Chronography of France & Germany ex
World War Two
See end of page for Monaco
World War Two in Europe, 1939-1945, click here
War Two in the Pacific see China/Japan
World War One 1914-18, click here
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)
Here for maps of Cholet 1978 and 2000 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)
Here for maps of Laval 1978 and 2000 (from IGN 1:100,000 maps)
Here for maps of Metz, 1899 and 1988 (from Encuclopedia Britannica 1910 and
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)
Here for maps of Vix (near La Rochelle) � disappearing wetlands and woods) (from
IGN 1:100,000 maps)
France, INSEE, statistics
Maps of Heligoland, Mediaeval
Maps of France, Germany, 843 � 880.
Maps of Germany at Treaty of Verdun and
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
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
.Growth of Prussia, 1415 � 1914
Maps of France, Germany, 843 � 880.
Maps of Germany at Treaty of Verdun and
For Dreyfus Affair see Jewish history
For ancillary dates of Clergy, Chancellors,
Electors, Jurists, Marshals, Military leaders, Politicians, Statesmnen, click
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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, 99� critically.
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
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.
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).
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
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
Merkel became Chancellor of Germany
8/11/2005, French President Chirac declared a State of Emergency, on the 12th day of riots in
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 which� unemployment 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
14/7/2002. A neo-Nazi attempted to assassinate French
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
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.
Chirac became President of France
of Berlin as German capital
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
The German Parliament voted to move the
seat of government from Bonn to Berlin.
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
7/7/1996, The German town of Konstanz elected a Green Mayor.
End of the
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.
Red Army, a West German terrorist group, blew up Alfred Herrhausen, head of the
Deutschebank in Frankfurt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
29/5/1994, Erich Honecker, leader of East Germany, (born
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.
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.
Deutschemark became the official currency of both East and West Germany.
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.
Germany held its first free elections since 1932.
on German reunification began in Berlin.
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.
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.
East German Parliament voted to remove the Communist monopoly on power.
13/11/1989, Hans Modrow was elected Prime Minister of East
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.
entire East German Government resigned, replaced the following day with Hans Modrow
as Prime Minister.
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
26/9/1989. Over 1,500
East German refugees occupied the West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw
Mikhail Gorbachev and
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.
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.
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
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
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
19/1/1983, The Nazi war criminal, Klaus Barbie, was arrested in Bolivia.
18/10/1982, Pierre Mendes France, French politician, died
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
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
Admiral Karl Donitz, who was briefly Fuhrer in 1945.
Germany banned the sport of hang-gliding, in case it was
used to escape to West Germany.
Germany re-elected Chancellor Helmut Schmidt with an increased
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.
people died when a tsunami hit Nice,
families fled East Germany by balloon.
29/7/1979, Herbert Marcuse, German philosopher, died aged
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
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
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
21/5/1975, The trial of the Baader
Meinhof terrorist group began. On 284/1977 they were sentenced to
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
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
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�s�
independence 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
11/5/1972, In West Germany, The �Red Army
Faction� set off a bomb at the American 5th Army Corps base.
Mesmer succeeded Jacques Chaban-Delmas as Prime Minister of
Guedj, French Socialist Party politician, was born.
3/9/1971, The USA,
France and the USSR
signed the Berlin Agreement on
communications between West Berlin and West Germany.
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
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.�
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
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
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.
Gaulle won massive support in French elections.
French Government banned demonstrations and dissolved 11 student organisations,
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.
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
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
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
1/7/1966, France withdrew its armed forces from NATO.
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
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
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�.
In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian
Socialist and Free Democrats was formed.
Berlin Wall, construction
57 people escaped from East to West Berlin through a 98 metre tunnel under the
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
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
Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle. Plans for Algerian independence, opposed
4/9/1963, Robert Schuman, French Prime Minister, died.
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
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
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,
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
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
Crisis 1956 see Egypt
16/10/1956, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Foreign Secretary
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
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
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
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
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
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.
20/1/1946. De Gaulle
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.�
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
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
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.
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;
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
7/2/1946. Hess was on trial at Nuremberg for war crimes.
