A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France, Russia, and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy (the Triple Alliance was only defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war until April 1915, when it joined the Allied Powers after its relations with Austria-Hungary deteriorated). Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28 July, approved partial mobilisation. Full Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; on the 31st, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within twelve hours. When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6 August; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August.
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