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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This will be a thread to begin discussion concerning the origin and the causes (immediate and long term) of the First World War.

Since there is a lot to discuss here; it seems appropriate for this topic to have its own separate thread.

Please feel free to begin discussing this aspect of the First World War.


The First World War by John Keegan John Keegan

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
These are some of the questions that we have put together which may be able to start discussing here:

a) What are the overt and the covert causes of World War I. In every conflict there are always those causes that have been simmering beneath the surface for a very long time and those that are used as a rationalization to do something you have wanted to do for just that long; but did not have the excuse. Many times the flimsiest of reasons start conflicts in the short term and they have nothing to do with the underlying festering that has been going on for decades. So we will need to examine the short and long term causes of the war.
b) What was the immediate cause of war?
c) What were the Pre-Conflicts? (Including Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) · Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912) · First Balkan War (1912–1913) · Second Balkan War (1913))
d) Understand the prelude before the war and the circumstances surrounding the following: Origins · Sarajevo assassination · July Ultimatum

message 3: by JP (new)

JP The immediate cause of the war is usually taken to be the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne) by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28, 1914. Princip was a member of a nationalist group called the Black Hand that wanted to secede from Austria-Hungary and attach Bosnia to Serbia in an effort to create a greater Yugoslavia. Bosnia had been administered by Austria-Hungary since 1878 and fully annexed in 1908. Thus, Bosnia and Greater Serbia had lived under Hapsburg rule for nearly three decades. Russia was opposed to the annexation.

Austria-Hungary as well as Germany had wanted to fully conquer Serbia for years. The assassination gave them a pretext to declare war. However, a series of alliances among the nations of Europe ultimately pulled all the major nations of Europe into the conflict thus resulting in the beginning of the First World War.

Austria-Hungary made a series of 10 demands to Serbia (July Crisis/Ultimatum), of which Serbia agreed to 7 of them. Austria-Hungary immediately declared war. As a result, Russia came into the war on the side of Serbia, Germany came into the war on the side of Austria, and France came into the war on the side of Serbia. Germany then declared war on Russia, England declared war on Germany, and thus the world was plunged into war.

These are the proximate causes. The roots of the conflict stretch back many years. I will treat this in a separate post.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
You could say that Conrad was just itching to go to war with Serbia and this was his excuse. Agreeing to 7 out of 10 demands is not bad first time out. Good post JP, I will expand upon it later.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2010 02:25PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Who's Who - Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914) was born in Graz, Austria. As the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire his assassination on 28 June 1914 sparked the First World War.

Although only third in line to the throne, Franz Ferdinand became the heir-apparent following the death of the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889, and his own father Archduke Charles Louis in 1896, Franz Josef's brother. Considered a prideful and mistrusting man, and not overly cultured, and with a short temper, Franz Ferdinand lacked the necessary charisma to guarantee popularity.

Following his marriage to Sophie Chotek von Chotkova in 1900, Ferdinand became more reclusive. A happy husband and a devoted father (they had three children), Ferdinand's private persona in this regard was at odds with public perception.

The Emperor, Franz Josef, was against the marriage, arguing that Franz Ferdinand was marrying beneath his station. The marriage eventually only took place after Ferdinand agreed to renounce all rights of succession for his children. Franz Josef did not attend the wedding.

The primary source of Franz Ferdinand's unpopularity however related to the policies he intended to apply once he assumed the throne. He proposed to replace Austro-Hungarian dualism with 'Trialism,' a triple monarchy in which the empire's Slavs would have an equal voice in government with the Germans and Magyars.

Ferdinand was also considering the idea of a federalism made up of 16 states; the aim being to avoid disintegration of the fading Austro-Hungarian empire. However these ideas were not popular among the ruling elite.

As Inspector General of the army Franz Ferdinand accepted an invitation from General Oskar Potiorek to visit the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo, to inspect army manoeuvres.

Bosnia - and Herzegovina - were provinces that had been under Austro-Hungarian administration since 1878, by international agreement. Austria annexed the provinces outright in 1908, a controversial move which upset governments in the west; however, Greater-Serbia proponents were outraged.

They wanted the provinces to be part of a Serbian led pan-Slav state, rather than part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

A Serbian terrorist group, the Black Hand, resolved to assassinate Franz Ferdinand during his visit to Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, thereby stalling his proposed reforms.

While riding in the motorcade through the streets of Sarajevo on 28 June, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were shot and killed by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian member of the Black Hand; earlier in the day Ferdinand's car had also been fired at by a hand grenade, causing him to complain angrily upon his arrival at the city hall.

"What is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous!"

Archduke Franz Ferdinand interrupting the Mayor's welcome speech at Sarajevo's city hall, 28 June 1914.

The assassination provided Austria-Hungary with an excuse to take action against Serbia. During July 1914 the situation escalated, pulling in the major European powers via the complex alliance relationships each had struck up with one another. The result was world war.

Franz Ferdinand was buried in a crypt beneath the chapel of his castle, Artstetten, instead of the customary burial place of the Hapsburgs, Capuchin Crypt, in Vienna. Neither Franz Josef nor the German Kaiser attended the funeral.


It is rather curious also that neither Franz Josef nor the German Kaiser every attended his funeral.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2010 01:54PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod


Source: Britannica

Here are some videos and close up of the couple:

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is actually a piece of a re-enactment done by BBC which is actually quite good: (this is just a clip - wish I could find the whole thing)

It belongs to a larger DVD called Days that Shook the World.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Interesting postcard of Franz Ferdinand and his family

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2010 12:58AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is an interesting article from BBC:

The Origins of World War I:

message 10: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Lots of good information here Bentley, great stuff.

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Glad you liked it.

message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 25, 2010 08:25PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I thought I would add some information about the Emperor Franz Joseph who was against Franz Ferdinand's marriage and who said at the time of his assassination (Kaiser means Emperor) a rather insensitive remark:

In 1914, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, leading to World War I. When he heard the news of the assassination, Franz Joseph said that "in this manner a superior power has restored that order which I unfortunately was unable to maintain."

