Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10th, 1914

- At 3am the battlecruisers of the British Mediterranean Fleet enter the Aegean Sea.  Detecting increased wireless signals, Admiral Souchon decides that his two ships must depart for the Dardanelles at dawn.  At first light, Goeben and Breslau raise their anchors and begin the final stage of their journey.  On a calm sea the two ships make 18 knots, and just after 5pm reach the entrance to the Dardanelles.  As they sit in the shadow of the Ottoman fortresses guarding the narrows, the Ottoman government deliberates their fate.  Ultimately, it is Enver Pasha who makes the decision to allow them to pass, with all that likely entails regarding the place of the Ottoman Empire in the war.  As night falls Goeben and Breslau pass the ancient fortress at Chanak and anchor.  Their voyage is at an end, but the repercussions are just beginning.

- The Serbian army today completes its mobilization.

- After twenty-four hours of combat, the German counteroffensive pushes the French VII Corps out of Mulhouse, and the latter is forced to retreat back across the border.

- A train carrying the two Krupp 420 mortars reaches the Belgian border today, but is forced to halt twenty miles east of Liège, as the railroad tunnel ahead had been earlier dynamited by the retreating Belgians.  The two mortars will have to be unloaded and proceed by road.

- Today the South African Cabinet agrees to the request from the British government to undertake the conquest of German South-West Africa, on two conditions: first, the campaign must be approved by Parliament; and second, only volunteers are to be used.  Both conditions are designed to ensure that the campaign will work to unify the South African population, instead of dividing it between Boer and Briton.

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