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Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Sir Winston Churchill (1874 1965)
On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot to death in Sarajevo. Seven members of a terrorist organization known as the Black Hand lined the streets of during the parade as the Duke and Duchess were en route through the city. It would be Gavrillo Princip that fired the two shots that succeeded in ending the lives of the Royal couple. This assassination would directly lead to the events that followed it exactly a month later. Beginning with the declaration of war on Serbia by Austria Hungary and ending with the declaration of war on Germany by Great Britain it would take one week for the major European powers to choose their sides. A week in which all the tensions, ambitions, and predispositions of the dominating powers of the continent would culminate and result in a string of hasty decisions that would mark the...
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