30/9/1914 [Eastern Front] Germany bails out Austria

German troops have served a sound thrashing to Russian forces who tried to invade East Prussia. The Austro-Hungarian army has been less fortunate, suffering a series of defeats in battles in Galicia. German leaders are concerned that its ally is on the brink of collapse. To prevent such a disaster, they despatch a large force to aid Austria-Hungary. This 9th German Army will form the nucleus of a combined counter offensive into Russian Poland. Now they are in place and ready to strike.

image source (Wikipedia)

28/9/1914 [Western Front] The Germans set their sights on Antwerp

The Belgian army is concentrated in the fortified city of Antwerp. The Belgians have made several sorties, disrupting German lines of communication. Until now the invaders have been content to leave just a small force to screen the city. But as the French and German armies try to outflank each other, extending their lines northwards, the position of Antwerp becomes more significant.

To prevent the Allies from linking up with the Antwerp garrison and to prevent the Belgians from erupting forth at an inconvenient moment, the Germans decide that Antwerp must be taken. Today they begin to bombard the city’s fortifications with their heavy artillery.

image source (Wikipedia)

27/9/1914 German Kamerun’s capital falls to the Allies

Germany’s West African colony Kamerun has a short coastline on which the capital, Douala, lies. Although the Germans have seen off a British land invasion from Nigeria, the coast proves more vulnerable to Allied attention. A combined Franco-British fleet now forces its surrender. The allies are free to gobble up the entire coastal region. But although Douala was the colony’s administrative and commercial centre, the defeat does not hurt the Germans as much as might be thought. They have already retreated their main forces into Kamerun’s interior, there to prolong the struggle for as long as possible.

image source (Colloque de la SIHFLES en coopération avec le GMF (Gesamtverband Moderne Fremdsprachen) et dans le cadre de son Congrès national à l’Université de Duisburg-Essen)

26/9/1914 The French and Germans keep trying to outflank each other

Fighting near Albert in the Somme valley continues to rage as the French and Germans batter away each other. But neither is breaking through. Further south, each side realise that their attacks in Picardy are not going to achieve anything. They dig trenches, freeing up men to be marched north to try and slip around the enemy’s open flank. But they keep encountering each other, failing to break through and then digging more trenches and sending more men north. It is all a bit repetitive.

The line is curving a bit, as though the French were almost but not quite managing to turn the German position. The French have the advantage of a still fully functional rail network on their side, while the Germans are having to repair track destroyed by the retreating French. But while the German line is curving back somewhat, it is still continuous and the French are not looking like they are going to be able to start rolling up the enemy.

The British are playing a somewhat “we’re here too!” role in all of this.

25/9/1914 [Western Front] The Battle of Albert begins

The French and Germans are still pressing each other in Picardy but without making any head way. While that battle continues, each side sends troops further to the north to try and turn the other’s flank. Now they clash near the town of Albert, in the Somme valley. But again, neither is able to make serious headway against the other.

25/9/1914 South West Africa: German forces repel an invasion

When Britain went to war with Germany, its overseas dominions did too. One of these is South Africa, from which British and South African troops prepared to invade the neighbouring German colony of South West Africa. But South Africa is restive. The Afrikaaners there remember the moral support Germany gave them in the Boer War. Many of them feel that they would be better off joining with the Germans and trying to overthrow British rule.

A Boer revolt is led by Manie Maritz. It attracts some support but not so much that it distracts the British from the main goal of invading South West Africa. However, when British and South African clash with the Germans in the arid borderlands near Sandfontein, the heavily armed Germans inflict a crushing defeat on the would-be invaders. The survivors limp back into the heart of South Africa.

24/9/1914 [Galicia] Russia begins the siege of Przemysl

The Russians now begin their siege of the Austro-Hungarian fortress town of Przemysl. They also send troops on after the rest of the Austro-Hungarian army, which is retreating in disorder over the Carpathians. But with so many Russian troops laying siege to Przemysl, their spearhead into the Carpathians is blunted.

image source

August 1914 timeline

The last days of peace. Everyone declares war. Belgium invaded. The Battles of the Frontiers. Austria fail. Tannenberg. The Goeben and Breslau run east.

