You stated that the Russia was ordered to demobilize while Austria would continue to mobilize in Galicia. That is patent nonsense.
It really is patent nonsense. I never once mentioned Galicia, that is a figment of your own overly fertile imagination.
Berchtold stated on 31 July that if Russia demobilized, Austria would as a matter of course call off her preparations as well.
So on the day Germany has sent Russia and ultimatum, Austria says that she will only mobilize two of her three armies and continue her war with Serbia whilst Russia must abandon her military preparations. One of the two armies still able to mobilize by this 'offer' is the one destined to deploy to Galicia if Austria elects for war against Russia, which would allow Austria a significant advantage if war arose - as indeed it would with Austria persisting in war against Serbia.
The Germans had not yet mobilized when their ultimatum was sent.
She had however taken significant military measures short of mobilization, and was expected to mobilize far faster than Russia if war did come.
So your point has no merit.
It obviously does as your skirting around the matter illustrates.
There was no overall increase in war readiness because the class called up would not be ready for battle for another year
There were 400,000 more men under arms at this point in the Balkan Crisis, in what the German military called a secret mobilization.
nor was there any ‘mobilization’ of Russia forces, which by definition is the public calling up of reserve classes and their transportation to concentration zones on the borders facing the targeted Power.
As of the moment Germany declared war, Russia had not added an extra 400,000 men to her army as she had in the previous crisis, so stood worse than she had previously when Germany did not opt for war. Transportation of troops called up had also not taken place because the first day of mobilization had not been reached.
Hence the term 'secret' and 'mobilization' in 1914 were mutually exclusive.
The notion that Germany was forced to declare war when she did is obviously incorrect, as posting red pieces of paper around Russia cities telling people to do something in 4 days time did not affect Germany until that time, and after declaring war on Russia, and thus cutting off all negotiations, Germany did nothing in the east from many days and nothing in the west that required a declaration of war for several days too.
We know the Entente thought the order of mobilization was key for determining responsibility for the war because the Entente themselves went to great lenghts to falsify the matter. They wouldn't have done this if they didn't feel the German argument about mobilization order had merit?
That is incorrect. All it shows is that the Germans cited this as the reason. They did not make it public that the policy that had led to this situation had been predicted to provoke Russia to mobilize from the outset. Provoking a nation and then crying foul when they react is cynical manipulation intended to hide the real responsibility.
The expansion of Serbian territory between 1912 and 1914 through force is a historical fact, as are the designs Serbia had on Bosnia.
As are the Austrian designs on Serbian territory to hand out to other states as rewards for neutrality or bribes to form a new Balkan League under Austrian patronage.
So in February or January 1914 when the Tzar and Pasic were coolly discussing the transfer of 500,000 rifles to Serbia in order to forment civil war inside Austria-Hungary, this was part of that “special” relationship?
It didnt happen though. Should we cite the very numerous Austrian discussions over war with Serbia from 1912-1914, often for no better reason than Serbia existed as a state, as proof Austria was not a 'good neighbour' to Serbia?
a potential or perceived loss of prestige or a threatend political agenda are not legittimate causes for a call to arms.
Yet these very reasons are those cited by Austria as the reason she had to go to war with Serbia in 1914.
Just because the Russians were in a strong position to push their agenda and back their threat with war in no way makes them right or the Austrians wrong for not backing away.
So by this reasoning the US is responsible for Pearl Harbor, a rather unusual standpoint indeed. Austria picked a fight knowing it would spread to involve all of Europe, therefor Austria must take responsibility for these actions, as must Germany for supporting such a dangerous policy. This does not relieve Russia of her responsibility for the part she played in events, but you may well be unaware of the agenda Peterhof follows. He maintains Austria and Germany have no responsibility whatsoever for the war, which is not only unsupportable when all the evidence is viewed, but so counter-factual as to constitute Alternate-History.
The Russians were wrong and attempting to succeed through intimidation.
The problem with this is that the policy of Bethmann during the July Crisis was to force Russia to back away by the threat of force in the hope France would not support he over a Balkan crisis and the result would be to split Russia from the Entente. So both sides were trying to intimidate each other in a gigantic game of brinksmanship, hoping the other side would do something anathema to themselves. Nobody blinked, as was rather predictable - in the words of Franz-Joseph on seeing the Note to be sent to Serbia, 'Russia will never accept this. There will be a really big war!' He was correct.
Why were the Russians involved in the Balkans???
The same reason the Germans were involved in the Balkans.
Why were they backing a small rogue state that they did not share a border with?
