Monday, August 4, 2014

Belgian Cities in Flames -- August 4, 2014

100 years ago today, the German Empire violated the neutrality of Belgium by invading that country on its way to invade France.  This set of articles is from the 05-August-1914 Washington Times.  No German dreadnaughts were captured during the war.  Germany did not invade Holland in 1914. 



Liege, bearing the brunt of a determined assault on the Belgian frontier, is ablaze from German shells. 

The first assault by 50,000 men was repulsed with heavy casualties.

King Albert is to lead his army in person.

Namur, another Belgian frontier town,  is being shelled by long-range artillery preliminary to an assault by a second column. 

Official news from all points is withheld but, with large bodies of men fighting at close range with
modern guns, the losses along, the German frontier must be in the thousands.

A clash between the German and British North Sea squadrons is believed to be in progress.

Heavy firing off the Maine coast reported, may indicate a naval battle near the United States. 

Holland and Belgium are aflame with war zeal.

In Holland, the Dutch army is falling back before the German advance.

A heavy artillery duel is being maintained near Toui and Epinal, where 100,000 Germans are seeking
a gap between the French defense. Hospitals at Nancy are filled with wounded.

At Petit Croix a second assault of Germans, to isolate Belfort, has been repulsed.

Heavy casualties are reported from several battlefields. Surrender of a German dreadnought and a cruiser and the sinking of a third warship by the French fleet gave the allies the first naval victory.

German Assault on Liege Repulsed; Heavy Losses

BRUSSELS, Aug. 5. It is officially announced today that the Belgian forces have effectively checked the German advance. Both attacking and defending forces suffered heavy loss.

The country is aflame with the war spirit and even the women are demanding that they be enrolled in defense of the nation. It is announced that King Albert will take the field in person as soon as the war measures are completed.
The German army, having Cologne as its base, crossed the Belgian frontier at Gemmenieh. Divided into two columns, it advanced against Liege and Namur.

The heaviest fighting was in the attack on Liege, where a German force of 50,000 was engaged by Belgians of half that number. The Germans attempted to carry the entrenchments beyond Liege by storm, but were repulsed by a withering artillery fire and the advance column fell back in confusion, leaving many dead and wounded.

The Belgians had mounted machine guns along the railway line commanding the right of way and the military road that paralleled it and the Germans were unable to carry the position by storm.

After falling back, the Germans hurriedly entrenched and mounted artillery with which they are now bombarding Liege and Namur from a half circular position extending for eight miles.

Both Liege and Namur have been set on fire by shells.

The fight at Liege will be long continued, as this is the strongest point in all Belgium. The defenses of the city comprise twelve forts on the outskirts of the city, all equipped with modern artillery. The garrison is strong, and additional troops were rushed there yesterday.

The war office is confident that Liege can hold out against the German attack indefinitely and that the German movement through Belgium has now been rendered ineffective.

The towns of Vise and Argemen have been burned by the Germans and scores of Belgians slain.


BRUSSELS, Aug. 5. A German aviator flew across the Belgium defenses outside of Liege today. He was greeted with a storm of bullets from the forces and literally shot to pieces, falling to the ground in the middle of the Belgian force. As a result of this other German airmen who had been seen in the distance flew back to the German lines.


ENGLAND -- Army mobilized; minor fighting in the North sea, off Scotland and Yorkshire; main battle fleet steaming toward German coast with orders to "capture or destroy" German fleet; food shortage evident; poor suffering.

FRANCE Enormous invading German army already across frontier headed for Paris engaged by French in skirmishing preliminary to general battle; Mediterranean fleet has sunk German cruiser;
captured dreadnaught and cruiser.

GERMANY Kaiser, battling with England, France, Russia, Holland, Belgium, Servia, and Montenegro, getting little assistance from Austria, which is pressed by Russia and Servia, has appealed to Italy to assist him. Fully 5,000,000 men are under arms.

RUSSIA Invading Austria and Prussia; war fleets bottled up in Black sea and Gulf of Finland; mobilization proceeding very slowly.

AUSTRIA Army unable to penetrate Servia; now menaced with Russian invasion.

BELGIUM Entire frontier devastated by overwhelming German army; but holding invaders in check at Liege; bloodiest fighting of war in progress here with hundreds already killed and wounded.

JAPAN War fleet coaling, and will strike in aid of England should fighting spread to Far East.

HOLLAND Germans, attempting to cross country, attacked by Dutch troops on border; dykes will be cut and country flooded should invasion continue.

