historicalfirearms:

The next Book Club post will be going up in a week’s time on the 26th September so start getting those reviews in guys! 

So if you’re reading, just finished or have a favourite history book you’d like to write a review on and have posted on Historical Firearms get writing!

If you haven’t seen the first Book Club post and are wonder what I’m talking about you can find it here.  Three interesting books were covered but I’m hoping this month we can cover more.

Your review can be on any historical book (we’re sticking to non-fiction for now) be it social history, military history, naval history, or historical firearms. While the first editions reviews were kept to about a paragraph many of you said that you’d like to see longer more in-depth reviews so your submissions can be anything from 1 to 4 paragraphs long.   With some emphasis on the book’s content, handling of the topic, readability and who its audience is.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a message here.

To submit you can either send me a message here or you can put your review in an email to historicalfirearms@gmail.com (be sure to include your name/username so you can be credited!)

You can find out more about the Book Club here

Only had one review in so far guys, so if you’re hoping to submit a review get it in soon!

Q

rogerkentblog asked:

Because of the highly anticipated Jeremy Renner movie "Kill the Messenger", do you plan to write about the Nicaraguan Revolution?

A

The Nicaraguan Revolution isn’t a subject I’m very familiar with and I hadn’t heard about Kill the Messenger until your message but it does sound interesting.  Central and South American history is an area I’m lacking in so I’ll have to do some reading up on it.

Thanks for the question (and the film recommendation)!

Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)
Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)
Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)
Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)
Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)
Tokarev’s SVT-40
During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.   The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  
By 1938, a Tokarev’s new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 


SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  
The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  
It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 
The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)

Tokarev’s SVT-40

During the late 1930s the Soviet Army began seeking a new self-loading rifle to replace its bolt-action Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 The first rifle trials ended in 1935 withSergei Simonov’s AVS-36 being adopted.  But problems with Simonov’s complex design led to further trials with Simonov’s rifle and one designed by one of Russia’s leading firearms designers Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev.  Tokarev had previously developed the TT-33 semi-automatic pistol which was widely adopted by the Soviet Army.  

By 1938, a Tokarev’new design the SVT-38 had been selected and plans were made for the new self-loading rifle to become the Soviet Army’s new standard service rifle. 

SVT-38 (source)

Both the earlier AVS-36 and the SVT both used short stroke gas pistons and tilting blocks however, the SVT had been designed with weight in mind and was a full pound lighter, weighing 8.5 lbs to the AVS-36’s 9.5 lbs.  

The SVT-38 first saw combat during the Winter War in 1939 where troops complained that the 48 inch long rifle was too long and its complex action was difficult to clean and maintain in the field.  While it proved effective with better trained troops who could maintain the rifle the reported shortcomings spurred the development of the SVT-40 - a refined version of the SVT-38 introduced in 1940.
The SVT-40 or 'Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda' (translating as Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940)had a number of small alterations.  The rifle’s cleaning rod, which was originally stored in a groove on the right-hand side of the stock was relocated to a more secure position running beneath the SVT-40’s barrel.The improved rifle also had a simplification of the forestock with a new sheet metal handguard with drilled cooling apertures rather than the earlier half wood half metal hand guard.  Similarly the number of slots and position of barrel band were altered with four slots rather than five and a single barrel band used instead of two.  

It was intended that the SVT would replace the Mosin-Nagant with the ratio of of semi-automatic rifles projected to steadily increase.  However, the German invasion of Russia in mid 1941 necessitated the rapid production of new rifles and production focused on the simpler and easier to produce Mosin-Nagant M91/30.

The both the SVT-38 and the SVT-40 chambered the Russian Army’s 7.62×54mmR service cartridge and fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine.  The rifle’s locking block cammed down into the receiver allowing the bolt to unlock.  There was also a fully-automatic variant called the AVT-40, this saw a slightly more robust stock used and the addition of a third selector position but was otherwise identical to the semi-automatic version of the rifle.  Very few AVT-40s were made as the power of the 7.62mm round and the relatively light rifle made them difficult to control during fully automatic fire. While a sniper variant (see photographs above) was produced it was found unsatisfactory in the role with long range accuracy suffering and it was removed from this role in 1943. 

