World War 1 - How Two Bullets Caused 20 Million Deaths

Authors Avatar by kartikayguptalivecouk (student)

How Two Bullets Caused 20 Million Deaths

This essay will talk about how the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne lead to world war one which resulted in the death of 20 million people. The assassination was not the only event that caused world war one. There were four other main reasons: military, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. These also contributed to the start of world war one but in my opinion alliances were the main cause as they dragged everyone into the war.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a planned murder organised by Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence . He was the leader of the Black Hand Gang. This gang organised the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Black Hand Gang consisted of Mehmed Mehmedbasic, Vaso Cubrilovic, Nedelko Cabrinovic, Danilo Ilic, Cvjetko Popovic, Trifun Grabez and Gavrilo Princip. Some of these criminals were still going to college.  Nedelko Cabrinovic, Trifun Grabez and Gavrilo Princip were all suffering from tuberculosis which was incurable so they decided to sacrifice themselves for the better of the nation. They considered themselves as martyrs. Gavrilo Princip was a man who believed in freedom for Serbia and that is why he met up with the Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence who had already organised a few assassinations and formed the Black Hand Gang. Gavrilo Princip recruited more members to help him. After a meeting which they discussed the killing they all swore on an oath of secrecy. This meant that they could not reveal identity of others if they were caught. On 28th June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand planned to tour Sarajevo to meet his people. The Black Hand Gang could not have had a better opportunity to strike. On that day was the wedding anniversary of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg. So he had decided to take her out with him as a present as he had never done that before. He chose to travel in an open top car with his wife even after they security told him no because he was not loved by the people. This is was perfect for the Black Hand Gang. They positioned themselves on the route of the car of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as it had been published in the papers. They were all armed except Danilo Ilic, all he had was a pocket watch. As the cars started to go by the Nedelko Cabrinovic threw a grenade at Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s car. The driver saw this and sped up so the grenade missed. Also what Nedelko Cabrinovic had forgotten was that the grenade a 10 second timer. Nedelko Cabrinovic took cyanide and jumped into the river to confirm death but the cyanide was too weak and the river was only 4 inches deep! Due to the driver speeding up the others did not get the time to react so Archduke Franz Ferdinand reached the town hall unharmed. The members of the Black Hand Gang gathered up and were worried because if Nedelko Cabrinovic how was in police custody revealed their identity they would get caught but he didn’t. After their fail attempt Gavrilo Princip was famished so he went to a restaurant on Franz Josef Street to get a sandwich. After the meeting in the town hall in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand showed his anger, he decided to meet the injured people from the grenade explosion. After getting into the car which was still open top they started their journey. Due to recent events the driver of the car got confused and took a wrong turn straight into Franz Josef Street. As it happened to be Gavrilo Princip was coming out of the café. As the driver started to reverse, the gear stick jammed; Gavrilo Princip saw his opportunity and took out his gun and shot two bullets. One hit Sophie, Dutchess of Hohenburg in the stomach and the other hit Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the neck. They both were dead in 10 minutes. Gavrilo Pincip took the cyanide but again it was too weak so he tried to shoot himself but the guards prevented him and he was captured. Even after extreme torture like Nedelko Cabrinovic he maintained his oath of secrecy. Things look good for the Black Hand Gang and World War one was nowhere in sight until Danilo Ilic was caught and interrogated. He gave in and revealed everything. All the members of the Black Hand Gang were captured and sentenced in prison if they were below 20 or sentenced to death if they were above 20. Austria was really angry and world war one was on the brink of happening. Austria gave Serbia the ultimatum of war and World War one began.

Join now!

Another cause of World War one was militarism. This is the process of building up a stronger army to prepare for war. This was between Germany and the UK to see who has the most battleships and also between Germany, Russia and the France to expand their armies for war. Like Blackadder had said “It was too much a problem not to go to war”. This was because they troops kept on building up and soon there was way too many and the countries could not cope with such big armies doing nothing as it costs a lot to maintain ...

This is a preview of the whole essay