┬áThe 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
in France.

  • 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
to retreat.

  • 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.

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