On This Day
1914-1918 > WW1
On This Day - 1914-1918
- August 5, 1914
The message conveying the news of the outbreak of war with Germany was received in Australia at 12.30pm.
The disposition of ships of the RAN, at the declaration of WWI, was: HMAS AUSTRALIA, (battle-cruiser), steaming north from Sydney; HMAS MELBOURNE, (cruiser), steaming south from Sydney; HMA Ships SYDNEY, (cruiser), WARREGO and YARRA near Thursday Island; HMAS PARRAMATTA, (destroyer), nearing Townsville; HMAS PROTECTOR, on passage from Melbourne to Sydney; HMAS ENCOUNTER, and submarines AEI and AE2, at Sydney; HMAS PIONEER, at Port Phillip, VIC; HMAS GAYUNDAH on passage from Sydney to Brisbane.
- August 4, 1914
Great Britain declared war on Germany. The telegram informing Australia of a state of hostilities was not received in Melbourne until 5 August. At the outbreak of war the strength of the RAN was 3800 of all ranks.
A warning shot was fired across the bows of the German merchant ship PFALZ by the Nepean Battery on Port Phillip Bay, VIC, when the vessel attempted to escape to sea. PFALZ turned back and was seized. Records suggest this was the first shot fired by British forces against the Germans in the First World War.
The Sydney pilot steamer CAPTAIN COOK, was commissioned as an examination vessel.
- August 3, 1914
Even before the declaration of war between Britain and Germany, the Australian Cabinet met in Melbourne and promptly offered the Australian fleet to Britain.
Port war lookout and examination stations were manned by the Royal Australian Naval Brigade. Stations were established at all major ports.
All wireless stations in Australia were placed under the control of the Naval Board. Censorship of all cable and wireless traffic was enforced.
- July 30, 1914
Garden Island Wireless Station intercepted the Admiralty warning to HM Ships that war with Germany was imminent.
- July 28, 1914
LEUT A. M. Longmore, an Australian serving with the RNAS, made the first successful aerial torpedo drop by a naval pilot from a Short Folder seaplane.