Sub-Saharan Africa 1914: Outbreak of the Great War

Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa on 04 Aug 1914 (World War I in Africa: Outbreak of the Great War), showing the following events: Violet Line; Ottoman-Saudi Treaty; Outbreak of World War I; French mobilization; British entry into World War I; German invasion of Belgium.

In July 1914 World War I broke out in Europe, quickly embroiling all the major powers of that continent. In Africa the British, French, and Belgian colonies suddenly found themselves at war with their German neighbors.

Main Events

1 Mar 1914 Violet Line

The United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire agreed on the ‘Violet Line’, linking the southern end of the Blue Line (1913) with the border between the Yemen Vilayet and the Aden wikipedia

15 May 1914 Ottoman-Saudi Treaty

The Ottoman Empire concluded a treaty with Ibn Saud of Nejd, recognizing Saud as the hereditary Wali of the Vilayet of Nejd in return for Saud’s pledge not to involve himself in foreign affairs or grant concessions to foreigners. Ibn Saud also agreed to participate in any wars the Ottoman Empire might wage, however he would quickly retract all obligations to the Ottomans after World War I broke wikipedia

28 Jul 1914 Outbreak of World War I

The Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia, in response to Serbia’s rejection of Austria-Hungary’s July Ultimatum. In the following days, Russia, Germany, France, and Britain all entered the conflict, resulting in the First World wikipedia

1 Aug 1914 French mobilization

In response to German mobilization and the German declaration of war on Russia, the French government ordered general wikipedia

4 Aug 1914 British entry into World War I

In response to the German invasion of Belgium—whose neutrality was safeguarded by the 1839 Treaty of London—the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, bringing the British Empire into World War wikipedia

4 Aug 1914 German invasion of Belgium

On 2 August 1914, Germany occupied Luxembourg and sent an ultimatum to Belgium, demanding passage through the country. When Belgium refused, Germany declared war on France on 3 August and on Belgium the following day. German troops immediately crossed the border, launching an offensive against the Belgian city of Liè wikipedia