerly independent duchy of Nassau, Germany, 1,830 square miles, was incorporated with the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and Frankfurt Am Main.The southern German states agreed that their troops should come under the command of Prussia in the event of war.

3/7/1866, In northern Czechoslovakia, the Austrian army was routed by Prussian forces at the Battle of Sadowa (Koniggratz). The victory by Bismarck was sealed at the Treaty of Prague, by which Austria renounced her claim to Schleswig-Holstein, where Germany would later build a great naval base at Kiel and build the Kiel Canal linking the Baltic and North Seas.

29/6/1866, The Hanoverian army was forced to capitulate to the Prussians after a defeat in the Battle of Lasngensalza. King George V of Hanover had refused, contrary to the wishes of his Parliament, to agree to Prussian demands that the Kingdom of Hanover remain neutral in the war between Prussia and Austria. In 9/1866 Hanover was formally annexed by Prussia.

15/6/1866, Prussian troops crossed the frontiers of Hanover, Saxony, and Hesse-Cassel.

14/6/1866, The brief Austro-Prussian War began, over a dispute between Prussia and Austria over the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.

7/6/1866, Prussian troops entered Holstein.This was the start of the Austro-Prussian War.

8/4/1866. Bismarck arranged an alliance between Italy and Germany. Italy promised to join Germany against Austria if war broke out in the next three months.

28/9/1862, Bismarck made his �blood and iron� speech.

23/9/1862. Bismarck arrived in Berlin and was made Prime Minister of Prussia.

30/10/1864. By the Peace of Vienna, Denmark gave up Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg.These provinces came under Austrian and Prussian rule.

21/4/1864, Max Weber, German political economist, was born.

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

1/2/1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark. Although the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was pro-German, the British Prince Edward, the future King Edward VII � who had only months earlier married Alexandra of Denmark � was shocked; they supported Denmark. The Second Schleswig War began. This event ensured that under King Edward VII�s reign, British foreign policy was pro-Danish, anti-German, and Britain formed a triple entente with France and Russia against Germany.

2/1/1861, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia died aged 65. He was succeeded by his brother and Regent, Wilhelm I.

 

5/10/1859, Henry Prince of Battenberg was born (died 20/1/1896).

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

27/1/1859, Kaiser Willhelm II was born in Potsdam, near Berlin. He was the son of the German Emperor and the grandson of Queen Victoria.

7/10/1858, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia was certified insane, and his brother, 61-year-old Wilhelm, was made Regent.

10/7/1858, Napoleon III of France secretly met Count Cavour at Plombieres. The two agreed to jointly attack Austria.

20/3/1858, Johannes Gossner, German preacher and philanthropist, died (born 14/12/1773).

13/3/1858, Felice Orsini, Italian revolutionary, was executed for his part in the assassination attempt on Napoleon III in Paris.

14/1/1858, An Italian assassin threw a bomb at French Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie as they drove to the Paris Opera. The bomb, thrown by Felici Orsini, missed its target but killed eight bystanders and injured 100. Orsini planned the attack in London, causing anti-British sentiment in France.

24/4/1856, Philippe Petain, French Army Marshall, was born in Cuchy a la Tour.

30/7/1855, Georg Wilhelm von Seimens, German industrialist, was born.

For Crimean War see Russia 1850s

4/4/1853, The customs union signed by various German states was extended for another 12 years; Austria remained excluded.

29/1/1853, Napoleon III of France married Eugenie de Montijo in Paris.

1852, Napoleon III gave the Bois de Bolougne to Paris for a public park. It had been a royal hunting ground since the 1600s.

2/12/1852, Louis Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor of France as Napoleon III.The Second French Empire was proclaimed.

12/1/1852, Joseph Joffre, French Army Marshall and Commander in Chief on the Western Front, was born in Rivesaltes.

18/11/1851, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, died (born 5/6/1771).

2/10/1851, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French General who led the counteroffensive that defeated Germany in 1918, was born in Tarbes, France.

24/12/1850, Frederic Bastiat, French economist, died in Rome (born in Bayonne 29/6/1801).

26/8/1850, Death of Louis Philippe, the �citizen king�, who abdicated rather than face a middle-class revolt.

25/7/1850, Battle of Idstedt; Denmark defeated Germany.

31/5/1850, France passed a law requiring voters to be resident in the same place for three years before qualifying for a vote.This was to exclude migratory workers, who tended to be radical.

16/4/1850, Swiss waxworks show proprietor Madame Marie Tussaud died. She was born on 11/12/1761 in Strasbourg. She learnt the art of wax modelling from her uncle, Philippe Curtius. Before the French Revolution Mme Tussaud was art tutor at Versailles to Louis XVI�s sister, Elizabeth. After a period in prison she was tasked with making death masks from the heads of those guillotined, some of whom she recognised as friends. She left Paris in 1802, along with her waxwork models, and two sons from a failed marriage to a French engineer, Francois Tussaud. She spent 33 years touring Britain before opening a permanent display in London.

3/5/1849, Bernhard, Prince von Bulow, German Chancellor and Prime Minister of Prussia (1900-09) was born.

19/3/1849, Alfred von Tirpitz, German Admiral, was born in Kustrin, Brandenburg, Prussia.

For 1848-49 Schleswig conflict see Denmark.

20/12/1848, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed President of France.

11/12/1848. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President of the French Republic by a large majority.

9/11/1848, Robert Blum, German politician, was executed.

20/3/1848, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, abdicated.

17/3/1848, Protests in Berlin against the conservatism of Prussian ruler Frederick William IV.

 

Political, economic, unrest in France 1847 - 48

26/6/1848. Riots in Paris from the 23rd to the 26th June.

10/5/1848, The French Assembly spurned the proposal of Louis Blanc to establish a Ministry of Labour and Progress, a bold measure to implement Blanc's socialist agenda.

3/3/1848, Louis-Philippe of France arrived in England, following his abdication. Meanwhile economic depression and hunger, and discontent amongst the growing middle classes, was spurring revolution across Europe. Demonstrations occurred in Vienna and across Hungarian cities; ethnic minorities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire were demanding self-rule. Venice proclaimed independence from Austria.

2/3/1848, Universal male suffrage was enacted in France, giving the country nine million new voters.

28/2/1848, French workers demonstrated in the Place de l'H�tel-de-Ville, Paris, to demand a Ministry of Labour and the 10-hour day.

26/2/1848, The Second French Republic was proclaimed. See 24/2/1848.

25/2/1848, Lamartine rejected the proposed Socialist Red Flag as the new French flag, preferring the �liberal democratic� Tricolour to the �Blood Flag of anarchy�.

24/2/1848, The French monarchy fell as King Louis Philippe fled to exile in England. See 26/2/1848.

22/2/1848, In France a socialist �banquet�, or political meeting, to commemorate the birthday of George Washington was banned. This ban caused major unrest and riots in the following days.

28/1/1847. Severe depression, unemployment, and food shortages provoked rioting amongst agricultural workers in central France. See 27/2/1848.

 

18/12/1847, Marie Louise, 2nd wife of Napoleon I, died (born 12/12/1791).

15/1/1846, In France, Angelique Cottin, aged 14, of La Perriere, began to experience frightening paranormal phenomena in which objects including furniture violently retreated at her touch. Many witnessed these events, which lasted for some 10 weeks.

25/8/1845, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, was born.

18/12/1844, Ludwig Brentano, German economist, was born.

18/8/1842, Louis Freycinet, French navigator, died (born 7/8/1779).

8/5/1842, Jules Dumont, French navigator, died (born 23/5/1790).

7/5/1842, A large fire ended in Hamburg, Germany (began 5/5). It had destroyed 4,219 buildings including 2,000 homes, leaving a fifth of the city homeless.

28/9/1841, Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister 1917-20, was born.

30/1/1841, Francois Faure, President of France, was born (died 16/2/1899).

15/12/1840, Napoleon�s body was interred in Les Invalides, Paris.

7/6/1840, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia died at 69 after a reign of over 42 years. He was succeeded by his 44-year-old son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who ruled until 1861.

30/12/1838, Emile Loubet, 7th President of the French Republic 1899-1906, was born.

11/8/1837, Marie Carnot, 4th President of the Third French Republic, was born (died 24/6/1894).

30/7/1836, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris, was completed (commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate his victories from 1790 onwards). It is Europe�s largest triumphal arch, 50 meres high and 45 metres wide.

6/11/1836, Charles X, King of France, died (born 1757).

19/2/1836, Guiseppe Fieschi, conspirator to assassinate Louis Philippe,was guillotined.

2/3/1835, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, died. He was succeeded, as Emperor of Austria only, by his 4-year-old son, Ferdinand I.

20/5/1834, Marquis de Lafayette, Frenchman who fought with the American colonists for independence from Britain and was a key figure in the French Revolution, died..

7/8/1834, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, French inventor, died.

 

Unification of Germany 1828 - 34

1/1/1834, The German zollervein (customs union) now extended to all German states except Austria and the north-eastern states.

