Timeline of the Russian Revolutions: War 1914 - 1916

In 1914, the First World War erupted across Europe. At one point, in the early days of this process, the Russian Tsar was faced with a decision: mobilise the army and make war almost inevitable, or stand down and lose massive face. He was told by some advisors that to turn away and not fight would undermine and destroy his throne, and by others that to fight would destroy him as the Russian army failed.

He seemed to have few correct choices, and he went into war. Both advisors might have been right. His empire would last until 1917 as a result.

• June - July: General Strikes in St. Petersburg.
• July 19th: Germany declares war on Russia, causing a brief sense of patriotic union amongst the Russian nation and a downturn in striking.
• July 30th: The All Russian Zemstvo Union for the Relief of Sick and Wounded Soldiers is created with Lvov as president.
• August - November: Russia suffers heavy defeats and a large shortage of supplies, including food and munitions.
• August 18th: St. Petersburg is renamed Petrograd as 'Germanic' names are changed to sound more Russia, and hence more patriotic.
• November 5th: Bolshevik members of the Duma are arrested; they are later tried and exiled to Siberia.


• February 19: Great Britain and France accept Russia's claims to Istanbul and other Turkish lands.

• June 5th: Strikers shot at in Kostromá; casualties.
• July 9th: The Great Retreat begins, as Russian forces pull back into Russia.
• August 9th: The Duma's bourgeois parties form the 'Progressive bloc' to push for better government and reform; includes the Kadets, Octobrist groups and Nationalists.
• Auguest 10th: Strikers shot at in Ivánovo-Voznesénsk; casualties.

• August 17-19th: Strikers in Petrograd protest at the deaths in Ivánovo-Voznesénsk.
• August 23rd: Reacting to war failures and a hostile Duma, the Tsar takes over as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, prorogues the Duma and moves to military headquarters at Mogilev. Central government begins to seize up. By associating the army, and its failures, with him personally, and by moving away from the centre of government, he dooms himself. He absolutely has to win, but doesn't.


• January - December: Despite successes in the Brusilov offensive, the Russian war effort is still characterised by shortages, poor command, death and desertion. Away from the front, the conflict causes starvation, inflation and a torrent of refugees. Both soldiers and civilians blame the incompetence of the Tsar and his government.
• February 6: Duma reconvened.
• February 29th: After a month of strikes at the Putilov Factory, the government conscripts the workers and takes charge of production. Protest strikes follow.
• June 20: Duma prorogued.
• October: Troops from 181st Regiment help striking Russkii Renault workers fight against the Police.
• November 1st: Miliukov gives his 'Is this stupidity or treason?' speech in reconvened Duma.

• December 17/18th: Rasputin is killed by Prince Yusupov; he has been causing chaos in the government and blackened the name of the royal family.
• December 30th: The Tsar is warned that his army won't support him against a revolution.

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Wilde, Robert. "Timeline of the Russian Revolutions: War 1914 - 1916." ThoughtCo, Jun. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/russian-revolutions-war-1914-1916-1221818. Wilde, Robert. (2016, June 25). Timeline of the Russian Revolutions: War 1914 - 1916. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/russian-revolutions-war-1914-1916-1221818 Wilde, Robert. "Timeline of the Russian Revolutions: War 1914 - 1916." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/russian-revolutions-war-1914-1916-1221818 (accessed September 26, 2017).