100 years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand: How did shot spark the First World War?
Who shot Franz Ferdinand and how did it start a war?
Saturday 28 June 2014
A hundred years ago today, a teenager fired the bullet that sparked the chain of events leading to the First World War.
The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 came as tensions between European powers were reaching boiling point over their empires, military superiority and the struggle for home rule by smaller nations in the Balkans.
In Bosnia, a 19-year-old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip, was one of many angry young men wanting to free his country from the control of Austria-Hungary.
It had been annexed from the Ottoman Empire six years before.
Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was visiting Sarajevo to inspect imperial forces with his wife Sophie.
His parade through the town coincided with the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, which had come to be a symbol of Serbian patriotism, and the timing was seen as a direct insult to Serbians.
A group of six assassins, including Princip, had planned the assassination as a symbol of resistance to Austro-Hungarian role and gathered along the parade route.
Several members of the group failed to take their chances to kill the Archduke as he travelled through crowds with little security in an open car and a bomb thrown by Nedeljko Čabrinović bounced off the vehicle.
He carried on to a scheduled reception at the Town Hall, where he spoke of the failed assassination, before leaving again in a motorcade.
When the driver of Archduke Ferdinand’s car took a fateful wrong turn off Appel Quay, he was ordered to reverse and stopped directly in front of Princip.
He fired two shots, hitting Franz Ferdinand in the jugular and his wife Sophie in the abdomen, killing them both.
The double murder shocked Europe and led to anti-Serbian riots in Sarajevo.
Days later, Austria-Hungary issued Serbia with an ultimatum, blaming the Government for the assassination and demanding it stopped all anti-Austro-Hungarian propaganda, accept its involvement suppressing rebels and allow it to take over trials of everyone involved in the assassination.
When the Serbian Government refused two of the demands, Vienna considered the ultimatum rejected.
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28 and the tangle of national alliances pulled the rest of Europe into the conflict within days and the First World War began.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 4 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
The wedding photo from Ground Zero: A shot in the dark
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 1 Primary Supply Teachers ne...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is urgently re...