The First World War started after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Without his assassination, there would have been no need for Vienna to threaten Serbia. In turn, Russia wouldn’t need to come to Serbia’s defense, Germany wouldn’t need to protect Austria. France and Britain would still honor their treaties with Russia. But did you know that aides tried to save him but couldn’t?
In 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot, his aides attempted to tend to his wounds, but they couldn’t because the uniform he wore was sewn on him. By the time they were able to find scissors and cut through his clothes, the Archduke had passed.
Who is Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria was born on December 18, 1863, in Graz, Austria. He is the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig and Princess Maria Annunciata.
At the age of eleven, Ferdinand’s cousin, Francis V, the Duke of Modena, passed. This meant Ferdinand was named heir on the condition that he added the name Este to his own. He soon became one of the wealthiest men in the whole of Austria.
By 1889, Ferdinand’s life drastically changed when his cousin Crown Prince Rudolf killed himself. Ferdinand’s father, Karl Ludwig, became first in line to the throne. In 1869, Ludwig died of typhoid fever, and Ferdinand was groomed to be the successor to the throne. (Source: New York Times)
Why Was Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated?
Both Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie the Duchess of Hohenburg, were assassinated on June 28, 1914, by Gavrillo Princip. The objective of the assassination was to free Bosnia from Austria-Hungarian rule and establish a common South Slav state.
Unfortunately, because the aides could not assist Ferdinand immediately, he passed, and the issues between several European nations started to arise. (Source: History News Network)
Was Archduke Franz Ferdinand A Good Person?
While many know him as a seminal figure in the First World War, there are not many insights into his personality.
Ferdinand was widely despised in Vienna and Budapest. He had a terrible temper and was very outspoken that he became quite known around military circles for this. Even with the slightest annoyance, he would get enraged and throw tantrums. An example of this was when he went on the royal carriage to meet the German Kaiser and decided the ride was not up to his standards. He wielded his sword and hacked the upholstery into pieces.
Ferdinand was also looking forward to the death of his uncle Franz Joseph. He went as far as secretly having his portrait made with himself wearing the full regalia of the emperor. By the time his uncle fell ill, Ferdinand had his private railway car on standby so that he could immediately go to Vienna upon the emperor’s death.
It should be noted that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not a good person. Although he was assassinated for political reasons, his nature and toxic personality did not give him much to go on. (Source: History News Network)