First Day of WWI

Belgrade July 28th, 1914 2:00 AM

First Day Of World War I
July 28th, 1914 2:00 AM

  The World War I started with the attack on Belgrade, on the very night the war was declared. The first casualties were claimed, and from the war monitor Bodrog, that slid from the direction of Zemun, under the shadow of Kalemegdan, to Sava, the first artillery Salvos was sent towards Belgrade. 

  The first night of the World War I the citizens of Belgrade met with panic. The greatest commotion was at the Belgrade railway station, from which on that evening three trains packed with women and children headed toward the inland, rumbling through a hail of enemy bullets flying towards them from the direction of the other coast of Sava. Luckily, the trains suffered no casualties. 

  On Sava, unfortunately, that was not the case. That same night, right under the Sirotanovič saw mill, the first casualty of the World War I was claimed. Around  2 AM a terrible detonation echoed through Belgrade. The railway bridge was razed so the enemy couldn’t cross Sava. The noise muffled the exchange of bullets during which the first war casualty was killed. He was Dušan Đonović,  a Trading Academy Student, a Chetnik in a band of an oldkomiti commanded by Jovan Babunski.

  That same evening the Hungarian ship Alkotmanj was sunk, along with its captain, Karlo Eberling. With the break of dawn, on the 29th of July, armored ships with fixed cannons and machine guns sailed into Sava. Those were the dreadful hostile monitors from which the assault on Belgrade was meant to be launched. Among them was the monitor Bodrog, that had been waiting anchored in Zemun until the declaration of war was issued.

  It was from Bodrog that the first grenades flew towards Belgrade. The news of the monitors rumbled through Belgrade like a tornado and spread fear among the citizens, and for a good reason. Already, that same day, the first grenade from Bodrog flew towards Knez Mihailova Street and fell on the building across the hotel “the Greek Queen”. Up until the arrival of the two batteries with long gun barrels sent to Serbia by the allies, these monitors sowed death across Belgrade killing the citizens and demolishing the city.

   The fate of Bodrog built in 1904 in Budapest was such that it would stay in waters of Savai Danube forever. The ship was eventually sunk in 1918 and was pulled out two years later, renovated, and under the name Sava included in the navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

In 1914
June  28 Austrian Archduke Franz-Ferdinand is assassinated by a pro-Serb nationalist

July   28 The Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia

July  30  Russia mobilizes in support of Serbia

Aug   1 Germany and France mobilize. Germany declares war on Russia

Aug  2-3  Germany invades Belgium and declares war on France

Aug   4  Britain declares war on Germany

Aug  4   Canada joined when Britain joined. First troops arrive in France December

Aug 19-24  Battle of the Frontiers Germany forces drive French troops back 200 km

Aug 26-30  Battle of Tannenberg Germany halts the Russian advance in eastern Prussia

Sept   6- 9 Battle of the Marne Franco-British counter-offensive, German forces are halted just 40 km  from Paris . Overall, 500,000 soldiers die. Sept- Nov Race to the Sea on the Western Front. The front line stretches all the way from  Switzerland to the North Sea

Nov  1 The Ottoman Empire joins the war on the side of the Central Powers (the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany). The Turks isolate Russia by closing access to the Black Sea

1915 May 23 Italy joins the Allies Forces

1917 April 6 US joins the Allied Forces book first days