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PostDid Franz Ferdinand's Assassination Cause WWI? From Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 08/21/15 4:56 am)
Gary Moore writes:
In partial reply to Hall Gardner's authoritative knowledge on World War I's origins, I don't see how a delay of just a month between the assassination of the Archduke and Austria going to war proves that the assassination didn't cause the strike at Serbia.
Austria had to do something. The blow at the Archduke and his wife was merciless and deep. The fact that the actual assailants along the parade route were minor local fanatics didn't change the fact that they were being used by representatives of "Greater Serbia" euphoria (though one of the plotters, Cubrilovic, would improbably survive to become an architect of Serbian ethnic cleansing in the 1930s). And how does Princip's accidental positioning prove anything? They had so many planned attackers out there that one of the pistons finally hit. However weirdly accidental the actual shot opportunity was, it occurred only because they went out there for that purpose. It also seems to be true that Austria's response when it invaded Serbia involved massacres and merciless over-reaction against innocents, but would all of this have happened, at least at that time in that way, if not for the assassination? (And wouldn't the month's delay only go to prove that Austria was not previously chomping at the bit enough to already be mobilized?)
JE comments: Casual students of WWI (such as myself), and even many specialists, tend to overlook Serbia's inner politics as a fundamental cause of the conflict. They tend to gloss over Serbia, using the "spark" metaphor. I'm grateful to Gary Moore for filling in the blanks. A further question for Gary: how many assassins did the Black Hand place on the streets of Sarajevo that day?