August 21, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The headlines from Europe describe the rapid start to the war as each side maneuvered for advantage:

LEAVE BELGIANS DESTITUTE, HUNGRY AND SHELTERLESS
Such Is the Condition of Those Left in Territory Taken by the Germans
ALL FOOD IS SEIZED AND HOUSES BURNED
Belgian Government Unable to Help Them, Though Doing All It Can

Antwerp, via The Hague, Aug. 21 – Antwerp was in a state of siege today, it was said foreigners would be asked to leave, which they can easily do by water.

King Albert and the general staff were here. The forts were manned, Details of the Belgian plans for defense were withheld, but it was known that all had been carefully mapped out in advance.

The condition of the Belgians in the territory the Germans have occupied is pitiable.

The invaders seized all food and burned many houses. Thousands of families are shelterless, destitute and starving.

MAY BE GREATEST BATTLE IN HISTORY 2,000,000 MEN IN IT

Germans and the Anglo-French allies were momentarily expected today to clash in Belgium.

Belgium’s little force, its task of delaying the Germans completed, had drawn aside to let the bigger armies fight it out.

It was predicted the expected struggle would be history’s greatest.

The Germans counted on breaking the last barrier between themselves and the French frontier; the allies on crushing completely the German advance.

No two such armies ever met before; altogether it was estimated upward of 2,000,000 men would be engaged.

GERMANS OCCUPY BRUSSELS WITH NO OPPOSITION
Promise Is Made Not to Harm the City If Resistance Was Not Offered
CAPTURE OF LOUVAIN CAUSES REJOICING
German Staff Officers Think the French Easier to Beat Than the Belgians

News of the fall of Louvain was received with a patriotic demonstration in Berlin, according to advices received here today from the United Press bureau in the German city.

“A Question of Time” read a headline noting the global nature of the war. “The Japanese embassy was puzzled this afternoon as to whether Tokyo or Berlin time would apply in regard to Japan’s ultimatum to Germany.”

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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