2 In June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated while visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. This spark off a process that led to war throughout Europe within a few weeks.The Austrians blamed Serbia for the assassination and, after issuing an ultimatum, Austria declared war on Serbia.Because of the Alliance System, Russia supported Serbia, and Germany supported Austria.Within six weeks of the assassination, the great countries of Europe were at war.
3 28 June 1914 – The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Bosnia.Austria blames Serbia for the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.Austria declares war on Serbia. Belgrade (in Serbia) is shelled.The Russian army gets ready to help Serbia defend itself against the Austro-Hungarian attack.Germany, Austria’s ally, sends a demand to Russia ordering it to hold back from helping Serbia.Germany declares war on Russia. It also begins to move its army towards France, Russia’s ally.The French army is put on a war footing, ready to fight a German invasion.Germany declares war on France and invades neutral Belgium. Britain orders Germany to withdraw from Belgium.The Germans are still in Belgium, so Britain declares war on Germany.To complete the picture, Austria declares war on Russia.