July 2: Kiel Week officially ends. The participating nations leave on good notes. There was a brief pause in festivities when word of the explosion in Sarajevo while the Archduke of Austria-Hungary was present. But it resumed when it was found out that he escaped unscathed.
July 11: the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German navy) extends an offer to the Royal Navy to participate in war games in October. Although friendly, it will allow both nations to gauge the naval strength of the other.
July 14: The Royal Navy accepts the war game invitation from Germany .
July 23: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, after making a few detours, finally arrives back in Vienna. He does not know how close he came to death.
August 9: in preparation for the planned October war games, the SMS König is commissioned into the Kaiserliche Marine. It is the most powerful ship Germany has built thus far, armed with ten 30.5 cm guns. Three sister ships to König are under construction.
August 17: The Royal Navy begins selection of the ships to participate in their war games with Germany. Both countries agree on two battleships, two battle cruisers, three armored cruisers, and five destroyers.
August 25: Italy expresses displeasure with the Central Powers alliance and thinks about leaving. Such a move could leave Germany and Austria-Hungary alone against the rest of Europe.
September 3: Austria-Hungary begins to look for a more powerful battleship design to add to their fleet. This is speed up when Italy began showing animosity towards the Central Powers.
September 11: France finishes up the hulls of a couple of its Normandie-class battleships. They are scheduled for launch next month.
September 16: The Ottoman Empires navy leaves port for training exercises in the eastern Black Sea. Their ships are watched closely by the Russians on land and sea.
September 28: Germany and Great Britain finalize their ship selection for the war games starting in a few days.
- SMS Friedrich der Grosse - SMS König
- Battle cruisers
- SMS Von der Tann - SMS Moltke
- Armored Cruisers
- SMS Scharnhorst - SMS Gneisenau - SMS Blücher
-five S 90 class destroyers
- Battle cruisers
- HMS Lion - HMS Indefatigable
- HMS Iron Duke - HMS Benbow
- Armored Cruisers
- HMS Minotaur - HMS Cochrane - HMS Black Prince
- five Acasta class destroyers
October 7: The first day of the two-day war game starts at Dogger Bank. The British battle cruisers show their superiority to their German counterparts, while the German battleships and cruisers outmatch those of Britain.
Germany loses the SMS Von der Tann and two destroyers, while British losses include HMS Minotaur, a destroyer and HMS Iron Duke. After four hours of simulated combat, the surviving ships of the two fleets retire to their starting points, while the "sunk" ships move to the side and watch.
October 8: The second day begins. Britains last battleship, HMS Benbow, is "sunk" from simulated fire from König. The Royal Navy returns the favor by sinking Friedrich der Grosse. The German cruiser SMS Scharnhorst fights off two destroyers, sinking one, then HMS Cochrane is sunk by SMS Blücher.
The war game ends in a German victory, the battle cruiser HMS Lion leaves as the Royal Navy's sole surviving capital ship after HMS Indefatigable is sunk by SMS Moltke and König. The two navies bid farewell and leave Dogger Bank for their home ports.
October 11: The ships that took part in the recent war game return to their home ports: Cowes for the British, Kiel for the Germans. Almost immediately, notes taken during the games are taken to their respective admiralties for review.
October 16: The German Admiralty looks over the performance of the SMS König. They find that the "Q" turret, the rear-facing midship placed gun, underperformed. It's found that since it could not fire either directly forward nor directly back, its contribution was minimal.
It is decided that for their next class of battleships, the "Q" turret would be dropped and the remaining guns will get increased calibers to compensate.
October 25: The British look over their war game notes, dumbfounded about how the Royal Navy's premier ships were bested.
Meanwhile, the French, Russian, American and Austro-Hungarian navies look over the event, eager to learn about the capabilities of the two historic rivals.
November 4: HMS Valiant is launched, the fourth of the Queen Elizabeth class super-dreadnoughts to do so. The Queen Elizabeth's are Britains most powerful ships being built, armed with eight 15 inch guns, they easily out match the König class of Germany.
November 8: Four days after the superior HMS Valiant is launched, Germany commissions the SMS Kronprinz, named after the eldest son of the Kaiser. It is also the fourth and last König class battleship. With those done, more matériel is diverted to the construction of the Kaiserliche Marines own super-dreadnoughts: the Bayern class.
November 17: The Austro-Hungarian Navy (k.u.k. Kriegsmarine) lays down the keel of the SMS Monarch, the name ship of their new battleship class. Construction was slated to begin in September, but it was delayed until after the German-British war games.
At the same time; the Black Hand, enraged at their failure to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand, carry out bombings in Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia. They call for the establishment of a free Bosnian state and all ties to the Empire cut. Austria-Hungary decides to crack down on the organization that they have deemed "terroristic".
November 27: Serbia attempts to distance itself from the Black Hand by condemning the bombings in Bosnia. Austria-Hungary buys into this for the moment, but still holds desires to gain control over the region.
December 5: Japan finally receives the information on the British-German war games. Designers begin looking for improvements to the sketches of the Nagato class battleships.
December 11: The Royal Navy determines their fault in the war games. They come to the conclusion that the German ships are individually superior to those of Great Britain. But instead of designing new warships, they plan to draw on the British Empires vast resources to build more ships: to outnumber those of Germany. Plans are drawn up to receive more funding to begin.
December 16: the Kaiserliche Marine commissions SMS Glyndwr. It carries three seaplanes on board that take off by being lowered into the sea that use the water as a runway. The Royal Navy is also looking at the viability of seaplane carriers.
December 26: The Italian Irredentists have grown restless. They continualy eye territories held by the Austria-Hungary Empire, including Trento, Trieste, Istria, and Dalmatia. Austria then reaffirm their claims to the areas. With the Irredentists in power, Italy gives Austria an ultimatum: surrender them to Italy by the first of February, 1915 or face a declaration of war.
Click here to read part two. Thank you for reading!