22/3/1833, A customs union, or zollverein, was signed between Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Prussia, and Hesse-Darmstadt. Austria was excluded. This zollverein covered 17 states with a total population of 20 million. Until now, 67 different tariffs and 13 non-Prussian enclaves, each with a different fiscal system, had hampered economic development. The zollverein was the idea of the economist Friedrich List, who returned to Prussia from the USA in 1832. Germany was also being united by the spread of the railways out from Berlin.

24/9/1828, Several German states founded the Commercial Union of Central Germany, signing a customs agreement with Prussia.

11/1/1828, The Prussian zollervein, or customs union, was extended to Hesse Darmstadt.From 1825 a new Prussian finance minister, Friedrich von Motz, had begun to extend the Prussian customs union or zollervein.Independent enclaves or city states had previously served as smuggling centres, hindering tax collection.In May 1829 Bavaria, whose ruler Louis I was keen on the zollervein, joined.See 1/1/1834.

 

1832, France ceased to brand its galley slaves with the letters TF (Travaux Forces).

28/6/1832, Metternich insisted on the German Confederation�s acceptance of the Six Articles. This uniformised the behaviour of sovereigns across German States, forbade public meetings, and introduced surveillance of suspicious characters.

18/10/1831, Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, was born.

9/3/1831, King Louis-Philippe founded the French Foreign Legion. Its headquarters was at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria. In 1962 the headquarters was moved to Aubagne, France. See 5/7/1830.

15/12/1830, Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke (born 18/2/1776) a Prussian general and the first recipient of the Iron Cross, died.

7/8/1830, Louis Philippe accepted the Crown of France.

 

King Charles X 1824-30, deposed after harsh rule, revolution

2/8/1830, The July Revolution in France ended. Charles X abdicated.

29/7/1830, French liberals opposed to Charles X seized Paris.

27/7/1830, Revolutionary riots in Paris, The July Revolution, sparked by the harsh policies of King Charles X.

14/6/1828, Augustus Charles died (born 3/9/1757).

23/4/1828, Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony from 1873 (died 10/6/1902) was born.

26/6/1826, Adolf Bastian, German ethnologist, was born in Bremen.

5/5/1826, Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, was born in Grenada., Spain.

13/10/1825, Maximilian I, King of Bavaria, died.

16/9/1824, Louis XVIII, King of France, died aged 68, leaving a strong and prosperous country, in contrast to its defeat under Napoleon. However his attempts at constitutional reform were thwarted by the ultra-royalists. He was succeeded by his brother, Charles X.

 

28/2/1824, Charles Blondin, French tightrope walker famous for his crossings of Niagara Falls, was born in Hesdin near Calais, as Jean Francois Gravelet.

1/4/1822, Louis Bertillon, French anthropologist, was born in Paris (died in Neuilly 28/2/1883).

28/11/1821, Henri Baudrillart, French economist, was born in Paris (died in Paris 24/1/1892).

5/5/1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died, in exile on St Helena, in the Atlantic (born 15/8/1769).The cause may have been arsenic poisoning, or it may have been stomach cancer, which also killed Napoleon�s father.

21/3/1821, Ernst Engel, German political economist, was born (died 8/12/1896).

29/12/1820, Antoine Montyon, French philanthropist, died (born 23/12/1733).

29/9/1820, Henri Chambord, contender for the French throne, was born (died 24/8/1883).

12/9/1819, Gebhard von Blucher, Prussian Field Marshall who helped the Allies to victory against Napoleon, died in Silesia.

27/5/1819, George V, King of Hanover, was born.

21/11/1818, France was admitted to the Quadruple alliance, now the Quintuple alliance (see 20/11/1815).France�s war indemnity was cut.

29/9/1818, The Congress of Aix La Chapelle began.

26/5/1818, A Bill presented by the economist and councillor Karl Maaseen was adopted. It abolished customs procedures within Prussia and lifted trade restrictions.

13/10/1815, Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies, was executed.

11/10/1815, Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, politician, was born.

22/8/1815, Pro Royalists won the first free elections in France.

8/8/1815, Napoleon set sail for exile on St Helena. He arrived there on 16/10/1815.

17/7/1815, Napoleon attempted to escape to America from Rochefort but was captured by the British.

15/7/1815, Napoleon surrendered to Captain Maitland of the ship Bellerophon at Rochefort.

7/7/1815, The Allies entered Paris victoriously a second time, and King Louis XVIII returned to Paris.on 8/7/1815.

1/7/1815, A battle between the French and the Allies at Ligny, near Fleurus, Belgium.

26/9/1815, Holy Alliance formed between Russia, Austria, and Prussia.

8/6/1815, Abandoning the idea of re-establishing the old German Empire, the 39 disparate German States formed a Union whose constitution was laid down in the Federal Act which came into force this day.However the rulers of States such as Bavaria, Hanover, Wurttemberg, Baden, and Saxony were unwilling to cede any authority to a central government.

 

Napoleon escapes Elba, attempts to regain power. The Hundred Days War. Exile to St Helena.

7/12/1815, Marshall Ney, a famous general of Napoleon, convicted of high treason, was executed by firing squad for supporting Napoleon at Waterloo when ordered by the Allies to arrest him.

20/11/1815, A second Treaty of Paris reduced France to its 1789 frontiers (see 30/5/1814), stripped her of the port of Savoy, and created an organisation charged with the collective security of Europe. Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia renewed their Quadruple Alliance and agreed to exclude the Bonaparte dynasty from French rule for another 20 years. An Allied army of occupation was installed in Paris. An Allied army of occupation was installed in Paris. Under this Alliance, each power agreed to supply 60,000 soldiers in the event of French aggression.

16/10/1815, Napoleon arrived at St Helena, see 8/8/1815.

25/6/1815, Napoleon abdicated in Paris for a second time.

21/6/1815, Napoleon reached Paris.

18/6/1815, Sunday; the Battle of Waterloo was fought, in driving rain., in the flat Belgian countryside. Combined British and Prussian forces, 15,000 and 8,000 respectively) led by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshall Blucher decisively defeated the French (25,000) under Napoleon. Napoleon miscalculated, underestimating his enemies.The French soldiers were aware of an advancing force on their right flank; Napoleon knew this was the Prussian Army, but reckoned he could defeat the British before they arrived, then re-deploy.He told the French Army these were more French soldiers.When the Prussians opened fire on the French it seemed as these �French� soldiers had changed sides; a cry of �treason� went up, and the French Army disintegrated.Napoleon himself retreated westwards, but was held up at Genappe, only four miles from the battlefield, as a mass of men attempted to cross the only bridge over the River Dyle. Finally, only minutes before the Prussian cavalry arrived at Genappe, Napoleon succeeded in crossing the bridge and galloped away towards Paris. See 26/2/1815.

16/6/1815, Battle of Quatre Bras. Napoleon defeated by Lord Wellington; however the French managed to prevent Wellington from aiding Blucher at Ligny this day, where the Prussians were defeated.

15/6/1815, Napoleon defeated the Prussians under Blucher at the Battle of Ligny, Netherlands. The Prussians lost 12,000 men, against French losses of of 8,500. Napoleon was hoping, by invading The Netherlands, to eliminate Britain and Prussia from the coalition against him.

23/5/1815, Ferdinand IV formally retook the Neapolitan throne.

20/5/1815, Murat fled to Corsica and the pro-Napoleon Neapolitans, now under the command of General Michele Caracosa, signed a treaty agreeing to the restoration of King Ferdinand IV.

3/5/1815, Murat was heavily defeated at the Battle of Tolentino by General Bianchi�s Austrian I Corps.

9/4/1815, Murat was defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello.

25/3/1815, Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, concluded a new alliance against France. On 10/4/1815 Austria also declares war on Joachim Murat, the King of Naples, who has allied himself with Napoleon. On 3/5/1815 Murat was defeated by the Austrians at Tolentino. Murat fled Naples on 20/5/1815 and entered France. On 3/6/1815 Murat was replaced by Ferdinand IV, the former King of Naples.

20/3/1815, Napoleon re-entered Paris; Louis XVIII had hurriedly left the previous night, and fled for Ghent. British fears that Elba was too close a place to France to exile Napoleon were realised.

17/3/1815, Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia mobilised 150,000 men each to fight Napoleon.

15/3/1815, On hearing of Napoleon�s escape, Joachim Murat, King of Naples and Napoleon�s brother in law, declared war on Austria.

14/3/1815,Marshal Ney, who had been sent to arrest Napoleon at Auxerre, instead joined him with 6,000 men.

7/3/1815, The first French troops rallied to Napoleon.

1/3/1815, Napoleon landed at Cannes, southern France, with a force of 1,500 men, and marched on Paris.

26/2/1815, Napoleon escaped from exile on Elba. He arrived in Paris on 20/3/1815.

 

2/12/1814, Marquis de Sade died in a lunatic asylum at Charenton.

1/11/1814, The Congress of Vienna opened, following Napoleon�s defeat.

30/5/1814. The Treaty of Paris returned France to its 1792 borders (see 20/11/1815). France renounced all claims to Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, and Malta.

29/5/1814, Death of Empress Josephine, first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

24/5/1814, Pope Pius VII, exiled by Napoleon Bonaparte, returned to Rome.

3/5/1814, Louis XVIII entered Paris, to rule as a constitutional (Bourbon) monarch, ending his exile in England.

