13/7/1914 Vienna: dossiers and plans

Dr Friedrich Wiesner is the chief legal counsel of the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry. He has prepared a legal dossier on the Franz Ferdinand killing. Today he files his initial report. No direct link can be discerned between the assassins and the Serbian government. However, there are clear links to lower level officials, who trained and armed the conspirators and then assisted in transporting them to Sarajevo. This is enough for the Austro-Hungarian war party.

Berchtold meets with Tisza, hoping to finally win the Hungarian prime minister over to war. Berchtold hopes to send an ultimatum to Serbia on the 15th. At this point, President Raymond Poincaré will be at sea, heading to Russia on a state visit, so he will be incommunicado and unable to direct policy. Tisza forces Berchtold to delay sending the ultimatum until after a full ministerial council on the 19th of July. But if an ultimatum is sent on the 19th, then Poincaré would be in St. Petersburg with the Tsar, allowing them to coordinate a response. Berchtold decides to delay sending the ultimatum until the 25th of July.

Berchtold also meets with Tschirschky, the German ambassador, for general discussions on the planned ultimatum to Serbia. With him is Heinrich von Lützow, a retired Austro-Hungarian foreign office official Berchtold holds in great respect. Lützow is shocked at the planned war against Serbia. He thinks it impossible that such a war can be localised. Berchtold ignores his objections.

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