July 28th 1914: Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia
The front page of The Washington Times above reports that following the unsatisfactory Serbian response to Austria’s July Ultimatum the Austro-Hungarian Empire have declared war on Serbia.
The Ultimatum had been drafted to be unacceptable and while Serbia had agreed to all but one of the ten demands Austria took the opportunity to declare war on the small Balkan state on its southern border. With Germany and Austro-Hungary declining to take part in suggested mediation talks. The declaration of war would suck Russia, Serbia’s ally, into the conflict forcing them to mobilise their forces.
The resulting mobilisations snowballed Europe into a total war the likes of which it had never seen. Following Germany’s declaration of war on Russia war between the rest of Europe’s major powers was inevitable.
This profoundly prophetic quote is attributed to Prince Otto Von Bismarck (in 1890), the first Chancellor of Germany. While Bismarck was correct he could not have know it would be a war perpetuated by a German government, albeit an expansionist one that had forced him to resign.
100 years ago today, the ‘damned silly thing in the Balkans’ materialised as the German-supported Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all the beauty, all that wealth ever gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
The Paths of Glory lead but to the grave.
"Do you remember all the mudfoot war individually, or do they all sort of blur together, Ms Y'Voina? There must be an awful lot to remember."
"Some of them do seem to merge into one blur but those are ones that happened when I was given life by mother millenia ago. Wars which happen three hundred or four hundred years ago are fresher memories ans I said, even though it was one hundred years ago to this day the beginning of man’s Great War feels like it was only yesterday. All my wars, no matter when they occurred are logged in their own individual book or volume and kept in the record room of my home."
"One hundred years ago? Why it feels like it all happened yesterday."
28th July 1914 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
On July 28, 1914, one month to the day after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, effectively beginning the First World War.
The following telegram sent by Count Leopold von Berchtold (Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister) at 11.10 am to M. N. Pashitch (Serbian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister), who received it at 12.30 pm
28 July 1914
The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms.
Austria-Hungary consequently considers herself henceforward in state of war with Serbia.
神宮皇后三韓征伐圖 - Empress Jingu Invades Korea, woodblock print by Kuniyoshi Utagawa, c. 1839 - 1841. [x]
If you include her then you have nine Japanese female monarchs as empress regnant. It’s actually unclear as to why she attacked Korea (Japan’s interest? To get through China? Other dispute?). Her being an empress regnant is disputed because her title is kougou which is similar to empress consort, compared to Empress Genmei whose titled Genmei-tennou.
"The helicopter is a symbol of human ingenuity over common sense."