Britain, Tuesday, 28th July

10.00 A.M. Churchill, Battenberg, the First Sea Lord, and the Chief of Staff decide that the First Fleet should move to its war stations and the Second Fleet assemble at Portland. Churchill obtains Asquith's approval for these moves.

Early afternoon A telegram arrives from Goschen saying a "conference" sounds too much like a "tribunal". Britain should ask Germany to put the proposal in another form or suggest a way to work with Britain on mediation.
However, this crosses a message already sent by Grey saying he believes the best way forward is a direct exchange of views between Austria-Hungary and Russia and as long as this might happen other suggestions should be suspended.

Rome San Giuliano tells Rodd the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum is a deliberate provocation to war or "le triomphe de l'imbecilite".
Italy supports Britain's mediation proposals. San Giuliano says the Serbian representative in Rome has said Belgrade might accept all the demands with some further explanations. San Giuliano thinks Serbia should do this, the Austro-Hungarians suspend hostilities, and then let the diplomats work out any difficulties. [More]

5.00 P.M. The Admiralty orders the ships of the First Fleet to proceed, during the night without lights, through the Channel and the North Sea to their war stations at Scapa Flow.

About 6.30 P.M. Grey again telegrams Goschen saying he is ready to ask Jagow to make his own suggestions on how to proceed with mediation but he will keep the idea in reserve till they know how the conversations between Austria-Hungary and Russia are progressing.

Afternoon News of the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war reaches London. Formal confirmation from Crackanthorpe in Nish arrives at 6.45 P.M.

7.45 P.M. Message from Bunsen informs Grey that Berchtold says Austria-Hungary cannot delay its proceedings against Serbia and therefore cannot negotiate on the basis of the Serbian reply. This means direct conversations between Austria-Hungary and Russia are unlikely to happen.

Late in the day Crowe thinks the situation is grave. "Austria at the very moment of using soft words at St Petersburg, has declared war on Serbia. Unless the Russians now decide to run away - which is always possible - we shall have the general war upon us very soon."