Can german in 30 days pdf Royal cousins avert disaster? It began a conflict that would engulf almost the entire world.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand pushed existing animosities and alliances into the most catastrophic war the world had ever seen. 1914 there would be no peace or compromise. As grave events spiralled out of control Europe could not step back from the brink. Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot dead while on a state visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. Black Hand’, and joined by a group of other would-be assassins. One of them threw a bomb at the Archduke’s motorcade in a first, unsuccessful, attempt on his life. But, when a fateful mistake meant Franz Ferdinand’s driver took the car directly to the street corner where Princip was standing, his two shots killed the Archduke and his wife, Sophie Chotek.
Although Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination, the Serbian government tried to distance itself claiming it had tried to warn Austria of a plot. The Austrian chief of military staff, Conrad von Hötzendorf, wanted war, but the foreign secretary was more cautious, fearing that Serbia’s long time ally Russia would be angered by any attack and be forced to step in. But perhaps Austria-Hungary’s powerful ally Germany would back them against Russia. At the German naval base of Kiel it was the last day of the Royal Navy’s visit.
Over the last few days German and British navies had carried out joint manoeuvres. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, a cousin of the British King, George V, was proud to be an admiral of the British fleet. Although there were some suspicions between the two nations they parted ways on good terms. When he learnt of Austria-Hungary’s wish to attack Serbia, Kaiser Wilhelm pledged Germany’s support, even if it meant war with Russia.
Should a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia be unavoidable, Austria-Hungary can rest assured that Germany, your old faithful ally, will stand at your side. Perhaps he was unaware what the consequences could be for Europe. This time I shall not give in. With Germany’s backing some Austrian ministers were in favour of a quick attack on Serbia. However any plan needed the approval of both Austrian and Hungarian leaders, but the Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza was not convinced. He was afraid an attack on Serbia would spark a war with its much larger neighbour, Russia.
Instead the ministers agreed to draw up an ultimatum to Serbia – some wanted to make it so harsh the Serbs would be forced to reject it, and trigger war between the two countries. This delay could allow time for Russia to join the fray. Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, told the German ambassador that Britain had not promised to aid France or Russia in a European war. Grey was aware of Germany’s support for Austria-Hungary and hinted at collaboration between the French and British military. He explained that British public opinion would make it very difficult for him to stay out if events in the Balkans escalated. But his softly-softly approach would not be enough to hold Germany back.
Christopher Clark explores how militant voices swayed decision-makers in Vienna in 1914. Austria-Hungary’s ministers gathered for a secret meeting in Vienna, where they made the final decision to issue an ultimatum to Serbia. Just five days earlier the one person blocking it changed his mind. If Serbia agreed to its terms, it would come under Austria-Hungary’s control. If it refused, there would be war. Why did Vienna go to war?
Having discovered Austria-Hungary’s intentions to threaten Serbia, Russia’s foreign minister issued them with a warning. Russian public opinion was in favour of protecting Serbia, and Sergei Sazonov explained to the Austrian and German ambassadors: “If Austria-Hungary is absolutely determined to disturb the peace, she ought not to forget that she would have to reckon with Europe. In no case should there be any talk of an ultimatum. Ignoring Russian warnings, Austria-Hungary issued the Serbian government with its ultimatum. It blamed Serbian officials for Franz Ferdinand’s assassination and made a series of demands.
Austria-Hungary’s collaboration in suppressing subversive movements within Serbia, and it must allow Austria to direct judicial proceedings against accessories in the assassination plot. Christopher Clark describes how Kaiser Willhelm offered to mediate for peace. Serbia’s deadline for responding to Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum was 18:00 central European time. After checking he had Russia’s support in the event of war, the Serbian Prime Minister delivered his reply to the Austrian embassy. Serbia conceded to all of the demands, apart from two. Key among them was the request that Austria-Hungary be allowed to direct judicial proceedings in Serbia – a violation of its constitution. Serbia had effectively rejected the ultimatum and, as planned in Vienna, war was now inevitable.