Talk:Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Conspiracy theories

There have recently been extensive additions to this article detailing not only the original assasination plot but alleged subsequent conspiracies by Serbia, France and even Montenegro. There are no supporting citations and much of the new material seems to be classic "Balkan conspiracy" conjecture. The result has been to swamp the original fairly factual account of the assasination, its background and implications with dubious suppositions presented as fact. Perhaps the article could be edited into entirely separate historic account and conspiracy theory sections.

Sewn Into Uniform

I've seen a few times the story that the Duke's wounds perhaps would have been treatable had he not been sewn into his uniform (as dictated by current fashion), thus slowing doctors' efforts to save him. This story was cited from "Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts" on one site. Is this really true? Felosele 27 June 2006

I don't think that it is. I have seen the actual uniform on display in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna. It is torn on one side of the chest - about where his medals would have been, but there are no signs that it was sewn tight or that he had to be cut out of it. Of course he may have been wearing a corset - that was a fashion of the time for corpulent wearers of tight military uniforms and that would have delayed medical treatment.

I understood that he was shot in the neck (among other places), so it might not have made a difference. Interesting trivia, however. Taybot 02:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


UKG1RKJ just tried putting the absolutely false myth about the Archduke batting the bomb away into the article. Doesn't anyone read the discussion section? A lot of the other things he changed were dubious. There are conflicting accounts about why the other assassins failed to act. Some said they worried about civilian casualties, or killing the Archduchess, or they were worried the gendarmes would catch them and then that would prevent the others from making a good attempt. They may well have lost their nerve or left the scene thinking the bomb was successful as UKG1 said, but the evidence is contradictory and so the article should probably not take a position on the issue as the reasons behind them not acting have little consequence.

Werchovsky 21:32, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I've heard from several sources that the bomb, or dynamite, was actually thrown inside the archduke's cart, but that he threw it out himself. And I also heard the guy who killed them was in a bar, drunk. Did anybody else, too? Red Star

My AP history teacher showed us a movie from the history channel, which said the guy who threw the grenade forgot that grenades have a delay and the archduke hit the grenade away when he saw it fall in the car.

Count Harrach, and many others including the bomb thrower himself make it clear that the Kragujevac bomb bounced off the folded back hood of the car in which Franz-Ferdinand rode and then landed in the street its timed detonator going off as the next vehicle passed. The confusion comes from a New York Times article that was in error and one witness with a bad view. These bombs were armed by banging the detonator against a hard object such as the light poll used in this case. It appears the detonator cap seperated from the bomb in midflight and the cap scratched the Arch-Duchess' cheek as it passed. Franz-Ferdinand, it seems, raised his hand to try to block the detonator cap but missed. The pieces of the bomb, and the other 5 unused bombs were eventually rounded up by the authorities, identified by the terrorists as the same bombs they had received from Major Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic, and matched to other bombs captured in their original Serbian Military Arsenal packing. It is irresponsible to suggest it might have been a stick of dynamite that was thrown. The terrorists received and used Serbian military ordinance.

My History professor also confirmed that the Archduke stood up in the car to hit the gernade away. Because of the styling of the gernades used, instead of removing a key to trigger it, one had to actually smack it against something (ie ground or post) to do so. Therfore many witnesses turned when hearing the "smack" noise, thus allowing acknowledgment of the aggressors. Taybot 02:34, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Your history professor is a victim of myth. The archduke did not stand up. Read the trial transcripts or excerpts from the depositions in the suggested reading, or you to will be the victim of Entente generated myth too. 18:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Michael Balfour on the assassination

A note on the bottom of page 344 of Michael Balfour's book, "The Kaiser and his Times," Houghton Mifflin (1964) states:

"The chief instigator of the assassination was almost certainly the Serb director of Military Intelligence, in his private capacity as head of the secret society 'The Black Hand'. The Russian Miltary Attache at Belgrade equally certainly was in the secret. So was the Serb Prime Minister, Pasic who, although frightened of what war would mean for Serbia, was even more frightened of the 'Black Hand'. Pasic did send a warning to Vienna but by the time it had passed through several intermediaries, it became so muffled as to be disregarded."

[User: Domenico Rosa, 29 June 2006]

The "private capacity" portion of which does not square well with the confession of Serbia's Chief of Military Intelligence:

“As the Chief of the Intelligence Department of the General Staff, I engaged Rade Malobabić to organize the information service in Austria-Hungary. I took this step in agreement with the Russian Military Attaché Artamonov, who had a meeting with Rade in my presence. Feeling that Austria was planning a war with us, I thought that the disappearance of the Austrian Heir Apparent would weaken the power of the military clique he headed, and thus the danger of war would be removed or postponed for a while. I engaged Malobabić to organize the assassination on the occasion of the announced arrival of Franz Ferdinand to Sarajevo...." (This is the english translation appearing on page 398 of "The Road to Sarajevo", by Dedijer of the confession of Dragutin Dimitrievic to the Serbia Court Martial in French Occupied Salonika where he was being tried on other charges.)

