28/7/1914 Russian preparations for war continue

Russia’s military preparations continue and are now so advanced that they cannot be hidden from foreign diplomats. The German consul in Odessa reports that reserves are now being called up. His counterpart in Warsaw reports that troop trains are moving out in all directions, including towards the German border.

Sazonov assures the British ambassador that Russia will only commence mobilisation when Austro-Hungarian forces cross into Serbia. Yet he sends a secret despatch to his ambassadors abroad, revealing to them that a partial mobilisation is already in train.

Reports are reaching Russia now that Austria-Hungary is mobilising too many forces to be planning just for a war with Serbia. In the evening, Sazonov meets with the Tsar and persuades him to agree to the preparation of two decrees, one for partial and one for general mobilisation. The Tsar may think that preparation of a decree is not the same as its issuing, but army chief of staff Yanushkevitch nevertheless wires district commanders to inform them that mobilisation will begin on the 30th.

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