On the morning of August 5, 1914, a German steamer, SS Pfalz, attempted to depart the Port of Melbourne before a British declaration of a 'State of War' with Germany came into force. In a desperate race to pass the fortifications guarding Port Phillip Heads before it could legally be interned, Pfalz took aboard a sea pilot and then steamed for the port guard station at Port Phillip Heads. The brief action which ensued is acknowledged as the first British Empire shot of WW1. There has long been disagreement over time, sequence and action. This book attempts to analyze and resolve the various issues.