The SVT proved popular with German troops lucky enough to capture one.  Captured examples were given the German designation ‘Selbstladegewehr 258 & 259(r)' (translating as automatic rifle) and the influence of Soviet semi-automatic rifle design can certainly be see in German efforts.  Almost two million SVT’s were made during the Second World War, however, the rifle was quickly replaced first by the SKS and later the AK-47 with the remaining rifles placed in store.  

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Image Four Source

Image Five Source

Image Six Source

Military Small Arms, I.V. Hogg & J. Weeks (1985)

Q

Anonymous asked:

Do you know anything about the United States' obsession with the designation 'M-1'? Garand, Carbine, Thompson...

A

Good question, basically prior to 1940-41 the US Army designated rifles by year of adoption; hence the M1903 rifle and the M1911 Pistol.  However, this for one reason or another was changed to a systematic numerical designation with the first of each new kind of weapon designated the M1 (sometimes with name of designer or type of weapon as a suffix).

Therefore the first .30-06 self-loading rifle was numbered the M1, the first self-loading carbine was designated the M1, and the first submachine gun widely adopted by the US Army, the Thompson, was designated the M1. Each of these was the first weapon of its kind adopted and was therefore designated ‘Model 1’.   US Military small arms designations become complex during the Second World War with various services having differing systems (the USMC retained year of adoption in the case of the Johnson M1941 rifle).  

Hope that made sense, thanks for the question.

“The spade will be as great a necessity as the rifle.”
Field Marshal Sir John French in a letter to King George V in September 1914, following the experiences of the Battles of The Marne and Aisne

British Riflemen and Light Infantry ford the River Alma

The British Light Division crossed the Alma on the 20th September 1854 and attacked Russian positions defending the road to Sevastopol.  The Light Division crossed the river and attacked uphill towards a defensive redoubt.  A strong Russian force advanced to counter attack but accurate rifle fire from the men of the Rifle Brigade who led the division forced them back through their defensive redoubts.  

The Battle of Alma was a scrappy affair with British infantry bunching up and attacking more en masse rather than in ordered lines.  The British abandoned the redoubt believing advancing Russian forces to be a French relief column.  The French army faired little better and the fractured allied command had little idea of the exact positions of their own units.  When the Russian reserve of 10,000 men was later broken by the advancing Highland Brigade, who advanced while firing giving the Russians no opportunity to envelope them, the French were unable to support the British forces who wished to pursue the retreating enemy.  The men of the Light Division had been recently issued with the new Enfield Pattern Model 1853 replacing their older Brunswick Rifles.  With these new rifles capable of ranges out to 800 yards the British infantry were able to fend off Russian bayonet charges.

Image Source

Historical Firearms on Twitter

You can now follow Historical Firearms on Twitter for regular updates. Handy for people who spend more time on Twitter than Tumblr or those who read the blog but don’t have a Tumblr.   Click here to follow
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)
The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare
In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.


Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.
The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  


British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  
The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.
In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  


British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.
Sources:
Image Sources:

Photograph 1
Photograph 2
Photograph 3
Photograph 4
Photograph 5
Photograph 6
Photograph 7
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)

The Transition from a War of Movement to Trench Warfare

In 1914 a war of movement engulfed Europe, the Imperial German Army swung through Belgium and Holland down into Northern France as they enacted the Schlieffen Plan and the French, Belgian and British forces scrambled to meet them.  By the Battle of the Ainse in September 1914, which had seen the Germans retire to defensively favourable high ground which the allies were unable to dislodge them from, both sides were seeking to outflank their opponents.  This lead to a series of bloody battles along a front a 140 miles long which led all the way from North East France to the Channel coast.  The ‘Race to the Sea’ saw extensive use of the existing road and rail networks available in an attempt to get a head and around the enemy but by October 1914 neither side had managed to outflank the other and stalemate ensued. A network of trench defences were constructed the likes of which human history had never seen before.

Rough German trenches along the River Aisne, c. late 1914 (source)

In late September 1914, commander of the BEF, Field Marshal Sir John French wrote to the Duke of Connaught saying he believed: “nothing but the most powerful and efficient entrenchments will avail against the modern heavy artillery which is brought into the field.”  Such was the effect of modern, fast-firing, heavy artillery which in 1914 the German Army had the advantage in. The combination of heavy artillery, machine gun fire and terrain meant that by October 1914 the war of movement had given way to a stalemate.

