How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

First World War 1914-1918 from the German perspective.

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Iron_Bismarck
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How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by Iron_Bismarck » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:49 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_Ultimatum

According to Wikipedia, Austria's "Ultimatum" (so-called) was not officially an ultimatum at all, but rather a "Demarche". A Demarche is a formal diplomatic protest or statement of views.

The Austrian Demarche, as described on Wikipedia, does not seem overbearing, especially in light of the severity of the crimes of Serbian backed terrorists:
Austria-Hungary made 10 enumerated demands. Serbia was to pledge itself to:
1. suppress publications which incite hatred and contempt of the Austrian Monarchy;
2. dissolve Narodna Odbrana (National Defence) and similar societies, confiscate their means of propaganda, and prevent the societies from reforming under new names;
3. eliminate from public instruction in Serbia, both as regards the teaching body and the methods of instruction, all that serves or might serve to foment propaganda against Austria-Hungary;
4. remove from the military service and the administration in general all officers guilty of propaganda against Austria-Hungary, names of which Austria-Hungary reserved the right to provide; (Serbia agreed to remove those officers proven guilty by judicial inquiry. As propaganda was not yet a crime it is unclear how any officers would be removed).
5. accept the collaboration in Serbia of organs of the Austro-Hungarian government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy;
6. begin a judicial inquiry against the accessories to the plot of June 28th who are on Serbian territory, with organs delegated by the Austro-Hungarian government participating in the investigation;
7. immediately arrest Major Vojav Tankosi? and Milan Ciganovi? who were implicated by the preliminary investigation undertaken by Austria-Hungary;
8. prevent by effective measures the cooperation of Serbian authorities in the illicit traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier and to dismiss and severely punish those in the Serbian Frontiers Service who assisted the authors of the Sarajevo outrage;
9. furnish Austria-Hungary with explanations regarding statements from high Serbian officials both in Serbia and abroad, who have expressed hostility towards Austria-Hungary; and
10. notify Austria-Hungary without delay of the execution of these measures.
Furthermore, the Serbian response was willfully evasive and patently mis-leading. Serbia denied its responsibility for a crime even in the face of explicit Austrian proof of those crimes.

In addition, diplomatic communiques from Russia hardened the Serbian rebuttle even further.

And Austria's demands only included minor interference in Serbia's internal affairs, which were based upon established legal precedents.

In short, while the Entente Allies called Austria's Demarche an ultimatum in order, as propaganda, to justify their war efforts and demonize their foe as the aggressor (Standard Operating Procedure), based upon Wikipedia's information I find it hard to justify that opinion. In the main, it seems that Austria's response to the murder of the Hapsburg heir was measured and forthright.

In those cases where Serbia accepted demands, Austria made no comment.

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Post by Jock » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:04 pm

14 of the 15 points Austro-Hungary delivered would have been accepted. The demand that Austrian police conduct an investigation in Serbia would have never been accepted in that day and age. It would be tantamount to letting "spies" into your country.

I'm not sure what your post is aiming for. The real flashpoint of WWI was Russia formally allying with Serbia, followed closely by Germany's declaration of war on Russia.

Those were the two main dominoes to fall in the crazy sequence that started WWI. And both did so knowing full well the consequences.

Cheers,
Jock

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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia

Post by Marko Parabucki » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:22 pm

Most often, in such cases, one's opinion on how 'measured' and 'forthright' Austrian response was, depends on that persons preconceived position - whether pro or anti Austrian.

