Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Count Berchtold to Baron Giesl, 23 July 1914

On 23 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured) sent a private coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia Baron Wladimir Giesl. In his telegram, Berchtold warns his ambassador over the use of the term “ultimatum”.

Leopold Count Berchtold

Leopold Count Berchtold

Count Berchtold to Baron von Giesl in Belgrade. Vienna, 23 July 1914.

Cyphered telegram.—Private.

The term ultimatum, which you use in your telegrams to designate today’s démarche [i.e. step] is not correct, insomuch that if the terms for the answer expires without result, war does not follow, but only the breaking off of diplomatic relations. The war would commence after it had been formally declared, or Servia had attacked us.


Source: 1919 Austro-Hungarian Red Book, with minor edits.


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