POTD: Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s Assassination – FN 1910
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Today, Curious Relics on the FN 1910 should be going live. In that article, I briefly touch on the fact that an FN Model 1910 was used to assassinate Archduke Fran Ferdinand of Austria. I decided Photo of the Day would be a good vehicle to better describe the event. Please note that this is a grand story that is worth a whole 1,000 word article on its own so not everything will be touched on. So, in the early 1910s, the Ottoman Empire was like an umbrella that stretched over many different countries. Some of these countries had revolutions and won their sovereignty, but were quickly annexed by Austria-Hungary which left them still under this Ottoman umbrella. This did not sit well with many people so Austria-Hungary with its positions and royalty were not looked fondly on.
On June 28th, 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were in Sarajevo, Bosnia to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On their drive in the city, they quickly found it hostile. After arriving they inspected some military barracks and departed heading for city hall. Along the way was an attempted and failed bombing by the Black Hand group. A bomb was thrown at their car only to bounce off and roll under the following car. The bomb was not timed correctly so when it went off it disabled the car directly behind the Archdukes. They sped to city hall and by-standing would-be assassins missed their chance due to its speed. The Archduke was received at the city hall where he made remarks about being greeted with bombs and later decided to continue the day as planned albeit with a different driving route.
The change-up in route was all for not though. A 19-year-old Serbian Gavrilo Princip had decided to wait at a shop/cafe on the idyllic return route of the Archduke. When the car slowly rolled through this route, Gavrilo Princip ran to the car, drew his 380 ACP FN 1910, and shot the Archduke and his wife from no more than five feet away. The Archduke was shot in the throat severing his jugular vein and his wife Sophie had been shot in the abdomen and collapsed and lost consciousness almost immediately after being shot. The further details of their deaths are quite grim and sad so I will omit them. They were both dead at least 10 minutes after the shooting. Gavrilo Princip was seized almost instantaneously after shooting and attempting to kill himself. He later admitted he did not intend to harm the Archduke’s wife, but rather Governor Potiorek. So, the FN 1910 would come to be referred to as the pistol that killed millions due to its tie to the kick off of World War One and that shots that rang throughout the whole world.