In the first place, both governments believed that their prestige and credibility were on the line, not only in the international community, but at home.
All of these crises lasted for many months, giving each side time to reassess their options and, in most cases, decide that the crisis was not worth the risk of war. Third, the terms of the ultimatum show that the Austrians came to a decision even though they were acting on incomplete information.
First, German planners made a number of assumptions that proved to be faulty. Tensions in the Balkans, such as the Austrian annexation of Bosnia inseriously threatened the relationship between Austria-Hungary and Italy.
Most importantly, he underestimated the number of men the Germans would use in the invasion. British economic elites had developed an outlook that has been described as gentlemanly capitalism. A proposal even spread around European diplomatic circles that would allow Austro-Hungarian armies to occupy the Serbian capital of Belgrade while the great powers decided on a final settlement.
Britain relied heavily on Indian troops to control the empire. This, in turn, provided a necessary condition for the German policy of brinkmanship in Julywhich ultimately made war inevitable.
France and Russia feared Germany and did the same. Faced with an extra-European enemy the imperial powers united in an unprecedented fashion and dispatched an army that suppressed the rebellion.
Soon afterwards, Germany's most powerful soldier, General Schlieffen, drew up a plan that would allow Germany to beat France very quickly in any future war.