Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
Imperial Europe (28 June 1914)
Historical Map of Europe
Serbia's sudden expansion in the Balkan Wars increased tensions between it and Austria-Hungary, which had a significant Serb minority. On June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb terrorist while visiting Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary quickly seized upon the assassination as an excuse to crush Serbia. However, while Austria-Hungary was backed by Germany, Serbia was supported by Russia, which in turn was allied to France.