January 19, 2013

36,000 days ago: Event triggering World War I

June 28, 1914

World War I, the great wrong turn of modern history, began with a wrong turn.

It was made by the driver of the open car carrying the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife on their visit to Sarajevo in June 1914.

The driver stopped the car, intending to turn around, right in front of Gavrilo Princep, the young Serbian-trained assassin who had been dejectedly walking home, having failed to get a clear shot along the official route.

A few seconds later, the royal couple were mortally wounded; a few weeks later, Europe was at war; a few years later, the Bolsheviks were in power in Russia, followed by the Fascists in Italy, and the Nazis in Germany—all owing their success, or even their existence, to the effects of the slaughter of 1914-18.

The Weekly Standard

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