1/8/1914 France mobilises
1/8/1914 Britain makes Germany an astonishing offer
1/8/1914 Germany sends a declaration of war to Russia and begins mobilisation
1/8/1914 Germany’s declaration of war is served on the Russia
2/8/1914 Germany secures Luxembourg
2/8/1914 Diplomatic reverses for Germany
2/8/1914 Britain will defend Belgium and the French coast
2/8/1914 Germany demands right of passage through Belgium
3/8/1914 Belgium rejects Germany’s ultimatum
3/8/1914 Grey wins over the House of Commons
3/8/1914 Germany declares war on France
3/8/1914 War comes to the Mediterranean
4/8/1914 The German invasion of Belgium runs into problems
4/8/1914 France: l’Union Sacrée
4/8/1914 War unites Germany
4/8/1914 The Goeben and Breslau turn east
4/8/1914 Germany rejects Britain’s ultimatum
5/8/1914 Admiral Souchon’s big decision
6/8/1914 The war spreads beyond Europe
6/8/1914 The Goeben and Breslau break out
7/8/1914 The Goeben and Breslau elude their pursuers
7/8/1914 Britain’s first shot
7/8/1914 The Belgians continue to resist at Liège
8/8/1914 France captures Mulhouse
8/8/1914 Liège: the noose tightens and the war turns ugly
9/8/1914 The Goeben and Breslau replenish their coal stocks
10/8/1914 Austria-Hungary begins the invasion of Serbia
10/8/1914 The Goeben and Breslau are welcomed into Constantinople
11/8/1914 The Germans recapture Mulhouse
12/8/1914 Austro-Hungarian heavy artillery opens fire on Liège
13/8/1914 The Germans and Austrians pound the Belgians at Liège
14/8/1914 The French advance into Lorraine
14/8/1914 Meanwhile in East Prussia…
15/8/1914 The Austrians and Serbians clash on Mount Cer
16/8/1914 The Serbians smash the Austro-Hungarians at Mount Cer
16/8/1914 The last Belgian fort at Liège falls
17/8/1914 The Russians advance into East Prussia
19/9/1914 The French capture Mulhouse again
20/8/1914 Gumbinnen: a Russian victory in East Prussia
20/8/1914 The defeated Austrians retreat to Bosnia
20/8/1914 The Germans bring the French offensive in Lorraine to a bloody halt
21/8/1914 East Prussia: fatal decisions
22/8/1914 East Prussia: the Germans prepare to strike back
22/8/1914 The French lose 27,000 killed in one day
23/8/1914 Japan declares war on Germany
23/8/1914 Austrian forces invade Poland
23/8/1914 The unstoppable Teutonic juggernaut rolls through Belgium
24/8/1914 [East Prussia] Samsonov marches to his doom
24/8/1914 The Germans recapture Mulhouse again, the French and British retreat
25/8/1914 [Western Front] Joffre sends forces west
25/8/1914 [Africa] Britain invades Kamerun
25/8/1914 [Western Front] The Sack of Louvain
26/8/1914 German resistance in Togoland comes to an end
26/8/1914 The Austrians come unstuck in eastern Galicia
26/8/1914 [Western Front] The British make another stand at Le Cateau
26/8/1914 [Eastern Front] The Germans launch their counterstroke in East Prussia
28/8/1914 [North Sea] The British and German navies clash at Heligoland Bight
29/8/1914 [Western Front] The French counter-attack at Guise
30/8/1914 [East Prussia] The Germans destroy Samsonov’s army
30/8/1914 New Zealand gobbles up German Samoa

See also: 1914 Dramatis Personae

June and July 1914 timeline

Franz Ferdinand assassinated. Europe slides towards war.