You question the use of term 'Ultimatum'. Austria sent it's demands as a 'demarche' to Serbia. Wikipedia's definition of such a diplomatic note is:
A démarche is a formal diplomatic representation of one government’s official position, views, or wishes on a given subject to an appropriate official in another government or international organization. Démarches generally seek to persuade, inform, or gather information from a foreign government. Governments may also use a démarche to protest or object to actions by a foreign government.
Yet Austria's behavior is not the one of 'persuasion', it demands that it's letter be accepted as such, or it will break diplomatic relations. When Giesl received Serbian response, he did not contact Vienna for consultations nor did he send the reply to Austrian government. Instead, under instructions, he declared reply unacceptable after finding first difference between Austrian 'demarche', and promptly left Belgrade, making it clear that his Government has no intention on negotiating on this issue. Under such circumstances, it is my belief that calling it 'ultimatum' is appropriate.
The Austrian Demarche, as described on Wikipedia, does not seem overbearing, especially in light of the severity of the crimes of Serbian backed terrorists:
Besides assassination of Archduke, Serbian backed terrorists have done little else to Austria at this point. There indeed was a series of unsuccessful assassination attempts, but this should be put in context of Austrian backed terrorism against Serbia. Less than a year before July crisis, on September 23rd, 15 thousand well armed (with Austrian weapons) Albanians entered western Macedonia, capturing towns of Debar, Struga and Ohrid. Repulsing this attack required partial mobilization of two divisions, three additional regiments, and putting entire area of Nove Oblasti (New Territories) on alert. Following the collapse of such an attack, Austria issued a verbal note (again a 'demarche'?) stating that if Serbia continues pursuing the attackers into Albania, appropriate measures will be taken.
As a matter of fact, after the assassination of more pro-Austrian King Alexander Obrenović, there's little else in Austrian actions than threats, demands and saber rattling.

As for Austrian demands:
3. eliminate from public instruction in Serbia, both as regards the teaching body and the methods of instruction, all that serves or might serve to foment propaganda against Austria-Hungary;
Basically a request that Vienna will have control over Serbian education system. And Serbia accepts this? How devious of them.
4. remove from the military service and the administration in general all officers guilty of propaganda against Austria-Hungary, names of which Austria-Hungary reserved the right to provide;
Therefore, Imperial government has the right to dismiss EVERY Serbian officer it chooses? In a small country such as Serbia, decimating officers corps would equal termination of it's army as a fighting force. What state in the world would accept this? Yet Serbia does, with reservations.
5. accept the collaboration in Serbia of organs of the Austro-Hungarian government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy;
Austria demands Serbia to allow security forces of a foreign power to operate on it's territory, against such a vaguely defined threat. Yet Serbia accepts this?
6. begin a judicial inquiry against the accessories to the plot of June 28th who are on Serbian territory, with organs delegated by the Austro-Hungarian government participating in the investigation;
Beyond just allowing Austrian police into Serbia (as stated in article 5.), Vienna now demands that this police be allowed to operate without restrictions on a territory of a sovereign state? Would Austria EVER accept Serbian police to operate on it's territory, having the right to arrest it's citizens? And you call this 'measured'? Then what would be 'unmeasured'?

Austrian refusal to even debate any of these issues, despite the fact that Kaiser Wilhelm II saw the reply as:
"A brilliant solution--and in barely 48 hours! This is more than could have been expected. A great moral victory for Vienna; but with it every pretext for war falls to the ground, and [the Ambassador] Giesl had better have stayed quietly at Belgrade. On this document, I should never have given orders for mobilisation.
means that it was not interested in Serbian reply to begin with, and coined the 'demarche' in such a way that it could not be accepted. This view is easily supported by it's behavior throughout the crisis, and the reasons behind it were:

1. Austria, suffering from internal political pressure, sees a quick victory in war as a prerequisite for it's internal stability
2. Serbia, after two wars and following the collapse of Balkans alliance is weakened. Austrian command sees this as an opportunity to strike the blow.

As to why Wilhelm II didn't apply pressure on his ally to practice restraint, and allowed it to drag Europe (and world) into war is a mystery.

