Evening, Nish: Pašić writes “We have made our last concession – further we will not go, nor will we seek mediation, for that would suggest that we are ready to yield even more. Russia is resolute. Italy neutral”. There is further news of Russian support. There is no prospect of Serbia changing course and unconditionally […]
There is no prospect of Serbia changing course and unconditionally accepting the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. The Serbian Prime Minister believes too much has been conceded and he would not have gone as far as he has if had been sure of Russian support earlier.
Morning, Nish: The Serbian cabinet reject a proposal from Sazonov that they should ask England to mediate between Austria and Serbia because it would give England an excuse to maintain her apparent policy of not becoming involved in any conflict with Austria and Germany.The cabinet agree, in view of the promise of Russian support, they […]
Evening: The Serbs expect Austria-Hungary to invade at any moment and Belgrade empties. The Government is moving to Nish. Crown Prince Alexander has already signed the order for general mobilisation. It is the first mobilisation of the crisis.
Immediately after: Giesl reads the reply. His instructions are to accept the reply only if it is unconditional. It is not unconditional. He signs an already typed note telling the Serbian government they have not accepted the Austro-Hungarian demands and diplomatic relations between the two countries are broken off. Giesl says he and his staff […]
6.00 P.M.: The two texts of the reply (in Serbian and French) are ready by 5.45 P.M. Most government officials have left their offices to catch the train for Nish due to leave at 6.00 P.M. Pašić takes the reply to the Austro-Hungarian legation arriving at 5.55 P.M. and hands it to Giesl. [More – […]
Drafting: The preparation of the reply is chaotic as changes are made up to the last moment. In the final version the Serbs give the impression they are accepting as much as possible of the ultimatum while rejecting outright only point six – the participation of Austro-Hungarian officials in the judicial inquiry.The drafting is clever […]
11.30 A.M.: A third telegram arrives from Spalajković in St Petersburg reporting that the Russian Council of Ministers has decided to take energetic measures, even mobilisation, and that it will issue an official announcement supporting Serbia.
Morning: The diplomatic reaction of other powers, Britain, France, and Italy, is not encouraging. There is little support for Serbia. Serbia should be prudent and cooperative. The appeal to the Italian King has had no effect.
Morning: Pašić wires all Serbia’s foreign legations saying “…. the reply would be quite conciliatory on all points and the Serbian Government would accept the Austro-Hungarian demands as far as possible. The Serbian Government trust that the Austro-Hungarian Government, unless they are determined to make war at all costs, will see their way to accept […]
Morning: A telegram in two parts, one arriving at 4.00 A.M. and one 10.00 A.M., from Spalajković in St Petersburg gives only general expressions of support for Serbia.There is no clear advice apart from accepting as much of the ultimatum as possible. It seems Russia thinks Serbia should not offer any resistance to the expected […]
Initial Russian response is cautious. Serbia should accept as much of the ultimatum as possible and not resist if invaded and appeal for international support. Later the Serbs hear that the Russian Council of Ministers is prepared to take strong action including mobilisation. Serbs compose clever reply which appears to conform to all the Austrian […]
Evening: The cabinet agree on two of the points of the note, that Narodna Odbrana would be dissolved and that officials guilty of anti-Austro-Hungarian propaganda would be dismissed subject to them being found guilty. A policy is developing of agreeing to most of the demands in the note.
Afternoon: The Serbian cabinet agrees to Crown Prince Alexander’s proposal that he should send a personal telegram to his uncle the King of Italy to ask Austria-Hungary to extend the time limit.The cabinet also agrees further military measures and put in hand arrangements for the evacuation of the government from Belgrade to Nish, Serbia’s second […]
Morning: Crown Prince Alexander makes a direct appeal to the Tsar saying the Austro-Hungarian note is humiliating but Serbia might agree to terms that were consistent with its sovereignty or any which Russia advised them to accept. [More]
10.00 A.M.: The Serbian cabinet meets. Some members realise that given Serbia’s weak condition following the Balkan wars she could not resist an Austrian attack. Pašić believes no decisions should be taken until the Russians make their views known.
5.00 A.M.: Pašić gets back to Belgrade. He sees Strandtmann and says he thinks it is “not possible either to accept or reject the Austrian note” and more time is needed for diplomatic action. He adds “if war is unavoidable we shall fight, though Belgrade would not be defended”.
