July 23 to 31, 1914: Mobilization Begins
July1914 was definitely the month that changed the world. On July 23rd Austria sent an impossible ultimatum to Serbia and the response, although seen to many as reasonable, was flatly refused by the Austrian government. Therefore, pleased with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany's assurances for support, Austria declared war on Serbia prompting Russian, Serbia's ally, to mobilize.
During the next week Europe was awash with diplomatic cables as most of the governments tried to stop the oncoming conflict. Britain, who's King George was a first cousin to Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm, made several pleas to the appropriate German officials to hold back Austria from attacking Serbia.
T\On July 29th the "Third Cousin," Czar Nicholas of Russia, ordered full mobilization of the Russian army. However, almost immediately he changed the command in favour of a "partial" mobilization. However, the Austrians detected mobilization in the three districs bordered they shared with Russia and the Balkan states. Appealing to their famiy ties both Wilhelm and Nicholas sent many cordial cables urging the other to rein in their respective armies.
However, the art of "reverse-mobilization" was completely foreign to their respective general staffs. So with flags waving and bands playing the whole continent of Europe began arming to an extent that the world had never seen before. And in less than a month all the commanders of the armies on both sides would realize that war was not just pins on a map. The age of mechanized slaughter was about to begin.