One needs to be skeptical of this "private capacity" claim popular in Entente capitals. Heads of government spy agencies don't have a private capacity to conduct clandestined actions. Its like saying Iran-Contra was a private act of CIA director Casey; but at least in Iran-Contra, charges were brought by the government. In the case of Franz-Ferdinand's assassination, no one was ever charged with any act in the assassination by Serbia or any other Entente Power. Werchovsky 00:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Leo Valiani on Franz Ferdinand

The Italian historian Leo Valiani was born in 1909 in Fiume, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Valiani wrote the following in "The End of Austria-Hungary," Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1973) pp 9-10 [translation of: "La Dissoluzione dell'Austria-Ungheria," Casa Editrice Il Saggiatore, Milano (1966) pp 19-20]:

"Francis Ferdinand was a prince of absolutist inclinations, but he had certain intellectual gifts and undoubted moral earnestness. One of his projects--though because of his impatient, suspicious, almost hysterical temperament, his commitment to it, and the methods by which he proposed to bring it about, often changed--was to consolidate the structure of the state and the authority and popularity of the Crown, on which he saw clearly that the fate of the dynasty depended, by abolishing, if not the dominance of the German Austrians, which he wished to maintain for military reasons, though he wanted to dimish it in the civil administration, certainly the far more burdensome sway of the Magyars over the Slav and Romanian nationalities which in 1848-49 had saved the dynasty in armed combat with the Hungarian revolution. Baron Margutti, Francis Joseph's aide-de-camp, was told by Francis Ferdinand in 1895 and--with a remarkable consistency in view of the changes that took place in the intervening years--again in 1913, that the introduction of the dual system in 1867 had been disastrous and that, when he ascended the throne, he intended to re-establish strong central government: this objective, he believed, could be attained only by the simultaneous granting of far-reaching administrative autonomy to all the nationalities of the monarchy. In a letter of February 1, 1913, to Berchtold, the Foreign Minister, in which he gave his reasons for not wanting war with Serbia, the Archduke said that 'irredentism in our country ... will cease immediately if our Slavs are given a comfortable, fair and good life' instead of being trampled on (as they were being trampled on by the Hungarians). It must have been this which caused Berchtold, in a character sketch of Francis Ferdinand written ten years after his death, to say that, if he had succeeded to the throne, he would have tried to replace the dual system by a supranational federation."

[User: Domenico Rosa, 29 June 2006]


I've heard security was a major issue here--the Austrio-Hungarian government didn't provide much, if any, and the Bosnians of course didn't care to provide it. If anyone knows more than I do it would be a good to mention in the article.


I think this should be called Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, or Franz Ferdinand Assassination. This is a more natural title, and the only other pages I can find on specific assassinations are John F. Kennedy assassination and Robert F. Kennedy assassination. There may well be/have been other assassinations in Sarajevo, especially given its recent history. --Townmouse 23:19, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The event is commonly known in history as the Assassination in Sarajevo. Other encyclopedias also call it that. The naming convention is to use the most common name, which migh not necessarily be the most logical, accurate or consistent one. Redirects from those should of course be provided. I'll move the article back here. Zocky 01:22, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It would be interesting to find out what the event is called around the world. I had certainly never heard of it as the Assassination in Sarajevo before looking it up on Wikipedia today. I was astonished to read references on different pages saying that this was the common term. I've always heard it called The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and could not have said for sure which city it occurred in. Now I'm not proud of not knowing which city it had happened in, but I wonder if other people may be the same. - Russell Brown 09:22, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

He should be called by his title "Archduke" because he was heir-apparent and in fact was already taking over responsibilities as head of state. "Assassination in Sarajevo" does not indicate who was killed.

I do not think that word means what you think it means

Quoth the article:

The authorities thought the imprisonment would be arbitrary, until one member, Danilo Ilić, lost his patience and told the authorities everything, including the fact that the guns were supplied by the Serb government.

I'm not sure what "arbitrary" is supposed to mean here. Certainly the people doing the arresting thought they had the right people. Does it mean that the authorities thought they'd have to hold the suspects indefinitely? --Jfruh 28 June 2005 06:53 (UTC)

Saved/tried to save from lynching

OK, a not-logged-in user keeps changing the phrase "saved from lynching" to "tried to save from lynching" in a photo caption. If Princip had been lynched, he would have been killed, yes? Since he wasn't killed by the mob, he was successfully saved. I guess maybe the individual in question didn't necessarily save him, but the phrase "tried to save" definitely implies that he was killed. --Jfruh 8 July 2005 14:25 (UTC)

This picture was at one time believed to show Princip's arrest. It was later confirmed that it actually depicted the arrest of a German passerby who tried to save Princip from being lynched.
This is news to me! Can we please have a link to a credible source making this claim? 20:40, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Relics and Chaos Theory

How is Chaos Theory: a) related the "Relics" of the assassination, and b) relevant at all? Does this simple chain of events meet the criteria for a chaotic system at all, let alone represent one of the "finest examaples?"