28/4/1814, Napoleon departed from the port of Frejus for Elba.

11/4/1814, Napoleon officially abdicated, see 6/4/1814.

6/4/1814, Napoleon, granted a pension and sovereignty of the island of Elba, agreed to abdicate at Fontainebleau (he abdicated on 11/4/1814). He retained the title of Emperor. On 3/5/1814 Napoleon landed on Elba.

31/3/1814, Paris, encircled, poorly defended, and flooded with refugees, surrendered. Marmont was the French commander who surrendered.

20/3/1814, Napoleon was defeated at Arcis sur Aube, 17 miles NE of Troyes, leaving the way open for the Allies to occupy Paris.

12/3/1814, British forces under Wellington occupied Bordeaux, following, on 10/3/1814, Napoleon�s defeat at Laon.

17/1/1814, Murat defected from Napoleon�s rule, and the French domination of Italy was at risk.

31/12/1813, Prussian forces under Blucher crossed the Rhine frontier into France, pursuing retreating French forces.

30/12/1813, Danzig surrendered to the Allies, who then threatened to invade France if Napoleon did not come to terms.

26/12/1813, Modlin and Torgau captured by the Allies.

5/12/1813, Lubeck surrendered to the Allies.�����������

11/11/1813, Dresden surrendered to the Allies.

10/11/1813, Wellington crossed the frontier into France in pursuit of Marshal Soult.

18/10/1813. Napoleon was defeated at Leipzig, Saxony, by the Prussians, Swedes, and Austrians.The French lost Germany.Casualties totalled 110,000. See 31/12/1813.

6/9/1813. While trying to take Berlin, Napoleon�s forces under Marshall Ney were defeated by the Prussians under Bulow, at Dennewitz.

27/8/1813, Battle of Dresden, the last major victory of Napoleon.

15/6/1813, Britain formed a new alliance with Prussia and Russia against Napoleon.

30/5/1813, The French took Hamburg.

22/5/1813. Napoleon I defeated an allied army of Russians and Prussians at Bautzen, Saxony.

2/5/1813. Napoleon defeated a combined Russian and Prussian army at Grossgorchen, near Lutzen.

18/3/1813. Russian troops reached Hamburg, and on 27/3/1813 they occupied Dresden, capital of Saxony.

13/3/1813. Prussia declared war on France, but was defeated at Lutzen and Bautzen.

4/3/1813. The Russians reached Berlin, which surrendered without a fight.

3/10/1813, Clement Garnier, French economist, was born (died 25/9/1881).

15/1/1813, Francois Grevy, French President 1879-87, was born (died 9/9/1891)

 

Napoleon ousted from Spain

8/10/1813. Having liberated Spain from the French, British troops under Wellington invaded southern France.

12/8/1813. Austria declared war on France.England was giving financial support to Spain, and the Spaniards together with English troops were advancing from the south against France.Napoleon was therefore now fighting almost the whole of Europe.

21/6/1813. The victory of Wellington at Vitoria in the Peninsular War. Spain was lost by the French. Napoleon had deposed the Spanish monarch and replaced him with his own brother, Joseph. However this act provoked major Spanish popular resistance against France and led to Napoleon�s defeat there.

12/6/1813. Napoleon pulled out of Madrid.

2/11/1812. Napoleon�s forces re-occupied Madrid after a British force failed to capture Burgos, which they laid siege to in September 1812.

For more events of Peninsular War, see Spain-Portugal

12/8/1812. Viscount Wellington�s British forces entered Madrid in the war against Napoleon�s brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

22/7/1812. British forces under the Duke of Wellington defeat the French at Salamanca, western Spain, during the Peninsular War.

 

Napoleon attempts invasion nf Russia. Fails due to Russian scorched earth policy at Moscow

20/12/1812. The retreating remains of Napoleon�s Russian invasion force reached eastern Prussia.

26/11/1812, The Battle of Berezina. The Russians won; French plans to over-winter at Smolensk had been thwarted.

18/11/1812, Russian forces closing in on the retreating French in western Russia won the Battle of Polotsk.

16/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Krasnoi.

9/11/1812. One of the worst winters on record in northern Europe began, severely affecting Napoleon�s troops as they retreated from Moscow (see 14/9/1812). Napoleon�s army endured temperatures as low as �37 C for 27 consecutive days.On 9/12/1812 Napoleon�s troops reached the undefended city of Vilnius; some 35,000 French troops died during the last four days of the march westwards to Vilnius.Napoleon had already fled Vilnius on 5/12/1812, and returned to Paris, abandoning his army to the Russians. On 10/12/1812 the Russians reached Vilnius and vented their fury on Napoleon�s army.Most of the French had already died of cold, hunger, and disease by the time the Tsar entered Vilnius on 22/12/1812.

3/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Vyazama.

24/10/1812, Battle of Maloyaroslavets. The French had planned a retreat from Moscow through undamaged terrain, white they might gather sustenance. However the Russians positioned artillery to cover the bridges over the River Luzha, which the French had to cross to achieve this planned retreat. After a series of fierce battles, the French did capture the town, but the Russian artillery still commanded the bridges. The French now had no choice but to attempt a retreat through the devastated terrain they had previously advanced through.

23/10/1812, An anti-Napoleonic faction in Paris attempted a coup, believing Napoleon to have died in Russia.

19/10/1812, Napoleon�s forces began their retreat from Moscow.

18/10/1812, Russian forces defeated the French at the Battle of Tarutino, south of Moscow.

16/9/1812, French troops in Moscow destroyed what the Russian had left.

14/9/1812. Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned and burned by the Russians in their scorched earth policy.This denied Napoleon�s army much-needed winter quarters. Winter was approaching (see 9/11/1812) and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Napoleon failed to persuade Czar Alexander to come to terms, and his army began to leave Moscow to return to France on 19/10/1812.

For Napoleon in Russia see also Russia, 1812

For more events of Peninsular War see also Spain 1810s

7/9/1812. Napoleon�s forces marching to Moscow defeated the Russians under Kutzov at the Battle of Borodino, 70 miles west of the city. Each side lost some 40,000 men.

18/8/1812. Napoleon�s forces entered Smolensk.

16/8/1812, The Battle of Smolensk began. The Russians initially defended the city with a tenacity that the French had not anticipated, then managed to withdraw to avoid encirclement. The Russians destroyed all buildings and bridges as they fell back, leaving Napoleon�s forces having captured nothing but ruins.

24/6/1812. Napoleon began his conquest of Russia. France and Russia had been allies but relations had deteriorated between them. This day La Grande Armee crossed the River Niemen into Russia. On 28/6/1812 he captured Vilnius, capital of Poland. Napoleon headed the biggest army ever assembled up to that time, 614,000 men of at least 20 different nationalities. Within 6 months, 90% of them would be dead. Napoleon wanted Russia under Tsar Alexander I to join the French blockade of Britain. Napoleon�s army was welcomed as he entered Lithuania and Poland, as liberators from the Russians, who had taken control of these countries in 1795.

 

26/4/1812, Alfred Krupp, German arms manufacturer, was born in Essen, in the Ruhr.

28/11/1811, Maximilian II, King of Bavaria, was born (died 10/3/1864).

For more events of Peninsular war see Spain

31/8/1811, Louis Bougainville, French navigator, died in in Paris (born in Paris 11/11/1729).

20/3/1811, Napoleon Bonaparte�s son was born; he was nominated as the King of Rome.

1810, The Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, opened.

27/9/1810, (Spain) Wellington defeated the French at Busaco, in the Peninsular War. Wellington then withdrew behind the Lines (fortifications) of Torres Vedras which Wellington had built to protect Lisbon and waited as the French forces starved and retreated.

19/7/1810, Queen Louise of Prussia died, aged 34.

10/7/1810, Louise, Queen of Prussia, died (born 10/3/1776).

2/4/1810, Napoleon married Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian Emperor, having rejected Josephine because of her inability to fill the royal nursery.

17/2/1810, Napoleon annexed the Papal States.

4/2/1810, Czar Alexander refused Napoleon the hand of his sister Anna, aged 15.

16/12/1809, Napoleon divorced Josephine Beauharnais, because she has not given him a son, during their 13-year marriage.

28/7/1809, At the Battle of Talavera, in the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington was victorious over the French Admiral Soult.

15/7/1809, Napoleon Bonaparte annulled his marriage to Josephine. He married the Austrian Archduchess Marie Louise in April 1810.

6/7/1809, Napoleon gained victory at Wagram over Austria. Pope Pius VII was arrested.Austria had tried to regain its old position whilst Napoleon was occupied in Spain.See 14/10/1809.

5/7/1809, Napoleon annexed the Papal States.

10/6/1809, Napoleon was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII. On 6/7/1809 Pope Pius was arrested for this act.

21/5/1809, Battle of Aspern-Essling, fought between Napoleon�s French troops and the Austrians.Napoleon lost.Austria had reopened hostilities against France in 1809, with a re-organised army.However Napoleon reacted swiftly and pushed down the Danube to occupy Vienna.

17/5/1809, The French under Napoleon annexed the Papal States. Pope Pius VII then excommunicated Napoleon, who in return held the Pope prisoner.