26/6/1914 Franz Ferdinand goes to the market
28/6/1914 Sarajevo: the assassins strike
28/6/1914 Austrian reactions
28/6/1914 Europe reacts
29/6/1914 War fever in Vienna
30/6/1914 Franz Josef is cautious
30/6/1914 Arms for Serbia!
30/6/1914 The Kaiser receives an annoying message
1/7/1914 Can Tisza be persuaded?
1/7/1914 Sarajevo: a bird begins to sing
2/7/1914 Berchtold has good news and bad
2/7/1914 Princip confesses
3/7/1914 Franz Ferdinand’s shabby funeral
3/7/1914 Great Britain in crisis!
4/7/1914 Count Hoyos takes the train
5/7/1914 Lunch with the Kaiser
5/7/1914 Danilo Ilitch can talk some more
5/7/1914 Russia warns Austria-Hungary to leave Serbia alone
6/7/1914 Germany writes Austria a blank cheque
7/7/1914 Count Tisza’s rearguard action
8/7/1914 Austria-Hungary must wait
9/7/1914 Franz Josef and Berchtold discuss ultimatum terms
10/7/1914 Italy makes Austria-Hungary an offer
10/7/1914 Sensational events in Belgrade
12/7/1914 Frenzy in Belgrade, impatience in Berlin
13/7/1914 A Serbian haircut
13/7/1914 Vienna: dossiers and plans
14/7/1914 Tisza acquiesces, Conrad goes on holiday
15/7/1914 Panic selling in Budapest and Vienna
15/7/1914 Lützow reveals Berchtold’s plan to the British ambassador
16/7/1914 De Bunsen reports on Austro-Hungarian plans
16/7/1914 Poincaré and Viviani depart for St. Petersburg
17/7/1914 Lloyd George sees no cause for concern
17/7/1914 The Russians deduce the timing of Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum
17/7/1914 Berchtold and De Bunsen have a friendly conversation
17/7/1914 Serbia is somewhat conciliatory
18/7/1914 De Bunsen is convinced of Austria’s pacific intentions
18/7/1914 Sazonov and Szapáry’s strange conversation
19/7/1914 Vienna prepares for war
20/7/1914 Poincaré begins his state visit to Russia
20/7/1914 Berchtold sends the ultimatum to his embassy in Belgrade
21/7/1914 Poincaré meets the ambassadors
21/7/1914 Berchtold is not entirely truthful
21/7/1914 Sazonov issues a warning
22/7/1914 Poincaré and Sazonov receive disturbing reports from Rome
22/7/1914 Conrad returns from his holiday, Berchtold sends a copy of his telegram to Berlin
23/7/1914 Sazonov’s warning goes unheeded
23/7/1914 Sazonov tries again to warn Austria-Hungary to leave Serbia alone
23/7/1914 The ultimatum is served on the Serbians
23/7/1914 News of the ultimatum arrives in Russia
24/7/1914 Sazonov: “C’est la guerre européenne”
24/7/1914 London reacts to the crisis
24/7/1914 “Then Russia will make war on Austria”
25/7/1914 Bethmann Hollweg plays down the crisis
25/7/1914 The British foreign secretary goes fishing
25/7/1914 Germany urges Austria-Hungary to present the world with a fait accompli
25/7/1914 The Russians spring into action
25/7/1914 Serbia rejects the ultimatum
25/7/1914 German socialists demonstrate against war
26/7/1914 Britain concentrates its fleet
26/7/1914 Austria-Hungary prepares for war — Austro-Hungarian style!
26/7/1914 While the Russian army assembles, Sazonov has friendly conversations
27/7/1914 London fears war. Civil war
27/7/1914 Tsar Nicholas tries to help
27/7/1914 “You have cooked this broth, now you will eat it”
28/7/1914 The Kaiser reads Serbia’s reply to the ultimatum, sees no further need for war
28/7/1914 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
28/7/1914 The Kaiser is furious with Bethmann Hollweg and the Austrians
28/7/1914 Sensational developments in Paris
28/7/1914 Russian preparations for war continue
28/7/1914 German socialists continue to demonstrate against war
28/7/1914 The Kaiser and the Tsar exchange telegrams
29/7/1914 Poincaré and Viviani finally return home
29/7/1914 Bethmann Hollweg tries to give diplomacy a chance
29/7/1914 Austria-Hungary shells Belgrade
29/7/1914 The Russians lose faith in the Germans
29/7/1914 Bethmann Hollweg gives the game away
29/7/1914 The Tsar orders general mobilisation, then orders it halted
30/7/1914 The Tsar upsets the Kaiser
30/7/1914 Moltke and Bethmann Hollweg confuse the Austrians
30/7/1914 The Tsar orders general mobilisation again, for real this time
31/7/1914 Panic selling across Europe
31/7/1914 Austria-Hungary decides on general mobilisation, but not yet
31/7/1914 Britain asks about Belgium
31/7/1914 Germany prepares to mobilise and issues and ultimatum
31/7/1914 Yet more sensational events in Paris

See also: 1914 Dramatis Personae