Count Leopold von Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister


(2) The Preliminary Stage, June 28 - July 22, 1914


June 28

Bosnia.
==[1034.AM] > FRANZ FERDINAND IS ASSASSINATED in Sarajevo with his wife by the young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip - ~few signs of real grief are observed either in Vienna or abroad

Austria-Hungary.
==[early afternoon] > Upon learning of the assassination, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph says “...the All-Powerful cannot be defied...” 

Germany.
==[230.PM] > News of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination reaches the Kaiser while he’s racing his yacht at Kiel 
==[evening] > A Munich mob demolishes the Café Fahrig when the band refuses to play the patriotic Die Wacht am Rhein

Austria-Hungary.
==[night] > In Vienna, the well-connected Redlich writes in his diary: “It must now be clear to everyone that peaceful coexistence is impossible to achieve between (Austria) and a Balkan nationalism roused to a fanatical lust for murder.” 
==Austrian Chief of Staff Conrad writes his mistress that the impending war “will be a hopeless struggle, but nevertheless it must be because such an ancient monarchy and such an ancient army cannot perish ingloriously.” 


June 29

Serbia.
==Serbian Premier Pasic denounces the terrorist Black Hand group and orders all public meeting places closed - Belgrade wires its condolences to Vienna 
==The Secretary of the Austrian Legation in Belgrade implicates the Serbs in Franz Ferdinand’s assassination

Bosnia.
==(end.Jun) > The Bosnian Parliament condemns the assassination, and is then dissolved by Austria-Hungary… permanently 

Austria-Hungary.
==Anti-Serb riots erupt in Vienna, in Brünn, in Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia 
==Hungarian Premier Tisza tells Berchtold that war would be a fatal mistake - Berchtold’s initial stance is moderate; he resists Conrad’s call for mobilization and decides to take no overt action until after the French leaders end their trip to Russia on Jul.23 

Britain.
==King George V decrees seven days of mourning for the slain Franz Ferdinand 

Russia.
==The Czar orders twelve days of mourning for Franz Ferdinand 


June 30

Serbia.Austria-Hungary.
==[night] > Serbian newspapers falsely report that mass murders of Serbs are occurring in Bosnia - ~strident mutual attacks by the Austrian and Serbian press through July

Austria-Hungary.
==From Vienna, Russian Ambassador Schebeko erroneously predicts that “...at least in the immediate future the course of Austro-Hungarian policy will be more restrained and calm”, and notes that the assassination hasn’t affected the Vienna Stock Exchange - there is widespread confidence in continued peace 
==Growing bellicose, Berchtold now speaks of the need for a “final and fundamental reckoning” with Serbia - for several days, he tries to launch a quick strike 

Germany.
==A report to Berlin from German Ambassador Tschirschky in Vienna urges caution 


July 1

Austria-Hungary.
==The Austrian battleship Viribus Unitis arrives at Trieste with the bodies of Franz Ferdinand and his wife 
==Hungarian Premier Tisza appeals to Franz Joseph for caution 

Austria-Hungary.Germany.
==(to Jul.04) > German reporters, probably secretly speaking for the officially cautious Ambassador Tschirschky, urge Austria to get tough with Serbia - Austria is unsure of Germany’s attitude 


July 2

Bosnia.
==Princip and two of his cohorts agree to make full confessions, revealing Serbian involvement in the assassination 

Austria-Hungary.
==An eyewitness reassures Franz Joseph that the murdered Archduke bore himself “Like a soldier.”

Austria-Hungary.Germany.
==In Vienna, German Ambassador Tschirschky assures Berchtold and Franz Joseph of German support - the Emperor tells Tschirschky “I see a very dark future.” 

Germany.
==Fearful of assassination, Kaiser Wilhelm declines to attend Franz Ferdinand’s funeral 


July 3

Germany.
==The Kaiser writes comments on Ambassador Tschirschky’s cautious report of Jun.30 from Vienna: “The Serbs must be disposed of, and that right soon!” 


July 4

Germany.
==[afternoon] > The German Foreign Office receives the Tschirschky report with the Kaiser’s angry notes and begins to adopt a hard line against Serbia 

Austria-Hungary.
==Franz Ferdinand is given a ‘third class funeral’ at Artstetten 

Austria-Hungary.Germany.
==Envoy Hoyos leaves from Vienna for Berlin with memos on Austria’s plans to crush Serbia, seeking full German support 


July 5

Austria-Hungary.
==Austrian Chief of Staff Conrad tries to convince a wary Franz Joseph that war with Serbia is unavoidable 

