Germany, Sunday, 5th July
5 July Hoyos arrives in Berlin early morning and briefs Szögyény on the Emperor's letter to the Kaiser and the revised memorandum.
Szögyény takes the two documents to the Kaiser in Potsdam. Hoyos goes to see Zimmermann at the German Foreign Office.
5 July Following Tschirschky's advice to have a plan and his and Berchtold's views Hoyos says Serbia is to be invaded without prior diplomatic steps and the country partitioned between Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Albania. What remained would become a client state of the Empire.
Zimmermann says it is for Austria-Hungary to decide what to do but it is necessary to act immediately so as not to alert the Entente. Zimmermann has the impression that Austria-Hungary will act quickly.
He also tells Hoyos he thinks there is a 90 percent probability of a European war. [More]
5 July, Potsdam After reading the documents the Kaiser expresses some caution mentioning the possibility of "a serious European complication" and that he needs to hear the opinion of the Chancellor.
After lunch Szögyény again presses the seriousness of the situation and the Kaiser authorises him to tell the Emperor "Austria-Hungary may reckon on full support from Germany". As he had said, he must first hear the Chancellor’s opinion but did not doubt he would entirely agree with his own view.
He says "... there should be no delay. Russia's attitude will be hostile in any event, .... we should be confident that Germany will stand by our side with the customary loyalty of allies. .... if we had truly recognised the necessity of a military action against Serbia, then he would regret it if we failed to exploit the present moment, which is so advantageous to us".
The Kaiser thinks that as things stand today, Russia is not prepared for war and will think long and hard over whether to issue the call to arms. [More]
5 July 5.00 P.M. and after, Potsdam Bethmann and Zimmermann have been summoned to Potsdam and join the Kaiser already in conference with available German military leaders.
The Kaiser briefs them on the documents from Vienna. He says it is Austria’s affair for her to settle in her own way. The preservation of Austria is a vital German interest and "Emperor Franz Joseph must be assured in this critical hour we shall not abandon him".
They believe Austria is getting ready for war on Serbia. The prevailing opinion of the meeting is "the sooner the Austrians make their move against Serbia the better, and that the Russians - though friends of Serbia - will not join in".
Falkenhayn asks if any preparatory military measures should be taken. The Kaiser is clear. No preparations are necessary. A war with Russia and France is unlikely though it is something to keep in mind. [More]
5 July After the meeting Falkenhayn writes to Moltke saying he does not need to return to Berlin. He has now had the chance to read the two documents himself and thinks the Austro-Hungarians have not yet come to a firm decision.
6 July, morning The Kaiser leaves for his annual North Sea cruise on his yacht. By continuing with the Kaiser's planned schedule the intention is not to cause any alarm.
Before leaving he repeats to the acting Navy Minister his belief that there will be no major military complications. The Tsar will not take the part of regicides and in any case Russia and France are not prepared for war.
6 July Bethmann and Zimmermann meet with the two Austro-Hungarians, Szögyény and Hoyos, to formalise the discussions and decisions of the previous day.
According to Szögyény "It is the view of the German government that we must judge what ought to be done to sort out this relationship [with Serbia]; whatever our decision turns out to be, we can be confident that Germany as our ally and a friend of the Monarchy will stand behind us. .... the Chancellor and his Imperial master view an immediate intervention by us against Serbia as the best and most radical solution of our problems in the Balkans. .... the present moment as more favourable than a later one". [More]
Brief What did the Germans expect [More]