Skip to comments.Pistol found that killed 8.5 million people
Posted on 06/22/2004 10:07:58 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
BERLIN -- The Browning pistol that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and sparked the crisis leading to World War I has been discovered gathering dust in a Jesuit community house in Austria.
The weapon is going on display in the Vienna Museum of Military History in time for the 90th anniversary of the assassination of the heir to the Austrian empire and his wife, Sophie. Gavrilo Princip, a student from Belgrade, fired seven shots as they were driven through Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
The shooting led to World War I, which by one estimate resulted in 8.5 million deaths.
For decades the murder weapon, serial number 19074, was in the possession of a community of Jesuits in Styria, southern Austria. They inherited it from a close friend of the archduke and his wife.
A Jesuit priest, Anton Puntigam, gave the couple the last rites and later made public his intention of opening a museum in memory of the archduke. But the chaos of the war foiled his plans.
On the priest's death in 1926, the objects were offered to the archduke's family, which declined to take them. They remained out of sight until recent publicity about the 90th anniversary.
Musta been one helluva magic bullet!
If the Archduke had never been assassinated, we would be living in a very different world today, one in which Fascism and Nazism and Communism would be mere words in a dictionary instead of affecting hundreds of millions of lives. So yes, one human life is as important as a billion.
My wife and I just saw a program on The History Channel concerning the details of the assasination.
For want of a driver that knew the route....
There was also a third victim; Sophie was pregnant at the time.
Does anybody know exactly which model of Browning Pistol it is??
--yeah--amazing it wasn't found "on the streets" where all those assault weapons are supposed to be---
Somehow, something in the far reaches of my brain hint that you'll be interested in this:-)
---the same might be true if Woodrow Wilson's mother had had a "choice"---
It was an FN manufactured Browning Model 1910, I believe.
According to www.gunsworld.com, it was a Browning 1910, Belguim made, .32 ACP
I tend to lean toward the notion that this incident merely affected a change in the beginning stages of the war; that there was going to be a World War I in those years anyway; that effectively, it had already started except for the major shooting.
...then World War I might have been delayed for a while. It was the underlying tensions that were forming among the monarchies of Europe that insured it would happen one way or another.
In May 1911, ten men in Serbia formed the Black Hand Secret Society. Early members included Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, the chief of the Intelligence Department of the Serbian General Staff, Major Voja Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic.
The main objective of the Black Hand was the creation, by means of violence, of a Greater Serbia. Its stated aim was: "To realize the national ideal, the unification of all Serbs. This organisation prefers terrorist action to cultural activities; it will therefore remain secret."
There appears to be some uncertainty on whether it was a .32 or a .380, both were being manufactured at the time.
"So they've done it to us," said the cleaning woman to Mr. Svejk. "They've killed our Ferdinand."
Svejk had been discharged from military service years ago when a military medical commission had pronounced him to be officially an imbecile. Now, he was making his living by selling dogs, ugly mongrel mutants that he sold as purebreds by forging their pedigrees. In addition to this demeaning vocation, Svejk also suffered from rheumatism and was just now rubbing his aching knees with camphor ice.
"Which Ferdinand, Mrs. Muller?" he asked. "I know two Ferdinands. One is the pharmacist Prusa's delivery boy, who drank up a whole bottle of hair potion once by mistake. And then, I know one Ferdinand Kokoska, who collects dog turds. Neither one would be much of a loss."
"But Mr. Svejk! They killed the Archduke Ferdinand, the one from Konopste, the fat one, the religious one."
The opening sentences from The Good Soldier vejk and His Fortunes in the World War by Jaroslav Haek (New English translation by Zdenek Sadlon and Emmit Joyce.)
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