Count Alexander Hoyos is personal secretary to the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister. Now Berchtold sends him on an overnight train to Berlin on a mission of supreme importance. Hoyos is to bring Tisza’s plan for a Balkan diplomatic initiative to Berlin, but with this is Berchtold’s postscript, proposing that the time has arrived for a reckoning with Serbia, together with a letter from Emperor Franz Josef proposing an alliance with Bulgaria.
Hoyos also has verbal instructions from Berchtold to Ladislaus Szögyény, Austria-Hungary’s ambassador to Germany. The ambassador is to make every effort to secure German backing for an ultimatum to Serbia.