The tactical doctrines of both sides had at first been in sharp contrast to one another, the French favoured rapid movement and surprise attacks while the German forces preferred a more methodical approach with the use of concentrated artillery and machine gun fire in support.  These two contrasting doctrines neutralised one another, with the French counter-offensives being met by massed artillery and machine gun fire.  

British Troops in what look like recently dug (possibly practice) trenches (source)

The advancing technology played a key role in creating the horrific trench warfare we think of when we think of the First world war.  Not only advances in artillery and the widespread introduction of machine guns but also the effects of massed, rapid and accurate rifle fire.  As seen time and time again during the early battles of the war even forces under equipped with machine guns could inflict massive casualties on troops caught in open country with long range, accurate, massed rifle fire.  The combination of powerful cartridges and magazine fed bolt-action rifles meant that the volume of fire created by a battalion of infantry could be huge.    As such, even during early engagements, the infantry often took full advantage of the natural cover available, using farm ditches, tree lines and sunken roads as cover.   It did not take long for men to begin to dig their own cover when no natural protection was available.  This being a pre-programmed response of any soldier halted by enemy resistance. As the Race to the Sea began it was a small step from improvised defences to beginnings of the intricate trench systems we think of today.  

The photographs above roughly illustrate this evolution from open warfare, through use of cover and the digging of scrapes to the creation of the trenches that came to characterise the war.  This evolution took place as different paces in the various sectors of the Western Front but by early 1915 the entire front had become a continuous line of defensive trenches.

In the first photograph we see German troops advancing across a field in open order, with the battalion’s ensign (battle flag) flying - a scene which would have been seen on Europe’s battlefield for the past 500 years.  In the next three photographs we see German, British & French troops using natural cover of ditches and roads.  

British Troops training in mock trenches c.1915 (source)

In the fourth photograph we can see British troops lying in shallow, hastily dug scrape trenches and similarly below that two German troops stand watch at the edge of a shallow trench.  The last photograph shows the beginnings of more complex trenches - deeper with sloped rear walls and a parapet, this photo was taken in the winter of 1914.  By the early months of 1915 both sides began work on ever more complex trench systems with multiple lines of trenches, zigzagged layout profiles, deeper trenches, reinforced firesteps, dugouts, bunkers, observations posts, increased use of concrete and ever deeper belts of barbed wire.  By late 1916 the pinnacle of technical complexity and defensibility had been reached requiring new ways to overcome the stalemate.

Sources:

Image Sources:

Photograph 1

Photograph 2

Photograph 3

Photograph 4

Photograph 5

Photograph 6

Photograph 7

Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front, S. Bull, (2010)

The next Book Club post will be going up in a week’s time on the 26th September so start getting those reviews in guys! 

So if you’re reading, just finished or have a favourite history book you’d like to write a review on and have posted on Historical Firearms get writing!

If you haven’t seen the first Book Club post and are wonder what I’m talking about you can find it here.  Three interesting books were covered but I’m hoping this month we can cover more.

Your review can be on any historical book (we’re sticking to non-fiction for now) be it social history, military history, naval history, or historical firearms. While the first editions reviews were kept to about a paragraph many of you said that you’d like to see longer more in-depth reviews so your submissions can be anything from 1 to 4 paragraphs long.   With some emphasis on the book’s content, handling of the topic, readability and who its audience is.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a message here.

To submit you can either send me a message here or you can put your review in an email to historicalfirearms@gmail.com (be sure to include your name/username so you can be credited!)

You can find out more about the Book Club here

(via historicalfirearms)

The Union Between Scotland & England

The relationship between England and Scotland has been a long and tempestuous one.  Even if we simply examine the last 300 years the relationship between the two has been uneasy.  The first joining of nations came in 1603, with the union of the two crowns when James VI of Scotland succeeded the heirless Elizabeth I to become James I of England.  Despite numerous calls for a union of the two countries’ parliaments over the next century, and the brief union of the two nations imposed by Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth during the 1650s, it would not be until 1707 that the political union would take place following the economic impact of Scotland’s failed Darien Expedition. 

Even once united politically the Union remained tenuous as political crisis gripped Britain during the late 17th century.  In 1715 and again in 1745 major rebellions took place in aid of the Jacobite cause, these however were brutally suppressed by Britain.  By the late 18th and early 19th Century the political landscape had settled with Scots becoming some of the period’s key figures including General James Abercrombie, Admiral Thomas Cochrane, Chancellor Henry Brougham and Keir Hardie among innumerable others from almost every field from the arts to law, from architecture to science.  

