City Hall to Sarajevo Hospital

After attending the official reception at the City Hall, Franz Ferdinand asked about the members of his party that had been wounded by the bomb. When the archduke was told they were badly injured in hospital, he insisted on being taken to see them. A member of the archduke's staff, Baron Morsey, suggested this might be dangerous, but Oskar Potiorek, who was responsible for the safety of the royal party, replied, "Do you think Sarajevo is full of assassins?" However, Potiorek did accept it would be better if Duchess Sophie remained behind in the City Hall. When Baron Morsey told Sophie about the revised plans, she refused to stay arguing: "As long as the Archduke shows himself in public today I will not leave him."

In order to avoid the city centre, General Oskar Potiorek decided that the royal car should travel straight along the Appel Quay to the Sarajevo Hospital. However, Potiorek forgot to tell the driver, Franz Urban, about this decision. On the way to the hospital, Urban took a right turn into Franz Joseph Street. One of the conspirators, Gavrilo Princip, happened to be was standing on the corner at the time. Oskar Potiorek immediately realised the driver had taken the wrong route and shouted "What is this? This is the wrong way! We're supposed to take the Appel Quay!".

The driver put his foot on the brake, and began to back up. In doing so he moved slowly past the waiting Gavrilo Princip. The assassin stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car. Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Chotkovato in the abdomen. Princip's bullet had pierced the archduke's jugular vein but before losing consciousness, he pleaded "Sophie dear! Sophie dear! Don't die! Stay alive for our children!" Franz Urban drove the royal couple to Konak, the governor's residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.

As instructed, after shooting Franz Ferdinand and Sophie von Chotkovato, Gavrilo Princip turned his gun on himself. Ante Velic, who was standing behind him, saw what he was doing and seized Princip's right arm. Another man, Danilo Pusic, also grabbed Princip and within seconds the police arrived and he was arrested.

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie in Sarajevo (1914)
Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
and Duchess Sophie in Sarajevo (1914)
The Assassins Locations: 28th June, 1914 (1) Muhamed Mehmedbasic (2) Nedjelko Cabrinovic (3) Vaso Cubrilovic (4) Cvijetko Popovic (5) Gavrilo Princip (morning) (6) (afternoon) (7) Trifko Grabez (8) Danilo Ilic
The Assassins Locations: 28th June, 1914
(1) Muhamed Mehmedbasic (2) Nedjelko Cabrinovic (3) Vaso Cubrilovic (4) Cvijetko Popovic (5) Gavrilo Princip (morning) (6) (afternoon) (7) Trifko Grabez (8) Danilo Ilic

Primary Sources

(1) Borijove Jevtic was a member of the Black Hand group who later claimed he had been involved in the assassination.

To make his death certain twenty-two members of the organization were selected to carry out the sentence. Two hours before Franz Ferdinand arrived in Sarajevo all the twenty-two conspirators were distributed 500 yards apart over the whole route along which the Archduke must travel from the railroad station to the town hall. When the car passed Cabrinovic he threw his grenade. It hit the side of the car, but Franz Ferdinand with presence of mind threw himself back and was uninjured.

The cars sped to the Town Hall and the rest of the conspirators did not interfere with them. After the reception in the Town Hall General Potiorek, the Austrian Commander, pleaded with Franz Ferdinand to leave the city, as it was seething with rebellion. The Archduke was persuaded to drive the shortest way out of the city and go quickly.

The road to the maneuvers was shaped like the letter V, making a sharp turn at the bridge over the River Nilgacka. Franz Ferdinand's car could go fast enough until it reached this spot but here it was forced to slow down for the turn. Here Princip had taken his stand. As the car came abreast he stepped forward from the curb, drew his automatic pistol from his coat and fired two shots. The first struck the wife of the Archduke, the Archduchess Sophie, in the abdomen. She was an expectant mother. She died instantly. The second bullet struck the Archduke close to the heart.

(2) Gavrilo Princip, interviewed by investigating judge (28th June, 1914)

I aimed at the Archduke. I do not remember what I thought at that moment. I only know that I fired twice, or perhaps several times, without knowing whether I had hit or missed.

(3) Count von Harrach was in Archduke's car when he was killed.

As I was drawing out my handkerchief to wipe away the blood from the Archduke's lips, her Highness cried out: "For God's sake! What happened to you?" Then she sank down from her seat with her face between the Archduke's knees. I had no idea that she had been hit and thought that she had fainted from shock. His Royal Highness said "Sophie, Sophie, don't die. Live for my children." I seized the Archduke by the coat collar to prevent his head from sinking forward and asking him: "Is your highness in great pain?" To which he clearly answered: "It is nothing." His face was slightly distorted, and he repeated six or seven times, every time losing more consciousness and with a fading voice: "It is nothing." Then came a brief pause followed by a convulsive rattle in his throat, caused by a loss of blood. This ceased on arrival at the governor's residence. The two unconscious bodies were carried into the building where their death was soon established.