Franz Ferdinand Caused the War How?

Actually he knew just what he was doing. The Serbian Nationalists wanted Bosnia Hercegovina to break away from the Empire. Franz Ferdinand was trying to make them happy to be part of the nation.

At the end of the war, of course, Yugoslavia was created.

Prinzip and the Black Hand (the group he belonged to) were aware of Franz Ferdinand’s supposed sympathy for Bosnia and it worried them. The radicals wanted Bosnia to rise up and declare independance. The Serbs wanted this because they figured they would take over Bosnia if the Austrians got kicked out. So both the Bosnian radicals and the Serb expansionists were worried that FF would offer Bosnia concessions such as autonomy in the Empire and this would dampen most people’s enthusiasm for a revolution.

And Serbia was guilty in the assassination. “Apis”, the head of the Black Hand who planned the assassination was actually Dragutin Dimitrijević, a Serbian military intelligence officer.

It is said by some that the war was due in large part to the new efficiency of mobilization, thanks to trains, large conscript armies, etc. Mobilization plans were thought out well in advance and highly detailed. Once the process was started, it was hard to stop. In addition, the earlier you could get your troops in the field, the more territory you could take before running into the armies of your slowpoke opponents. Thus, eveyone had a good motive to mobilize as quickly as possible. When the first army began to move, eveyone else had to, too. And once the armies were in the field…

Headline from The Onion, November 12, 1918:

WAR ENDS AS ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND IS FOUND ALIVE - “How fares Europe” asks presumed dead count.

So how binding were those treaties? If the major countries wern’t exactly enthusiastic for a fight, could they have told the little countries to piss off?

If say russia entered the fight, would the other countries be willing to sit idly by while watching the Russians crush the Austrians?

Not very binding at all, as Italy was supposed to be allied with Germany and Austria, but came in on the french side- likely to glean a few chunks of Austrian real estate along the border.

As late as 1900, the British were more on the German side than the French. But the German Emperor made the critical mistake of trying to build a navy that would challenge the British. He came rather close, but all it did was make the Brits decide that Germany was the real danger, and spend millions of marks on something more or less useless. This decision was IMHO- the critical point of that whole period. Without that- the Brits would likely have been neutral, and the Germans would have beat the French.

Before that, the germans had a completely different naval priciple- *Kreuzerkreig, *which was to build a navy that if the British went to war with the German Empire- could harass and annoy the British. If the German empire had continued with that idea, they likely would have had a much larger U-boat fleet- and instead of a large fleet of dreadnaughts bottled up in Jutland, they would have been destroying the British shipping at a rate 2 or 3 times worse that what did happen- and that was almost enough to win the war… So- even IF the Brits had joined the French- the German High Seas Fleet would with Cruisers, Merchant Raiders and U-boats- possibly forced the Bristish out anyway.

So- that one choice by the German Emp not only brought the British into the War, but also lost it for the Germans.

Franz’ last words “Sofie dear! Sofie dear! Don’t die! Live for our children!” gives rise to curiosity of what became of those children.

After the war and the fall of the empire, Sophie von Hohenberg (1901-1990), Maximilian von Hohenberg (1902-1962), and Ernst von Hohenberg (1904-1954), were ordered by law to leave their family home in the newly created Czechoslovakia. As adults, unlike much of the old nobility who sucked up to Hitler, they opposed Nazism and spent seven years in Dachau concentration camp.

There’s also a body of opinion that says this was basically just an argument the German army used to convince their irresolute government that there was no way to back out now, and was then picked up by post-war German apologists to evade blame for the violation of Belgian neutrality.

I’m not saying either way, just recording that this is not a universally held opinion.

Pretty much. A little Googling shows they accepted all but two of the ten AH demands. I haven’t been able to find what exactly the two were, but they seem to have involved agreeing to allow Austrian officials to enter Serbia and do their own investigation - IOW an abnegation of Serbia’s sovereignty. Mind you had Serbia allowed that, AH may well have found confirmation that Serbia, or at least some Serbian officials, were complicit in the assassination.

So Serbia was going to go down no matter what they did, both because of AH aggression (backed by Germany) and Serbian desire for a Greater Serbia (backed by Russia) - which is why the assassination happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina - the Serbs wanted to loosen AH’s hold on that area with an eye to it themselves.

I found the BBC program “The Lost Prince” an interesting depiction of what the culture at the time was like. I’m not certain if it meets the stringent demands of those who are well versed in the history of that time though.

