After Sarajevo, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Leopold von Berchtold, wrote a letter to Emperor Franz Joseph, who was to sign and send William II to convince them of Serbia`s responsibility. On 6 July, William II and his Chancellor Theobald of Bethmann-Hollweg Berchtold telegramed to Germany so that Austria-Hungary could count on Germany to support all necessary measures to deal with Serbia — and in fact offer Berchtold a “blank cheque”. By issuing the cheque blankly, German heads of state and government made a number of erroneous assumptions. They believed that Austria-Hungary was ready to start a war against Serbia immediately and that a quick coup would put Europe in front of the fait accompli. They assumed that the Tsarist regime was not militarily ready to risk a general European war. Moreover, they believed that monarchical solidarity would surpass the Pan-Slavian atmosphere, that the tsar would not support a state that would have hosted the assassins of the Habsburg tsar. In other words, the “blank cheque” was designed primarily to ensure a political or military triumph for the central powers of the Balkans. The “naked cheque” was decisive in strengthening the Austro-Hungarian leadership in their decision to start a war against Serbia. On 21 July, the German government Jules Cambon, French Ambassador to Berlin, and Bronewski, the Russian Chargé d`affaires, announced that the German Empire had no knowledge of Austrian policy towards Serbia.  Privat Zimmermann wrote that the federal government had “perfectly agreed that Austria should take advantage of the favourable weather, even at the risk of further complications,” but questioned “Vienna`s ability to act.”  Zimmermann concluded his memo that “he collected that Vienna, shy and indecisive, as it has always been, almost sad” that Germany had given the “empty cheque” of 5 July 1914, instead of advising Serbia to be reluctant.  Conrad himself insisted on the dual monarchy “in a hurry” to start a war to prevent Serbia from “feeling a rat and voluntarily compensated itself, perhaps under pressure from France and Russia.”  On 22 July, Germany rejected an Austrian request for the German minister in Belgrade to issue an ultimatum to Serbia because, as Iaygov had said, it would appear too much to “bring Austria to war”.  The “blank cheque” of 5 July was primarily an act of negligence by Germany, in part because it was not important details such as the date of all subsequent moves. Berlin expected Vienna to act quickly against Serbia, while the Sarajevo killings were still fresh, which suddenly put the Triple Agreement in front of the fait accompli, thus (perhaps) reducing the chances of a larger war.
What they got instead were the classic Austrian traits that have always driven the Prussians crazy: indecision, subterfuge and delay. On the contrary, Britain`s support for France was decisive. Edward Grey argued that maritime agreements with France (although not approved by the cabinet) were a moral obligation to Britain and France. British Foreign Secretary Eyre Crowe said: “If war comes and England is on the side, one in two things has to happen. a) Either Germany and Austria win, destroy France and humiliate Russia. What will be the position of a friendly England? b) Or France and Russia win. What would be their attitude towards England? What about India and the Mediterranean?  The telegram of Emperor William II and Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg to the German Embassy in Vienna PDF / 2 MB Germany gives “blank cheque” Austria-Hungary assured Zimmermann that a powerful and successful step against Serbia would protect Austria-Hungary from internal disintegration, and that is why Germany has given Austria “a power of full authority, even at the risk of war with Russia.”  The emperor`s promise, which historians have called a “white ticket,” marked a defining moment in the chain of events that