World War One Diary for Friday, July 31, 1914:
GERMANY DECLARES IMMINENT DANGER OF WAR ALERT AT MIDNIGHT, ISSUES ULTIMATUMS TO RUSSIA AND FRANCE. Russia is told that it must cease all war preparations by noon on August 1, and the French government is requested to explain its political position on any conflict between Germany and Russia within 18 hours. Kaiser says ‘Frivolity and weakness are going to plunge the world into the most frightful war’ and cables the Tsar a third time but gets evasive reply. He also invites King Constantine of Greece to join the war.
General Helmuth von Moltke, chief of the General Staff, informs his Austro-Hungarian counterpart, General Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, that Germany will mobilize its forces.
German cruiser ‘Königsberg’ leaves Dares-Salaam in East Africa to raid Allied commerce when war begins. She is shadowed by 3 Royal Navy cruisers but escapes.
The ‘Reichsbank’ discontinues redemption of notes in gold.
Kaiser attends 5th and youngest son Oscar’s morganatic wedding.
Socialist leader Jaures shot and murdered in Paris Cafe by royalist-instigated student.
In Morocco General Lyautey cables Paris from Rabat he will send 20 battalions and 24 guns at once but hold interior garrisons. The battalions assemble at Bordeaux, which will later fighting on the Marne. However, in fact he sends 37 battalions with 40,000 men and keeping 26 battalions plus 16 territorial battalions arriving from France by August 21.
Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey does utmost to seek German help in setting Austro-Serb dispute, asks France and Germany if they will respect Belgian neutrality. France replies ‘Certainly’, Germany refuses to answer.
Stock Exchange closed in financial crisis.
Churchill sends Prime Minister Asquith Royal Navy reports on seizing bases in Frisian Islands and Baltic Approaches. Asquith agrees on War Office joining in.
British Gold Coast mobilization complete.
Belgian mobilization ordered for August 1.
New York Stock Exchange closes for first time since 1873, reopens December 12, 1914.
Turkey orders mobilization for August 3 for all men from age of 20 to 45.
The Russian fleet begins with mine laying in Gulf of Finland (Baltic).
HOME FRONT: AUSTRIA
Army given control of Bukovina, Galicia and other areas outside Hungary.