Following the Emperor’s orders of the 31 July, Austria-Hungary begins general mobilisation.
Posts Tagged “Austria”
Military situation: Germany is at war with Russia, France and Britain. Austria-Hungary, the country that created the crisis with its ultimatum to Serbia, is at war with only Serbia.
Germany is at war with Russia, France and Britain. Austria-Hungary, the country that started the crisis with its ultimatum to Serbia, is at war with only Serbia.
See next day:
Early morning: Tschirschky calls on Berchtold to persuade Austria-Hungary to declare war on Russia. Berchtold does not want to do this until troops can be returned from the Serbian front in mid-August. After further pressure the Austro-Hungarians agree to declare war on Russia before the 5 August.
Germany asks Austria to declare war on Russia. The Austrians are reluctant to do this until their troops can be returned from the Serbian front but they agree to declare war on Russia by the 5 August.
Military strategy: Vienna now has to abandon its attack on Serbia. Conrad assures Moltke that Austria-Hungary will now “employ the main weight of our strength in the north” towards Russia, despite the difficulties in moving troops from the Serbian frontier.
Morning: As war has not been declared Shebeko talks to Berchtold. He argues that Russian military measures “bare no hostile character”. Austria-Hungary must “not solve the conflict with Serbia without consulting Russia”. He suggests talks in London.
Austria has to abandon its attack on Serbia and in support of Germany direct its efforts at Russia. The Austrian Chief of the General Staff assures his German counterpart Austria-Hungary will now “employ the main weight of our strength in the north”.
Evening: Berchtold wires Austria-Hungary’s formal response to Bethmann’s urgent messages of the 29/30th July to Szögyény in Berlin.It says “… we are … prepared to examine more closely Sir E. Grey’s proposal … The premises of our acceptance, however, are of course that our military action against the Kingdom shall in the meantime take its […]
4.10 P.M.: Vienna gets message from Berlin that Germany has proclaimed imminent danger of war and this inevitably means war. Germany expects immediate participation of Austria-Hungary in war against Russia.
1.00 P.M.: Bad Ischl. The Emperor sends a message to the Kaiser stating he has ordered general mobilisation following news of Russia’s partial mobilisation. The latest British mediation proposal came too late. The army operations against Serbia “can suffer no interruption” and any “fresh rescue of Serbia by Russian intervention” would have the “most serious […]
12.23 P.M.: Bad Ischl. The Emperor has signed the orders for general mobilisation and they are returned to Vienna.
Morning: Berchtold convenes the Joint Ministerial Council. He reviews all the latest diplomatic exchanges.They discuss and approve the basis of a formal reply to Germany. “(1) War operations against Serbia must be continued, (2) We cannot negotiate on the English proposal unless Russian mobilisation is suspended, and (3) Our terms must be integrally accepted [by […]
Early morning: Conrad and Krobatin go to see Berchtold. Tisza, Stürgkh and Burián are also present.Conrad reads out the messages he has from Moltke urging Austria-Hungary to mobilise against Russia. They contrast starkly with Bethmann’s appeals and the Kaiser’s latest message. Berchtold exclaims who “Who runs the government, Moltke or Bethmann?!”.The meeting decides to submit […]
Early morning: Tschirschky has told Berchtold of the Kaiser’s message to the Emperor sent the previous evening which gives the impression he still wants a peaceful solution and to avoid war. The Kaiser wants to know the Emperor’s decision regarding the “halt in Belgrade” proposal.
