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effective control of their execution (and such measures
alone could clean the Augean Stable of Greater Serbian
intrigues), we would have to consider aU possible conse-
quences. From the very outset we must be firmly resolved
to persevere in our attitude.

"Half measures, demands, endless debating, and finally
a foul compromise, would be the hardest blow to Austria-
Hungary's authority in Serbia and her standing as a great
power in Europe."

It is said the Austro-Hungarian note to Serbia was mainly
the work of Count Forgach, one of the Under-Secretaries
of State for Foreign Affairs, who had formerly been am-
bassador at Belgrade, when he is credited with having



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires U

procured forged documents which formed the basis of
the charges against the Croatian deputies that led to the
famous Friedjung Trial described in Volume I, page 198.
It is reported, moreover, that the German ambassador in
Vienna collaborated with Count Forgach in drawing up
the momentous message to Serbia. The excessive haste
with which measures implying hostilities were put into
execution by the Austro-Hungarian authorities as soon as
the time-limit granted to Serbia had expired, on July 25th,
has been interpreted as showing that Austria-Hungary
was determined in any case upon a rupture with Serbia,
and that the presentation of the note was a merely specious
indication of a disposition to settle the matter by peaceful
negotiation.

On the san^e evening, for instance, the Chief of the
Serbian General Staff, General Putnik, was arrested at
Kelenfold, a junction point near Buda-Pesth, as he was
returning to Belgrade with his daughter after a sojourn at
Gleichenberg, an Austrian watering-place. He was placed
in custody and examined, but released after a day or two.

A more striking indication of inordinate haste was the
expeditious departure of Baron Giesl from Belgrade after
the receipt of the Serbian reply. He had doubtless been
instructed to sever diplomatic relations with Serbia straight-
way, if the response to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum
should not be satisfactory. The response was placed in
his hands at 5.58 in the afternoon of the 25th and he dis-
covered its unsatisfactory character, notified the Serbian
Foreign Office accordingly, and left with his suite by the
6.30 train for Buda-Pesth. His instructions prescribed
that any but an absolute, literal acceptance of the xVustro-
Hungarian note as a whole, should be rejected. All the
preparations for departure at the Austro-Hungarian Em-
bassy must have been already executed in anticipation of an



12 The Great War

unsatisfactory answer. There had been unmistakable indi-
cations during the course of the day, it is true, that the
Serbians themselves did not expect that their reply would
be accepted and lead to a peaceful settlement. Baron
Giesl had learned that the court train was being made
ready, and that the money of the national bank and of the
railways and the archives of the foreign office were being
removed to the interior of the country. The garrison left
town in field equipment, and many sanitary convoys were
sent off in a southerly direction. Above all, general mobi-
lization was ordered at three in the afternoon, and a few
hours later the government removed to Nish, where the
Skupschtina was summoned to meet the next day.

The news that the Serbian reply was not acceptable and
that diplomatic relations had been broken off was received
with an unparalleled outburst of patriotic enthusiasm in
Vienna. Crowds paraded the principal avenues during the
evening of the 25th singing patriotic songs, and congre-
gated in front of the War Office and the Foreign Office.
Attempted hostile demonstrations before the Russian Em-
bassy and the Serbian Legation were prevented by the
police. The temper displayed by the people in the capitals
and other large cities showed the popularity of the idea
of a war with Serbia.

In obtaining a comprehensive perception of the more
important threads in the web of diplomatic intercourse
which preceded the war, it is necessary to examine some
conspicuous incidents bearing upon the relations between
Austria-Hungary and Russia. It may be recalled that the
German Foreign Office favored a direct exchange of views
between Vienna and St. Petersburg as an alternative for
Sir Edward Grey's proposal for mediation by four powers,
with which the German government was not willing to
concur. The friendly conversation between M. SazonoflF




The Hotburtr, Vienna, offices of the Ministry of \\'^ar.




"T — -ii-" TT i «n-" i i-i -' r r
The French Embassy, Vienna.



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 13

and Count Szapary, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in St.
Petersburg, on July 26th, will serve as a convenient start-
ing point.

