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What are some interesting facts about the UK that not many Americans know?

That we don't have a written constitution, but one that's based on precedent. When a tricky constitutional question comes up, no one really knows the answer.We don't get excited about freedom of speech. It's a bit of a non-issue. (And things seem to run smoothly - I'm pretty sure that any group like the Westboro Baptist Church would be banned/arrested fairly quickly. And no one would worry about whether their rights had been violated.) (And someone was recently sent to prison for what they wrote on Twitter. Update: It's happened again: Man jailed for antisemitic tweet to Labour MP).There is no right to bear arms, and no movement (worth mentioning) for a relaxation in very strict gun laws.There is not a big fuss made about the way that the British flag is treated. There is no flag code, and no pledging allegiance. You can set fire to a flag if you like - no one will take any more (or less) notice than if you set fire to any other piece of cloth or paper. You can buy Union Flag toilet paper.It's very, very rare to see a police officer carrying a gun. Most British police never carry a gun.Police in Britain fired their guns three times (that's three gunshots, i.e. three bullets) in 2013. No one was killed by those shots. (In 2012, one person was killed by being shot by the British police - I haven't seen information about how many shots were fired.)The last time a British police officer was shot and killed was 2012 (when two officers were shot). The time before that was 2007.Carrying a knife can get you arrested if the blade is more than 3 inches long and you don't have a good explanation of why you have it. You may not buy a knife if you are under 18 - even a butter knife. There is no movement for a right to bear knives either. Knives: the laws on buying and carryingIn 2011 there were 177,185 people born in the US living in the UK. (I didn't find a source of the opposite - British citizenship is not as clear as US citizenship.) That's approximately 1 person in 300, and includes Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.If you're born in the UK, you are not automatically a UK citizen.There is no separation of church and state. In fact, it's the opposite. The Queen, as head of state is nominally the head of the Church of England. She defers to the prime minister who appoints the person who actually runs it (the Archbishop of Canterbury). The Church of England bishops have a role in the goverment - there are 26 bishops in the House of Lords (imagine that 26 pastors of super-churches automatically sit in congress, and that these people led prayers at the start of each day. )Many state (public) schools are influenced by the church. I went to three Church of England (Controlled) schools - which is very common. In such a school, the local Church of England vicar chairs the board of governors. (I don't know if that's still the case - there was nothing special about it, this was a regular local school).Related to that, the monarch, and the heir to the throne may not marry a Catholic. (This is being debated [Jan, 2013] and astonishingly some people are objecting to changing this rule: Hark what discord follows when you meddle with the monarchy - Telegraph).The education system allows you to specialize early. I did not study history, geography, art, Spanish after age 14. At 16 I dropped French, English, math(s), chemistry, English. (I think you have to do some science up to age 16 now). At 16 you choose three subjects to study.Accents vary within a very small region. I grew up 35 miles North of Birmingham, and 40 miles south of Manchester. My accent would never be mistaken for one of them. (In a murder case, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, police received a tape which they believed was from the murderer. They believed that they had narrowed the accent down to one small town.) Here's a nice video on accents -None of these people have an accent like mine. The closest I could find was:Petrol (gas) costs US$8.60/gallon in London (today's price, today's exchange rate: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/mar/23/petrol-prices-rise ).Unless there is some sort of crossing, you should not cross the street at a corner. (Drivers will not be expecting you there). Crossings tend to be few yards down the road away from a corner.Most people teaching and working in universities are not professors. When I was an undergraduate there was one professor in the psychology department. I then went on to work in another psychology department of a university which had no professors (for several years).There's only one private university in the country. (There are a few very, very small places - but only one that you would really consider to be a university). It's the University of Buckingham.British people have very different ideas about how long a drive is. A 100 mile drive would be a long way. I told my mother I was driving to a ski resort almost 100 miles away. She asked where we were staying, because there's no way that anyone would drive 100 miles in a day, and then just drive home the same day.Related to this, the UK is small. The area of the UK is about the same size as Michigan. England is about the size of Louisiana.But the UK is densely populated. The population of the UK is about that of Michigan plus Louisiana plus Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming,England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles are all different things. If you call someone English, when they're not, they might be insulted. (But it's OK to call them British, or that they're a citizen of the United Kingdom.)Cricket matches can last 5 days. And if it rains, it's a draw.No party ever gets a majority of the popular vote in parliamentary elections. In the 1997 election (the first Tony Blair won) the Labour Party won more seats than they had ever won before in a historic landslide victory . They got 43.7% of the popular vote (and 63% of the seats in Parliament). George W Bush squeaked a controversial victory in 2000 with 47.9% of the popular vote.British people are said to have bad teeth, until (relatively) recently, having bad teeth was a sign that they were your own teeth, not false teeth. A reason for pride.British