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The Sleepwalkers: The July Crisis Of 1914. On June 28Th,

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The Sleepwalkers: The July Crisis of 1914 On June 28th, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne paraded through the streets of Sarajevo. Ignoring all threats of assassination, the archduke returned to the Apple Quay where his immortality was finally challenged. Gavrilo Princip, a member of the allusive Black Hand, fired several shots into the motorcade of the archduke, killing both Ferdinand and his beloved wife Sophie. To Austria, the murder of the archduke was the last straw. Now fueled with a ‘valid’ excuse to invade Serbia, Austria launched into a full assault, allied with Germany. However, Serbia had been fortified with the strength of both the Russian and French armies. Although war seemed imminent the…show more content…
With the assassination of the heir to their throne, the Austro-Hungarian government was now fueled with an excuse to launch war against the ‘weaker Serbians.’ For years, many of the Austro-Hungarian leaders, such as Conrad von Hotzendorf, had been pressing for war against the Serbs. However, several crucial factors delayed the onslaught of war. The Prime Minister of Hungary, Count Tisza, refused to attack Serbia before pursuing every possible diplomatic channel to resolve the Serbian dispute, understanding war with Serbia was also meant war with France and Russia. Furthermore, before any attack could take place, Austria had to ensure, Germany would remain their ally, as their own army would not sustain attacks from East, West, and South. Unsure of how Germany would respond if Austria attacked Serbia, the key-Austrian decision-makers debated continuously, until Germany announced their stance on July 6, 1914. Offering what would become known as “the blank cheque”, Kaiser Wilhelm II, promised unconditional support from Germany regardless of what decision Austrio-Hungary made over Serbia. Bound by the Dual Alliance Treaty of 1879, which stated that if Russia attacked either Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the other would provide aid, Germany entered into the “third Balkan war”. However, even after earning the empathetic support of their ally, and the continuous pressure to enter war with Serbia from Berlin, the Austro-Hungarian government remained at a
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