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Before WW1 was triggered, a number of defence alliances existed between the major European countries. What this meant was that if one country declared war on another, the other countries would also have to enter the conflict because it was in the treaty they agreed.
Britain, France, Ireland and Russia were part of an alliance called the Triple Entente, while Germany aligned itself with Austria-Hungary – known as the Central Powers.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914, it triggered a chain of events that resulted in World War 1.
After the assassination, Austria-Hungary threatened war on Serbia. They set out some very harsh demands that Serbia must meet. Germany sided by Austria-Hungary, while Russia sided with the Serbians. At this point, Europe was at the brink of going to war.
One month after the Archduke’s assassination – on July 28 1914 – Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia with the backing of Germany. Germany then declared war on Russia on August 1, and on France on August 3.
British and Germany forces first fought at the Battle of Mons in Belgium. This was the first of many battles between Britain and Germany on the Western Front and is when World War 1 started for Britain.
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