The Murder At Sarajevo


Key Facts

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austrian Emperor

June 28th was the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo - the Serbs equivalent of Culloden

A group of Serb nationalist terrorists were sent to Sarajevo by the Black Hand secret society - and they had received weapons from the Serb army

The leader of the Society was Colonel Apis who was head of Serbian military intelligence

The Austrian army was responsible for security during the royal visit but many of the troops were away on the manoeuvres which the Archduke had come to inspect. There were great gaps in security

While the Archduke and his wife were being driven to the Town Hall, a bomb was thrown at the Royal car. It hit the back of the vehicle, bounced, exploded in front of the following car and injured one of the Archduke's assistants, an equerry.

At the Town Hall Franz Ferdinand made a very bad tempered speech and then set off to see the injured equerry in hospital. This was a change of plan but no one told the chauffeur of the Royal car

After leaving the Town Hall the Royal car was driven along the Appel Quay and then turned on to the bridge as originally planned. The driver was then told of the change and he stopped the car to reverse.

As the car stopped, Gavrilo Princip one of the Black Hand group saw it, stepped forward to the car, raised his pistol and shot both Franz Ferdinand and his wife.

Within 15 minutes they were both dead

A month later Europe was at war.


Murder at Sarajevo

Read pages 24 to 25 and answer these questions-

Who visited Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914?

What 2 factors made a terrorist attack likely?

Who murdered the Archduke and his wife?

Why did some people think that Franz Ferdinand had been deliberately exposed to danger?

Whom did the Austrian prosecutor wish to implicate in the murder?

What conclusions did the investigation come to?

What other evidence contradicts this?

What was the Kaiser's reaction to the news?

Document Exercise

What point of view is being expressed in Source I, page 25?



Murder at Sarajevo - Help Sheet

Read pages 24 to 25 and complete this table-



Victims and Murderer


Date of Crime








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