|Austria 29th June - 4th July||Germany 29th June - 4th July||Serbia 29th June - 4th July||Russia 29th June - 4th July||Britain 29th June - 4th July|
29 June and after Strong belief in Vienna that the Sarajevo assassinations were plotted in Belgrade and involve the Serbian government. There have been bad relations between Austria-Hungary and Serbia for over 10 years. It is the last straw.
29 June Conrad tells Berchtold Austria-Hungary should immediately mobilise and attack Serbia.
30 June Though he expresses caution to Conrad, Berchtold takes a firm position for action throughout the rest of the crisis.
30 June Berchtold sees the Emperor. He says the Monarchy's policy of tolerance has been badly rewarded. Its neighbours to the south and east will work even harder against it. The future of the Monarchy is at stake.
30 June Tisza tells Berchtold the assassinations should not be used as a pretext for war with Serbia. He thinks Serbia should be given time to mend its ways. Tisza is not against war with Serbia but the present circumstances are not favourable.
1 July Tisza sees the Emperor and again says it is a mistake to attack Serbia. It could start a great war in circumstances unfavourable to the Monarchy. The Monarchy would be internationally isolated. Romania had turned towards Russia and Bulgaria was weak. He emphasises his right as Hungarian Prime Minister to be consulted. He thinks Austria-Hungary must enlist the diplomatic support of Germany in obtaining the necessary Balkan alliances. [More]
1 July So far German advice has indicated Austria-Hungary should be cautious but Victor Naumann a well known German journalist calls on Hoyos and tells him in Berlin "the idea of a preventive war against Russia is regarded with less disfavour than a year ago".
2 July Tschirschky calls on Berchtold who says Germany has not always given Austria-Hungary its support regarding Balkan problems. Tschirschky gives his opinion that Austria-Hungary's lack of a firm plan of action has been the cause of this. He mentions too that it is important to create a favourable diplomatic situation and ensure the support of Italy and Romania.
2 July Tschirschky has an audience with the Emperor. He passes on the Kaiser's regrets that he is unable to attend the Archduke's funeral.
2 July Police reports from Sarajevo confirm the assassins got their weapons from Serbia and elements of the Serbian government were involved.
2-3 July German support is vital. To get German support Berchtold modifies a recently prepared memorandum discussing what must be done to strengthen the position of Austria-Hungary and Germany in the Balkans and to prevent Russia building on the success of Serbia and its allies in the recent Balkan wars.
4 July Ganz, the Vienna correspondent of a German newspaper, who has just been to see Tschirschky, calls on Forgách at the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office.
4-5 July To ensure the memorandum and letter are understood and have the greatest influence they are taken to Berlin by Hoyos who is strongly in favour of military action against Serbia and who can give an additional verbal brief to the leaders in Berlin and answer questions.
4 July Tisza suggests changes to these documents. Instead of the phrase "eliminated as a power factor in the Balkans" Serbia is to be "required to give up its aggressive tendencies", but Hoyos has already left for Berlin so no changes are made.
29 June The Kaiser had been preparing to sail his yacht, the Meteor, at the Kiel regatta when he was given the news of the assassination. He decided to return immediately to Berlin.
29 June and immediately after The top civilian and military leaders are absent from Berlin. Zimmermann suggests to foreign diplomats the assassinations are linked to Serb agitation but not to the Serbian government who he expects to condemn the murders and help in their investigation.
3 July, Potsdam The Kaiser makes his views known. On reading Tschirschky's first report that he has advised the leaders in Vienna "against too hasty steps" the Kaiser makes the irate marginal note:
3 July Waldersee, deputy to the German Chief of the General Staff, expresses his views to a military colleague that Germany could become "involved in a war from one day to another".
30 June The Austro-Hungarian chargé calls at the Serbian Foreign Ministry to ask unofficially if the Government does not consider it advisable to investigate possible Serbian involvement in the assassinations at Sarajevo.
Brief The British position [More]
|Austria 5th July - 10th July||Germany 5th July - 10th July||Serbia 5th July - 10th July||Russia 5th July - 10th July||Britain 5th July - 10th July|
5 July Conrad sees the Emperor and tells him war against Serbia is inevitable. The Emperor points out Russian intervention might prevent it. Conrad replies Austria-Hungary has German support and the Emperor asks "Are you sure of Germany".
