1914


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1914


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June 1914


{Contextual Event}

Road to War 1882 - 1914:

The road to war began far before 1914, it has multiple causes and rooted friction within Europe. Alliances, broken alliances, expansion and imperialism lead to immense distrust and friction. The beginning of the 20th century had experienced three wars (Russo-Japanese, and First and Second Balkan wars) leading to increased tensions and militarization.

The archduke’s assassination had an incendiary effect throughout Central Europe. Tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, which had already been rising for several years over territorial disputes, escalated further. Austro-Hungarian leaders decided that the solution to the Serbian problem was an all-out invasion of the country. Aware of the threat from Russia, Austria-Hungary held off on its attack plans and turned to its well-armed ally to the north, Germany.


{International EVENTs}

June 18, 1914

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo

Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife at Sarajevo, while visint the Austrian provinces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


July 1914


{Contextual Events}

Plans for War – July, 1914:

Despite hoping for a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the increasingly combative circumstances, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged that if Russian troops advanced on Austria-Hungary, then Germany would provide support. 

The Austria-Hungarian government issued an ultimatum to Serbia. While Serbia accepted the ultimatums largely, they were unable to accept the ultimatums unilaterally. As a result, Austrian-Hungary declared war on Serbia

The declaration of war would cause a chain reaction of declarations of wars and mobilizations of armies. 

July 29 – Russian Government orders partial mobilization against Austria, and general mobilization later that day.

July 31 – Belgian Government orders mobilization / Austro-Hungarian Government orders general mobilization / Turkish Government orders Mobilization 



{Canadian EVENTS}

July 22, 1914

War Measures Act

Canada passed the War Measures Act in order to provide the government with new and intrusive powers to prosecute the war. These powers included censorship, the right to detain and arrest Canadians, and the right to take control over any property.


{International EVENTS}

JULY 22, 1914

Battle and Siege of Liege – July 4th – 16th, 1914

The Battle and Siege of Liège (4th - 16th July 1914) was the first battle action on the Western Front, fought between the German Imperial Army and the Belgian Army. Following the capitulation of the city the German Imperial troops marched south-westwards along the river Meuse valley to the fortified city of Namur.

JULY 29, 1914

Austria attacks Serbian capital.

The first Austrian artillery shells fall on Serbia’s capital, Belgrade.


August 1914


{Contextual EVENTS}

Canada At War – August, 1914:

Great Britain, which had long pledged to defend Belgium’s sovereignty, issued an ultimatum to Germany on 4 August 1914 demanding the withdrawal of German troops. When the ultimatum expired at midnight, without a German retreat, Great Britain and Germany were at war. So too was the British Empire, including Canada and the independent colony of Newfoundland.

In 1914, Canada was a self-governing dominion of the British Empire, but it did not control its own foreign affairs. As during the South African War (1899-1902), the Canadian government would decide the nature and extent of Canada’s war effort, but legally the country was at war the instant Britain declared one. In 1914, most, but by no means all, Canadians would have agreed with the 1910 statement of Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier that “when Britain is at war, Canada is at war. There is no distinction.” They nevertheless debated vigorously the size and nature of Canada’s war effort and, increasingly, its relationship with Britain.


{Canadian events}

AUGUST 4, 1914

Canada Enters the War

The Canadian government immediately offered Britain troops for overseas service, although Ottawa controlled the level of Canada’s military participation. Most Canadians greeted the outbreak of war with enthusiasm, especially those born in the British Isles who volunteered in large numbers.

Valcartier, Quebec is chosen as the mobilization point for the first Canadian contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

 

AUGUST 22, 1014

War Measures Act

Canada passed the War Measures Act in order to provide the government with new and intrusive powers to prosecute the war. These powers included censorship, the right to detain and arrest Canadians, and the right to take control over any property.


{INTERNATIONAL EVENTS}

AUGUST 4, 1914

Battle and Siege of Liege – August 4th – 16th, 1914

The Battle and Siege of Liège (4th - 16th August 1914) was the first battle action on the Western Front, fought between the German Imperial Army and the Belgian Army. Following the capitulation of the city the German Imperial troops marched south-westwards along the river Meuse valley to the fortified city of Namur.


SEPTEMBER 1914


{Contextual Events}

Germany was the first to move on Belgium, their aim was taking Belgium and moving into France in one large sweep by executing their long developed Schlieffen Plan (since 1902). After the occupation of Belgium, the German military attacked France. Fighting between Germany and France had already started in Alsace-Lorraine. British and French armies engaged with Germany in the Battle of Mons (August 23).  The Battle of Mons would lead to action next to the river of Marne, the German armies were forced to fall back from Marne and the British and French armies were able to drive the Germans back to the Aisne River. These two battles would set landscape of the war, the German army held their position along the river, causing a stalemate, and the western front would remain largely unmoved for the remainder of the ar.

 The Schlieffen Plan was ultimately abandoned, as they were unable to advance into France and the Russian military attacked Germany quicker than expected, forcing Germany to split its forces more than expected to meet the Russians in the Battle of Tannenburg. 


{Canadian Events}

SEPTEMBER 8, 1914

32,449 troops enlisted to date at Valcartier Camp

By this time 32, 449 troops had enlisted into the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, and were on parade at Valcartier Camp.


