WWI: the idea of a conflict of widespread dimensions

Edinburgh Eye

Alfred Dumaine - authorAlfred Dumaine, the French Ambassador at Vienna, wrote to René Viviani, the French Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 19th July 1914:

The Chancellor of the Consulate, who has sent me his half-yearly report, in which he sums up the various economic facts which have been the subject of his study since the beginning of the year, has added a section containing political information emanating from a trustworthy source.

I asked him briefly to sum up the information which he has obtained regarding the impending presentation of the Austrian note to Servia, which the papers have for some days been persistently announcing.

You will find the text of this memorandum interesting on account of the accurate information which it contains.

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WWI: Four letters from Vienna

Edinburgh Eye

M. Yov. M. Yovanovitch, the Serbian Minister at Vienna, wrote three letters to Nikola Pašić, the Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister for Foreign Affairs from Vienna on 15th July 1914.

First:

The most important question for us is, what, if any, are the intentions of the Austro-Hungarian Government as regards the Serajevo outrage. Until now I have been unable to find this out, and my other colleagues are in a similar position. The word has now been passed round here not to tell anybody anything.

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WWI: Serbian government not accessory to assassination

Edinburgh Eye

On Monday 13th July 1914, a legal adviser attached to the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry, Friedrich von Wiesner, reported to Count Von Berchtoldhis findings on the Sarajevo assassination. Von Wiesner had been assigned to examine the evidence compiled by the civil and military authorities in Sarajevo with a view to discovering the Serbian government’s complicity. He travelled to Sarajevo on 10th July, and spent three days examining the evidence.

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WWI: Vienna, the day of the funeral

Edinburgh Eye

On Friday 3rd July, the open coffins of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie lay in state at the Court Chapel from eight in the morning til noon. It’s reported that fifty thousand people attempted to view the bodies, but most were turned away due to the short period of time allowed.

Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of HungaryAt 4pm precisely the Emperor Franz Joseph, accompanied by Habsburg Archdukes and Archduchesses, attended a short funeral ceremony in the Court Chapel, which was conducted by Cardinal Gustav Piffl, Archbishop of Vienna.

Ambassadors of all nations attended the funeral service in Vienna, but no monarchs or presidents: any who had sent an announcement that they wished to attend had been turned away by a message from the First Obersthofmeister – the highest-ranking court official – Prince Alfred of Montenuovo, who telegraphed each of them:
Fürst Montenuovo, Prince Alfred of Montenuovo

“…kindly have your ambassador act as representative to avoid straining His Majesty’s delicate health with…

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WWI: Alberto Pollio dies

Edinburgh Eye

Alberto PollioAlberto 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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WWI: The Smuts-Gandhi Agreement

Edinburgh Eye

On Tuesday 30th June 1914 the House of Commons had a routine sitting.

The Conservative MP for Knutsford, Alan Sykes, who had been commissioned a Deputy-Lieutenant to the Lord Lieutenant for Cheshire in 1910, rose to ask a question of the Under-Secretary of State for War about the Infantry Territorial battalions of Lancashire and Cheshire:

What percentage of the total enrolled number of officers and men of the Infantry Territorial battalions of Lancashire and Cheshire attended their annual camp this year in the Whitsuntide holidays, indicating what percentage attended for one week and what for the whole period, and giving comparative figures for the same battalions of their attendance at last year’s annual camp?

Harold Tennant, the Liberal Under-secretary of State for War, answered the Opposition question with specific percentages for 1914 and 1913, and said, when Sykes asked if the bounty of a pound had improved…

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World War I Liveblogging: Archduke Assassinated

Edinburgh Eye

WWI - Edinburgh, the Mound

In 1904, Britain and France had signed an agreement – the Entente Cordiale – that did not bind them absolutely to come to each other’s military defence, but was intended as a protection against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. In 1907, Russia joined the Entente Cordiale.

On 28th June 1914, in Sarajevo, capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina – then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire – the Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was killed by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.

Gove Goes Forth:

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was visiting Sarajevo because the Empire had annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Ottoman Empire in 1908.

Serbia, which had once been part of the Ottoman Empire, and which had been recognised as an independent nation only in 1878 – but under the domain of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – felt that Bosnia and Herzegovina should…

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