plumbing is quite different from American plumbing. In the UK, for example, there tends to be a gap between where the drain pipe ends, and where the drain begins. The drain from the bathroom (not toilet) and kitchen sink might look like this (it's usually got a cover). It's somewhat unsightly (less so with a cover) but much easier to access when it's blocked.If you ever see a very long, very straight road, it's likely it was built by the Romans originally, and it's been updated since then. Watling Street is the most famous example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watling_StreetTown / city names that end in -cester or -chester (Worcester, Leicester, Chichester, Winchester) were founded, or named, by the Romans and tend to the in the South. Towns that end -by (Derby, Corby, Whitby) were named or founded by the Vikings and tend to be further North.Most people drive manual (stick shift) cars. If you pass your driving test in an automatic car, you will get a licence that only allows you to drive automatics. This is very rare. If you rent a car, it's likely it will be manual, unless you specify that you want automatic.Postcodes are much more specific than zipcodes. A postcode only refers to a few houses, and some businesses will have their own postcode. If you put someone's name and their postcode on a letter, it will probably reach them. If you put their house number and postcode, it will definitely reach them. (E.g. I use to live at number 49, YO31 1BP. There's only one house with that number in that postcode.)The best selling newspaper (The Sun) in the country prints a large, color picture of a topless woman (just to be clear, with breasts exposed), on page 3. Labour party politicians (equivalent of Democrats) are much more likely to want to do something about this than Conservative politicians (equivalent of Republicans).Sometimes you'll see older houses with what appears to be a window which has been filled in with bricks. This is because houses were taxed according to the number of windows - the window tax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_taxThe first time it reached 100F anywhere in England was in Kent (South East) in 2003. (I'm not sure if it's happened again.)'Squash' is a drink. Lemonade is clear and fizzy (like 7-Up).Diet Coke outsells regular Coke.Healthcare is free (at point of use - it's paid for by taxes). I know that most Americans know this, but they don't really understand it until they experience it. If you are injured, you can go to a hospital or doctor or walk in center and they will treat you. You will pay no money. You will provide no ID. (They'll ask your name, for the record, but they won't know if you're lying). If you're in the hospital, it's free. If you're an inpatient in the hospital, food is free. Lab tests are free. Home visits are free. It's all free. (And the UK spends less on healthcare per person than the US).Scotland and Wales have separate parliaments, a little like a state. But they are still part of the UK. England does not have a separate parliament. But the Scottish parliament has more power than the Welsh parliament.If you need medication of any kind, it's a flat fee of around $12 per prescription, regardless of what it is (even if it costs less than that). If you're over 60, under 16, pregnant or poor, it's free. If you need a lot of prescriptions, you can buy a pre-payment certificate - (about) $50 buys all your medication for 3 months, $150 buys them all for a year. (This is different in Scotland, I believe).The exception to the prescription charge is for contraception. That's always free. This is not controversial.Dental treatment is free for children.In June 2012, it was reported that the prime minister was having lunch in a pub and went home, forgetting his 8 year old daughter. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/11/david-cameron-daughter-behind-pub. This was generally reported as "Ho ho, shows he's human. I've done that too." Imagine if the president had gone for lunch with his daughter to a bar, and forgotten her there. The reaction might be different.An MP doesn't have to live in the area they represent. They don't even need to have any connection to it. Boris Johnson (current mayor of London) stood for election in Henley without any prior connection to it. The reason being that Henley was a seat that the Conservatives (his party) were virtually certain to win. People can stand for election in multiple constituencies (not at the same time though). One way of proving you are a good campaigner is to stand in a seat that your party is very unlikely to win (and hence is not competitive to get the position), and then to do better than expected. Having shown you are a good campaigner, this means you are more likely to be selected to stand in a seat which is marginal.In 1971, the UK changed to decimal money. Before that, the money system was based on that introduced by the Romans and was extremely convoluted. There were four farthings (until 1960) or two halfpennies to a penny. 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shilling (240 pence) in a pound. A guinea was 21 shillings. There was a 10 shilling note, and a sixpenny bit. A crown was 5 shillings. A half crown was 2 shillings and 6 pence. A threepence coin was three pennies. After the changeover, people would ask "What's that in old money?", the phrase "Old money" came to mean the old way of doing something. If you said something was two metres, and I asked "What's that in old money?", I'd be asking how many feet and inches it is. After the conversion, a shilling was worth 5 pence (1/20th of a pound), and was still called a shilling or a bob. A ten bob bit is a 50 pence piece. (A friend of my father's had moved to the UK and was buying something in a second hand store. He asked how much something was, and the shopkeeper said "10 bob". He had no idea what that meant, so he said "How much?" The shopkeeper thought he was haggling, and said "All right, what about 4op?" More here: £sdBanknotes (bills) are different sizes, to help partially sighted and blind people tell them apart. Coins are also designed (thickness, diameter, shape, edge) to be able to be distinguished by touch for the same reason.NOTE: This one isn't really true. See : Is Muhammad the most popular boy's name in Britain? and Martin Beer's