Members of the parade

I added a description of the members of the motorcade, who was with who and in which car. Marcos2006 13:30, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

'Comitive' - what?

What is this word "comitive", as used in the sentence starting

"Around 10:00 Ferdinand and his comitive left the Philipovic army camp, ..."

If talking about the assassin then 'comitiva' might work, but this is about Ferdinand. And I don't think 'committee' is quite right either. I can't find this word anywhere. Shenme 22:05, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Deleted paragraph

The former last paragraph - what isn't wrong (not Chaos Theory; causes of WWI much more complex) or speculation (Cold War) here is obvious, it could be said about most such events that a chain of coincidences led to them. And it doesn't belong in the Relics section. Clearly a somewhat random addition. flux.books 15:49, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

It may also be worth noting that the assassination was one of the finest examples of Chaos Theory in action. The assassination was, it could be said, caused by Ferdinand's driver taking a wrong turn. This in turn gave the assassin a second chance to carry out the assassination, which led to the outbreak of World War One, which caused 20 million deaths. World War One set the stage for World War Two to start two decades later, which in turn caused another sixty million deaths and caused the Cold War - which easily could have destroyed humanity had it become a hot war. These events shaped the modern world, and will indeed shape human history in the centuries to come.

July Ultimatum

The section labelled 'Consequences' makes references to a 'July Ultimatum' set by Austria to Serbia in revenge for the assassination, and mentions that Serbia accepted all but one of the terms, which set off World War I. However, those terms are never described, giving the section a feeling of incompleteness. There is a link to the July Ultimatum article, but shouldn't at least a synopsis be published here for readers' benefit?

Only point #8 was completely acceded to. Convincing the world that they had acceded to almost all of the points was a propaganda coup and is perpetuated in text books today, but put the ultimatum and the response side by side and you will see this was trickery or simply read the Austrian critique.


I had recently seen on a documentary regarding the assassination and it was stated that the gun's that were supplied to the assassins were made by Browning.

Yes, the weapon used against Franz Ferdinand was the FN Model 1910, a gun which was designed by John Browning, but produced by FN.

conflicting accounts...

on this page:

As all of the conspirators were under age, they were sentenced to prison rather than execution (except for the older Danilo Ilić, who was hanged).

on the danilo ilic page (

Danilo Ilic, Veljko Cubrilovic and Misko Jovanovic, who helped the assassins kill the royal couple, were executed on 3rd February, 1915.

    • doesn't that conflict?

Also, it states in the Ilic article that Ilic was arrested after Princip ratted him out, yet on this page it states that Ilic ratted everyone out..?

1. Misko Jovanovic and Veljko Cubrilovic were not amongst the seven lying in wait for the royals (their roll was in transport and storing weapons) and so they are often not counted.

2. The police arrested Cabrinovic and Principe on the spot, and immediately began rounding up everyone these two had been seen with including Ilic (Principe was living with him). Ilic did give some true information to the authorities but mixed it with lies as did all of those arrested who knew anything; if you read the trial transcripts you'll see Ilic had trouble keeping all his stories straight. Ilic has been demonized by Serbs looking to make Principe a hero. In reality, Ilic knew the most about the conspiracy and told the least, keeping his contacts with the Serbian Military (Colonels Dimitrievic and Popovic) secret to his death, and telling nothing to the authorities about the planning meeting in Tolouse, France and so on.

Failed GA nomination

This article, although detailed, fails WP:V and WP:NPOV. All good articles should have line citations. Those that discuss conspiracy theories usually need particularly heavy referencing. This presents conspiracy theories as fact without giving the reader any basis for evaluating the claims. Durova 16:53, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Conspiracy material

Could the contributor who has added extensive material relating to French, Montenegran and Russian conspiracies over the last month please provide supporting references and citations.

I concur; the citation of a French diplomatic document does not count as a published source. Ih fact the entire section, with its unsourced claims, should be on the talk page until it is. Septentrionalis 05:22, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

The Broader Conspiracy and Cover-up

Cover-up by Serbia

After allowing the murders to take place, the Serbian Civilian Government worked to cover up the full extent of the plot. This including denying it had conducted an investigation, denying it knew about the plot and providing safe haven to the conspirators (many conspirators were eventually arrested on other charges, but none were charged with the crimes of Sarajevo), refusing to cooperate with the Austro-Hungarian investigation, and continuing to keep known conspirators on the government payroll. The government briefly arrested Major Tankosic, but quickly released him and sent him back to his unit. Rade Malobabic was arrested but released on the request of Colonel Dimitrievic and Malobabic was given a commission operating a military supply store.

