2/8/1914 Britain will defend Belgium and the French coast

In London, Grey tells Cambon that Germany’s occupation of Luxembourg will not trigger British intervention. Cambon is disgusted.

Meanwhile, Herbert Henry Asquith’s weekend has been ruined. The 62 year old prime minister had planned to slip away with Miss Venetia Stanley (26), but the crisis is keeping him in London. Today is Sunday and he is having to chair another cabinet meeting, in which the divisions between the pro- and anti-interventionists are at boiling point.

At the meeting, a secret Anglo-French naval agreement is revealed; the French are sending their fleet to the Mediterranean in the expectation that Britain’s fleet will defend their north coast. After some hesitation, the cabinet agrees to honour this agreement, though it does lead to one resignation.

After some further tense discussions it is more or less decided that the invasion of Belgium would represent a casus belli.

Dramatis Personae

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