On This Day - 4 August 1914

Spotlights over Paris Theatre definitions: Western Front comprises the Franco-German-Belgian front and any military action in Great Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Holland.  Eastern Front comprises the German-Russian, Austro-Russian and Austro-Romanian fronts.  Southern Front comprises the Austro-Italian and Balkan (including Bulgaro-Romanian) fronts, and Dardanelles.  Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres comprises Egypt, Tripoli, the Sudan, Asia Minor (including Transcaucasia), Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkestan, China, India, etc.  Naval and Overseas Operations comprises operations on the seas (except where carried out in combination with troops on land) and in Colonial and Overseas theatres, America, etc.  Political, etc. comprises political and internal events in all countries, including Notes, speeches, diplomatic, financial, economic and domestic matters.  Source: Chronology of the War (1914-18, London; copyright expired)

Countdown to War

Great Britain protests in Berlin against German violation of Belgian treaty.

Germany says French meant to invade Belgian territory, and she must take measures of defence.  Violates Belgium at Gemmenich, early morning; burns Vise and attacks Liege.

Germany declares war on Belgium.

Bona and Philippeville (Algeria) bombarded by German cruisers "Goeben" and "Breslau".

Trieux, near Briey (France). taken by Germans.  Speech by M. Viviani.

Chancellor's speech in Reichstag, acknowledging they are doing wrong.

Sir Edward Grey wires to Sir E. Goschen telling him that unless satisfactory German assurances re: Belgian neutrality are forthcoming, he is to ask for his passports.

British mobilisation orders issued.

Sir John Jellicoe takes command of British Fleet.

Sir E. Goschen's interview ("scrap of paper") with Chancellor in evening: British ultimatum and state of war at 11 p.m.


On This Day