The Cover-up by Montenegro and France

Mohamed Mehmedbasic escaped the Austro-Hungarian-police dragnet into Montenegro, where he bragged in a café about his role in Sarajevo and was therefore arrested by the Montenegrin police. Montenegro and Austria-Hungary had a reciprocal extradition treaty with regards to individuals who attack a sovereign of the state or members of his family, and so Montenegro was bound to arrest and turn-over Mehmedbasic.

Mehmedbasic told all to the Montenegrin authorities, including about the Tolouse planning meeting in January 1914. The Montenegrin Foreign Minister called in the French Ambassador and informed him of the details and then Montenegrin authorities illegally allowed Mehmedbasic to escape to Serbia where he joined with Tankosic’s unit. France and Montenegro kept the results of the interrogation a secret until part of it was divulged when the cable of the French Ambassador back to Paris was published after the war. Had Mehmedbasic been turned over to Austro-Hungarian authorities another avenue of investigation would have opened up outside of Serbia, including the rounding up of Paul Bastaic, Mustafa Golubic, and Vladimir Gacinovic. With them in custody, Danilo Ilic could have been confronted with taking orders from Belgrade and perhaps could have been forced to give up Apis; but France and Montenegro elected instead to obstruct the investigation.

(“Documents Diplomatiques Francais III Serie 1911-14, 3”, X Doc. 537 states that the January meeting took place in “Tours”, not Tolouse with the implication that this is the reason the Sûreté Générale found nothing when it investigated. The self-serving italics notwithstanding, with Mehmedbasic imprisoned on other charges in French controlled territory in 1916 and 1917, France elected not to perform its legal duty to investigate and arrest the conspirators giving the conspiracy France’s seal of approval.)

The Cover-up by Serbia and France

On June 26, 1917, in French occupied Salonika, Serbia executed Colonels Apis and Ljubomir Vulovic and Masterspy Rade Malobabic. Before their execution, these three men had confessed to their own involvement in and details of the conspiracy to assassinate Franz-Ferdinand including fingering the Russian Military attaché and Serbia’s top military officer. Apis, as mentioned earlier, made a written confession to the Serbian Court. The confession was suppressed by Serbia until its capture by the Axis during World War II. Vulovic made his statement at court-martial, the transcripts of which were briefly published and then pulled back and then published again after World War II. Malobabic made his statement to a priest hired by Serbia to report what he said. This too was kept secret. The executions were controversial at Entente capitals. To stifle criticism of the executions, Prime Minister Pasic put it this way to his embassy in Britain: “The officers in the Salonika affair had to be condemned, Vulovic and Malobabic were ordinary criminals (sic), and Dimitrijevic besides everything else admitted he had ordered Franz Ferdinand to be killed. And now who could reprieve them?” [from Black Hand on Trial, Salonika 1917 page 392]

In 1916, Serbia’s government in exile arrested Apis and many of his fellow conspirators. The arrests were politically motivated as Prince Regent Alexandar and Prime Minister Pasic eliminated a powerful rival. The arrests were also diplomatically motivated. Austria-Hungary was seeking a secret and separate peace with France and offered the return of Serbia (now occupied by Austria-Hungary and her allies) on condition that those behind Sarajevo would be punished. Serbia, without territory of its own, sent some of the accused to French Prisons and others were put into a concentration camp and an officers’ prison on the French controlled Salonika front. Peace talks floundered, but the prisoners were brought to trial nevertheless on various false charges, none of which could be made to stick even with a packed court and denial of choice of counsel and witnesses. Finally in mid-trial a new charge of attempting to kill Regent Aleksandar was brought and though this charge was false too (the verdicts were overturned posthumously) the defendants were found guilty and many received a death sentence. Responsibility for the murder of these key witnesses rests not only on Serbia, but on the occupying authority and willing jailor and transporter of the accused, France.

Russian Facilitation, Foreknowledge and Cover-up

A salient point in Apis’ confession was that Russian Military Attaché to Belgrade Artamonov provided the funds required for The Outrage, and promised Russia’s protection from Austria-Hungary. This facilitation was broadly corroborated by Artamonov’s assistant, Alexander Werchovsky, a captain at the time of The Outrage to Louis Trydar-Burzinski, after which Werchovsky stopped talking. Artamonov denied his involvement saying whatever payments he made to Apis were for other work.

There is no evidence of advanced approval of The Outrage by Czar Nicholas II and it would seem out of character for him to authorize a royal assassination. There is evidence, however, that by June 14, 1914 (June 1 old calendar) members of the Russian Diplomatic Corps knew of the impending Outrage as Schel'king reports during the Czar's visit to Constanza on June 14, 1914 members of the Russian Diplomatic Corps, outside the presence of the Czar, were discussing the implications of Franz-Ferdinand being "out of the way".