22/4/1809, Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Eckmuhl.

20/4/1809, Napoleon inflicted a major defeat on the Austrian Army under Archduke Louis and General Hiller at Abensburg, Bavaria.

10/4/1809. Austria declared war on France and its army entered Bavaria.

12/3/1809. Britain signed a treaty with Persia, forcing the French out of the country.

16/1/1809, The British won a rearguard action against the French, under Nicolas Soult, at Corunna in the Peninsular War. Britain had invaded Spain in the hope of raising anti-Napoleonic support but found this lacking. Corunna enabled the British forces to be successfully evacuated. However the British commander, Sir John Moore, was killed in this battle.

3/12/1808, Napoleon entered Madrid. He installed Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain.

14/10/1808, The closure of the Conference of Erfurt (began 27/9/1808); a settlement of European affairs between Napoleon I of France and Czar Alexander I of Russia. It was also attended by the 34 princes of the Confederation of the Rhine. In return for territorial gains in Europe (Finland, Moldova and Wallachia) Alexander I agreed not to hinder the French war effort in Spain, and to assist Franc if it was attacked by Austria.

21/8/1808, British troops under Wellington defeated the French under General Junot.This was at the Battle of Vimiero, during the Peninsular War.The Peninsular War absorbed some 300,000 of Napoleon�s best troops, andwas ended when Napoleon heard reports that Austria, backed by Britain, was arming against him.

20/7/1808, Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, entered Madrid; meanwhile Spanish patriots defeated the French army at Bailen.

13/7/1808, Marie MacMahon, French President, was born (died 17/10/1893).

2/5/1808, The people of Madrid rebelled against Napoleon�s rule. The French had replaced the Spanish monarch with Napoleon�s elder brother, Joseph. Moreover, Marshal Joachim Murat proposed removing the children of the Royal Family to France. This precipitated a riot with a crowd assembled at the Royal Palace to prevent this removal. The French dealty with the protest harshly, killing many, which merely inflamed matters further.

1/5/1808, King Charles IV of Spain abdicated in favour of Joseph Bonaparte.

20/4/1808, Napoleon III, Emperor of France, was born.

23/3/1808, French forces occupied Madrid.

2/2/1808, French forces occupied Rome.

17/12/1807, The Milan Decree was issued.

29/11/1807, The Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil as France invaded Portugal, which had refused to join the Continental System.

11/11/1807, Britain extended its naval blockade to Russia after the Anglo-Russian alliance against France was broken, see 7/7/1807.

5/9/1807, British forces seized the North Sea island of Heligoland from Denmark. In 1980 Britain ceded the island to Germany in return for Zanzibar.

2/9/1807, Britain bombarded and destroyed the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, to prevent its use by France or Russia.

18/8/1807, Napoleon I created the Kingdom of Westphalia, and set up his brother Jerome as ruler.

7/7/1807. Napoleon signed the Treaty of Tilsit, making peace with Russia and Prussia.Prussia continued to exist as a kingdom, but was forced to cede all its lands west of the Elbe, as well as most of its recent acquisitions in Poland.Out of the former Prussian territory between the Elbe and the Weser, Napoleon created the Kingdom of Westphalia, installing his brother Jerome as King.

14/6/1807. Napoleon gained victory at Friedland Prussia, against the Russians, under Levin Bennigsen.

26/5/1807, The French took Danzig.

22/5/1807, Henry Edgeworth de Firmont, last confessor to Louis XVI, died (born 1745).

4/5/1807. The Finkenstein Treaty was signed between France and Persia. The French agreed to military aid and advice, to assist Persia in expelling the Russians from Georgia. In return Persia pro missed to assist France in any French invasion of British-held India.

18/3/1807, British troops occupied Alexandria, but were forced out again by the Turks.

17/3/1807, Karl Mathy, Baden statesman who worked for German unity, and who helpo found the newspaper Deutsche Zeitung, which promoted the unification of the German states, was born (died 3/2/1868).

8/2/1807, Napoleon�s army fought a combined force of Russians and Prussians at Eylau, East Prussia.Napoleon�s advance into Poland was halted, temporarily.

26/12/1806, Battle of Pultusk, fought 60 km NNE of Warsaw, between the Russians and the French. The French came off slightly better, although both sides claimed victory.

21/11/1806. Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree forbidding the importation of British goods and even excluding from harbours under his control or in friendly countries any vessel that had touched at a British port. This was effectively an economic blockade of Britain, causing British food prices to rise and the British textile industry to decline.

27/10/1806, French forces entered Berlin. Creation of the Confederation of the Rhine.Napoleon united the states he had created, including Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, and Berg.The Confederation of the Rhine had an independent internal policy but no foreign policy independent of Napoleon, and had to supply troops to Napoleon if required.The old German Empire ceased to exist politically; Germany became a mere geographical area.

14/10/1806. Napoleon�s army defeated the Prussians at Jena. The French General Davout also defeated the Prussians this day at Auerstadt.Napoleon entered Berlin in triumph and Frederick William had to flee to Konigsberg.

6/8/1806, Francis II renounced the crown of the Holy Roman Empire.

16/5/1806. Britain blockaded the European coast from Brest to Hamburg.

15/2/1806. France and Prussia signed the Treaty of Paris, by which Prussia closed its ports to British goods. Britain declared war on Prussia.

23/1/1806. William Pitt the Younger, twice Prime Minister (the first when only 24), died at Putney aged 47. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Napoleon was still strong in Europe. Prussia, who had been reluctant to join the Allies, now had to live with French domination of the puppet state of the Confederation of the Rhine.

31/12/1805. The French Revolutionary Calendar introduced after the Revolution was abandoned for the Gregorian Calendar.

14/12/1805, Nelson blockaded the French Mediterranean ports, and Spain declared war on Britain.

2/12/1805. Battle of Austerlitz near Brunn, Moravia. The French under Napoleon I defeated a combined force of the Russians and Austrians. Napoleon, with 70,000 troops, faced an enemy reinforced to 86,000 men by the arrival of new Russian troops. A Russian attempt to outflank Napoleon�s right was thwarted by Napoleon�s thrust towards the weakened Allied centre. The Allies lost 18,500 men to just 900 French casualties. Austria sued for peace, and was forced to abandon her territorial interests in Italy, also losing lands in the western Alps. The British Prime Minister, Pitt, was dismayed.The Russians withdrew from fighting France, and Napoleon now occupied much of southern Germany.See 26/12/1805.

14/11/1805. Napoleon�s army entered Vienna.

21/10/1805. Battle of Trafalgar. Death of Nelson. Nelson blockaded the combined fleets of France and Spain in Cadiz. The French Admiral, Villeneuve, attempted to break out, but British ships sank or captured most of the French and Spanish ships. The French had planned to link up with the Spanish fleet in the West Indies and so lure the British into giving chase across the Atlantic. However Nelson guessed at the French tactics and the Admiralty was warned. A British fleet under Calder found the French fleet off Cape Finistere and they put into Spanish harbours. The French fleet later emerged to sail, not for Britain, but to return to the Mediterranean. The French were intercepted off Cape Trafalgar, and destroyed in the Battle of Trafalgar. This destroyed Napoleon�s chances of dominating the English Channel, so prevented a French invasion of England.

20/10/1805, The outnumbered French army of Napoleon defeated an Austrian army at Ulm;27,000 Austrian troops surrendered. 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 Presburg, 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.

15/10/1805, Karl Mack, Prussian General, was forced to surrender to Napoleon at Ulm.

26/5/1805, Napoleon was crowned King of Italy in Milan Cathedral.

2/12/1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, by Pope Pius VII.

1/12/1804, Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine of Martinique.

10/6/1804, Georges Cadoudal, French Royalist, was executed in France (born 1771).

21/5/1804, The Pere Lachaise cemetery was opened in Paris.

18/5/1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Emperor of France. He was crowned Emperor on 2/12/1804 in the presence of Pope Pius VII. He had ruled in name since he was made Consul for Life in 1802, when a referendum gave him 3 million votes, with only a few thousand against. He had reformed the economy and government, and made France a great power again.

21/3/1804, A new civil code, the Code Napoleon, came into force in Paris.

20/3/1804, The Duc d�Enghien was shot at Vincennes for plotting to restore the French monarchy.

9/1/1804, Aurelle de Paladines, French General, was born in Malzieu, Lozere (died in Versailles 17/12/1877).

2/12/1803 , The French army set up camp at Boulogne, preparing to invade England.

18/3/1803, France and England were at war again, in contravention of the Treaty of Amiens, signed in 1802 See 25/3/1802.

2/8/1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was made Consul for life.

19/5/1802, France instituted the Legion d�Honneur, the highest award for civil or military distinction.

18/5/1802, Britain declared war on Napoleonic France.

25/3/1802, The Treaty of Amiens was signed between the British, Spanish, Dutch, and the French, ushering in a fragile peace between the 2 countries that lasted just over 12 months.Both counties were exhausted from continual warfare.Napoleon still detested the British and both countries built up their navies as Britain still feared a French invasion. See 18/5/1803.

15/7/1801, The Roman Catholic Church was re-established in France.

