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The Great War On This Day

From The Great War 1914-1918

A daily listing of Great War movements, actions, events and political involvements that took place on this day between 1914–1918. This page refreshes every day. To find out more about this project and the various sources used to compile it, see About the Great War 'on this day'.

Great War events on this day, 23 July


Events preceding British Declaration of War

  • Presentation of Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia at Belgrade at 6 p.m., demanding answer within 48 hours.[1] Publication in Vienna shortly afterwards. Bethmann-Hollweg writes circular to German Ambassadors saying "action and demands of Austria-Hungary fully justified".[2]
  • German officers' leave stopped.



Lord Edward Gleichen (1918–1920). Chronology of the War. Volumes I, II & III. Constable & Company, London. (Copyright expired)

  1. Austrian Note demanded formal declaration from Serbian Government condemning anti-Austrian propaganda and promising rigorous punishment of all officials and officers participating in it; the suppression of all societies and propaganda directed again Austria-Hungary and the elimination of all teachers and methods of education tending to produce anti-Austrian feeling; the dismissal of all officers and officials reported to be connected with such propaganda, evidence to be furnished by Austria; Austrian representatives to assist Serbia in repressing the anti-Austrian movement and to take part in the judicial proceedings (on Serbian territory) against all persons connected with the Sarajevo tragedy. The Serbian reply to be made by 6 o'clock on July 25.
  2. Moment of presentation well-chosen: following absent from their posts: Serbian Prime Minister (Pashich), Kaiser (Norway), Franz Josef (Ischl), Poincare and Viviani (Russia), Shebeko (Russian Ambassador in Vienna), Goschen (British Ambassador in Berlin)
  3. The Note, in acknowledging the German Note, dated 8 July, rejects its proposal that certain designated vessels should be immune from attack. It reiterates the immutable principle of the right of neutrals to go unharmed, and intimates that any act in contravention of these rights will be regarded as deliberately unfriendly.
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