Russia helped to cover-up the conspiracy primarily through a telegram that a) advised Serbia to reject those terms of Austria-Hungary’s letter that infringed on Serbia’s sovereignty, and b) promised Russian diplomatic and military support and c) by denying its own involvement including a present day claim (“Rossiiskaia Kontrrazvedka I Tainaia Serbskaia Organizatsii ‘Chernaia Ruka’") that Russia had not one single agent in Serbia at the time of the Sarajevo assassinations.


From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 109

Naum. (Juror Naumowicz): Are you an adherent of terrorism?

Acc. (Trifko Grabez): I don’t know exactly how to say it. I am.

From "Origins of the War", Vol 2, pg.78:

“…and in reply to questions from the present writer <Mehmedbašić > gave an exact account of the decisions taken at Toulouse and of what took place after the meeting, an account which differs from that of Bogićević. His story is that his friend Golubić persuaded him to join the Black Hand and they were both eager to carry out an act of terrorism to revive the revolutionary spirit of Bosnia. He knew Gacinović and Ilić, who had administered the oath required of all members of the Black Hand. At the end of December 1913 he received a letter from Golubić on behalf of Gacinović asking him to go on an important matter to Toulouse. There, at the Hôtel St. Gérôme was Golubić who said that Gacinović and Paul Bastaić were also expected. Actually only Gacinović came and urged that Bosnia must be wakened up by acts of terrorism.

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 56

Pr. (President Kurinaldi): What kind of ideas did you have?

Acc. (Gavrilo Princip): I am a Yugoslav nationalist and I believe in the unification of all South Slavs in whatever form of state and that it be free of Austria.

Pr.: That was your aspiration. How did you think to realize it?

Acc.: By means of terror.

From "The Road to Sarajevo" by Vladimir Dedijer pg. 326 (Judge Marcec interview Cabrinovic at 2PM on June 28, 1914 and in response:)

Cabrinovic: "I am an adherent of the radical anarchist idea, which aims at destroying the present system through terrorism in order to bring a liberal system in its place.

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 62

Pr.: (President Kurinaldi): Did Obren Milosevic see the weapons?

Acc. (Gavrilo Princip): I think not. I said, "You can't tell anyone that we have passed, otherwise your house will be destroyed."

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 63

Pr.: (President Kurinaldi): The peasants did not know your exact intention?

Acc. (Gavrilo Princip): ...we would destroy everything if he (Veljko) said anything....

Pr.: What did you do with the bags?

Acc.: ...But before that both Grabez and I warned them to tell no one that we had been with them, otherwise they would lose their lives.

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 86

Pr.: In the inquiry you did not say that you threatened Obren Milosevic.

Acc.: I know well that I threatened him.

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 99

Pr.: To whom?

Acc. (Trifko Grabez): To Blagoje, that he was not to tell anybody that we were there, "because you will suffer terribly, people will come who are stronger than Austria and the gendarmes, and they will kill all the males."

From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 159

Pr.: Tell me, underwhat circumstances were you compelled?

Acc. (Veljko Cubrilovic): It is hard for me, but finally I will say it. Princip glared at me and very forcefully said "If you want to know, it is for the reason and we are going to carry out an assassination of the Heir and if you know about it, you have to be quiet. If you betray it, you and your family will be destroyed." ..... Continuing the same interrogation: From “The Sarajevo Trial” by W.A. Dolph Owings pg. 170

Zist (Zistler, Attorney for the defense): Why did you sacrifice your personal family happiness? You had to know that you would be imprisoned.

Acc.: I was afraid that my family would be destroyed, my house, which is five hours from the border. Everything could be destroyed in one night.

Zist: Do you know that in Serbia there is a revolutionary organization which really does that?

Acc.: There were such organizations, as long as those regions in Macedonia were not liberated.

Zist: How did you know that?

Acc.: It was known by all that the Bulgarians had such a Central Committee. Those guerillas committed great atrocities. I was afraid such a revolutionary organization stood behind Princip. I saw that behind them stood powerful elements. I thought that because one doesn't find bombs on the streets.

Zist: Did you know that they took revenge on those who did not submit?

Acc.: I don't recall the names, but if you take the chronicle of Old Serbia's past, there are hundreds of such cases.

Pr.: In Old Serbia there was no government with the power to protect its own subjects.

Acc.: I was more afraid of terror than the law.