2/4/1801, Nelson put his blind eye to his telescope at the Battle of Copenhagen, aboard the Elephant, thus failing to see Admiral Parker�s command to stop fighting. He continued the action until the French-Danish fleet was totally subdued.

21/3/1801, At the Battle of Alexandria, The French made a surprise attack on the British near Alexandria, Egypt. The British under General Abercrombie defeated the French, but Abercrombie himself was mortally wounded.

2/3/1801, The British landed a force at Aboukir Bay, Egypt, to try and evict the French from that country.

9/2/1801, By the Peace of Luneville, the cession of the west bank of the Rhine to France was confirmed. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved.

See also Egypt for British-French military conflict 1801 in Egypt

24/12/1800. An unsuccessful attempt was made on Napoleon�s life at Rue St Nicaise by French Royalists.

3/12/1800, Battle of Hohenstaufen; the French defeated the Austrians.

26/10/1800, Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian general, was born in Mecklenberg.

30/9/1800, Napoleon signed the Treaty of Mortefontaine, settling a naval dispute between France and America.

13/9/1800, Claud Martin, French adventurer, died (born 4/1/1735).

5/9/1800, French troops occupying Malta surrendered to Britain.

21/11/1798, Jerome Blanqui, French economist, was born in Nice (died 1854).

 

France won control of Italy

14/6/1800. At the Battle of Marengo, near Alessandria, north west Italy, the French under Napoleon heavily defeated the Austrians during the French Revolutionary Wars.The French won back Italy, gaining control of the Po Valley, and then advanced into southern Germany.

9/6/1800, Napoleon won the Battle of Montebello, south of Milan.

2/6/1800, Napoleon�s army occupied Milan.

17/5/1800, Napoleon�s army reached Aosta. Italy, having traversed the Great St Bernard Pass.

14/5/1800, Napoleon�s army reached Martigny on its march south east into Italy.

 

24/3/1800, A French army under Kleber defeated the Turks at Heliopolis.

 

Napoleon became dictator

19/2/1800, Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself First Consul of the newly formed French dictatorship.

9/1/1800, Jean Championnet, French General, died (born 1762).

24/12/1799, In France, a public referendum led to the end of the French Revolution and the founding of the First Republic.

15/12/1799, France declared a new constitution.

9/11/1799, After a coup, Corsican General Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Consul, with Sieyes and Ducis. He made his name at the defeat of the British fleet at the revolt of Toulon, 1793.

 

Napoleon invades Egypt, strategic position against Britain and Ottomans

9/10/1799, Napoleon returned to France.

25/9/1799, Napoleon gained victory at Zurich.

18/9/1799, Napoleon gained victory at Alkmaar, Holland.

23/8/1799. Leaving the French Army under Kleber, Napoleon left to return to France.

15/8/1799, Napoleon was defeated at Novi.

25/7/1799. Napoleon gained victory over the Turks at Aboukir.

7/6/1799, Battle of Zurich. Napoleon defeated a Russian army.

10/5/1799, Napoleon withdrew from attacking Acre after an 8th unsuccessful assault.

29/12/1798, Formation of the Second Coalition against France; Britain, Austria, Russia, Naples and Portugal.

9/9/1798, The Ottoman Empire declared war on France because of its occupation of Egypt.

1/8/1798, At the Battle of the Nile, at Aboukir Bay, Admiral Nelson, on the ship Vanguard, destroyed 11 out of 13 French battleships which were the convoy that took Napoleon to Egypt.The French commander was Brueys, aboard the ship L�Orient.The crew were mostly ashore getting water, leaving no one to man the 120 French guns. This effectively trapped the French Army in Egypt.Five French ships with 5,000 men were sunk, 2 ships were captured, and 2 ships managed to escape from Nelson.On 10/2/1799 Napoleon left Egypt for Syria, occupying Gaza on 24/2/1799. On 7/3/1799 Napoleon captured Jaffa, where his soldiers massacred over 2,0000 Albanian prisoners. On 17/5/1799 Napoleon lifted the siege of Acre after failing to capture it.

21/7/1798, At the Battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon, soon after his invasion of Egypt, defeated an army of some 60,000 Mamelukes. Napoleon now intended to establish a French base in Egypt from where he could harass British-India sea traffic. He could also attack the Ottoman Empire form here via Syria. He sought to assure the ulema, the Egyptian intelligentsia, that he was no modern Crusader but had come to empower them and facilitate Egyptian self-rule independent of the Ottomans. However the Egyptians were not yet ready for such self-determination, and failed to follow the French initiatives.

2/7/1798, The French invaded Egypt, see 31/8/1801.

 

13/6/1798, Johann Baehr, German scholar, was born in Darmstadt (died in Heidelberg, 29/11/1872).

16/11/1797, Death of Prussian King Frederick William II, aged 53. He was succeeded by Frederick William III.

22/3/1797, Wilhelm I, Emperor of Germany, was born.

 

Napoleon begins invasion of Europe; plans to invade Egypt

11/6/1798. Malta surrendered to Napoleon Bonaparte. On 2/9/1798 the Maltese revolted against French occupation, forcing the French troops to take refuge in the citadel of Valetta.

19/5/1798. Napoleon left France for Egypt.

11/2/1798, French troops captured Rome.

17/10/1797. Napoleon made peace with Austria at Campo-Formio.Austria to cede the Belgian provinces to France in return for Venice, Dalmatia and Istria.

4/9/1797, A French army coup halted the plans of British backed Royalists in Paris.

25/6/1797. Admiral Nelson was wounded in the right arm by grapeshot, during the Battle of Santa Cruz, off Tenerife.He had the arm amputated that afternoon.

14/5/1797, Napoleon conquered Venice.

18/4/1797Napoleon signed preliminaries of peace with Austria.

13/4/1797, Napoleon captured Leoben on his advance from Italy into Austria.

22/3/1797, Napoleon captured Gorizia, in an advance from Italy into Austria..

19/2/1797, Napoleon captured Tolentino, Italy, where he signed a treaty with the Papacy (The Peace of Tolentino)

9/2/1797, Napoleon captured Ancona, Italy.

2/2/1797, Napoleon captured Mantua, Italy.

1/2/1797, Napoleon captured Bologna, Italy.

14/1/1797, Battle of Rivoli. Napoleon�s first decisive victory over the Austrians.

15/12/1796, A French fleet under General Hoche sailed from Brest to invade Ireland. However a storm dispersed the fleet off Kerry and the invasion was called off.

5/10/1796. Spain declared war on Britain by signing the Treaty of San Il Defonso, allying it with Revolutionary France. The Treaty was engineered by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, lover of King Charles IV�s wife Maria Luisa. De Godoy was opposed to monarchist Britain. Many ordinary Spanish opposed the Treaty, which diminished Spain as an imperial power and weakened her influence in The Americas.

30/6/1796, Napoleon marched into central Italy, taking Florence this day.

23/6/1796, Pope Pius VI signed an armistice with Napoleon.

3/6/1796, Napoleon advanced to Verona, thereby securing all of Austrian Lombardy.

17/5/1796, Napoleon advanced to Brescia.

15/5/1796, Napoleon occupied Milan.

10/5/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of Lodi.

28/4/1796, Napoleon reached an armistice with Sardinia.

13/4/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of Millesimo.

10/3/1796. Napoleon gained victory at the Battle of Lodi.

9/3/1796. Napoleon married Josephine de Beautharnais.

2/3/1796. Napoleon was appointed Commander in Chief of the Army of Italy and The Alps.

26/10/1795. Napoleon was appointed General of the Army of the Interior.

5/10/1795. Napoleon participated in defeating a Royalist uprising in Paris. He became Commander of the Army of the Interior.

20/8/1794, Napoleon was released, see 10/8/1794.

10/8/1794, In France, Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly arrested because of his connections with the Jacobins, a radical political group.

18/12/1793. The British withdrew from Toulon and Napoleon was appointed General de Brigade.

11/6/1793, Napoleon had to leave Corsica with his family and went to Toulon.

 

1/10/1795, Belgium was incorporated in the French Republic.

15/7/1795. The Marsellaise was officially adopted as the French National Anthem. It had been written by the French

Army Captain Rouget de Lisle in 1792, whilst he was stationed at Strasbourg.

27/6/1795, A force of French Royalists, under D�Hervilly and Puisaye, landed at Quiberon to try and start a pro-monarchist rebellion. They were defeated by General Hoche, all prisoners being shot.

23/6/1795, Off the port of Lorient, NW France, a British fleet under Lord Bridport defeated the French under Villaret-Joyeuse.

23/5/1795, In Paris troops suppressed a riot caused by food shortages.

5/4/1795, Frederick William of Prussia signed a peace treaty with France (First Treaty of Basle), to leave himself free to deal with his eastern frontier.The west bank of the Rhine was given to France.

1/4/1795, Martial law was declared in Paris as food shortages sparked riots.

2/1/1795, The French captured the Dutch fleet as it stood frozen into the River Texel. William V escaped to England as the French established a Batavian Republic.

17/7/1794, The Paris Commune, set up in 1791, was suppressed.

12/7/1794. Admiral Nelson lost his right eye at the siege of the French garrison at Calvi in Corsica.