comment below. The most common first name for boys would be Mohammed, if there weren't so many different ways to spell it (e.g. Mohammed, Muhammad, Mohammad).There are strict rules about what can be called a city. Towns are sometimes granted city status on special occasions, in 2000, for the millenium, Brighton and Hove became a city, as did Wolverhampton. More here: City status in the United KingdomSales tax is set nationally, and its called Value Added Tax (often, but not always, pronounced 'vat'). It's currently set at 20%. It applies to goods and services (unlike sales tax in the US). It originally applied to 'luxury' goods, but that definition has increased. For example, adult clothes have VAT, children's clothes don't. Hot takeaway food has VAT, cold food doesn't (so if a store microwaves something for you, they should charge VAT, if you eat it cold, they don't). Frozen peas have VAT, canned peas don't. It's very rare for anything in shops selling to the public, rather than business, to have the price before VAT, so most consumers don't know what it applies to and what it doesn't.Children are allowed in many bars and pubs in the UK. Heck, they're encouraged. Many pubs have outdoor or indoor playgrounds to keep children amused while their parents can drink a beer (or whatever).Many cities have a football (soccer) team, or more than one named for them (Manchester City, Manchester United). London doesn't. (Although London has many teams, they don't have London in their names.)Counties are the (another, very rough) approximation of states in the US. But counties get shuffled about more often. Rutland ceased to exist (as a political entity) in 1974, but it was reinstated in 1994.The vast majority of households in the UK will have an electric kettle, for heating water to make tea and coffee.Lots of surnames are named after places. But these don't tend to be large places - there are very few people with the surname "London". Something like your occupation, or your city of origin, would be used to identify you - you were "Jack from London", but if it were a big place (like London) that might not be useful, because there could be more than one Jack from London (so your occupation might be used). The most common surname based on a place in the UK is Burton (which is known for its beer).Grilled cheese sandwiches don't exist. The closest thing would be a 'toastie' or a toasted sandwich (made in a sandwich toaster).Arugula is called 'rocket'.You can drink alcohol in a bar from the age of 18. You can drink beer, wine and cider if you are eating a meal and with an adult at 16. You can drink alcohol at home at 5.Cider always has alcohol in it.Chips (which an American would call 'fries') are typically served with salt and vinegar - ideally malt vinegar. Some pubs which are very finickety about their beer will not have vinegar, in case it contaminates the beer.Marmite is delicious.

What are English people tired of explaining?

Football is not called soccer…..I’m not Australian (ok, applies to a pretty small number I suppose - I have lived in Asia for a while).London is not England. I love London and will happily tell people how wonderful it is. It looks very little like Oxford or Whitby or Middlesbrough though. Get a bloody train somewhere (if they are running which is far more likely than the press would have you believe). England is truly wonderful, get away from Oxford street. If you absolutely must then keep going until you get to Scotland (spit vomit whatever), as long as you avoid speaking to anyone in case they kill you it is quite nice too.I don’t hate Scottish people even though I used to be married to one. They mostly don’t hate me/us either. Sort of brotherly love/hate thing. Their “soccer” teams are shit though.Sorry. Just am. Didn’t do anything but am anyway. Maybe you walked into me, maybe my great, great grandfather invaded your Country. Not my fault, sorry (again). I’m not really because I didn’t do it. I will say I am anyway, probably by the minute. Anyway, we are perpetually “sorry”. Can’t explain, we just are.Last, and as a coffee drinker (uhg) least. Warm the pot when making tea. Bloody Philistines.

Is it true that Germany didn't start WWI?

Q. Is it true that Germany didn't start WWI?A. TN's answer to Which country attacked which country in World War I?Alliances:Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and Ottoman EmpireRussia, Serbia, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Portugal, Romania, Montenegro and JapanFirst Blood:Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia (Belgrade bombardment)Germany attacked neutral Belgium (Siege of Liege)Russia attacked Germany and Austria-Hungary (East Prussia, Battle of Tannenberg)France attacked Alsace-Lorraine (Plan XVII)France and Great Britain attacked German Togo in West AfricaOttoman Empire attacked Russia (Odessa)Japan attacked German possessions in Far EastJuly Crisis 1914www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/firstworldwar/index-1914.html1914 : War Erupts1871 - Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, Germany is unified as an Imperial federation of states, led by the King of Prussia (Kaiser Wilhelm I). This spurs a new era of population growth and rapid industrialization. The Germans also forcibly annexed the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from France.Kaiser Wilhelm II, ruler of Imperial Germany beginning in 1888. Oldest grandson of England's Queen Victoria, the Kaiser was a cousin to both King George V of England and Czar Nicholas II of Russia. As Germany's leader, Kaiser Wilhelm was obsessed with maintaining his popularity, and was erratic in his decision making--torn between advice of ministers, desire to be popular, and his fear of appearing weak-willed.Kaiser reviews his troops. A close look reveals the withered left arm he was born with. He overcame the psychological impact by embracing all things military, and always wore military uniform. He envisioned a German empire to rival Great Britain-- spurring intensive arms race between Germany and Britain that led to war in 1914 when he gave unconditional backing to Austria following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.1882 - Germany, Austria-Hungary (Hapsburg Empire) and Italy form the Triple Alliance.1891 - The Russian Empire and France form their own