1. As demobilization would have rendered Russia defenseless against a combined German and Austrian attack, no reply was made to Germany's ultimatum. At 7:10 P.M. Germany declared war against Russia. France, as Russia's ally, sent a noncommittal reply to the German ultimatum which was followed at 5 P.M. by an order for the mobilization of the French army. Italy, though bound by treaty to the Triple Alliance, but regarding Germany and Austria-Hungary as aggressors, declares that she will remain neutral.
2. German troops, violating the neutrality of an independent state, invade Luxemburg. Germany presents a 12-hour ultimatum to Belgium demanding free passage of German armies through Belgium to attack France.
3. Belgium refuses to accede to the German demands, stating that France had already (July 31) pledged herself to respect Belgian neutrality. At 6:45 P.M. Germany declares war against France.
4. German military forces invade Belgian territory at Gemmenich. King Albert, telling the German emissaries that "Belgium is a nation, not a road," appeals to Great Britain, France, and Russia (who, with Germany, had by the treaty of 1839 guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium) for armed assistance in repelling the German invasion. Sir Edward Grey dispatches an ultimatum to Berlin demanding that Germany respect the neutrality of Belgium. Germany refuses on the ground of "military necessity," the German chancellor, Von Bethmann-Hollweg, angrily rebuking Great Britain for making war just for a "scrap of paper." At 11 P.M. Great Britain declares war against Germany.
5. German forces attack the forts of Liege, Belgium, and are repulsed with terrific loss.
6. Austria-Hungary declares war against Russia. Serbia declares war against Germany.
7. After reducing two of the Liege forts by heavy artillery, German forces enter the city.
Russia declares war against Germany.
8. French troops occupy Mulhouse. First English forces land in France. Montenegro declares war on Austria-Hungary.
9. Montenegro declares war on Germany. Austria declares war on Montenegro.
12. German heavy artillery begins reduction of the remaining Liege forts.
13. France and Great Britain declare war on Austria.
16. Austrian forces cross the Save into Serbia.
17. Belgian government is moved to Antwerp.
Last Liege fortresses fall.
18. Serbians defeat Austrians at Jadar.
19. Canada authorizes expeditionary force. Germans occupy Louvain.
20. Germans occupy Brussels.
French in Lorraine retreat across the frontier.
Joffre assumes command of the allied armies in France.
Russians defeat Germans at Gumbinnen.
21. Germans levy a war tax equivalent to $10,000,000 on Liege and $40,000,000 on Brussels.
22. Belgian fortress of Namur falls.
23. Japan declares war on Germany.
French forces, greatly outnumbered, are defeated at the battle of Charleroi, Belgium, compelling rapid retreat into France.
Von Kluck, with about 200,000 men, attacks Sir John French, with two British divisions, about 80,000 men, at Mons, Belgium.
24. Joffre orders general strategic withdrawal of the allied armies to the line of the Marne.
General French leaves precarious positions at Mons and begins notable 6-day retreat.
26-27. Germans sack and burn Louvain.
British fight stubbornly around St. Quentin and Cambrai.
27. Austria-Hungary declares war against Japan.
28. Austria-Hungary declares war on Belgium. British forces end retreat on the Noyon-Chauny-La Fore line, after losing 230 officers and 13,000 men and inflicting losses estimated three times as great upon Von Kluck's divisions.
British fleet under Sir David Beatty engages, in Helgoland Bight, a portion of the German fleet, sinking three armored cruisers and two destroyers.
29. Germans capture La Fore.
30. The French evacuate Amiens.
31. Name of Russian capital changed from St. Petersburg to Petrograd.
Paris prepares for siege.
Von Hindenburg defeats Russians at Tannenberg, capturing 70,000 prisoners.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”
– Hebrews 4:15