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As yet Austria-Hungary had made no reply, but her foreign minister promised to take the wishes of the Emperor next morning (July 31).25
On this same July 30 there occurred at 2 A. M. a memorable meeting between M. Sazonof, the Russian foreign minister, and the German ambassador at St. Petersburg. When the German ambassador saw that Russia's determination was unshaken and that war was inevitable, he “completely broke down." "He appealed to M. Sazonof to make some suggestion which he could telegraph to German Government as a last hope. M. Sazonof accordingly drew up and handed to German ambassador a formula in French, of which following is translation: 'If Austria recognizing that her conflict with Serbia has assumed character of question of European interest, declares herself ready to eliminate from her ultimatum points which violate principle of sovereignty of Serbia, Russia engages to stop all military prepara
tions.' ” 26
At Great Britain's request, Russia agreed to modify her offer, leaving it to the powers to decide what satisfaction Serbia would give Austria without compromising her independence.27
25 B. W. P., 98, 100, 103, 112.
On July 29 Austria-Hungary, acting on the advice of Germany, renewed negotiations with Russia 28 and two days later she announced her willingness, despite the change in the situation due to Russian mobilization, to consider Sir Edward Grey's proposition to mediate between herself and Serbia. The conditions laid down by the foreign minister were as follows:
Our acceptance, however, is subject to the condition that our military action against Serbia shall nevertheless proceed and that the British Cabinet shall induce the Russian Government to stop the mobilization directed against us. It is understood that in this case we would at once cancel our defensive military counter-measures in Galicia, which had been forced upon us by Russia's mobilization.2
28 B. W. P., 110, 96; A. R. B., 47, 49; G. W. B., S., 777. 29 A. R. B., 51.
THE WAR AREA BROADENS
HOPES of peace were now aroused. These, however, were soon dashed to the ground, for Germany, at this time, July 31, sent an ultimatum to Russia, demanding the cessation of her mobilization within twelve hours.1 No reply being received, Germany began to mobilize, and on August 1 war on Russia was declared by Germany. All hope of a peaceful settlement of the dispute now ended. Germany charges that Russian mobilization was the cause of this final failure of the efforts for peace. The Entente powers, on the other hand, blame it on the German ultimatum. They claim that it was entirely unnecessary, as the Russo-British plan for mediation provided for a general suspension of hostilities.
Inasmuch as Russian mobilization figures as an important cause of the war, it is necessary to give in brief the steps that led to Russian and German mobilization. On July 26 Ger
1 R. O. B., 76.
many heard through her military attaché at St. Petersburg that Russia had begun mobilization. In consequence of this report, the German Government declared to the Russian Government that “preparatory military measures by Russia” would force Germany to mobilize against both Russia and France, inasmuch as Germany knew of France's obligations to Russia. Germany was assured by Russia on the 27th that mobilization had not begun, though preparations for it had been made. It was stated, however, that mobilization against AustriaHungary would begin if Serbia's frontier was crossed, but that under no circumstances would it extend to the districts next to Germany's frontier. A like statement was made to Austria-Hungary July 28.5
After Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, Russia (July 29) announced her decision to mobilize in the four southern districts near Austria-Hungary. At the same time she declared that her military movements were not directed against Germany, nor was there any aggressive action intended against AustriaHungary. Russia had no intention to make a sudden attack on Austria-Hungary, but her troops would be kept under arms to be ready in case her interests in the Balkans were menaced.
4 G. W. B., exhibit 7; also S., 774. 5 G. W. B., exhibit 11; A. R. B., 42.
Such measures had to be taken by her, she contended, inasmuch as Austria could mobilize more quickly than she could and already had the start of her.6
Several reasons for this action were given by Russia. She was offended because Austria had completely ignored her in the Serbian dispute. Other reasons were that Austria had gone to war with Serbia and had mobilized more extensively than this war warranted, giving rise to the impression that these movements were directed against Russia. She declared that Austria had already mobilized half of her army, and that this mobilization was proceeding on the Russian frontier, according to information received by the Russian ambassador at Berlin. Then, too, Austria-Hungary had declined to continue the conversations that had been going on between the two powers.? Austria-Hungary, however, contended that she had not mobilized against Russia but only against Serbia, but would now have to mobilize against Russia, not as a hostile act, but as a response to Russia's mobilization. She, therefore, ordered a general mobilization on July 31.8 When Germany learned that Russia had
partially mobilized, she notified the latter power
6 R. O. B., 49; A. R. B., 47. 7 B. W. P., 95; F. Y. B., 95; R. O. B., 51, 77; A. R. B., 47. 8 A. R. B., 50, 52.