This is the same 'rogue' state that had been an Austrian ally/client state less than a decade earlier, and that Germany sought as an ally and the keystone around which she intended to build a Balkan League in 1914? German foreign policy in 1914 clearly found Serbia a desirable focus for a coalition of armed and fractious states, so either Serbia was not as bad as some people like to claim, or Germany was following a highly immoral policy?
You stated BELGRADE was shelled, not a fort.
Belgrade was shelled. If the target was the fort, Austrian gunners were so poor as to be unbelievable. Interestingly enough Austrian gunners proved highly accurate when shooting at Belgian fotresses only a few days later, so it is fair to conclude that rounds were intended to hit Belgrade in deliberate 'misses' intended to get around the Hague Conventions on bombarding civilian targets.
So if the Russians had not started a world war over Serbia, it is not apparent how or where the war would have happened.
Maybe you will like to take this opportunity to point out who Russia declared war on in 1914 and on what dates when she started this war?
[The Kaiser stated reasons for war were eliminated only if the Serbians were compelled to implement all points of the Austrian note fully.[b]
No he didn't. Or at least I can't find any translation of the Kaiser's comment which includes this caveat.
Dave would appear to be correct on this matter, nowhere does the Kaiser state Serbia must impliment all points of the Austrian Note, though he does say she must make good on the promises she has made. He does state that the few areas were Serbia has not met the terms of the Note 'can be cleared up by negotiation' which is clearly not insisting on unconditional acceptance of the terms in the Note.
The Kaiser's marginalia from which 'Halt in Belgrade stems is as folows;
[b]A brilliant achievement in a time limit of only forty-eight hours! It is more than one could have expected! A great moral success for Vienna; but with it all reason for war is gone and Giesl ought to have quietly stayed on in Belgrade! After that I should never have ordered mobilization.
The Kaiser communicated the idea in writing to Jagow in the form of this written instruction;
On reading through the Serbian reply which I received this morning I am persuaded that on the whole the wishes of the Danubian Monarchy are met. The few reservations made by Serbia on single points can in my opinion well be cleared up by negotiation. But capitulation of the most humble type is there proclaimed urbi et orbi and thereby all reason for war falls to the ground.
Nevertheless this scrap of paper together with what it contains can only be regarded as of limited value as long as it is not translated into deeds. The Serbs are Orientals, therefore liars, deceitful, and master hands at temporizing. In order that these fine promises may become truth and fact, the exercise of gentIe (douce) violence will be necessary. This will best be done by Austria’s occupying Belgrade as security for the enforcement and execution of the promises and remaining there until the demands are acfually carried out. This is also necessary in order to give an outward satisfaction d’honneur to the army which has for a third time been mobilized to no purpose, an appearance of success in the eyes of the rest of the world and enable it to have at least the consciousness of having stood on foreign soil. Without this the calling off of the campaign might give rise to an ill feeling towards the dynasty which might be extremely hazardous. Should Your Excellency share this opinion of mine, I should propose to say to Austria: the retreat of Serbia in a very humiliating form has been attained and we congratulate her on this. Thereby of course a reasern for war no longer exists, but what is necessary is a guarantee that the promises would be put into execution. This would doubtless be attainable by the temporary military occupation of a part of Serbia. Just as we in 1871 left troops posted in France until the milliards were paid up. On this basis I am ready to mediate for peace in Austria. Contrary proposals or protests from other states I would firmly reject, especially as they all more or less openly appeal to me to help to preserve the peace. This I will do in my own way and thus in a manner sparing of Austrian national sentiment and the military honour of her army. The latter has already been appealed to by the supreme war lord and is about to respond to the appeal. It must therefore unquestionably have a visible satisfaction d’honneur; that is a prerequisite of my mediation. Will Your Excellency therefore submit to me a proposal in the sense here outlined which shall be communicated to Vienna. I have ordered Plessen who entirely shares my views to write in the above sense to the Chief of the General Staff.
The full history of this idea is chronicled in Albertinis' The Origins of the War of 1914 Vol II p467-470.
What is perfectly clear from this is that the Kaiser felt the Serbian reply suitably compliant to allow negotiations to take place, hence the comment 'Giesl ought to have quietly stayed on in Belgrade!'
as this only makes sense if negotiations are to take place.
It is also notable that the Kaiser comments that the Austrian army has now mobilized for the third time, and must now somehow justify doing so by undertaking some form of military action! Therefore Austria managed to mobilize twice without going to war - directly counter to the turgid 'mobilization means war' dogma - and only after doing so a third time must she do something, even then only to avoid looking stupid and to uphold her army's honour, but could still do so somewhat short of war!!!