The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 1914

In June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg travelled to Sarajevo, Bosnia, to inspect the imperial armed forces. Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. Meanwhile, Serbian nationalist believed that Bosnia should become part of the newly created Serbian state.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The visit to Sarajevo was scheduled on June 28th, 1914. This date was very symbolic. On this day in 1389, the First Battle of Kosovo, between Serbs and Ottoman Empire, took place. This event was particularly important to Serbian history, tradition, and national identity, despite Strategic Ottoman victory. June 28th was also Franz Ferdinand’s wedding anniversary.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

On the morning of 28 June 1914 at 10:10 am, near the Miljacka River, Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at Franz Ferdinand’s car, but it only wounded an officer and some bystanders.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Motorcade moved to the Town Hall for a scheduled reception. After that, the procession moved in Sarajevo Hospital to visit wounded officer. It was planned to drive along the Appel Quay, but the driver took a wrong right turn into Franz Josef Street. Near the Latin Bridge the car stopped, and Gavrilo Princip, who found himself accidentally in that place, fired two shots at Franz Ferdinand and Sophie at point-blank range. They were fatally wounded and died within the hour.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire set off a chain of deadly events, which led to the outbreak of World War I. Serbia rejected some July Ultimatum demands, which were written by Austro-Hungarian government after the murder. Austria-Hungary responded by breaking diplomatic relations and declared war on Serbia. Russia and France were obliged to mobilize their armies if any of the Triple Alliance mobilized. It had set off the German mobilization, and World War I began.