31 August 1914


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Battle of Komarow

After four days of fighting the Austrian First and Fifth Armies have a chance to trap the Russian Fifth Army, which had launched an ill-judged flank attack on the First Army. The chance comes on 31 August, but the two Austrian army commanders both slow their advance in the belief that their own flanks are threatened.

Battle of Tannenberg

The Russian Second Army has been totally destroyed, losing 125,000 men, ten times the German casualties. The Germans then go on to defeat the Russian First Army at the Masurian Lakes, ending the immediate danger of a Russian invasion of East Prussia.

War at Sea

Before the First World War the Highflyer class second class cruiser Hermes was converted into a seaplane carrier, but the equipment was removed after trials. At the start of the First World War the equipment was re-installed, and she wasn't recommissioned as a seaplane carrier until 31 August 1914. She had a short career and was sunk by U-27 on 31 October.


Australian invasion of Samoa, then a German colony, ends in success. The fleet, which includes HMAS Australia, HMAS Melbourne, then moves on to Rabaul (11-15 September).

Western Front

Royal Marines at Ostend, August 1914
Royal Marines
at Ostend,
August 1914

British Royal Marines leave Ostend, after arriving on 27 August. The port doesn't fall to the Germans until October.


How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 December 2007), 31 August 1914, http://www.historyofwar.org/firstworldwar/daybyday/1914_08_31.html

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