On the 5th of August 1914, while the Belgian troops had started to battle German forces near Liège, French forces were moving towards Belgium. Some regiments had already arrived. At the same time, the mobilized men were still being moved in their respective regiments and reinforcing the protection at the borders.
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.
The day after sending the ultimatum to Belgium, Germany, continuing the development of the Schlieffen Plan, declared war on France. Both countries were expecting it since they fully mobilized days ago ( two days ago for France ) and by the web of European alliances, were bound to declare war on each other.
Germany’s plan was to avoid a direct confrontation with French forces in the Eastern borders of France and to pass through Belgium then attack the French army behind. However, at the surprise of Kaiser Wilhelm II, by breaking Belgium’s neutrality and independence, Germany finally brought his cousin George V of the United Kingdom into the conflict, on the side of Russia and France.
The German government’s idea was to make the people think that they were entering a defensive war and were in no way the aggressors. With the assassination of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Empire engaged the hostilities.