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Translations of the original texts in question

Post by Marko Parabucki » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:44 pm

Actual texts so one can judge whether Serbia's response was unreasonable.
23 July, 1914:
The Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia


The Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Berchtold, to the Minister at Belgrade, von Giesl:

Vienna, July 22, 1914

Your Excellency will present the following note to the Royal Government on the afternoon of Thursday, July 23: On the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Minister at the Court of Vienna made, in the name of his Government, the following declaration to the Imperial and Royal Government:

Serbia recognizes that her rights were not affected by the state of affairs created in Bosnia, and states that she will accordingly accommodate herself to the decisions to be reached by the Powers in connection with Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin. Serbia, in accepting the advice of the Great Powers, binds herself to desist from the attitude of protest and opposition which she has assumed with regard to the annexation since October last, and she furthermore binds herself to alter the tendency of her present policy toward Austria-Hungary, and to live on the footing of friendly and neighborly relations with the latter in the future.

Now the history of the past few years, and particularly the painful events of the 28th of June, have proved the existence of a subversive movement in Serbia, whose object it is to separate certain portions of its territory from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This movement, which came into being under the very eyes of the Serbian Government, subsequently found expression outside of the territory of the Kingdom in acts of terrorism, in a number of attempts at assassination, and in murders.

Far from fulfilling the formal obligations contained in its declaration of the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government has done nothing to suppress this movement. It has tolerated the criminal activities of the various unions and associations directed against the Monarchy, the unchecked utterances of the press, the glorification of the authors of assassinations, the participation of officers and officials in subversive intrigues; it has tolerated an unhealthy propaganda in its public instruction; and it has tolerated, finally, every manifestation which could betray the people of Serbia into hatred of the Monarchy and contempt for its institutions.

This toleration of which the Royal Serbian Government was guilty, was still in evidence at that moment when the events of the twenty-eighth of June exhibited to the whole world the dreadful consequences of such tolerance.

It is clear from the statements and confessions of the criminal authors of the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June, that the murder at Sarajevo was conceived at Belgrade, that the murderers received the weapons and the bombs with which they were equipped from Serbian officers and officials who belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and, finally, that the dispatch of the criminals and of their weapons to Bosnia was arranged and effected under the conduct of Serbian frontier authorities.

The results brought out by the inquiry no longer permit the Imperial and Royal Government to maintain the attitude of patient tolerance which it has observed for years toward those agitations which center at Belgrade and are spread thence into the territories of the Monarchy. Instead, these results impose upon the Imperial and Royal Government the obligation to put an end to those intrigues, which constitute a standing menace to the peace of the Monarchy.

In order to attain this end, the Imperial and Royal Government finds itself compelled to demand that the Serbian Government give official assurance that it will condemn the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Monarchy territories that belong to it; and that it will obligate itself to suppress with all the means at its command this criminal and terroristic propaganda. In order to give these assurances a character of solemnity, the Royal Serbian Government will publish on the first page of its official organ of July 26/13, the following declaration:

"The Royal Serbian Government condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Austro- Hungarian Monarchy territories that belong to it, and it most sincerely regrets the dreadful consequences of these criminal transactions.

"The Royal Serbian Government regrets that Serbian officers and officials should have taken part in the above-mentioned propaganda and thus have endangered the friendly and neighborly relations, to the cultivation of which the Royal Government had most solemnly pledged itself by its declarations of March 31, 1909.

"The Royal Government, which disapproves and repels every idea and every attempt to interfere in the destinies of the population of whatever portion of Austria-Hungary, regards it as its duty most expressly to call attention of the officers, officials, and the whole population of the kingdom to the fact that for the future it will proceed with the utmost rigor against any persons who shall become guilty of any such activities, activities to prevent and to suppress which, the Government will bend every effort."

This declaration shall be brought to the attention of the Royal army simultaneously by an order of the day from His Majesty the King, and by publication in the official organ of the army.