M. Sazonoff agreed that Austria-Hungary's professed
goal was legitimate, but he feared that her path was not
the surest. Four of the ten demands contained in the
Austro-Hungarian note were either impractical or incom-
patible with the independent sovereignty of Serbia; as for
the others, with some minor changes in form, it would not
be difficult to find a basis of agreement. Consequently,
M. Sazonoff instructed the Russian ambassador in Vienna
to request that the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in St.
Petersburg "should be authorized to enter into a private
exchange of views with him in order to redraft some points
in the Austro-Hungarian note to Serbia."

Immediately after his return to Vienna from leave of
absence, M. Schebeko submitted M. Sazonoff's request to
Count Berchtold. But the Austro-Hungarian Foreign
Minister informed him that, since Austria-Hungary had de-
cided to take a decisive step in connection with her dispute
with Serbia, she could not retract and enter into a discus-
sion of the note. Public opinion would rebel against such a
proceeding even if the government consented to it. This
reply, communicated to the Russian Foreign Ministry on
the same day as Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against
Serbia, was interpreted in the sense that Austria-Hungary
refused to continue an exchange of views with regard to
her conflict, and this chagrined M, Sazonoff very much.

A hint from Count Pourtales, German Ambassador in
St. Petersburg, induced Covmt Szapary to endeavor to
dispel M. Sazonoff's misgivings by repeating that Austria-
Hungary had no intention of annexing Serbian territory or
infringing the independent sovereignty of Serbia. M. Sazo-
noff said that he was convinced of Austria-Hungary's



14 The Great War

sincerity as far as Serbian territory was concerned, but that
to force on Serbia some of the conditions in the note would
reduce her to a vassal state.

Count Pourtales on July 29th reported to his own govern-
ment M. Sazonoff's disappointment at Austria-Hungary's
attitude. A candid examination of the evidence which
is available tends to show that at this time the Kaiser and
his government were going as far as was compatible with
their conception of the duty of an ally to bring about an
understanding between Austria-Hungary and Russia. Un-
fortunately there is almost no positive evidence of unim-
peachable authenticity to enlighten us as to the nature of
Germany's efforts in this direction.

Von Mach remarks: "If the Chancellor says that Ger-
many was using her good offices in Vienna, this is as
valuable a bit of evidence as the reprint of a dispatch in
the White Paper (British Blue Book), unless we wish to
impugn his veracity, in that case the copy of a dispatch
would be valueless, for he might have forged it."

While the statement of von Mach is true in a general
sense, nevertheless, assuming the credibilit}' of both, the
dispatch will usually have more historical value than a
general declaration such as that of the Chancellor, because
it is more specific. It tends to show in what particular
manner the influence of one power was exerted on another.

One document, at least, a dispatch that the German For-
eign Office claims to have sent to the German ambassador
in Vienna on July 30th, may be cited as evidence for Ger-
many's pacific action. This message is not included in the
German White Book. It was communicated to the Berlin
correspondent of the Westminster Gazette on August 1st.
Its authenticity has been attacked, but it seems probable
that it was a genuine part of the correspondence. The
text is as follows:



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 15

"The report of Count Pourtales does not harmonize
with the account which your Excellency has given of the
attitude of the Austro-Hungarian government.

"Apparently there is a misunderstanding which I beg
you to clear up.

"We cannot expect Austria-Hungary to negotiate with
Serbia with which she is in a state of war.

"The refusal, however, to exchange views with St. Peters-
burg would be a grave mistake.

"We are indeed ready to fulfil our duty.

"As an ally we must, however, refuse to be drawn into
a world conflagration through Austria-Hungary not re-
specting our advice.

"Your Excellency will express this to Count Berchtold
with all emphasis and great seriousness."

The Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Count Berchtold, is reported to have replied that there
was, in effect, a misunderstanding, and that the Austro-
Hungarian ambassador in St. Petersburg had already re-
ceived instructions to renew conversations with M. Sazonoff.

