by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The Statesman headlines read:

German Forces Invade Duchy of Luxemburg

France’s Delay in Answering Germany’s Ultimatum Disastrous

French Are Mobilizing

General Outbreak Seems Imminent in Europe

French Roads At Standstill: Crews Enlist

Londoners Agog

Realization of Meaning of War Brought Home

Bands of Germans and Frenchmen Fight – Excitement Prevails in German Restaurants of West End

United States Acts to Help Its Nationals

London Hotels Crowded With Americans Unable to Get Passage Home

Thousands of Americans Are Scattered In Europe

By the second of August, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary and France had all mobilized. Russia and Germany were at war. Austria-Hungary was at war with Serbia. Russia had crossed the border and invaded Germany and as the headline read, Germany had invaded Luxembourg.

The United States sought to mediate, but Europe was not inclined to listen. Italy was neutral and public opinion in Britain was hardening against Germany. Belgium would be the fulcrum. For centuries, Britain’s foreign policy turned on preserving Belgium and The Netherlands as critical waterways through which funneled commerce and armies.

The paper had no editorial comment.