The July Crisis

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand & wife killed

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand & wife killed
    Gavrillo Princip (Serbian nationalist), who was supported by the "Black Hand" (terrorist organisation that wanted to free the Slavs from the Habsburg Empire), killed the heir to the throne of Austria, a reformer who might have allowed a certain compromise and some autonomy for nations within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This, hiwever, would disrupt Serbia's goals of building a "Great Slavia". It was never proven that the assassination had a connection with the Serbian government.
  • Period: to

    The July Crisis

    Most of the bad decisions that led the countries to WWI happened during this period of time.
  • Escalation to War

    Escalation to War
    The Habsburg Empire thought that Serbia could not be left unpunished, so, they decided to sent a message to intimidate the nationalists
  • Escalation to War

    Escalation to War
    Russia had decided to back down and not support Serbia in other Balkan crises before (like during the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908) because it didn't feel strong enough to enter i a war after losing to Japan. Now, however, they thought they couldn't back down again.
  • Escalation to War

    Escalation to War
    Germany was extremely worried about Russia's military improvement and was afraid that if it went to war against France and Russia (for reasons other than the Austro-Serb conflict) it would not have Austria-Hungary's support. Germany, however, was counting on one of two things:
    1) France would not support Russia, Central Powers would win a diplomatic victory and Germany & Russia could renew their alliance.
    2) If they went to war, now was better than later.
  • The Ultimatum

    The Ultimatum
    Vienna sent Serbia an ultimatum that was to allow the Austro-Hungarians to investigate the murder of Sarajevo within Serbia's borders. Vienna never expected the Serbs to accept the ultimatum, a detail that was explained by the diplomat that delivered the document and made preparation to leave Belgrade as soon as possible in case a war erupted.
  • Serbia's Reply

    Serbia's Reply
    Serbia accepted the ultimatum but didn't want Austrian supervision. It then mobilizes its army. Kaiser Wilhelm II claimed to be "delighted" by this agreement and falsely assumed that "every cause for war has vanished". Some historians claim that the Kaiser had actually a "thirst for war" at this point and was just bluffing. However, there is not enough historical evidence to say that that was the case.
  • British Interference

    British Interference
    From July 25 to July 28 1914, the British Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, tried to find another solution that wasn't war. However, the Germans did not allow British interference.
  • The declaration of war

    The declaration of war
    Austria-Hungary was stimulated/encouraged by the German Chancellor (Bethman-Hollweg) and the Austrian Chancellor (Berchtold) and declared war.
  • Bombarding of Belgrade

    Bombarding of Belgrade
    The Austrian artillery began bombarding Belgrade.
  • Partial Mobilization

    Partial Mobilization
    Russia starts partial mobilization and starts getting ready for war.
  • The "Willy-Nicky" telegrams

    The "Willy-Nicky" telegrams
    Bethman-Hollweg resists the calls for mobilization of the German army and encourages Austria to localize the war through dialogue with Moscow (Willy-Nicky telegrams). Russia is now under pressure by military leaders and France is under pressure to mobilize and arm in case Russia is unprepared, as France ensured Russia of support somewhere between July 20 and 23.
  • German mobilization

    German mobilization
    At this stage, Germany (under high command of von Moltke) was scared that mobilization was beginning in France and that the French must be defeated before Russia completed its mobilization.
  • Full Mobilization

    Full Mobilization
    Russia then began full mobilization, which was, however, technically impossible. The French also started to fully mobilize under the military leadership of Joffre
  • Germany declared war

    Germany declared war
    Germany declared war on Russia. The British, however, still refused to declare their support to France.
  • Invasion of Belgium

    Invasion of Belgium
    Germany declared war on France and invaded the country through Belgium.
  • Britain joins

    Britain joins
    Britain declared war on Germany after the invasion of Belgium, as it was breaking the "Treaty of London". The British were supposedly in defence of Belgian neutrality ("the slip of paper").