8/1/1946. The trial of Goering and Von Ribbentrop
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,
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
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.
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.
Control Commission set limits on the level of German industrial production.
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
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.
Potsdam Conference began, attended
by Allied leaders Truman, Stalin, and Churchill (later replaced
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
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
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
31/3/1939. The British Prime Minister, Neville
Chamberlain, pledged to defend Poland, if attacked by Germany; so
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
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.
issued an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding the return of Memel, ceded by
Germany in 1919.
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
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.
Hungarian leaders, Imredy and Kanya, were summoned to Germany.
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
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
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
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
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)
Benes of Czechoslovakia resigned.
annexed the Sudetenland, see
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,
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.
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.
mobilised its forces.
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.
ordered 400,000 troops to the Austro-German border.
talks on the Sudeten question. President Benes was urged to make concessions.
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.
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.
Germans walked out of the Czech Parliament following a ban on political
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.
Nazis rioted in Czechoslovakia.
19/5/1935. The Nazi Party made gains in elections in the
1936-38, Nazi Germany annexes 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.
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.
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
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.
of Nazi power in Germany; political, cultural
Nazi Germany decreed that Jewish-owned businesses were forbidden from changing
4/2/1938. Hitler took over as War Minister in Germany.
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
of whom 56,545 died in the gas chambers.
For details of Nazi
anti-Semitism, see Judaism, history
War Minister Werner
von Blomberg began a three-day visit to Italy to discuss
German-Italian military ties.
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.
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
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
Owens, won four gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400
metres relay, and the long jump. After Owens�s
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
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
30/11/1935. Non-belief in Nazism was made legal grounds for divorce
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
8/5/1936, Oswald Spengler, German historian, died aged
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
(1888 � 1934), King of Yugoslavia since 1921, was assassinated by Croatian
terrorists from the Ustase Movement in Marseilles. The French Foreign Minister,
Barthou, was also killed. Alexander I was succeeded by his 11-year old
son Peter II
(1893-1976) acted as Regent until 27/3/1941; however just a
fortnight after this, Peter II was forced into exile by invading
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
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
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.
and Eden met in Moscow to discuss German
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 European� powers protested but did nothing else.
15/3/1935. France extended
compulsory military service to two years.
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
1934, Nazi Germany
began the Erzengungsslacht program to
make the country self-sufficient in food. By 1937 Germany was producing 90% of the food
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.
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
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
30/7/1934, Kurt von Schuschnigg was appointed Chancellor
27/7/1934, Louis HG Lyautey, French Minister of Defence
1916-17, died aged 79
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
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.�
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
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
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
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
14/10/1933. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations.
23/10/1933, Albert Sarraut became Prime Minister of
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
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
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
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
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.
�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
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
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
was appointed as Nazi Minister of
Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.
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
31/1/1933, Edouard Daladier became Prime Minister of
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
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
8/5/1932, The Left gained around 100 seats in French
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%.
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
6/1/1932, Andre Maginot, French
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Nazi Party won elections in the state of Hesse.
17/10/1931, 100 were
injured in fighting between Nazis and Communists in Braunschweig, Germany.
Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and German Nationalist leader Alfred
Hugenberg agreed to cooperate.
formed a customs union with Austria. See 25/3/1931.
announced plans for a customs union with Austria, in defiance of the terms of
the Treaty of Versailles.� France and Britain strongly objected. See
2/2/1931. The Nazis demanded that Germany withdraw from the
League of Nations.
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
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.
Frick was appointed Minister for Education and the Interior in
Thuringia, the first Nazi party member
to become a Minister in State Government.
Nazi Party won municipal elections in Bavaria.
7/11/1931, French police launched large raids against
13/5/1931, In France, Paul Doumier was elected President.
1929 - 31,
German banking and unemployment Crisis (see Hyperinflation 1923-24 below)
France, and the USA renewed credits for Germany to help it through financial
German banks closed till 5/8/1931 following the collapse of Danatbank.
bank failure (Danatbank) caused the closure of all German banks.