The Royal Serbian Government will furthermore pledge itself:

1. to suppress every publication which shall incite to hatred and contempt of the Monarchy, and the general tendency of which shall be directed against the territorial integrity of the latter;

2. to proceed at once to the dissolution of the Narodna Odbrana to confiscate all of its means of propaganda, and in the same manner to proceed against the other unions and associations in Serbia which occupy themselves with propaganda against Austria-Hungary; the Royal Government will take such measures as are necessary to make sure that the dissolved associations may not continue their activities under other names or in other forms;

3. to eliminate without delay from public instruction in Serbia, everything, whether connected with the teaching corps or with the methods of teaching, that serves or may serve to nourish the propaganda against Austria-Hungary;

4. to remove from the military and administrative service in general all officers and officials who have been guilty of carrying on the propaganda against Austria-Hungary, whose names the Imperial and Royal Government reserves the right to make known to the Royal Government when communicating the material evidence now in its possession;

5. to agree to the cooperation in Serbia of the organs of the Imperial and Royal Government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the integrity of the Monarchy;

6. to institute a judicial inquiry against every participant in the conspiracy of the twenty-eighth of June who may be found in Serbian territory; the organs of the Imperial and Royal Government delegated for this purpose will take part in the proceedings held for this purpose;

7. to undertake with all haste the arrest of Major Voislav Tankosic and of one Milan Ciganovitch, a Serbian official, who have been compromised by the results of the inquiry;

8. by efficient measures to prevent the participation of Serbian authorities in the smuggling of weapons and explosives across the frontier; to dismiss from the service and to punish severely those members of the Frontier Service at Schabats and Losnitza who assisted the authors of the crime of Sarajevo to cross the frontier;

9. to make explanations to the Imperial and Royal Government concerning the unjustifiable utterances of high Serbian functionaries in Serbia and abroad, who, without regard for their official position, have not hesitated to express themselves in a manner hostile toward Austria-Hungary since the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June;

10. to inform the Imperial and Royal Government without delay of the execution of the measures comprised in the foregoing points.

The Imperial and Royal Government awaits the reply of the Royal Government by Saturday, the twenty-fifth instant, at 6 p.m., at the latest.

A reminder of the results of the investigation about Sarajevo, to the extent they relate to the functionaries named in points 7 and 8 [above], is appended to this note.«

Appendix:

«The crime investigation undertaken at court in Sarajevo against Gavrilo Princip and his comrades on account of the assassination committed on the 28th of June this year, along with the guilt of accomplices, has up until now led to the following conclusions:

1. The plan of murdering Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his stay in Sarajevo was concocted in Belgrade by Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Cabrinovic, a certain Milan Ciganovic, and Trifko Grabesch with the assistance of Major Voija Takosic.

2. The six bombs and four Browning pistols along with ammunition -- used as tools by the criminals -- were procured and given to Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in Belgrade by a certain Milan Ciganovic and Major Voija Takosic.

3. The bombs are hand grenades originating from the weapons depot of the Serbian army in Kragujevatz.

4. To guarantee the success of the assassination, Ciganovic instructed Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in the use of the grenades and gave lessons on shooting Browning pistols to Princip and Grabesch in a forest next to the shooting range at Topschider.

5. To make possible Princip, Cabrinovic und Grabesch's passage across the Bosnia-Herzegovina border and the smuggling of their weapons, an entire secretive transportation system was organized by Ciganovic. The entry of the criminals and their weapons into Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out by the main border officials of Shabatz (Rade Popovic) and Losnitza as well as by the customs agent Budivoj Grbic of Losnitza, with the complicity of several others.«

On the occasion of handing over this note, would Your Excellency please also add orally that -- in the event that no unconditionally positive answer of the Royal government might be received in the meantime -- after the course of the 48-hour deadline referred to in this note, as measured from the day and hour of your announcing it, you are commissioned to leave the I. and R. Embassy of Belgrade together with your personnel.
Source
25 July, 1914:
The Serbian Response
to the Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum


The Royal Government has received the communication of the Imperial and Royal Government of the 23rd inst. and is convinced that its reply will dissipate any misunderstanding which threatens to destroy the friendly and neighbourly relations between the Austrian monarchy and the kingdom of Serbia.

