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Non Excidet

01/10/2018 - The Spark That Ignited the War

The Assassination in Sarajevo 




Today, Year 6 investigated the great mystery behind the start of the First World War. They studied real sources from 1914 (including newspaper reports, photographs and eyewitness statements). The children had to ascertain the validity and reliability of the sources and investigate why the incident caused Europe to descend into war!


Here are some excerpts from our answers...


Who was assassinated? 

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarejevo at around 5pm on the 28th June, 1914.


What was he like?


Franz was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and wanted to restore relations with Russia. He was also described as a valiant man who wanted to protect his wife (Sophia) from harm; however, this account could be bias and unreliable, as it was voiced by his personal bodyguard. On the other hand, a member of the troupe that assassinated Franz described him as an 'oppressor' and an arrogant man. Again, this could be unreliable due to their issues with Franz. 


Who killed him? 


He was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip - a member of the Black Hand Gang, who were a secret Serbian society. A previous attempt to kill the Archduke had failed, when a bomb bounced off his car. He was finally killed when (during his journey to visit the wounded from the earlier attack) he drove past Princip by chance. Princip was arrested and imprisoned, but with favourable conditions as he claimed to be 19. The Black Hand wanted to kill the Archduke due to their desire to see Serbia/Bosnia free from Austro-Hungarian rule (nationalism). 


What was the result of this?


As a result of this, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, resulting in a domino effect across Europe, leading to the continent being plunged into war.