Austria, the bankruptcy of
Credit-Anstalt began Europe�s financial collapse.
unemployment reached almost 5 million.
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
15/7/1930, Jacques Derrida, French philosopher, was born
17/5/1930, French Prime Minister Andr� Tardieu decided to
withdraw the last French troops from the Rhineland (they departed by
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,
22/9/1929. Communists and Nazis fought on the streets of
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
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.
Muller, Social Democrat, was appointed Chancellor following the
resignation of Wilhelm
Marx on 13/6/1928.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
10/4/1925, In France, Paul Painleve became Prime Minister after the
defeat of Edouard
26/3/1925, Hindenburg was elected President of Germany.
15/1/1925, After a month of intense political negotiations in
Luther (Independent) succeeded Wilhelm Marx as Chancellor, and Gustav
Stresemann became Foreign Minister.
� 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
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.
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.
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.
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
1/6/1924, Raymond Poincare resigned as Prime Minister of
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.
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
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 goods�
to 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
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%.
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
inflation soared in Germany, �1 bought over 30,000 German Marks. See 1/2/1923.
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
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
24/6/1922, German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, aged 54, was
murdered by anti-Semitic
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.
and France concluded a 20-year alliance.
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.
Rathenau was appointed Foreign Minister.
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 Walter� Rathenau 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.
Reparations Crises 1921-34. Terms eased, Allied occupation ended
27/4/1934, Britain and France warned Germany not to
default on reparations payments.
Switzerland, the Allies voted to ease Germany�s economic crisis by suspending
the repayment of war debts.
German Chancellor Heinrich Bruning declared that Germany could
not, and would not, resume Reparations payments.
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
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.
Allies and Germany accepted the Dawes Plan, for a revised timetable of
ten-nation summit agreed a plan drawn up by US banker Charles Dawes, designed to
assist Germany�s economy and fulfil reparation payments.
troops occupied Bonn and Wiesbaden.
30/9/1923, A German uprising in Dusseldorf against French occupation of The
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.
defaulted on reparations payments (see 26/12/1922), and French and Belgian
troops occupied Essen and The Ruhr.
Reparation Commission accused Germany of intentional shortfalls in wood and
coal deliveries to France.� See
13/1/1922, At a
conference at Cannes, the Allies agreed to postpone Germany�s reparation
sought a moratorium on reparations.
Demolition of the great fortress of Heligoland was completed.
troops pulled out of the Ruhr.
4/5/1921. France invaded
the Ruhr to enforce reparations.
mobilised its troops in preparation for an invasion of the Ruhr.
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.
pleaded in vain to the USA for aid on reparations. On 27/4/1921 reparations
were set at �6.65 billion.
defaulted on reparations.
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.
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.
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.
agitation in western Europe, 1918 - 23
23/10/1923, A Communist
uprising occurred in Hamburg.
in Hamburg led by Ernst Th�lmann were secretly called on to
24/3/1921, Pro-Communist riots in Hamburg, Germany.
Party was founded at Tours.
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.
Spartacus League initiated a week of revolt in Berlin. Led by Rosa Luxembburg
Leibknecht, they wanted a Communist workers State�
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.
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.
Briand formed a Government.
10/12/1920, Woodrow Wilson
Bourgeois were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
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
Leipzig, war trials began at the German Supreme Court.
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
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.
Talks in Paris concluded, see 18/1/1919.
12/7/1919, Britain and France authorised the
resumption of commercial relations with Germany.
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
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.
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.
conference shared out former German colonies.
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
arrived in Paris for the Peace talks, see 18/1/1919.
troops occupied Cologne.
British Prime Minister demanded that the ex-German Kaiser be prosecuted by an
2/12/1918, One of the
last acts of the British War Cabinet; it demanded the extradition of the German
1/12/1918. The British
Second Army entered Germany.
occupation of Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ended, see 6/12/1916.
troops entered Strasbourg.
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
19/3/1920. In Germany, Socialists rebelled and captured Essen.
13/3/1920. A pro-Royalist coup was attempted in Berlin, led by
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
31/7/1919. Germany adopted the Weimar Constitution, named after the town where the constitution
19/2/1919, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was shot by an
23/1/1919. The Socialists won the German elections.
