Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Count Berchtold to Herr von Merey, 26 July 1914

On 26 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured), sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy, Kajetan von Merey. Berchtold’s telegram highlights the discussions over the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia between the members of the Triple Alliance.

Leopold Count Berchtold

Leopold Count Berchtold

Count Berchtold to Herr von Merey. Vienna, 26 July 1914.

Today, the [German] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Gottlieb von Jagow] told me [that] the Italian Ambassador [to Germany] showed some surprise that your Excellency had not informed his government—as an allied Power— of our step in Belgrade at an earlier date.

Herr von Jagow answered him that Germany had not been communicated with any earlier, and he (Jagow) considered this quite correct, because the conflict must be regarded as an affair which exclusively concerned Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

The above would be telegraphed to the German ambassador in Rome, so that he should know what to say, and he was moreover requested to add, if the [Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the] Marquis di San Giuliano, gave him the opportunity, that Italy had not either informed its ally before sending an ultimatum of 24 hours to Turkey [in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912].

The above for your Excellencys information and as a guide to your speech.


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

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