Sunset in Sarajevo

Franz Ferdinand

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

On June 28, 1914, 94 years ago this morning, Sarajevo time, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated. Sarajevo was the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then a provice of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their killer, Gavrilo Princip, was a Slavic nationalist who favored the violent destruction of Austria-Hungary to unify the Slavs with Serbia and create a “South Slavic” nation — Yugoslavia, which means “The Land of the South Slavs.” Franz Ferdinand had been a great supporter of Serbia, so it’s kinda weird that Princip chose to clip him. Nonetheless, the Archduke’s assassination set into motion a series of events that led to the Great War, eventually to be called World War I, at the end of which Austria-Hungary would be no more.

Incidentally, Franz Ferdinand was shot with a FN Model 1910 .380 ACP, a gun that always fascinated me as a child, which is one of the reasons I’ve always shown a predilection toward using it in my crime fiction.

Image from Wikipedia.


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