Despite a number of moves during the mid 20th century by the British government to devolve power north it was not until 1999, that the first Scottish Parliament was formed.  2007 saw the Scottish Independence Party come to power for the first time and by 2011 the calls for a referendum on independence had gained momentum.  In 2012 it was agreed by both governments to hold a vote to allow the people of Scotland to decided their future.  The referendum saw the Scottish people vote in favour of remaining within the Union.  However, increased devolution was promised by the British Government and the next nine months will see negotiation over the details of increased home rule.  In turn the referendum has spurred calls for increased local powers and franchise for both England and Wales with calls for each to have their own individual parliaments deciding on regional matters while the Union Parliament decides on matters of national and international importance. With next years general election this is likely to become a key issue in deciding the political landscape.

Image:  Treaty of Union which agreed the terms of the Union between England and Scotland, it was made law when the Acts of Union were assented to by the English and Scottish parliaments in 1706 and 1707 respectively. (source)

Historical Firearms on Twitter

You can now follow Historical Firearms on Twitter for regular updates. Handy for people who spend more time on Twitter than Tumblr or those who read the blog but don’t have a Tumblr.   Click here to follow

The Gun That Killed Mussolini:  MAS-38 Submachine Gun
The French MAS-38 was allegedly the weapon used by Italian partisans to kill the deposed dictator Benito Mussolini during the last months of the Second World War. The MAS was developed in 1937-38 as a submachine gun for the French Army, however it only went into production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World War Two. Chambered in the small 7.65mm round, the MAS-38 was underpowered compared to the German 9mm MP40 and the US .45 ACP round used in the Thompson M1.  
In late April 1945, Mussolini and his entourage were captured by Italian partisans while travelling in a convoy near Dongo, Lombardy close to the northern Italian border.  The group had hoped to reach the safety of neutral Switzerland, however, once they were captured the partisan leaders held a council and decided to summarily execute the deposed dictator.  Early the next morning Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were taken from their cell and driven to Giulino di Mezzegra where they were placed against a wall and shot.  It is possible that the weapon used to kill Mussolini and Petacci, was one manufactured while France was under German occupation that had found its way to Axis Italy and had been captured by Italian partisans.   
Following the execution the bodies were taken to Milan and were beaten shot, stabbed and mutilated by the public before being unceremoniously hung by their feet at the Piazzale Loreto Esso petrol station (see image #3).  After several hours on display they were removed and buried.
The shape of the MAS-38 is immediately striking because of the unusual angle at which the barrel meets the receiver this was to allow the bolt to recoil into the stock spring tube and to allow a natural aiming stance because of the position of the stock and built up receiver.  This unusual shape didn’t affect accuracy and compared to other sub machine guns the MAS was very accurate.
The weapon itself has a number of interesting design features such as a hinged dust cover flap sat just in front of the magazine well which can be closed when the MAS is unloaded.  The weapon’s safety was engaged by pushing the trigger forward, this would lock the bolt into either the rear or forward position.  Additionally the MAS also has a set of collapsible sights for ranges of 100 and 200 metres.  This was to keep the receiver as smooth as possible to stop snagging on soldiers clothing (see photograph below).   Interestingly the sights are offset to the left of the receiver as is the front sight and not positioned centrally.     


MAS-38’s offset rear sight (source)

The weapon saw service during the Battle of France in 1940 and during the German occupation of France by the Resistance.  Manufacture was continued during the German occupation and it was issued to both the Wehrmacht as the MP722(f) and to the forces of Vichy France.  After the war the MAS-38 was replaced by the MAS-49 however, many MAS-38’s found their way to Vietnam and captured examples were used by the Viet Minh, who often prized well made French weapons, during the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War.   
Sources:

'Execution of Mussolini' (source)
'The weapon used to kill Italian dictator Benito Mussolini' (source)
Image One & Two Source
Image Three Source  
The Gun That Killed Mussolini:  MAS-38 Submachine Gun
The French MAS-38 was allegedly the weapon used by Italian partisans to kill the deposed dictator Benito Mussolini during the last months of the Second World War. The MAS was developed in 1937-38 as a submachine gun for the French Army, however it only went into production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World War Two. Chambered in the small 7.65mm round, the MAS-38 was underpowered compared to the German 9mm MP40 and the US .45 ACP round used in the Thompson M1.  
In late April 1945, Mussolini and his entourage were captured by Italian partisans while travelling in a convoy near Dongo, Lombardy close to the northern Italian border.  The group had hoped to reach the safety of neutral Switzerland, however, once they were captured the partisan leaders held a council and decided to summarily execute the deposed dictator.  Early the next morning Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were taken from their cell and driven to Giulino di Mezzegra where they were placed against a wall and shot.  It is possible that the weapon used to kill Mussolini and Petacci, was one manufactured while France was under German occupation that had found its way to Axis Italy and had been captured by Italian partisans.   
Following the execution the bodies were taken to Milan and were beaten shot, stabbed and mutilated by the public before being unceremoniously hung by their feet at the Piazzale Loreto Esso petrol station (see image #3).  After several hours on display they were removed and buried.
The shape of the MAS-38 is immediately striking because of the unusual angle at which the barrel meets the receiver this was to allow the bolt to recoil into the stock spring tube and to allow a natural aiming stance because of the position of the stock and built up receiver.  This unusual shape didn’t affect accuracy and compared to other sub machine guns the MAS was very accurate.
The weapon itself has a number of interesting design features such as a hinged dust cover flap sat just in front of the magazine well which can be closed when the MAS is unloaded.  The weapon’s safety was engaged by pushing the trigger forward, this would lock the bolt into either the rear or forward position.  Additionally the MAS also has a set of collapsible sights for ranges of 100 and 200 metres.  This was to keep the receiver as smooth as possible to stop snagging on soldiers clothing (see photograph below).   Interestingly the sights are offset to the left of the receiver as is the front sight and not positioned centrally.     


MAS-38’s offset rear sight (source)

The weapon saw service during the Battle of France in 1940 and during the German occupation of France by the Resistance.  Manufacture was continued during the German occupation and it was issued to both the Wehrmacht as the MP722(f) and to the forces of Vichy France.  After the war the MAS-38 was replaced by the MAS-49 however, many MAS-38’s found their way to Vietnam and captured examples were used by the Viet Minh, who often prized well made French weapons, during the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War.   
Sources:

'Execution of Mussolini' (source)
'The weapon used to kill Italian dictator Benito Mussolini' (source)
Image One & Two Source
Image Three Source  
The Gun That Killed Mussolini:  MAS-38 Submachine Gun
The French MAS-38 was allegedly the weapon used by Italian partisans to kill the deposed dictator Benito Mussolini during the last months of the Second World War. The MAS was developed in 1937-38 as a submachine gun for the French Army, however it only went into production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World War Two. Chambered in the small 7.65mm round, the MAS-38 was underpowered compared to the German 9mm MP40 and the US .45 ACP round used in the Thompson M1.  
In late April 1945, Mussolini and his entourage were captured by Italian partisans while travelling in a convoy near Dongo, Lombardy close to the northern Italian border.  The group had hoped to reach the safety of neutral Switzerland, however, once they were captured the partisan leaders held a council and decided to summarily execute the deposed dictator.  Early the next morning Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were taken from their cell and driven to Giulino di Mezzegra where they were placed against a wall and shot.  It is possible that the weapon used to kill Mussolini and Petacci, was one manufactured while France was under German occupation that had found its way to Axis Italy and had been captured by Italian partisans.   
Following the execution the bodies were taken to Milan and were beaten shot, stabbed and mutilated by the public before being unceremoniously hung by their feet at the Piazzale Loreto Esso petrol station (see image #3).  After several hours on display they were removed and buried.
The shape of the MAS-38 is immediately striking because of the unusual angle at which the barrel meets the receiver this was to allow the bolt to recoil into the stock spring tube and to allow a natural aiming stance because of the position of the stock and built up receiver.  This unusual shape didn’t affect accuracy and compared to other sub machine guns the MAS was very accurate.
The weapon itself has a number of interesting design features such as a hinged dust cover flap sat just in front of the magazine well which can be closed when the MAS is unloaded.  The weapon’s safety was engaged by pushing the trigger forward, this would lock the bolt into either the rear or forward position.  Additionally the MAS also has a set of collapsible sights for ranges of 100 and 200 metres.  This was to keep the receiver as smooth as possible to stop snagging on soldiers clothing (see photograph below).   Interestingly the sights are offset to the left of the receiver as is the front sight and not positioned centrally.     


