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The events preceding the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 are significant in many respects Whilst the events of 1914 were similar to many previous conflicts it was those of June-August that were to set in motion the outbreak of one of the most important events of modern world history It can be argued that the war was triggered by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the diplomatic events that followed These included the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia Germanys blank cheque of support for Austria and the ensuing ultimatums mobilisations and declarations of war from Austria Serbia Germany Russia France and Britain It has been claimed that no one not even the Austrians went to war for the sake of Franz Ferdinand and yet a direct line can be drawn between his murder the diplomatic crisis the mobilisations and the declarations of war It was on June 28 1914 that Archduke Ferdinand the heir to the throne of the Habsberg monarchy travelled through the streets of the Bosnian town of Sarajevo A first assassination attempt failed that morning when a bomb was thrown at the passing Archduke missing its target but injuring two of Ferdinands aides The Archduke insisted on continuing his journey to the town hall where he and his wife ironically listened to a speech by the Mayor of Sarajevo referring to the loyalty of the Bosnian people to Austria After the speech Ferdinand and his entourage travelled back along the main street to visit the injured aides at the local hospital It was on this journey that after some confusion regarding the route to travel the Archdukes car reversed slowly to change direction and came alongside one of the co-conspirators from the earlier assassination attempt Seizing the opportunity a Serbian student Gavrilo Princip withdrew his revolver and fired two shots from a distance of about five metres Ferdinand was shot in the throat and his wife Sophia in
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