alliance in reaction to the Triple Alliance.1898 - Germany begins to build up its navy to challenge the British Navy's long-standing global supremacy.January 1902 - Britain and Japan form a naval alliance.April 1904 - The British reach a strategic agreement with France which includes mutual military support in the event of war.January 1905 - Troops of Russian Czar Nicholas II fire upon peaceful demonstrators in St. Petersburg killing hundreds in what comes to be known as Bloody Sunday.Bloody Sunday: The Unhappy History that Led to the Russian RevolutionCzar Nicholas II, ruler of the vast Russian Empire, populated by illiterate downcast peasants controlled by an insulated and arrogant elite--all the right ingredients for revolution, historically.Look-a-likes Czar Nicholas (on left) and his cousin King George of England--soon to be allies against their other cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. Their grandmother, Queen Victoria, had dominated the royalty of old-world Europe throughout the 1800's. She presided as a level-headed matriarch, helping to preserve order among her powerful descendants. But upon her death in 1901, the royals were driven apart by pent up rivalries, pride and national ambition, a scenario that lead to the most destructive war the world had ever known, beginning in the summer of 1914.May 1905 - Russia suffers a military defeat at sea by newly industrialized Japan, thwarting Russia's territorial ambitions toward Manchuria and Korea.Russo-Japanese War | Causes, Summary, Map, & SignificanceOctober 1905 - Continuing political unrest in Russia, including a general strike, results in the creation of a national legislative assembly (Duma) by the Czar. How Tsar Nicholas II Attempted to Stave Off the Russian RevolutionFebruary 1906 - HMS Dreadnought is launched by Britain, marking the advent of a new class of big-gun battleships. The Germans follow suit and begin building similar battleships as an all-out arms race ensues between Germany and Britain.The 12-inch guns aboard the British Battleship HMS Dreadnought. Not long after the launch of the Dreadnought Class battleships, even bigger 15-inch guns that could fire up to 16 miles became the new standard.German Battleship Kaiser, launched in March 1911 and armed with ten 12-inch guns--marking the advent of the Kaiser Class size of German battleships to compete with Britain's Dreadnoughts. By the war's outbreak in 1914, Germany's naval fleet, with 25 battleships, was second largest in the world, outgunned only by Great Britain with its 43 battleships.August 1907 - The British reach a strategic agreement with Russia. Anglo-Russian Convention, Strategic Background to the Anglo-Russian Entente of August 1907October 1908 - Austria-Hungary, backed by Germany, annexes Bosnia-Herzegovina. Neighboring Serbia, with the backing of Russia, voices its objection in support of the Serbian minority living in Bosnia.Austria-Hungary annexes Bosnia-Herzegovina - Oct 06, 1908 - HISTORY.comMarch 1909 - Germany forces Russia to endorse the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary.1910 - Germany surpasses Britain as the leading manufacturing nation in Europe. The United States remains the world leader, surpassing all of the European manufacturing nations combined. How and when did Germany catch up to Great Britain and the US? Results from the official statistics, 1901-1960October 1912 - The Balkan War erupts in southern Europe as Serbia leads an attack by members of the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece) against the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire to drive the Turks out of Europe.May 1913 - The Balkan War ends with the Turks driven out of southern Europe.A peace settlement is then drawn up by the major European powers that divides up the former Turkish areas in southern Europe among the Balkan League nations. However, the peace is short-lived as Bulgaria, desiring a bigger share, attacks neighboring Greece and Serbia. Romania then attacks Bulgaria along with the Turks. This Second Balkan War results in Bulgaria losing territory and the Serbians becoming emboldened, leaving the Balkan region of southern Europe politically unstable.1914June 28, 1914Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, visit Sarajevo in Bosnia. A bomb is thrown at their auto but misses. Undaunted, they continue their visit only to be shot and killed a short time later by a lone assassin. Believing the assassin to be a Serbian nationalist, the Austrians target their anger toward Serbia.Franz FerdinandJuly 23, 1914 - Austria-Hungary, with the backing of Germany, delivers an ultimatum to Serbia. The Serbs propose arbitration as a way to resolve dispute, but also begin mobilization of their troops.July 25, 1914 - Austria-Hungary severs diplomatic ties with Serbia and begins to mobilize its troops.July 26, 1914 - Britain attempts to organize a political conference among the major European powers to resolve the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. France and Italy agree to participate. Russia then agrees, but Germany refuses.July 28, 1914 - The Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia.July 29, 1914 - Britain calls for international mediation to resolve the worsening crisis. Russia urges German restraint, but the Russians begin partial troop mobilization as a precaution. The Germans then warn Russia on its mobilization and begin to mobilize themselves.July 30, 1914 - Austrian warships bombard Belgrade, capital of Serbia.July 1914 - Austro-Hungarian warships (Monitors) bombard Belgrade, capital of Serbia. The Danube Flotilla fire the first military shots of the Great War.July 31, 1914 - Reacting to the Austrian attack on Serbia, Russia begins full mobilization of its troops. Germany demands that it stop.Mighty Russian Army--on paper, world's largest but beset by big obstacles including poor transportation system, equipment shortages, inadequate troop training, and poor quality officers. Below: Russian Army officers--a far cry from highly trained German counterparts. Most officers ascended based family lineage or connections to powerful people within Czar's regime. Many commanders had no practical military knowledge. Their troops, mainly illiterate peasants, would fight heroically , but could also succumb to group panic when things went wrong