How the First Word War started.
We started the war
On the day of the assassination in Sarajevo, Franz Joseph was enjoying himself at his beloved Kaiservilla in the spa resort of Bad Ischl, set in the spectacularly beautiful region of Salzkammergut, east of Salzburg. He had an interesting neighbor there: Ernst August, the exiled Crown Prince of Hanover, who, owing to a blood connection with the British Royal House, also held the title of the 3rd Duke of Cumberland. When he heard about the assassination, “Herzog von Cumberland” jumped into a car and was reportedly the first to reach Franz Joseph with the news. Although according to the Duke, the Emperor expressed his dismay, he remained “calm” and said that he could draw comfort from the fact that the Archduke and his wife had been “an embarrassment” for the Imperial House.1
So much for the uncle’s sympathy. Sources are not unanimous on the identity of the first person to tell Franz Joseph about the assassination, but most of them agree that his reaction was one of relief “For me”, he told his daughter Marie Valerie, “it is one big worry less”.2 Bilinski, who saw Franz Joseph soon after the event, reported him as being “almost relieved”.3 It would seem, from the account by Count Paar, his Adjutant-General, that the Emperor also took something of a metaphysical view of the matter: “A higher power”, he murmured to himself, “has re-established that order which I sadly could not preserve”.4 However, it is not the case, as is often claimed, that Franz Joseph and Prince Montenuovo, the master of Court ceremonies, had contrived to demean the royal couple, evincing deliberate pettiness and malevolence with regard to the funeral arrangements. The coffins holding Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, having been transported to Trieste by sea on Viribus Unitis, were put on a special train which reached Vienna’s Sudbahnhof station on the night of 2 July. They were then brought to the Hofburgkapelle, the Habsburg family chapel. Austrian scholarship has exploded the myth that there was anything disrespectful about the details in these proceedings. On the contrary, what took place was a “generous interpretation” of a strict royal protocol. The Duchess was accorded the treatment reserved for members of the Imperial House. It is simply not true that her coffin, lying in state in the chapel, was placed lower than that of the Archduke; and the pair of white gloves, displayed together with a fan in front of her coffin, were not put there as a reminder of her former status of lady-in-waiting, but rather placed there as symbols appropriate to a female member of the Imperial House.5 Nevertheless, the occasion did perhaps require more attention and greater sensitivity; for the impression became current that Franz Ferdinand and Sophie had been buried “with undeserving haste”.6 On 4 July, in accordance with the Archduke’s will, he and the Duchess found their final resting place in the family vault beneath Schloss Artstetten, Lower Austria.
As with Franz Joseph, not many people in the Empire were particularly distressed by the news of the assassination. Sigmund Freud, the celebrated Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, remarked on 29 June that if Franz Ferdinand had come to power, there would probably have been a war between Austria and Russia.7 Ludwig Thalloczy of the Joint Finance Ministry wrote in his diary on 28 June that the Archduke’s death spared the Monarchy, and Hungary, from the shocks which his ascendance of the Throne would certainly have entailed.8 War Minister Krobatin admitted that his ministry now felt “freed” from a certain pressure.9 The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig described how he had on 28 June found himself in the lovely spa resort of Baden near Vienna, sitting in a park, reading while listening to music being played by a band nearby. Suddenly, the music stopped. A crowd gathered around the bandstand to read why for a placard had just been put up. This announced that Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated, and also his wife. “But to be honest,” writes Zweig of the crowd, “there was no particular shock or dismay to be seen on their faces, for the heir-apparent was not at all well liked.” He lacked, according to Zweig, everything that counted for popularity in Austria: “amiability; personal charm and easygoingness”. The music later resumed. 10
Politically, however, it was a different story. In Sarajevo, the authorities released the criminals from the prisons and put them under the command of well-known city ruffians. The resultant mob, mostly Croat, embarked on a savage anti-Serb pogrom, burning and looting. Ivan Kranjcevic, a Croat and friend of the Sarajevo assassins, recalled that “a well-dressed man” walked in front of the “demonstrators,” holding a list of Serb houses and shops to be attacked and their contents demolished. Behind them moved the police, tasked with protecting this “patriotic work.”11 Bizarrely, all Roma musicians from Serbia were arrested by the police and expelled.12 Following the assassination, vicious anti-Serb violence also took place in Zagreb and elsewhere in Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia. From the outset, both the Austrian and the Hungarian press pointed their accusing fingers at Belgrade. In Vienna’s 4th Bezirk, there were daily demonstrations around the Serbian Legation in Paulanergasse, near Favoritenstrasse, but here the police held off the crowds, though they numbered hundreds, even thousands. Particularly active were young members of Catholic associations who blew whistles to make a deafening noise. The revolted crowd burned the Serbian flag and sang the patriotic repertoire: “Wacht am Rhein”, the “Kaiserlied” and the “Prinz Eugen-Lied”, Showing political awareness, it shouted: “Long live Bulgaria!” outside the nearby Bulgarian Legation, and “Down with Russia!” at the Russian Embassy in the neighbouring 3rd Bezirk.13
In the wake of the murders in Sarajevo, the emerging reflex in the Habsburg establishment was pretty much in tune with the sentiments displayed by the crowds besieging the Serbian Legation. Following the assassination of the royal couple, it took less than forty-eight hours for most of the Empire’s small decision-making elite to decide that Austria-Hungary should go to war against Serbia. Count Alexander (“Alek”) Hoyos, Berchtold’s chef de cabinet, related in a private conversation with Hans Schlitter on 24 July that war had been decided upon “immediately after the arrival of the news of the assassination”.14 This was an exaggeration, but only a slight one. On 28 June Berchtold was on his estate in Moravia, shooting ducks. On hearing the news, he took the first train to Vienna. That night he was already holding meetings at the Ballhausplatz.15 The crucial days, nevertheless, were those from Monday 29 June to Wednesday 1 July.
