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One Hundred Years Ago: On the Eve of War

One hundred years ago, July 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, a young Serb nationalist


shot and killed Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, which then ruled Bosnia and quite a few other places now independent. Their goal was an uprising that would have detached Bosnia from its rulers, and attached it to independent Serbia and other Slavic states.


The assassination was the act that signaled the start of World War I, triggering the complicated series of alliances and secret agreements that had lined Europe up in two camps. These alliances linked world-power Britain with France and Russia on one side, against powerful and rising Germany, which was bound to Austria-Hungary and ultimately the Ottoman Empire.       


By the end of July, all the alliances had clicked into place, and on August 2nd Germany took the first military action, invading Luxembourg. Over the next four years, hardly a corner of Europe escaped involvement in some form.


1-French_heavy_cavalry_Paris_August_1914French cavalry headed to the front, August 2014


This year, therefore, will see a host of commemorations, exhibits, explanations and more. Traveling this summer, in Europe and the U.S., many of us will encounter some of the sites and activites of the memorial year; others may already have, at other times. TravelGumbo invites our readers and members to share their thoughts, photos, travel reports and experiences as part of this. Please send your contributions so



Brookwood American Cemetery, only U.S. WW I cemetery in Britain



Images (3)
  • 1-640px-Balkan_troubles1
  • 1-French_heavy_cavalry_Paris_August_1914
  • Brookwood_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial

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