MAS-38’s offset rear sight (source)

The weapon saw service during the Battle of France in 1940 and during the German occupation of France by the Resistance.  Manufacture was continued during the German occupation and it was issued to both the Wehrmacht as the MP722(f) and to the forces of Vichy France.  After the war the MAS-38 was replaced by the MAS-49 however, many MAS-38’s found their way to Vietnam and captured examples were used by the Viet Minh, who often prized well made French weapons, during the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War.   
Sources:

'Execution of Mussolini' (source)
'The weapon used to kill Italian dictator Benito Mussolini' (source)
Image One & Two Source
Image Three Source  

The Gun That Killed Mussolini:  MAS-38 Submachine Gun

The French MAS-38 was allegedly the weapon used by Italian partisans to kill the deposed dictator Benito Mussolini during the last months of the Second World War. The MAS was developed in 1937-38 as a submachine gun for the French Army, however it only went into production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World War Two. Chambered in the small 7.65mm round, the MAS-38 was underpowered compared to the German 9mm MP40 and the US .45 ACP round used in the Thompson M1.  

In late April 1945, Mussolini and his entourage were captured by Italian partisans while travelling in a convoy near Dongo, Lombardy close to the northern Italian border.  The group had hoped to reach the safety of neutral Switzerland, however, once they were captured the partisan leaders held a council and decided to summarily execute the deposed dictator.  Early the next morning Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were taken from their cell and driven to Giulino di Mezzegra where they were placed against a wall and shot.  It is possible that the weapon used to kill Mussolini and Petacci, was one manufactured while France was under German occupation that had found its way to Axis Italy and had been captured by Italian partisans.   

Following the execution the bodies were taken to Milan and were beaten shot, stabbed and mutilated by the public before being unceremoniously hung by their feet at the Piazzale Loreto Esso petrol station (see image #3).  After several hours on display they were removed and buried.

The shape of the MAS-38 is immediately striking because of the unusual angle at which the barrel meets the receiver this was to allow the bolt to recoil into the stock spring tube and to allow a natural aiming stance because of the position of the stock and built up receiver.  This unusual shape didn’t affect accuracy and compared to other sub machine guns the MAS was very accurate.

The weapon itself has a number of interesting design features such as a hinged dust cover flap sat just in front of the magazine well which can be closed when the MAS is unloaded.  The weapon’s safety was engaged by pushing the trigger forward, this would lock the bolt into either the rear or forward position.  Additionally the MAS also has a set of collapsible sights for ranges of 100 and 200 metres.  This was to keep the receiver as smooth as possible to stop snagging on soldiers clothing (see photograph below).   Interestingly the sights are offset to the left of the receiver as is the front sight and not positioned centrally.     

image

MAS-38’s offset rear sight (source)

The weapon saw service during the Battle of France in 1940 and during the German occupation of France by the Resistance.  Manufacture was continued during the German occupation and it was issued to both the Wehrmacht as the MP722(f) and to the forces of Vichy France.  After the war the MAS-38 was replaced by the MAS-49 however, many MAS-38’s found their way to Vietnam and captured examples were used by the Viet Minh, who often prized well made French weapons, during the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War.   

Sources:

'Execution of Mussolini' (source)

'The weapon used to kill Italian dictator Benito Mussolini' (source)

Image One & Two Source

Image Three Source  

The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  


Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series

The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910

Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  

For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  

Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.

On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.

The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.

Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.

The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 

After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.

Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.

Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.

The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.

The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 

Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.

In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.

The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  

The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.

The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).

The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Image Four Source

Image Five Source

Image Six Source

Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)

Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)

Vienna Museum of Military History (source)

The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)

John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series

The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910
Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  
For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  



Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.
On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.
The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.


Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.
The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 
After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.
Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.


Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.
The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.
The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 


Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.
In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.
The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  
The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.


The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).
The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)
Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)
Vienna Museum of Military History (source)
‘The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)
John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series

The Gun That Killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand: FN M1910

Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations.  It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings which saw Europe’s slow descent into the Great War.  