Who were the chief players pushing for war? The Emperor himself, according to Bilinski, was “determined on war from day one”. 16 In fact already in 1913 he had been quite clear that he would wage war rather than watch Serbia and Montenegro merge into one state. It is obvious from his conversation with Conrad von Hotzendorf on 5 July 1914 that he had decided on war and was merely waiting for assurances of German support.17 Had he wanted to prevent a war against Serbia in July 1914, he could easily have done so, even though the Habsburg establishment was in July 1914 teeming with combative jingoists. Predictably, one of those most vehement after 28 June in demanding a war against Serbia was Feldzeugmeister Potiorek in Sarajevo. Of course, he would have been a hawk in any confrontation with Belgrade, but now he had even more reason, for the assassination had showed up his incompetence and he wanted to “wash it off with blood”.18 Equally predictably, Conrad now moved to exploit the new opportunity opened up by Sarajevo. The Chief of General Staff saw Berchtold on 29 June, to energetically demand action against Serbia. Berchtold, however, appeared to him undecided. Although he said that the moment had arrived for “the solution of the Serbian question”, he also talked, to Conrad’s horror, about the need to await the results of the enquiry into the Sarajevo assassination and about the possibility of making certain demands on Serbia, for example that it should abolish certain associations and dismiss the Interior Minister.19
But the diplomat Berchtold soon turned into a most tenacious advocate of the military option. In fact, his declared position in the crisis proved crucial to the fateful decisions that followed in the course of July Yet on the face of it, he was the most unlikely of warmongers. This self effacing, fabulously rich aristocrat was above all a bon vivant, with an interest in arts, apparel, horse racing and women. It was said of him, as Redlich noted in his diary, that he was very much “in need of love” and was on the lookout everywhere for attractive prostitutes. 20 Legendary was the meticulous attention Berchtold paid to his attire. On one occasion, a visitor at the Ballhausplatz was amazed to spot in the ante-chamber to his office four overcoats, four hats, four pairs of hand gloves and four canes. The guest was later told that the Minister always had those ready, so that he could choose when going out, whatever best suited the weather conditions, the clothes he happened to be wearing and his own mood. Berchtold had reportedly also installed a wonderful system of secret bells for dealing with difficult questions raised by his visitors. Concealed push buttons for different foreign policy areas were electrically connected to the offices of the relevant Ministry experts: a Berchtoldian push of the appropriate button and the specialist official would soon turn up by apparent chance to help out his Minister.21 Count Berchtold was “a frivolous aristocrat, but the Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary”, according to A.J.P. Taylor.22 “Fop, dandy, la-di-da”, is how Winston Churchill described him. Berchtold was, in the opinion of the British statesman, “one of the smallest men who ever held a great position”.23 In his memoirs, the former German Chancellor Prince Bulow wrote of “Count Leopold Berchtold, whose frivolous incapacity far exceeded even Austrian standards”. 24
Although he was a competent enough Ambassador at St Petersburg, almost no one took Berchtold seriously When, however, his name began to be mentioned among the candidates to succeed the previous Foreign Minister Count Alois Aehrenthal, some of his colleagues were suddenly alarmed. Julius Szillasy, who worked for him in St Petersburg, as well as Pourtales, the German Ambassador in Russia, thought initially that press speculation about his candidacy for the post of Foreign Minister was “a bad joke”. Szillasy even predicted that if Berchtold ever became Minister, it “could result in world war”.25 Popovic, the Serbian Minister at St Petersburg, reported in March 1912 that Berchtold’s appointment at the Ballhausplatz had caused great surprise both in Russian society and in the diplomatic corps because it was considered that he “was not up to the job”.26 Early in 1912, as he lay dying, Aehrenthal recommended three names as his possible successor: Burian, Miklos Szecsen (the Ambassador to France) and Berchtold – in that order. The first two, however, being genuine Hungarians, differed from Berchtold who held both Austrian and Hungarian citizenship. Burian, in particular, could never gain Franz Ferdinand’s approval. The new chief at the Ballhausplatz would have to be the least objectionable candidate, not necessarily the ablest. Under pressure from the Heir to the Throne, but also from the Emperor, Berchtold eventually and reluctantly accepted the post.27
Berchtold, indeed, knew his limitations and became Foreign Minister in February 1912 only out of loyalty to the old Emperor. As to the extent to which he then formulated foreign policy, especially in 1914, this remains open to question. For there are just too many appraisals by contemporaries to the effect that it was actually Janos Forgach who ran the Ballhausplatz in the first half of that year. After his controversial period as Minister in Belgrade, from where his Legation sent the forgeries that later led to the Friedjung trial, Forgach had been moved as Minister to the quiet diplomatic backwater of Dresden, Saxony. Berchtold then brought him back to the Ballhausplatz in August 1913, and in October promoted him to Second Section Chief (political) in the Ministry. In this position he was able to influence, as Ludwig Bittner wrote, “the most important foreign policy decisions”.28 This may actually have been an understatement, for it seems to have been much more a question of control than mere influence. Count Anton Monts, the distinguished German diplomat, related in his memoirs that, once Forgach got to the Ballhausplatz, he in fact “usurped” many functions that should have been managed by Berchtold.29 Thalloczy noted during the July crisis that Forgach behaved as if he, not Berchtold, was the Foreign Minister.30 Everybody knew, according to the Ballhausplatz mandarin Emanuel Urbas, that Berchtold was “interested only in women”, and not in his office business which was conducted by would-be Foreign Minister Forgach.31 The latter was by all accounts very adroit and diligent, but also disdainful of his boss and other colleagues. When a diplomat from the French Embassy mentioned to him a conversation he had had with Berchtold, Forgach immediately complained: “For God’s sake, why do you go to Berchtold and [Karl von] Macchio, they don’t know what they are talking about, you just come and talk to me.”32
The significance of Forgach wielding so much power at the Ballhausplatz in July 1914 is that he was very anti-Serbian, telling Szilassy, his fellow Hungarian, that he would like to see the inscription “delenda est Serbia” hung on the walls of every office at the Ballhausplatz. To Forgach the destruction of Serbia was the “fundamental condition” for the continued existence of the Habsburg Monarchy.33 King Carol of Romania, always well informed, spoke disparagingly of Berchtold at the height of the July 1914 crisis, accusing him of falling under the influence of the “mighty” Forgach, whom he described as Serbia’s “personal enemy”,34 However, Forgach was a Slavophobe not just a Serbophobe, and many historians are quite wrong to see his hostility to the Serbs as stemming from the period when he was Minister in Belgrade between 1907 and 1911. He did, admittedly, have a difficult time there following the scandal with the forgeries, but his anti-Slav reputation had been established and talked about long before that. In January 1907, while serving in Athens, Jovan Jovanovic found out that Forgach would be the next Austro-Hungarian Minister in Belgrade, and having known him from their days in Sofia, he immediately raised the alarm. Describing Forgach as “very nasty”, Jovanovic pleaded that his appointment be prevented if at all possible, and quoted what the Russian Military Attache in Bulgaria had told him in 1903 about Forgach: “Be careful with him. He is the greatest enemy of Slavdom, he is ready for anything”.35 In July 1914, Forgach was not only ready for anything, he was also supremely confident. “The premier military power in the world”, he told Alexander Spitzmüller, “is our ally!”36
One of the reasons why Forgach had become so important at the Ballhausplatz was his friendship with the Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza. Karl von Macchio, Berchtold’s deputy, emphasized in his short memoir devoted to the July crisis that “without Tisza, one could not make foreign policy”, and that Forgach for his part was the “indispensable intermediary” between Vienna and Budapest. Forgach, according to Macchio, pushed after the Sarajevo assassination for a policy that did not repeat Austria-Hungary’s “inglorious” crisis handling of the Balkan Wars. This could itself only mean war. Apart from Forgach, Macchio named Alexander von Hoyos and Alexander von Musulin as the two other Ballhausplatz mandarins forming part of the inner circle of Berchtold advisers.37 Among the Ballhausplatz hawks from July 1914, Count Hoyos is perhaps the best known because he was the man with the mission to Berlin; a mission crowned by Germany’s so-called “blank cheque” of support to Austria-Hungary. He had as early as October 1913 advocated marching on Belgrade, and was at the time, according to Emanuel Urbas, “the most resolute” advocate at the Ballhausplatz for an immediate intervention.38 Musulin, for his part, is widely credited for drafting the notorious Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia of 23 July 1914, a task entrusted to him because of his stylistic mastery of the French language.39 Always described as a Croat in world literature on the July crisis, he had in fact a Serb background, his ancestors stemming from the village of Musulinsko near Gomirje, Croatia, an area settled by Serb families and forming a part of the Militargrenze against the Turks. But those ancestors had at some stage embraced the Catholic faith and so their branch of the Musulin tribe became “Croat”. In any case, meeting at the Ballhausplatz on 29 June, with Forgach and Hoyos also in attendance, Musulin was already arguing that this was “the last moment” to win the Croats over to the idea of a war against Serbia.40
Forgach, Hoyos and Musulin were by no means the only ones at the Ballhausplatz advocating a settling of accounts with Serbia. Prince Gottfried Hohenlohe, only recently designated as Austria-Hungary’s next’ Ambassador to Berlin, was equally hawkish.41 So was Count Friedrich (“Fritz”) Szapary; the Ambassador in St Petersburg, who happened to be in Vienna at this time. And so, too, must have been Macchio who wrote an apologetic article for the Berliner Monatshefte in 1936, but who, in 1909, fumed that “the Serbian ulcer” had to be “squeezed out” either by war or revolution.42 In the 1970S and 1980s, the Austrian historian Fritz Fellner and the British specialist on the late Habsburg Empire John Leslie documented how these mostly younger officials and diplomats, all of them Aehrenthal’s disciples and admirers of his forward foreign policy, worked to steer Berchtold towards war against Serbia.43 They formed a “fronde of diplomatic cadets” who, according to Leslie, “welcomed, even deliberately provoked”.war.44 Certainly, after the fighting began, while the going was still good, Musulin boasted that he had been the initiator of the war. On the other hand, just after the war Hoyos seriously considered suicide because he felt so burdened by his “historic responsibility”.45 Leopold von Andrian-Werburg, the Austro-Hungarian Consul General in Warsaw who had been summoned to Vienna in mid-July, left a very revealing short record of his impressions from that period. “We started the war,” he wrote, “not the Germans and even less the Entente – that I know.” Specifically, he thought that it was his friends Hoyos, Forgach, Musulin and possibly Szapary who had “made the war”. 46
The Blank Cheque and the Matscheko Memorandum
It seems that it did not take Berchtold’s colleagues a very long time to persuade him what needed to be done after the assassination in Sarajevo. On 1 July the Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza wrote to Franz Joseph, complaining that he had learned from Berchtold of his intention to use the Sarajevo outrage as the occasion for settling accounts with Serbia.47 In other words, some forty-eight hours after the assassination at the latest, the Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary was set on a Balkan collision course. A very important document confirms this. By 1 July a re-worked, shortened version of the Matscheko memorandum of 24 June (discussed in part one) was ready. Together with a handwritten letter from Franz Joseph to Wilhelm II, dated 2 July, it was to be taken to Berlin to enlighten and warn the German ally about the impending catastrophe for the Habsburg Empire, and indeed for Germany, if nothing was done in the Balkans.48 Of course, those two documents, associated with the so-called Hoyos mission in Berlin of 5-6 July, were thereby meant to secure Germany’s cover for a violent, military finale to the differences between Austria- Hungary, and Serbia.
