To understand Croatia’s war in the 1990s, one needs to understand the historical background, as well as geopolitical interests of the international community, neighbours and international powers – and all of those interests before, during and after the war, as well as in the future.Croatia was, and still is, the hottest piece of geographic real estate in Europe. Croatia is the…
Otto Witte – a German circus performer – claimed he was crowned King of Albania on the 13th of August, 1913. When Albania broke free of the Ottoman Empire and Serbian occupation, a Musl…
Originally posted on The July Crisis: 100 Years On, 1914-2014.
On 25 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured), circulated a memoir to all Austro-Hungarian diplomatic missions. The memoir formed the basis of Austria-Hungary’s view of Serbia, and the Dual Monarchy’s rational during the July Crisis. From the Austro-Hungarian perspective, it lists the different forms of Serbian aggression endured since the beginning of the century, culminating in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife at Sarajevo. The following is part IV of the memoir.
Circular Note to the Austro-Hungarian Mission. Vienna, 25 July 1914.
A few months previously, research with regard to treasonable propaganda had been instituted on Luka Aljinovicz’s account. In the course of these investigations three witnesses had testified against Aljinovicz, who, they said had in 1913 received 100 dinar from the Narodna odbrana for purposes of propaganda, but more especially for an attempt upon the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and a secret student society had given him the same sum.
This shows how the criminal agitation of the Narodna odbrana was recently concentrated upon the person of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
All these facts lead to the conclusion that the Narodjia odbrana, and the elements hostile to Austria-Hungary grouped around it, had recently considered the…
The following is one of the rare telephone transcripts in the Austro-Hungarian Red Book. On 25 July, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia, Wladimir von Giesl (pictured), instructed his Secretary of Legation, Count Kinsky, to telephone Austro-Hungarian authorities in Budapest. The transcript confirms that Giesl had broken off diplomatic relations with Serbia.
Baron von Giesl on the Telephone.
Sent by Secretary of Legation Count Kinsky on Saturday, 25 July 1914 at 19:45 in the evening.
Minister Baron Giesl telephones from Semlin to Budapest:
Two minutes before 18:00 the answer [to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia] was presented; as it is unsatisfactory on several points, Baron Giesl has broken off diplomatic relations and has left Belgrade. At 15:00 this afternoon the [Serbian] general mobilisation was proclaimed.
The [Serbian] Government and the Diplomatic Corps have left for Kragujevac.
Source: 1919 Austro-Hungarian Red Book, with minor edits.
On 20 July 1914, Count Berchtold sent a momentous telegram to Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia. In it, he asks his minister to present an ultimatum to Serbia on 23 July, along with its text.
Count Berchtold to Baron von Giesl. Vienna, 20 July 1914.
You are asked to present the following note to the Royal government on the afternoon of the 23rd of July, not later than between four and five o’clock.
“On the 31rst March 1909 the Royal Servian Minister at the court of Vienna by order of his government made the following declaration before the Imperial and Royal government: ‘Servia acknowledges that none of its rights have been
touched by the situation created in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that it will therefore accomodate itself to the decisionswhich the powers will resolve with regard to the article XXV of the Treaty of Berlin. Servia, in following the advice of the Great Powers…
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Alberto Pollio, the chief of the Italian general staff, died early on Wednesday morning, 1st July 1914, in Turin, aged 62. He had entered the Naples military college in 1860, aged 8, and was first commissioned as a sub-lieutenant of artillery in 1870. He had written military histories of Waterloo and Custozza which had been widely translated and praised.
Lieutenant-General Pollio was an enthusiastic supporter of the Triple Alliance of 1882 between Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary, despite the historical enmity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire towards Italy.
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