Germany.Austria-Hungary.
==[midday] > Austrian Ambassador Szögyény presents the tough Austrian memos to Kaiser Wilhelm - the Kaiser gives a ‘blank check’ to Austria, pledging full German support against Serbia and Russia, without serious discussion or coordination 
==[afternoon-morning.Jul.06] > The Kaiser informs his generals and Chancellor Bethmann of his support for the hard-line Austrian response to Serbia, but makes no war preparations 
==(to Jul.06) > Germany finally agrees to ally with Bulgaria after a plea from Austria 


July 6

Germany.Austria-Hungary.
==[915.AM] > The Kaiser departs on a yacht trip off Norway until Jul.26 - ~many German and Austrian leaders take holidays, to avoid giving the appearance that a crisis is looming 
==[afternoon] > Bethmann confirms Germany’s full support to Austrian Ambassador Szögyény and envoy Hoyos, saying it would be better to go to war with Serbia now rather than later 

Britain.
==British Foreign Secretary Grey is warned by German Ambassador Lichnowsky that Austria could attack Serbia, with German support - the first hint to the Entente of the gravity of the Serbian situation


July 7

Austria-Hungary.
==[1130.AM-615.PM] > Assured of German support, most of the Austrian Council of Ministers supports a war with Serbia despite possible Russian intervention, with only Tisza in opposition - Berchtold has grown wary of a Bulgarian alliance 

Germany.
==Chancellor Bethmann comments that “An action against Serbia can lead to world war.” 


July 8

Austria-Hungary.Germany.
==German Ambassador Tschirschky urges Austria to quickly attack Serbia, before Russia can intervene - an Austrian official comments “We are completely one with Berlin.” 

Austria-Hungary.
==In the Hungarian assembly, Tisza makes a somber speech on the situation with Serbia

Germany.
==Bethmann hopes the crisis will divide the Entente 

Britain.
==Grey warns Russia and France that the Serbian crisis could lead to war, telling Russian Ambassador Benckendorff that the possibility “makes my hair stand on end.” 


July 9

Austria-Hungary.
==Franz Joseph receives investigator Wiesner’s initial report on the assassination - Berchtold notes that the aged Emperor seems ready for action against Serbia 

Germany.
==After Chancellor Bethmann briefs him on the Serbian situation, German Interior Minister Delbrück comments “That is war,” and quietly begins preparations 

Britain.
==Grey admits to German Ambassador Lichnowsky that Britain has long been holding military talks with France and Russia - Grey is confident that the Serbian crisis won’t provoke a general war - Foreign Office Undersecretary Nicolson writes: “...I expect the storm will soon blow over.” 


July 10

Serbia.
==Russian Ambassador Hartwig dies suddenly of a heart attack at the Austrian Legation in Belgrade 

Austria-Hungary.
==Austria has composed the basics of its ultimatum to Serbia, including a 48-hour deadline and terms that have deliberately been made unacceptable 

Britain.
==Grey extends sympathy to Austria-Hungary, in the only mention of the crisis made in the House of Commons until Jul.27 

Italy.
==General Cadorna is appointed Italian Chief of Staff 


July 11

Germany.
==The Kaiser wishes King Peter of Serbia a happy birthday 


July 12

Germany.Austria-Hungary.
==Under German pressure, Ambassador Szögyény in Berlin urges Berchtold to act quickly against Serbia 

Germany.Britain.
==Berlin orders German Ambassador Lichnowsky to encourage British neutrality and to avoid giving the impression that Germany is pushing Austria into a war 


July 13

Bosnia.
==[early afternoon] > Austrian investigator Wiesner reports from Sarajevo that there is no evidence linking the Serbian government to the assassination 

Serbia.
==Rumors circulate that the Austrian Legation in Belgrade is about to be attacked 

Austria-Hungary.Germany.
==German Ambassador Tschirschky warns Berchtold that if Austria fails to act against Serbia, it will loose its Great Power status and could possibly loose the support of Germany

Germany.
==(to Jul.16) > Canadian Pacific Railway shares plummet in the Berlin Stock Exchange 

France.
==(to Jul.14) > Angry debates in the French Senate over military preparedness - Senator Humbert reveals enormous French deficiencies relative to Germany 

Britain.
==(to Jul.25) > Britain calls up 20,000 naval reservists for a Royal Navy test mobilization in place of the usual summer fleet maneuvers 


July 14

Austria-Hungary.
==After Tisza finally yields, the Austrian Council of Ministers agrees to send an impossible 48-hour ultimatum to Serbia on Jul.25, hoping to provoke a localized conflict 
==Berchtold reassures Berlin “that there was not a thought of hesitation or uncertainty in existence here.” 