The person chosen by the Foreign Minister to liaise with the Germans was his chef de cabinet Count Alexander Hoyos, an Englishman on his mother’s side. Hoyos was well connected in Germany, but more importantly, he was one of the principal warmongers at the Ballhausplatz. In the evening hours of Saturday, 4 July, he boarded a train for Berlin. Franz Ferdinand and Sophie had been entombed at Artstetten earlier in the day. Berchtold’s emissary carried in his briefcase two documents prepared at the Ballhausplatz: a letter from Franz Joseph to Wilhelm II, which Hoyos had drafted himself, and the Matscheko Memorandum, adapted by Berchtold, Matscheko and himself, In addition, Hoyos carried in his head Berchtold’s verbal instructions which emphasized Vienna’s assessment that the moment for settling scores with Serbia appeared to have arrived.49 This youngish diplomat, as it turned out, had embarked on a dramatically fateful diplomatic assignment. The ill-famed result of his journey was the extraction of a ‘blank cheque’ from Wilhelm II on 5 July, officially confirmed on 6 July by his Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. Austria-Hungary received, in the words of Konrad Jarausch, “one of the most momentous assurances in European history”.50
Wilhelm II talked to Count Szogyeny; the serving Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Berlin, on 5 July over a dejeuner at the New Palace in Potsdam. Hoyos had previously handed the Ambassador the paper work from Vienna and was not present at the meeting – on that day he was conducting informal talks with Under Secretary Zimmermann at the German Foreign Office. In the evening hours of 5 July Szogyeny informed the Ballhausplatz that Wilhelm II had in his presence read “with the greatest attention” the documents brought by Hoyos. This must have taken a while. Franz Joseph’s personal letter to the German Kaiser was admittedly relatively short. But the new rendition of the Matscheko Memorandum was still a heavy-going piece of analysis of considerable length: eight densely printed pages in the Austrian collection of documents as opposed to the ten pages taken up by the original of 24 June. At any rate, the German Emperor certainly grasped the gravity of the moment. He told Szogyeny that he had to bear in mind the possibility of “a serious European complication” and could therefore not give a definitive answer before consulting with Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg. However, in his view, Russia was “not remotely” ready for war and would think twice before resorting to arms. And he would “regret” it, he said, if Austria-Hungary did not use the existing favorable moment to proceed against Serbia. As far as Romania was concerned, he would see to it that King Carol and his advisers behaved correctly. And although he had not “the slightest confidence” in King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, he would “not in the least” object to an Austro-Bulgarian pact as long as it contained nothing directed at Romania.51
Now or never.
Clearly, the German Emperor was ready to back Austria-Hungary against Serbia. But then, he had made up his mind even before Hoyos had arrived. “Now or never,” he commented on the margin of a report his Ambassador Tschirschky had sent to Bethmann Hollweg on 30 June, informing the Chancellor about the widespread fervor in Vienna to square things with the Serbs. Tschirschky, however, added that he had been warning the Austrians against taking “hasty steps.” Here, Wilhelm II scribbled what became one of his famous pieces of marginalia: “Who authorized him to do that? That is very foolish! … The Serbs must be put away and right now.” Only a few days earlier, on 21 June, the Kaiser talked to the Hamburg banker Max Warburg, expressing his concern about Russia’s rearmament program and prioritization of its railway construction. He was “more nervous than usual”, anticipating that Russia’s preparations might lead to war by 1916, and wondering whether it would not be better “to strike out, instead of waiting”.53 This was certainly in keeping with his pronouncements at Konopischt, but if he wanted to take on Russia the best way was firstly to create security on Germany’s south-eastern flank.
The encouragement, however, that Wilhelm II extended to Szogyeny on 5 July was unofficial. As he indicated to the Ambassador, Bethmann Hollweg would also need to be consulted. Unfortunately for the peace of Europe, the Reichskanzler now chose to accept the risk of continental war entailed by an attack on Serbia. In the afternoon hours of 5 July, Wilhelm II told him about the meeting with Szogyeny By this time Bethmann Hollweg had already read the two documents brought by Hoyos. It was not Germany’s business, the Emperor said, to be telling the Austrians how to respond to the bloody deed in Sarajevo; Germany should strive by all available means to stop the Austro-Serbian quarrel turning into an international conflict; but Franz Joseph should know that Germany would not abandon Austria-Hungary in its hour of need, as Germany’s vital interest was the preservation of an intact Austria; finally, the idea of attaching Bulgaria to the Triple Alliance was ‘good’, though this should not be done at the cost of alienating Romania. “These opinions of the Kaiser,” the Chancellor recalled later, “corresponded with my own.”54
On 6 July, accompanied by Zimmermann, he met with Szogyeny and Hoyos to give them the official German position. Hoyos must have been overjoyed as he listened. According to the report of the meeting bearing Szogyeny’s signature, Bethmann Hollweg accepted the basic premise of the Matscheko Memorandum: that Russia’s plan to build a Balkan League posed dangers not just to Austria-Hungary but also to the Triple Alliance itself. He only stipulated that Bulgaria’s adherence to the Triple Alliance should not prejudice obligations towards Romania. The latest events, he said, made him realize that Austro-Serbian harmony, which he had previously advocated, was now “virtually impossible.” And “whatever” Austria-Hungary decided to do, it could rest assured that Germany would stand behind it as friend and ally. An “immediate intervention” against Serbia was the “most radical and best solution” to Austria-Hungary’s Balkan problems. From the international point of view, the Chancellor considered the existing moment for such an intervention as more favorable than a future one.55
This was outright incitement. Not that Berchtold and his bellicose coterie of Aeherenthal adherents at the Ballhausplatz needed any real encouragement – all they needed was assurance of Germany’s certain support. That support, however, was decisive. Hoyos, in his 1922 booklet, referring to this mission in Berlin, claimed that Berchtold would have been prepared to pull back from a confrontation with Serbia had Germany advised him to do so.56 There is every reason to believe him:
Austria-Hungary was simply too weak to risk a war against Russia without Germany’s secondment. Little did the Ballhausplatz think that the Germans would, in the end, be so forthcoming. In a brief memoir dealing specifically with his Berlin assignment (first published by Fritz Fellner in 1976) Hoyos further disclosed a remarkable detail from his meeting with Bethmann Hollweg on 6 July. On this occasion, he told the Chancellor that, although Austria-Hungary considered a military clash with Serbia unavoidable sooner or later, it was prepared to content itself for the time being with closer ties to Bulgaria – “in case Germany believed that a later moment would be more favorable from a European point of view.” Hoyos was thereby passing on the message of the Austro- Hungarian leadership that it would not attack Serbia without German approval. This would have meant no war at all, local or otherwise, in the summer of 1914, but Bethmann Hollweg reacted immediately to squash this option, promising Germany’s “entire might” if Austria-Hungary deemed it necessary to proceed against Serbia.57 It was the moment when one person, and one person alone, Bethmann Hollweg, could have stopped the war from breaking out, but chose not to, indeed chose to encourage it instead. Clearly, then, although there was no shortage of war enthusiasm in Vienna, the German leaders were dashing ahead. Hoyos later told Luigi Albertini that Bethmann Hollweg had on 6 July “twice over” urged “immediate action against Serbia, the international situation being “entirely in our favor”.58