The Royal Government is conscious that nowhere there have been renewed protests against the great neighbourly monarchy like those which at one time were expressed in the Skuptschina, as well as in the declaration and actions of the responsible representatives of the state at that time, and which were terminated by the Serbian declaration of March 31st, 1909; furthermore that since that time neither the different corporations of the kingdom, nor the officials have made an attempt to alter the political and judicial condition created in Bosnia and the Heregovina. The Royal Government states that the I. and R. [Imperial and Royal] Government has made no protestation in this sense excepting in the case of a textbook, in regard to which the I. and R. Government has received an entirely satisfactory explanation. Serbia has given during the time of the Balkan crisis in numerous cases evidence of her pacific and moderate policy, and it is only owing to Serbia and the sacrifices which she has brought in the interest of the peace of Europe that this peace has been preserved.

The Royal Government cannot be made responsible for expressions of a private character, as for instance newspaper articles and the peaceable work of societies, expressions which are of very common appearance in other countries, and which ordinarily are not under the control of the state. This, all the less, as the Royal Government has shown great courtesy in the solution of a whole series of questions which have arisen between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, whereby it has succeeded to solve the greater number thereof, in favour of the progress of both countries.

The Royal Government was therefore painfully surprised by the assertions that citizens of Serbia had participated in the preparations of the outrage in Sarajevo. The Government expected to be invited to cooperate in the investigation of the crime, and it was ready, in order to prove its complete correctness, to proceed against all persons in regard to whom it would receive information.

According to the wishes of the I. and R. Government, the Royal Government is prepared to surrender to the court, without regard to position and rank, every Serbian citizen for whose participation in the crime of Sarajevo it should have received proof. It binds itself particularly on the first page of the official organ of the 26th of July to publish the following enunciation:

The Royal Serbian Government condemns every propaganda which should be directed against Austria-Hungary, i.e., the entirety of such activities as aim towards the separation of certain territories from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and it regrets sincerely the lamentable consequences of these criminal machinations....

The Royal Government regrets that according to a communication of the I. and R. Government certain Serbian officers and functionaries have participated in the propaganda just referred to, and that these have there fore endangered the amicable relations for the observation of which the Royal Government had solemnly obliged itself through the declaration of March 31st, 1909....

The Royal Government binds itself further:

1. During the next regular meeting of the Skuptschina to embody in the press laws a clause, to wit, that the incitement to hatred of, and contempt for, the Monarchy is to be most severely punished, as well as every publication whose general tendency is directed against the territorial integrity of Austria-Hungary.

It binds itself in view of the coming revision of the constitution to embody an amendment into Art. 22 of the constitutional law which permits the confiscation of such publications as is at present impossible according to the clear definition of Art. 12 of the constitution.

2. The Government possesses no proofs and the note of the I. and R. Government does not submit them that the society _Narodna_ _Odbrana_ and other similar societies have committed, up to the present, any criminal actions of this manner through any one of their members. Notwithstanding this, the Royal Government will accept the demand of the I. and R. Government and dissolve the society _Narodna_ _Odbrana_, as well as every society which should set against Austria-Hungary.

3. The Royal Serbian Government binds itself without delay to eliminate from the public instruction in Serbia anything which might further the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary provided the I. and R. Government furnishes actual proofs of this propaganda.

4. The Royal Government is also ready to dismiss those officers and officials from the military and civil services in regard to whom it has been proved by judicial investigation that they have been guilty of actions against the territorial integrity of the Monarchy; it expects that the I. and R. Government communicate to it for the purpose of starting the investigation the names of these officers and officials, and the facts with which they have been charged.

5. The Royal Government confesses that it is not clear about the sense and the scope of that demand of the I. and R. Government which concerns the obligation on the part of the Royal Serbian Government to permit the cooperation of officials of the I. and R. Government on Serbian territory, but it declares that it is willing to accept every cooperation which does not run counter to international law and criminal law, as well as to the friendly and neighbourly relations.

6. The Royal Government considers it its duty as a matter of course to begin an investigation against all those persons who have participated in the outrage of June 28th and who are in its territory. As far as the cooperation in this investigation of specially delegated officials of the I. and R. Government is concerned, this cannot be accepted, as this is a violation of the constitution and of criminal procedure. Yet in some cases the result of the investigation might be communicated to the Austro-Hungarian officials.

