July Crisis 1914

1914 Europe from USMA

June 28 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of AH was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, on Vivdovan, a Serbian national festival day. Many European leaders were on summer holiday and the shooting surprised everyone. Bethmann Hollweg was mourning his wife who had died in May. Conrad von Hotzendorff had fallen in love with Gina von Reininghaus and was planning her divorce from her industrialist husband and then her marriage with him. Gen. Brusilov and his wife were on vacation at the Kissingen resort in Germany, and Wilhelm Groener, chief of the railway division of the general staff, was in Switzerland.

July 5 - Kaiser Wilhelm gave Austria a "blank check" to go to war to punish Serbia, unlike 1912 when the Kaiser restrained Austria from war.

July 20 - In France, the trial of Henriette Caillaux began for the March 16 murder of Gaston Calmette, editor of the Le Figaro newspaper, who had published criticisms of her husband, Minister of Finance Joseph Caillaux. Le Figaro had German telegrams that had been decoded, and the trial caused Germany to change its diplomatic code, excluding the French from a crucial intelligence source.

July 23 - Austria gave ultimatum to Serbia.

July 25 - Serbian PM Nicholas Pasic rejected the ultimatum and mobilized the Serbian army.

July 27 - In Britain, PM Herbert Asquith and Exchequer Chancellor David Lloyd George and a majority of the British Cabinet opposed going to war to defend France against Germany. Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey believed war was inevitable, but was unable to convince the Cabinet to act, instead proposed a Four Power conference that Germany rejected. Not until the August 3 German ultimatum to Belgium does the Cabinet decide to go to war, and Britain began mobilization.

July 28 - Austria declared war on Serbia. Kaiser Wilhelm sent the "Halt in Belgrade" telegram to Franz Joseph but Austria ignored it.

July 29 - Russia mobilized. In France, Joffre warned that France must mobilize, but the French Cabinet delayed until Aug. 1, the same day that Germany mobilized its army. Poincare and Vivani had been visiting Russian and did not return until July 29, and the Germans had jammed radio transmissions.




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