Werchovsky 05:48, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Veljko Cubrilovic in the above statements is making veiled reference to the Independent Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) which engaged in ethnic cleansing against Serbs and Turks in Macedonia and Kosovo (Old Serbia), and to the "Black Hand" and its auxiliaries formed as a counterweight to and adopting the methods of IMRO. Principe had signed up for the "Black Hand" terrorist auxiliaries, but was rejected by Major Tankosic for being too frail. The perpetrators of The Outrage knew what terror was. Werchovsky 17:50, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

These statements are of course translated from Serbian, where 'terror' is essentially a foreign word which in 1915 really had no meaning apart from a vague reference to the French Revolution. One must also take these statements with a huge grain of salt, as these men were almost certainly tortured. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

There is no evidence that Mehmedbasic and Albertini spoke in Serbian. Further, they were speaking long after the war, not in 1915. Please cite your source that the assassins were coerced by torture to admit to being terrorists. I find no evidence of this although one of the terrorists was dunked in water by the police out of anger. I think the disagreement with the word "terror" has no factual basis.

Werchovsky 18:36, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

By what logic were the perpetrators "terrorists"? Surely this was not an attempt to instill fear in a civilian population. At worst it was an act of armed insurrection with a narrow political aim.

Yes. Lexington and Concorde all over again, except with a terrorist organization instead of a militia, with terrorist bombs instead of muskets and rifles, against an unarmed man and woman instead of against an army, surprise attacking a parade instead of defending peoples homes (and the weapons cashes in those homes) against an army's attack, and the event ultimately led to a thrown of blood ruling the populace instead of the representative democracy that Lexington and Concorde put us on the road too.

Werchovsky 18:28, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

If I remember right, the Black Hand were a terrorist organisation. It's more like if Osama tried to kill Karzai himself — he would be a terrorist, but not simply because he tried to pull off the assassination Nyttend 00:06, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
But again, it begs the question. What grounds does anyone have to call the perpetrators "terrorists"? If the act of assassination by itself is not sufficient for a person or group to be branded a "terrorist", then what justification does anyone have for attributing that label in this case? Austria-Hungary was not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination, and had annexed Bosnia only six years earlier. This was essentially insurgency against a despotic regime, and not an attempt to terrorize a civilian population.::

Nyttend's reasoning was not circular. The assassins threatened peasants, saying if they did not do as they were told an organization stood behind the assassins that would destroy their houses, kill them, kill all the males in their family, or kill their entire family. That the remnants of the terroristic Black Hand and Serbian Military Intelligence stood behind the assassins makes the threat more credible and the argument that these threats were themselves acts of terror is made more strong as a result.

On another point, Austria-Hungary had two parliaments and was governed by law. It was a constitutional Monarchy but not as liberal as Britain's. Franz-Ferdinand was no democrat but, perhaps because he was married to a slav, who herself was politically active, he was sympathetic to the political disenfranchisement of the Slavs and aimed at increased federalism and an increase in the Slav political voice (at the expense of the Magyars). Serbia on the other hand was a thrown of blood where the dynasty had a decade earlier been changed (again) by assassination. When parliament voted PM Pasic and his party out of office and a new government was forming in May 1914, the Russian Ambassador pressured and got the King of Serbia to reinstall Pasic ignoring the will of the majority. Regent/King Aleksandar was worse. He put his older brother in an insane assylum to strengthen his own power, and put other potential political threats like Apis to death. The murders were not a blow against despotism, they just led to replacement of Austro-Hungarian rule by a more despotic Serbian rule. No doubt some Orthodox Serbs liked it, but at what cost? Half the male Serbian Orthodox population died, and the Serbian Orthodox population has never recovered from the Balkans Wars and the War of 1914-18.

Werchovsky 19:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

That paragraph is historically false and misleading in the extreme. Pre-WWI Serbia and the interwar Yugoslavia were both fledgling democracies, and the Austro-Hungarian empire was anything but. That is the plain and simple historical truth. Deal with it.

Vigorous and rude assertion does not logical and pursuasive argument make. The key facts of the above can all be found in the suggested readings which are reliable and credible sources. Who is more despotic may be a bit subjective, but generally, Franz-Joseph let the legal system work while Regent and then King Aleksandar did not, which in the context of Sarajevo can be seen in the contrast between Salonika/Corfu vs the Sarajevo trials. But, the real point is not whether one man's rule was somewhat more or less despotic, but that the terrorists cannot be absolved of their crime because their intentions and results were so overwhelming good and pure that throwing bombs at and firing on a parade were justified under the necessity defense which a previous unsigned comment hinted at. So, please list up the historically false statements.