The Calculations of the German Chancellor
Bethmann Hollweg gained much notoriety after he had, on 4 August 1914, declared the Belgian neutrality treaty to be just a “scrap of paper”.59 And his shocking September 1914 program, envisaged a sweeping reshuffle of the existing European system to make way for German hegemony.60 But his pre-war reputation was that of a responsible statesman. The British in particular had a good opinion of him. At the height of the July crisis, Hoyos sent a long letter to Lord Haldane, whom he knew from the period when he had served at the Austro-Hungarian Embassy in London. The letter, sent with Berchtold’s approval, suggested that Russian intrigues stood behind the Sarajevo assassination. “Englishmen should realize,” Hoyos wrote, “what the whole world would look like … if Russia held the Balkans and Constantinople.” For good measure, Hoyos warned that Russia might turn its eyes “towards India.” Haldane noted that the letter “is an attempt to scare us into neutrality with the Russian bogey. The one hope is that Bethmann-Hollweg’s influence in Berlin will prevail.”61
This hope, as it turned out, was utterly misplaced. A little earlier that year the Chancellor would probably have been a good receptacle for it. Like “Wilhelm II, Bethmann Hollweg had not long previously been counseling Vienna to be nice to the Serbs, warning Berchtold in February 1913 in very sharp terms that if Austria-Hungary waged war on Serbia, he would consider it “a mistake of immeasurable consequence.” But Bethmann Hollweg was only urging restraint for tactical reasons: out of a belief that cracks had begun to appear in the Triple Entente and that Britain was slowly moving away from it. He, therefore, wanted this process to be given a chance to “ripen”.62 The subsequent course of British policy, however, was to disappoint his expectations. By July 1914 he was highly pessimistic about Germany’s overall international position and worried, in particular, by recent Anglo-Russian naval discussions. He considered Russia’s military strength to be “growing fast,” whereas Austria-Hungary was increasingly “weak and inert.”63 Russia, in fact, was his obsession. The German Chancellor perceived it as the main enemy and, together with other Slavonic nations, as the greatest future threat.64
On 8 July Bethmann Hollweg’s private secretary Kurt Riezler noted in his diary some details in the Chancellor’s thinking: “If war does not come about, if the Tsar does not want it or if France, dismayed, counsels peace, so we still have the prospect of taking apart the Entente.”65 What was on the Chancellor’s mind? Serbia abandoned by Russia really meant Russia abandoned by France. For one would not wage war without the other and differing views on whether to defend Serbia could split the unity of their alliance. And if it were the Tsar himself who desisted from war, Russia would still end up humiliated. Indeed, Bethmann Hollweg allowed himself to imagine that, by unleashing the Austrians against Serbia, he could pick up major winnings on the cheap. Riezler related in 1915 that his boss believed Russia might “swallow a slap in the face,” namely the occupation by Austria-Hungary of Belgrade together with a part of the Serbian state.66 This was the concept of the so-called “limited war” – one limited to Serbia. V.R. Berghahn’s account of the July crisis points out that the advantages of the plan to proceed against Serbia seemed eminently obvious to the Chancellor: “the strengthening of the Central Powers, the weakening of Russia and of Pan-Slavism, the soothing of the Right at home”.67
Bethmann Hollweg’s name will forever be associated with the premise of “calculated risk”. Interestingly enough, in spring of 1914 his right-hand man Riezler published a book which elaborated this concept within a theory of deterrence. To Riezler, wars in modern times were on their way out because they had become “an antiquated form of fighting”. By contrast to the not so expensive conflicts in previous centuries, modern states would now; if they wished to wage wars, have to incur massive financial expenditure and set in motion armies numbering millions. “The risk”, according to Riezler, “has become greater than the benefit.” In these circumstances, wars would be conducted only if the chances of success were very high, and the risk of defeat was very low. Wars would “no longer be fought but calculated”. Armaments thus served an important purpose: “Guns do not fire, but they have a say in the negotiations.” However, Riezler also pointed out that the element of bluff had become “the chief requisite of the diplomatic method”: if two parties confront each other, the victor will not always be the one who is the more powerful, but rather the one who can longer sustain his claim that he will strike out.68
The whole point, however, about Bethmann Hollweg in July 1914 is that he was not bluffing. On 7 July he told Riezler: “An action against Serbia could lead to a world war.” Then on the following day he opined: “Should war come from the east, so that, namely, we fight for Austria-Hungary and not Austria-Hungary for us, we have a chance of winning it.”69 He meant that, in a war against Serbia started by Austria-Hungary and provoking a Russian response, Germany could at least count on the support of its ally. In other words, the scenario of a wider war had been taken into account by the Reichskanzler. Even with France at Russia’s side, he thought, the Central Powers were in a good position, for he and those surrounding him were convinced that “England did not want war”.70 In 1917 the newspaper editor Theodor Wolff, critical of the Chancellor’s conduct in 1914, put it to him that an arrangement to prevent war would have been possible at Austria’s cost. But Bethmann Hollweg snapped back: “Who can say that? And if war had come after Russia had rearmed where would have that left us?”71 In 1916, Riezler related to Wolff the estimate of the German General Staff in 1914 that the war against France would last 40 days. “Bethmann”, Riezler said, “had pondered the risk very carefully.”72
Bethmann Hollweg’s musings on the relationship between Germany and Austria-Hungary, related to Riezler on 7 July, focused on “our old dilemma” whenever Austria conducted an action in the Balkans: “If we encourage them, they say we pushed them into it; if we discourage them, they say we let them down. Then they draw closer to the open arms of the Western powers and we lose our last passable ally.”73 As it transpired, it was the Chancellor’s own “open arms”, extended towards Vienna, which made all the difference between war and peace – at least in the Balkans. He must have been excited by the panorama that opened up after the Sarajevo assassination. Certainly, he wanted to be in charge of it, making sure, on 6 July, to send Wilhelm II on a cruise off Norway, for he did not want to risk any interference from the bumbling Emperor.
Quite possibly, Bethmann Hollweg may have believed that Russia would not act in the event of an Austrian step against Serbia. In a letter to Theodor Wolff, written in 1930, Riezler pointed out that the German military had in 1914 underestimated Russian preparedness for war, and that the German political leadership could only have based its policy on those military assessments. If so, the First World War broke out because of the failure of German military intelligence. A realistic assessment of Russian military capabilities in the summer of 1914 might have persuaded Germany not to issue its “blank cheque” to Austria-Hungary Be that as it may, the hoped for scenario in which Russia did not intervene still required, from the German point of view, a swift Austro- Hungarian action against Serbia. As Bethmann Hollweg explained to Riezler, he needed “a quick fait accompli” in Serbia. Once this “shock” had passed, the Entente could be talked to in a ‘friendly’ way 75 No one knew, of course, how the situation would develop – whether Russia and Britain would go to war – and in mid-July Bethmann Hollweg himself confined to Riezler that he saw the whole action as “a leap in the dark”.76 Under Secretary Zimmermann, however, apparently had a much clearer picture. He told Hoyos on 5 July that there was a 90 per cent chance of “a European war” if Austria-Hungary moved against Serbia.77 It is difficult to believe that he was the only policy-maker in Berlin with such an assessment.