26/6/1794, The French defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus.

1/6/1794, The Battle of the Glorious 1st June. The British fleet under Lord Howe defeated the French under Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, 700km west of Ushant.

8/11/1793, In Paris, the Revolutionary Government allowed the public to view the Royal art collection for the first time.

1/8/1793, The kilogram was introduced in France as the first metric weight.

 

Many executed as Reign of Terror progressed

10/10/1795, Joseph le Bon, French politician, was executed (born 29/9/1765).

7/5/1795, Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, French revolutionary, was guillotined (born 1746).

16/11/1794, Jean Carrier, French Revolutionary, was guillotined (born 1756).

28/7/1794, Maximillien Robespierre, 36, French leader of the Jacobins during the French Revolution, was guillotined in Paris. Anti-Jacobin sentiment rose. Robespierre�s zeal for use of the guillotine made even his former friends uneasy. See 27/7/1793.

10/5/1794, Elizabeth, daughter of Louis the Dauphin, born 3/5/1764, was executed.

28/4/1794, Charles Estaing, French Admiral, born 1729, was executed for his close relations to the French Queen.

23/4/1794, Chretien Malesherbes, French statesman, was guillotined (born 6/12/1721).

22/4/1794, Jean Epremesnil, French magistrate, was guillotined (born 5/12/1745).

12/4/1794, Jean Gobel, French politician, was guillotined (born 1/9/1727)

5/4/1794, George Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader, was guillotined for treason, nine months after his dismissal from the Committee of Public Safety which was ruling France.

24/3/1794, Jean Cloots, French Revolutionary, was guillotined.

7/12/1793, Madame du Barry, last mistress of King Louis XV of France, was guillotined by the Revolutionary Council.

4/12/1793, Armand Kersaint, French politician, was executed (born 29/7/1742).

29/11/1793, Antoine Barnave, orator of the French Revolution, was executed at The Tuileries (born in Grenoble 22/10/1761).

24/11/1793, Clement Laverdy, Fremnch statesman, was guillotined.

3/11/1793, Execution by guillotine of French playwright Olympe de Gouges, Horrified by the bloodshed that was characterising the French Revolution, she had called for a referendum that would let the people decide between a Republic or restoration of the monarchy. She was executed along with other moderate Girondists.

31/10/1793, Jacques Brissot. French Girondist, was executed.

30/10/1793, Claude Fauchet, French Revolutionary Bishop, was executed (born 22/9/1744).

16/10/1793, Marie Antoinette, born 2/11/1755, the Queen of France as wife of Louis XVI, was convicted of treason and guillotined in Paris. See 21/7/1793. Aged 38, she had been held in prison for over a year; since August in solitary confinement.

 

Start of the Reign of Terror, 1793

17/9/1793, Revolutionary France passed the Law of Suspects. This was a wide-ranging measure that authorised the arrest of anyone who had supported tyranny or federalism, former nobles and their relatives, also emigres. It was the basis for the Reign of Terror, and was repealed in 1795.

23/8/1793, France introduced the first national conscription, claiming all unmarried men aged 18 to 25.

27/7/1793, Maximilian Robespierre, Jacobin leader, became a member of the Committee of Public Safety, established to guard against an attack on France by neighbouring countries after the execution of King Louis XVI. See 28/7/1794.

17/7/1793, Charlotte Corday was guillotined for the murder of Jean Paul Marat, see 13/7/1793.

13/7/1793, Jean Paul Marat, French Revolutionary, was stabbed to death by a Girondist (right-wing) supporter, Charlotte Corday. Marat�s zeal for execution of royalty and government ministers had made him many enemies.

2/6/1793, In an early act of the reign of Terror (French Revolution), Jean-Paul Marat led the expulsion of 31 Girondists from the French National Convention.

31/5/1793, The Reign of Terror, in which thousands went to the guillotine, in the French Revolution, began.

 

20/3/1793, An army of peasant Royalists defeated the Republicans in the Vendee region of France. See14/3/1793.

18/3/1793, Austrian forces defeated a French Revolutionary Army at the Battle of Neerwinden.

14/3/1793, A force of counter-revolutionaries in western France was trying to restore the monarchy. See 20/3/1793.

7/3/1793, France declared war on Austria, and also on Spain on 7/3/1793.

1/2/1793, Britain declared war on France. The British economy entered a depression.

21/1/1793, The county of Nice was annexed to France. Monaco was annexed to France on 14/2/1792.

19/11/1792, The new French Republican Government offered to help any other nation that wished to overthrow its monarchy; Britain saw this as provocative.

6/11/1792, The French under General Dumouriez decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jenappes, Belgium. As a result of this battle, the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) were annexed by revolutionary France.

27/10/1792, France invaded the Spanish Netherlands.

30/9/1792, French troops took Speyer, in the Rhineland.

 

Final elimination of French Royal Family

21/1/1793, Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution, Paris, convicted of treason. The executioner was called Sanson. His trial had ended with the death sentence on 19/1/1793. See 16/10/1793.

22/9/1792, This day was declared the beginning of Year One of the New French Republic. A new �Revolutionary Calendar� was introduced, consisting of 12 30-day months divided into 3 10-day weeks. The months were given names corresponding to the prevailing weather or harvest conditions. An extra 5 days (6 in leap years) were added as holidays at the end of each year. This calendar ran in France until it was abolished in 1805 by Napoleon I.

21/9/1792. France formally abolished the monarchy and declared itself a Republic.

17/9/1792, The French Crown jewels were stolen in Paris.

19/8/1792, The French Revolutionary Tribunals were set up.

10/8/1792, The French mob invaded the Palace of Versailles. The French Royal Family was imprisoned. Napoleon participated in the assault on the Tuileries Palace.

 

20/9/1792, The Battle of Valmy.The Prussians failed to successfully attack the French, in wet marshy conditions, and retreated; the French considered it a victory.

2/9/1792, Rumours spread in Paris that imprisoned Royalists were planning a counter-revolution. This day mobs attacked prisoners being transferred between jails in Paris, and the killing then spread to numerous provicvial prisons. Some 1,200 prisoners were killed in 5 days.

20/8/1792, The Prussian army took Verdun.

14/7/1792. The Prussians threatened to invade France to restore the French monarchy. However an attempted Prussian invasion of France failed.

25/4/1792.The guillotine was first erected in Paris, at the Place de la Greve. It was first used to behead a highwayman called Pelletier. The guillotine had been designed to make executions more humane but swiftly became a symbol of the tyranny of the French Revolution. Beheading took less than half a second. In fact a version of the guillotine was in use in Ireland as early as 1307. During the French Revolution an estimated 40,000 people were guillotined. The last public execution in France was on 17/6/1939 and the guillotine was last officially used in France on 10/9/1977. See 20/3/1792.

24/4/1792. Claude Rouget de l�Isle composed the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise.

20/4/1792. France declared war on Austria. Austria was allied with Prussia but there was disunity between the two commanders. In 1793 England and Holland joined in against France, which was attempting to annex Belgium, an Austrian possession. Ultimately Austria received Bavaria as a compensation for Belgium going to France.

20/3/1792, The French legislature approved the use of the guillotine, see 25/4/1792.

1/3/1792, Leopold III, Holy Roman Emperor, died unexpectedly, aged 44. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Francis II, last of the Holy Roman Emperors.

6/10/1790, Leopold was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Frankfort.

20/2/1790, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, died. His reforms had provoked rebellion in Belgium and Hungary.

 

Prussia attacked the new Revolutionary French regime, failed

20/2/1792, The Battle of Valmy. French Revolutionary forces successfully drove back an invading Prussian force. This greatly boosted French Revolutionary morale.

7/2/1792, Austria and Prussia signed a military alliance against France.

 

French Revolution, King Louis XVI arrested and deposed

24/1/1792. In Paris, five days of looting ended in a riot as the cost of living soared.

12/12/1791, Marie Louise, 2nd wife of Napoleon I, was born (died 18/12/1847).

21/9/1791, The National Assembly announced that France was now officially a Republic.

9/9/1791. French Royalists took control of Arles and barricaded themselves inside the town.

4/9/1791, King Louis XVI was forced to approve the new French constitution, making him a mere civil servant.

27/8/1791, European monarchs backed King Louis XVI against the Revolution.

16/7/1791, Louis XVI was suspended from office until he agreed to ratify the new French Constitution.

21/6/1791, The French royal family attempted to flee Paris in disguise but are forced to return after being arrested at Varennes. The King, disguised as a valet, intended to meet supporters at Pont de Sommeville but they were delayed and the villagers got suspicious of the soldiers, who had to hide in the woods andgot lost. The King pressed on to Varennes, 142 miles from Paris, where he was recognised by a horseman sent by Lafayette, head of the National Guard, to look for him. Louis� powers were suspended by the Assembly on 25/6/1791. However Louis� brother, the Count of Provence, did succeed in fleeing Paris for Brussels.

26/5/1791, The French Assembly forced Louis XVI to hand over the State and Crown assets.

18/4/1791. National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris. On 26/4/1791 Louis XVI was forced to hand over all the assets of the Crown to the State.

