Germany Declares War on Russia: 1 August 1914

Facing what it believed to be intolerable pressures, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August 1914. The local Balkan war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia now became European.

 

The German Ambassador to Russia. St. Petersburg, 1 August 1914.

The Imperial German Government have used every effort since the beginning of the crisis to bring about a peaceful settlement. In compliance with a wish expressed to him by His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, the German Emperor had undertaken, in concert with Great Britain, the part of mediator between the Cabinets of Vienna and St. Petersburg; but Russia, without waiting for any result, proceeded to a general mobilisation of her forces both on land and sea.

1 August 1914 headline from the New York Evening World

1 August 1914 headline from the New York Evening World

 

In consequence of this threatening step, which was not justified by any military proceedings on the part of Germany, the German Empire was faced by a grave and imminent danger. If the German Government had failed to guard against this peril, they would have compromised the safety and the very existence of Germany.

The German Government was, therefore, obliged to make representations to the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias and to insist upon a cessation of the aforesaid military acts. Russia having refused to comply with this demand, and having shown by this refusal that her action was directed against Germany, I have the honour, on the instructions of my Government, to inform your Excellency as follows:

His Majesty the Emperor, my august Sovereign, in the name of the German

Empire, accepts the challenge, and considers himself at war with Russia.

 

Source: German Documents collected by Karl Kautsky

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4 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Horace's story & how he survived world war and commented:
    Today is the day it all kicks off in Europe 100 years ago, made more poignant as current troubles in Eastern Europe escalate with the Ukraine worries and Russia. Last night’s news disturbingly declaring NATO increasing military activities in Poland and massing in other Eastern European countries. Worrying times for us too?

    1. July 1914 · · Reply

      Thank you!

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