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  1. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated on 28 June 1914 by Bosnian Serb student Gavrilo Princip, shot at close range while being driven through Sarajevo, the provincial capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, formally annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908.

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    A plaque commemorating the location of the Sarajevo assassination and steps of Gavrilo Princip (image taken in 1987, before steps were removed in 1992 and plaque changed from Cyrillic to Latin script) A plaque commemorating the location of the Sarajevo assassination (image taken in 2009) On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group o...

    Further information: History of Serbia, History of Serbia (1804–1918), and Ottoman Empire Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Gavrilo Princip Postcard for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo Under the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, Austria-Hungary received the mandate to occupy and administer the Ottoman Vilayet of Bosnia while the Ottoman Empire retained official sovereignty. Under this same treaty, the Great Powers (Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the ...

    Planning direct action Danilo Ilić was a Bosnian Orthodox Serb. He had worked as a school teacher and as a bank worker but in 1913 and 1914 he lived with, and outwardly off, his mother, who operated a small boarding house in Sarajevo. Secretly, Ilić was leader of the Serbian-irredentist Black Hand cell in Sarajevo. In late 1913, Danilo Ilić came to the Serbian listening post at Užice to speak to the officer in charge, Serbian Colonel C. A. Popović, who was a captain at the time and a ...

  2. Serbia's sudden expansion in the Balkan Wars increased tensions between it and Austria-Hungary, which had a significant Serb minority. On June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb terrorist while visiting Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary quickly seized upon the assassination as an excuse to crush Serbia. However, while Austria-Hungary was backed ...

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  4. Feb 09, 2010 · Austria's Archduke Ferdinand assassinated. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are shot to death by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital ...

  5. Jun 26, 2014 · The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. On the eve of the assassination’s centennial, find out how a teenage Serbian nationalist provided the spark for World War I. Deeply in love ...

    • Jesse Greenspan
    • An Unpopular Archduke and An Unpopular Day
    • Terrorism
    • The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
    • The Aftermath

    In 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand was heir to both the Habsburg throne and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was not a popular man, having married a woman who – while a Countess – was deemed far below his station, and their children had been barred from the succession. Nevertheless, he was the heir and had both interests in the state and state commitments, and in 1913 he was asked to visit newly annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina and inspect their troops. Franz Ferdinand accepted this engagement, as it meant his usually sidelined and insulted wife would officially be with him. Ceremonies were planned for June 28th, 1914 in Sarajevo, the couple’s wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, this was also the anniversary of the First Battle of Kosovo, the struggle in 1389 which Serbia had convinced itself saw Serbian independence crushed by their defeat to the Ottoman Empire. This was a problem, because many in the newly independent Serbia claimed Bosnia-Herzegovina for themselves, and fumed at Austria-H...

    One man in particular who took particular umbrage at this event was Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb had devoted his life to protecting Serbia, no matter the consequences. Assassinations and other politically charged murders were not out of the question for Princip. Despite being more bookish than charismatic, he managed to enlist the support of a small group of friends, who he convinced to kill Franz Ferdinandand his wife on June 28th. It was to be a suicide mission, so they wouldn’t be around to see the result. Princip claimed to have originated the plot himself but he did not have trouble finding allies for the mission: friends to train. The most important group of allies was the Black Hand, a secret society in the Serb army, who provided Princep and his co-conspirators with pistols, bombs, and poison. Despite the complexity of the operation, they managed to keep it under wraps. There were rumors of a vague threat that reached all the way up to the Serbian Prime Minister, but they...

    On Sunday June 28th, 1914, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie traveled in a motorcade through Sarajevo; their car was open topped and there was little security. The would-be assassins positioned themselves at intervals along the route. Initially, one assassin threw a bomb, but it rolled off the convertible roof and exploded against the wheel of a passing car, causing only minor injuries. Another assassin couldn’t get the bomb out of his pocket because of the crowd’s density, a third felt too close to a policeman to try, a fourth had an attack of conscience over Sophie and a fifth ran off. Princip, away from this scene, thought he’d missed his chance. The royal couple continued with their day as normal, but after the display at the Town Hall Franz Ferdinand insisted he visit the mildly injured members of his party in the hospital. However, confusion led to the driver heading to their original destination: a museum. As the vehicles stopped in the road to decide which route to take, P...

    No one in Austria-Hungary’s government was particularly upset by Franz Ferdinand’s death; indeed, they were more relieved he was not going to cause any more constitutional problems. Across the capitals of Europe, few other people were overly upset, except the Kaiser in Germany, who had tried to cultivate Franz Ferdinand as a friend and ally. As such, the assassination didn’t seem to be a major, world-changing event. But Austria-Hungary had been looking for an excuse to attack Serbia, and this provided them with the cause they needed. Their actions would soon trigger World War I, leading to years of bloody slaughter on a largely static Western Front, and repeated failures by the Austrian army on the Eastern and Italian Fronts. At the end of the war the Austro-Hungarian Empire had collapsed, and Serbia found itself the core of a new Kingdom of the ​Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Test your knowledge of the origins of WWI.

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