Tschirschky | 03 Jul 1914

Manoeuvreing continues behind closed doors. The German ambassador, Heinrich von Tschirschky, gives a reassurance to Count Berchtold.


Count Berchtold is still trying to find a way to get German support for his hard-line stance against Serbia. As he does so, von Tschirschky arrives for a meeting. Berchtold’s diary reports that von Tschirschky informed him, rather pointedly, that Austria-Hungary had talked tough in many previous crises, and while they were rather good at it, tough talk was no substitute for a proper plan of action.

The rest of the meeting, however, is rather more cordial. von Tschirschky had originally been recommending calm on his own initiative, but someone has written to him from Berlin. (I’m not sure anyone knows who; but what we do know is that when the Kaiser found out what his ambassador was doing, he strongly disapproved.) von Tschirschky now reverses himself, saying to Berchtold that, if the diplomatic situation were to be favourable, Berlin’s support is assured.

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The Prime Minister, Nikola Pasic, makes an unfortunate intervention today. Speaking with the Austrian ambassador at an official requiem in honour of Franz Ferdinand, Pasic assures him that Belgrade will deal with the assassination “as if it concerned one of our own rulers”. Unfortunately, the ambassador is well aware of how, eleven years ago, Serbia assassinated its own King with popular support. This is perhaps not what Pasic intended to imply, but that’s how it’s taken.

Meanwhile, both the British and Italian ambassadors in Belgrade have noticed that only one embassy has not flown its flag at half-mast today. That would be the Russian embassy.


In addition to this, Russia is already stirring to stand up positively for their Serbian allies. They’ve sent an official note to the German government, assuring the Germans that there was no official Serbian involvement in the assassination. This is rather unfortunate, considering that the Black Hand members already in custody have begun to talk.

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July Crisis

Further Reading

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  1. Pingback: Balkan diplomacy | 02 Jul 1914 | The First World War day-by-day

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