He was Emperor of Austria; Apostolic King of Hungary; King of Bohemia. He was Emperor/Kaiser at the time of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's (heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne) assassination.

Additionally, he did not even attend the funeral (pretty shocking - so it says volumes about this man).

Source: Wikipedia

Some complete quotes:

"Terrible! The Almighty cannot be provoked! A Higher Power has restored that order which unfortunately I was unable to maintain."
The Emperor upon hearing of the Archduke's assassination

"Now we can no longer hold back. It will be a terrible war."
The Emperors response to the German "blank check"

"Also Doch! (It has come after all!)"
The Emperor on Serbian mobilization

Also another write-up:

Emperor Franz Joseph - 1839

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 25, 2010 09:26PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is a little about Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany who also couldn't get himself to attend Archduke Franz Ferdinand's funeral.

A Little About the Man:

Politics: Above all, the Kaiser wanted "a place in the sun" for the German people. The problem was the only places left were in the shade. There was very little room left for new colonization in the early part of this century. Never the less the Kaiser built up the German military machine and under the Tirpitz Plan, built a naval fleet to rival that of Great Britain. The term "saber rattler" sums up his politics as well as his personality. Historian Barbara Tuchman put it well when she referred to the Kaiser as "possessor of the least inhibited tongue in Europe".

Personal: The Kaiser was born with a withered left arm (like FDR's polio, this defect was pretty well covered up and is visible in only a few photographs). This, together with having some tough footsteps in which to follow, led Wilhelm towards the military lifestyle. He loved his numerous uniforms and surrounding himself with the elite of German military society.

Misconception: The Kaiser was a war monger solely responsible for the First World War. The Kaiser did not start the war. The Kaiser did not want the war. "Saber rattling" is one thing, a war with the other major European powers is something very different indeed! The most that can be said is that the Kaiser did not do enough to try to control the actions of Austria-Hungary and prevent the outbreak of war. In the end he accepted war.

Fate: The Kaiser was forced to abdicate as part of the Armistice. He went to Holland where he died in 1941. He is buried at Doorn.

His Quotes:

"only fit to live in a country house and grow turnips"
The Kaiser on Czar Nicholas II

"a very nice boy"
The Kaiser on King George V (only six years his junior)

"bear yourselves as Huns of Attila"
The Kaiser to troops heading for the Boxer Rebellion in China

"He is satan, you cannot imagine what a satan he is"
The Kaiser on King Edward VII

"a spirited note, what?"
The Kaiser on the ultimatum to Serbia

"A great moral victory for Vienna, but with it, every reason for war disappears."
The Kaiser on the Serbian reply to the ultimatum

"Gentlemen, you will regret this."
The Kaiser to the general staff on the decision to mobilize

Source and write-up:

[image error]

Frederick Wilhelm Viktor Albert of Hohenzollern

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

Some Additional Photos:

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 25, 2010 09:37PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
More on Archduke Franz Ferdinand:

Family name: Hapsburg

Heir to the Austrian Throne:
Third in line to the throne at one point, he became heir through two untimely deaths. The first was of the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Rudolph, who killed himself (and his sixteen year old mistress) in 1889. The second was the death of his father, Archduke Charles Louis, in 1896. Now it was Franz Ferdinand that would be next in line for the Crown.

Considered more flexible in matters of military and domestic affairs than his uncle Emperor Franz Josef, he was a reformist with new ideas to be put into practice when he ascended to the Hapsburg throne. One of these ideas was "trialism" - the reorganization of the dual monarchy into a triple monarchy by giving the Slavs an equal voice in the empire. This would put them on an equal footing with the Magyars and Germans living inside the Austro-Hungarian borders. These politics were in direct conflict with those of the Serbian nationalists.

Personal: Much has been said about Franz Ferdinand and very little of it good. He has been referred to as a miser, a bigot, and a spoiled child. Shunned by the elite of Viennese society, he was also called "the loneliest man in Vienna". He lacked the two key elements for success in this social scene - charm and elegance. His home life appears to have been surprisingly better. His marriage to Countess Sophia von Chotkowa und Wognin, Duchess of Hohenburg in 1900 was called one of the world's great love affairs. Unfortunately the Emperor considered the Duchess a commoner and tried to convince Franz Ferdinand he was marrying beneath his station. They went through with the marriage against the Emperor's wishes but had to renounce rights of rank and succession for their children. In the years to come, Sophie would not be allowed to ride in the same car with her husband during affairs of state.

Fate: The Archduke and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28-Jun-1914 (their fourteenth wedding anniversary) by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The Archduke's role of Inspector General of the Austrian army had brought him to Sarajevo for the summer maneuvers. Neither Emperor Franz Josef or the Kaiser saw fit to attend the funeral.

Some of his quotes:

"What is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous!"
The Archduke interrupting the Mayor's speech at City Hall in Sarajevo

"Sophie dear, Sophie dear, don't die! Stay alive for our children."
The Archduke's last words

Some Additional Photos:

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Wikipedia article:


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 25, 2010 09:47PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
You have to wonder why two leaders who could not be bothered to go to the funeral of a relative (who was heir to the Austrian throne) and his wife who were both brutally assassinated were even that concerned or upset to go to war over this event. They could not even show him any decency or respect by attendance at his funeral.

message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
1911 - The Narodna Odbrana (Defense of the People - Secret Society)


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
One of the undercurrents and pre conflicts which led to the assassination were the Balkan Wars:

Balkan Wars

Territorial expansion of Serbia after Balkan Wars.
Immediately after annexation of Vardar Macedonia to the Kingdom of Serbia, the Macedonian Slavs were faced with the policy of forced serbianisation.

The population of Macedonia was forced to declare as Serbs. Those who refused were beaten and tortured. According to the Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, members of the Narodna Odbrana have committed serious war crimes against the civilian population.

In Skopje there was a central committee of "National Defense". A population of Skopje called their headquarters "Black House", after the "Black Hand", secret organization that stood behind them. In the "black house" disloyal individuals were taken and beaten.

