Main events of 1914

June 28 –  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated in Sarajevo.

July 28 – Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia ordered a partial mobilisation in support of the Serbs one day later, and Germany mobilised on July 30. Russia responded by declaring a full mobilisation that same day.  

August 1 – Germany declared war against Russia.

The German government issued demands that France remain neutral. The French did not respond but ordered their troops to withdraw 10 km (6 miles) from the border, to avoid any incidents, while ordering the mobilisation of her reserves. Germany responded by mobilising its own reserves.

August 2 – Germany attacked Luxembourg.

August 3 – Germany declared war on France. Britain mobilises its forces.

August 4 – After Belgium refused to permit German troops to cross its borders into France, Germany declared war on Belgium as well. Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm, following an “unsatisfactory reply” to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral.

August 6 – German mines sink HMS Amphion in the North Sea. 150 sailors died, the first British casulties of the war.

August 7 – The first soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force land in France.

August 11 – Call for volunters for Kitchener’s New Army, with the slogan ‘Your Country Needs You’. 10,000 men enlist within two weeks.

August 20 – Germans occupy Brussels.

August 21 – First British soldier killed.

August 26 – Battle of Le Cateau. British losses amount to 7,812.

September 6 – The First Battle of Marne halts the German advance, with 250,000 French, 250,000 German and 13,000 British casualties.

October 19 – First Battle of Ypres.

October 29 – Turkey enters the war on the side of Germany and Austria.

November 22 – Trenches established along the entire Western Front.

December 8
– Naval battle off the Falkland Islands. Three German cruisers sunk.

December 16 – German naval fleet bombards Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough, killing 137 civilians.