6 July Berchtold has Szögyény's telegram reporting his meeting with the Kaiser. He sees Conrad and asks what the Emperor has said. He tells Conrad the Kaiser has said "yes" but he must first have word from Bethmann.
7 July, morning On his return to Vienna Hoyos immediately meets Berchtold, Tisza, Stürgkh and Tschirschky and tells them about his meeting with Zimmermann.
7 July, morning Berchtold asks the Ministerial Council "whether the moment had not arrived to render Serbia innocuous once and for all by a display of force?" He mentions the unconditional support of Germany and says that intervention in Serbia makes war with Russia very likely.
7 July, afternoon Conrad joins the meeting. He discusses the military options. He says he needs to know if Russia is going to enter the conflict by the fifth day of mobilisation. This will enable him to reconcentrate his forces against Russia in the north in time. [More]
7 July and after Rapid action from Vienna, as desired by the Germans, is highly unlikely. As well as the need to persuade Tisza to agree to an unacceptable ultimatum, many regular troops are on harvest leave. Future leave is cancelled. Those on leave are not recalled because of the negative economic impact it would have.
8 July Tisza prepares another memorandum for the Emperor setting out his objections to the majority view in the Joint Ministerial Council.
8 July Berchtold tells Tschirschky about the Joint Ministerial Council meeting. He says even if the Emperor accepts Tisza's view it is still possible to make the note unacceptable to Serbia. Tschirschky gives Berchtold the latest message from Berlin that "an action of the Monarchy against Serbia is fully expected and that Germany will not understand why we should neglect this opportunity of dealing a blow".
8 July Conrad calls on Berchtold and they discuss what might follow the planned note. If the Serbs give way at the last moment the country will still be occupied until the cost of Austria-Hungary's mobilisation is reimbursed.
8 July At a meeting with Berchtold, Conrad, Hoyos, Forgách, and Macchio, Burián, the representative of the Hungarian government at the Imperial Court, and a close confidant of Tisza, and a Hungarian like him, comes to the same view as the majority in the Council and decides to go to Budapest to try to persuade Tisza to drop his objections.
9 July, Bad Ischl Berchtold reports the results of the Joint Ministerial Council meeting to the Emperor. The Emperor believes Berchtold's and Tisza's positions can be reconciled and that "concrete demands should be levelled at Serbia".
10 July Updated by Berchtold, Tschirschky reports to Berlin on the meeting with the Emperor who has thanked the Kaiser for being ".... now entirely of our opinion that a decision must be made to put an end to the intolerable situation in regard to Serbia".
10 July Tschirschky also reports the formulation of the demands to make on Serbia is the main concern in Vienna and Berchtold would like to know what Berlin thinks.
5 July Hoyos arrives in Berlin early morning and briefs Szögyény on the Emperor's letter to the Kaiser and the revised memorandum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6 July Bethmann and Zimmermann meet with the two Austro-Hungarians, Szögyény and Hoyos, to formalise the discussions and decisions of the previous day.
Brief What did the Germans expect [More]
7 July Serbian government gets report from its minister in Vienna warning Austria-Hungary might take strong action.
8 July Pašić tells the German minister in Belgrade of his horror and indignation at the crime in Sarajevo.
9 July In a report to Paris the French minister says "The announcement that Austro-Hungarian diplomacy is planning a demarche with the Royal Government following the close of the Sarajevo preliminary inquiry in order to secure the pursuit of the criminals shown to be on Serbian territory greatly disquiets the Government and public opinion".
10 July, 9.00 P.M. Hartwig calls on Giesl who has just returned to Belgrade. Hartwig first expresses his condolences for the assassinations and then asks about Austria-Hungary's intentions towards Serbia.
Brief Serbian reaction to the assassinations [More]
8 July Czernin, the Austrian chargé d'affaires in St Petersburg, mentions to Sazonov the possibility that the Austro-Hungarian government might demand the support of the Serbian government in an investigation within Serbia of the assassinations.
Early July Sazonov is also mindful of a previous Austro-Hungarian investigation in 1909 that notoriously used forged documents to incriminate Bosnian Serbs accused of agitation against the Empire.
6 July On returning from Germany, Lichnowsky calls on Grey. There is anxiety and pessimism in Berlin about the attitude of Russia and Russia's growing military strength.