On the same day that the above-mentioned dispatch
was transmitted to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office,
Count Berchtold had a long interview with M. Schebeko,
and their conversation, conducted in a friendly tone, was
greeted in diplomatic circles as a very auspicious omen.
Count Berchtold expressed his willingness that the ex-
change of views should be resumed in St. Petersburg;
they had been interrupted, as he explained, in consequence
of a misunderstanding on his part as to the scope which
M. Sazonoff wished to attribute to them.

Reference has been made in the first volume (page 245)
to the general impression that Austria-Hungary yielded
at the last, and that the belligerent attitude of Germany
thwarted the pacific effect of this conciliatory departure in



16 The Great War

the policy of her ally. By yielding, we understand a will-
ingness on the part of Austria-Hungary to submit her note
to a revision. The opinion was expressed in the first vol-
ume that such a recession on the part of Austria-Hungary
was very improbable. The question may now be investi-
gated upon a broader basis of documentary evidence. It
is a problem of fundamental importance for the apprecia-
tion of the psychological forces behind the great war.
Was Austria-Hungary at the end dragged into the war, an
unwilling partner, as some believe, or did her rulers follow
a consistently voluntary policy throughout ? The answer
is involved in the problem before us.

The opinion that the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in
St. Petersburg had conveyed to the Russian Foreign Office
the willingness of the Dual Monarchy to submit its quarrel
with Serbia to international discussion was disseminated by
dispatches from M. Sazonoff to the Russian diplomatic
representatives in the principal capitals. It appeared that
this very important communication had been made in an
interview on the evening of July 31st. It was inferred that
Austria-Hungary was ready to consent to a revision of her
demands. But the report took on a variation in tone
according to chance circumstances of transmission or the
temperamental differences of the individuals through whom
it passed. Some of its distinctions in version are puzzling.

One instance will suffice as an example. According to
the British diplomatic correspondence, as published, the
counsellor of the Russian Embassy in London reported
the substance of M. Sazonoff's communication of the 31st
as follows:

"The Austro-Hungarian ambassador declared the readi-
ness of his government to discuss the substance of the
Austrian ultimatum to Serbia. M. Sazonoff replied by
expressing his satisfaction, and said it was desirable that




Tlie houses of Parliament, London.




The Reichstag, Berlin.



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 17

the discussions should take place in London with the
participation of the Great Powers.

"M. Sazonoff hoped that the British government would
assume the direction of these discussions. The whole of
Europe would be thankful to them. It would be very
important that Austria should meanwhile put a stop pro-
visionally to her military action on Serbian territory."

In this form the report has an optimistic air. But the
corresponding entry in the Russian Orange Book in
M. Sazonoff 's words has the following tenor:

"I have requested the British ambassador to express to
Grey my deep gratitude for the firm and friendly tone
which he had adopted in the discussions with Germany
and Austria, thanks to which the hope of finding a peaceful
issue to the present situation need not yet be abandoned.

"I also requested him to inform the British minister
that in my opinion it was only in London that the discus-
sion might still have some faint chance of success and of
rendering the necessary compromise easier for Austria."

Unless it should be assumed that the Russian govern-
ment has withheld a more significant dispatch, this message
would indicate that the interview in St. Petersburg on the
evening of July 31st was unimportant; and this view is
supported by a report of the British ambassador in Russia.
Sir George Buchanan telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey on
August 1st that M. Sazonoff had had an interview with the
Austro-Hungarian ambassador the evening before, but that
the latter, "not being definitely instructed by his govern-
ment, did his best to deflect the conversation towards a
general discussion of the relations between Austria-
Hungary and Russia instead of keeping to the question
of Serbia." M. Sazonoff had to remind him that "the
real question which they had to solve at the time was
whether Austria was to crush Serbia and to reduce her to



18 The Great War

the status of a vassal, or whether she was to leave Serbia a
free and independent state."

In sifting the correspondence that passed between Count
Szapary and Count Berchtold we find a telegram from the
former dated the 31st, acknowledging the latter's com-
munication of the 30th, in which the Austro-Hungarian
Foreign Minister had authorized the continuation of the
conversations in St. Petersburg. Count Szapary stated that
he had already at his own initiative resumed conversations
with Sazonofi^, but that the points of view on the two sides
had not materially approximated to each other. There is
no mention in this telegram of any conversation with
M. Sazonoff subsequent to the receipt of Count Berchtold's
instructions of the 30th.