Most people continue to believe that World War I was an accident. This is mainly due to the fact that they usually here about the war from the British point of view and Britain didn’t want to go to war. But the war didn’t just happen; all of the other major powers thought it over and decided going to war was to their advantage.

Austria didn’t have to go to war with Serbia; but Austria suffered from ethnic divisions and the government thought a war against a foreign power would unite the country and a victory would raise the prestige of the government. Russia was not bound by treaty to Serbia; but the Russians wanted to increase their influence in the Balkans so they entered the war to defend Serbia. Germany was only required to support Austria if it was attacked and could have, like Italy, have said that Austria was fighting an offensive war; but Germany was worried about Russian re-armament and wanted to fight a war before the Russian military got too strong. France also could have stayed out of the war because its ally Russia had declared war not been attacked; but France was looking for revenge for the Franco-Prussian War and a chance to take back the territory it had lost.

First, it did NOT lead to the destruction of Serbia. In fact, after the war, it was the Austrian Empire that crumpled. Serbia emerged with expanded territory that lead to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929.

He was-but not in any way that would have benefited the Kingdom of Serbia. Serbia was an independent kingdom, (and had been since they won independence from the Turks in the early 1800s) but the majority of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were living under Austrian rule. The Serbs’ goal was to unite all three factions into a land of the southern Slavs (Which is where the name “Yugoslavia” comes from) in one kingdom ruled over by the Serbian King.

What the Archduke proposed (and my memory’s spotty at the moment, so I hope I get this right) is that instead of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary, that it should be a triple Monarchy, of the Austria-Hungary-Slavs. The Serbs were against this because they felt THEY should be the big players in the Balkans, at least among the Slavic peoples (including Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, and Montenegro, as far as I can remember). That didn’t make him popular among Serbian nationalists.

Princip wasn’t considered a hero, either, though-he was tried and found guilty in Serbia, and sentenced to life in prison (he was under 21, so he wasn’t eligible for the death penalty) and died in prison a few years later of tuberculosis.)

If I got anything wrong, please correct me.

If you ever get the chance, read Niall Ferguson’s “The Pity of War”, which argues, among other controversial things, that Britain deliberately manipulated the situation to start the war and get involved.

Although they succeeded, it was as Pyrric as victories get.

Seems unlikely. Britain wanted to keep the balance like it had since Napoleon. They did not like Kaiser Wilhelm, but war wasn’t to their advantage. At the time, it seemed like one side or the other would become the quick and decisive victor. And every continental power would then become Britain’s enemy.

Another point that can be argued is that Austria was worried about all of the nationalism oozing from the rapidly collapsing Ottoman Empire. The Serbs had already carved a nation and set an example for potential rebels inside A-H borders. The Austro-Hungarians hoped that by crushing Serbia, they would not only (as Little Nemo said) unite their subjects as a nation at war, but also prove that they were strong enough to crush any internal rebellions.

What is strange was that it was that moment when the Powers decided to spill Blood. There were at least two moments before which could have also percipitated the war.

Morocco Crisis 1904-1906 and 1911

The French Claim over Morroco backed by Britain was hotly contested by Germany and almost came to blows twice. French Troops were dispatched to the French German border (jan 3 1906) and The Germans mobilized. Austria backed Germany during negotiations but in the end a comprimise was done through diplomacy.

The second Crisis (The Agadir Crisis) had the German Gunboat Panther called in to protect German interests which happened to be a single German citizen almost 75 miles from the port the gunboat arrived at. In response to French Troops being summoned to the region and ended only with another treaty drawn up with the Backing of France by Britain.

What I’d like to know is what was so different in 1914 that the crisis could not be quelled when the same kind of militiristic posturing and mobilization occured between France and Germany. The same Nationalism and spoiling for a fight existed yet no war until 1914.

Is it the Russian factor that finally pushed the Powers over the Brink?

I prefer to think of it as mostly Kaiser Wilhelm’s bungling, though tat isn’t entirely fair. Bismark made a system even an idiot could run. Unfortunately, the Kaiser was a fool to boot.

Not to mention the Balkan Crises.

I think it’s more that, if you engage in brinkmanship enough, eventually the time comes when somebody misjudges and war starts.

Here’s probably one of the most detailed chronologies of the July Crisis that I’ve seen.

http://cnparm.home.texas.net/Wars/JulyCrisis/JulyCrisis00.htm