{International Events}

SEPTEMBER 6, 1914

The Battle of Marne –  September 5 - 9

On September 5, the German Army was advancing towards Paris with the French and British armies in retreat. However, when the Germany deviated from the original Schlieffen Plan, then they were exposed. By September 9, the Germany Army began to withdraw.  The First Battle of the Marne was a strategic victory for the Allied Forces. It marked a decisive turn of events for the Allies in the early weeks of the war and Germany's Schlieffen Plan was stopped in its tracks.

FUN FACT: in the crucial defence of Paris is that 600 Parisian taxis were sent from the city carrying French reinforcement troops to the fighting front.

September 12, 1914

The Battle of Aisne –  September 12 - 21

From 12th September 1914 the German Army began to “dig in” on the high ground of the Chemin des Dames ridge on the north bank of the river Aisne. The Germans dug defensive trenches with the intention of securing the position and preventing any further possibility of withdrawal. This battlefield area witnessed the beginnings of entrenched positions and the change from a mobile war to a static deadlock between the opposing forces.


OCTOBER 1914


{Contextual Events}

Over the next few weeks from late September to the end of November 1914 the Allied and German Armies attempted to outflank one another, responding to each other manoeuvring their armies to make a stand or cover their exposed northern flank. Operationally it was not an intentional race to reach the French or Belgian coast before the other. However, the fight to capture the unoccupied ground on each other's northern flank, the German attempt to capture more French ground and reach Paris, against the French determination to hold up their enemy's advance resulted in the movement of the armies in a north-westerly direction towards the coast. Battles took place as the armies sidestepped one another towards the French-Belgian coast and the Channel ports of Calais, Dunkirk, Ostend and Zeebrugge. This period of fighting has become known as “The Race to the Sea”.


{Canadian Events}

OCTOBER 3, 1914

First Canadian Contingent leaves for overseas

The First Canadian Contingent sailed from Québec City for England. The largest convoy ever to cross the Atlantic, it comprised over 31,000 troops aboard 31 ocean liners escorted by Royal Navy warships. Also sailing in this convoy was a contingent from the British Dominion of Newfoundland, which was still separate from Canada at the time.

The entire Canadian contingent arrives in Plymouth, England.

OCTOBER 4, 1914

Newfoundland Regiment leaves for overseas

The first contingent of the Newfoundland Regiment departs from St. John’s to join with the Canadian Convoy for travel overseas.


{International Events}

OCTOBER 1, 1914

First Battle of Arras – October 1-4

The French army attacked advancing German forces, but was counter attacked and the  French were forced to withdraw towards Arras and Lens was occupied by German forces on 4 October. Attempts to encircle Arras from the north were defeated and both sides used reinforcements to try another flanking move further north at the Battle of La.

This is one of the many battles where German and Allied armies attempted to outflank each other, leading to push towards the sea.

OCTOBER 29, 1914

Russo-Turkish Hostilities Begin

Turkey commences hostilities against Russia when Turkish warships bombard Odessa, Sevastapol, and Theodosia.


NOVEMBER 1914


{Canadian Events}

NOVEMBER 1, 1914

First Canadian Casualties of War

First battle casualties in Canadian Forces occur when four midshipmen of the R.C.N. are lost in the Battle of Coronel.

NOVEMBER 7, 1914

Second Canadian Contingent is ordered

Mobilization of a second contingent is ordered, including the mobilization of 30 000 additional troops for overseas.

NOVEMBER 8, 1914

First Canadian unit in France

No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital arrives in Boulogne from Salisbury Plain.


{International Events}

NOVEMBER 2, 1914

Russia declares war on Turkey

Russia declares war on Turkey, while a “state of war” commences between Serbia and Turkey. Great Britain and France will formally declare war on Turkey three days later.


DECEMBER 1914


{Contextual Events}

By the end of 1914 the battles of movement in the first weeks of the war had been brought to a halt. The fierce defence of strategic landmarks by the Allied forces resulted in a situation which became one of deadlock. Carefully selecting the most favourable high ground the Imperial German Army began the construction of a strong defensive line from early in 1915.

The consolidation of the Front Lines consisted of trenches, wire defences, mined dugouts and deep bunkers, reinforced concrete emplacements and selected strongpoints, usually a reinforced farm, in an Intermediate, Second and Third defensive line. Gradually the building and digging was carried on on both sides of the wire along a distance of approximately 450 miles, creating a more or less continous line of trenches separating the warring belligerents along the length of The Western Front.


{Canadian Events}

DECEMBER 21, 1914

First Canadian Combatant unit in France

The Prince Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry lands in Le Havre, France, they would be the first combative unit in France at this time.

DECEMBER 26, 1914

Canadian Contingent on Salisbury Plain

The Canadian First Contingent remains on Salisbury Plain, England. 11 133 of the troops are still under canvas and the remaining 19 204 are in huts and billets.


{International Events}

DECEMBER 2, 1914

Austrian forces occupy Belgrade, Serbia

Austrian forces manage to cross the Danube and occupy Belgrade (previously the capital of Serbia), as Serbian forces retreat (as of Nov 30)

DECEMBER 21, 1914

First German air raid on England

German aeroplanes from bombs in the sea near Dover, England.


Coming Soon: 1915 to 1919