Why was the Austro-Hungarian government not really concerned whether Serbia itself was involved in Archduke Ferdinand's assassination?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The reason for this is that the government of Austria-Hungary really wanted a war with Serbia.  They did not really care what the truth was.  Instead, they wanted a way to force Serbia to go to war with them.

Austria-Hungary wanted Serbia destroyed or seriously hurt for two major reasons.  First, the presence of Serbia was serving to inflame pan-Slavic nationalism among Austria-Hungary's Slavic subjects.  Serbia was helping to fan these flames and was even thinking about trying to take Bosnia (a Slavic region of the empire) away from Austria-Hungary.  Secondly, Austria-Hungary wanted more territory in the Balkans and it specifically wanted to prevent Serbia from gaining a port on the Adriatic.  Austria-Hungary had become more and more worried about both of these issues in the wake of the Second Balkan War.

For these reasons, Austria-Hungary was eager to go to war with Serbia.  That meant that they would not really care about the truth and would take any reason they could find to start a war.

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