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.
On 29th June, Nikola Pašić, Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister for Foreign Affairs, received a telegram from the Serbian Minister at Vienna, M. Yov. M. Yovanovitch:
The Vienna Press asserts that the magisterial enquiry has already shown that the Serajevo outrage was prepared at Belgrade; further, that the whole conspiracy in its wider issues was organised at Belgrade among youth inspired with the Great Serbian idea, and that the Belgrade Press is exciting public opinion by publishing articles about the intolerable conditions prevailing in Bosnia. Press articles of this kind, according to the Vienna Press, are exercising a strong influence, as Serbian newspapers are being smuggled in large quantities into Bosnia.