July 15
Austria-Hungary.
==Tisza ominously tells the Hungarian Assembly that relations with Serbia “must be clarified.” 
==(mid.Jul) > Austria quietly begins war preparations: Austrian batteries near Belgrade are issued accurate maps of the Serbian capital 

United States.
==(mid.Jul) > ~Large gold shipments are moving from America to Europe 


July 16

Germany.
==From London, German Ambassador Lichnowsky warns Bethmann that an Austrian attack on Serbia will draw in Russia and lead to a general war - he is ignored 

France.
==French President Poincaré and Prime Minister Viviani sail for Russia on an official visit

Britain.
==From Vienna, British Ambassador Bunsen reports Austria’s designs on Serbia to a startled Foreign Secretary Grey 
==The London Times denounces Serbia’s press campaign against Austria 

Bulgaria.Austria-Hungary.
==Austria seeks a Bulgarian alliance, but its Minister in Sofia fails to meet with Tsar Ferdinand 

Italy.
==Italy urges Russia to stand firm against Austria - ~the astute Italian Foreign Minister San Giuliano becomes the first foreign observer to discern what Austria is planning 


July 17

Austria-Hungary.
==Austria receives a report that Serbia is mobilizing 70,000 reservists - the delivery of the Austrian ultimatum is advanced to Jul.23 

Britain.
==Lloyd George gives a speech at Mansion House showing little concern for any threat of war 

Ottoman Empire
==The Turks are informed by their Ambassador in Berlin that war is unavoidable 


July 18

Russia.Austria-Hungary.
==Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov warns Austria not to try to intimidate Serbia - Ambassador Szápáry responds reassuringly 

Germany.Russia.
==(to Jul.19) > In Britain, the alarmed German Ambassador Lichnowsky warns Russian Ambassador Benckendorff that the Serbian situation is growing very dangerous 

Ottoman Empire.Germany.
==The German Ambassador in Constantinople cables that “Without doubt, Turkey today is totally incapable of carrying out an alliance.” 


July 19

Britain.
==[morning] > King George V reviews the fleet as it departs Portsmouth for maneuvers - Churchill describes it as “incomparably the greatest assemblage of naval power ever witnessed in the world.” 

Austria-Hungary.
==[1000.AM] > In a secret meeting, the Austrian Council of Ministers approves the final text of the Serbian ultimatum and fixes its date for delivery at Jul.23 

Germany.
==German Foreign Minister Jagow publishes a communiqué calling on the powers to prevent a general crisis while Austria chastises Serbia: the first public hint of the impending crisis - the powers begin to grow alarmed
==Still yachting off of Norway, the Kaiser is warned that the crisis will soon break - he orders that the German fleet remain assembled in a state of readiness 


July 20

Serbia.
==In a circular note to the powers, Serbian Premier Pasic pledges to help to prosecute those involved in the assassination, so long as Austrian demands don’t compromise Serbian sovereignty 

Austria-Hungary.
==The Austrian ultimatum is sent to its Belgrade embassy with instructions 

Russia.France.
==(to Jul.23) > Poincaré and Viviani visit St. Petersburg 

Britain.Russia.
==(to Jul.22) > Grey cautiously suggests to Russia that it hold direct talks with Austria


July 21

Austria-Hungary.
==Austria holds conferences on Serbia at Ischl and at Budapest - Franz Joseph predicts “Russia cannot swallow it.  There’s no mistake about it, it will be a big war.” 

Germany.
==Foreign Minister Jagow warns the uneasy Entente diplomats against interfering in the Serbian crisis and denies any knowledge of the terms of the Austrian demands  (see Jul.22)

Germany.France.
==French Ambassador Jules Cambon reports from Berlin on early signs of German war preparations

Russia.Germany.
==Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov warns German Ambassador Pourtalès of the dangers of an Austrian ultimatum 

Russia.France.
==In St. Petersburg, Poincaré pledges that France will fulfill “all her obligations,” rejects a British proposal for Russian-Austrian talks, warns Austrian Ambassador Szápáry “The Russian people are very warm friends of the Serbians, and France is Russia’s ally,” and tells French Ambassador Paléologue that “Sazonov must be firm and we must support him.” 


July 22

Germany.Austria-Hungary.
==[afternoon] > German Foreign Minister Jagow approves the text of the pending Austrian ultimatum to Serbia 
==Through the German Ambassador, Austria asks Germany what the best way is to deliver its declaration of war to Serbia (the query is received on Jul.24) 

Britain.Germany.
==From Ambassador Bunsen in Vienna, Grey learns of the extreme nature of the pending Austrian ultimatum to Serbia - he warns Ambassador Lichnowsky against German support for Austria 

Ottoman Empire.Germany
==Turkish leader Enver explicitly seeks an alliance with Germany - Germany abruptly decides to accept 


 


Count Stephen Tisza, Hungarian Premier
 

July Crisis Introduction    //    (1) 1904-Jun.1914    //    (3) Jul.23-27
(4) Jul.28-31    //    (5) Aug.1-4; Aftermath    //    Biographies
Home    //    Site Index