8 July Grey sees Benckendorff and repeats the substance of Lichnowsky's remarks. Grey says that discoveries made during the inquiry into the assassination might give the Austro-Hungarians cause to act against Serbia.
9 July Grey sees Lichnowsky again. Grey admits there have been naval talks between Britain and Russia but everything has been on the basis that the hands of the British government are completely free.
|Austria 11th July - 16th July||Germany 11th July - 16th July||Serbia 11th July - 16th July||Russia 11th July - 16th July||Britain 11th July - 16th July|
11 July In a private letter, Tschirschky tells Jagow more details about some of the demands being discussed in Vienna, and if Serbia's reply is unsatisfactory mobilisation will follow.
11 July Berchtold, his colleagues, and Burián meet again and make good progress on drafting the note.
11 July Tschirschky calls on Berchtold to impress upon him once more that quick action is called for. Berchtold tells him the note will not be presented before 23 July after the French president has left St Petersburg. They do not want the Russians and French co-ordinating their response to the ultimatum at a high level.
11 July Austro-Hungarian intelligence has broken the Italian diplomatic code and learns the German ambassador in Rome has told the Italian Foreign Minister Austria-Hungary intends to take strong action against Serbia and the Minister has passed this information to the Italian ambassador in St Petersburg.
12 July, Bad Ischl Burián sees the Emperor. The Emperor says he wants the demands on Serbia to allow no excuses and to fix guarantees. He realises this is difficult but he hopes the Austro-Hungarian leaders will soon reach unanimity on what is required. As a further gesture to Tisza he says there is no question of annexing Serbian territory after the war.
12 July Conrad writes to Berchtold telling him a protracted or piecemeal diplomatic action with Serbia must be avoided because it will give the Serbs time for military measures that will place Austria-Hungary at a disadvantage. A peaceable appearance should be maintained.
13 July Berchtold gets the results of a rapid three day investigation in Sarajevo by a legal counsellor from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry.
14 July Tisza has changed his mind and returns to Vienna. He now accepts the note making demands on Serbia should be designed to be rejected.
14 July and after Following this agreement the Austro-Hungarians set about finalising the note. They also wish to give the rest of Europe the impression that nothing alarming is about to happen and Conrad and Krobatin go on leave as planned and the newspapers are told not to comment on Serbia. [More]
11 July Jagow replies to Berchtold's request, made via Tschirschky, for Berlin's ideas on the demands to be made on Serbia.
11-17 July The German military attaché in Vienna keeps Moltke and Waldersee informed about Vienna's intentions, even though they are on holiday.
12 July In a report to Berchtold, Szögyény gives a summary and explanation of why "authoritative German circles and not least [the Kaiser] himself - one might almost say - press us to undertake possibly even military measures against Serbia".
12 July Jagow telegrams Lichnowsky. The issue between Austria and Serbia might lead to complications.
16 July Jagow writes to Tschirschky. He thinks it would be helpful if Germany knew what the Austro-Hungarian leaders intended for the future shape of Serbia.
15 July, Vienna The French ambassador mentions to the Serbian minister the possibility that Austria will ask the Serbian government to dissolve various nationalist associations.
13 July In a conversation with Pourtalès, Sazonov denies the Austro-Hungarian press assertions that the Sarajevo outrage is the result of a pan-Serb plot.
14 July Russian intelligence has broken the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic code. It learns that Vienna is asking its embassy in St Petersburg when the French President will be leaving St Petersburg after his State visit.
14 July Sazonov leaves St Petersburg for his country estate to take a few days rest before the French State visit.
16 July Shebeko reports from Vienna information he has received from the British ambassador that the Austro-Hungarian government is planning to make demands on Serbia that would be unacceptable to any independent State.
16 July Carlotti, the Italian ambassador, gives his impression to Schilling that Austria-Hungary is capable of taking an irrevocable step in regard to Serbia in the belief that Russia will not take any forcible measures to protect Serbia.
16 July Shebeko also sends details of a speech by Tisza in the Hungarian Parliament. Tisza had said the clarification of relations between Austria-Hungary and Serbia did not necessarily mean warlike complications but every state must be ready for war if all peaceful solutions are exhausted.
15 July After another meeting with Grey Lichnowsky reports to Berlin that Grey believes everything depends on the form of the Austro-Hungarian intervention might take. In no case should there be a reduction of Serbian territory.