Austrians now have message from the German Chief of the General Staff urging Austrian general mobilisation. They note how it contradicts the messages from the Chancellor. Austrians believe mediation would work against them. They are intent on destroying the Serbian army to avoid another problem arising in a few years time. The Emperor signs the […]
Brief: Tschirschky’s and Vienna’s response to Bethmann’s telegrams [More]
1.35 A.M. next day: Tschirschky sends fuller report of his discussions with the Austro-Hungarian leaders before and after his first call with Stumm.He says “I begged [them] to bear in mind the incalculable consequences of a rejection of mediation”.In the last paragraph he states “Conrad von Hotzendorf this evening was to submit the order for […]
7.30 P.M.: In response to Moltke’s question that morning of what Austria-Hungary will do in response to Russian partial mobilisation Conrad prepares a reply saying “On the basis of His Majesty’s decision the resolve is: to go forward with the war against Serbia. To mobilise remainder of army, assemble in Galicia. First day of mobilisation […]
Evening: Stumm again phones Tschirschky who confirms Austria-Hungary’s determination to reject all compromise and mediation. He doesn’t mention the Austro-Hungarians are about to order general mobilisation.
5.00 P.M.: Tschirschky wires Berlin saying his “Instructions emphatically executed. Count Berchtold will reply by return after receiving Emperor Francis Joseph’s commands”.
Late afternoon: Berchtold talks to Shebeko. He says he had not intended to break off direct talks with Russia. Szápáry has been instructed to give Sazonov any explanations he requires regarding the demands of the note, and to explore ways of maintaining friendly relations with Russia. Shebeko reports to St Petersburg he thinks Berchtold really […]
Afternoon: Berchtold, Conrad and Krobatin meet the Emperor who has come from Bad Ischl to Vienna to see them and brief him on the messages from Berlin and the military position.They agree Serbia must meet the demands of the note in full and now pay the cost of the mobilisation and military operations against her.Despite […]
Afternoon: Stumm at the German Foreign Ministry phones Tschirschky. He tells Stumm that the Austrians are so far unwilling to limit their military action against Serbia. Tschirschky goes again to talk with Berchtold’s colleagues.
Early afternoon: Tschirschky now has the Telegram from Bethmann that warns Britain will not be neutral. “… we should be two against four Great Powers. Germany, as the result of England’s hostility, would have to bear the brunt of the fighting. …. we must urgently and emphatically recommend to the consideration of the Vienna Cabinet […]
Early afternoon: Tschirschky reports back to Berlin. He says Austria-Hungary is willing to discuss with Russia all questions directly affecting the two countries, but not the Serbo-Austrian conflict.In the case of Serbia now that a state of war exists Austria-Hungary’s terms would be different. Berchtold has instructed Szápáry to talk to Sazonov and will himself […]
1.20. P.M.: Berchtold wires Szápáry telling him to see Sazonov immediately and explain he is ready to elucidate any points in the note to Serbia and amicably discuss relations between Austria-Hungary and Russia. This is not what Russia is asking. It wants to change the note so it can be accepted by Serbia.
Morning: Conrad too is in favour of general mobilisation and he has already prepared a draft statement saying Austria-Hungary is extending its mobilisation without any intention to attack or threaten Russia but to make provision against an attack by Russia.
Morning: Now concerned that Germany is pulling back from its policy of total support for Austria-Hungary’s plan to deal with Serbia, and seeking a peaceful solution, Berchtold decides Austria-Hungary should declare general mobilisation without waiting for German approval or warning the Russians. He sends Hoyos to ask Conrad to be ready to see the Emperor […]
Early part of morning: The first of the late night early morning telegrams from Bethmann have arrived. The tone is different from previous messages and it is clear Berlin now wants Vienna (1) to pursue the “halt in Belgrade” proposal and associated mediation, the general idea of which has now been proposed by the British, […]
From the tone of the Chancellors latest wires the Austrians realise he really is trying to change Austrian policy. They should talk with the Russians and consider the latest proposal to “halt in Belgrade”. They tell the Austrian ambassador in St Petersburg to explain the ultimatum to the Russians. This isn’t what the Russians want. […]
1.00 A.M. next day: Berchtold now has news of Russian partial mobilisation. He instructs Szögyény to tell the German government “for military reasons our general mobilisation must be put in hand at once if the Russian measures for mobilisation are not immediately suspended”. The ambassador is also told although diplomatic action continues in St Petersburg […]
Probably late evening: Telegram 174 concerning the “halt in Belgrade” proposal and opening direct talks with Russia has been in Vienna since 4.00 A.M. but Tschirschky talks to Berchtold about it much later in the day.Berchtold is willing to repeat to Russia that Austria-Hungary will make no territorial acquisitions at the expense of Serbia but […]
Afternoon: Austro-Hungarian military intelligence detects signs of Russian military preparations along the border with Galicia, the province bordering Russia.