Another dispatch from Count Szapary dated August 1st
reported that he had visited M. Sazonoff on the same
day and had informed him that he had received instruc-
tions from Vienna (still those of July 30th, apparently)
which he transmitted to him with the reservations imposed
by his ignorance of the subsequent attitude created in
Vienna by the general Russian mobilization. He had in-
formed M. Sazonoff that Count Berchtold was prepared to
submit the text of the note to discussion as far as its inter-
pretation was concerned. M. Sazonoff had expressed
satisfaction and suggested that the negotiations should be
carried on in London. Count Szapary had replied that
Count Berchtold had assumed direct contact in St. Peters-
burg and he was not in a position to commit himself as
to London.

One is tempted to ascribe this message to the 31st and
identify the interview described in it as the conversation of
the evening of the 31st to which such a striking character
has been attributed, assuming an error in the date as pub-
lished in the Red Book. In any case the dispatch reveals



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 19

no inclination to accept a revision of the demands made
to Serbia.

All the evidence thus far considered refers back, as we
have seen, to the position taken by Count Berchtold on
the 30th. Leading German authorities regard the 30th as
the focal point in Austria-Hungary's policy and Count
Berchtold's expressions on that day as the convincing proof
of Austria-Hungary's compliance and Russia's perfidy.
Russia responded to Austria-Hungary's compromising
attitude by a general mobilization, thereby making war
inevitable. But there is nothing in our accounts of the
proceedings on the 30th to prove that Austria-Hungary
was willing to compromise. On the contrary, there is
positive evidence that she was not prepared to modify her
position with respect to Serbia in any essential point.
Count Berchtold authorized Count Szapary to give M.
Sazonoff an}^ explanation he desired concerning the note
to Serbia, but he added:

"In any case this could only take the form of subse-
quent explanations as it was never our intention to depart
in any way from the points contained in the note."

A seemingly more striking communication is reproduced
in the Red Book with the date July 31st. In accord-
ance with instructions from Herr von Jagow, Herr von
Tschirscky, German Ambassador in Vienna, had com-
municated to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office on
the 30th the suggestion made by Sir Edward Grey to
Prince Lichnowsky on the 29th regarding mediation
by four powers. That was the time when the British
Foreign Secretary urged that the German government
should suggest any method by which the influence of
the four powers not directly concerned in the contro-
versy could be used to prevent war. Accordingly, on
the 31st, Count Berchtold sent the following instructions



20 The Great War

to Count Szogyeny, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in
Berlin :

"I ask your Excellency to convey our warm thanks to
the Secretary of State (for Foreign Affairs) for the com-
munications made to us through Herr von Tschirscky,
and to declare to him that in spite of the change in the
situation which has since arisen through the mobiliza-
tion of Russia, we are quite prepared to entertain the
proposal of Sir Edward Grey to negotiate between us
and Serbia.

"The conditions of our acceptance are, nevertheless,
that our military action against Serbia should continue to
take its course, and that the British Cabinet should move
the Russian government to bring to a standstill the Russian
mobilization which is directed against us, in which case, of
course, we will also at once cancel the defensive military
counter-measures in Galicia, which are occasioned by the
Russian attitude."

The text of this message was communicated likewise
to the Austro-Hungarian ambassadors in London and
St. Petersburg.

A thoughtful consideration of this dispatch will show
that while its tone is conciliatory, it does not prove that
the Vienna government receded in any essential point from
its original position. The mere acceptance of mediation
in itself did not bind the Austro-Hungarian government
to submit to such terms as the mediating power or powers
might suggest. The Austro-Hungarian rulers probably
regarded the proposed mediation as a convenient channel
for the transmission of Serbia's submission, and the adjust-
ment of the details for the appHcation of their demands.

This communication, even if it had contained a substan-
tial concession, would probably have been too late to exert
any decisive influence on the course of events.




Siiclviiig the luivibe ami destroying the iiiniiture ot a Serbian in harajevi




The younger generation's enthusiastic recejition in Berlin
of the news of war.



