How a sandwich started a war


On the twenty-eight of June 1914, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot at on their way through Sarajevo. There were several assassins in Sarajevo, ready to snuff out these two passengers. Though they were surrounded by police escorts and other cars, all meant to keep them safe, they both died from the wounds that they received that day. And from that stemmed a time of bloodshed and fear for not only those who were forced to carry weapons into the middle of no man’s land but also those who were forced to flee from their own homes and change the shape of their entire lives. 

Their first attempted at taking the life of Ferdinand was a bombing. Along the pathway of the car, there were three assassins laid out along the main road. Each was armed with a bomb and one of them was even armed with a pistol. They were all placed in their positions by a man named Danilo Ilic. The first two assassins missed their chances at launching their bombs, but the third managed to throw his at the car with the Duke and his wife. The bomb ricocheted off the folded back roof of the convertible car which carried both Franz and Sophie Ferdinand and underneath the car behind them, injuring between sixteen and twenty people. Cabrinovic, who was the man who managed to throw his bomb, tried to kill himself in the aftermath of the assassination attempt. He took a cyanide pill and jumped into the MIlijacka river, expecting the poison to end his life and only his remains to survive. This, however, did not happen.  The cyanide was old and did not work, only inducing vomiting and because of the heat of the summer day, the water was only 13cm deep, meaning that he didn’t drown. 

Under ordinary circumstances, the assassins may not have been able to assassinate Franz Ferdinand and his wife that day. Unfortunately for the two of them, the circumstances weren’t exactly normal. Princip, the man who had been handed a pistol was queuing for a cheese sandwich in a shop on Franz Joseph street called Schiller’s. The driver of the Duke and Duchesses car was not a native to Sarajevo managed to get lost and turned on to Franz Joseph street, only to be stopped by Ferdinand, who had noticed the mistake. Just in that very moment, Princip stepped out of the store with his sandwich and noticed the Duke’s stalled right in front of where he was standing. Quickly, he pulled out his pistol and shot at the car, first hitting Sophie and then Franz. 

Following the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, allies jumped to aid and defend each other from the anger of other countries. Every new alliance dragged into the war a new country,  a new round of soldiers and a new round of deaths on a battlefield miles away from their own homes. All because of one little cheese sandwich. 


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