Do you deny Apis assassinated Alexander Obrenović and associates to install Peter Karadjordjević? Do you deny Franz-Ferdinand aimed at increased federalism? Do you deny that there was an Austrian and a Hungarian parliament? Do you deny Apis and two of his military intelligence associates were killed by the Serbian government with the appoval of Regent Aleksandar on the false charge of attempting to kill The Regent? Are you familiar with the actions of the Serbian Corfu Government in exile? Do you deny that Pasic was reinstalled as PM in the manner described? Do you deny Aleksandar took on dictatorial powers (if you do you better visit his Wikipedia page and go do battle there)? Do you deny the high cost in Serbian lives from the various wars from 1910 on? Werchovsky 22:24, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The murders were not a blow against despotism, they just led to replacement of Austro-Hungarian rule by a more despotic Serbian rule.
That statement is plain and simply false. Pre-WWI Serbia was a constitutional monarchy, founded on democratic princples, as was post-WWI Yugoslavia. Austria-Hungary was an aging despotic empire where few people had the basic right to vote, and all the political power rested in the hands of the ethnic Germans and Magyars, even though collectively they constituted less than half the population. Nowadays we call that sort of thing "apartheid". A free and independent Serbia was a threat to Austria-Hungary, not so much militarily, but because it had all the Slavic peoples under Austro-Hungarian rule wanting liberty and self-rule.

As I understand it, Serbia, like Austria-Hungary, did have a constitution. The liberal Serbian Constitution of 1888 was suspended by the King of Serbia in 1894 and reverted to the regressive constitution of 1869, and then in 1901 a new, but similarly regessive, constitution was put into effect with the real power vested in the King. Then in 1903, Apis and fellow junior officers of the Serbian Army stormed the palace, killed the King and Queen together with some of their political allies and the Queen's brothers, and changed the dynasty. The liberal constitution of 1888 was promptly reinstalled. King Petar had democratic tendancies and had little power base and Serbia seemed to be headed toward a liberal democracy. Serbia's wars with some of her neighbors in 1912-1913 put strains on this democratic direction. In 1914 a crisis developed. The Serbian Civilian Government led by Pasic issued an order that Civil Administration Officials should be treated as senior to Military Officials in the newly conquered territories of Macedonia and Kosovo in an effort to establish Civilian Governmental Authority over the Serbian Military. The Serbia Military promptly flaunted the order. A Serbian general insisted on taking the place of honor on a reviewing stand at the expense of a Civilian Official. Pasic struck back by retiring the general. The military responded by appointing the general head of the Officer's Club, to which Pasic and Minister of the Interior Protic responded by closing the officers club and guarding it with 1000 police officers. Colonel Apis and his military allies then organized parliamentry opposition and Pasic and his party were voted out of power. King Petar accepted Pasic's resignation and Apis and his allies began forming a new government. Russia then intervened, the King reversed himself, reinstalling Pasic, and promptly retired in favor of Regent Aleksandar. Regent Aleksandar did not show the same democratic tendancies as his father and installed, for a time, a dictatorship over post-war Yugoslavia. He too was eventually assassinated.

You are right about the limited franchise in Austria and Hungary. In Hungary, parliamentary representation was gerrymandered to assure strong Hungarian majorities in Parliament. In Austria, disenfranchisement was more related to lack of property, although, as I understand it, this restriction was technically lifted in 1907. Considerable mixing of ethnic groups and religions does not match the apartheid model. Denying an appropriate level of Slavic representation in the Hungarian Parliament may have been unconstitutional and this was one weapon Franz-Ferdinand considered using to get Hungarian agreement to increase federalism. These matters are only peripherally discussed in the suggested reading, so if you have a different view on the Austrian and Hungarian constitutions and the Ausgleich by all means share your source. Werchovsky 18:24, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I really don't have the time or inclination to discuss any of this with you. I don't like to accuse people of bigotry, but your pathologically anti-Serbian views have shone through rather clearly here. You are once again attempting to obscure basic historical truths with wild conspiracy theories and misleading assertions. This conversation is over as far as I'm concerned. Anyone truly interested in the subject can find out the truth for themselves.
I maintain that "terrorst" is a pejorative term that baltantly violates the POV guidelines. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Trac63 (talkcontribs) 15:56, 8 May 2007 (UTC).

POV guidelines were never meant to be used to destroy language. Few want to live in the society described in the book "1984" where english is reduced to "newspeak" where certain meanings are impossible to express due to the elimination of key words. Werchovsky 22:24, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, i fully agree that perpetrators cannot be called terrorists. If we closely look to definition of terrorism - "Terrorism is a term used to describe violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians by groups or persons for political, nationalist, or religious goals." - we cannot find any elements to describe Princip and other perpetrators terrorists. It was an act against Austrian opressive regime, not against civilians by any means. I would like that this part regarding terrorism should be corrected! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:04, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Serbian "Union or Death"

The Black Hand was part of the Serbian Union ord Death Is an example that shows this. World known hisotrian Laurence Lafore also states this in his well repsected book "The Long Fuse". The "Union ord Death" was a Serbian nationalistic party that created smaller organizations such as the Black Hand. There is a lot of POV on this article from some Serbians trying to make it seem as if it wasn't done by their people. Vseferović 21:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Britannica even states this in their encyclopedia articles. Black Hand is part of "Union or Death"

