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Today in 1914 – Austria Declares War on Russia

6. August 2010 by Admin 0 Comments

World War I began on July 28, 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo exactly one month before. The day after Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia, Russia began to mobilize its troops as a show of support for Serbia.

Many Russian officials, including Rasputin, were against the war and claimed that it would ruin Russia. In a telegram to the Kaiser, Tsar Nicholas II stated that the mobilization of troops was meant to reassure Serbia against Austria, and not to provoke Germany. The Kaiser didn’t see it his way.

By August 4, Germany had stirred the pot and declared war on Russia and France. On August 6, Austria officially declared war on Russia, and the battle was officially underway a few days later when they invaded Russian Poland. The first encounter with Germany, the Battle of Tannenberg, left Russia crippled with the almost complete destruction of the Second Army.

Russia’s massive manpower advantage and manufacturing prowess were essential components of the Entente Power’s strategy over the Central Powers. Many Russian men died in combat and this large number of casualties was the first of two events (World War II) that would shape the Russian ethnography for the next 100 years (surplus of women). However, the war led to the end of the Romanov dynasty and gave the Bolsheviks the fuel for revolution.