Saturday, 29 June 2013

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Yesterday, 28th June, was the 99th anniversary of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination.

His assassination (along with that of his wife) in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. This caused the Central Powers (including Germany and Austria-Hungary) and the  Entente Powers (also known as the Allies- countries allied with Serbia or with Serbia's allies) to declare war on each other, starting World War I.

 The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was over 37 million. There were over 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

The total number of deaths includes about 10 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. The Allies lost about 6 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead.

About two-thirds of military deaths in World War I were in battle, unlike the conflicts that took place in the 19th century when the majority of deaths were due to disease. Improvements in medicine as well as the increased lethality of military weaponry were both factors in this development. Nevertheless disease, including the Spanish flu, still caused about one third of total military deaths for all belligerents.

And all because one man died!


  1. So glad you're back and feeling able to blog. This blog topic is something I've known for quite a while mostly because my husband has often spoken about it. Now I want to know who did the assassination, how and why. So much I don't know and Google has all (well most) of the answers and hopefully they're accurate.

    As for Ivy and the fleas, after seven cats we finally decided to conform to California humane society recommendations -- with a little pressure from the rising coyote population -- Scruffy is an indoor cat. Solves the flea problem but the lizards drive him crazy. One day the screen door may just not be enough! Scratches and cuddles to Ivy.

  2. I always had difficulties grasping the causes of WWI. Back in school when we read about it I remember we tried to make a play about it letting students each represent a country, to demonstrate who hit whom and in what order... Not so successfully as to make details still stick in memory 40 years later, though!

  3. It is really sad,John! Can't think any human failure to be as vicious as war. It inflicts casualties and sufferings on the defenseless civilians. What when it's dubbed a World War! Hope not a 3rd one! Great take, thanks for sharing!


  4. From little seeds indeed - and it's not always a good thing. I have been reading a book about the illnesses of famous politicians, and the author makes a case that if it had not been for the ill health of one of the imoportant english politicians at the time, the Archduke's assassination might have been just one of the many troubles in the region at the time.

    Although I fear they would have boiled up in the end, one way or another.

    I always love the word "archduke" - I really wish I knew one! :)

    1. I agree that things would probably have boiled up anyway. When countries (i.e. their leaders) want to go to war they'll find an excuse somehow.
      Like you I love the name Archduke. Earl is pretty cool too.

  5. Amazing info, huh? I recently read "The Citizens of London" - a story about WWII and bringing the US into the war. It was a good read.

  6. Thank you for this piece of history...I had no idea. Avenging the Archduke's death sure caused a lot of disharmony and loss of life.

  7. one would think that MAN would pay attention to the horrible statistics waged in war, but no, personal gains of power drive countries to war after war! I don't think that I'd ever known the numbers for WWI before.

  8. your pigeon is tagged. I have 101 in my garden.

  9. About 100 million people died directly or indirectly as a result of wars during the last century. We have a tendency in this country (and many other countries too I am sure) to think that nowadays wars happen 'somewhere else' because we've not had one on our soil during my lifetime (excluding war by terrorism which is, of course, a form of war). I'm glad that I'm not young. To borrow Harold Macmillan's words "We've never had it so good.".

  10. Has any war ever spawned more stories, books, and movies than WWI, the Great War, the War to End All Wars? Even our beloved Downton Abbey uses it as a spring board.

    Hard to believe it all started 100 years ago, though -- it still seems very much with us, especially in the Middle East where the European Allies carved up with region without giving any thought to tribal or geographical boundaries, which are still contributing to the conflicts of today.

  11. I watched the 2011 Spielberg movie "War Horse" recently and it was heartbreaking and moving. I love history and WWI destroyed so much that was ancient and beautiful and definitely set the stage for WWII that was so much worse. It has taken until the present to see some kind of laying to rest of those wars, and the scary thing is that this laying to rest may be the brew for the next war, unless the next war is focused in the Middle East.


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