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Fact and Features




Marathon Greece / 490 b.c. Persia / Greece

The battle of Marathon is famous, not only because the underdog won, but also because of a legend of courage and sacrifice. Darius, the leader of Persia, Egypt, Babylon, and India, decided to become the ruler of Greece as well. But the Greeks, armed only with javelins and swords, defeated the much larger and better armed Persian army. What we remember today is the story of the messenger who brought the good news to Athens, the capital of Greece. Upon completing his 26-mile run, legend says he delivered his message, collapsed, and died. Today, the word marathon means a footrace of exactly 26 miles, 385 yards.

The Trojan horse won the war for Greece against Troy in classical mythology. The horse was a wooden decoy filled with soldiers, who used it to enter the city of Troy.

Fact and Features

World War I (19141918) Imperial, territorial, and economic rivalries led to the Great War between the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey) and the Allies (U.S., Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Montenegro, Portugal, Italy, and Japan). About 10 million combatants killed, 20 million wounded. 1914 Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife assassinated in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip (June 28). Austria declares war on Serbia (July 28). Germany declares war on Russia (Aug. 1), on France (Aug. 3), invades Belgium (Aug. 4). Britain declares war on Germany (Aug. 4). Germans defeat Russians in Battle of Tannenberg on Eastern Front (Aug.). First Battle of the Marne (Sept.). German drive stopped 25 miles from Paris. By end of year, war on the Western Front is positional in the trenches. 1915 German submarine blockade of Great Britain begins (Feb.). Dardanelles Campaign British land in Turkey (April), withdraw from Gallipoli (Dec.Jan. 1916). Germans use gas at second Battle of Ypres (AprilMay). Lusitania sunk by German submarine 1,198 lost, including 128 Americans (May 7). On Eastern Front, German and Austrian great offensive conquers all of Poland and Lithuania; Russians lose 1 million men (by Sept. 6). Great Fall Offensive by Allies results in little change from 1914 (Sept.Oct.). Britain and France declare war on Bulgaria (Oct. 14). 1916 Battle of VerdunGermans and French each lose about 350,000 men (Feb.). Extended submarine warfare begins (March). British-German sea battle of Jutland (May); British lose more ships, but German fleet never ventures forth again. On Eastern Front, the Brusilov offensive demoralizes Russians, costs them 1 million men (JuneSept.). Battle of the SommeBritish lose over 400,000; French, 200,000; Germans, about 450,000; all with no strategic results (JulyNov.). Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary (Aug. 27). Bucharest captured (Dec.). 1917 U.S. declares war on Germany (April 6). Submarine warfare at peak (April). On Italian Front, Battle of CaporettoItalians retreat, losing 600,000 prisoners and deserters (Oct. Dec.). On Western Front, Battles of Arras, Champagne, Ypres (third battle), etc. First large British tank attack (Nov.). U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7). Armistice between new Russian Bolshevik government and Germans (Dec. 15). 1918 Great offensive by Germans (MarchJune). Americans' first important battle role at Chteau-Thierryas they and French stop German advance (June). Second Battle of the Marne (JulyAug.)start of Allied offensive at Amiens, St. Mihiel, etc. Battles of the Argonne and Ypres panic German leadership (Sept.Oct.). British offensive in Palestine (Sept.). Germans ask for armistice (Oct. 4). British armistice with Turkey (Oct.). German Kaiser abdicates (Nov.). Hostilities cease on Western Front (Nov. 11).