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Map 33: Europe Mobilizes

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                  Europe mobilizes for war

The main participants in the war mobilized over the course of about a week. First Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after Serbia refused to accede to Vienna's extensive demands regarding Serbian support for anti-Austrian groups. Then Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary. This required Germany to go to war in defense of its ally. German war planning assumed that any war with Russia would expand to include war with France, and the operational plan called for attacking France first. Thus the main practical step Germany took to defend Austria was to launch a preemptive attack on France and Belgium, neither of whom had officially entered the war yet. The violation of Belgian neutrality brought Britain into the war and it was off to the races. But the literal timing shouldn't confuse you — it had long been French policy to support Serbia against Austria in hopes of initiating a war in which Russia would help France fight Germany, which was far too powerful for France to fight alone.



MAP_08 Screen_Shot_2014-06-11_at_10_53_37_PM.png

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