Thus it is clear that in the case of Germany a preventive war was very much contemplated, there would be no bluffing a la Riezler. Discussing German policy in July 1914, Christopher Clark contends that there was ‘nothing’ in the reaction of the German leaders to suggest that they “viewed the crisis as the welcome opportunity to set in train a long-laid plan to unleash a preventive war on Germany’s neighbors”. Their own contribution to the unfolding of the crisis, according to Clark, was “their blithe confidence in the feasibility of localization.” It may reasonably be argued, however, that even such a “localization,” i.e., a war limited to the Balkans, was entirely within Germany’s power to prevent – what was the point of the Hoyos mission if not to get permission from Berlin to start a local war? The smoking gun, denied by Clark, in the story of July 1914 is to be found in Bethmann Hollweg’s refusal even to consider the scenario put to him by Count Hoyos that Austria-Hungary would desist from attacking Serbia if Germany considered the moment to be unfavorable.79
In that fateful month of July 1914, as Professor John C. G. Röhl has argued, Germany pursued a “twin-track policy.” Its minimum aim was the elimination of Serbia, “thereby improving the starting position for the Triple Alliance in a war that might be brought about against Russia later”; its maximum aim was “the immediate unleashing of a continental war” against Russia and France in conditions deemed to be favorable.80 Everything in July 1914, however, stemmed from Bethmann Hollweg’s blank cheque to Vienna. In the words of Professor Hew Strachan, “it was indeed blank.” The crisis was not made in Germany, but Germany’s role was decisive given that it had a de facto veto over Austria-Hungary’s proposed course of action. The Habsburg lap dog was unleashed on 6 July 1914.
Tisza and the War
One of the most powerful persons in the Dual Monarchy did not appear particularly enthusiastic about a war in the Balkans. As has been seen, Tisza wrote to Franz Joseph on 1 July to denounce Berchtold’s plan for a reckoning with Serbia. His initial opposition to the war option forms a prominent chapter in the mammoth historiography of the July crisis. Historians are fascinated by this strong man who was both constitutionally and politically in a position to prevent what became the greatest bloodbath in human history Wilhelm Fraknoi, who wrote a short study of Tisza just after the Great War, levelled a charge against him for not having resigned and continued his ‘peace policy’ as a leader of a mighty opposition.82 In fact, Tisza, despite being a Calvinist and a “deeply religious man,”83 never had a genuine peace policy, only a refined grasp of tactics.
Franz Ferdinand’s death must have come as welcome news to the Hungarian Prime Minister who, soon after the assassination, told the Bosnian Serb politician Danilo Dimovic: Dear God has so willed it, and we must be grateful to dear God for everything.” He had, Dimovic wrote, emphasized the last words “in a strange way”.84 Prince Ludwig Windischgraetz, who arrived in Budapest on the day of the Sarajevo assassination, recalled soon after the war: “I found the whole political world of Buda Pesth as though freed from an incubus. Tisza’s party made no attempt to conceal their joy.”85 In keeping with this, one of Tisza’s main concerns immediately after the assassination was to prevent members of Franz Ferdinand’s military chancellery from connecting with Archduke Karl, the new Heir to the Throne.86 The Hungarian Prime Minister wanted no polluted ideological legacy bequeathed to the new Heir to the Throne. But no sooner had Franz Ferdinand, the greatest threat to Hungary’s privileged position in the Habsburg Empire, been eliminated, Tisza now also found himself opposing the settling of accounts with Serbia because he could see in the proposed action a new threat to Hungary- not from Serbia, but rather from Romania. As he told Berchtold on 30 June, his fear was that a war against Serbia would invite a Romanian invasion of Siebenburgen (Transylvania), an area of east Hungary heavily populated by ethnic Romanians. The Hungarian historian Galantai lays great emphasis on this point in Tisza’s calculations.87
Nevertheless, in July 1914 Tisza was not against the war as such, only against its proposed timing. When he objected to a military solution, in his appeal to Franz Joseph on 1 July, he drew attention to what he saw as a very unfavourable regional picture: Romania was as good as lost, and Bulgaria, the only state in the Balkans which could be counted on, was “exhausted”. What Tisza wanted to see was a more favourable “diplomatic constellation” whereby Bulgaria would be drawn to the Triple Alliance without, however, such a development antagonizing Romania. Bulgaria was to Tisza the key state in the Balkans. He argued that if Germany could not ensure an open declaration of loyalty by Romania to the Triple Alliance, then at least Bulgaria should be secured, something that should not be put off “out of love for Romania”. This ambiguous regional picture was the only thing Tisza wanted to clear up before proceeding against Serbia. “In the present Balkan situation”, he wrote candidly to Franz Joseph, “it would be my least bother to find a convenient casus belli”. 88
Indeed. Back in October 1913, at the height of the crisis over the Serbian Army’s operation in Albania, Tisza spoke of “inflicting a military defeat” on Serbia, should the latter not withdraw its forces from Albania. “One must here not waiver or prolongate”, he said at the Ministerial Council meeting on 3 October.89 In chapter thirteen mention was made of Tisza’s pronouncement to Baron Julius Szilassy in December 1913, that a war with Serbia was unavoidable and that Russia would for internal reasons not intervene under any circumstances. Historians of the July crisis, however, have generally paid much more attention to Tisza’s fear of the consequences of annexing Serbia, that is to say, of the ensuing increase in the number of Slavs in the Monarchy. Yet the historian Jozsef Galantai believes this much discussed aspect of his conduct during the July crisis played only a secondary role for the Hungarian statesman. What really concerned him was the risk of a Romanian incursion into Hungary, and he argued against war merely because he believed that a later juncture would be more favourable for the Central Powers.”? This point is also stressed by Tisza’s biographer Gabor Vermes: in early July 1914 the dividing line in the Habsburg establishment “lay not between hawks and doves in a sharply polarized sense”, but rather between those, like Berchtold and Conrad, who pushed for immediate action, and those, like Tisza and Burian, who wanted to delay it in order to manoeuvre diplomatically.91
The meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council on 7 July is one of the most discussed episodes in the run up to the outbreak of the First World War -largely because Tisza stood alone against a united front of Habsburg ministers clamouring for war. But it was something of a non-event. By this time, of course, the “Hoyos mission” had secured the backing of Germany for an Austro- Hungarian attack on Serbia. Indeed Hoyos was also present, entrusted with the task of recording the minutes of the proceedings. Berchtold, presiding, advocated making Serbia “forever harmless”; the Austrian Prime Minister Karl von Stürgkh thought that any action against Serbia should end up in war; the Joint Finance Minister Bilinski opined that a Serb understood “only force”; and the Joint War Minister Krobatin asserted that if nothing was done the South Slav provinces would see it as a sign of weakness. Tisza tried cleverly to exploit the success of the Hoyos mission – one aspect of it, that is. Surely, he argued, now that Germany had agreed to the idea of drawing Bulgaria into the Triple Alliance, one could follow up by creating a Bulgarian-Turkish counterweight to Romania and Serbia which could force Romania to return to the fold. But he also barked against Germany: “It is none of Germany’s business to judge whether or not we should strike out at Serbia now;” He proposed that Serbia should be presented with tough (but not “unacceptable”) demands and then with an ultimatum if those demands were not fulfilled. What he wanted to see was a diplomatic effort that would lead to Serbia’s “heavy humiliation”. Berchtold, however, along with the other ministers, dismissed a purely diplomatic victory over Serbia as “worthless”. The meeting thus ended inconclusively. 92
