Anniversary of the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

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It was 99 years today that the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, leading ultimately to the outbreak of World War I.

The Archduke was in Sarajevo to inspect Austro-Hungarian troops when he and his wife were shot dead by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip. 

Had his driver not got lost and taken a wrong turning there is every possibility Princip would not have had the opportunity to shoot and history could have been very different… although the Serbs had already tried to kill Franz Ferdinand earlier that day and would probably have tried again.

A month later, on July 28, the Austro-Hungarian empire declared war on Serbia. German statesman Otto von Bismarck had suggested decades earlier that Europe’s peace would be destroyed by some unpleasant incident in the Balkans and, as usual, he was correct. 

 

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2 Responses to Anniversary of the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  1. 8055bell says:

    Well thought through post. We’re winding up to the Centenary quite well. Let’s hope the press and politicos deal with the issue correctly. I have a 97 year anniversary feature ready for tomorrow. We have to make sure we don’t steal all our own thunder for the centenary.

  2. irinadim says:

    As a matter of fact, Germany started to plan to crush Serbia already in 1909 in her quest to conquer the East. Austria-Hungary was as well ready to act against the rising Pan-Slavic movement, especially Serbia, considering her the main instigator of the South Slav movement whose aim was to form a Yugoslav State, free from Austrian domination. Gavrilo Princip provided a good excuse to declare a war on Serbia.

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