So, in their short diplomatic war Germany and Austria were making demands,
and forcing ultimatums to the governments of Serbia, Russia,
France, Belgium and Britain.
In the meantime General von Moltke....
.... pulled the old and often adjusted "Von Schlieffen"-attack-plan
out of the filing cabinet.
Mobilization for troops spreaded like a fire all over Europe.
In some movies of the summer of 1914,
filmed in almost every capital of Europe,
one can see men, cheerfully, like football supporters,
enlist for the army.
The iniative of the first and violent hostilities was on the German side.
On August 1 Germany occupied neutral Luxembourg,
and declared war on Russia.
On August 3 Germany declares war on France and Belgium,
and invades Belgium.
Von Moltke deployed the "Von Schlieffen"-plan of 1891.
With this offensive Germany opened the Western Front.
In about 4 weeks The German army would succeed to infiltrate
at the deepest only 2 miles away
from the whereabouts of nowadays Disneyland Europe.
They had conquered a line from Verdun
to the valley of the Marne, near Paris.
Untill soon in September 1914,
the Battle of the Marne started and would change this line thoroughly....
France immediately grabbed the momentum on August 3,
and tried to get back the lost territories of 1870-1871
of Alsace Lorraine with attack-plan XVII.
The attacks were deployed at Mulhouse and Colmar.
French propaganda of 1914:
The French liberators are welcomed by the people of Alsace
On august 4, Britain declares war on the Centrals.
Britain sent their "British Expeditionary Force", (BEF),
to France to defend the trade-routes against German forces.
Canadian and Australian forces....
...and American forces would be fighting
also on the Western Front some months later.
On August 17,
the Russian Army started an offensive at East Prussia,
with attack-plan XIX.
The Russian offensive culminates in the Battle of Tannenberg (17-31 August 1914).
Russia also fought other large battles
with the German and Austrian Hungarian forces.
In novembre 1914, in Lodz, in nowadays Poland,
a large battle along the Eastern Front:
from Memel, via Gumbinnen, Tannenberg, Krakow, to Chernowitz,
between May and September 1915.
Austrian Hungarian soldiers collecting weapons
after a battle near Gorlice, May 4 , 1915...
On the Eastern Front Austria launched an attack on Serbia on August, 12.
On August 19, already the Serbians succeeded to defeat the Austrian Army!
Italia would leave as a neutral state the Triple Alliance with the Centrals.
In response the Austrian Eastern Fleet started bombardments
on coastal cities in Italy, like Venice.
Italy declares war on Austria on 23 May 1915,
and entered the war as an Ally.
Italy disputed the Austrian territories of Tirol, Triëst and Istria.
Italy would bring the war to the Alps.
Austrian Hungarian troops in the Alps....
The culmination of mountain warfare would happen at the summits of the Alps in the Battle of Isonzo in 1915.
Italian troops at the Isonzo...
The global spreading of the War
Colonial involvement outside Europe.
Because all the belligerent, imperialist powers possessed protectorates and colonies,
they mobilized troops of local origin.
African and Asian troops were press ganged at a large scale
and were to be send out to fronts anywhere in the world.
Ghurka's from India.
A Senegalese soldier in the French army.
In Northern Africa troops were recruited from the French territories of Marocco,
Tunesia and Algeria,
almost all of them were shipped to the Western Front.
In South West Africa there were
relatively small battles in nowadays Cameroon and Namibia.
A kind of guerrilla warfare went on for 4 years in East Africa,
in the colonial possessions of Germany around Lake Victoria.
The Middle East.
German airplane above the Pyramids in Egypt....
In the Middle East Italy possessed Eritrea,
the eastern part of Somalia,
and it still had an argument with Turkey
about it's recent conquest of Lybia (1912).
The Turkish were also under continuous pressure by the British.
Men like Lawrence of Arabia...
....knew how to canalize the nationalistic feelings of the Arabs,
and were eager to deploy them as auxiliary forces.
The Arabs were deployed in campaigns in Egypt, Syria,
and Iraq of nowadays...
This contiuous conflict with Turkey culminated,
when the British decided to start an offensive at the Turkish home territory,
the well defensed Dardanelles.
They deployed besides English troops, the ANZAC,
the "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps",
in the Battle of Gallipoli, April 1915 - January 1916.
The Turkish also had to fight battles against
the Russian Army at it's northern border in 1915 and 1916.
Besides the Bismarck Archipel and Kaiser Wilhelmsland
(the eastern half of New Guinea) in the Pacific,
Germany possessed in China the coastal city of Qingdao.
The Japanese Army, auxiliated by British troops,
needed a month to conquer Qingdao on September 14, 1914.
Sea Warfare started at august 3, 1914,
when the German battleships Göben and Breslau
started to bombard the French coastal cities of Northern Africa.
Soon the sea war would spread to the North Sea, the Baltic sea,
the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific, and the Atlantic Ocean.
All powers used their fleets of dreadnoughts and submarines to the utmost.
A German submarine launched a torpedo on the R.M.S Lusitania on may 7, 1915.
This incident, in which 1201 civilians were killed,
and amongst them 128 Americans,
led finally to the involment of the United States of America into the war.
The American involvement in the war shifted again the balance of powers.
It influenced the development of the war gradually in great
advantage for the Allies.
I hope to have succeeded in sketching you
how World War 1 spreaded globally.
This war really touched many human beings,
either civilians or soldiers, of all different nationalities.
Many times soldiers were sent to a front in a place, they had never heard of before.
I do recommend the next chapter:
Development of the Western Front" .
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