16 July Bunsen wires alarming report from Vienna. An informant has told him the Austro-Hungarians will require the Serbian government to adopt measures to stop nationalist and anarchist propaganda, and the Austro-Hungarian government is in no mood to parley and will insist on immediate compliance, failing which force will be used.
16 July Lichnowsky writes privately to Bethmann. He repeats his earlier warning that if Vienna resorts to force against Serbia it will turn public opinion in Britain against Austria-Hungary.
|Austria 17th July - 22nd July||Germany 17th July - 22nd July||Serbia 17th July - 22nd July||Russia 17th July - 22nd July||Britain 17th July - 22nd July|
19 July The Joint Ministerial Council meet in secret to agree the final wording of the note and decide the diplomatic steps to be taken against Serbia. The note is to be presented to Serbia on the 23 July after the French leaders have left Russia. There is a forty-eight hour time limit for a response.
20 July Giesl, the Austro-Hungarian minister in Belgrade, is told he is to present the note to the Serbian government at 5 P.M. on the 23 July. The time is later changed to 6 P.M.
20 July Tschirschky tells Berchtold he thinks Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance, will claim compensation if Austria-Hungary expands its influence in the Balkans.
21 July, Bad Ischl The Emperor sees Berchtold and Hoyos and gives his assent to the note. He comments on the harsh nature of the demands to be made on Serbia and says he thinks Russia cannot possibly tolerate it.
22 July A copy of the note is forwarded to Berlin.
Brief Time taken by Austria-Hungary to decide its response and the consequences [More]
Brief Tschirschky's role [More]
18 July Zimmermann summarises how matters stand. The note might bring on war between Austria-Hungary and Russia which will pull in Germany. It would have been better if Vienna had acted immediately.
18 July Jagow responds to warnings from Lichnowsky. In a private letter he argues Germany must stand by Austria-Hungary.
19 July, Balholm, North Sea On learning that the Austro-Hungarian note making demands on Serbia is to be delivered on the 23 July, the Kaiser orders that the German fleet exercises should be organised to allow its immediate concentration for returning home.
19 July, Balholm, North Sea The Kaiser instructs that Berlin is asked if the time had not come to secretly let the directors of Germany's two biggest shipping lines know about the forthcoming Austrian ultimatum.
19 July Jagow begins a press campaign for "localisation" with an article in the semi-official North German Gazette.
21 July Bethmann sends instructions to the German ambassadors in St Petersburg, Paris and London. They are to stress the investigations into the Sarajevo crime have established beyond doubt strong links between the assassins and "official" Serbia and say that unless Austria-Hungary wishes to renounce its position as a Great Power it must press its demands on Serbia and if necessary enforce them with military measure of its choosing.
22 July, 7.00 P.M. Szögyény gives a copy of the ultimatum to Jagow. Though they know what is intended the Germans see for the first time the final version of the note, in effect an ultimatum, that is going to have such disastrous consequences for Europe.
Brief German localisation policy [More]
17 July A leading German newspaper publishes an interview with Pašić. He denies any Serbian involvement in the assassinations at Sarajevo and speaks of Austro-Hungarian oppression of Serbs. He says if Serbia is attacked by a great power then other states would come to its aid. Pašić disavows the interview.
17 July Crackanthorpe reports to London that Pašić has unofficially told Giesl the Serbian government is prepared to comply with any request for a police investigation and to take any other measure compatible with the dignity and independence of Serbia.
17 July Boskovic, the Serbian minister in London, reports that a "well-informed source" has advised that Austria-Hungary's peaceful statements should not be believed and that it is planning "momentous pressure" on Serbia which may develop into an armed attack. This source is almost certainly Bunsen.
18 July Crackanthorpe has a copy of Bunsen's report. He asks Gruić if it might be a good idea for Belgrade to launch an independent investigation into the alleged South Slav conspiracy on Serbian soil.
19 July, early hours Pašić sets out the Serbian government position in an urgent telegram to all Serbian legations apart from Vienna.
20 July Pašić leaves Belgrade for an election campaign tour of north-east Serbia.
Brief Pašić's reluctance to launch an inquiry in Serbia [More]
18 July In light of the alarming information Schilling himself goes to meet Sazonov at the train station on his return to St Petersburg and updates him. They agree a way has to be found to make it clear to the Austro-Hungarian leaders that Russia will oppose any move against Serbia’s independence.
