8/7/1914 Austria-Hungary must wait

The Germans want immediate action against Serbia. In Berlin, deputy foreign minister Zimmermann says as much to the Austro-Hungarian ambassador. In Vienna, the German ambassdor repeats the point to Berchtold.

But Austria-Hungary is constrained by the Hungarian prime minister’s opposition to the launching of a surprise attack. Also, 7 of the Austro-Hungarian army’s 16 army corps are on leave for the summer, so that they can work on the harvest. The army will not be back to full strength until the 25th of July.

Berchtold and Conrad decide to delay sending an ultimatum until the 22nd or shortly thereafter. The ultimatum will have a short time limit, to prevent Serbia mobilising its army.

The army chief of staff goes on leave, to give the impression that nothing untoward is being planned.

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