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Ultimatum to Serbia and declaration of war

記事ID:0001819 更新日:2020年11月30日更新 印刷ページ表示 大きな文字で印刷ページ表示 <外部リンク>

Ultimatum

The Austro-Hungarian government reacted to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand as a grave provocation. Suspecting that the Serbian government was also involved, there were concerns that the activities of Serbian nationalists threatened the South Slavic area in Austria-Hungary. When the Austro-Hungarian government received a commitment of backing from Germany, they announced to the international community that Serbia was responsible for the assassination and issued an ultimatum to the Serbian government on July 23, 1914. The Austro-Hungarian government noted the lead-up to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and how the Serbian government responded to the situation, and denounced Serbia for its nonfeasance. The ultimatum placed the following ten demands on the Serbian government.

  1. To forbid all publications that incite hatred and contempt of Austria-Hungary and threaten the territorial integrity of the monarchy;
  2. To immediaTely dissolve the Narodna Odbrana, a Serbian nationalist organization, and confiscate all its means of propaganda, and to take the same measures against other groups and organizations in Serbia implicated in propaganda against Austria-Hungary;
  3. To immediaTely eliminate from Serbian public education everything, including teachers and teaching materials, that feed the propaganda against Austria-Hungary;
  4. To agree to the cooperation among Austro-Hungarian government organizations in Serbia to suppress subversive movements that threaten the territorial integrity of Austria-Hungary;
  5. To remove all officers and officials from the military and administrative service in general who are implicated in the propaganda against Austria-Hungary and whose names will be published by Austria-Hungary at its discretion, and to agree to the cooperation among Austro-Hungarian government organizations in Serbia to suppress subversive movements that threaten the territorial integrity of Austria-Hungary;
  6. To commence a judicial inquest against all those found on Serbian territory suspected of being involved in the June 28 assassination plot, and to accept officials delegated by the Austro-Hungarian government to take part in the inquest proceedings;
  7. To immediaTely arrest Major Voislav Tankosic and a Serbian official purported to be Milan Ciganovitch, who are suspected of being involved in the assassination as a result of investigations;
  8. To take effective measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons and explosives by Serbian authorities;
  9. To provide an explanation about unpardonable remarks made by Serbian officials both inside and outside the country. Despite their official standing, they did not hesitate to make hostile remarks against Austria-Hungary after the assassination on June 28;
  10. To inform the Austro-Hungarian government without delay of the execution of measures with a focus on the aforementioned points.

image:Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia
Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia[PDFファイル/148KB](provided by the Austrian Embassy)

 

The Serbian government accepted many of these demands, but rejected the involvement of Austro-Hungarian government officials in the inquest against those involved in the assassination at Sarajevo, claiming it was a grave violation of Serbian sovereignty.

Declaration of war

Dissatisfied with the response from Serbia, the Austro-Hungarian government summoned Baron Wladimir Giesl, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, to the home country and cut diplomatic relations with Serbia on July 25, 1914. On July 27, Leopold Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, sent a draft declaration of war and a letter requesting its sanction to Emperor Franz Joseph I.

The Serbian government’s answer that reached Baron Giesl on July 25 was well written and expressed a formal concession, but it had already been judged that the parties to the Triple Entente could not resolve the dispute peacefully without clarifying their stance on declaring war on Serbia.

In addition, according to a report from the Fourth Military Command, in response to the shelling from the Serbian force’s Danube river steamships against the Austro-Hungarian force at Temeskubin on the previous day, the Austro-Hungarian force fought back, which led to a larger battle. This shows a virtual opening of hostilities. Therefore, it seemed rational to grant the military the freedom of action that is permitted only in wartime in terms of international law.

image:A written declaration of war
A written declaration of war (based on a draft) [PDFファイル/87KB] (provided by the Austrian Embassy)

 

In his letter, Berchtold noted that the opening of hostilities was an inevitable conclusion and that a battle had already been fought at Temeskubin (what is now Kovin, Serbia). But because it had been revealed that the battle at Temeskubin was falsely reported before a written declaration of war was issued, the descriptions mentioning this were deleted from the written declaration of war that was issued to Serbia. Emperor Franz Joseph, who was not notified of this modification, signed the written declaration of war against Serbia on July 28 at Bad Ischl.

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