Thursday, August 14, 2014

Text of George V's message to Nicholas released today

August 14, 1914

The text of King George V's message to Nicholas II, which was sent on August 1, was released today:

I cannot help thinking that some misunderstanding has produced this deadlock.
I am most anxious not to miss any possibility of avoiding the terrible calamity which
at present threatens the whole world. I therefore make a personal appeal to you
to remove the misapprehension which I feel must have occurred, and to leave still
open grounds for negotiation and possible peace.

"If you think that I can in any way contribute to this all-important purpose, I will do everything .in my power to assist in reopening the interrupted conversations between the Powers concerned. I feel confident that you are as anxious as I am that all that is possible should be done to secure the peace of the world."

"I would gladly have accepted your proposals had not the German ambassador this afternoon presented a note to my government declaring war. Ever since presentation of the ultimatum at Belgrade, Russia has devoted all her efforts to finding some pacific solution of the question raised by Austria 's action. Object of that action was to crush Serbia and make her a vassal of Austria. Effect of this would have been to upset balance of power in Balkans, which is of such vital interest to my Empire.

"Every proposal, including that of your Government, which rejected by Germany and Austria, and it was only when the favorable moment for bringing pressure to bear on Austria had passed that Germany showed any disposition to mediate. Even then she did not put forward any precise proposal.  Austria's declaration of war on Serbia forced me to order a partial mobilization, though, in view of the threatening situation, my military advisers strongly advices a general mobilization owning to the quickness which Germany can mobilize in comparison with Russia.

"I was eventually compelled to take this course in consequence of complete Austrian mobilization of the bombardment of Belgrade, of concentration  of Austrian troops in Galicia, and of the secret military preparations being made in Germany.  That I was justified in doing so is proved by Germany's sudden declaration of war, which was quite unexpected of me, as I had given most categorical assurances to the Emperor William that my troops would not move so long as mediation negotiations continued,.

"In this solemn hour I wish to assure you once more that I have done all in my power to avert war. Now that it has been forced on me, I trust your country will not fail to support France and Russia.  God Bless and protect you."

It appears that Nicholas would have accepted Britain's proposals, but they came after Germany declared war.

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