Serbs decide not to do anything until they know what Russia thinks. They ask their ambassador in St Petersburg to ascertain the views of the Russian government. Serbian Crown Prince also makes a direct appeal to the Tsar saying Serbia will accept whatever he advises. Serbs begin to compose reply conforming as best as possible […]
Evening: The Serbian leaders expect Austria-Hungary to attack as soon as the time limit on the note expires so the Minister of War and the Serbian military decide to initiate preliminary measures for mobilisation.The Serbian military position is precarious because most of the army is in the south occupying territories taken in the recent Balkan […]
Evening: Crown Prince Alexander also calls on Strandtmann to discuss the crisis and says acceptance of the note is “an absolute impossibility for a state which has the slightest regard for its, dignity” and adds that he places his trust in the magnanimity of the Tsar of Russia “whose powerful word alone could save Serbia”.
Evening: Paču dispatches a circular to the Serbia’s foreign legations telling them of the Austrian note. He says he thinks the demands set out in the note are “such as no Serbian government could accept them in their entirety”. The last two words indicate the likely approach of the Serbian government, accepting most of the […]
Evening: The six available Serbian ministers meet. They are shocked by the severity of the note and study it in silence. The first to speak is Jovanović, the Minister of Education. He says “we have no other choice than to fight it out”. He thinks that even if the demands were accepted complications over their […]
Terminology: The Austro-Hungarians refer to their written demands on Serbia as a “note with a time limit”. Giesl himself refers to the note as an ultimatum when he reports to Vienna that it has been delivered and is rebuked by the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry for using that term.
6.00 P.M.: Giesl hands the note to Paču who has taken on the task of receiving the Austro-Hungarian minister. The Serbs have forty-eight hours to reply. If it is unsatisfactory or there is no reply Giesl says he has orders to break off diplomatic relations and leave Belgrade immediately. [More – The Austro-Hungarian Note]
Later: While waiting at the station for the train to Salonika Pašić gets Paču’s phone call. Paču warns him that the expected note is not going to be an ordinary note and begs him to return to Belgrade but he refuses.Only at the next station when he gets a telegram from Crown Prince Alexander ordering […]
4.30 P.M.: Giesl telephones the Foreign Ministry to say he has an important note to deliver to Prime Minister Pašić at exactly 6.00 P.M. The senior minister available, Lazar Paču, phones Pašić on his journey.
Morning: Although an Austro-Hungarian move of some kind is expected, Pašić leaves Belgrade by train for Nish, Serbia’s second largest city, on an election campaign. When in Nish he decides to take a short break in Salonika.
At 6.00 P.M. Austrian minister in Belgrade gives ultimatum to the Serbs. They have 24hrs to reply. Serbian cabinet is shocked by severity of the ultimatum’s demands. Some infringe Serbian sovereignty. They tell Serbian foreign legations “no Serbian government could accept them in their entirety”.
19 July, early hours: Pašić sets out the Serbian government position in an urgent telegram to all Serbian legations apart from Vienna.Evidence suggests Vienna is planning a demarche that will accuse Serbia and pan-Serbianism of the assassinations.While Serbia would agree to any Austrian requests to bring accomplices of the assassins to justice, “she could not […]
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.Gruić says they must wait for the findings of the Austro-Hungarian investigation in Sarajevo. The Serbian government will comply with “whatever […]
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.
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.But the concern in Belgrade is that Austria-Hungary might demand a mixed commission of inquiry which […]
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.
Concern in Serbia that Austria might demand a mixed commission of enquiry and thus infringe Serbian sovereignty. Serbia receives warning via foreign diplomats that Austria is planning to exert momentous pressure that might result in an armed attack.
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.He responds saying “…. the whole of Serbia will have to be dissolved. Not one of us but cherishes the hope of a union of all Serbs”.
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.Giesl says that with goodwill on the part of the Serbian government a satisfactory solution will be found. Hartwig starts to give his response and collapses […]
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”.
8 July: Pašić tells the German minister in Belgrade of his horror and indignation at the crime in Sarajevo.He goes on to say “…. that a civilised government could not possibly be held responsible for the excesses of callow and overwrought lads”.The surveillance of nationalistic associations at home and abroad is most difficult for a […]
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.Gruić replies that “nothing had been done so far and the matter did not concern the Serbian Government”.