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 21

The official Fremde?il>latt in Vienna denied the supposed
change in the Austro-Hungarian policy on September 25th
in the following terms:

"The report of (Sir Maurice) de Bunsen, former British
Ambassador in Vienna, of September 1, 1914, regarding
the background of the present war, as published by the
British government, contains the statement of his Rus-
sian colleague that the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in
St. Petersburg, Szapary, informed Minister Sazonoff that
Austria-Hungary agreed to submit to mediation the points
in the note to Serbia which were incompatible with Serbian
independence.

"As we learn from an authoritative source, this statement
disagrees entirely with the facts. . . . The passage cited
in the ambassador's report" is "due to a design of repre-
senting the action of German diplomacy as the real cause of
the outbreak of the war by alleging that Austria-Hungary
adopted a yielding attitude. Such attempts cannot obscure
the truth that Austria-Hungary and Germany harmonized
in the desire to maintain the peace of Europe."

Our examination of the evidence leads to the following
conclusions regarding the Austro-Hungarian attitude:

The Austro-Hungarian government promised to respect
the territorial integrity and independent sovereignty of
Serbia.

It was prepared to interpret or explain the demands con-
tained in the note to Serbia, and to accept the mediation
of third parties for the negotiation of terms of peace
with Serbia.

But it was not willing to depart in any essential respect
from the demands contained in the note.

The folly of hasty conjectures has nowhere been more
signally illustrated than in the prophecies that were made
with such facility with regard to the fate of the Dual



22 The Great War

Monarchy. Austria-Hungary was described as "a ram-
shackle empire, bound together by a rope of sand," which
would fall to pieces from the impact of the first hostile
blow. Germans even, while convinced of the ultimate
victory of the Fatherland, sometimes predicted that the
present world-war would result in the liquidation of the
Hapsburg realm; and, at the news of the early Russian
victories in Galicia, our own press did not hesitate to pro-
claim the destruction of tlie monarchy's power of resistance
and the defenselessness of Vienna.

Yet Prince Bismarck once declared that if Francis Joseph
ever mounted his charger all the nationalities in his domin-
ions, in spite of their mutual jealousies, would march in
his train; and the course of events has in large measure
confirmed the truth of his assertion. The bond of union
has held against the repeated terrific blows. The common
danger has brought a realization of common interests and
of the advantages of political association. The tempest of
war has apparently purified the political atmosphere. The
fierce heat of conflict has fused to a large extent the hith-
erto discordant sentiments of nationality.

In consequence of the tardy achievement of her national
unity, and the correspondingly late development of her
colonial aspirations, Germany's share in the exploitive
areas of the earth was absurdly disproportionate to her
greatness. The Welt-politik approved by the German gov-
ernment since the closing years of the nineteenth century
was the expression of a determination to arrest the tendency
of closing the doors against the penetration of new lands
by German enterprise and influence. Germany had indi-
cated that she would not sanction a further reduction of
the remaining independent area of the world in disregard
of her interests or a curtailment of equal opportunity
where it still existed.



Moral Forces in the Teutonic Empires 23

This policy was undoubtedly approved by the intel-
lectual, industrial, and commercial classes. It commended
itself to the favor of the substantial, influential people
generally throuj^hout the country. The comprehen-
sion of this fundamental doctrine is the key to Ger-
many's attitude in relation to international questions
before the war, and a very important factor in under-
standing the spirit with which the German people entered
into the struggle.

Persia and Morocco had been conspicuous examples of
unappropriated exploitive areas. But no sooner had atten-
tion been directed toward Persia as a promising field for
German enterprise than Great Britain and Russia signed
a convention by which they compromised their conflict-
ing ambitions in Asia and particularly agreed to separate
spheres of influence in Persia. This arrangement was
regarded in Germany as a first, but definite, step towards
the conversion of Persia into exclusive preserves. But
Germany, in the Potsdam Conference between the Tsar
and the Kaiser in 1910, recognized the existence of Rus-
sia's special interests in Northern Persia, and contented
herself with the withdrawal of Russia's opposition to the
development of the Bagdad Railway, and her promise to



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