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The First World War - Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand is viewed by historians as one of the primary causes of the First World War and it provided the fuel that ignited the alliance system thereby plunging Europe into war.

On the 28 June 1914 Archduke Ferdinand arrived in Sarajevo in his capacity as Inspector General to inspect the armed forces of the Habsburg Empire. It was a day of high emotion for the people of Bosnia and the Archduke had been warned that there could be danger and that it was unwise to expose himself, Archduke Ferdinand chose to ignore these warnings.

During the day a bomb was thrown at the vehicle in which he and his wife were travelling in this instance however the couple were unharmed. However later on while driving to the hospital to visit an officer wounded in the bomb attack a series of unfortunate circumstances brought them to stop opposite another would be assassin a man named Gavrilo Princip who fired upon the Archduke and his wife from close range with a revolver mortally wounding both.

Not very long after both the Archduke and his wife were dead and the decisions that brought about the First World War had been taken.

Read more in our case study about The Road To War