Pomp and Circumstance
I chose this title as it portrays what was perhaps the most significant event in the 20th Century.
On 28 o6 14 Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were being driven by the banks of the Miljacka in their open top car.
I’m guessing traffic was light, as the motor car was beyond the reach of mere mortals.
Such cars that were being driven still carried the characteristics of ancient horse drawn carriages, and by and large featured open tops with canvas hoods.
As it was summer the chauffeur was poodling through Sarajevo with the roof down. Suddenly the royal party received an unwelcome surprise.
A revolutionary zealot lobbed a grenade at them, which exploded directly behind them injuring folk in the flowing vehicle.
After their escape and a meeting with the mayor the royal couple thought they should go back and see how the injured party were getting on.
The oaf driving Franz Ferdinand and his wife dutifully obeyed, but happened to take a wrong turning (he’d forgotten the charging cable on his Garmin Sat Nav).
These primitive machines were hardly the most nimble of conveyances, and as the driver struggled to get the car into reverse gear it stalled.
Hey presto one of the earlier would be assassins companions sees the commotion from inside a cafe, and seizes his opportunity.
In a moment he rushes into the street and pulls the trigger at point blank range.
The V.I.P.s had no chance, and within minutes had gone to meet their maker.
Gavrilo Princip fired the first of many bullets. How many?
If you add up all the rounds fired in World War I you’ll have your answer.
The incident sparked off war between Austro-Hungary and Serbia, and it wasn’t long before most of Europe joined in hoping for some economic gain.
All manner of “triggers” were pulled, and eventually Russia and the USA joined in too. top marks to Holland and Switzerland for not joining in.
If you’ve read my last post you’ll see why I “dug out” this photo from my 2010 European Tour.
It was quite something to visit the actual spot where a Prince in all his pomp found himself the victim of a very unhappy circumstance.
If you were hoping for a bit of Elgar click here!