23/12/1918, Helmut Schmidt, German leader, was born (died
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
18/12/1913, Willy Brandt, German Chancellor, was born in Lubeck as Karl
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
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
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.
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.
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
8/3/1911, Britain stated it would not assist France
if it was attacked by Germany.
Reichstag voted to increase the German Army by half a million men.
joined the arms race by announcing it was to spend �120 million on new naval
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
14/6/1908, A fourth German naval Bill authorised
expenditure on four more large naval vessels.
decided to build more battleships.
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.
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
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
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
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
13/9.1908, In Germany the Social Democrats staged a rally at
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,
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
Joyce, or �Lord Haw Haw�, was born in Brooklyn, New York
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.
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
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
29/11/1905, Marcel Lefebvre, French Roman Catholic Bishop,
was born (died 1991)
25/9/1905, Jacques Cavaignac, French politician, died
13/9/1905, Rene Goblet, French politician, died (born
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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).
France and Italy agreed to respect each
other�s sphere of influence in North Africa.
In Germany, a woman hurled an axe at Kaiser
Wilhelm, but failed to kill him.
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
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
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
16/2/1899, Francois Faure, President of France, died
6/2/1899, Georg Caprivi, German statesman (born
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
Goebbels, Nazi political leader and
propagandist, was born in
Rheydt, son of a factory foreman.
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
26/10/1896, Paul Challemel-Lacour, French politician, died
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
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
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
President of France, Marie Francois Carnot, was stabbed to death at
Lyons by an Italian anarchist.
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
22/8/1893, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha, died
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
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,
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
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
9/9/1891, Francois Grevy, French President 1879-87, died
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
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.
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,
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 Berlin� He 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.
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
29/6/1886, Robert Schuman,
French politician and Prime Minister, was born in Luxembourg.
13/6/1886, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, drowned, probably
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,
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
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
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
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
29/8/1871, Albert Lebrun, French President, was born.
7/4/1870, Gustav Landauer, German anarchist, was born.
the unified German State, centred on Berlin
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.
III was deposed and the Paris Commune set up.
End of Franco-Prussian War; France totally
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
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
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
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
28/11/1870. The Germans in the
Franco-Prussian War took Amiens.
9/11/1870, The Battle of Coulmiers, near Orleans; France defeated
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
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
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
4/8/1870. Germany defeated
France at the Battle of Wissembourg, in NE France.
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.
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
29/2/1868, Ex-King Louis of Bavaria died in Munich, aged 81.
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.
of Prussia 1861-69
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
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
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
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.
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.�
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.
troops crossed the frontiers of Hanover, Saxony, and
14/6/1866, The brief
Austro-Prussian War began, over a
dispute between Prussia and Austria over the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
troops entered Holstein.� This was the
start of the Austro-Prussian War.
arranged an alliance between Italy and Germany.
Italy promised to join Germany against Austria if war broke out in the next
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
10/7/1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed.
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
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.
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
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
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.
1848-49 Schleswig conflict see Denmark.
20/12/1848, Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte was proclaimed President of France.
Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President of the French Republic by a
9/11/1848, Robert Blum, German politician, was
20/3/1848, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, abdicated.
17/3/1848, Protests in Berlin against the conservatism of
Prussian ruler Frederick
Political, economic, unrest in France 1847 - 48
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.
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�.
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
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
15/12/1840, Napoleon�s body was interred in Les Invalides,
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
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.
of Germany 1828 - 34
1/1/1834, The German zollervein (customs
union) now extended to all German states except Austria and the north-eastern
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.
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
1832, France ceased to brand its
galley slaves with the letters TF (Travaux Forces).
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.
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
27/7/1830, Revolutionary riots in Paris, The July Revolution, sparked by the harsh
policies of King
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
5/5/1826, Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, was born in
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
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
21/3/1821, Ernst Engel, German political economist, was
born (died 8/12/1896).
29/12/1820, Antoine Montyon, French philanthropist, died
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
13/10/1815, Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies, was
11/10/1815, Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, politician, was
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
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,
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.
escapes Elba, attempts to regain power. The Hundred Days War. Exile to St
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.
