England and Germany, 1740-1914

By Bernadotte Everly Schmitt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
THE CRISIS OF 19141

ON 28 June, 1914, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated at Serajevo, in the province of Bosnia. The assassins were subjects of the Dual Monarchy, but it was charged by the Austrian Government that they had procured their arms from the Serbian state arsenal at Kragujevacz and had received other assistance from Serbian government officials. They were, in fact, members of the Narodna Odbrana, the Serbian secret society which was carrying on an active propaganda in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the object of detaching those provinces from the Hapsburg dominions and effecting their incorporation in the Kingdom of Serbia. Gavril Princip and Nedeljko Gabrinovitch, the actual murderers, assuredly had no thought of producing a world-wide war: they were impressionable students imbued with intense hatred for the Austrian régime, and would seem to have been the obedient tools of men higher up in the Narodna Odbrana, more especially one Milan Ciganovitch, of the Serbian state

____________________
1

This chapter and the two following have been written almost entirely from the documents published by the belligerent governments, which have been collected by the British Government in a single volume, under the title Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War ( 1915). The documents are referred to by nationality and number, as "British, no. 101." The German While Book is quoted from the Collected Diplomatic Documents; also certain other documents published after the original Papers and Books. The British White Paper ("Correspondence Respecting the European Crisis") was republished as a Blue Book ("Great Britain and the European Crisis"), to which was prefixed an "Introductory Narrative of Events," of great interest. Unfortunately this "Narrative" was not included in the Collected Documents: reference must therefore be made to the Blue Book itself, and as the pagination differs in the various editions, only to the sections of the "Narrative."

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