On 1 August 1914, Germany declared war on Russia, which makes this day, according to some, the date of the official outbreak of World War I. On 2 August 1914 Germany invaded Luxembourg and on 3 August 1914 Germany declared war on France. On 4 August 1914 Germany declared war on neutral Belgium, invading it in a flanking move designed to defeat France quickly. As a result of this invasion of Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Canada followed suit and joining the war, but U.S President Woodrow Wilson declared as policy of American neutrality.
Note: I am undertaking this tour through the centenary events of World War I over the commemoration dates as a personal learning experience and my own small tribute to the people who lost their lives and/or their loved ones in the always terrible acts of war. If people who are knowledgeable about these events care to correct, expand and educate me, I will be perfectly content. I apologise to those who have landed up here while on a scholarly quest. This is NOT intended as an academic commentary.