On August the 4th 1914, while Germany crossed the Belgian borders at 8:02 am, the United Kingdom and its British Empire declared war on Germany. India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as dominions of the Empire, all entered the war with dozens of other colonies. At the same time, the United States announced their neutrality in the conflict. On August the 4th, the Tiple Entente countries had now fulfilled their obligations to help each other in times of war, with France, Russia and the United Kingdom joined in a war against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria Hungary, Italy and the Ottoman Empire.
The cities of Bône, today known as Annaba and Philippeville ( today Skikda ) in North East Algeria , both important harbours in the region, came under fire on August 4th around 6:00am by SMS Breslau, a cruiser and SMS Goeben, a battle-cruiser. According to their imperial orders, these two German ships were left the choice of either harassing the Mediterranean sea or sailing back to German waters. The commander, having recently learned the declaration of war between France and Germany decided to bombard Algerian ports in order to prevent or least slow the transport of French troops by the Mediterranean sea. SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau both did little damage and after several minutes, decided to leave.