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
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.
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
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
succeeded in crossing the bridge and galloped away towards Paris. See
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
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
was heavily defeated at the Battle of Tolentino by General Bianchi�s Austrian I
9/4/1815, Murat was defeated at the
Battle of Occhiobello.
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
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
Russia, Austria and Prussia mobilised 150,000 men each to fight Napoleon.
hearing of Napoleon�s
Murat, King of Naples and Napoleon�s brother in law, declared war on
who had been sent to arrest Napoleon at Auxerre, instead joined him with
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
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
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, 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.
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
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
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.
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
liberated Spain from the French, British troops under Wellington invaded southern
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
Wellington�s British forces entered Madrid in the war against Napoleon�s
forces under the Duke of Wellington defeat the French at Salamanca, western Spain, during the Peninsular War.
attempts invasion nf Russia. Fails due to Russian scorched earth policy at
retreating remains of Napoleon�s Russian invasion force reached eastern Prussia.
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.
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
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.
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.
forces entered Smolensk.
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
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
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
had built to protect Lisbon and waited as the French forces starved and
19/7/1810, Queen Louise of Prussia died, aged 34.
10/7/1810, Louise, Queen of Prussia, died (born
2/4/1810, Napoleon married Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian
Emperor, having rejected Josephine because of her inability to fill the
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
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.
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
Louis and General Hiller at
10/4/1809. Austria declared war on France and its army
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,
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
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, and� was 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.
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
Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil as France invaded Portugal, which
had refused to join the Continental System.
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
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.
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
troops occupied Alexandria,
but were forced out again by the Turks.
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
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
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
6/8/1806, Francis II renounced the crown of the Holy
16/5/1806. Britain blockaded the European coast from Brest to
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Napoleon won the Battle of Montebello,
south of Milan.
Napoleon�s army occupied Milan.
Napoleon�s army reached Aosta. Italy,
having traversed the Great St Bernard Pass.
Napoleon�s army reached Martigny on its
march south east into Italy.
French army under Kleber defeated the Turks at Heliopolis.
Napoleon became dictator
Bonaparte appointed himself First
Consul of the newly formed French dictatorship.
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.
declared a new constitution.
9/11/1799, After a
coup, Corsican General
was appointed Consul, with Sieyes and Ducis. He made his name at the
defeat of the British fleet at the revolt of Toulon, 1793.
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.
the French Army under Kleber, Napoleon
left to return to France.
was defeated at Novi.
25/7/1799. Napoleon gained victory over the Turks at Aboukir.
7/6/1799, Battle of
defeated a Russian army.
10/5/1799, Napoleon withdrew from attacking Acre after an 8th
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.
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.
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
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
14/5/1797, Napoleon conquered Venice.
18/4/1797� Napoleon 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
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,
2/2/1797, Napoleon captured Mantua,
1/2/1797, Napoleon captured Bologna,
14/1/1797, Battle of
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.
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
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
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
15/5/1796, Napoleon occupied Milan.
10/5/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of
28/4/1796, Napoleon reached an
armistice with Sardinia.
13/4/1796, Napoleon won the Battle of
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
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
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
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
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
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).
Fouquier-Tinville, French revolutionary, was guillotined (born 1746).
French Revolutionary, was guillotined (born 1756).
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.
daughter of Louis
the Dauphin, born 3/5/1764, was executed.
Estaing, French Admiral, born 1729, was executed for his close relations
to the French Queen.
Malesherbes, French statesman, was guillotined (born 6/12/1721).
Epremesnil, French magistrate, was guillotined (born 5/12/1745).
French politician, was guillotined (born 1/9/1727)
Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader, was guillotined
for treason, nine months after his dismissal from the Committee of Public
Safety which was ruling France.
French Revolutionary, was guillotined.
Barry, last mistress of King Louis XV of France, was guillotined by the Revolutionary
Kersaint, French politician, was executed (born 29/7/1742).
Barnave, orator of the French Revolution, was executed at The Tuileries (born
in Grenoble 22/10/1761).
