From the Monitor archives: Austria declares war against Serbia

One hundred years ago, the Austro-Hungarian Empire officially declared war against Serbia in response to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28. It was the first declaration of hostilities in World War I.

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    Members of a tradition regiment in historical uniforms stand in front of the castle where Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie found their last home in Artstetten, Austria, in late June. Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The assassination triggered the outbreak of World War I.
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This article originally ran in The Christian Science Monitor on July 29, 1914. Please note that the article uses several outdated spellings, including the term "Servian" to describe Serbs, as was the English norm at the time.

Austria declares war against Servia; effort now for localization

Pan-Slav Feeling in Russia Called Important Factor in Future Events – Servians Hope for Assistance from Bosnia-Herzegovina

ARMY OF DEFENSE MOBILIZING

Special Cable to the Monitor from its European Bureau

LONDON – Although Austria has now declared herself in a state of war with Servia and the necessary precautions are being taken by all the European powers concerned, it by no means follows that efforts to localize the conflict will not be successful.

Recommended: Think you know Europe? Take our geography quiz.

Russia, it would appear, will consider it necessary to intervene in the event of Austria seizing Servian territory. Much, of course, depends upon the interpreta­tion of this phrase.

Meanwhile the Pan-Slav feeling in Russia constitutes a factor of no small importance in the present situation and there is no question that in the event of Servia being badly worsted by Austria, popular enthusiasm in Russia in favor of the Slavs may attain such proportions as to force the hands of the Russian government.

From information supplied to a Monitor representative by the Servian legation this morning it is evident the Servian government has decided to fight the matter out with Austria, hoping that Bosnia-Herzegovina will rise in favor of Servia and so afford valuable assistance.

The mobilization order issued in Servia will, the minister declared, produce a force of 500,000 men, none of whom will, however, be left in Belgrade, which is not to be defended, the court and gov­ernment having already removed, as previously cabled.

Meanwhile the rumors and reports cir­culated are frequently most inaccurate, such as the report that a bridge across the Danube to Belgrade had been blown up. No such bridge exists, the only bridge anywhere near being the one across the river Save, some distance west of Belgrade.

Meanwhile France and Italy have agreed to the terms put forward by Sir Edward Grey for an ambassadorial meet­ing in London, but Germany has not given her complete assent to the pro­posal with the result that no further steps in this direction can be taken at present since the sincere cooperation of the four powers is essential.

Every precaution is being taken by the British naval authorities, active preparations being made for everything to be in readiness for any service they may be required to perform.

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