Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary (1863–1914)
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Franz Ferdinand Karl Ludwig Josef of Austria, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este (Franz Ferdinand Karl Ludwig Josef; German: Erzherzog von Österreich-Este) (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was an archduke (like a prince) of Austria and, from 1896 to his death, was the heir apparent and was supposed to be the next emperor of Austria-Hungary. He was killed in the city Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip. That made Austria declare war against Serbia, which started the First World War.[1][2]

Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia
Franz Ferdinand in the 1890’s-1910’s ?
Born(1863-12-18)18 December 1863
Graz, Austrian Empire
Died28 June 1914(1914-06-28) (aged 50)
Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary
SpouseSophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
IssuePrincess Sophie of Hohenberg
Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg
Prince Ernst of Hohenberg
FatherArchduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
MotherMaria Annunciata of the Two Sicilies

On 28 June 1914, Franz Ferdinand went to Sarajevo in Bosnia for a trip. He was traveling to the Town Hall at 10pm with his wife, Sophie, in the third car of a motorcade in a roofless limousine. Franz Ferdinand had jokingly mentioned that he wouldn’t be surprised if there was a few bombs waiting for him on his trip. On his way to the Town Hall the first man to try to assassinate the Archduke, Grabez, was standing waiting for Ferdinand to try and shoot him but he froze and let the car pass. He went home afterwards and hid his gun and bomb but was later arrested.[3]

On the same route to the Town Hall a man, also from the Black Hand, called Cabrinovic threw a bomb at the car injuring lots of Ferdinand's staff but he failed to kill the Archduke himself so he tried to swallow cyanide and jump into the river Miljacka but failed to die and got arrested.[2] The Archduke was shocked but headed to the Town Hall anyway and did his speech whilst the paper was covered in the blood of his assistant who was injured in the bomb. After his speech he decided to go to the hospital to visit the 20 people injured in the bomb.[2] As the driver took a turn to head to the hospital Princip jumped out and shot Sophie in the abdomen who collapsed and died instantly then shot the Archduke in his neck and in his leg. He died on the way to the hospital. Ferdinand's last words were “Sophie! Sophie! Don’t die! For our children![3] Princip was sentenced to twenty years in prison, the maximum for his age, and was imprisoned at the Terezín fortress. The man who threw the bomb, Cabrinovic, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Preceded by
Francis V
Archduke of Austria-Este
Succeeded by
Archduke Charles
Preceded by
Francis V
Duke of Modena
Succeeded by
Archduke Charles

References change

  1. Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (1987). Royal Sunset: The European Dynasties and the Great War. Doubleday. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-385-19849-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Johnson, Lonnie (1989). Introducing Austria: A Short History. Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought. Ariadne Press. pp. 52–54. ISBN 0-929497-03-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Remak, Joachim (1959). Sarajevo: The Story of a Political Murder. Criterion. pp. 137–142. ASIN B001L4NB5U.