4th August 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Bologna, Italy – Silvio Bagolini, actor who appeared in 137 films in a career spanning five decades.



The Western Front:¬†Germany declares war on Belgium…and German troops cross the Belgian frontier on a 15 mile front, heading for Liege, thirty miles away.

After sending the German government an ultimatum to withdraw no later than midnight, european time, Britain declares war on Germany at 11.00pm by the British clock. The British Prime Minister appoints Lord Kitchener as Minister for War, who promptly predicts that the war will last three years, or longer.

German Chief of Staff Von Moltke writes to Conrad von Hotzendorff, the Austrian Chief of Staff that Europe is entering into “the struggle that will decide the course of history for the next one hundred years.”

In the Pacific: The German East Asiatic squadron leaves its base in Tsingtao, China and heads for the South Pacific.

Sources:  Almanac of World War 1; The Guns of August;



Far away in New Zealand, farmer and diarist George Adkin records his first inklings of bad news:

“Europe. About a week ago Austria attacked Servia. Russia joined in to help the latter + then Germany declared war on Russia + also invaded France. Today we got news that if Germany bombards French ports + shipping from the Channel, England will assist France.”