World War I
Gavrilo Princip in World War I
Gavrilo Princip (1895-1918) was a Serbian nationalist who became the catalyst for World War I when he assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The murder started a chain reaction that led to the beginning of the war only one month later.
A member of a complicated plot against the Austrian heir to the throne, Princip seized his opportunity when a wrong turn forced Ferdinand's car to stall right in front of him. Princip then shot the Archduke and his wife, Sophie, killing them both. At only nineteen years old, he was too young to face the death penalty and was sentenced instead to the maximum penalty, twenty years in prison. As the war raged around him, Princip wasted away in jail, dying of disease and neglect in April 1918.