The term Balkan Wars refers to the two wars that took place in South-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.

The First Balkan War broke out on 8 October 1912 when Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia (see Balkan League), having large parts of their ethnic populations under Ottoman sovereignty, attacked the Ottoman Empire, terminating its five-century rule in the Balkans in a seven-month campaign resulting in the Treaty of London.

The Second Balkan War broke out on 16 June 1913 when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its gains, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece. Their armies repulsed the Bulgarian offensive and counter-attacked penetrating into Bulgaria, while Romania and the Ottomans used the favourable time to intervene against Bulgaria to win territorial gains.

In the resulting Treaty of Bucharest, Bulgaria lost most of the territories gained in the First Balkan War.

The background to the wars lies in the incomplete emergence of nation-states on the European territory of the Ottoman Empire during the second half of the 19th century.

The Serbs had gained substantial territory during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878, while Greece acquired Thessaly in 1881 (although it lost a small area back to the Ottoman Empire in 1897) and Bulgaria (an autonomous principality since 1878) incorporated the formerly distinct province of Eastern Rumelia (1885). All three as well as Montenegro sought additional territories within the large Ottoman-ruled region known as Rumelia, comprising Eastern Rumelia, Albania, Macedonia, and Thrace (see map).

The Rise of Nationalism Under the Ottoman Empire had contributed to these conflicts:

message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Black Hand

Black Hand (Serbian: Црна рука, Crna ruka), officially Unification or Death (Уједињење или смрт, Ujedinjenje ili smrt), was a military secret society founded in the Kingdom of Serbia on May 9, 1911.[1:][2:] It was a part of the Pan-Slavist movement, with the intention of uniting all of the territories containing South Slav populations annexed by Austria-Hungary.[3:][4:] This society's possible connections to the June 28, 1914, assassination in Sarajevo of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, is considered to have been the main catalyst to the start of World War I.

Origin of the Group:

The Black Hand was founded by former members of a semi-secret society named Narodna Odbrana (Defence of the People) dedicated to achieving Pan-Slavism and nationalism by means of assassination.

The purpose of Narodna Odbrana was to recruit and train partisans for a possible war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary and eventually free Serbia from Austria-Hungary. Under their anti-Austrian propaganda, they organized spies and saboteurs to operate within the empire's provinces. Satellite groups were formed in Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Austria. In 1909, after the Bosnian Annexation Crisis, Austria pressured the Serbian government to put a stop to their anti-Austrian insurrection.

At that time Russia lacked military strength to fully support Serbia in case of a war, so the organization was forced to stop. From then on, Narodna Odbrana attempted to disguise itself as a cultural organization by shifting its concentration to education and propaganda within Serbia.

In 1912, differences between the two main groups of the Narodna Odbrana—political leaders of the Radical Party and military officers—arose.

The political leaders preferred a more passive approach for the time being, including more peaceful relations with Austria and concentrating on strengthening Serbia for future struggle, but some of the military officers grew impatient with the more moderate radical policies.

Consequently, the more zealous members of the Narodna Odbrana started a new secret society, and the Black Hand was founded.


The group encompassed a range of ideological outlooks, from conspiratorially-minded army officers to idealistic youths, sometimes tending towards republicanism, despite the acquisition of nationalistic royal circles in its activities (the movement's leader, Col. Dragutin Dimitrijević or "Apis," had been instrumental in the June 1903 coup which had brought King Petar Karađorđević to the Serbian throne following 45 years of rule by the rival Obrenović dynasty). The group was denounced as nihilist by the Austro-Hungarian press and compared to the Russian People's Will and the Chinese Assassination Corps which, like the Black Hand, used assassination to achieve anti-imperialist political goals.

Impact on the Initiation of World War I:

Just prior to World War I, under the orders of the Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence, Serbian Military Officers and remnants of the by then moribund Black Hand organized and facilitated the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria on occasion of his visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia.

The Austro-Hungarian investigation of the assassination rounded up all but one of the assassins and also much of the underground railroad that had been used to transport the assassins and their weapons from Serbia to Sarajevo.

Within two days following the assassination, Austria-Hungary and Germany advised Serbia that she should open an investigation, but Serbian Foreign Minister Gruic, speaking for Serbia replied, "Nothing had been done so far, and the matter did not concern the Serbian Government," after which "high words" were spoken on both sides.

Entreaties by Germany asking Russia to intercede with Serbia were ignored.

On July 23 Austria-Hungary delivered a toughly worded letter to Serbia with ten enumerated demands and additional demands in the preamble aimed at the destruction of the anti-Austrian terrorist and propaganda network in Serbia.

Austria called attention to Serbia's March, 1909 declaration committing to the Great Powers to respect Austria-Hungary's sovereignty over Bosnia-Herzegovina and committing Serbia to maintain good neighborly relations with Austria-Hungary.

If the ten enumerated demands and demands in the preamble were not agreed to within 48 hours, Austria-Hungary would recall its ambassador from Serbia. The letter became known as the July Ultimatum.

Serbia accepted all but one of the demands, which would have compromised its sovereignty.

In response, Austria-Hungary recalled its ambassador.

Austria-Hungary authorized the mobilization and the declaration of war against Serbia on July 28, 1914.

The Secret Treaty of 1892 required both Russia and France to mobilize immediately followed by a commencement of action against the Triple Alliance if any member of the Triplice mobilized, and so soon all the Great Powers of Europe were at war except Italy.

Italy cited a clause in the Triple Alliance treaty which only bound it to enter in case of aggression against one of the treaty members, and so remained neutral - for the time being.

The six assassins caught by Austria-Hungary were tried and convicted of treason. The leader, Danilo Ilić, was hanged.

The remaining assassins in custody were not yet twenty years old at the time of the assassination and so were given prison terms. Most of the underground railroad that transported them were also arrested, tried, and convicted. Two of these were executed. A few peripheral conspirators were acquitted. A wide ranging investigation rolled up many additional irredentist youths, and the fifth column that the Black Hand and Serbian Military Intelligence had tried to organize was eliminated.

