On the 28th June 1914, Euriope was enjoying a prosperous peace.

Thirty seven (37) days later, the nations were at war.

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The Assasination

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On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosnian Muslim) coordinated by Danilo Ilić.

According to Albertini, “the first bullet wounded the Archduke in the jugular vein, the second inflicted an abdominal wound on the Duchess.” Princip was immediately arrested.

Both victims remained seated upright, but died while being driven to the Governor’s residence for medical treatment. As reported by Count Harrach, Franz Ferdinand’s last words were “Sophie, Sophie! Don’t die! Live for our children!” followed by six or seven utterances of “It is nothing.” in response to Harrach’s inquiry as to Franz Ferdinand’s injury. These utterances were followed by a long death rattle. Sophie was dead on arrival at the Governor’s residence. Franz Ferdinand died 10 minutes later.

The assassination led directly to the First World War when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum against Serbia, which was partially rejected. Austria-Hungary then declared war.

During what became known as The Great War, more than 9 million combatants were killed; a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents’ technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.

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