Revision Diary

Slide to War June-August 1914


Events leading to the outbreak of war.


Make sure you have detailed factual knowledge about AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT the following issues and topics:



1.  A description of the slide to war, 1914.



      Note that you may need to use your knowledge of the events leading to the outbreak of war for two questions.   Firstly - as here - simply if you are asked to describe the events leading to war.   But secondly as part of an argument that the slide to war was a consequence of the Sarajevo assassination.



The Slide to War, 1914


1.   Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

2.   The Austrians went to Germany for help - Kaiser Wilhelm promised to support them, whatever they did (the so-called 'blank cheque').

3.   The Austrians sent Serbia a ten-point ultimatum.   The Serbians accepted every point but point 6.   Austria invaded Serbia anyway.

4.   Russia mobilised its army to support Serbia; but this involved mobilising troops against Germany as well as Austria-Hungary.

5.   The Germans were scared by Russia's mobilisation - according to the Schlieffen Plan they had to fight France before Russia.   So they invented an excuse and declared war on France anyway.

6.   Because the German army went through Belgium, Britain entered the war.




1.   The Austrian ultimatum was so harsh that they expected Serbia to reject it.   By accepting every point but point 6, the Serbians turned the tables on Austria.

2.   Germany's Schlieffen Plan was based on the idea that Germany had 6 weeks to defeat France whilst Russia was still getting ready for war - now Russia was getting ready before Germany was at war with France!

3.   Britain went to war to protect Belgium because the the Treaty of Westminster, 1839.   'You would go to war because of a scrap of paper', asked the amazed Germans.





Revision Focus

This is a Paper 1 topic, so concentrate on learning:

1.   WHAT happened

2.   EFFECTS/ Importance



e-book on events leading to the outbreak of WWI.



   How did international relations deteriorate?