13/4/1791. Pope Pius VI threatened to suspend all priests in France who swore allegiance to the State (see 13/1/1791) unless they recant within 40 days.

2/4/1791, Death of Count de Mirabeau, a moderate leader of the French Revolution.

13/1/1791. The French Assembly introduced a universal taxon rent and property values. The requirement for French priests to swear allegiance to the State stirred up rebellion amongst the clergy.

1790, The former nunnery at Longchamps, Bois de Boulogne, near Paris, was suppressed. The site became a racecourse and pleasure park.

27/10/1790. France adopted the decimal system of weights and measures.

22/7/1790, In France, the clergy were removed from the control of Rome, and Church property was nationalised.

12/7/1790, Reform of the French clergy, who must now be elected.

19/6/1790. The French Assembly passed a law abolishing the hereditary nobility.

15/6/1790, French Protestant militia massacred 300 Roman Catholics.

23/5/1790, Jules Dumont, French navigator, was born (died 8/5/1842).

8/5/1790, France began the process of metrication when its National Assembly approved Talleyrand�s proposal for a unified system of weights and measures.

4/3/1790, The modern day French departments were created by the National Constituent Assembly, They were drawn so as to break up older traditional historic regions, thereby emphasising national unity, and designed so that the entire territory of each department was within one day�s horse ride of the capital, for security.

21/1/1790, In Paris, Dr Joseph Ignace Guillotin demonstrated to the National Assembly of Paris a new machine for �humane� executions using a heavy blade falling on the victim�s neck.

21/10/1789, Martial law was imposed in Paris after a baker was killed by the mob, accused of hoarding bread.

5/10/1789, Parisian women, frustrated by bread shortages, marched on Versailles to demand the King move to Paris, where he could be monitored more closely.

27/8/1789, The new French regime (French National Assembly) drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen.

26/8/1789. Miners in the Pyrenees protested against their working conditions.

4/8/1789, The feudal system was abolished in France. Peasants attacked their landlords.

22/7/1789, A revolutionary mob murdered the Bailiff of Paris.

14/7/1789. Fall of the Bastille, Paris. It was stormed by the citizens of Paris and burned to the ground, at the start of the French Revolution. From 16/7/1789 the French nobility began to flee France. The Bastille had been built in 1369, and designed by Hugues Aubriot (died 1383). At dawn on the 14/7/1789 the mob had stormed Les Invalides, hoping to find arms to repulse an expected attack by soldiers loyal to King LouisXVI. They found 32,000 rifles but no ammunition; a rumour spread that the ammunition was at the Bastille. The Bastille was guarded by 80 soldiers deemed unfit for front-line duties, reinforced by 30 Swiss Guards, and with cannon. Neither the prison governor nor the army showed much will to fight the mob. Seven prisoners within were released.

12/7/1789, Fires burnt in Paris after two days of rioting. The population were angered by a threat to disband the Assembly.

11/7/1789, The Marquis de Lafayette presented the Declaration of Human Rights to the French National Assembly.

30/6/1789, The revolutionary mob in Paris attacked the Abbaye prison.

20/6/1789, The French Revolution began.See 5/5/1798. The Third Estate, excluded from Versailles, formed a new assembly at a tennis court nearby, to oppose the dominance of the aristocracy.

17/6/1789, In France, the Third Estate constituted itself as the French National Assembly. The Third Estate was the commoners, after the Clergy and the Nobility. These last two Estates, under 3% of the population, owned 40% of the land. They were also exempt from taxes, placing an undue tax burden on the middle classes.

4/6/1789, The Dauphin Louis, heir to King Louis XVI, died aged 7.

5/5/1789, The French King opened the States General Assembly at Versailles.The French middle class wanted to break down the monopoly of power and wealth held by the aristocracy.The French King felt insecure because of the unpopularity of his Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette, the bankruptcy of the French Treasury, and the increasingly democratic mood of the French Army following on from the American Declaration of Independence. See 20/6/1789. France had also suffered humiliation in the Seven Years War (1756-630, losing to Britain; France had lost her North American colonies, and bad harvests in 1788 and 1789 had almost doubled the price of bread.

28/4/1789. 300 workers at the Reveillon wallpaper factory were killed when troops opened fire on rioters there. The protest was over proposed pay cuts. France had been in financial crisis for months now, the state overburdened by an expensive aristocracy and clergy. On 22/5/1789 the nobility joined with the clergy in giving up their financial privileges.

29/11/1787. Louis XVI of France promulgated an Edict of Tolerance, allowing civil status to Protestants.

22/2/1787, France was nearly bankrupt, with a national debt of UK� 800 million.

23/12/1780, France was suffering a deepening financial crisis, in part caused by the costs of supporting the Americans against Britain.

France bankrupt, Rebvolution about to begin

 

17/8/1786, Frederick the Great, military leader and King of Prussia since 1740, died in Potsdam, aged 74. Under his rule Prussia grew from under 46,000 square miles to over 71,000 square miles, and its population rose from 2.2 million to 5.8 million. Prussia had a standing army of 200,000, well armed and disciplined. Britain often gave financial aid to Prussia, in its wars against France and Austria. He was succeeded by his inept 41-year-old nephew, who ruledas Freidrich Wilhelm II for 11 years.

8/8/1786, Mont Blanc, 4,807 metres high, was conquered by a local man, Dr Michel Gabriel Paccard of Chamonix, along with his porter Jacques Balmat.

27/3/1785, King Louis XVII of France was born.

17/10/1784, Napoleon, aged 15, entered the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He graduated a year later, coming 42nd out of 58.

26/4/1782, Marie Amelie Therese, Queen of King Philippe of France, was born (died 24/3/1866).

5/1/1781, France attempted another invasion of the Channel Islands (see 1/5/1779). This too failed and they never attempted to invade again.

4/7/1780, Charles, Prince of Lorraine, died (born 12/12/1712).

1/6/1780, Karl von Clausewitz, military strategist, was born, in Burg, near Magdeburg, Prussia.

10/8/1779, Louis XVI freed the last remaining serfs on royal land.

7/8/1779, Louis Freycinet, French navigator, was born (died 18/8/1842).

15/5/1779, Napoleon, aged 9, entered the Military School at Brienne.

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.

1/5/1779, France attempted an invasion of the Channel Islands. French troops landed on a beach on Jersey but were beaten back by the Island�s militia. See 5/1/1781.

27/7/1778, The Battle of Ushant, between Britain and France.

13/2/1777, In Paris, the Marquis de Sade was arrested, and later condemned to death. However he escaped from prison before the execution.

10/3/1776, Louise, Queen of Prussia, was born (died 10/7/1810).

10/5/1774, King Louis XV of France died aged 64 of smallpox, after a reign of nearly 59 years. He was succeeded by his 19-year-old grandson. He ruled as Louis XVI until 1792, with his Austrian-born Queen Marie Antoinette.

6/10/1773, Louis Philippe, King of France, was born.

3/8/1773, Marie Gontaut, Governess to the children of the French Royal Family, was born (died 1857).

15/9/1770, (see 15/5/1768), Corsica formally submitted to French rule.

19/4/1770, Marriage of King Louis XVI of France (1754-93) to Marie Antoinette (1755-93)

15/8/1769, Napoleon, Emperor of France 1804-15, was born in Ajaccio, Corsica; he died on 5/5/1821. He was the son of a lawyer.See 18/6/1815. Had he been born the previous year he would not have been French, but Genoese, see 15/5/1768.

15/5/1768. By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchased the island of Corsica from Genoa.Some Corsicans wanted total independence, but see 15/9/1770. Indigenous Corsicans had resented the tuyrannical rule of Genoa and wanted independence, under Pasquale Paoli,but France, allied to Genoa, defeated Paoli, who escaped to England. Genoa sold Corsica, having abandoned hope of subduing the island.

12/2/1768, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, was born.

7/1/1768, Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Napoleon and King of Naples and Spain, was born on Corsica.

15/4/1764, Madame de Pompadour, French courtier and mistress of Louis XV, died in Versailles.

23/6/1763, Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, was born on the French island of Martinique as Marie Rose Tascher de la Pagerie. Her marriage to Napoleon was dissolved when she failed to produce an heir.

21/5/1763, Joseph Fouche, French statesman, was born (died 25/12/1820).

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.

3/11/1762, Britain concluded a peace with France at Fontainbleau. See 10/2/1763.

See also East Europe and Russia for Seven Years War

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 armisticeon 24/11/1762 for the winter of 1762/3.

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.

5/1/1762, Elizabeth I of Russia died; her successor Tsar Peter III made peace with Prussia.This was fortunate for Frederick of Prussia because after the end of the Pitt Ministry in England, the English were moving towards making peace with France and therefore no longer giving financial support to Prussia.See 15/2/1763 and 5/10/1761.

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 16/11/1761, Jean Montgaillard, French political agent, was born (died 8/2/1841).

7/12/1761, Marie Tussaud, wax sculptor, was born.

5/10/1761, In Britain, Pitt resigned, and Britain virtually abandoned support for Prussia.

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.

22/1/1761, France communicated to Russia that it desired peace in the war against Prussia. Austria communicated similarly to Russia the following day. However Russia rejected this proposal, as its original purpose in eliminating the threat it saw in Prussia, would then remain unsatisfied.

