Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Count Berchtold to Count Szecsen, 28 July 1914

On 28 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured), sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to France, Nikolaus Count Szecsen. In his telegram, Berchtold gives instructions on how Szecsen should present the Austro-Hungrian reaction to Serbia’s answer to the ultimatum.

Leopold Count Berchtold

Leopold Count Berchtold

Count Berchtold to Count Szecsen in Paris. Vienna, 28 July 1914.

Cyphered.

Received Your Excellency’s telegram of 26 July.

Your Excellency will make the best use you can of the dossier (sent by post on 25 July) and of the critical remarks to Serbia’s answer [to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum] which will also leave by post, and from which the reasons of our non-acceptance will be seen; remitting both to French statesmen, and letting the public know of them. You will lay special stress on the fact that Serbia, to captivate Europe, gives its Note the appearance of great compliance, whereas it gives absolutely no guarantees of the future. Almost every one of its promises is made worth less by equivocations and reservations. It has betrayed its real sentiments by ordering its mobilisation before vouchsafing an answer, whilst we did not take a single military measure until the term for the answer was expired.

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

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