7. The Royal Government has ordered on the evening of the day on which the note was received the arrest of Major Voislar Tankosic. However, as far as Milan Ciganovitch is concerned, who is a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and who has been employed till June 28th with the Railroad Department, it has as yet been impossible to locate him, wherefore a warrant has been issued against him.

The I. and R. Government is asked to make known, as soon as possible for the purpose of conducting the investigation, the existing grounds for suspicion and the proofs of guilt, obtained in the investigation at Sarajevo.

8. The Serbian Government will amplify and render more severe the existing measures against the suppression of smuggling of arms and explosives.

It is a matter of course that it will proceed at once against, and punish severely, those officials of the frontier service on the line Shabatz-Loznica who violated their duty and who have permitted the perpetrators of the crime to cross the frontier.

9. The Royal Government is ready to give explanations about the expressions which its officials in Serbia and abroad have made in interviews after the outrage and which, according to the assertion of the I. and R. Government, were hostile to the Monarchy. As soon as the I. and R. Government points out in detail where those expressions were made and succeeds in proving that those expressions have actually been made by the functionaries concerned, the Royal Government itself will take care that the necessary evidences and proofs are collected.

10. The Royal Government will notify the I. and R. Government, so far as this has not been already done by the present note, of the execution of the measures in question as soon as one of those measures has been ordered and put into execution.

The Royal Serbian Government believes it to be to the common interest not to rush the solution of this affair and it is therefore, in case the I. and R. Government should not consider itself satisfied with this answer, ready, as ever, to accept a peaceable solution, be it by referring the decision of this question to the International Court at The Hague or by leaving it to the decision of the Great Powers who have participated in the working out of the declaration given by the Serbian Government on March 18/31st, 1909.
Source

glenn239
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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by glenn239 » Thu May 22, 2008 1:53 pm

I'm not sure what your post is aiming for.
If I had to guess, I'd say he's questioning why Great Britain and France
supported Russia when the facts of Sarajevo suggest Paris and London should
have backed Vienna instead.
Under such circumstances, it is my belief that calling it 'ultimatum' is
appropriate.
Agreed to an extent. The "flashpoint" demand was no.6. It was the answer
to this that the Austrian minister went directly to on the 25th of July, and finding rejection, immediately broke relations. If no.6 and perhaps no.7 had been worded
cooperatively, then it cannot be stated with certainty the minister would
have left Belgrade at that point.
Besides assassination of Archduke, Serbian backed terrorists have done
little else to Austria at this point.
Terrorism is not a baseball game. There is no "3 strikes" rule.

Generally, the Austrian note erred in making too many demands up front. The
Austrians could have made only two initially - no. 6 and no. 7, with a
statement included that there would be follow-up issues that would be
addressed when these had been dealt with satisfactorily.
eliminate from public instruction in Serbia, both as regards the teaching
body and the methods of instruction, all that serves or might serve to
foment propaganda against Austria-Hungary;

Basically a request that Vienna will have control over Serbian education
system. And Serbia accepts this? How devious of them.
The Serbian education system promoted propaganda aimed at undermining
Austro-Hungarian sovereignty, and generally created an environment favorable to
separatist and terrorist activity. The Austrian demand did not amount to
"control" of the Serbian education system. Rather, they specified that
Serbia would dismiss officials identified by Austria as radicalizing or
poisoning the atmosphere in Bosnia. The Austrians did not demand the right
of appointment (which would have been required for "control"), nor the right
to dismiss in cases where the official was not linked to agitating
activities. It might be argued that Austria would have exercised this
clause with excessive zeal, but this is speculation.
remove from the military service and the administration in general all
officers guilty of propaganda against Austria-Hungary, names of which
Austria-Hungary reserved the right to provide;

Therefore, Imperial government has the right to dismiss EVERY Serbian
officer it chooses? In a small country such as Serbia, decimating officers
corps would equal termination of it's army as a fighting force. What state
in the world would accept this? Yet Serbia does, with reservations
The "reservations" you speak of negated the original demand, making the
Serbian acceptance meaningless. With respect to the background of the Austrian Point no.4, by the admission of the Serbian government itself its army's officers corps was out of control. The Chief of Intelligence was plotting against the elected
government and conducting terrorist attacks on the soil of neighboring
states. Note that the Serbian army had knowingly appointed to this
important position a ruthless criminal who had led an attack that brutally
murdered the royal couple, then chopped their bodies to pieces. I'm not
certain how its done in Serbia, but suffice it to say that here in Canada if
that little tidbit is on your resume you're not going to get the job.

