Germany, Saturday, 25th July
Morning Theodor Woolf, the editor of a leading Berlin newspaper, warns Jagow that Russia might not yield and there would be a European war.
Jagow claims that neither Russia nor France nor England want war but war is likely to come in the future anyway when Russia would be stronger.
Woolf also talks to Stumm who says Berlin needs to establish if Austria-Hungary is worth anything as an ally.
Stumm predicts the Russians "would shout loudly and some hot days might follow". In the event of a war, there would be revolutions in Russia’s Finnish and Polish provinces and Russia lacked military supplies.
Late morning Rumbold sees Jagow to ask Germany to support a British request to extend the time limit. Jagow says he has already asked the German ambassador in Vienna to do this.
Jagow admits Serbia cannot accept the ultimatum but believes the dispute can be localised because Austria-Hungary is promising Russia it won’t annex Serbian territory.
He says Germany will support Grey's four-power mediation proposal if relations between Vienna and St Petersburg became "threatening". [More]
Berlin Bethmann has returned to Berlin from his country estate where he has been since the 5 July. He has been kept informed of the main international developments but has not been involved in day to day policy management.
He telegraphs the Kaiser, still on his North Sea cruise, that Britain’s "direct participation in a possible European war" does not appear likely. Later he also reports that at London and Paris "they are working energetically towards a localisation of the conflict".
After 4.30 P.M. Jagow sees Bronevski and tells him Vienna will not give way over the time limit. Jagow refuses to discuss any other matters, saying Russia will have to be satisfied by Austria-Hungary's pledge not to seek territorial acquisitions.
Evening Szögyény sends report to Berchtold saying Berlin believes Austria-Hungary should declare war and start military operations immediately if the Serbian reply is unsatisfactory. Any delay gives other powers the opportunity to intervene. It is best to present the world with a fait accompli. [More]
Evening Moltke just back from his month-long holiday holds meeting on the preparations the army should make. Army commanders are recalled to Berlin.
Late evening In response to Lichnowsky's telegrams about the British four-power mediation proposal and his warning that rejection of the British proposal or an unaccommodating German attitude would probably drive Britain to the side of France and Russia, Jagow replies that he can tell the British government that if an Austro-Russian conflict arises Germany, subject to its well-known alliance obligations, would join with the other Great Powers, to enable mediation between Austria and Russia. He does not wish to offend Britain at this critical stage of the crisis. [More]
Balholm, North Sea, 9.30 A.M. The Kaiser issues a secret order to speed up the coaling of the battleships and to prepare them to leave port.
Later that afternoon he gives his consent for the Fleet to return to its bases in Germany.
Balholm, North Sea, 3.00 P.M. The Kaiser's personal cabinet agree he should return home. That the Kaiser is engaged in a pleasure trip at such a critical time is not acceptable. The Kaiser agrees and they set sail for home at 6.00 P.M.