One hundred and two years ago today, in response to an act of terrorism, Austria-Hungary lit the fuse that set-off the powder keg of political tension and saber-rattling in Europe. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and within a fortnight most of the European continent was at war.
This article from Frank Leslie’s Weekly highlights the leaders involved in the “greatest war in history.” The article outlines the chronology of the beginning of the war.
Foreign correspondents working for Frank Leslie’s Weekly were embedded in each belligerent nation’s capital, with the armies in camp, and in the front line trenches of both sides. Their news reports provided an unprecedented look at total war in words and photography. The American public snapped-up copies of Leslie’s Weekly’s reporting on the progress of the war, the divisive issue of America’s neutrality, and the economic consequences of the war.
The Men Who Made Europe’s Great War
All Europe was convulsed by the peremptory demands made by the Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria-Hungary on Servia as a result of the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. It was generally assumed that Germany was behind Austria. Servia, determining that it was not consistent with her honor to meet Austria’s demands, gave an unsatisfactory reply and looked to Russia to defend her.
The Czar accepted the implied challenge of Austria and Germany, and the efforts of Great Britain and France to avert war were unsuccessful. The responsibility may justly be placed upon the three war lords of Europe, the only Emperors in the civilized world whose power approaches that of absolute monarchs. Austria declared war against Servia on July 28th.
On August 1st, Germany declared war on Russia, alleging the mobilization of Russian troops on the German frontier. Immediately Germany marched through neutral states upon France, Russia’s ally, with three armies.