During the day: The Austro-Hungarians start shelling Belgrade.
The Austrians start shelling Belgrade. Late in the day the German ambassador puts forward the “halt in Belgrade” proposal. The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister says Austria is willing to repeat to Russia that it will not annex any part of Serbia but it needs time to consider the “halt in Belgrade” idea. The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister […]
Evening: Tschirschky finally acts on Bethmann’s Monday evening telegram asking for Berchtold’s opinions on Grey’s suggestion that Berlin mediate in Vienna and Sazonov’s desire to have direct talks. Berchtold says he will let Tschirschky have his views very soon though he thinks the British move comes too late. Berchtold claims Serbia has already opened hostilities.Berchtold […]
Afternoon: They again look to Germany for help. They believe that if Austria-Hungary is engaged in operations against Serbia, then even if Russia only mobilises against Austria-Hungary Germany should mobilise too, even though this makes European war inevitable. They telegram Szögyény telling him to ask Germany to consider issuing “a friendly reminder” to Russia along […]
Afternoon: Austrian leaders discuss the military situation following the declaration of war on Serbia. Berchtold asks whether war with Russia can be carried on if the army is attacking Serbia.That Berchtold asks this shows for him the declaration of war is a diplomatic move designed to increase the pressure on Serbia and has no military […]
Afternoon: Shebeko compounds the confusion reporting to Sazonov that Austria-Hungary “cannot retreat and enter into a discussion of its note” which Sazonov takes to mean a complete rejection of direct talks between Austria-Hungary and Russia.
Afternoon: Berchtold sees Shebeko who he has been deliberately avoiding because he doesn’t want to discuss Sazonov’s proposal for direct talks between the two countries before Vienna declares war.Berchtold tells Shebeko that Austria-Hungary refuses to enter into any negotiations on the Serbian reply, which has already been rejected as unsatisfactory.He is thinking of Grey’s proposal […]
Late morning: Tschirschky calls on Berchtold to urge Austria-Hungary to offer Italy territorial compensation according to the Triple Alliance. If Italy does not support the Alliance it upsets Germany’s military plans.Berchtold says they will consult with the Italian government if Austria-Hungary occupies any part of the Balkans even if only temporarily. The Italians want to […]
Late morning: Bunsen calls on Berchtold. He says that as the Serbian government has gone a long way to meet Vienna’s demands it might be possible for the four powers suggested by Grey to devise a solution that would be acceptable to Austria-Hungary.Berchtold makes it clear that Austria-Hungary cannot delay its military preparations and hints […]
Just before 11.00 A.M., Bad Ischl: The eighty-four-year-old Emperor Franz Joseph signs the declaration of war on Serbia. Shortly after midday the declaration is telegrammed to Nish.
Morning: As agreed on the 25 July Austro-Hungarian partial mobilisation Plan B begins. About two-fifths of the Austro-Hungarian army is to be deployed to the south along the border with Serbia. One reserve army corps is also being mobilised.So as not to give the Russians any reason to intervene there are no military preparations in […]
Austria-Hungary begins its Balkan mobilisation. Two-fifths of the army is to be deployed in the south along the border with Serbia. Austria declares war on Serbia. Austria rejects Russian proposal to have direct talks. Late in the day the German ambassador forwards the latest British mediation proposal Berlin has already told Vienna can be ignored. […]
Afternoon: At a meeting with Berchtold and Tschirschky, Conrad suggests if Russia mobilises against Austria-Hungary, the Germans tell the Russians it constitutes such a threat to Germany on its southern and eastern frontier corresponding German measures will have to be taken.This shows Conrad has a severe misapprehension of his ally’s war plans. If Germany mobilises, […]
Afternoon: Reports arrive in Vienna from the military attaché in St Petersburg indicating that Russia is beginning extensive military preparations. Conrad worries about the safety of attacking Serbia if the reserves are needed against Russia.