due to poor leadership.August 1, 1914 - Germany declares war on Russia. France and Belgium begin full mobilization.Lines form for French mobilization at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris. The initial call-up was a million men for the Army. Below: Near the Front, enthusiastic French troops exit their trains.World War 1 Propaganda MapAugust 3, 1914 - Germany declares war on France, and invades neutral Belgium. Britain then sends an ultimatum, rejected by the Germans, to withdraw from Belgium.Hats are raised in Berlin upon the announcement of Germany's declaration of war. Below: The Garde-Kürassier Regiment in Berlin departs for the Front.August 4, 1914 - Great Britain declares war on Germany. The declaration is binding on all Dominions within the British Empire including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.The Great War: Canada found its identity in the trenches. During the 2nd Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Canadians and Newfoundlanders proved their worthiness over and over again.August 4, 1914 - U.S. proclaims neutrality in World War IPresident Woodrow Wilson declared that the United States would remain “impartial in thought as well as in action.” At the time, a vast majority of Americans approved of Wilson’s policy of strict U.S. neutrality. Official Papers - World War I Document Archive BYUAugust 4-16, 1914 - The Siege of Liege occurs as Germans attack the Belgian fortress city but meet resistance from Belgian troops inside the Liege Forts. The twelve forts surrounding the city are then bombarded into submission by German and Austrian howitzers using high explosive shells. Remaining Belgian troops then retreat northward toward Antwerp as the German westward advance continues.An Austrian siege gun in Belgium, used along with German howitzers to blast the LiegeBelgian reservists exit Gare de l'Ouest train station to report for duty. Below: Enthusiastic Belgians off to the front to face the world's most potent fighting force--the German Army.August 6, 1914 - The Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Russia.August 6, 1914 - French and British troops invade the German colony of Togo in West Africa. Twenty days later, the German governor there surrenders. Togoland Campaign.August 7, 1914 - The first British troops land in France. The 120,000 highly trained members of the regular British Army form the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commanded by Field Marshal John French.British Expeditionary Force's preparations in Belgium. Douglas Haig (front centre) and his CommandersArrival of British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in FranceJohn Buchan 2: The Secret Elite’s Special Propaganda WeaponAugust 7-24, 1914 - The French desire to score a quick victory ignites the first major French-German action of the war. The French Army invades Alsace and Lorraine according to their master strategy known as Plan XVII. However, the French offensive is met by effective German counter-attacks using heavy artillery and machine-guns. The French suffer heavy casualties including 27,000 soldiers killed in a single day, the worst one-day death toll in the history of the French Army. The French then fall back toward Paris amid 300,000 total casualties.French attack of German provinces Alsace and Lorraine.August 8, 1914 - Britain enacts the Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA) granting unprecedented powers to the government to control the economy and daily life.August 12, 1914 - Great Britain and France declare war on Austria-Hungary. Serbia is invaded by Austria-Hungary.August 17, 1914 - Russia invades Germany, attacking into East Prussia, forcing the outnumbered Germans there to fall back. This marks the advent of the Eastern Front in Europe in which Russia will oppose Germany and Austria-Hungary.Woman giving flower to German soldier leaving for the front, Berlin August 1914.August 20, 1914 - German troops occupy undefended Brussels, capital of Belgium. Following this, the main German armies continue westward and invade France according to their master strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan. It calls for a giant counter-clockwise movement of German armies wheeling into France, swallowing up Paris, and then attacking the rear of the French armies concentrated in the Alsace-Lorraine area. Under the overall command of Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff, the Germans seek to achieve victory over France within six weeks and then focus on defeating Russia in the East before Russia's six-million-man army, the world's largest, can fully mobilize.August 23, 1914 - Japan declares war on Germany. The Japanese then prepare to assist the British in expelling the Germans from the Far East. German possessions in the South Pacific include a naval base on the coast of China, part of New Guinea, Samoa, and the Caroline, Marshall and Mariana Islands.Battle of TannenbergAugust 26, 1914 - On the Eastern Front, German troops in East Prussia under the new command of Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff oppose the Russian 2nd Army. Aided by aerial reconnaissance and the interception of uncoded Russian radio messages, the Germans effectively reposition their troops to counter the initial Russian advance. Five days later, after surrounding the Russians, the battle ends with a German victory and the capture of 125,000 Russians. Following this success, the Germans drive the Russians out of East Prussia with heavy casualties. The impressive victory elevates Hindenburg and Ludendorff to the status of heroes in Germany.German troops en route to East Prussia to fend off the invasion from the east by the Russian Army--an invasion launched although the Russians were not sufficiently mobilized. The Russians had responded to urgent appeals from France for action to divert German resources. This bought time for the French and British to better organize their defenses. Below: Russian soldiers on the Eastern Front take aim. Men in the second line do not have rifles, indicative of the serious equipment problems affecting the Russian Army from the start.A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Russia loses an army at the Battle of Tannenberg (independent.co.uk)Captured soldiers of the Russian 2nd Army after their defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg Getty ImagesAugust 30, 1914 - German possessions in the Far East are attacked as New Zealand troops occupy German Samoa. Three days later, Japanese forces land on the coast of China, preparing to attack the German naval base at Tsingtao (Qingdao). A month later, the Japanese begin their occupation of the Caroline, Marshall and Mariana Islands.The First Battle of the MarneOnly 33 days after declaring war on France, German forces had roared through Belgium and the French countryside to the gates of Paris. With the Eiffel Tower within sight of the enemy, it appeared that World War I would be a short fight. That all changed, however, at the First Battle of the Marne.September 5-12, 1914 - On the Western Front, Paris is saved as French and British troops disrupt the Schlieffen Plan by launching a major counter-offensive against the invading German armies to the east of Paris. Six hundred taxi cabs from the city help to move French troops to the Front. Aided by French aerial reconnaissance which reveals a gap has developed in the center of the whole German advance, the French and British exploit this weakness and press their advantage. The Germans then begin a strategic withdrawal northward as the Allies pursue. Each side repeatedly tries to outmaneuver the other and gain a tactical advantage as they move northward in what becomes known as the Race to the Sea.September 7, 1914 - In the Far East, a German naval squadron, commanded by Graf von Spee severs the British Pacific communications cable. Information Warfare in World War I.September 8, 1914 - The French government enacts nationwide State of War regulations which include total control over the economy and national security, strict censorship, and suspension of civil liberties.September 17, 1914 - On the Eastern Front, Austrian forces steadily retreat from the advancing Russian 3rd and 8th armies fighting in southern Poland and along the Russian-Austrian border. The Germans then send the newly formed 9th Army to halt the Russians. This marks the beginning of a pattern in which the Germans will aid the weaker Austro-Hungarian Army.Zeppelin RaidSeptember 22, 1914 - The first-ever British air raid against Germany occurs as Zeppelin bases at Cologne and Düsseldorf are bombed. Strategic bombing during World War I - WikipediaFirst Battle of YpresOctober 19-November 22, 1914October 19, 1914 - Still hoping to score a quick victory in the West, the Germans launch a major attack on Ypres in Belgium. Despite heavy losses, British, French and Belgian troops fend off the attack and the Germans do not break through. During the battle, the Germans send waves of inexperienced 17 to 20-year-old volunteer soldiers, some fresh out of school. They advance shoulder-to-shoulder while singing patriotic songs only to be systematically gunned down in what the Germans themselves later call the "massacre of the innocents." By November, overall casualties will total 250,000 men, including nearly half of the British Regular Army.Portrait of the new German rulers of Belgium: from left--Count Harrach; Lt. Von Loebel; and Dr. Von Sandt, Civil Governor. Belgium's legitimate ruler, King Albert, had withdrawn toward Ypres along with his troops to fight the Germans alongside the British for the duration. Below: Belgians gaze at a German troop formation in historic Antwerp.October 29, 1914 - The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) enters the war on the side of the Germans as three warships shell the Russian port of Odessa. Three days later, Russia declares war on Turkey. Russian and Turkish troops then prepare for battle along the common border of the Russian Caucasus and the Ottoman Empire.Belligerents and Participants in World War One: The Ottoman EmpireOttoman Empire surprise raids against Russia’s Black Sea ports of Odessa, Sevastopol and Theodosia. Russia then declared war on the Ottoman Empire on November 3rd, which was followed by declarations from the other Allied nations the next day.October-November, 1914 - Germans and Austrians launch a combined offensive against the Russians on the Eastern Front. The German 9th Army targets Warsaw, Poland, but is opposed by six Russian armies and withdraws. The Austrians attack the Russians in Galicia (a province in northeast Austria) with indecisive results. However, the Russians fail to press their advantage at Warsaw and instead begin a split counter-offensive moving both southward against the Austrians in Galicia and northward toward Germany. The German 9th Army then regroups and cuts off the Russians at Lodz, Poland, halting their advance and forcing an eastward withdrawal by the Russians.Austro-Hungarian soldiers near Yaroslav in GaliciaNovember 1, 1914 - Austria invades Serbia. This is the third attempt to conquer the Serbs in retaliation for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This attempt fails like the two before it, at the hands of highly motivated Serbs fighting on their home ground. The Austrians withdraw in mid-December, after suffering over 220,000 casualties from the three failed invasions.Serbian artillery soldiers defending their frontier against Austro-Hungarian attackNovember 1, 1914 - The British Navy suffers its worst defeat in centuries during a sea battle in the Pacific. Two British ships, the Monmouth and Good Hope, are sunk with no survivors by a German squadron commanded by Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee.German East Asiatic SquadronHMS Good Hope, Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock's flagship, was destroyed by Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee's squadron before it could fire a shot.November 3, 1914 - Kaiser Wilhelm appoints Erich von Falkenhayn as the new Chief of the German General Staff, replacing Helmuth von Moltke who is sacked due to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan.November 5, 1914 - France and Britain declare war on the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire.November 6, 1914 - In the Persian Gulf, a major British offensive begins as the 6th Indian Division invades Mesopotamia. The objective is to protect the oil pipeline from Persia. Two weeks later they capture the city of Basra.1914: The Battle for Basra | OUPblogNovember 7, 1914 - In the Far East, the German naval base at Tsingtao is captured by