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On July 9, 1914 Austria-Hungary Foreign Minister Leopold  Berchtold advised Emperor Franz Joseph that he would present Belgrade, [Serbia] with an ultimatum containing demands that were designed to be rejected. This would ensure a war without the “odium of attacking Serbia without warning, put her in the wrong”, and ensure that Britain and Romania would remain neutral.


A few days earlier, on July 7, following  his return to Vienna as chef de cabinet  Count Alexander Hoyos reported to Austro-Hungarian Crown Council that Austria had Germany’s full support even if “measures against Serbia should bring about a big war”.  At the Crown Council, Berchtold strongly urged that a war against Serbia be begun as soon as possible.

At that meeting of the Crown Council, all involved were in full favour of war except Count Tisza.  Count Tisza warned that any attack on Serbia “would, as far as can humanly be foreseen, lead to an intervention by Russia and hence a world war”.  The rest of the participants debated about whether Austria should just launch an unprovoked attack or issue an ultimatum to Serbia with demands so stringent that it was bound to be rejected.  The Austrian Prime Minister Count Karl von Stürgkh warned Tisza that if Austria did not launch a war, its “policy of hesitation and weakness” would cause Germany to abandon Austria-Hungary as an ally. All present except Tisza finally agreed that Austria-Hungary should present an ultimatum designed to be rejected.

All from Wikipedia