France, Sunday, 26th July
During the day French Ministry of War hears from the French military attaché in St Petersburg that the Russians have decided to mobilise in the military districts of Kiev, Odessa, Kazan and Moscow if Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia.
Russia is secretly making the preparations in all military districts including Warsaw, Vilna and St Petersburg facing Germany. The Russian Minister of War says he is determined to leave to Germany the eventual initiative of an attack on Russia.
5.00 P.M. Schoen sees Bienvenu-Martin to ask if France is willing to advise Russia to keep out of the conflict as Vienna has said it will not annex Serbian territory.
Shortly after Schoen telegrams Berlin saying Bienvenu-Martin personally "is most willing to exercise a quietening influence in St Petersburg now that, by the Austrian declaration that no annexation is intended, the conditions for doing so had been created". He could not make a formal statement because he must first consult the absent French Prime Minister.
He asked if there could not also be a question of quietening at Vienna as Serbia had apparently yielded on most points and this made room for negotiations. He considers Sazonov's idea that all the powers acting together could pass judgement on Serbia is "juridicially hardly tenable".
Bienvenu-Martin's sympathetic attitude is in stark contrast to what the French have said and are saying in St Petersburg.
Evening Schoen calls on Berthelot to suggest making a joint press statement saying Germany and France are "acting in an identical spirit of peaceful co-operation" to find ways of preserving peace, and head off negative newspaper comments.
Berthelot says the suggested statement is misleading. The real situation is dangerous. He tells Schoen he thinks Vienna would not be acting the way it is without German approval and Germany is not trying to change Vienna's stance.
Schoen says Austria-Hungary has only rejected formal mediation and a conference where it might be arraigned before what could be seen as a European tribunal. He adds Germany would not refuse to give advice to Vienna in all circumstances.
Evening Berthelot tells Sevastopula he thinks the successive German demarches at Paris have the object of intimidating France and inducing her to put pressure on St Petersburg.
Austria-Hungary and Germany "are aiming at a brilliant diplomatic victory but not at war at any price, although in the extreme case they would not recoil from it". "He regarded an urgent and vigorous demarche on the part of England at Berlin as useful".
Evening Paris advises Presidential party, somewhere in the Baltic Sea, to abandon the state visits to Denmark and Norway and return home as soon as possible.
Day and evening Adolphe Messimy takes the first French military measures of the crisis. Following the news of the recall of German officers from leave he orders the recall of French officers.
As more negative news comes in during the evening he orders the recall of other ranks from harvest leave and initiates security restrictions on the railways.