After receiving the Austrian letter, Serbia arrested Major Voja Tankosić (a member of the Black Hand committee who had been pointed out by the assassins) but then promptly released him and returned him to his unit.

The seventh assassin escaped to Montenegro where he was arrested. Austria-Hungary asserted its right to extradite him, but Montenegrin authorities instead allowed the assassin to "escape" to Serbia where he joined Major Tankosić's unit; Major Tankosić died in November 1915 covering the Serbian retreat, but not before confessing his role in the assassination to historians at Azania.

Masterspy Rade Malobabić, Serbian Military Intelligence's top agent against Austria-Hungary, was arrested on his return from Austria-Hungary after the assassination, but was also later released and given a commission running an army supply store.

In 1917 Serbia's government in exile arrested the leadership of the Black Hand wishing to halt their underground influence in both the army and politics.

The leadership was tried before a kangaroo court and convicted on false charges unrelated to Sarajevo, such as plotting an assassinations of Nikola Pašić and Crown prince Aleksandar; many were given death sentences.

Three of the accused were ultimately shot by firing squad, against protests of the new Kerensky government of Russia. Before being shot, Dragutin Dimitrijević made a written confession to the court that he had ordered Rade Malobabić to organize the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

Malobabić made an implied confession to a priest before he was executed. Vulović's confession came at trial where he said he received orders signed by Serbia's top military officer to send Malobabic into Austria-Hungary just before the assassination. Much later, a new trial was ordered by Yugoslavia and the convictions were overturned.

Some other sources:

Sarajevo, June 28, 1914

message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Constitution of the Black Hand

The Constitution of the Ujedinjenje ili Smrt -

Unification or Death

I. Purpose and Name

Article 1. For the purpose of realising the national ideals - the
Unification of Serbdom - an organization is hereby created, whose
members may be any Serbian irrespective of sex, religion, place or
birth, as well as anybody else who will sincerely serve this idea.

Article 2. The organisation gives priority to the revolutionary struggle
rather than relies on cultural striving, therefore its institution is an
absolutely secret one for wider circles.

Article 3. The organization bears the name: "Ujedinjenje ili Smrt".

Article 4. In order to carry into effect its task the organization will
do the following things:

(1) Following the character of its raison d etre it will exercise its
influence over all the official factors in Serbia - which is the Piemont
of Serbdom - as also over all the strata of the State and over the
entire social life in it:

(2) It will carry out a revolutionary organisation in all the
territories where Serbians are living:

(3) Beyond the frontiers, it will fight with all means against all
enemies of this idea:

(4) It will maintain friendly relations with all the States, nations,
organisations, and individual persons who sympathise with Serbia
and the Serbian race:

(5) It will give every assistance to those nations and organisations
who are fighting for their own national liberation and unification.

II. Official Departments of the Organisation

Article 5. The supreme authority is vested in the Supreme Central
Directorate with its headquarters at Belgrade. Its duty will be to see
that the resolutions are carried into effect.

Article 6. The number of members of the Supreme Central Directorate is
unlimited - but in principle it should be kept as low as possible.

Article 7. The Supreme Central Directorate shall include, in addition to the members from the Kingdom of Serbia, one accredited delegate from each of the organisations of all the Serbian regions: (1) Bosnia and Herzegovina, (2) Montenegro, (3) Old Serbia and Macedonia, (4) Croatia, Slovenia and Symria (Srem), (5) Voyvodina, (6) Sea-coasts.

Article 8. It will be the task of the Supreme Central Directorate to
carry out the principles of the organisation within the territory of the Kingdom of Serbia.

Article 9. The duty of each individual Provincial Directorate will be to carry out the principles of the organisation within the respective
territories of each Serbian region outside the frontiers of the Kingdom of Serbia. The Provincial Directorate will be the supreme authority of the organisation within its own territory.

Article 10. The subdivisions of the organisation into District
Directorates and other units of authority shall be established by the By-Laws of the organisation which shall be laid down, and if need be, from time to time amended and amplified by the Supreme Central Directorate.

Article 11. Each Directorate shall elect, from amongst its own members, its President, Secretary and Treasures.

Article 12. By virtue of the nature of his work, the Secretary may act as a Deputy President. In order that he may devote himself entirely to the work of the organisation, the Secretary s salary and expenses shall be provided by the Supreme Central Directorate.

Article 13. The positions of President and Treasurers shall be un-

Article 14. All official business questions of the organisation shall be decided in the sessions of the Supreme Central Directorate by a majority of votes.

Article 15. For the execution of such decisions of the organisation, the absolute executive power shall be vested in the President and the Secretary.

Article 16. In exceptional and less important cases the President and the Secretary shall make the decisions and secure their execution, but they shall report accordingly at the next following session of the Supreme Central Directorate.

Article 17. For the purpose of ensuring a more efficient discharge of business, the Supreme Central Directorate shall be divided into
sections, according to the nature of the work.

Article 18. The Supreme Central Directorate shall maintain its relations with the Provincial Directorates through the accredited delegates of the said provincial organisations, it being understood that such delegates shall be at the same time members of the Supreme Central Directorate; in exceptional cases, however, these relations shall be maintained through special delegates.

Article 19. Provincial Directorates shall have freedom of action. Only in cases of the execution of broader revolutionary movements will they depend upon the approval of the Supreme Central Directorate.

Article 20. The Supreme Central Directorate shall regulate all the signs and watchwords, necessary for the maintenance of secrecy in the organisation.

Article 21. It shall be the Supreme Central Directorate s duty
punctually and officially to keep all the members of the organisation well posted about all the more important questions relative to the organisation.

Article 22. The Supreme Central Directorate shall from time to time
control and inspect the work of its own departments. Analogically, the other Directorates shall do likewise with their own departments.

III. The Members of the Organisation

Article 23. The following rule, as a principle, shall govern all the
detailed transactions of the organisation: All communications and
conversations to be conducted only through specially appointed and authorised persons.

Article 24. It shall be the duty of every member to recruit new members, but it shall be understood that every introducing member shall vouch with his own life for all those whom he introduces into the organisation.

