Major WillieS Sarsfield 12/08/145 Annex Reasons for the outbreak of World War 1 Since 1815 the balance of power in Europe had been maintained by a series of treaties. In 1888 Wilhelm II was crowned ‘German Emperor and King of Prussia and moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive position. He did not renew a treaty with Russia aligned Germany with the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire and started to build a Navy to rival that of Britain. These actions greatly concerned Germanys neighbours who quickly forged new treaties and alliances in the event of war. On 28th June 1914 Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by the Bosnian-Serb nationalist group Young Bosnia who wanted pan-Serbian independence. Franz Joseph the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (with the backing of Germany) responded aggressively presenting Serbia with an intentionally unacceptable ultimatum to provoke Serbia into war. Serbia agreed to 8 of the 10 terms and on the 28th July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia producing a cascade effect across Europe. Russia bound by treaty to Serbia declared war with Austro-Hungary Germany declared war with Russia and France declared war with Germany. Germanys army crossed into neutral Belgium in order to reach Paris forcing Britain to declare war with Germany (due to the Treaty of London (1839) whereby Britain agreed to defend Belgium in the event of invasion). By the 4th August 1914 Britain and much of Europe were pulled into a war which would last 1566 days cost 8528831 lives and 28938073 casualties or missing on both sides. 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers actions in WW1 ?04.08.1914 Stationed at Barrosa Barracks Aldershot as part of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division. ?14.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat The Battle of the Marne The Battle of the Aisne First Battle of Ypres. ?26.11.1914 Transferred to the Ferozepore Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division and amalgamated with the 1st Battalion on December 2nd 1914 due to mounting casualties at Le Touret in France engaged in The Battles of Neuve Chapelle Aubers Ridge Festubert and Loos in 1915.?11.12.1915 Embarked for Mesopotamia from Marseilles arriving at Basra. ?10.01.1916 Transferred to the 9th Indian brigade of the 3rd Indian Division. ?Feb. 1916 Returned to the 7th Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division. ?03.04.1918 Embarked for Egypt from Kuwait arriving at Suez 15.04.1918 and took part in the Palestine Campaign. ?31.10.1918 Ended the war at Nazareth Palestine. More about the First Battle of the Aisne 13–28 September 1914 On 10 September Joffre ordered the French armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to advance and exploit the victory of the Marne and for four days the armies on the left flank advanced and gathered up German stragglers wounded and equipment opposed only by rearguards. On 11 and 12 September Joffre ordered outflanking manoeuvres by the armies on the left flank but the advance was too slow to catch the Germans who ended their withdrawal on 14 September on high ground on the north bank of the Aisne and began to dig in which reduced the French advance from 15–16 September to a few local gains. French
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