The journey to war – the timeline for 1914
- June 28
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie,
Duchess of Hohenberg, are assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
- June 29
Secretary of the Austro-Hungarian Legation at Belgrade sends despatch to Vienna accusing Serbian complicity in the assassination.
- July 20
Austria-Hungary sends troops to the Serbian frontier.
- July 25
Serbia orders mobilisation of troops.
Russia arranges for troops to be stationed on Russo-Austrian frontier.
- July 28
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
- July 29
Great Britain warns Germany that it cannot remain neutral.
Austrians bombard Serbian capital Belgrade.
German patrols cross the French border.
- August 1
French military mobilisation ordered.
Germany declares war on Russia.
Italy announces neutrality.
Belgium announces neutrality.
- August 3
Germany declares war on France.
Great Britain gives order for troops to mobilise.
- August 4
Germany declares war on Belgium.
United States declares neutrality.
Great Britain gives Austria-Hungary ultimatum to stand down from hostilities. When Austria-Hungary doesn’t comply a state of war is declared at 11.00pm
- August 6
Royal Navy cruiser HMS Amphion is sunk by German mines in the North Sea, causing the death of 150 men and the first British casualties of war.
- August 7
First members of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) land
- August 11
‘Your King and Country Need You’ slogan is published, calling for the first 100,000 men to enlist for Kitchener’s New Army. The call is answered within two weeks.
- August 13
The first squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps arrive in France.
- August 20
Brussels is evacuated as Germans occupy the city.
- August 25
The Royal Flying Corps claim their first ‘kill’ as three aircraft from 2nd Squadron force down a German reconnaissance plane.
- August 26
The Battle of Le Cateau. BEF suffers 7,812 casualties and is forced
- September 6
The First Battle of Marne checks German advance at the cost of 13,000 British, 250,000 French and 250,000 German casualties.
- October 16
The British Indian Expeditionary Force sails from Bombay to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the defense of Mesopotamia.
- October 19
First Battle of Ypres.
- October 29
Turkey enters the war.
- November 22
Trenches are established along the entire Western Front.
- November 23
The British enter Basra, securing oil supplies in the Middle East needed to supply most of the Royal Navy.
- December 8
The Battle of the Falkland Islands. A Royal navy task force sinks three German cruisers that were victorious at the Battle of Coronel in November. Only the SMS Dresden escapes.
- December 16
The German First High Sea fleet bombards Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough, killing 137 civilians and proving that the British mainland is susceptible to attack.