World War One Diary for Friday, July 24, 1914:
Prince Alexander of Serbia cables Tsar for help. Russian and Serb Councils of Ministers meet. Latter receive Sazonov telegram pledging aid, but Tsar must decide and France must be consulted.
Council of Ministers decides in principle to mobilize 13 army corps that are ‘eventually’ destined to operate against Austria.
British Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey calls Austrian ultimatum ‘the most formidable document that was ever addressed from one state to another’. He proposes Four-Power mediation with Britain, Germany, France and Italy.
Irish Home Rule Conference failure announced.
Asquith writes on European crisis ‘We are within measurable . . . distance of real Armageddon. Happily there seems no reason why we should be more than spectators’.
German note to Britain and France approves Austrian ultimatum, but she urges Austria to declare war on and attack Serbia at once in reply unsatisfactory and not wait for 16-day mobilization.
Kaiser Wilhelm II sees’ ultimatum in Norwegian newspaper and orders Fleet home.
The government says it will uphold neutrality ‘whatever the consequences’.