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The Touch paper is Lit.
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THE ROAD TO WAR -
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The “Touch Paper” is Lit…For War!
 
It is quite unimaginable how a young schoolboy’s deliberate act of murder in a distant country, could bring the nations of the earth to an ultimate confrontation and invoke the “First World War”.
It would usher in a deathblow for mankind, as this murderous act would now bring all the nations together in the most horrific, bloodiest conflict that had ever been witnessed on earth.
An unbelievable turmoil would soon erupt and befall the human race, decimating their hopes, dreams, and futures.
The long lazy days of peace…those happy joyful days, were soon to become just a long distant memory…as 1914 loomed before all the nations, expectations of war grew ever closer.
The continent of Europe was made up of three vast and hugely powerful empires, to the east lay the vast Empire of all Russia, ruled by the Czar Nicholas the II.
To the west and north lay the Empire of the Kaiser of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, south wards along the River Danube ran the vast lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ruled by the Archduke of Austria, Franz Joseph.
Although Britain stood alone geographically, her alliances stood firmly with France, Belgium and Russia. Germany had allied itself to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while Russia had alliances with Serbia. So it was that Britain became the Fourth Power in Europe.
Therefore the map of Europe can be clearly seen as to what would ultimately develop, should there be some confrontation between these nations of supreme powers, with their own personal alliances with each other, the world would have to wait and see with trepidation as to what would develop. Soon they would all come together in an eruption of horrific consequences that would shake the world to its very roots.
The map of Europe had been drawn years previously, this is the way it would remain for a few years to come, but its balance of power was to be shaken to the very core of what was about to encompass it.
Britain…”Great Britain”… ruled the seas with her mighty fleet of warships, battleships and cruisers. Britain’s domination over many countries led it to rule over one sixth of the earth, her vast abundance of power originated from every corner of the globe, hence…”The British Empire”.
Power was to become the dominant force around the globe as nations grew in strength and vied determinedly for it.
Old alliances and peace treaties formed these great powers into one of frightening proportions, each had deep friendships with one another, these in later years would rise to the surface, they would support and depend on each other, to uphold their previously agreed terms and friendships, they would unite together, each one with supreme power, defiance, and determination.
Un-be known to millions, the events that followed in a country far away did little to mar their peace and contentment of life, it would carry on as usual, everyone enjoying the pleasures while it was still possible.
Many had never heard of this city, did not even know where Sarajevo was, let alone understood the serious situation that had developed there during the State visit of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife the invitation by General Oskar Potiorek was for the Archduke and his wife was to watch the Austrian Army troops in training who were based there.
 
For the Archduke knew full well it was dangerous for him to be present at this time, as his uncle the Emperor Franz Joseph had previously had an assassination attempt made on his life by the “Black Hand Gang” in 1911. For young schoolboy Gavrilo Princip was desperate to exact revenge on this ruler, Princip was a Serb patriot and member of the notorious “Black Hand Gang” who devoutly wanted action taken and this intruder killed, for his oppression against the Serbs.
Archduke and Archduchess Princess Sophie, on Sunday 28th, June, 1914 in Sarajevo
He and his murderous gang of seven had waited a long time for this opportunity, this would be their one and only chance and they all agreed the time had come to attempt to kill there enemy.
The morning was bright and sunny as the procession of six cars full of dignitaries and officials started on its journey, thousands thronged the streets to get a view of the Archduke and his wife in the second car, crowds were waving and cheering as the cars passed slowly along its route through the city.
Plans were made and positions taken as the seven spaced themselves out along the Appel Quay, in readiness for each one’s own assassination attempt. They stood and waited for the car to pass.
Princip hoped that his fellow conspirator’s would try at every point, but it didn’t work as planned, the first conspirator lost his nerve and froze, the second one threw a grenade at the car, the chauffer spotted it coming and accelerated away at speed, it missed the Archdukes car but exploded hitting the car behind seriously wounding the occupants, who were immediately taken to the local hospital.
This conspirator quickly swallowed a cyanide capsule and jumped into the river hoping to drown, he was dragged out and arrested, the cyanide poison failed. The others along the route including Princip ran away, their opportunity lost as the Archduke’s car was going too fast and the crowds hemmed them in. An immediate panic set in for those protecting the Archduke, they had to get him and his wife away from the city center and from any more attempts on his life.
Franz Ferdinand decided to visit the hospital in Sarajevo where the injured were taken, still shaken severely by the attempt and fearing for his wife’s safety they carried on the journey to the hospital. This change of direction was coupled by a sudden twist of fate that would be fatal.
General Potiorek who was traveling with the Archduke suggested that they should drive directly to the hospital, but he failed to inform the chauffer who unknowingly took the car on another route and turned into Gebet street. With all the opportunities lost and his fellow conspirators gone, Princip had all but given up and decided to get a sandwich in the café in Gebet street, as he came out he couldn’t believe what he saw for he spotted the car with the Archduke coming to a halt just by the café. Princip’s chance came suddenly as the chauffer realizing he had made a wrong turn tried to reverse the car in a panic but stalled it. This was to become a fatal move for in the seconds that followed Princip stepped forward, and being no more than five feet away directly faced the Archduke, pulled out his pistol and fired several shots in succession into the car. Princess Sophie died instantly, the Archduke had been shot in the neck, bleeding badly he tried desperately to revive his wife, realizing she was dead, the horrific shock had within minutes killed him too.
Princip was arrested and the pistol wrestled from him before he could shoot himself, in vain he tried to take a cyanide pill but failed. Taken into custody and later tried, he was too young to receive the death sentence due to his being one month and three days short of his twentieth birthday. Instead he was imprisoned for twenty years, and died on April 28th 1918, of tuberculosis.
This unprovoked and murderous attack, insignificant as it was to the majority of mankind, would inevitably unleash the might of the “Four Great Empires of Europe”, their old alliances and loyalties would soon be bonded together solidly in a union of strength. Their combined power would be one of unimaginable mightiness that would soon embroil the world in complete slaughter of young men scattered across the globe.
The world would soon find itself on the brink of total war…”The First World War” that brought all the nations of the earth into a conflict of unparalleled proportions.

Little did Gavrilo Princip the young schoolboy of nearly 20 years old realize by any extreme of his imagination, what the consequences for the world would be by killing the Archduke and his wife. Only that by his action he had lit the “touch paper” that would ignite the world in a World War that would bring World Powers, Nations, Empires, Countries, Kings and Queens, Emperors and peoples to their knees, in the most horrific conflict that had ever plagued mankind up until that time in man’s history on this earth.
1914 was the year that would eventually envelope the world in the most savage, bloodthirsty, brutal and destructive war that the world had ever witnessed until that time!
Gavrilo Princip
 
   
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