Germany, Sunday, 2nd August

2.30 A.M. Bethmann calls a meeting with Moltke, Falkenhayn, Tirpitz, Jagow and foreign ministry officials. Berlin has not received Pourtal├Ęs' message that he has given the declaration of war to Sazonov. The Russians have cut communications. They do not know if they are at war with Russia. There is also a heated discussion over the need to deliver a formal declaration of war on France. The military simply want to get on with the invasion.

Shortly after 4.00 A.M. News arrives in Berlin that Russian troops have attacked a railway installation inside the German border and a statement is issued saying Germany is at war with Russia.

Just after dawn German troops invade and occupy Luxembourg.

Morning Tschirschky in Vienna is sent the news about war with Russia and told "we expect of Austria fulfilment of her allied obligations and immediate vigorous intervention against Russia". Moltke sends similar message to Conrad. Austro-Hungarian military efforts should concentrate against Russia, the "mortal enemy". "Serbia can be kept in check with limited forces".

Morning At a meeting with the Kaiser the German military strenuously repeat their opposition to a formal declaration of war on France. Bethmann says it is a legal requirement and the ultimatum to Belgium does not make sense unless Germany is at war with France. His view prevails. [More]

Afternoon Below in Brussels is instructed to give the ultimatum to the Belgian government 7 P.M. local time. He has this in the envelop he received from Berlin on 29 July, three days earlier. [More]

Late afternoon In response to Lichnowsky's message that it is most likely Britain will oppose Germany if it violates Belgian territory Jagow tells him to explain to the British government the actions being taken in Belgium are "self-defence against French menace" and the integrity of Belgium will be restored in the peace settlement.
He is not to do this until the next morning after the delivery of the ultimatum.