the Japanese, aided by a British and Indian battalion.Trench Warfare BeginsDecember 1914 - The Western Front in Europe stabilizes in the aftermath of the First Battle of Ypres as the Germans go on the defensive and transfer troops to the East to fight the Russians. The 450-mile-long Western Front stretches from the Channel Coast southward through Belgium and Eastern France into Switzerland. Troops from both sides construct opposing trench fortifications and dugouts protected by barbed wire, machine-gun nests, snipers, and mortars, with an in-between area called No Man's Land. The Eastern Front also sees its share of trenches as troops dig in after the Russians hold off the Germans in Poland and the Austrians hold off the Russians at Limanowa. The 600-mile Eastern Frontstretches from the Baltic Sea southward through East Prussia and Austria to the Carpathian Mountains. WW1: 1915 scriptBlood and Mud: A French Soldier’s WWI Memoir Vividly Describes Trench WarfareGerman machine gun on the Eastern Front, protected by trench and dense bands of barbed wire. Attacks on such positions invariably resulted in heavy losses among the attacking force.December 8, 1914 - The Battle of_the Falkland Islands occurs as British Navy warships destroy the German squadron of Admiral Graf von Spee in the South Atlantic off the coast of Argentina. Von Spee and two sons serving in his squadron are killed.The destruction of SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, by W. L. Wyllie, 1915–18.The Battles of Coronel and the Falkland IslandsDecember 10, 1914 - The French begin a series of attacks along the Western Front against the Germans in the Artois region of northern France and Champagne in the south. Hampered by a lack of heavy artillery and muddy winter conditions, the French fail to make any significant gains and both offensives are soon suspended.December 16, 1914 - Britain suffers its first civilian casualties at home in the war as the German Navy bombards the coastal towns of Whitby, Hartlepool and Scarborough, killing 40 persons and wounding hundreds.'Remember Scarborough! Enlist now': WWI bombardment of seaside town which left 18 dead sparking enlistment campaignDecember 25, 1914 - A Christmas truce occurs between German and British soldiers in the trenches of northern France. All shooting stops as the soldiers exit their trenches, exchange gifts, sing carols and engage in a soccer game. This is the only Christmas truce of the war, as Allied commanders subsequently forbid fraternization with orders to shoot any violators.Christmas Truce of 1914WW1: 1915 scriptJanuary 1915. World War One is just five months old, and already around one million soldiers have fallen.A war that began in the Balkans has engulfed much of the world.The Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, fight the Allies: Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Belgium, and Japan.In Poland and the Baltic, the Russian army has suffered a string of massive defeats, but continues to battle German and Austro-Hungarian forces.Austro-Hungarian troops have also suffered huge losses, and are humiliated by their failure to defeat Serbia.In the Caucasus Mountains, Russian and Ottoman forces fight each other in freezing winter conditions.While on the Western Front, French, British and Belgian troops are dug in facing the Germans, in trenches stretching from the English Channel to Switzerland.19th January: As part of the world’s first strategic bombing campaign, Germany sends two giant airships, known as Zeppelins, to bomb Britain. They hit the ports of King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth, damaging houses and killing 4 civilians.24th January: At sea, at the Battle of Dogger Bank, the British navy sinks one German cruiser, but the rest of the German squadron escapes. Command of the seas has allowed Britain to impose a naval blockade of Germany, preventing vital supplies, including food, from reaching the country by sea.7th February: On the Eastern Front, German Field Marshal von Hindenburg launches a Winter Offensive, and inflicts another massive defeat on the Russian army at the Second Battle of Masurian Lakes. The Russians lose up to 200,000 men, half of them surrendering amid freezing winter conditions.18th February: Germany retaliates against the British naval blockade with one of its own: it declares the waters around the British Isles to be a war zone, where its U-boats will attack Allied merchant ships without warning. Britain relies on imported food to feed its population. Germany plans to starve her into surrender.19th February: The British and French send warships to the Dardanelles, to threaten Constantinople, capital of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. They believe a show of force will quickly cause Turkey to surrender. They bombard Turkish shore-forts in the narrow straits, but three battleships are sunk by mines, and three more damaged. The attack is called off.10th March: On the Western Front, the British attack at Neuve Chapelle, but the advance is soon halted by German barbed wire and machineguns. British and Indian units suffer 11,000 casualties – about a quarter of the attacking force.Soldiers of the British Indian Army on the Western Front. Indian units played a major role in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, March 1915.22nd March: Russian forces fare better against Austria-Hungary: the city of Przemyśl falls after a four month siege, netting the Russians 100,000 prisoners. Austria-Hungary's total losses now reach two million.22nd April: At the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans attack with poison gas for the first time on the Western Front. A cloud of lethal chlorine gas forces Allied troops to abandon their trenches, but the Germans don't have enough reserves ready to exploit the advantage. Soldiers on both sides are quickly supplied with crude gas-masks, as a chemical weapons arms-race begins.Belgian troops wearing early gas masks, 191524th April: The Ottoman Empire begins the systematic deportation and murder of ethnic Armenians living within its borders. The Armenians are a long-persecuted ethnic and religious minority, suspected of supporting Turkey's enemies. Tens of thousands of men, women and children are transported to the Syrian desert and left to die. In all, more than a