18 July Sazonov sees Pourtalès. He counters Pourtalès' claim the assassination originated in Serbia and Austria-Hungary cannot tolerate the agitation coming out of Belgrade
18 July Sazonov shortly after tells Buchanan that anything in the shape of an ultimatum at Belgrade cannot leave Russia indifferent and she might be forced to take some precautionary military measures. Buchanan wires this information to London.
18 July Szápáry calls on Sazonov. Following Berchtold's instructions not to say anything that might reveal what was being planned in Vienna Szápáry says his government is interested only in putting an end to terrorism and is convinced the Serbian government will prove itself to be accommodating with respect to demands from Vienna.
19 July Sazonov shows Shebeko's report of the 16 July to the Tsar. The Tsar comments that a State should not present any sort of demands to another unless it is bent on war.
20 July, 2.00 P.M. The French Presidential party arrives at Kronstadt harbour. Poincaré has a one-to-one conversation with the Tsar on his yacht as they go ashore.
21 July, morning The Tsar and Poincaré meet again. They talk about the tension between Britain and Russia in Persia. They believe local interests are the cause and neither Britain nor Russia can be blamed.
21 July, afternoon During a diplomatic reception Buchanan tells Poincaré he fears Austria-Hungary is looking for a pretext to attack Serbia and suggests direct talks between Russia and Austria-Hungary in Vienna.
21 July, afternoon Poincaré also speaks to Szápáry at the reception and expresses his sympathy concerning the assassinations in Sarajevo.
21 July Poincaré talks to Sazonov during an embassy dinner and finds him reluctant to take a firm line. Saznov thinks the timing is bad for Russia. The harvest is in progress.
21-22 July Poincaré gets worrying reports from Paris. Jules Cambon has reported from Berlin that Germany will not act as a mediator and will give its full support to Austria-Hungary's demarche at Belgrade.
22 July, Krasnoe Selo During a dinner held by Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich, the commander of the Imperial Guard and a cousin of the Tsar, for the French visitors, his wife and sister-in-law talk openly and enthusiastically about war with Germany and Austria and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine by France.
17 July Bunsen wires again saying his informant is Count Lutzow, a former Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, who has been in conversation with Berchtold and Forgách at the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry.
17 July Lichnowsky sees a leading article in the Westminster Gazette which says strong action by the Austro-Hungarian government can be understood given the negative Serbian influence among Serbian citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
20 July Grey sees Lichnowsky and asks if he has any news of what Vienna intends to do regarding Serbia. Lichnowsky has no news but he thinks the situation is very uncomfortable.
20 July, 7.00 P.M. Grey wires Buchanan saying it is possible the Serbian government has been negligent and if Austria-Hungary's demands are reasonable every effort should be made to prevent any breach of the peace.
20 July Bunsen's information is corroborated when Haldane receives a letter from Hoyos trying to justify the action Austria-Hungary is about to take.
21 July Grey sees Benckendorff and presses his idea for direct talks between Russia and Austria-Hungary. Grey thinks direct talks are "the surest means" of avoiding a clash and keeping Vienna’s demands "within reasonable limits".
22 July Benckendorff writes privately to Sazonov reporting a conversation with Lichnowsky.
22 July A letter arrives from Rodd in Rome who says San Giuliano, the Italian Foreign Minister, who is in constant touch with the Austrian Embassy, fears the communication to be made to Serbia has been drafted in unacceptable terms. He is convinced a party in Austria is determined to take the opportunity of crushing Serbia.
22 July A report from Rumbold says Jagow has admitted he practically drafted an article in a leading German newspaper stating what may arise between Austria-Hungary and Serbia should remain localised.
22 July Crowe adds a comment to Rumbold's report. "It is difficult to understand the attitude of the German government. On the face of it, it does not bear the stamp of straightforwardness. If they really are anxious to see Austria kept reasonably in check, they are in the best position to speak at Vienna".
22 July After meeting Grey, Lichnowsky reports to Berlin that Grey will advise Mensdorff that the British government will use its influence for Serbia to accept Austro-Hungarian demands provided they are moderate and reconcilable with the independence of Serbia.