Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)

Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo, July, 1914

Archduke Franz Ferdinand (December 18, 1863- June 28, 1914), the heir to the throne of the Empire of Austria-Hungary, was the man whose death began the cycle of events leading to the First World War. He and his wife Sophie, were on a tour of the restless province of Bosnia-Herzegovina in July, 1914. Bosnia was a region comprised of several ethnic groups, including Serbs who sougth to separate from the Austrian Empire and join with the Kingdom of Serbia. While driving through the heart of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capitol, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were assassinated by a Serbian student named Gavrilo Princip, who worked with the Serbian terrorist group, the Black Hand.

The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was the nephew of the Austrian Emperor, set in motion a series of threats, and declarations of war that led to many European nations taking sides in two powerful alliances and engaging in what became known as The First World War.

Gavrilo Princip

Gavrilo Princip

Gavrilo Princip, Franz Ferdinand’s assassin, arrested by the police

Links on Franz Ferdinand


Thumbnail Bio: Archduke Franz Ferdinand – from Trenches on the Web.

Trenches on the Web – Assassination in Sarajevo – read about the assassination that brought hostilities to a head.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 1914–Eyewitness Account of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand –The firsthand account of Borijove Jevtic, one of the Serbian conspirators in Sarajevo.

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