Morning, Bad Ischl: Berchtold tells the Emperor that as the Serbian reply appears conciliatory the Entente powers are likely to make further efforts to solve the crisis peacefully unless the situation is clarified by a declaration of war.He also tells the Emperor of a report that Serbian troops have fired on Austro-Hungarian troops and there […]
Morning, Bad Ischl: The Emperor who is seeing Giesl to hear his report on his actions in Belgrade, tells him “you could not have acted otherwise, and I must bear this too. However this still does not mean war” … “we are not at war yet, and if I can, I shall prevent it”.
Morning: Tschirschky wires Berlin “They have decided here to send out the declaration of war tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow at the latest, to frustrate any attempt at intervention”.
Morning: In light of optimistic reports – Britain and France working to restrain Russia, Britain likely to be neutral, French government against war, Russian reservists have not been called up – Berchtold sees no reason to soften his stand.He wires Szápáry instructing him not to mention Austria’s “territorial disinterest for the time being”. This contradicts […]
Morning: Even though the Serbian reply amounts to a rejection it appears conciliatory and as it would look bad to reject it out-of-hand the Austro-Hungarians prepare a point-by-point rebuttal which is circulated to the Empire’s representatives abroad who are told the Serbian reply must be treated as unsatisfactory.
Morning: Berchtold can now respond to the German pressure for military action and declare war on Serbia. He has in mind the reports from St Petersburg that Sazonov recognises Austria-Hungary has legitimate claims to make on Serbia and Russia will only mobilise if and when Austria-Hungary assumes a hostile attitude towards Russia.He also wants to […]
Morning: Berchtold sends Hoyos to see Conrad who gives way and agrees to a declaration of war if diplomatic considerations make it necessary.
The Austrian Foreign Minister has optimistic reports; Britain and France working to restrain Russia, Britain likely to be neutral. Russian reservists have not been called up. Austria decides to declare war on Serbia. Austria’s military chief wants Germany to tell Russia that it will mobilise if Russia comes to the defence of Serbia.
4.30 P.M.: Telegrams are sent to the ambassadors in Berlin, Rome, London and Paris saying war is imminent because Austria-Hungary is faced with “the necessity of enforcing on Serbia by the sharpest means a fundamental change” in its attitude.
Afternoon: Berchtold sees Giesl and tells him breaking-off diplomatic relations is not by any means war. There is the possibility Serbia will accept the ultimatum unconditionally after Austria-Hungary makes a limited military demonstration, perhaps involving the occupation of undefended Belgrade. For Berchtold an early declaration of war is simply another way of increasing the pressure […]
Lunchtime: Berchtold has now seen the telegram from Szögyény saying Berlin believes Vienna should declare war on Serbia immediately to avoid diplomatic pressure for a settlement. Berchtold calls in Conrad and says he wants a declaration of war as soon as possible.Conrad prefers to wait until mobilisation is complete on the 12 August and he […]
Austrians see report from their ambassador in Berlin that the German authorities believe Austria should declare war on Serbia and pre-empt diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis. No decision is made but preparations are put in hand for a declaration of war.