SERVIA Holding Austrians in check, prepares to invade Bosnia.


Cunard Giantess Will Be Convoyed by the British Cruiser Essex.

NEW YORK, Aug. 5. The Cunard giantess, Lusitania, is today racing for England under convoy of the British cruiser Essex. With 200 passengers aboard and a rich cargo. including $200,000 in gold, the liner slipped from her pier at 1:20 a. m. today and dashed out into the gloom of early dawn confident of eluding capture by three German warships believed to be watching and waiting to prey on British commerce.

The British cruiser Essex convoyed the White Star liner Olympic into safety off the entrance to New York harbor last night, and then slipped into the .night, awaiting word from the Lusitania that she had started.

Captain Dow's orders on the Lusitania were that every deck light should be extinguished except the masthead and port and starboard signal lamps. Below decks portholes were blanketed to conceal state room and saloon lights.  The Lusitania's officers laughed at the possibility of capture by German warships. The Cunarder speeds twenty-seven knots an hour, faster than most war vessels except torpedo boats.

The cruiser Karlsrhue, one of the three German warships now believed off Sandy Hook was built to make this speed, but has made it only for a short distance on a trial trip.

Captain Dow expects, to make the trip to England in less than five days.  Ordinarily the Lusitania's running time is five and one half days. She carried reserve coal supplies and will steam under forced draft.

The Cunard liner will be accompanied by British or French cruisers all the way across, according to her officers.

From wireless signals picked up here, it is believed that at the present time there are three German cruisers and the converted liner Kronprinz Wilhelm; three British cruisers and three French
cruisers patrolling the high seas just off the entrance to New York harbor.  It is not believed the Germans will risk the chance of an encounter with the French and British vessels.

The White Star Liner Olympic and the Hamburg-American liner President Lincoln arrived today.

The Olympia (should be Olympic - JT) came from Southampton and on the last stage of her voyage was in constant wireless touch with one of the British cruisers which steamed within a short distance of her during the last stages of the trip.

The President Lincoln came from Hamburg. Passengers of the President Lincoln told a thrilling story of the night of the liner before what she believed to be a hostile warship last night.  Believing danger was passed, officers of the ship announced that the ballroom might be lighted. Just as dancing was at its height, the watch sighted a long streak of light sweeping the southern horizon. It swept across the sky and then the water.

Immediately stewards ran through the vessel again ordering lights out and the President Lincoln plunged forward, her engines under increased pressure. Even the mast and all sailing lights were extinguished and the big ship steamed along in total darkness. Not until the three-mile limit was reached were the lights again turned on.

The President Lincoln saw the dark form of the Lusitanla heading out to sea at top speed about 2 a. m.

Liner Lorraine Sails With 1,200 Reservists

NEW YORK, Aug. 5. The French liner Lorraine sailed today.

Aboard her were 1,200 French reservists. They answered the call to the tri-color. Just before the vessel cleared her dock some one started the "Marseillaise." The departing ones took up the thrilling refrain in a chorus that swelled out over the docks.

Father Paul Renaud, pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, was one of the reservists answering the call of his country. He said he expected to go with the army as a chaplain, or else in the hospital corps.

"He says so," remarked Mayor Mitchell, who, with Collector of the Port Dudley Field Malone, was there to see Father Renaud off, "but I believe he's going over to put a few in the hospital."  The soldier ship sailed out of New York Harbor amid the greatest demonstration in years. British, American, and French liners tied their whistles down to greet her. Only one liner, the Vaterland, from whose flagstaff fluttered the red, white, and black of Germany, did not join.

Every person on board the Lorraine had a flag either French or American. Just as the ship cleared, a man produced a big bundle and distributed souvenirs aboard ship. The souvenirs were the "Erin Go Bragh" flag of Ireland entwined with the tri-color of France.

Vaterland Expected to Run Gauntlet of Ships

NEW YORK. Aug. 5. The Hamburg American liner Vaterland, biggest ship afloat. Is making ready to slip out and run the gauntlet of British and French cruisers off the New York coast in a desperate attempt to reach Germany.

Extraordinary preparations at the vessel's dock, the hailing by special guards of all visitors to the dock and the knowledge that Germany needs the 2,000 reservists now waiting In New York, give rise to this belief. But the Hamburg-American officials flatly denied that the vessel will sail.
The liner kept steam up all day today.  She is on the German navy reserve list, and is needed In the service as a supply and transport auxiliary.

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