Laverdy, Fremnch statesman, was guillotined.
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.
Brissot. French Girondist,
Fauchet, French Revolutionary Bishop, was executed (born 22/9/1744).
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
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.
France introduced the first national
conscription, claiming all unmarried men aged 18 to 25.
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.
Corday was guillotined for the murder of Jean Paul Marat, see 13/7/1793.
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.
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
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
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
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
27/10/1792, France invaded the Spanish Netherlands.
30/9/1792, French troops took Speyer, in the Rhineland.
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
21/9/1792. France formally
abolished the monarchy and declared itself a Republic.
French Crown jewels were stolen in Paris.
French Revolutionary Tribunals were set up.
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.
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
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
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.
Revolution, King Louis XVI arrested and deposed
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.
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.
monarchs backed King
Louis XVI against the Revolution.
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 and� got 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
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.
French Assembly introduced a universal tax�
on 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
Protestant militia massacred 300 Roman Catholics.
23/5/1790, Jules Dumont, French navigator, was born (died
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
21/10/1789, Martial law was imposed in Paris after a baker was
killed by the mob, accused of hoarding bread.
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.
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
Louis� XVI. 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
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
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
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 ruled� as 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
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
4/7/1780, Charles, Prince of Lorraine, died (born
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
7/8/1779, Louis Freycinet, French navigator, was born
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.
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
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
19/4/1770, Marriage of King Louis XVI of France (1754-93) to Marie
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
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
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.
concluded a peace with France at Fontainbleau. See 10/2/1763.
See also East Europe and Russia for Seven Years War
Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Freiburg.� The war was making Austria bankrupt and
Austria was questioning whether the war was worth it for the recovery of one
province.� Austria and Prussia agreed on
an armistice� on 24/11/1762 for the
winter of 1762/3.
Austrians under Daun
were defeated by Prussia at Schweidnitz.
Austrians under Daun
were defeated by Prussia at Reichenbach.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prussia won the Battle of Torgau against the Austrians but failed to
follow up this success and achieve his objective of capturing Dresden.
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.
The Austrians under Laudon captured Glatz from Prussia.
German archaeologist, was born in Reichenbach (died in Dresden 17/11/1835).
The Austrians under Laudon defeated the Prussians at Landshut.
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.
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).
Austrians under Daun
took Dresden from the Prussians.
Montgelas, Bavarian statesman, was born.
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).
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,
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.
Russians under Saltykov
defeated 26,000 Prussians under von Wedel at Zullichau.
French, under the Duc de Broglie, took Minden on the River
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
British-French conflict in Canada, 1700s, see Canada
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.
forces arrived at Frankfurt on Oder, ready to attack the Russians besieging
forces under Fermor
began a siege of the Prussians at Kustrin.
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.
Anglo-Hanoverian force under Ferdinand of Brunswick crossed the Rhine at
Emmerlich, near the Dutch frontier (see 23/6/1758).
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
Silesia, Austria took Breslau (Wroclaw) from Prussia.
14/11/1757, Arnail Jaucourt,
French politician, was born (died 5/2/1852).
Silesia, Austria took Schweidnitz (Swidnica) from Prussia.
faced by a French Army advancing from Thuringia towards Berlin, won a major
victory against them at Rossbach. 21,000 Prussian troops faced 41,000� French and allied men but the cautious
tactics of the French commander Soubise were at odds with his more aggressive
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
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
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
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.
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.
troops advanced on Konigsberg, Prussia.
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.
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.
Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague).� The Prussians defeated the Austrians..
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.
declared war on France. This was the start of the Seven Years War.
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
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
Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British,
Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the
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
22/8/1741, Jean Francoise la Perouse, French navigator,
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
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).
Martin, French adventurer, was born (died 13/9/1800).
Montyon, French philanthropist, was born (died 29/12/1820).
Bougainville, French navigator, was born in Paris (died in Paris
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,
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
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
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
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
7/3/1714, Treaty of
13/8/1713, Frederick William
consolidated the Prussian State by an ordinance�
reducing 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.
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
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