For centuries Bosnia had been a Turkish territory however, the Ottoman Empire receded during the latter half of the 19th Century and in 1908, the Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexed the region after occupying it for several decades.  Bosnia was just one of the many regions that made up the heterogeneous Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In June 1914, elements of the Austro-Hungarian Army were scheduled to carry out manoeuvres near Sarajevo, the regional capital.  Emperor Franz Josef had ordered that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the dual crown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire would observe the manoeuvres. While in the region the Archduke’s itinerary included meetings, dinners and the opening of a museum.   On 28th June 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo by train, escorted by the region’s governor the royal party took a convoy of cars to the town hall after a brief inspection of some local barracks.  The route of the royal procession had been made public and that morning some crowds had gathered.  

Manchester Guardian reports the Assassination, 29th June (source)

Franz Ferdinand was well regarded by many of the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was seen as a moderate and a force for reform. One of his stated hopes was to combine the Slavic regions of the Empire into a third crown-state.  This was a move opposed by the Serb radicals who saw this as another impediment to Serbia’s influence in the region and their hopes that Bosnia might unite with Serbia.  It was also one of Princip’s stated motivations.

On the way to the town hall the convoy was attacked by Serbian assassins of Young Bosnia - an anti-Austrian revolutionary group. Young Bosnia had been established in 1911 and was affiliated with the Black Hand, a state-sponsored Serbian paramilitary force intent on uniting ethnic Serb territories.  It was the support of the Black Hand which enabled the assassination.  They provided the assassins with training as well as six grenades, four Browning automatic pistols and a map of the motorcade’s route through Sarajevo marked with the likely positions of police and security.

The six assassins were positioned along the route however, as the Archduke’s car passed the first two assassins failed to act.  However, at about 10:15am the third assassin, Nedeljko Čabrinović, did act throwing his hand grenade at the Archduke’s car.  It struck the car’s folded roof glancing off and exploding beneath the car behind injuring over a dozen people.  Čabrinović then took a cyanide capsule and jumped into the Miljacka River which ran parallel to the road.  The cyanide had lost its potency and failed to kill Čabrinović, the Miljacka was particularly low due to drought and Čabrinović was quickly apprehended.  The remaining assassins were unable to act as the Archduke’s car sped for the town hall.  Despite the assassination attempt little was done to increase the security protecting the Archduke and the reception at the town hall went ahead as planned.  The rest of the day’s programme was cancelled however, and it was decided that the royal couple would visit those injured in the bomb attack.

Map showing the route, assassins positions and the locations of the first attempt and second successful assassination attempt  (source)

At approximately 10:45am the motorcade set off for the city’s hospital however, the driver had not been advised of the change of route and inadvertently turned right onto Franz Josef Strasse rather than back down Appel Quay.  The driver was advised of the change of plans and began to turn around outside Schiller’s delicatessen opposite the Latin Bridge (see image #6).  At this moment the Archduke’s car was spotted by Gavrilo Princip, armed with his FN-Browning M1910 he stepped forward and opened fire.

The Archduke’s eventual assassin was a 19 year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip came from a kmets/serf family but was an educated man having been enrolled at a merchant’s school in Sarajevo for several years before he was expelled when he was 17 for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations.  Throughout his adolescence Princip had admired fellow Serbs who fought against the Austro-Hungarians.  In 1914, he was recruited into the Young Bosnia by Danilo Ilić  to take part in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

Princip’s first round entered the Archduke’s neck piercing his jugular, cutting the vein and lodging itself in his spine.  The .380 ACP projectile mushroomed as it struck Franz Ferdinand’s neck tissues losing its momentum before lodging in his spinal column, probably somewhere in his Cervical vertebrae. 

After shooting Franz Ferdinand, Princip attempted to shoot Oskar Potiorek, the Austrian Governor of Sarajevo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. However, as he fired the members of the public and police wrestled Princip knocking him and his shot hit Sophie in her abdomen instead.  She slid off her seat next to the Archduke and fell to the floor of the car, with her face between his knees.   The car immediately made for the Governor’s residence where it was hoped the Archduke would be treated.  However, their wounds were too severe with Sophie dead on arrival and Franz Ferdinand dying several minutes later. An eyewitness claimed that his last words to his wife were “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Stay alive for the children!”  Followed by “it is nothing” when asked how he was by his bodyguard.

Princip immediately was set upon by a crowd and briefly beaten, he too took his cyanide pill which like Čabrinović’s also failed to kill him and he was arrested by the police.

