Jawad Ali 9B
Archduke Franz Ferdinand essay
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was visiting Sarajevo, a town in Bosnia, to inspect the army. The Black Hand was a nationalist terrorist group who wanted to free the Slav peoples in Bosnia and Montenegro, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Black Hand wanted to carry out an act that they thought would make a difference to the future of Slav peoples. This act was to assassinate the Archduke.
On the 28th of June 1914, the archduke and his wife went through the streets of Sarajevo in open topped car along a route, which was, published everywhere along the city. A bomb was thrown from the crowd and blew up just in front of the car the Archduke and his wife were travelling in. The car rushed to the town hall where the route was changed. However, the driver was not informed and turned the wrong way but when the driver slowed the car down, the breaks got jammed and the car stalled. Gavrillo Princip, who thought the Archduke was already dead from the previous attack, saw the car stop and took his gun out. He fired a few shots at the couple and had hit the pregnant Archduchess in the stomach and the Archduke in the neck.
This essay will go through each of the main theories reasoning his murder. The theories are:
- Bad planning by the police – poor security
- Archduke Franz Feredinands Fault
- A well planned plot by the trained assassins
- Chance, luck or fate
- The wrong man was killed
Bad Planning and Organisation by the Police
There are many reosons to prove that there was bad planning by the police. Firstly, the authorities had allowed the Archduke and his Duchess to travel in an opened topped car. This allowed any assasins from the black hand to shoot at them. Also the major mistake the police did was, that they published the route of the Archduke and his wife. This would have helped the assasins from The Black Hand to plan out their assasination very well. The police could have kept the crowd away from the car because someone could have easily shot at the Archduke or throw a bomb. Another reason is that the authorities did not stop the tour after the first assasination attemp on the Archduke and his wife. When the bomb was thrown from the crowd the authorities should have stopped the couple from going further. Also the police did not allow the army to come in to the town and clean up the place before resuming the tour saying ‘it would be an offence to the duke if the army did not have their uniform on’. Finally, thedriver was not informed of the route change which was the most fatal error towards his assassination.
This is a preview of the whole essay
There are also many reosons to disaprove this theory. Firstly everyone entering the city one week before the event was checked to see if they had a weapon. Secondly, after the first assassination attempt, the authorities changed the route to try and
Limit the chance of the assassins succeeding to their aim. Finally, the authorities had arrested four of the five assassins before they
Had escaped and had immediately caught Gavrillo Princip. He was the man who shot the Archduke and his wife. This was proven because in Gavrillo Princips trial he said,
‘I fired twice at Ferdinand from a distance of four or five paces. I then turned the gun turned the gun on myself to commit suicide, but some policeman seized me and hit me. I am not sorry for what I did. Given the same situation I would do it again’.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s fault
Like the first theory, there are many reasons to prove this one. Firstly, the Archduke decided to go ahead with the trip despite warnings from his uncle, Emperor Franz Josef Ferdinand and the fact that Bosnia was an unreceptive place for members of the Austro-Hungarian government. Secondly, the Duke insisted on travelling in an opened top car saying ‘I will not allow myself to be kept in a covered cage. I do take advice from my security guards but God will protect me’. Another reason is that he also insisted in continuing the tour after the first assassination attempt.
Also the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not informed of all the dangers of going to Sarajevo. He was only told of the few by his Uncle Franz Josef. Also Franz Ferdinand was not asked whether he wanted the army the army to clear up the streets before resuming back on to the tour.
A well planned plot by the Black Hand
This theory has some good reasons and some bad reasons. Firstly the assassins had travelled to Sarajevo in advance to avoid detection by police. This shows signs of good planning. Also, the assassins had trained by shooting at targets and had planned where each one was going to be placed. Another reason is that they had backup plans in case other plans went wrong or failed. Finally they all had poison to commit suicide. All these reasons are evidence of good planning
On the other hand all of the assassins were aged 27 or below and most of them were aged below 20. This made the assassins less experienced and not trained enough. The first assassination attempt failed due to bad planning. Also the first two assassins did not bother trying to assassinate the archduke and his wife. Finally the poison given to them did not work because it was out of date. This shows bad planning.
Overall I think the assassination would not have succeeded without the other reasons.
Chance, Luck or Fate
I think the assassination would not have succeeded without Chance, Luck or Fate For starters had the driver been told of the change in route and not have had to STALL Princip would have never had the chance to shoot at the royal couple. Also the driver had not been told the directions was very lucky for the terrorists
As well, Princip being at that place at the right time was a huge amount of luck
The Archdukes stupidity to carry on after the bomb was extremely lucky as well, and had the parade been called off there and then nothing else would have probably happened. It was also lucky that previous to the parade the route the Archduke would be taking was posted all over the town therefore given the terrorists information to use for their plot.
There is no reason to disapprove this theory because it was made clear by Princip that he had just been their by chance and that he did not know how to aim.
The wrong man was killed
There is no evidence proving this theory because all the assassins had said that their intention was to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Princip himself said,
‘I fired twice at Ferdinand from a distance of four or five paces. I then turned the gun on myself to commit suicide, but some policeman seized me and hit me. I am not sorry for what I did. Given the same situation I would do it again’.
From the evidence that I have studied I have concluded that the assassination was in no way an accident, the wrong man was not killed and the assassins knew exactly whom they wanted dead, because from pint blank range no one can miss or kill the wrong person.
I have found out that the fact that the terrorists were willing to die for the cause was a major reason as the first attempt failed and it was lucky that Princip was in the right place at the right time. Firstly if the police could have been a lot more tighter, By keeping the crowd under control, stopping after the first assassination attempt. Also not allowed the route to be advertised and allow the archduke to drive in an open top car. Secondly luck was major factor because had Princip not been, luckily might I add, in the right place at the right time when the car stalled he would never had the chance to shoot at the royal couple. Also it was lucky for the terrorists that the police and the Archduke were stupid enough to let the parade continue allowing them to have another chance at the Archduke.
Finally the third major factor was Franz Ferdinand’s fault, mainly for even travelling to Bosnia in the first place despite been told not to go by the current emperor his uncle not to go because of the danger of the Black Hand.
Personally I think that the Bad planning by the police was really to blame more than anything simply because how silly it was to publicise the route allowing any terrorist to use information that would make an assassination so much easier. Also I think that the driver might have been from the black hand because he misunderstood a simple route.
Overall my conclusion is that all factors, except that it was partly an accident, played roles in the blame, but the most blame should go to Chance, Luck or fate and bad planning by the police.