The direction of the Austrian demand was both straightforward and on solid
foundation; Serbia was either unable or unwilling to police its own army.
Which was the case is irrelevent; Austrian officials were essential in the process of
seeing Serbia maintain its duty to international law and order. As with
demand no.3 above, it may be argued that Austria could have abused a Serbian
concession and gone further than addressing psychopathic criminal elements such as
the Apis crowd. As with no. 3 above, it is rebutted that Serbia could have accepted
these demands unconditionally while Russia, acting as Serbia's guardian,
simultaneously issued a note of its own to Vienna specifying that Austria's
activities in support of no.3 and no.4 must not exceed the stated
objectives.

accept the collaboration in Serbia of organs of the Austro-Hungarian
government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against
the territorial integrity of the monarchy;

Austria demands Serbia to allow security forces of a foreign power to
operate on it's territory, against such a vaguely defined threat. Yet Serbia
accepts this?
Serbia did not accept this demand, as the reservation of "good neighborly
relations"
can not be defined and therefore constituted an open-ended method
to reject any practical methods of cooperation. That the term was inserted
for the purpose of evasion is confirmed by the fact that in the original
Serbian draft reply, "good neighborly relations" was originally assigned as
the method to dodging point no. 6. After Russian support was sent to Belgrade,
this answer was shifted from no.6 to no.5, with no. 6 being rejected outright
instead.

Also note the Austrian demand was clarified within days as meaning the
establishment a bureau analogous in composition and operating method to that
of the identical Russian one in Paris. Since it would be inaccurate
to suggest that France and Russia were trampling on one another's
sovereignty, so too it is questionable to suppose that Austrian demand no.5
would have done so.
begin a judicial inquiry against the accessories to the plot of June 28th
who are on Serbian territory, with organs delegated by the Austro-Hungarian
government participating in the investigation;

Beyond just allowing Austrian police into Serbia (as stated in article 5.),
Vienna now demands that this police be allowed to operate without
restrictions on a territory of a sovereign state? Would Austria EVER accept
Serbian police to operate on it's territory, having the right to arrest it's
citizens?
The Austrian demand was to participate in the investigation and the
collection of evidence. This cannot be construed as giving the Austrian
police the right to make arrests on Serbian soil - that condition was not specified.
The Austrian rebuttal to the Serbian reply stated both that the Serbian
government, perhaps deliberately, misconstrued a clearly worded demand and
that in 1914 there were "numberless" legal precedents whereby police forces
cooperated in such joint investigations.
Austrian refusal to even debate any of these issues, despite the fact that
Kaiser Wilhelm II saw the reply as:

"A brilliant solution--and in barely 48 hours! This is more than could have
been expected. A great moral victory for Vienna; but with it every pretext
for war falls to the ground, and [the Ambassador] Giesl had better have
stayed quietly at Belgrade. On this document, I should never have given
orders for mobilisation.
You neglected to include the part where the Kaiser also goes on to state that the
Austrians must take Belgrade to make certain that the Serbs (whose
reputation for honesty proceeded them) cooperated fully in carrying out the
demands satisfactorily.
means that it was not interested in Serbian reply to begin with, and coined
the 'demarche' in such a way that it could not be accepted.
There is plenty of evidence that Vienna hoped the note would not be
accepted. There is also evidence that Serbia would not have accepted it, given
that no. 6 had already been presented to Serbia as a friendly suggestion at the end of
June, and was violently rejected at that time both in Belgrade and St.
Petersburg. Berchtold stated on or about the 19th of July that Serbia could have accepted the demands. That is, that the note as presented was not quite as definitive as you'd have one believe. As the original poster indicated, that Serbia did, in the original draft reply, accept all but one point without condition.