Article 25. The members of the organisation as amongst themselves shall not be known to one another. Only the members of Directorates shall be known personally to one another.

Article 26. In the organisation the members shall be registered and
known by their respective numbers. But the Supreme Central Directorate must know them also by their respective names.

Article 27. The members of the organisation must unconditionally obey all the commands given by their respective Directorates, as also all the Directorates must obey unconditionally the commands which they receive direct from their superior Directorate.

Article 28. Every member shall be obliged to impart officially to the organisation whatever comes to his knowledge, either in his private life or in the discharge of his official duties, in as far as it may be of interest to the organisation.

Article 29. The interest of the organisation shall stand above all
other interests.

Article 30. On entering into the organisation, every member must know that by joining the organisation he loses his own personality; he must not expect any glory for himself, nor any personal benefit, material or moral. Consequently the member who should dare to try to exploit the organisation for his personal, or class, or party interests shall be punished by death.

Article 31. Whosoever has once entered into the organisation can never by any means leave it, nor shall anybody have the authority to accept the resignation of a member.

Article 32. Every member shall support the organisation by his weekly contributions. The organisations, however, shall have the authority to procure money, if need be, by coercion. The permission to resort to these means may be given only by Supreme Central Directorate within the country, or by the regional Directorates within their respective region.

Article 33. In administering capital punishment the sole responsibility of the Supreme Central Directorate shall be to see that such punishment is safely and unfailingly carried into effect without any regard for the ways and means to be employed in the execution.

IV. The Seal and the Oath of Allegiance

Article 34. The Organisation's official seal is thus composed: In the
centre of the seal there is a powerful arm holding in its hand an
unfurled flag on which - as a coat of arms - there is a skull with
crossed bones; by the side of the flag, a knife, a bomb and a phial of poison. Around, in a circle, there is the following inscription, reading from left to right: "Unification or Death", and in the base: "The Supreme Central Directorate".

Article 35. On entering into the organisation the joining member must pronounce the following oath of allegiance:

"I (the Christian name and surname of the joining member), by entering into the organisation "Unification or Death", do hereby swear by the Sun which shineth upon me, by the Earth which feedeth me, by God, by the blood of my forefathers, by my honour and by my life, that from this moment onward and until my death, I shall faithfully serve the task of this organisation and that I shall at all times be prepared to bear for it any sacrifice. I further swear by God, by my honour and by my life, that I shall unconditionally carry into effect all its orders and commands. I further swear by my God, by my honour and by my life, that I shall keep within myself all the secrets of this organisation and carry them with me into my grave. May God and my comrades in this organisation
be my judges if at any time I should wittingly fail or break this oath!"

V. Supplementary Orders

Article 36. The present Constitution shall come into force immediately.

Article 37. The present Constitution must not be altered.

Done at Belgrade this 9th day of May, 1911 A.D.


Major Ilija Radivojevitch
Vice-Consul Bogdan Radenkovitch
Colonel Cedimilj A. Popovitch
Lt.-Col. Velimir Vemitch
Journalist Ljubomir S. Jovanovitch
Col. Dragutin T. Dimitrijevitch
Major Vojin P. Tanksoitch
Major Milan Vasitch
Col. Milovan Gr. Milovanovitch

message 20: by Harvey (last edited Feb 25, 2010 11:18PM) (new)

Harvey | 284 comments For the origins of the First World War, WAR BY TIMETABLE: How the First World War Began WAR BY TIMETABLE How the First World War Began (Military Classics S.) by A Taylor A.J.P. Taylor is a truly great book.

message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thanks Harvey.

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Austria's Ultimatum to Serbia:

"Serbia recognizes that the fait accompli regarding Bosnia has not affected her rights and consequently she will conform to the decisions that the Powers may take in conformity with Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin. In deference to the advice of the Great Powers, Serbia undertakes to renounce from now onwards the attitude of protest and opposition which she has adopted with regard to the annexation since last autumn.

She undertakes, moreover, to modify the direction of her policy with regard to Austria-Hungary and to live in future on good neighbourly terms with the latter."

The history of recent years, and in particular the painful events of the 28th of June last, have shown the existence of a subversive movement with the object of detaching a part of the territories of Austria-Hungary from the Monarchy.

The movement, which had its birth under the eye of the Serbian Government, has gone so far as to make itself manifest on both sides of the Serbian frontier in the shape of acts of terrorism and a series of outrages and murders.

Far from carrying out the formal undertakings contained in the declaration of the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government has done nothing to repress these movements. It has permitted the criminal machinations of various societies and associations directed against the Monarchy, and has tolerated unrestrained language on the part of the press, the glorification of the perpetrators of outrages, and the participation of officers and functionaries in subversive agitation.

It has permitted an unwholesome propaganda in public instruction; in short, it has permitted all manifestations of a nature to incite the Serbian population to hatred of the Monarchy and contempt of its institutions.

This culpable tolerance of the Royal Serbian Government had not ceased at the moment when the events of the 28th of June last proved its fatal consequences to the whole world.

It results from the depositions and confessions of the criminal perpetrators of the outrage of the 28th of June that the Serajevo assassinations were planned in Belgrade; that the arms and explosives with which the murderers were provided had been given to them by Serbian officers and functionaries belonging to the Narodna Odbrana; and finally, that the passage into Bosnia of the criminals and their arms was organized and effected by the chiefs of the Serbian frontier service.

The above-mentioned results of the magisterial investigation do not permit the Austro-Hungarian Government to pursue any longer the attitude of expectant forbearance which they have maintained for years in face of the machinations hatched in Belgrade, and thence propagated in the territories of the Monarchy. The results, on the contrary, impose on them the duty of putting an end to the intrigues which form a perpetual menace to the tranquillity of the Monarchy.

To achieve this end the Imperial and Royal Government see themselves compelled to demand from the Royal Serbian Government a formal assurance that they condemn this dangerous propaganda against the Monarchy; in other words the whole series of tendencies, the ultimate aim of which is to detach from the Monarchy territories belonging to it and that they undertake to suppress by every means this criminal and terrorist propaganda.

