Tag Archives: WWI Liveblogging

WWI: Plans for Hague Peace Conference

On Tuesday 14th July Dr. M. Yovanovitch, the Serbian Chargé d’Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to Nikola Pašić, the Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister for Foreign Affairs:

The Secretary of State has told me that he could not understand the provocative attitude of the Serbian press and the attacks made by it against Austria-Hungary, who, as a Great Power, could not tolerate such proceedings.

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WWI: Serbian government not accessory to assassination

On Monday 13th July 1914, a legal adviser attached to the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry, Friedrich von Wiesner, reported to Count Von Berchtold his 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: David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George

“I remember that some time in July, an influential Hungarian lady called upon me at 11 Downing Street and told me that we were taking the assassination of the archduke much too quietly; that it had provoked such a storm throughout the Austrian Empire as she had never witnessed – and that unless something were done immediately, it would certainly result in war with Serbia, with the incalculable consequences which such an operation might precipitate in Europe. However, such official reports as came to hand did not seem to justify the alarmist view she took. (The War Memoirs of David Lloyd George (Nicholson & Watson, 1933-38))

David Lloyd George had been the Liberal MP for Caernarvon since 1890: he had been the Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1908. He made many speeches in the House of Commons in July 1914, mostly about income tax.
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WWI: Pourparlers – parley?

On Saturday 11th July 1914, Frederic d’Apchier le Maugin, the French Consul-General at Budapest, wrote to René Viviani, President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs:

Questioned in the Chamber on the state of the Austro-Servian question M. Tisza [Count Istvan Tisza de Boros-Jeno] explained that before everything else it was necessary to wait for the result of the judicial inquiry, as to which he refused at the moment to make any disclosure whatsoever. And the Chamber has given its full approval to this. He also showed himself equally discreet as to the decisions taken at the meeting of Ministers at Vienna, and did not give any indication whether the project of a démarche at Belgrade, with which all the papers of both hemispheres are full, would be followed up. The Chamber assented without hesitation.
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WWI: Nicholas Hartwig dies

Pan Slavic Flag 1848Nicholas Hartwig was 56 years old when, on 10th July 1914, he paid a call on the Baron Giesl von Gieslingen at the Austro-Hungarian embassy in Belgrade.

Freiherr von Giesl and Hartwig were both ambassadors to Serbia: Baron Nicholas Genrikhovich Hartwig had powerful friends at the Russian court, which had enabled him to take an independent line – he is said to have implied to Serbia that they would get more support from Russia than was official policy, though Russia had for some time been using the Pan Slav idea of unity of Slavs in the Balkan nations to justify aggressive moves against Austro-Hungary or Turkey.

When Baron Hartwig dropped dead from a massive heart attack in the Austro-Hungarian legation, the Serbian press were the first to suspect foul play. Several articles were published accusing the Austrians of poisoning Hartwig while he was visiting their legation.
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WWI: Threatening letters

Crown Prince Alexander, later King of YugoslaviaOn Thursday 9th July, Nikola Pašić, Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister for Foreign Affairs, wrote a letter sent to all the Serbian legations:

The Crown Prince Alexander is receiving threatening letters from Austria-Hungary nearly every day. Make use of this in course of conversation with your colleagues and journalists.

The Crown Prince Alexander is Alexander Karađorđević, then 25 years old, the second son and fourth child of Petar Karađorđević (the heir of the former prince of Serbia who had abdicated in 1858) and Princess Zorka of Montenegro.

Alexander’s older brother George had abdicated under strong pressure from Nikola Pašić and other Serbian ministers, who believed him to be unfit to be king.
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WWI: Forcefeeding is a form of torture

On Wednesday 8th July 1914, the Manchester Guardian published an editorial against the practice of force-feeding imprisoned suffragettes, as well as two petitions addressed to the Liberal Home Secretary, Reginald McKenna:

We publish to-day two reasoned and powerful pleas, the one from distinguished Free Church ministers, the other from a large number of medical men, against the practice of forcible feeding still persisted in by the Home Secretary, although the “Cat and Mouse” Bill was understood to have been passed as a substitute for a practice which public opinion rightly and with increasing urgency condemns.

Both petitions are addressed to the Home Secretary, and will, we trust, carry weight with him, and at least secure the interview for which the medical men ask and which the gravity of the case and the weight of the protest should make it difficult to refuse.

Forcible feeding, as carried out against resisting prisoners, is frankly a form of torture, and it is really as such that Mr. McKenna, so far as we understand his position, defends it. He says it is deterrent, and so it well may be, but so would be any other form of torture – the thumbscrew or the rack, or any other ancient and accredited method of inflicting intolerable pain; yet we do not now have resort to these methods, not even against women.

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WWI: Happy birthday, Miroslav Krleža

Miroslav Krleža as a cadet in 1914In 1914, today was Miroslav Krleža’s 21st birthday. He was born in Zagreb, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and had been educated for a career as an officer in Pécs and then at the Ludoviceum military academy in Budapest. In 1912, he had defected to Serbia, with a view to enrolling in the Serbian army, but he had been turned away as a suspected spy. On his return to Austro-Hungary, he was demoted in their army and served on the Eastern Front as a common soldier throughout the war. His career as a writer in his native language, Croatian, was to win him both the Herder Prize and the Laureate of the International Botev Prize.

In debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday 7th July, Captain Walter Faber was asking questions about army recruitment of the Liberal Secretary of State for War, H. H. Asquith, who was also the Prime Minister. The questions were answered by the Under-Secretary of State for War, Harold Tennant, MP for Berwickshire.
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WWI: May this warning not be in vain

On Monday 6th July 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II left Germany for his annual 20-day cruise of the North Sea.

In Russia, Sergei Dmitrievich Sazonov, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, had invited Count Otto von Czernin, the Austro-Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires at St Petersburg to an interview. On 6th July Maurice Paléologue, the French Ambassador at St Petersburg, wrote a report of this interview to René Viviani, Prime Minister of France and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In the course of an interview which he had asked for with the Austro-Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires, M. Sazonof pointed out in a friendly way the disquieting irritation which the attacks of the Austrian press against Servia are in danger of producing in his country.
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WWI: Germany’s blank cheque

Kaiser Wilhelm II 1905Count Alexander von Hoyos, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, visited Berlin as a special emissary on 5th July 2014. He brought with him a handwritten letter from Emperor Franz Joseph, dated 2nd July, which was delivered to Kaiser Wilhelm II by the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, Count de Szögyény-Marich. Also delivered was a memo from István Tisza, prime minister of Austria-Hungary, the only member of the Austro-Hungarian government to oppose the war with Serbia at that time.

The Emperor wrote:

I sincerely regret that You should have been obliged to give up Your intention of going to Vienna for the funeral ceremonies. I should have liked personally to express to You my sincerest thanks for Your sympathy in my keen sorrow — a sympathy which has greatly touched me.

By Your warm and sympathetic condolence You have given me renewed proof that I have in You a sincere friend worthy of confidence and that I may count upon You in every hour of grave trial.
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