On June 28, 1914, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand marked the beginnings of WW1. But how did the murder of the Archduke of Austria by a Serbian nationalist snowball into a global conflict taking the lives of millions of people around the world?
In 1878, the fading Ottoman empire lost the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria-Hungary under the Treaty of Berlin.
The treaty also gave recognition and independence to
The treaty also gave recognition and independence to Serbia, Montenegro and Romania. Serbia following its independence was friendly with Austria-Hungary ---- but that changed after a coup in 1903, which brought into power a more nationalistic and pro-Russian government.
The new government's agenda was uniting all the regions with the majority south Slav provinces into a nation called
The nationalist government in power had an aim of creating a united southern Slav nation called Yugoslavia, which included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo. In the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, Serbia managed to takeover Macedonia and Kosovo, bolstering the confidence of the military.
A secret military society called the ______________ was setup to carry out terrorist operations against the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Serbia set up a secret military organisation called the "Black Hand" to carry out terrorist operations against the Austro-Hungarian empire. It also assisted a Bosnian Revolutionary movement called the "Young Bosnia" which promoted the similar "United Serbia" ideology. Members from this organisation carried out the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Franz Ferdinand was to succeed his uncle Franz Joseph to the throne as the emperor of Austria. Though he despised Serbs he was against the idea of going against Serbia as it would mean war against Russia. On June 28, 1914 - the day of his assassination
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was in ____________________, along with his wife Sophie to observe military exercises.
He was in Sarajevo, Bosnia. On June 28, his motorcade passed along the avenue known as Appel Quay, where the six assassins had spread out. The first attempt failed after the bomb bounced off the back of the car. It exploded under the next car.
The Archduke continued with his schedule and gave a speech at the town hall. His car returned along the same route to visit those wounded in the bomb attack in a hospital
and driver stopped the car right in front of the assassin because
His car returned along the same route to visit those wounded in the bomb attack in a hospital and driver stopped the car right in front of the assassin because he took the wrong turn and needed to back-up.
The assassin __________ took a few steps forward before shooting dead both Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofie.
Gavrilo Princip was standing near Schiller's café when the car passed him. After the driver realised he had taken a wrong turn, he stopped the car and started to reverse only for the engine to stall. Princip used the chance to fire the gun at Franz Ferdinand just a meter and half away from him. The bullets hit the Archduke in the neck and Sophie in the abdomen. Both died at the spot.
Alliances and Treaties:
After the assassination, Germany offered unconditional support to Austria - a blank cheque. They also had long previously formed an alliance called the "Dual Alliance" to counter the Russian threat. Austria laid out an ultimatum to Serbia consisting of 10 conditions, giving Serbia 48 hours to respond. In the mean-time, Russia began mobilising its troops. (in the image, blue - Germany, red - Austria-Hungary)
Serbia responded to Austria by
Serbia accepted all but one condition --- which called for "Austro-Hungarian" delegates to take part in the investigations. Austria cuts off all diplomatic talks. (image-Location of Serbia)
Germany learned about the Russian mobilisation through its spy channels and declared war on Russia.
Russia's Western European ally ________, which pledged support to Russia in case either Germany or Austria declare war.
Russia had an alliance with France, which promised to support Russia in case either Germany or Austria declared war against it. Germany anticipated a French reprisal if it attacked Russia, and hence declared war against France as well.
To get to France, Germany invaded the neutral country of ________________________
Germany invaded Belgium which prior had refused to let German troop across its land.
______ joins the war because of the treaty agreement that calls for it to defend Belgium neutrality.
Britain joined the war because of a treaty agreement called the Treaty of London, signed in 1839 obliged it to defend Belgium's neutrality. Britain also joined the war in part of the "Triple Entete" alliance it had with France and Russia which was set up in 1907 to counter the German-Austrian influence.
And thus, began a four year war that started from the assassination of a Duke by a 19 year old revolutionary Bosnian. It had Britain, France and Russia on the one side called the "Triple Entete" and Germany, Austria-Hungary on the other. The European rivalry scaled up to be a global conflict that would go on to involve more European neighbours, USA, troops from colonial empires in Africa and Asia, Japan and would bear witness to the atrocity of 38 million military and civilian deaths.
All images taken from Wikipedia commons.
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