In order to give a formal character to this undertaking the Royal Serbian Government shall publish on the front page of their "Official Journal" of the 13-26 of July the following declaration:

"The Royal Government of Serbia condemn the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary - i.e., the general tendency of which the final aim is to detach from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy territories belonging to it, and they sincerely deplore the fatal consequences of these criminal proceedings.

The Royal Government regret that Serbian officers and functionaries participated in the above-mentioned propaganda and thus compromised the good neighbourly relations to which the Royal Government were solemnly pledged by their declaration of the 31st of March, 1909.

The Royal Government, who disapprove and repudiate all idea of interfering or attempting to interfere with the destinies of the inhabitants of any part whatsoever of Austria-Hungary, consider it their duty formally to warn officers and functionaries, and the whole population of the Kingdom, that henceforward they will proceed with the utmost rigor against persons who may be guilty of such machinations, which they will use all their efforts to anticipate and suppress."

This declaration shall simultaneously be communicated to the Royal army as an order of the day by His Majesty the King and shall be published in the "Official Bulletin" of the army.

The Royal Serbian Government shall further undertake:

(1) To suppress any publication which incites to hatred and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the general tendency of which is directed against its territorial integrity;

(2) To dissolve immediately the society styled "Narodna Odbrana," to confiscate all its means of propaganda, and to proceed in the same manner against other societies and their branches in Serbia which engage in propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The Royal Government shall take the necessary measures to prevent the societies dissolved from continuing their activity under another name and form;

(3) To eliminate without delay from public instruction in Serbia, both as regards the teaching body and also as regards the methods of instruction, everything that serves, or might serve, to foment the propaganda against Austria-Hungary;

(4) To remove from the military service, and from the administration in general, all officers and functionaries guilty of propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy whose names and deeds the Austro-Hungarian Government reserve to themselves the right of communicating to the Royal Government;

(5) To accept the collaboration in Serbia of representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Government for the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the Monarchy;

(6) To take judicial proceedings against accessories to the plot of the 28th of June who are on Serbian territory; delegates of the Austro-Hungarian Government will take part in the investigation relating thereto;

(7) To proceed without delay to the arrest of Major Voija Tankositch and of the individual named Milan Ciganovitch, a Serbian State employee, who have been compromised by the results of the magisterial inquiry at Serajevo;

(8) To prevent by effective measures the cooperation of the Serbian authorities in the illicit traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier, to dismiss and punish severely the officials of the frontier service at Shabatz Loznica guilty of having assisted the perpetrators of the Serajevo crime by facilitating their passage across the frontier;

(9) To furnish the Imperial and Royal Government with explanations regarding the unjustifiable utterances of high Serbian officials, both in Serbia and abroad, who, notwithstanding their official position, have not hesitated since the crime of the 28th of June to express themselves in interviews in terms of hostility to the Austro-Hungarian Government; and, finally,

(10) To notify the Imperial and Royal Government without delay of the execution of the measures comprised under the preceding heads.
The Austro-Hungarian Government expect the reply of the Royal Government at the latest by 5 o'clock on Saturday evening the 25th of July. (See Note 1)

(Note 1) The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in a private letter on the 24th of July sent to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs the following correction:

"In the copy of the dispatch which I had the honour to send to your Excellency this morning, it was said that my Government expected an answer from the Cabinet at Belgrade at latest by 5 o'clock on the evening of Saturday the 25th of this month. As our Minister at Belgrade did not deliver his note yesterday until 6 o'clock in the evening, the time allowed for the answer has in consequence been prolonged to 6 o'clock to-morrow, Saturday evening.

I consider it my duty to inform your Excellency of this slight alteration in the termination of the period fixed for the answer to the Serbian Government."

Thursday 23 July 1914 at 6 p.m.

message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Serbian Reply

(Preamble) ...[Serbia:] cannot be held responsible for manifestations of a private character, such as articles in the press and the peaceable work of societies ... [The Serbian government:] have been pained and surprised at the statements, according to which members of the Kingdom of Serbia are supposed to have participated in the preparations of the crime...

[However, Serbia is:] prepared to hand over for trial any Serbian subject . .of whose complicity in the crime of Sarajevo proofs are forthcoming [as well as officially condemn all propaganda against A-H:].

[Serbia will:] introduce ... a provision into the press law providing for the most severe punishment of incitement to hatred and contempt of the [A-H:] Monarchy...

The Serbian govt.] possesses no proof ... that the Narodna Odbrana and other similar societies have committed up to the present any criminal act of this nature ... Nevertheless, [Serbia:] will ... dissolve the Narodna Obrana and every other society which...

[Serbia will:] eliminate without delay from public instruction ... everything that serves or might serve to foment the propaganda against [A-H:], whenever [Austria:] furnish them with facts and proofs...

[Serbia:] also agree to remove from the military service all such persons as the judicial inquiry may have proved to be guilty of acts directed against the integrity of the territory of [A-H:], and they expect [Austria:] to communicate ... the names and acts of these officers for the purpose of the proceedings which are to be taken against them.

[The Serbian govt. does:] not clearly grasp the meaning or the scope of the demand ... that Serbia shall undertake to accept the collaboration of the representatives of [A-H:], but they declare that they will admit such collaboration as agrees with the principle of international law, with criminal procedure, and with good neighbourly relations.

...As regards the participation in this inquiry [which Serbia intends to hold:] of Austro-Hungarian agents... [Serbia:] cannot accept such an arrangement, as it would be a violation of the Constitution...

[States it has not yet been possible to arrest one of the persons named; request proofs of guilt from Austria:]

[agrees to reinforce measures against illegal trafficking of arms and explosives across the frontier with Bosnia-Herzegovina:]

[offers explanations of anti-Austrian comments by Serb officials if Austria sends examples of their actually having been made:]

[Serbia will duly notify the measures taken, but if Austria is not satisfied with the reply:] the Serbian government . . are ready . . to accept a pacific understanding, either by referring this question to the decision of the International Tribunal of the Hague [i.e., the World Court:], or to the Great Powers...

message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 26, 2010 10:42AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Primary Documents - Explanatory Letter to Austria's Ultimatum to Serbia, 23 July 1914

The Austro-Hungarian government waited three weeks following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand - heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne currently held by Franz Josef - before issuing its formal response to Serbia, which comprised a harsh ultimatum despatched on 23 July 1914.

