Old News – World War I Begins

Major news from the past. After a month of negotiations had broken down, on July 28th 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Russia mobilized on the 30th. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1st. Here some reports from the first couple of days when everyone thought that it might be possible to keep the war within just a couple of countries.


Thursday, July 30, 1914


holman-ad-1914-07Moment Austria Crosses Servian Frontier Russia Will Fight.

Well Informed Corespondent States That Russia Took Preliminary Mobilization Steps the Moment Council of Ministers Decided That Servia’s Sovereignty Must Be Protected–German War Office Shows Great Activity.

London, July 29.–The St. Petersburg correspondent of the Morning Post says he is in a position to state positively that the moment the Austrians cross the Servian frontier, Russian mobilization orders will be published and Russia will take the field with all the consequences involved in such action.


Quietly Preparing to Meet Any Emergency That May Occur in Coming Conflict.

London, July 29.–Austria’s forma; declaration of war against Servia cannot be said to have disappointed expectations, although it shattered some over sanguine hopes.

Nothing has yet reached London as to actual operations. Rumors of the occupation of Belgrade and the invasion of Servia via Mitrovitza are not confirmed, but official confirmation has been received of the seizure of Servian ships on the Danube.

As regards the general international situation it may be said that while it is still necessarily extremely grave it can be said that hope of restricting the quarrel to Austria and Servia has not yet been lost.

Germany’s and Austria’s courteous rejection of Sir Edward Grey’s efforts to prevent an international struggle has banished the idea of an ambassadorial conference, but this has been superseded by direct negotiations at St. Petersburg between Russia and Austria.

These negotiations according to Russian dispatches are going on with such smoothness that well informed circles in London last night hoped that it might be possible to prevent the trouble overstepping its present limits.

It is reiterated in London that Austria has made it clear that she does not aim at territorial conquests in the Balkans and this is regarded as good ground on which to build the hope that Russia will refrain from military interference.

Great Britain, while abstaining from anything which would be provocative of alarm on the part of Austria and her friends, is quietly making preparations for any contingency that may bring her within the scope of the continental troubles. There is great activity at the war office and the admiralty.


Reservists of Both Austria and Servia in this country Preparing to Return.

New York, July 29.–The announcement that Austria had declared war upon Servia gave impetus to the activities that for the last three days have kept the members of the two consulates in this city working early and late transacting official business and keeping their respective countrymen informed as to the situation and as to what is expected of them in the event of a call to arms.

Acting under instructions from the war office in Vienna, the Austria consul general made preparations to transport the several thousand reservists in this who are expected to answer the call to the colors within the next two weeks. More than a score of officers, who have been called back by cable, are expected to sail before the end of the week.

No instructions came to the Servian consul and he was kept busy informing inquirers not to get excited until events have worked themselves out to some extent.

Professor Michael I. Pupin of Columbia university, who is the acknowledged leader of the 100,000 Serbs in this country, motored to town from his summer home in Connecticut and immediately entered into conference with Paul M. Paviovitch, who is in charge of the Servian consulate. It is understood that Professor Pupin has already sent hundreds of telegrams to his countrymen asking them for funds to equip and maintain additional troops.