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Discussion in 'World War I' started by Lucky13, Jul 28, 2014.
Started today, 100 years ago...
The Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia
The declaration of war against Serbia came across Bucharest with regular mail in the form of an open telegram. Written in French (which was the official language at the time), it was handed over to Serbian prime Minister Nikola Pašić who had withdrawn to Niš with the entire goverment the previous day. On July 28th 1914, at around one o’clock in the afternoon, in the garden of the Hotel “Orijent”, Nikola Pašić received a dispatch by which Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia. This historic document is preserved in the Archive of Serbia as one of the most important written evidences.
The writer Ivo Ćipiko, who found himself in the city at that very moment, wrote:
“Quiet, seemingly carefree, Pašić stood up after he finished his lunch. However, when I looked at him, it seemed to me that something unusual – which ocurred at that moment – was expressed in his drawn eyes. On the street, in front of the hotel, Pašić took the telegram out of his pocket and showed it to the French minister. It was a declaration of war. Later that day, Pašić read this telegram to the assembled citizens of Niš, and it is believed that he read it from the balcony of Banovina.”
The Monarchy did not waste time to attack Serbia, so, on the eve of that very day, the first volleys of cannonfire were fired accross the Sava river in direction of the Serbian capital Belgrade.
Facsimile of the historical telegram. The text reads as fallows:
Vienna, July 28, 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.
Hotel "Orient", where Serbian Prime Minister Nikola pašić received the telegram on 28th July at 12.30PM.
Declaration of war covered by the American press.
Depends on what you mean by "Started". France and Russia made their final decision for war 20 July 1914 on a yacht anchored off St. Petersburg. After that it was a matter of diplomatic events unfolding to plan.
"...20 July 1914 .."
You missed posting that anniversary, davebender, and frankly I hadn't noticed
Actually, I'd say the real 'start' to the Great War was the German declaration of war on Russia on 1 August. Mobilisation does not necessarily mean war - A.J.P. Taylor. Since Serbia was considered as a part of the greater Austro-Hungarian empire - although not necessarily by Serbs themselves, surely the fighting was an act of civil war, as savage as it was. The rest of Europe, apart from the Germans were not all that keen on getting involved, including the Russians, despite the mobilisation of their troops. The enacting of the Schlieffen Plan was the real cause of the Great War. It's what made it a 'world war' at any rate.
Yesterday, on 4 August, Germany invaded Belgium on it's drive to strike France. It would seem that with this operation, the war started in earnest.
100 gun salute on the Wellington waterfront.