8.00 P.M., Bad Ischl: News of the Serbian rejection reaches Berchtold. He goes to see the Emperor. Krobatin is also present and the three men agree to continue the plan agreed in early July. There will be war with Serbia.The Emperor orders mobilisation of seven army corps against Serbia, Plan B. As the next day […]
Morning: Kudashev telegrams Berchtold on the train to Bad Ischl demanding an extension of the time limit.Berchtold replies to Macchio that he agrees with his earlier statements to Kudashev and he can also tell him that “even after the breaking-off of diplomatic relations the unconditional acceptance of our demands can bring about a peaceful solution” […]
Morning: Berchtold telegrams Szápáry saying he is to reassure Sazonov that the demand for Austro-Hungarian officials to operate in Serbia is not an infringement of its sovereignty. The idea is to establish a “Security Bureau” in Belgrade similar to the Russian bureaux in Paris and Berlin, where Russian officials monitor the activities of the Russian […]
Morning: Acting on instructions from St Petersburg Kudashev asks for an extension of the time limit. He sees Macchio because Berchtold has already left Vienna for Bad Ischl to be with the Emperor when the Serbian reply is received.Macchio says there is no possibility of an extension and also rejects any idea that the other […]
Austria refuses Russia’s request to extend the time limit of the ultimatum. Following the unsatisfactory Serbian reply and the breaking of diplomatic relations, the Emperor orders mobilisation Plan Balkans, that is in the south, against Serbia, to begin on the 28th July. There is it be no military deployment on the frontier with Russia.
Morning: The Austro-Hungarian embassy in Rome informs the Italian government of the ultimatum to Serbia. The Italian official notes its terms and says we appear “to have arrived at a turning point in history”.San Giuliano has already earlier that morning instructed the Italian ambassadors in Berlin, Vienna and also St Petersburg to tell the respective […]
Morning: Berchtold sends coded instructions by courier to Szápáry instructing him to tell Sazonov that if Austria-Hungary’s statement that it does not covet Serbian possessions or intend to infringe the sovereignty of Serbia does not persuade Russia to give Austria-Hungary a free hand in dealing with Serbia he is to make it clear that Vienna […]
Morning: Kudashev reports what he has been told to St Petersburg.
Morning: Berchtold asks Kudashev to call on him. He explains the purpose of the ultimatum is to stop Serbia supporting the Greater Serbia movement and to enable Austria-Hungary to check that it is doing so. Austria has no intention of taking territory from Serbia and wishes only to preserve the existing order.Vienna considers her demands […]
Austria tells Russia its objective is to stop Serbia supporting the Greater Serbia movement and to be able to check that this support has stopped. It has no intention of taking territory from Serbia. Austria is willing to risk armed conflict.
Late morning: Berchtold sees Conrad to discuss the military aspects of the crisis. Conrad says if Serbia yields to Austro-Hungarian pressure after mobilisation, Belgrade must pay the costs of mobilising the Habsburg armed forces in addition to accepting the demands made in the ultimatum. He also says that they should not mobilise if Italy is […]
Morning: In a private letter to Merey, Berchtold explains the reason for the ultimatum to Serbia. Pan-Serb agitation in Bosnia and its effects in the Empire’s other provinces can only be stopped by direct action at Belgrade.Such action runs the risk of escalation because allies Italy and Romania cannot be relied on to support such […]
Brief: Tschirschky’s role [More]
Brief: Time taken by Austria-Hungary to decide its response and the consequences [More]
22 July: A copy of the note is forwarded to Berlin.
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.The text of the note is picked up from Vienna by Giesl’s legation counsellor and taken […]
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.Italy has an eye on the Trentino, an Italian speaking part of the Empire. Berchtold counters by saying Italy needs a strong Austria “as a bulwark against the Slav flood”. […]
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.The ambassadors to the great powers are told they are to present it to the respective governments on the morning of […]
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 […]
The final wording of the ultimatum is decided. The Emperor gives his approval. He thinks the demands made on Serbia are harsh and Russia cannot possibly tolerate it. The ultimatum is to be presented to Serbia on 23 July after the French President has left St Petersburg. A copy of the ultimatum is forwarded to […]
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]
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.He sets two conditions, that special defensive measure are taken on the Hungarian border with Romania and that Austria-Hungary itself does not annex any Serbian territory except for minor border […]
13 July: Berchtold gets the results of a rapid three day investigation in Sarajevo by a legal counsellor from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry.In a strict legal sense there is “nothing to prove or suppose that the Serbian Government is accessory to the inducement for the crime” but there is evidence suggesting that elements in the […]
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.