Question - if the note "couldn't" be accepted, then why did the original
Serbian draft answer accept 9 out of 10 demands without condition?
Actual texts so one can judge whether Serbia's response was unreasonable.
The Austrian rebuttal to the Serbian reply is necessary to judge just how accommodating was the Serbian reply. It is not yet posted here.

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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by sid guttridge » Fri May 23, 2008 10:30 pm

Hi IB,

Whether it was a demarche or an ultimatum rather depends on what the consequence of failure to comply were to be.

As it resulted in Austro-Hungarian mobilisation, even though Serbia agreed to most of the demands, and the outbreak of war, it looks rather like an ultimatum. What is more, it looks rather like an ultimatum that the deliverer was intent should lead to war - albeit not on the scale of the one that resulted.

It seems that a small group of senior members of the Austrian foreign ministry, backed by a similarly small group of their German equivalents, were responsible for the prusuit of a military rather than diplomatic solution. The German Kaiser, when he got back from holiday, certainly thought Serbia had offered enough, but he was frustrated by his own foreign ministry from asserting this in time.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by glenn239 » Sat May 24, 2008 5:39 am

As it resulted in Austro-Hungarian mobilisation, even though Serbia agreed to most of the demands
Agreeing to 3 out of 10 is not 'most' of the demands.

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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by sid guttridge » Sat May 24, 2008 12:22 pm

Hi Glenn,

Indeed that is true.

However, looking at the list put up above, Serbia was much more compliant than only agreeing 3 out of 10 demands.

Read them again and see how many of the ten Austro-Hungarian demands the Serbs rejected.

Certainly the German Kaiser thought their compliance rate sufficient to avert war. The problem was that small groups in both the Austro-Hungarian and German foreign ministries seem to have been intent on war and were not to be deflected.

Cheer,

Sid.

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Re: How Harsh was Austria's "Ultimatum" to Serbia ?

Post by glenn239 » Thu May 29, 2008 9:45 am

However, looking at the list put up above, Serbia was much more compliant than only agreeing 3 out of 10 demands. Read them again and see how many of the ten Austro-Hungarian demands the Serbs rejected.
7 out of 10 were rejected or evaded, as I stated.

No.1-3 were smaller potatoes whereby the Serb reservations and Austrian objections aren’t too interesting one way or the other. No. 4 was accepted under conditions that were alien to the original demand, and therefore it was rejected. No. 5 was rejected because “good neighborly relations” is a term that cannot be defined (it would be whatever Serbia wanted it to be). No. 6 was rejected by way of the Serbs deliberately mis-stating the Austrian demand and then rejecting a demand the Austrians had not made. No. 7 was rejected since the party that was declared “not to exist” in fact had been assisted in his flight from Belgrade at the end of June 1914 by the chief of police himself. No. 8 was accepted and No. 9 and no. 10 were also “small potatoes”.
Certainly the German Kaiser thought their compliance rate sufficient to avert war.
No, the German Kaiser thought that the Serbian response was close enough to the original demands that Serbia could be forced into unconditional compliance by way of diplomacy backed by the military occupation of Belgrade by the Austrian army. That position was a far cry from the snippet the other poster quoted earlier and what you are suggesting here.
The problem was that small groups in both the Austro-Hungarian and German foreign ministries seem to have been intent on war and were not to be deflected.
The problem was that the Chief of Intelligence of the Serbian general staff orchestrated a terrorist attack inside the Austrian empire that killed the no.2 man in the Hapsburg government. Under the rules of 1914 (and even to this today), such an act constituted a valid casus belli. As anyone who is alive on this planet can tell you, the thing most likely to lead to a fight between people or groups is when a serious matter has occurred, and all parties are convinced that they are in the right; the Germans and Austrian would not yield for precisely that reason.

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