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Immediate Causes of WW I. Cast of Characters Count Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister T. von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf,

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Presentation on theme: "Immediate Causes of WW I. Cast of Characters Count Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister T. von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Immediate Causes of WW I

2 Cast of Characters Count Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister T. von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf, Austrian chief of staff Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary Count von Hoyos, A-H Foreign Ministry Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia

3 The Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II R. Poincaré, President of France Sergei Sazonov, Russian Foreign Minister

4 Assassination of Franz Ferdinand Col. Dimitrijevic(Apis) of Serbian Mil. Intel. helps Young Bosnians(a.k.a. Black Hand) –Later tries to call it off but to late –Unknown to Austrians until 1916 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife shot by Gavrilo Princip – June 28 th

5 July Crisis

6 Preservation of Austrian Prestige Jun 29....In discussion between Berchtold (Austrian foreign minister) and Conrad (army chief of staff), the latter urges immediate military action against Serbia. Decision made to first ascertain the position of Austria's ally Germany –Fear of Russian reaction

7 The “Blank Check” Jul 4....Count Hoyos (Austrian foreign ministry official) sent to Berlin to ascertain German policy. –German military in favor of early aggressive action by Austria while Russia unprepared. Kaiser Wilhelm's written comment: "Now or never... matters must be cleared up with Serbia, and that soon"

8 Jul 5....The German Kaiser offers Austria a 'blank check'--not to delay in taking whatever action Austria decides. In a letter to the Kaiser, the Austrian emperor asserts Austria's aim is to "isolate and diminish" Serbia and thus eliminate Serb influence in the Balkans (i.e., southeastern Europe)

9 The Ultimatum Jul 6 The German Kaiser leaves on his Scandinavian tour, in the belief, apparently, that neither France nor Russia would take action Jul 7 Assured of German support, Austria prepares ultimatum that will be rejected by Serbia

10 Jul 18....Sazonov (Russian foreign minister) warns Austria that Russia would not tolerate "any blow to Serbia's independence" Jul 21....French president Poincare at St. Petersburg warns Austrian ambassador that "The Russian people are very warm friends of the Serbians, and France is Russia's ally"

11 July 23 rd Austria delivers ultimatum French try to get British involved in resolving crisis Jul 25.... Noon---Russia tries to get Austria to extend 48 hour deadline - 3 p.m. Serbia orders general mobilization - asks for help from Russia - 6 p.m. Serbian reply rejected by Austria

12 Attempts at mediation Russia decides to begin partial mobilization –Under intense pressure to support Slavic brothers and maintain prestige Grey urges Germany to pressure Austria Jul 28....Germany rejects the British idea of putting pressure on Austria Upon reading Serbian response to Ultimatum Kaiser said no need for war.

13 Mobilizations July 25 th - The Austrian emperor signs the order for mobilization. July 28 th -6 p.m. Austria declares war on Serbia Russia begins partial mobilization French advise Russians of intent to fulfill treaty obligations

14 Jul 29....Austria opens the war with the bombardment of the Serb capital Belgrade Britain indicates to Germany that she would not remain neutral in a war involving Germany and France Jul 30 The Russian proposal to Germany for the intervention of the Hague Court is rejected –Austria will not cease her military operations as long as Russia is mobilized, nor will Russia cease hers while Austria is at war with Serbia

15 Sir E. Grey rejects the German request for British neutrality: – "... to make this bargain with Germany at the expense of France would be a disgrace from which the good name of this country would never recover." Bethmann-Hollweg tries to keep war localized, advises Austria to restrain herself.

16 Jul 31....Sir E. Grey's further mediation attempt comes to naught –British attempt to get guarantees of Belgian neutrality – France does – Germany ignores Noon. Germany receives word of the Russian mobilization –thus giving her the 'green light' to move against Russia and France in accordance with her long-held war plans. (Schleiffen plan…Germany’s plan to fight a two front war – knock out France quickly – then take on slower Russia)

17 Aug 1....General mobilization ordered by France at 4.45 p.m. General mobilization ordered by Germany at 5 p.m. Germany declares war on Russia at 6 p.m Aug 2....3 p.m. Britain promises naval protection to France in event of hostile German naval activity 7 p.m. Germans demand for benevolent Belgian neutrality (drafted since July 26) and access to German troops Aug 3....7 a.m. Belgium refuses the German demands

18 Aug 3 6.15 p.m. Germany declares war on France –Germany invades Belgium(part of Schleiffan plan) –Germany concludes treaty of alliance with Turkey Aug 4 Britain declares war on Germany after Germany rejects British Ultimatum on Belgium Aug 6....Austria declares war on Russia....six days later than Germany

19 Things to consider Austria and Russia mainly concerned with maintaining prestige as major powers German politicians vainly believed war could kept local British gave mixed signals - Both Ger. And France believed GB would go their way. Germany’s war plan guaranteed British going to war against them. German foreign policy leading up to war had been of one of belligerence.


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