Old News – Start of WWI

More news from the past. This time about the assassination that started World War I. It was within weeks after the assassination that most of Europe became involved in the War. Note that the assassin’s name is usually spelled Gavrilo Princip in English.


Thursday, July 2, 1914


Heir to Austrian Throne and Morganatic Wife Killed.

Anarchist Uses Pistol With Deadly Effect After Bomb Failed to Kill Royal Pair, Who Were Attending a Reception in Their Honor in Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Francis Joseph, nephew of Emporer Francis Joseph and heir to the Austrian throne, and the Duchess of Hohenberg, his morganatic wife, were assassinated Sunday at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Two attempts were made on the lives of the royal party.

A bomb was thrown at their motor car which was warded off by the archduke and his car passed before it exploded under the next car which contained two of his aides who were slightly injured.

Later on a man, said to be a young Serbian student, fired two shots at the royal car and the archduke and the duchess were killed. This adds another sad chapter to the life of the aged Emporer Francis Joseph during whose reign many grim tragedies have occurred.

The Archduke Francis Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg, started out in the morning in their automobile to attend a reception in their honor at the town hall. Suddenly a man named Cabrinvitch, from Trebinje, who was standing among the crowd on the sidewalk, threw a bomb at the royal car with good aim. The archduke saw it coming and warded it off with his arm and the bomb fell to the street and did not explode until after the archduke’s car had passed.

When the explosion occurred it resulted in the wounding of Morizzi, aide de camp to the archduke, and Count Boss Waldeck, who occupied the car immediately behind that of the archduke, Six persons among the spectators were more or less seriously injured.

As the royal car reached the coroner of Rudolf street a man named Gavro Prinzip, who was on the sidewalk, fired two pistol shots in quick succession at the archduke and the duchess. The man who was only a short distance from the car, was a good marksman, The first shot struck the Duchess of Hohenberg down on the right side while the second ballet hit the archduke in the neck near the throat and pierced the jugular vein.

The duchess became unconscious immediately and fell across the knees of her husband. The archduke lost consciousness in a few seconds after he was hot. The chauffeur put on full speed and rushed straight to the palace where an army nurse vainly tried first aid to the injured.

Neither the archduke nor the duchess gave any sign of life and the only thing the head of the hospital could do was to certify that both were dead.


One Comment

  1. Thank you for the historical article, Dick. My grandfather fought in WWI (Navy). It’s so interesting to try to visualize events that occurred exactly 100 years ago.


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