What were the major developments,battles, and strategies the World War saw in 1916?

Updated: Jun 15, 2019

Read first : When Italy and Bulgaria joined World War I and what happened to Serbia and Greece?


Both Allied powers and Central powers grew stronger after continuous battles and experiences in the previous years. Let us graze through major events in 1916.

  • Britain army had a monstrous development in munition supplies, army strength and the power to break enemy trenches. British force was known for its massive volunteers, but to meet the needs voluntary service was replaced by conscription in January 1916.

  • Leaders from France, Britain, Russia, Japan, Belgium met for a conference in December 1915 to discuss about offensive strategy operation on Germany.

  • Meanwhile Germany was aiming for a point of attack in France and finalized an attack on Verdun. They believe French would sacrifice any number of men to protect Verdun because of their patriotism associated with the town.

  • French Intelligence had already warned army high command about German's offensive preparations. Since the Allies were very busy in their own war plans, they did not took the warning seriously.

  • On 21 February, 1916 German artillery gave a heaviest bombardment the France had never seen around Verdun. German infantry advanced and France struggled to counterattack.

  • Allies launched offensive attacks on other German borders mainly on Somme river banks on 1 July, 1916 to divert German forces from the attack on Verdun.

  • Germany was well prepared for what for what was to come. The result of the war was not a victory to both sides. Allies could scarcely satisfy themselves with diverting Germany at the cost of nearly 1 million casualties.

Battle of Jutland:

  • Battle of Jutland, fought in the summer of 1916 was the biggest naval battle in history between Germany and Britain. Both naval fleets engaged in powerful strategies, however British gave up more number of ships than the Germans. But the loss did not affect the numerical superiority of British fleet.

Entry of Romania:

  • The Kingdom of Romania was neutral during first two years of the war. Romania had most of the oil fields in Europe and Germany eagerly exported petrol and food.

  • Romania was eager to take Transylvania from Hungary, as it was with 3,000,000 Romanians. Allies wanted Romania to join their side to cut exports to Germany. With all the financial and military support from the Allies, Romania fought for Transylvania from August 1916 - December 1917. Despite initial success, Romania suffered majorly and surrounded by Central powers who forced them to drop out of the war by signing Treaty of Bucharest in May 1918.

U.S Entry:

  • Meanwhile social movements spread across nations stressing peace moves. The then U.S President Woodrow Wilson acted as a peace broker between allies and central powers. U.S was neutral during initial years, however the peace hope was shattered after Germany's continuous submarine attacks and intolerable activities.

  • U.S was forced to enter the war. Mexico and U.S were not in good terms. If the United States should enter the war against Germany, Mexico should become German's ally to recover Texas, New Mexico and Arizona from the U.S.

Also read : What were the notable events of the World War in 1917?

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