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First shot of WW I

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Jnharding
1190624.  Wed May 04, 2016 5:45 am Reply with quote

I hate to say it, as I suspect this was a repeat when I saw it on ABC tonight, however the first shot of WWI was not in Togoland. It was in Australia, 2 days earlier.

Alhaji Grunshi fired his shot on 7 Aug 14, however on 5 Aug 14 the German freighter SS Pfalz made a run for it from the Port of Melbourne shortly after the decleration of war. As the ship passed through Port Philip Heads the garrison on Point Nepean fired on the ship forcing it to halt. The ship turned around and the crew were interned.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Nepean

Curiously the same battery also probably fired the first allied shot of WWII.

 
crissdee
1190637.  Wed May 04, 2016 6:44 am Reply with quote

As before, and indeed on the episode iirc, it depends on when we decide WW1 actually started. From my casual reading around the matter, it seems like there was a gradual descent into war, rather than a single deciding event, Gavrillo Princip notwithstanding.

Perhaps our military historian Mike can offer some input, (without talking about tanks ideally! 😆)

 
Jnharding
1190644.  Wed May 04, 2016 7:31 am Reply with quote

While there was indeed a gradual descent into war, after the assasination and then the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia etc the war began formally when it was declared by the beligerants in late July/early August. This was a formal declaration (we don't seem to bother with such gentlemanly details these days). The British Empire declared war on Germany on 4 Aug. The war was off and running. The Pflaz ran for it because it found itself in an enemy port. It was fired upon on 5 Aug, a day after the declaration of war by Britain and her Empire. Togoland hapened two days later. So we have a state of war, some shots (and having seen the gun concerned this was a pretty generous shot from a 6 inch cannon!) are fired by one beligerant at another, but that's not the first shot? The first shot was two days later by an infantryman after British artillery men had already shot at and captured German seamen? Really?

I look forward to making use your definition of "first" with my bank manager when aranging the first repayment on my next loan!

 
Alfred E Neuman
1190648.  Wed May 04, 2016 7:37 am Reply with quote

Jnharding wrote:
I look forward to making use your definition of "first" with my bank manager when aranging the first repayment on my next loan!


His response might hinge on whether you're planning to use a six inch barrel or a rifle for the first payment 🙂

 
PDR
1190652.  Wed May 04, 2016 7:48 am Reply with quote

Well if he's a little short for a repayment of that caliber it's more likely to be a howitzer, surely?

PDR

 
Alfred E Neuman
1190655.  Wed May 04, 2016 8:10 am Reply with quote

I thought short would normally be a 38?

 
PDR
1190656.  Wed May 04, 2016 8:12 am Reply with quote

Only in america...

PDR

 
antipodalron
1190657.  Wed May 04, 2016 8:20 am Reply with quote

To Quote the ABC, which Airs QI -
"Less than four hours after the British Empire was plunged into war on August 5, 1914, the shot rang out "

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-05/thousands-commemorate-first-shot-of-wwi-in-portsea-victoria/5647724

And even that esteemed UK publication, the Mirror, admits "Britain had been at war with Germany for 18 days when our first shot in World War One was fired."(emphasis added) I'm assuming "Our" refers to Britain rather than The Mirror.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/british-soldier-who-fired-first-4029651

 
crissdee
1190760.  Wed May 04, 2016 3:21 pm Reply with quote

Jnharding wrote:
While there was indeed a gradual descent into war, after the assasination and then the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia etc the war began formally when it was declared by the beligerants in late July/early August.


So, not a single identifiable date then?

Jnharding wrote:
The British Empire declared war on Germany on 4 Aug. The war was off and running.


So the world was at peace on 3 Aug then?

Jnharding wrote:
I look forward to making use your definition of "first" with my bank manager when aranging the first repayment on my next loan!


I didn't offer any definition of "first", I just pointed out that "first" depends on your view of when it started.

Not trying to start an argument here, just reinforcing my previous point. :-)

 
IndieGoFigure
1210979.  Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:57 am Reply with quote

Looks like the Austro-Hungarians beat everyone to the punch.

On the night the war was declared 3 river monitors on the Danube opened fire on Belgrade, details below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYNS3EY0yZ0

 

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