Sarajevo Assassination

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sarajevo Assassination


the assassination of the Austrian crown prince, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

The archduke had arrived in Sarajevo to watch maneuvers by the Austro-Hungarian Army in observance of June 28, the anniversary of Serbia’s defeat by Turkey on Kosovo Polje in 1389, and a day of mourning in Serbia. The Austrian crown prince was assassinated by the conspiratorial group Young Bosnia (Mlada Bosna), headed by Gavrilo Princip and Danilo Ilič.

Young Bosnia was outlawed after the assassination, and Ilič and two other conspirators were executed. Princip, a minor, was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor and died in prison of tuberculosis. Many members of the organization were sentenced to prison, and some received life terms.

Austria-Hungary and Germany used the Sarajevo assassination as a pretext for the armed attack on Serbia that marked the beginning of World War I (1914–18).


Mlada Bosna: Pisma i prilozi Sarajevo. 1954.
Sarajevski atentat 28. VI. 1914. Sarajevo, 1965.


Pisarev, Iu. A. Osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie iugoslavskikh narodov Avstro-Vengrii, 1905–1914. Moscow, 1962.
Pisarev, Iu. A. Obrazovanie Iugoslavskogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1975.
Masleša, V. Mlada Bosna. Sarajevo, 1945.
Degujep, B. Sarajevo 1914. Belgrade, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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He describes the diplomatic and military battles of 1914 as well as their social context from a Balkan perspective, discussing the background to the Sarajevo assassination; Serbia's perception of itself in the Great Power diplomatic interactions that followed; the outbreak of war; the first Allied victory of the war in the Battle of Mount Cer; Serbia's abortive invasions of Austria-Hungary; Serbia's relations with its allies; the bloody ridges and ravines of Mackov Kamen; mass desertion; Serbia's near capitulation; and Serbia's destruction of Austria-Hungary's </Balkanstreitkrafte in December 1914 at the Battle of the Kolubara.
And then there are the "Black Swans", events like the Sarajevo assassination that tumbled the world into the First World War and invalidated all existing assumptions about the economic future.
As it happened, Serge knew quite a bit about the Serbian radical circles that brought about the Sarajevo assassination of 1914, and therefore the First World War.