The Outbreak of War - Summer 1914

Although a European War had often seemed likely in the decades before 1914, there were many who believed that it was unthinkable among modern civilized nations. The slide to war from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June to the British intervention on 4 August is a well-known tale. These documents outlining the private views of the Prime Minister and the Colonial Secretary in the week before the British declaration of war reveal that British intervention was by no means inevitable. Many in the Liberal government assumed that there was no reason to intervene directly in the 'Austro-Servian War'.

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