Forget Never

Forget Never

Saturday, 2 August 2014

37 Day Count Down to War - Day 37

August 2nd 1914
On August 2, Germany occupied Luxembourg as a preliminary step to the invasion of Belgium and implementation of the Schlieffen Plan. 
With troops invading Luxenbourg, France has also been entered at four points. A patrol kill French soldiers 10 km over the frontier near Belfort.
Poland invaded by Germans, who occupy Kalish, Chenstokhov and Bendzin.
East Prussia entered by Russian raiders near Schwidden.
Libau bombarded by German light cruiser "Augsburg".
German Note to Belgium, 7 p.m. alleging that Germany must violate her soil in order to "anticipate" the French attack in Belgium; demands that latter should remain passive; answer required in 12 hours.
Austria-Hungary was at war with Serbia. Germany had declared war on Russia the day before and had entered Luxembourg as a preliminary to a likely invasion of Belgium and France. Although France and Belgium had mobilised, neither they nor Britain were yet involved in the conflict

On August 2nd, the British government promised that the Royal Navy would protect France’s coast from German attack. The British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey gave Britain's firm assurance of protecting France with its navy to French Ambassador Paul Cambon. Cambon's account stated: "I felt the battle was won. Everything was settled. In truth a great country does not wage war by halves. Once it decided to fight the war at sea it would necessarily be led into fighting it on land as well."Within the British Cabinet, the widespread feeling that Germany would soon violate Belgium’s neutrality and destroy France as a power led to the increasing acceptance that Britain would be forced to intervene.
Paul Cambon
1.45pm: After the meeting Grey took a walk around London Zoo. Asquith and his wife Margot saw the German ambassador Prince Lichnowsky and his wife Mechtilde. The Anglophile prince, who had been awarded an honorary degree at Oxford earlier in the summer, was clearly distressed at the way events were unfolding, as was his wife.
 To think that we should bring such sorrows to an innocent, happy people! I have always hated and loathed our Kaiser – have I not said so a thousand times, dear little Margot. He and his friends are all brutes!
Princess Mechtilde Lichnowsky, wife of the German ambassador in London, to Margot Asquith, Margot Asquith’s Great War Diary 1914-1916

Despite the gravity of the crisis, Asquith's thoughts still flitted to young Venetia Stanley, on whom he was fixated. He had hoped to spend the weekend with her but events had determined otherwise.
 I got no letter from you this morning, which is the saddest blank in my day.
Asquith, in a letter to Venetia Stanley, August 2

The women in Asquith's life: his wife Margot (left) and Venetia Stanley (right) 

A German ultimatum was delivered, this time to Belgium on August 2, requesting free passage for the German army on the way to France. King Albert of Belgium refused the German request to violate his country’s neutrality. 

Moratorium proclaimed in England - Germany and Turkey sign a secret treaty of alliance and Italy declares neutrality. 

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