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.

8/6/1760, Karl Bottiger, German archaeologist, was born in Reichenbach (died in Dresden 17/11/1835).

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

21/5/1760, Russia and Austria signed a secret convention, never shared with France, that would give East Prussia to Russia as compensation for its war losses in supporting the Austrians against Prussia.

20/11/1759, Naval battle at Quiberon Bay, France. Admiral Hawke�s British first fleet destroyed the French invasion fleet under Admiral Conflans, during the Seven Years War. The French had planned to invade Britain with a fleet of flat-bottomed boats carrying some 20,000 soldiers. However the British navy kept this invasion fleet bottled up in its home base of Brest, France. In November 1759 a gale forced the British Navy to return to Torbay, Devon; when the gale died down the French quickly escaped from Brest with 19 battleships. The British navy went looking for the French, as they spotted them another storm approached from the west. The French sought refuge in Quiberon Bay, assuming that the numerous reefs and rocks would deter the British from following. However the British did follow into the Bay. Many French battleships were run aground, wrecked or captured. The French lost 14 battleships and 2,500 men killed; the British lost 2 ships and 400 men. The French navy was broken, leaving Britain in commend of the seas.

9/11/1759, Edward Hawke withdrew from blockading Brest (19/8/1759); the French fleet set sail, to be defeated by tyhe British at Quiberon Bay (20/11/1759).

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

10/9/1759, Maximlian Montgelas, Bavarian statesman, was born.

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.

See also East Europe and Russia for Seven Years War

For British-French conflict in Canada, 1700s, see Canada

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.

6/5/1758, Birth of Maximillien Robespierre, French revolutionary who instituted the Reign of Terror, and was eventually guillotined himself.

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).

28/2/1758, Nicolas Molliken, French financier, was born.

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.

14/11/1757, Arnail Jaucourt, French politician, was born (died 5/2/1852).

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 41,000French 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.

6/9/1757, Marquis de Lafayette, Frenchman who fought with the American colonists for independence from Britain and was a key figure in the French Revolution, was born.

3/9/1757, Augustus Charles was born (died 14/6/1828).

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.

17/5/1757, Russian troops advanced on Konigsberg, Prussia.

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.

18/4/1757,Frederick of Prussia left his winter quarters and marched on Prague.See 16/10/1757.

11/12/1756, Theodore Neuhof, German adventurer and claimant to the throne of Corsica, died.

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. 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.

1/10/1756, The Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague).The Prussians defeated the Austrians..

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.

27/5/1756, Maximillian I, King of Bavaria, was born.

18/5/1756, Britain declared war on France. This was the start of the Seven Years War.

1/5/1756, Alarmed by the Convention of Westminster, (see 16/1/1756), the French concluded a defensive treaty with Austria, who was under threat from the Prussians. The Russians were also concerned at the Anglo-Prussian alliance and sought closer ties with Austria and France.

16/1/1756. George II secured an agreement, the Convention of Westminster, by which Frederick of Prussia guaranteed to help England if Hanover was attacked, and England promised to help Prussia if Silesia was attacked.This guaranteed the neutrality of the Prussian states under Frederick II in the escalating Anglo-French dispute.However it was also alarming to Russia, who saw the Treaty as a potential Anglo-Prussian alliance against them. See 1/5/1756.

Start of the Seven Years War

17/11/1755, Louis XVIII, King of France after the fall of Napoleon, was born in Versailles.

2/11/1755, Marie Antoinette, Austrian princess and Queen Consort of Louis XVI of France, was born in Vienna.

23/8/1754, Louis XVI, King of France, was born at Versailles, the only son of Louis XV.

23/1/1753, Anne Louise Maine, French noblewoman, died.

20/9/1752, Louise Caroline, Countess of Albany, was born in Mons.

8/9/1749, Marie Lamballe, French Royal Family, was born

19/7/1747, The battle of Assietta. The troops of Charles Emmanuel III of Piedmont halted the advance on Turin by a Franco-Spanish force, during the War of the Austrian Succession.

5/5/1747, The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II was born.

23/3/1747, Claude Bonneval, French adventurer, died in Constantinople (born 14/7/1675).

13/9/1745, Francis I became Holy Roman Emperor.

11/5/1745, The Battle of Fontenoy took place in Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Marshal de Saxe won a French victory over British and Allied forces. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British, Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the French. Cumberland�s army was beaten back with casualties of 7,000 and forced to retreat during the night towards Brussels. The British suffered further setbacks in Flanders and as troops were called back to fight the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart. The British made peace with France at Aix la Chapelle in 1748.

20/1/1745, Death of Frederick II of Prussia.

8/12/1744, Marie Chateauroux, mistress to King Louis XV of France, died (born 1717).

19/8/1743, Comtesse du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV, was born in Vancouleurs as Marie Jeanne Becu, daughter of a dressmaker.

27/6/1743, The Battle of Dettingen. The last battle in which a British monarch commanded an army on the battlefield. George II defeated the French at the Battle of Dettingen, in Bavaria, during the War of Austrian Succession.

22/8/1741, Jean Francoise la Perouse, French navigator, was born.

13/3/1741, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, was born.

See also events in Austria

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).

20/10/1740, Emperor Charles VI died unexpectedly. Maria Theresa, aged 23, became ruler of Austria. Frederick II of Prussia, taking advantage of Austria having a young female ruler, prepared to invade the wealthy Austrian provoince of Silesia. Meanwhile Bavaria and Saxony also had claims on Austrian lands (their claims supported by France), and Spain wanted the Italian provinces of Austria. Hungary supported Austria.

2/6/1740, Birth of Marquis de Sade, French writer who was imprisoned in the Bastille for his sexual perversions.

31/5/1740, Frederick William I of Prussia died aged 51. He had made his country into a significant military power with a standing army of 83,000 men. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Frederick II, who then occupied part of Silesia, starting a war with Austria.

21/4/1736, Eugene of Savoy died (born 18/10/1663).

4/1/1735, Claud Martin, French adventurer, was born (died 13/9/1800).

23/12/1733, Antoine Montyon, French philanthropist, was born (died 29/12/1820).

11/11/1729, Louis Bougainville, French navigator, was born in Paris (died in Paris 31/8/1811).

16/2/1728, Maria Countess of Konigsmark (Saxony) died (born 8/5/1662).

29/12/1721, Madame de Pompadour, French Mistress of Louis XV of France, was born in Paris as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.

24/7/1720, Financial crisis hit Paris as the South Sea Bubble collapsed.

15/4/1719, Francois Maintenon, 2nd wife of King Louis XIV of France, died (born 27/11/1635).

2/8/1718, A Quadruple Alliance was formed between Britain, France, Holland, and Austria, against Spain, after Spain seized Sardinia and Sicily, threatening another European war. Under the Treaty of Utrecht (11/4/1713) Sardinia had been assigned to Austria and Sicily to Savoy (see also 17/2/1720). However King Philip V of Spain, influenced by his wife Elizabeth Farnese of Parma and her advisor Giulio Alberoni, seized these islands. Admiral Byng was sent to defend Sicily, with Austrian troops. In a sea battle off Cape Passaro, he totally destroyed the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile French troops occupied northern Spain. The purpose of the Quadruple Alliance were, to maintain the terms of the Peace of Utrecht, for Spain to renounce any claim to the French throne, and to guarantee the Protestant succession in Britain. The four powers would also assist each other if any were attacked. Spain initially backed a Jacobite invasion of Britain, but after the dismissal of Cardinal Alberoni in December 1719 Spain changed policy and joined the Alliance, which provided a forum to discuss territorial disputes in Europe.

4/8/1717, A treaty of friendship was signed between France and Russia.

1/9/1715, King Louis XIV of France, the �Sun King� died at Versailles, of gangrene of the leg, after reigning for 73 years, the longest in European history, aged 77. He famously said �L�etat, c�est moi�. The five-year-old Louis XV succeeded him, and reigned for almost 59 years; the regency was in the hands of Philip of Orleans, aged 41.

19/10/1714, Reneee Crequy, French socialite, was born (died 1803).

7/3/1714, Treaty of Rastatt signed.

13/8/1713, Frederick William consolidated the Prussian State by an ordinancereducing the power and autonomy of Prussian nobles.

25/2/1713, Frederick I, first King of Prussia, died aged 55 after a 12-year reign. He had welcomed Protestant refugees from France, and spent on universities and public buildings. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Frederick Wilhelm I, who ruled until 1740.

12/12/1712, Charles, Prince of Lorraine, was born (died 4/7/1780).

24/1/1712, Frederick the Great, (Frederick Wilhelm I, son of Frederick I) Prussian king and military leader, was born.

30/11/1711, Claudine Mignot, French adventuress, died.

14/6/1711, The Jewish quarter of Frankfurt was destroyed in what was one of the largest fires in Germany before the 20th century.

17/4/1711, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, died of smallpox, aged 32. He was succeeded by his 26-year-old-brother, who ruled as Charles VI.

15/2/1710, French King Louis XV was born. His weak and indecisive rule set the scene for the French Revolution.

 

War of the Spanish Succession