Of course, in permitting the idea of an ultimatum to Serbia, the logic of Tisza’s position had begun to move towards war. Indeed, once he learned over the next few days that Romania would in all likelihood remain neutral and, moreover, that Germany considered the moment for war as being possibly the best from the point of view of the prevailing power relations in Europe, his position evolved accordingly.93 As Galantai remarked, had Tisza been fundamentally against war, there would have been nothing for him to adjust his attitude.vs John Leslie suggests that it was Forgach and, even more decisively, Burian, who helped to move Tisza to the immediate war option.95 By 14 July, in a meeting with Berchtold, Stürgkh and Burian, Tisza was no longer an opponent of war, insisting only that there should be no acquisition of Serbian land save for minor frontier modifications. He even boasted to Ambassador Tschirschky that he had sharpened some points in the ultimatum to Serbia which was being prepared. The explanation he gave to Tschirschky – that he had found the pronouncements of the Serbian diplomats and the Serbian press “unbearable” – is hardly credible.96 What may have swayed him, in addition to the attitude of Germany, was the fear that the substantial Serb population in southern Hungary could, with Serbia’s backing, pose a significant threat sooner rather than later. More importantly perhaps, he must also have realized that Serbia’s defeat would bring Romania back into line and thereby remove the support which the Romanians of Transylvania had hitherto been receiving from their brethren. As for his opposition to annexing Serbian territory, he was, by November 1914, proposing, because of “very important strategic concerns”, the annexation of north-western Serbia (Macva), Belgrade, and the area around Negotin in north-eastern Serbia. These were, as Marvin Fried has observed, “by no means minor frontier rectifications”. In the final analysis, Tisza’s change of direction at the end of the second week of July should be ascribed to his Hungarian nationalist instinct. He knew; as Gustav Erenyi wrote in 1935, that the notions of “Great Hungary” and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’ were inseparable.98
The way was now clear for an attack on Serbia. In mid-July Tisza told Danilo Dimovic: “We are heading for very eventful times!” 99 Of course, the Ballhausplatz had anticipated this somewhat earlier. Already on 11 July Karl von Macchio went to see Hans Schlitter, the Director of the State Archive, with a “strongly confidential” request for copies of the war manifestos of 1859 and 1866, which he needed as models. 100 On that same day the text of the ultimatum to Serbia was also being discussed in Vienna, with Burian present as Tisza’s representative. Present, too, was Conrad who argued that Serbia should be given a maximum of forty-eight hours to reply to the ultimatum. On 14 July, at the meeting in Berchtold’s “Strudlhof” Vienna residence which saw Tisza line up behind the Ballhausplatz position, the Hungarian Prime Minister also endorsed a draft of the ultimatum containing several deliberately “unacceptable” points which moreover imposed a forty-eight hour time limit for the reply. At Burian’s suggestion it was agreed at the same time that the ultimatum should be delivered only after the French President Poincare had ended his visit to the Tsar at St Petersburg.101 Later that day Tisza talked to the German Ambassador, informing him that the ultimatum would be formulated in such a way as to make its acceptance as good as “impossible”.102 On the following day, 15 July, Tisza spoke in the Hungarian Parliament. “War”, he said, “is a very sad ultima ratio.” However, he then added that every nation and state, provided it wished to remain a nation and a state, must be able and willing to resort to war after all other possibilities of solution had been exhausted. 103 As will be seen, Tisza’s speech would be noted with great apprehension by the Serbian Prime Minister.
The Wiesner Report
Although everybody now wanted war, finding a good excuse for it proved somewhat elusive. On 13 July Berchtold made a remarkable admission while meeting Ludwig Thalloczy; one of Bilinski’s closest associates at the Joint Finance Ministry. Talking to this Balkan expert, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister complained: “that only scant information exists in the records about the Great Serbian movement.” For his part, the Balkan specialist was unable to help. Thalloczy could only assuage the Foreign Minister that the Great Serbian idea lived “in the souls” of the Serbs. 104 Nothing, it may be observed, better illustrates the weakness and absurdity of the Austro- Hungarian case against Serbia on July 1914 than this exchange between Berchtold and Thalloczy. The person at the Ballhausplatz who had been charged on behalf of Berchtold with the task of searching the documentation to establish a connection between Great Serbian propaganda and the assassination was the legal expert Friedrich von Wiesner. He had commenced work on this over a week earlier, on 4 and 5 July, in the Foreign Ministry, but been unable to find “much useful material.” On 7 July Wiesner found himself digging away in the Joint Finance Ministry, but here too the materials were “sketchy and inadequate.” Having found nothing terribly helpful on the Great Serbian movement in either the records of the Ballhausplatz or the Joint Finance Ministry, he was then ordered, on 9 July, to travel to Sarajevo in order to liaise with the local authorities there and, as he understood it, to look for “conclusive evidence” of a linkage between the murders in Sarajevo and the Serbian Government.
But this was a hurried exercise, meant to follow the timetable already set in Vienna. Wiesner was given until 13 July to complete his work. He arrived in Sarajevo on the 11th and duly reported on the 13th, the day of Berchtold’s conversation with Thalloczy As Wiesner himself wrote in 1928, “time was pressing”, since the ultimatum to Serbia would probably have to be delivered on 25 July: by which day, the Ballhausplatz “itinerary” (as Wiesner called it) foresaw that the French President would end his visit to St Petersburg. This meant that Austria-Hungary’s missions abroad would have to be instructed by 20 July “at the latest” to make diplomatic preparations; and this, in turn, made 19 July the last possible date to hold the next Joint Ministerial Council meeting. Before then, however, a few days had to be allowed for the Foreign Minister to hammer out a consensus between the Austrian and Hungarian prime ministers, beginning with an initial meeting due to be held on 14 July. So it was that Wiesner had to file his report by 13 July.105
If this is what Berchtold meant by an “enquiry into the Sarajevo assassination” – which, as seen above, he mentioned to Conrad on 29 June then it was a complete farce, designed to produce a specific conclusion to fit in with and underpin the whole mechanism of steps already taken to confront Serbia – for the “itinerary” of the road to war had been set in motion, with the clock already ticking away. Unfortunately for this scenario, the conscientious lawyer Wiesner, who had worked very intensively in Sarajevo, failed spectacularly to provide the appropriate decorum for this exercise. His report of 13 July on the result of his efforts spelled out with a devastating pithiness that: “There is nothing to show the complicity of the Serbian Government in the directing of the assassination or in its preparation or in the supplying of weapons. Nor is there anything to lead one even to conjecture such a thing. On the contrary, there is evidence that would appear to show that such complicity is out of the question.”106
Wiesner subsequently complained that this paragraph had been “torn out of its context” when used at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to saddle Austria-Hungary with the responsibility for the war. But was it? In his rather brief report, he wrote of the “conviction” of the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina that “Pan-Serbian propaganda” was taking place with the encouragement of the Serbian Government. But such a “conviction,” as he knew, was, of course, no proof of anything. His report frankly admitted that the pre-assassination material contained “no evidence” of propaganda being encouraged by the Serbian Government. So what was the “context” of his report? Presumably, his remark that “sparse” but sufficient material existed to show that propaganda efforts had proceeded “with the toleration of the Serbian Government.” And his statement that a Serbian state official, Ciganovic, and a Serbian officer, Major Tankosic, had provided the bombs, ammunition, and cyanide. But he was careful to observe that the bombs may have belonged to irregulars rather than have come straight out of a Serbian state armory. He did also add that three assassins were secretly smuggled from Serbia into Bosnia with the assistance of Serbian frontier officers who may or may not have been aware of “the purpose of the journey,” but who must “surely” have been cognizant of the “mysterious nature of the mission.” Finally, Wiesner described the material on the Narodna Odbrana organization as “valuable,” although it had yet to be “carefully examined”.107
Such, then, was the “context” of the Wiesner report: propaganda had been taking place with the “toleration” of the Serbian Government, and some Serbian officers and state officials were involved in the arming and smuggling of the assassins. The report’s key point, however, was that there was nothing to show or even hint at the complicity of the Serbian Government in the Sarajevo assassination. Of course, this main conclusion of his investigations into Sarajevo was never going to be taken into account by the Ballhausplatz which was for its part preparing, as has been seen, an “impossible” ultimatum to Serbia. “I never believed,” Hoyos admitted in his 1922 memoir, “that the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been prepared or intended by authorities in Belgrade or Petersburg.”108 Presumably, in July 1914 Hoyos must also have conveyed this belief to his colleagues and his boss Berchtold. In a sense, therefore, Wiesner had been sent on a wild-goose chase. To establish some connection between the Belgrade Government and the Sarajevo assassination would have been nice to have, but ultimately this did not matter given that the decision for war had already been taken.
1 Kielmansegg, Kaiserhaus, Staatsmänner und Politiker. Aufzeichnungen des k. k. Statthalters Erich Graf Kielmansegg,1966, pp.97-98.
