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3rd August 1914

Germany invades Belgium

The crisis which had started with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand now engulfed Europe. Austria, supported by Germany, was determined to crush Serbia. Germany was aware that by supporting the Austrians they were risking a wider European war with Russia, but it was a war they expected to win. Germany hoped to defeat one of its neighbouring enemies quickly before another one intervened. The Germans decided to invade France, but as their common borders were heavily fortified they needed to enter the country through neutral Belgium.

First World War, Military & Policing
War-damaged church in Belgium.
Deputy Keeper of Records, PRONI D1132/21/16