Aware that the terms of the ultimatum might appear designed to prompt an inevitable Serbian rejection - and thus provide a plausible excuse to go to war against Serbia - an explanatory letter from the Austro-Hungarian government was despatched to each of the major European powers, and was sent attached to a copy of the ultimatum.

Letter of Explanation Transmitted to the Various European Powers

On the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government addressed to Austria-Hungary the declaration of which the text is reproduced above.

On the very day after this declaration Serbia embarked on a policy of instilling revolutionary ideas into the Serb subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and so preparing for the separation of the Austro-Hungarian territory on the Serbian frontier.

Serbia became the centre of a criminal agitation.

No time was lost in the formation of societies and groups, whose object, either avowed or secret, was the creation of disorders on Austro-Hungarian territory. These societies and groups count among their members generals and diplomatists, Government officials and judges-in short, men at the top of official and unofficial society in the kingdom.

Serbian journalism is almost entirely at the service of this propaganda, which is directed against Austria-Hungary, and not a day passes without the organs of the Serbian press stirring up their readers to hatred or contempt for the neighbouring Monarchy, or to outrages directed more or less openly against its security and integrity.

A large number of agents are employed in carrying on by every means the agitation against Austria-Hungary and corrupting the youth in the frontier provinces.

Since the recent Balkan crisis there has been a recrudescence of the spirit of conspiracy inherent in Serbian politicians, which has left such sanguinary imprints on the history of the kingdom; individuals belonging formerly to bands employed in Macedonia have come to place themselves at the disposal of the terrorist propaganda against Austria-Hungary.

In the presence of these doings, to which Austria-Hungary has been exposed for years, the Serbian Government have not thought it incumbent on them to take the slightest step. The Serbian Government have thus failed in the duty imposed on them by the solemn declaration of the 31st of March, 1909, and acted in opposition to the will of Europe and the undertaking given to Austria-Hungary.

The patience of the Imperial and Royal Government in the face of the provocative attitude of Serbia was inspired by the territorial disinterestedness of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the hope that the Serbian Government would end in spite of everything by appreciating Austria-Hungary's friendship at its true value.

By observing a benevolent attitude towards the political interests of Serbia, the Imperial and Royal Government hoped that the kingdom would finally decide to follow an analogous line of conduct on its own side. In particular, Austria-Hungary expected a development of this kind in the political ideas of Serbia, when, after the events of 1912, the Imperial and Royal Government, by its disinterested and ungrudging attitude, made such a considerable aggrandizement of Serbia possible.

The benevolence which Austria-Hungary showed towards the neighbouring State had no restraining effect on the proceedings of the kingdom, which continued to tolerate on its territory a propaganda of which the fatal consequences were demonstrated to the whole world on the 28th of June last, when the Heir Presumptive to the Monarchy and his illustrious consort fell victims to a plot hatched at Belgrade.

In the presence of this state of things the Imperial and Royal Government have felt compelled to take new and urgent steps at Belgrade with a view to inducing the Serbian Government to stop the incendiary movement that is threatening the security and integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

The Imperial and Royal Government are convinced that in taking this step they will find themselves in full agreement with the sentiments of all civilized nations, who cannot permit regicide to become a weapon that can be employed with impunity in political strife, and the peace of Europe to be continually disturbed by movements emanating from Belgrade.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. I, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Source Records of the Great War How the Great War Arose v. 1 by Charles F. Horne Charles F. Horne

message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 26, 2010 12:45AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Please feel free to comment and/or have a discussion on any of the above; immediate causes and long term problems, personages involved, timeline, pre-conflicts, etc.

message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim  Scripture | 15 comments I am reading this book and following this discussion because I hope to alleviate my profound ignorance of the topic but the Serbian component and pre-WWI Balkan Wars naturally made me wonder on the historical connection to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.

I did some brief net research to see where this led me and although I didn't go too far down that path, Serbian nationalism seemed to be a significant factor in both. It could not be much of a stretch that issues unresolved in that region from WWI, WWII, and then forced consolidation under communist rule were unleashed with the collapse of communism.

I suspect (and hope) more might be said of this, as it pertains to WWI, as we read further into Keegan.

message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
All of the isms probably played a role in WWI. Serbian nationalism at least on the part of certain splinter groups played a role for sure.

Good post Kim.

message 29: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments I guess you can say the Black Hand accomplished their aims as B-H became a part of Serbia after the war. Then in the 90's when they got a chance, they became independent again like they had been back before Austria annexed them.

message 30: by Fran (new)

Fran In my opinion European powers were bound to war.
Each one, starting with the one who dominated the world in the nineteenth century, wanted to keep his position of power in the world( that means military power), and acquire more it if this was possible.

Colonialism, the politics of alliances, militarism and nationalism... made it impossible a real policy of appeasement

message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Interesting comment Fran about all of the isms and their impact.

message 32: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Bentley wrote: "You have to wonder why two leaders who could not be bothered to go to the funeral of a relative (who was heir to the Austrian throne) and his wife who were both brutally assassinated were even tha..."

Maybre they would not attend the funeral of a woman they considered a "commoner" - especially if her family would also be there???

message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Vince, if they could not attend the funeral of the Archduke Ferdinand; then why was his death such an excuse for a World War.

message 34: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Bentley wrote: "Vince, if they could not attend the funeral of the Archduke Ferdinand; then why was his death such an excuse for a World War."

I don't know but I think that the AH saw this as a resaonable excuse to press against the Black Hand and similar groups and - to promote tranquility within the empires borders - it would have seemed to me that if the AHs had accepted the points conceded by the Serbs they would have had a less volatile empire.