2 Caesar Corti, Egon und Hans Sokol, Der alte Kaiser,1966, p.413
3 Ludwig Thallóczy; Tagebucher, diary entry for 29 June 1914 (addendum), p.13
4 Albert Margutti (Général., Freiherr von), Kaiser Franz Joseph,1924, pp.138-139
5 Margit Silber, Obersthofmeister Alfred Furst von Montenuovo, pp..780-781, 787 and 789.
6 Rudolf Sieghart, Die letzten Jahrzehnte einer Grossmacht,1932, p.242.
7 Muriel Gardiner, The case of the Wolf-Man by Sigmund Freud, London, 1972, p.91.
8 Ludwig Thallóczy, Tagebücher, diary entry for 28 June 1914, p.6.
9 Ibid., diary entry for 4 July 1914, p.29
10 Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday, London, 1943, pp.168-169
11 Danilo Dimovic, Iz mojih uspomena: Grof Stevan Tisa’, Pre porod, Beograd, 10 September 1922, P.7; Kranjcevic, Uspomene, p.62.
12 Der heutige Tag in Sarajevo, Neue Freie Presse, Wien, 2 July 1914 (Abendblatt), p.2.
13 See reports in the Neue Freie Presse: Die Demonstrationen gegen die Serben in Wien, 2 July 1914 (Morgenblatt), p.6; Die Demonstrationen gegen die Serben in Wien, 3 July 1914 (Morgenblatt), pp. 4-5
14 Kanja Kraler, Gott schütze Österreich! Vor seinen Staatsmännern, aber auch vor seinen Freunden. Das Tagebuch des Hanns Schlitter, Diss. Innsbruck 2009,diary entry for 24 July 1914, p.252.
15 Hugo Hantsch, Leopold Graf Berchtold, vol.2, 1963, pp.551-552; Ernest U. Cormons [Emanuel Urbas], Schicksale und Schatten. Eine osterreichische Autobiographie, Salzburg, 1951, p.157.
16 Robert A. Kann, Kaiser Franz Joseph und der Ausbruch des Weltkrieges, Wien, 1971, p.16.
17 Conrad von Hötzendorf, Aus meiner Dienstzeit, 1921, vol.4, p.36.
18 Rudolf Jeřábek, Potiorek. General im Schatten von Sarajevo, p.95; Thallóczy; Tagebücher, diary entry for July 1914, p.44.
19 Conrad, Aus meiner Dienstzeit, vol.4, pp.-33-34.
20 Josef Redlich, Schicksalsjahre Österreichs 1908–19: Das Politische Tagebuch Josef Redlichs,1953, Vol. I, diary entry for 17 May 1913, p.543.
21 Kanner, Kaiserliche Katastropben: Politik, pp.88-89.
22 Taylor, Europe: Grandeur and Decline, p.186.
23 Winston S. Churchill, The Eastern Front, London, 1931, P.53.
24 Prince von Bulow, Memoirs 1909-1919, London-New York, 1932, p.138.
25 Szilassy, Der Untergang, p.208.
26 DSPKS, vol.5/I, no.150, report Popovic, 7 March 1912.
27 Solomon Wank, The Appointment of Count Berchtold as Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Journal of Central European Affairs, vol.23, July 1963, pp.147-148; Hantsch, Leopold Graf Berchtold, vol I, pp.246-248. Hantsch denies that Franz Ferdinand had directly tried to influence Berchtold to accept the post of Foreign Minister, but admits that Berchtold’s name was not the first on the list of the contemplated successors to Aehrenthal (see p.242 and n.2 on pp.241-242). Karl von Macchio, who was under Berchtold the First Section Chief at the Ballhausplatz, cast doubts as to whether Berchtold’s name had been put forward by Aehrenthal in the first place. See Karl Freiherr von Macchio, Momentbilder aus der Julikrise 1914, Berliner Monatshefte, October 1936, p.768.
28 Ludwig Bittner, Graf Johann Forgach, Berliner Monatshefte, November 1935, pp.955-956.
29 Karl Friedrich Nowak und Friedrich Thimme – Erinnerungen und Gedanken des Botschafters Anton Graf Monts,1932, p.249.
30 Thallóczy, Tagebucher, diary entry for 7 July 1914, p.36.
31 Redlich, Schicksalsjahre, vol I, diary entry for 3 May 1914, p.599.
32 Jovanovic, Dnevnik, diary entry for 31 August 1916, p. 156. This episode was related to Jovanovic by Alfred Dumaine, the French Ambassador in Vienna from 1912 to 1914.
33 Julius de Szilassy. Der Untergang der Donau-Monarchie,1921, p.254.
34 Hutten-Czapski, Sechzig Jahre Politik und Gesellschaft, 1936, p.138.
35 Vladimir Dedijer, The road to Sarajevo, 1967, vol.2/2/2, no.542, report jovanovic, 13 January 1907.
36 Alexander Bernhard Spitzmüller-Harmersbach, Und hat auch Ursach,1955, p.114.
37 Karl von Macchio, “Momentbilder aus der Julikrise 1914”, Berliner Monatshefte 14,1936, p.731.
38 Ernest U. Cormons, Schicksale und Schatten: Eine osterreichische Autobiographie,1951 p.143.
39 It seems clear, however, that Musulin was by no means the only author of the ultimatum. Redlich recorded in his diary that Hoyos and Forgach were the principal contributors (Schicksalsjahre, vol.I, diary entry for 23-24 July 1914, p.615). Thallóczy, on the other hand, claims that the ultimatum was drafted “entirely” by Burian (Tagebucher, diary entry for 23 July 1914, P.55). Circumstantial evidence suggests that Berchtold, too, had been involved. Musulin, certainly, would have translated the German draft into the French.
40 Fritz Fellner, Die Mission Hoyos, in Heidrun Maschl and Heidrun Maschl and Brigitte Mazohl-Wallnig, eds. Vom Dreibund zum Völkerbund: Studien zur Geschichte der internationalen Beziehungen,1994, p.135.
41 Österreich-Ungarns Aussenpolitik von der Bosnischen Krise 1908 bis zum Kriegsausbruch 1914 (ÖUA), ed. L. Bittner, A. F. Pribram, H. Srbik and H. Uebersberger, vol.8, no.100006, report Berchtold on a conversation with the German Ambassador, 3 July 1914.
42 Heinrich Friedjung, Franz Adlgasser, Margret Friedrich, Geschichte in Gesprächen, vol.2, p.196.
43 F. Fellner, Die Mission “Hoyos”, in Fellner, Vom Dreibund zum Volkerbund; John Leslie, Osterreich-Ungarn vor dem Kriegsausbruch, in Ralph Melville, Claus Scharf, Martin Vogt and Ulrich Wengenroth (eds.), Deutschland und Europa in der Neuzeit. Festschrift fur Karl Otmar Freiherr von Aretin zum 65. Geburtstag, Stuttgart, 1988, vol.2.
44 Fellner, Austria-Hungary in K. Wilson, ed., Decisions for war, 1914,1995,pp.11-12; John Leslie, The Antecedents of Austria- Hungary’s War Aims in Elisabeth Springer and Leopold Kammerhofer (eds.), Wiener Beiträge zur Geschichte der Neuzeit, vol.zo, Archiv und Forschung, Munchen, 1993, p.309.
45 Leslie, Osterreich-Ungarn vor dem Kriegsausbruch, p.680; Cormons, Schicksale und Schatten, p.163.
46 Cited in Fellner, Austria-Hungary, p.14. The text of Andrian-werburg’s memoir is appended to Leslie, Osterreich-Ungarn vor dem Kriegsausbruch, pp.675-684.
47 ÖUA, vol.8, no.9978.
48 ÖUA, vol.8, no.9984. Both documents are included under this number.
49 Fellner, Die Mission Hoyos, p.126.
50 Konrad H. Jarausch, The Enigmatic Chancellor: Bethmann Hollweg and the Hubris of Imperial Germany, New Haven-London, 1973, P.156.
51 ÖUA, vol.8, no.10058, telegram Szogyeny 5 July 1914.
