July 30, 1914
In what many see as a "last extreme move on behalf of peace" Kaiser Wilhelm II's government "launched a peremptory demand" on Russia to explain the "menacing mobilization" on the German and Austrian borders, reports the New York Times.
There is little hope that Germany's demands will be met. Germany has not stated that it will "declare war" if Russia does not cancel its "military preparations." There is only a threat to retaliate with a "counter demonstration," but this would be seen as "tantamount to war."
This "momentous decision" was made late last night at the New Palace in Potsdam, at a council of war, led by Wilhelm II as the Supreme War Lord. His brother, Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia, just returned from England, was also present, as was Crown Prince Wilhelm, who "in accordance with Prussian traditions, will lead one of the German Armies."
The Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, who is the brother of Empress Alexandra, consort of Nicholas II, is in St. Petersburg. He was sent to Russia by the Kaiser in a "last endeavor to arrange for peace."