Franz Ferdinand’s blood soaked tunic (source)

Tragically the visit to Sarajevo was one of the few public occasions when the royal couple were able to appear together as Emperor Franz Josef had forbidden Sophie from appearing with her husband as she was of Czech royalty and was considered a commoner by the imperial court court.

The pistol which Princip used was a FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol chambered in the 9×17mm .380 ACP round.  The .380 ACP cartridge is light and compact, ideal for pocket pistols and while its stopping power may be less than that of a full size 9mm Parabellum round at short ranges it has adequate penetrating power and the projectile can mushroom and flatten to almost 16mm - almost twice its fired diameter, once it strike a target.

The Model 1910 was designed by John Browning and was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium.  It entered full production in 1912 and was later revised in 1922.  Overall some 572,590 M1910s were made but in June 1914 they were a relatively new pistol.  The pistol’s design and calibre made it an ideal pocket pistol with the small .380 ACP cartridge and the mainspring placed around the barrel rather than above or below it in earlier Browning pistols.  The M1910 had a 4 inch barrel but was just under 7 inches overall.  It fed from a 6 round single-stack box magazine and had magazine, grip and thumb safeties. 

Cutaway of a FN M1910/22 (source)

Immediately following the assassination a pogrom against the Serbs of Sarajevo began, largely instigated by the region’s Governor Potiorek and the Austrian authorities.It is estimated that 5,000 Serbs were arrested with nearly 1,000 being killed while in custody or were executed.

In Vienna the assassination was met by a combination of horror and what might almost be described as relief.  Franz Ferdinand public hopes of reform for the Empire and the formation of a third Slavic crown were widely disliked by much of Emperor Franz Josef’s court.  The funeral of the Archduke and his wife contained many snubs aimed at Sophie and the couple’s children.  However, while the Austrian court was relieved that the reform-minded heir apparent was no longer a threat to the status-quo Austria’s closest ally Germany saw the assassination as an opportunity.  

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia laying in state, July 1914 (source)

Germany pushed Austria into issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, the country suspected of instigating the assassination, in the knowledge that this might provoke war with Russia - Serbia’s ally.  For Austria the assassination became little more than a pretext to settle old scores in the Balkans and expand Austrian territory while removing Serbia which was seen as a destabilising force in the region.  However, Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914, eventually had the domino effect that Germany had anticipated. Before long all of Europe was at war, but it was not the war Germany had hoped for.

The assassins themselves were almost all captured in the weeks following the assassination.  Their trial took place in October 1914, three months into World War One.  Despite many of the defendants testifying that they acted independently of Serbia the court regarded “…it as proved by the evidence that both the Narodna Odbrana (a Serbian nationalist group) and military circles in the Kingdom of Serbia in charge of the espionage service, collaborated in the outrage.”  

The majority of the defendants were found guilty with three hanged however, Čabrinović who had thrown the grenade and Princip could only be sentenced to 20 year in prison, the maximum prison term which could be given to defendants under 20 at the time of their crime. However, both men would later die of TB while in prison.

The assassins and their accomplices on trial in October 1914 (source)

Once Princip had been apprehended it is believed that the pistol used was, for unknown reasons, given to a Jesuit priest who administered the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife.  The pistol was retained by the Jesuits until it was placed on display at the Vienna Museum of Military History (see image #1).

The Archduke’s death while the catalyst for war it was not the cause. The assassination merely sparked the fuse to a powder keg which had been systematically filled by power plays, slights of reputation and losses of face between the great powers of Europe over the preceding decades. The result was Europe’s slow descent into a general war.

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Image Four Source

Image Five Source

Image Six Source

Eyewitness accounts of the assassination (source)

Archduke Ferdinand Is Murdered in Sarajevo (source)

Vienna Museum of Military History (source)

The Browning FN Model 1910: The Gun that Killed 8.5 million People’ (source)

John Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1987)

Click here for earlier entries in the ‘Gun That Killed…’ series

Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source) Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source) Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source) Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source) Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source) Blake Rifle 
The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 
The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.
Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.
Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 
Sources:

Images 1-4 Source
Image Five Source
Image Six Source
The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)
The Blake Infantry Rifle (source)

Blake Rifle 

The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 

The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.

Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. 
On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.

Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.
While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 

Sources:

Images 1-4 Source

Image Five Source

Image Six Source

The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)

The Blake Infantry Rifle (source)