How did the
another Balkan crisis
that escalated to world
Despite the militarism of
nations, relationships between
the powers was relatively calm.
No nation was bent on war. 1914
was no more likely to witness
widespread war than any other
Assassination at Sarajevo
On 28th of June, archduke Franz
Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-
Hungary empire was killed in
The assassination was performed
by young Bosnian terrorists
armed by the Black Hand.
The Black Hand
Formed in 1911, with the aim of
uniting all the Balkan slavs into
one large state of Yugoslavia.
The group was headed by
Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic. He
was also chief of intelligence.
The Assassination attempts
Several assassins were placed on the route to
be driven by the archdukes car.
The first attempt was a bomb thrown into the
car but it bounced out, wounding 20 others.
The assassin, Čabrinović swallowed his
cyanide pill and jumped into the Miljacka river.
This attempt failed as the cyanide only
induced vomiting, and the Miljacka was only
13 cm deep. Police dragged him out of the
river, and he was severely beaten by the
crowd before being taken into custody.
Franz then went to a town hall meeting
and then wished to go to the hospital to
visit the bombing victims.
The driver to an incorrect turning into the
path of Princip. The car attempted to turn
around and stalled. Princip took his
He fired two shots, killing the Archduke
and his wife.
The Austria-Hungary government
was enraged. The Serbs were
undoubtedly behind the killing and
now must be crushed.
They, however, faced two problems.
Their army needed a month to
prepare for war and they needed the
support of Germany.
5th July, in Berlin, the Kaiser fully supports
Austria, giving them a blank cheque of
Germany did not want to risk losing her
last powerful ally, even if it meant war.
The Kaiser did not believe that Russia
would support Serbia nor was the Russian
army ready for war. So if a war was to
happen this moment was as good as any.
On the 23rd of July, Serbia was given an
ultimatum. Deemed one of the harshest
ever, which no self-respecting nation
would abide by, they were given 48 hours
Serbia agreed to most of the terms, but
Austria was set on war.
Grey, the British foreign minister, called for
a conference of the four great powers.
The Germans refused to take part.
Ultimatum to war
Germany believed the war could remain
localised in the Balkans.
On the 28th of July Austria declared war on
Serbia. The next day they bombed the city
On the 30th, Russia began to
mobilise, while having secretly been doing
so for the past five days. Russia wanted to
fully back Serbia.
With other countries mobilising and the
rigidness of the Schlieffen plan the Germans
countered with immediate mobilisation.
11 thousand trains carrying troops, arms and
supplies went to the French front via Belgium.
With only six weeks to beat France, the
Germans attempted diplomatic assurance. They
gave Russia 12 hours to demobilise and France
18 to promise neutrality in a Russo-German war.
The ultimatums expired. Germany declared war
on Russia on August 1 and on France the
following day by invading Luxembourg.
The Germans demanded rights of travel through
Belgium. On the 3rd this were rejected and
Britain demands Germany leave Belgium in the
next five hours. At midnight on the 4th Britain
World war one had begun.