million Armenians perish. The Allies condemn the events as 'a crime against humanity and civilisation', and promise to hold the perpetrators criminally responsible. To this day, the Turkish government disputes the death toll, and that these events constituted a 'genocide'.French troops try on early gas masks, pads soaked in neutralising chemicals.25th April: The Allies land ground troops at Gallipoli, including men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the ANZACs. Their goal is to take out the shore forts that are preventing Allied warships reaching Constantinople. But they immediately meet fierce Turkish resistance, and are pinned down close to the shore.2nd May: On the Eastern Front, a joint German / Austro-Hungarian offensive in Galicia breaks through Russian defences, recapturing Przemyśl and taking 100,000 prisoners. It is the beginning of a steady advance against Russian forces.A torpedo fired by the German submarine SMS U-20 streaks toward the Lusitania.Lusitania beginning her final plunge into the deep.7th May: At sea, the British passenger-liner Lusitania, sailing from New York to Liverpool, is torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland without warning. 1,198 passengers and crew perish, including 128 Americans. US President Woodrow Wilson and the American public are outraged. But Germany insists the liner was a fair target, as the British used her to carry military supplies.9th May: The Allies launch the Second Battle of Artois , in another effort to break through the German lines. The French make the main attack at Vimy Ridge, while the British launch supporting attacks at Aubers Ridge and Festubert. The Allies sustain 130,000 casualties, and advance just a few thousand yards.Fokker Eindecker I aircraftThat summer, above the Western Front, the Fokker Eindecker helps Germany win control of the air. It's one of the first aircraft with a machinegun able to fire forward through its propeller, thanks to a new invention known as interruptor gear. Allied aircraft losses mount rapidly, in what becomes known as the 'Fokker Scourge'.23rd May: Italy, swayed by British and French promises of territorial gains at Austro-Hungarian expense, joins the Allies, declaring war on Austria-Hungary, and later the Ottoman Empire and Germany. The Italian army makes its first assault against Austro-Hungarian positions along the Isonzo river, but is repulsed with heavy losses.Tsar Nicholas II (third from left) visits the front, while his cousin, the army's commander-in-chief Grand Duke Nicholas, looks on (far right).5th August: The Allies face a crisis on the Eastern Front. The Russians have begun a general retreat, abandoning Poland. German troops enter Warsaw on 5th August. Tsar Nicholas II dismisses the army's commander-in-chief, Grand Duke Nicholas, and takes personal command. It will prove disastrous for the Tsar, as he becomes more and more closely tied to Russian military defeat.6th August: At Gallipoli, the Allies land reinforcements at Suvla Bay, but neither they nor a series of fresh attacks by the ANZACs can break the deadlock. Conditions for both sides are terrible; troops are tormented not only by the enemy, but by heat, flies, and sickness.ANZACs on their way to Gallipoli, 1915.1st September: In the Atlantic, a German U-boat sinks the liner SS Arabic: 44 are lost, including three Americans. In response to further US warnings, Germany ends all attacks on passenger ships.The French Commander-in-Chief, Général Joffre, requested support for his Artois offensive from British units under Field Marshal Sir John French, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force. On 9 May 1915 the British launched in their front sector, more to the north, a pincer attack on Festubert, Neuve Chapelle, and Aubers Ridge.25th September: On the Western Front, the Allies mount their biggest offensive of the war so far, designed to smash through the front, and take pressure off their beleaguered Russian ally. The French attack in the Third Battle of Artois and Second Battle of Champagne; The British, with the help of poison gas, attack at Loos. Despite initial gains, the attacks soon get bogged down, with enormous losses on all sides.Third Battle of Artois was meant to complement the Second Battle of Champagne, a last attempt by French commander-in-chief Joffre to exploit the Allied numerical advantage over Germany before next winter .3rd October: Allied troops land at Salonika in Greece, to open a new front against the Central Powers, and bring aid to Serbia. But the Allies are too late. Bulgaria joins the Central Powers, and their joint offensive overruns Serbia in two months. That winter the remnants of the Serbian Army escape through the Albanian mountains. Their losses are horrific – by the end of the war a third of Serbia's army has been killed – the highest proportion of any nation.18th October: Fierce fighting continues on the Italian front, as Italian troops launch the Third and Fourth Battles of the Isonzo. Austro-Hungarian forces, though outnumbered, are dug in on the high ground, and impossible to dislodge.22nd November: In the Middle East, a British advance on Baghdad is blocked by Turkish forces at the Battle of Ctesiphon, 25 miles south of the city. The British withdraw to Kut, where they are besieged.The Allies at Battle of Ctesiphon: 22 November 1915 - 25 November 191520th December: The Allies abandon the Gallipoli campaign. 83,000 troops are secretly evacuated without alerting Turkish forces. Not a man is lost. It's one of the best executed plans of the war. But the campaign has cost both sides quarter of a million casualties.Austro-Hungarian machinegun team defending a mountain slope on the Italian front.1915 is a bad year for the Allies – enormous losses, for no tangible gains. But there is no talk of peace – instead all sides prepare for even bigger offensives in 1916, with new tactics developed from earlier failures. All sides still believe a decisive battlefield victory is within grasp.http://www.answers.com/Q/What_co...What country struck first in World War I?  * Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914, and shelled Belgrade the following day.  * The first major strike, however, was that by Germany, with an army of 3 million men against Belgium on 4 August 1914.

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