52 Karl Kautsky, Max Montgelas and Walter Schiicking (eds.), Die Deutschen Dokumente zum Kriegsausbruch (DD) 194, Berlin, 1922, no.7, marginal comments by Wilhelm II on report Tschirschky to Bethmann Hollweg, 30 June 1914- Emphases in the original. The Kaiser wrote his comments on 4 July. Hereafter cited as DD.
53 Egmont Zechlin, Krieg und Kriegsrisiko. Zur deutschen Politik im Ersten Weltkrieg, Dusseldorf, 1979, p.69
54 Th. von Bethmann Hollweg, Betrachtungen zum Weltkriege, Berlin, 1919, vol.I, pp.135- 136.
55 ÖUA, vol.8, no.10076, telegram Szogyeny; 6 July 1914.
56 Alexander von Hoyos, Der deutsch-englische Gegensatz und sein Einfluss auf die Balkanpolitik Österreich Ungarns,1922, p.79.
57 Fellner, Die Mission Hoyos, p.138.
58 Luigi Albertini, The Origins of the war of 1914, Vo.2, P.145. Hoyos also told Albertini that he had composed the telegram of 6 July, sent to Vienna after the meeting with Bethmann Hollweg.
59 Jarausch, The Enigmatic Chancellor, p.176.
60 Fritz Fischer, Germany’s Aims in the First World War, New York, 1967, pp.103-106.
61 Frederick Maurice, The Life of Viscount Haldane of Cloan, London, 1937, vol.1, pp.349-352. Hoyos wrote the letter to Haldane around 15 July, but intended it to be delivered on the day of the war declaration on Serbia. See Redlich, Schicksalsjahre, vol.I, diary entry for 15 July 1914, p.613.
62 Die Große Politik der europäischen Kabinette 1871–1914, vol.34/1, no.12818, private letter Bethmann Hollweg to Berchtold, 1O February 1913.
63 Dietrich Erdmann (ed.), Kurt Riezler. Tagebucher; Aufsatze, Dokumente, Gottingen, 2008, diary entry for 7 July 1914, p.182. Hereafter cited as Riezler, Tagebucher.
64 Karl Alexander von Müller,Mars und Venus: Erinnerungen, 1914-1919,1954, p.35.
65 Kurt Riezler, Tagebücher, Aufsätze und Dokumente, 1972, diary entry for 8 July, 1914, p.184
66 Muller, Mars und Venus, p.37.
67 V.R. Berghahn, Germany and the Approach of war in 1914, New York, 1993, p.200.
68 II Ruedorffer [Kurt Riezler], Grundzuge der Weltpolitik in der Gegenwart, Stuttgart- Berlin, 1914, pp.214-216, 219 and 221.
69 Kurt Riezler, Tagebucher, diary entries for 7 and 8 July, 1914, pp.183-184.
70 Muller, Mars und Venus, p.38.
71 Bernd Sosernann (ed.), Theodor Wolff Tagebucher 1914-1919, Boppard am Rhein, 1984, vol.1, diary entry for 19 July 1917, pp.521- 522. Hereafter cited as Wolff, Tagebucher.
72 Ibid., diary entry for 24 May 1916, p.385.
73 Ibid., diary entry for 7 July 1914, p.183.
74 Wolff, Tagebiicber, vol.z, letter Riezler to Wolff, 21 March 1930, pp.950-951.
75 Riezler, Tagebucber, diary entry for II July 1914, p.185
76 Ibid., diary entry for 14 July 1914, p.185.
77 Fellner, Die Mission Hoyos, p.137.
78 Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers, pp.519-520.
79 Clark writes in his Conclusion (ibid, P.561): “The outbreak of war in 1914 is not an Agatha Christie drama at the end of which we will discover the culprit standing over a corpse in the conservatory with a smoking pistol”
80 John C. G. Röhl, Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile 1900-1941, Cambridge, 2014, p.1026.
81 Hew Strachan, The Outbreak of the First Warld War, Oxford, 2004, p.91.
82 Wilhelm Frank, Die ungarische Regierung und die Entstehung des Weltkrieges, Wien, 1919, pp.60-61.
83 Gabor Vermes, The Liberal Vision and Conservative Statecraft of A Magyar Nationalist. Columbia University Press, New York 1985, p.230.
84 Danilo Dimovic, Iz mojih uspomena: Grof Stevan Tisa, Pre porod, Beograd, 1O September 1922, P.7.
85 Ludwig Windischgraetz, My Memoirs, London, 1921, P.49.
86 Thallóczy, Tagebucher, diary entry for 3 July 1914, p.22.
87 Josef Galantai, Stefan Tisza und der Erste Weltkrieg, Osterreich in Geschichte und Literatur, Wien, Volio, 1964, pp.465-477.
88 ÖUA, vol.8, no.9978.
89 ÖUA, vol.7, no.8779.
90 Galanrai, Stefan Tisza und der Erste Weltkrieg, pp.473 and 476.
91 Vermes, Istvan Tisza, p.220.
92 ÖUA, vol.8, no.10118.
93 Galantai, Stefan Tisza und der Erste Weltkrieg, p.475.
94 ÖUA, vol.8, no.10272, Berchtold to the Emperor, 14 July 1914; GaIantai, Die Osterreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie und der Weltkrieg, p.273.
95 Leslie, The Antecedents of Austria-Hungary’s War Aims, pp.342-343.
96 DD, no.50, report Tschirschky to Bethmann Hollweg, 14 July 1914; no.49, report Tschirschky to Bethmann Hollweg, 14 July 1914.
97 Marvin Benjamin Fried, A Life and Death Question: Austro-Hungarian War Aims in the First World War in Holger Afflerbach (ed.), The Purpose of the First World War: War Aims and Military Strategies, Berlin-Boston, 2015, p.119.
98 Gustav Erényi, Graf Stefan Tisza,1935, p.112.
99 Dimovic, Iz mojih uspomena: Grof Stevan Tisa, Pre porod, Beograd, 1O September 1922, p.7.
100 Kraler, Schlitter, diary entry for 11 July 1914, p.247
101 Galantai, Die Osterreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie und der Weltkrieg, pp..267 and 274; I. Dioszegi: Aussenminiiter Stephan GrafBurian, Biographie und Tagebuchstelle.,1966, diary entries for 8 and 14 July 1914.
102 DD, no.49, Tschirschky to Bethmann-Hollweg, 14 July 1914.
103 “Die Interpellationen tiber Serbien und Bosnien”, Pester Lloyd, Budapest, 16 July 1914 (Morgenblatt), P-3.
104 Thallóczy, Tagebucher, diary entry for 13 July 1914, p.43.
105 Friedrich Ritter von Wiesner, “Meine Depesche vom 13. Juli 1914” in Eduard Ritter von Steinitz (ed.), Ringsum Sasonow, Berlin, 1928, pp.173 and 175-176; Friedrich Ritter von Wiesner, Das Memoire Osterreich-Ungarns über die großserbische Propaganda und deren Zusammenhänge mit dem Sarajevo Attentat, Die Kriegsschuldfrage, June 1927, p.499.
106 The translation is taken from Friedrich R. von Wiesner, The Forged and the Genuine Text of the Wiesner Documents, Die Kriegsschuldfrage, October 1925, p.653. Full text of the report is included in this article which is also published in German (Die verfälschte und der echte Text des Dokument Wiesner) in the same issue of Die Kriegsschuldfrage, pp.641-648. The 13 July 1914 Wiesner report from Sarajevo likewise appears in ÖUA, vol.8, no.10252 and no.10253 (its continuation and end).
107 Wiesner, The Forged and the Genuine Text of the Wiesner Documents, pp.653-654.
108 Hoyos, Der deutsch-englische Gegensatz und sein Einfluss auf die Balkanpolitik Österreich Ungarns, p.109 Williamson, Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First World War, p.193. Williamson, admittedly, has a long footnote (no, p.246), but the sources he lists to deal with the Sarajevo assassination plot and do not provide any backing whatsoever for his assertion about the involvement of “some elements of the Serbian government”.