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 […]
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.The Austrians suspect the Russians have also broken the code and […]
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 […]
11 July: Berchtold, his colleagues, and Burián meet again and make good progress on drafting the note.It is now decided to do everything in one step; a note with a time limit rather than as Tisza wants in two steps, a note making demands, followed by an ultimatum if they are not accepted. He has […]
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.
Germany stresses quick action is called for. A complicating factor is the visit of the French President to see the Tsar and the desirability of delivering the ultimatum when they are not together. An Austrian investigation says “there is evidence suggesting elements in the Serbian government are responsible” for the crime in Sarajevo. There is […]
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.One demand might be for a unit in Belgrade to monitor pan-Serb agitation. Berchtold is also turning over in his mind what demands would render acceptance by […]
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”.Berchtold also believes placing demands on Serbia avoids the odium […]
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”.
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 […]
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.Conrad says the occupation of territory alone will not settle anything. It is necessary to beat the Serbian […]
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 […]
8 July: Tisza prepares another memorandum for the Emperor setting out his objections to the majority view in the Joint Ministerial Council.He does not agree with the determination to invade Serbia because it will bring Russian intervention and a world war. After giving the memorandum to Berchtold to present to the Emperor Tisza returns to […]
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 […]
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, 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.Immediate military action is ruled out because of Tisza’s objections […]
7 July, morning: On his return to Vienna Hoyos immediately meets Berchtold, Tisza, Stürgkh and Tschirschky and tells them about his meeting with Zimmermann.Tisza is furious at hearing of the discussion of a surprise attack on Serbia and the partition of the country. He says this must be considered purely as Hoyos’ personal suggestion not […]
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.He also notes that Tisza is against a war because he believes the Russians will attack. He suggests […]
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”.The Emperor tells Conrad of the note sent to Germany. Conrad asks “if Germany takes her stand on […]
Now they have German backing the Austrians make plans to deal with Serbia. So as not to jeopardise international support by launching an invasion without warning they decide to first send Serbia an ultimatum making demands the Serbs are almost bound to reject. Germany wants Austria to act quickly but disagreement over the terms of […]
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.
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: Ganz, the Vienna correspondent of a German newspaper, who has just been to see Tschirschky, calls on Forgách at the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office.He says “Germany would support the Monarchy through thick and thin in whatever it might decide regarding Serbia”. The ambassador had added that the sooner Austria-Hungary went into action the better.
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.In addition there is a personal […]
2 July: Police reports from Sarajevo confirm the assassins got their weapons from Serbia and elements of the Serbian government were involved.
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.The Emperor says he thinks the future looks very black and he hopes the Kaiser also sees the threat Serbia poses to the Monarchy.In line with what he has said to Berchtold, […]
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 […]
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”.If the Kaiser is spoken to in the right way he […]
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 […]
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.Austria-Hungary must first have satisfactory alliances with its other Balkan neighbours, Romania and […]
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.There is need for a clear programme of action. The Emperor agrees. He insists that Berchtold must discuss […]
30 June: Though he expresses caution to Conrad, Berchtold takes a firm position for action throughout the rest of the crisis.He talks to Tschirschky mentioning a “final and fundamental reckoning with Belgrade”. Tschirschky reports the views in Vienna to Berlin and says “I take opportunity of every …. occasion to advise quietly but very impressively […]
29 June: Conrad tells Berchtold Austria-Hungary should immediately mobilise and attack Serbia.Berchtold agrees the time has come to solve the Serb problem but he says time is needed to assess the situation and prepare public opinion.Berchtold’s previous policies regarding Serbia have failed and his associates believe he lacks sufficient will-power for his role.
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.A consensus quickly forms among Austro-Hungarian leaders and senior officials that only military action will put a […]
Austria’s leaders believe Serbia is involved in the Sarajevo assassinations. Serbia is also the source of agitation for the breakaway of the Empire’s Slavic provinces such as Bosnia, to be part of a Greater Serbia. They decide only a military invasion will put a stop to Serbia’s trouble-making. They seek the support of Germany as […]