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74 THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR
later, to the previous explanations issued- by
the German Government.
And this is not all. The reason why the
Chancellor has feared to avow the action
which he took explains the reasons why, in
fact, it was bound to fail. Supposing he had
succeeded, in what position would the German
Government have found itself? They had
publicly pledged themselves before the whole
of Europe to a deiinite course of action ; Aus-
tria, dependent on the promised support of
her ally, and having in memory the " shining
armour " in which once before the Emperor
had come to her help, had staked her whole
prestige and position as a great Power on
carrying to a successful issue her controversy
with Serbia, despite any threatened inter-
vention by Russia. Trusting to German sup-
port, she had ignored the Russian threats of , .
mobilisation and had gone to War on Serbia.
Then, when the very crisis had come, the
5 courage and resolution of the Chancellor sud-
‘ denly failed; he turned round, vvithdrevv the
i support he had promised, and told Austria
that the dangers of the course on which she
' had embarked with his approval were too
great, that Germany could not risk a war
T against the Triple Entente, and that there-