Our fourth batch examines the twilight hours of peace. Ultimatums, having been delivered, are contemplated. The alliances for so long meant to ensure peace seem to be pushing the powers towards rash action, while Sazonov deceived his French counterparts and most historians by beginning the preparations for war as early as 25th July! How could anyone hold back the tides? Rather than a straightforward march, Europe in fact spluttered its way into war.
July Crisis Project #17: Expiration and Mobilisation (25 July 1914)
How would Serbia react to the deadline now that they had Russian support? Could Britain do anything to dissuade the powers away from their respective courses? On a day that three states mobilised, was there any stopping anyone anymore?
July Crisis Project #18: Sazonov's Deception (26 July 1914)
On 26th July 1914 Sazonov met with numerous officials from foreign states. He said one thing to them while his country was doing another, out of fear of looking like the aggressor - the key, it seemed, was to bait Germany, rather than attack her.
July Crisis Project #19: Grey Areas (27 July 1914)
How were the powers in Europe on so many different levels? The dissemination of information, barely considered in most histories of the event, was in fact a key point for all involved.
July Crisis Project #20: War on Serbia (28 July 1914)
On 28th July, contrary to both their previously declared policy and common sense, A-H declared war on Serbia. Europe scrambled to understand what had just happened.
July Crisis Project #21: End of Innocence (29 July 1914)
The aftermath of Austria's war declaration was felt across Europe, when the real intentions of all seemed to appear more and more clear. By the end of the day, it was clear to all where Europe was going.
July Crisis Project #22: United We Stand (30 July 1914)
On 30th July Germany was reacting to the news that Russia had effectively been pulling the wool over its eyes for the past 5 days. As the last efforts to acquire peace came to nothing, Sazonov was attempting round 2 of mobilisation in St Petersburg...
July Crisis Project #23: The Last Day of Peace (31 July 1914)
How could the powers of Europe push through the recent diplomatic calamities? You'll be sorely disappointed if you think they were at all capable of doing so...