The affront to the Empire does not change because the emperor does not attend the funeral - just the sature of the assinated arch duke - I think - I am not that familar with all facets of protocol at that time.


On a side note with the Kaiser and emperor of AH and the Tsar away for vacation in July do we believe that air conditioning - had it been available - might have kept them at home in the hot summer and they mihgt have avoided war???????????

message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Yes, and they would have maintained their monarchies. World War I toppled these monarchies.

I have no idea about air conditioning and its ramifications. But I guess anything could have been possible. The whole timeline and scenarios seem even to be a bit bizarre. The Serbs practically agreed to everything and AH still declared war. They had to have wanted war at some level because they were given every reason to avoid it.

message 36: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This new book is set for publication in 2013.

July 1914: Countdown to War
July 1914 Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin by Sean McMeekin

When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914, the world seemed unmoved. Even Ferdinand’s own uncle, Franz Josef I, was notably ambivalent about the death of the Hapsburg heir, saying simply, “It is God’s will.” Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict—much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would fundamentally reshape the course of human events.

As acclaimed historian Sean McMeekin reveals in July 1914, World War I might have been avoided entirely had it not been for a small group of statesmen who, in the month after the assassination, plotted to use Ferdinand’s murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown in Europe. The primary culprits, moreover, have long escaped blame. While most accounts of the war’s outbreak place the bulk of responsibility on German and Austro-Hungarian militarism, McMeekin draws on surprising new evidence from archives across Europe to show that the worst offenders were actually to be found in Russia and France, whose belligerence and duplicity ensured that war was inevitable.
Whether they plotted for war or rode the whirlwind nearly blind, each of the men involved—from Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold and German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov and French president Raymond Poincaré—sought to capitalize on the fallout from Ferdinand’s murder, unwittingly leading Europe toward the greatest cataclysm it had ever seen.

A revolutionary account of the genesis of World War I, July 1914 tells the gripping story of Europe’s countdown to war from the bloody opening act on June 28th to Britain’s final plunge on August 4th, showing how a single month—and a handful of men—changed the course of the twentieth century.

message 37: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Alisa wrote: "This new book is set for publication in 2013.

July 1914: Countdown to War
July 1914 Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin by Sean McMeekin

When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Arc..."

This one may also go on the TBP pile

message 38: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Peter, this club has a way of helping people grow their TBR piles. It's a bit of a habit for many of us! :-)

message 39: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4301 comments Mod
This comes out in March, if anyone's interested:

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark


In "The Sleepwalkers" acclaimed historian and author of Iron Kingdom, Christopher Clark, examines the causes of the First World War. Sunday Times Books of the Year 2012. The moments that it took Gavrilo Princip to step forward to the stalled car and shoot dead Franz Ferdinand and his wife were perhaps the most fateful of the modern era. An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination? In "The Sleepwalkers" Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Drawing on many fresh new sources, this account reveals a Europe very different from the familiar picture, putting Serbia and the Balkans at the centre of the story. Starting with the brutal assassination of Alexander I of Serbia in 1903, Clark shows how, far from being the place of enviable stability it appears to us, Europe was racked by chronic problems: a multipolar, fractured, multicultural world of clashing ideals, terrorism, militancy and instability, which was, fatefully, saddled with a conspicuously ineffectual set of political leaders. He shows how the rulers of Europe, who prided themselves on their modernity and rationalism, behaved like sleepwalkers, stumbling through crisis after crisis and finally convincing themselves that war was the only answer.

message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I read this book earlier this year and found it interesting.

Europe's Last Summer

Europe's Last Summer Who Started the Great War in 1914? by David Fromkin by David Fromkin


A well written book about the years leading up to the Great War. It is well researched and the author builds a good case that the war was not necessarily a result of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo but instead, an accumulation of factors that had been building over several years.....economics, social unrest, colonialism, and militarism. Very well done and required reading for the scholar of turn of the 20th century European history.

message 41: by James (last edited Feb 18, 2013 03:41PM) (new)

James (jbgusa) | 53 comments The only book I read on the subject has been Barbara Tuchman's book The Guns of August.

Her view seems to be that Europe's fractious tendencies had gone back millenia and were temporarily controlled by various royal allegiances and agreements. With the death of King Edward of the United Kingdom this consensus, in her view, dissolved.

I would like to read more on the subject.

message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Don't forget book cover and author photo citations (where available), James. It takes a while to get the hang of it but it becomes second nature after a while.

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman by Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman

message 43: by James (last edited Feb 18, 2013 03:43PM) (new)

James (jbgusa) | 53 comments Jill wrote: "Don't forget book cover and author photo citations (where available), James. It takes a while to get the hang of it but it becomes second nature after a while.

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman..."

How do I find add pictures as opposed to just plain links? Or how do I make the picture smaller than I just did?

message 44: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) When you go into the add book/author feature, there is a radio button at the bottom that let's you select photo or link.

message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) There is a button at the bottom of the pop-up window which appears after clicking on "add book/author" for the book that indicates "link" or "cover". On the author's page it indicates "link" or "photo". Click on these to complete the citation. Many of the authors have no photo, just an avatar, so only the author link is required. The order is: book cover, author photo (if available) and author link.
Now, is that as clear as mud? (smile)

message 46: by James (new)

James (jbgusa) | 53 comments Jill wrote: "There is a button at the bottom of the pop-up window which appears after clicking on "add book/author" for the book that indicates "link" or "cover". On the author's page it indicates "link" or "photo". Click on these to complete the citation. Many of the authors have no photo, just an avatar, so only the author link is required. The order is: book cover, author photo (if available) and author link.
Now, is that as clear as mud? (smile) "

I will try. This is not easy.

message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
James, have you tried practicing and getting some assistance in the Help Desk Folder.

Here is the thread which may assist you:

message 48: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Recently published.

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe’s descent into a war that tore the world apart.

message 49: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks, Alisa; interesting.

message 50: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Alisa wrote: "Recently published.

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark

The Sleepwalkers: How Euro..."

This is on my TBR pile

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