German Revolution

The Great War

Europe 1918.1108

German Revolution

World War I in Europe and the Russian Revolution (8 November 1918)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The collapse of the other Central Powers in October 1918 left Germany alone against the Allies. In a last ditch attempt to win a decisive sea battle, German naval command ordered the Imperial Fleet into the North Sea, but only succeeded in triggering a mutiny among the sailors. The revolt quickly spread to the workers and soldiers of the German Empire, who set up councils demanding government reform and an immediate end to the war.

Main Events

Aster Revolution

Discontented soldiers and workers in Budapest took to the streets to demonstrate against the war, with aster flower wearing members of the secessionist Hungarian National Council (HNC) seizing public buildings throughout the city on 31 October and forcing the Hungarian Prime Minister to resign. Emperor Charles of Austria(King Charles IV of Hungary) accepted the coup later that day, appointing Count Mihály Károlyi of the HNC as Hungary's new Prime Minister. This act effectively ended Austrian rule in Hungary, although it was not until 13 November that Charles formally renounced the throne.

State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs

The Yugoslav-nationalist National Council proclaimed the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in Zagreb, capital of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia in the collapsing Austro-Hungarian Empire. The new state aspired to include all the Austro-Hungarian territories inhabited by Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, but faced opposition both from the Serb-majority provinces in the east - which wanted to join Serbia - and Italy - which was intent on annexing Dalmatia.

German Revolution

In response to the unauthorized 24 October 1918 German naval command directive to engage the Royal Navy in a final battle, sailors mutinied in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. On 4 November the mutineers took control of Kiel, encouraging seamen, soldiers, and urban workers across the country to also rise in revolt against the imperial order. By 9 November, workers' and soldiers' councils had taken power in most of Germany's cities and a republic was declared.

Armistice of Mudros

The Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey and the British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe sign the Armistice of Mudros aboard the HMS Agamemnon in Mudros harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos. The armistice ends hostilities between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies as of noon the next day (31 October). Its conditions require the Ottomans demobilize their armed forces and withdraw to Anatolia - including abandoning their gains in the Caucasus, and allow the Allies to occupy the Turkish Straits and any territories in disorder.

Banat Republic

The Banat Republic was proclaimed in Timișoara, in the southern part of the Kingdom of Hungary, immediately after Hungary's secession from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Recognized only by Hungary, the republic was invaded and occupied by Serbia two weeks later. After a period of Serb-Allied occupation, it was divided between the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) and Romania in 1919.

Armistice of Villa Giusti

After negotiations starting on 28 October, the collapsing Austro-Hungarian Empire signed an armistice with the Kingdom of Italy in the Villa Giusti, outside of Padua in northern Italy, on 3 November. The cease-fire was intended to start at 3.00 pm on 4 November, but due to a unilateral order of the Austro-Hungarian high command, the empire's forces stopped fighting almost immediately.

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