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was PAGE MOVED to Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, per discussion below. That seemed to be the most sensible title with the most support. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Assassination in SarajevoAssassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Assassination in Sarajevo is not a very good title. I don't even know if anyone else has been assassinated there, but it seems like the de facto convention is to name the assassination after the assassinated, not the location (Best example I can think of at the moment (not very apropo): Execution of Saddam Hussein). Savidan 19:38, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


  • Comment - I'm still thinking over whether to move, but I do know that I would want "of Austria" dropped from the proposal, as adding unnecessary clunk. There's no other prominent Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was assassinated. --Groggy Dice T | C 22:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose new title as cumbersome. The present title is not perfect, but it is concise; and this is definitely the primary meaning of "Assassination in Sarajevo". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support a move to Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand without "of Austria" as suggested by Groggy Dice above. Although perfectly clear to the informed, the current title is vague to the point it could refer to a practice or pattern of assassinations in Sarajevo rather than the aforementioned event. I could see a header of "Assassination in Sarajevo has a long history reaching its apogee during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina." —  AjaxSmack  06:47, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand looks like the best title. --Yath 08:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I prefer just Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but I'll go for Archduke if necessary. I don't think anyone will confuse this Ferdinand with the character from the cartoon series. :) -Patstuarttalk|edits 14:34, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
      • On the other hand, one might think the entire band Franz Ferdinand had been shot (although I doubt this meets the notability threshold for assassination). —  AjaxSmack  04:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support idea to move in favor of Patstuart's suggested titled. There is no need to have Archduke in the title. Secondly, during the Bosnian conflict, there were quite a few assasinations in Sarajevo of ethnic and political leaders (some a bit high level) so there is some ambiguity in the title. While I'm sure the Archduke is the most notable person to be assasinated there, most people think of the assasination in terms of the Archduke being assasinated and might not immediately recall that it was Sarajevo. 14:57, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Assassination in Sarajevo is more commonplace. Asteriontalk 16:41, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I always hear about "Archduke Ferdinand" while the location is mentioned only afterward. Sometimes the location isn't mentioned at all. I'm referring to history books, documentaries, and such. --Yath 22:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I'm not entirely happy with this move. The given reasons ("I thought it means something else", "It's not consistent with Kennedy assassination") are not very good. Obviousness and consistency are not crucial factors, otherwise we'd be moving "Battle of Waterloo" to "Battle between Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington", lest somebody confuses it with a general article about fights in Waterloo, Belgium, or Waterloo station, London.

"Assassination in Sarajevo" is the common name (as opposed to description) of this event, and if nobody offers proof that it is an incorrect name, I will use the prorogative of the original author to chose between equally valid editorial choices and move the article back. Zocky | picture popups 15:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that "Assassination in Sarajevo" is the common name of the event. I suspect that's what it's called among some demographics, but not among others. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:25, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Possibly, but that doesn't make it a wrong name, and my argument above still stands. Zocky | picture popups 19:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I never claimed it was "wrong", I just questioned whether it's the most common name. Per our policy WP:NAME#Use common names of persons and things, that's the criterion we should be using to choose the article title. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
If we don't know what the article refers to, then it has bad name. Anyway, the editors have stated what they think its name should be, so the burden rests on your shoulders to provide evidence that "Assassination in Sarajevo" is the name. Not the other way around. --Yath 10:55, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
We know that "Assassination in Sarajevo" is one of correct names. I'm asserting that it's the most common name of the event, and that the often seen "assassination of Franz Ferdinand" is a descriptive way to refer to it, not its name. And sorry, random editors with shaky arguments do not automatically outweigh the preference of the article's author(s). Zocky | picture popups 23:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That's true, but it's also the case that the author(s) don't automatically outweigh other editors. Nobody "automatically outweighs" anybody else here. You assert that "Assassination in Sarajevo" is the most common name of the event. How can we estabish whether or not this is true? -GTBacchus(talk) 01:34, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Your editors comment is correct. Turning it around, it's also true that the article's author(s) don't outweigh random editors. Now, I can see what you're asserting about the name of the event, what I don't see is any verification. --Yath 04:06, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, let's clear some things up:

  • Whether you know what a word or expression means has nothing to do with whether it should be the title of the article. If you knew what everything means, you wouldn't need an encyclopedia.
  • The article that has stayed at this name for years was moved because a group of people said "I like the other name better". You should be demanding proof and verificiation from people who wanted to move the article, not from me.
  • You may notice that all other Wikipedias which use latin script (except for Dutch), call the event "Assassination in Sarajevo" or "Sarajevo assassination". That's some indication that that's the internationally known name of the event.
  • Google test says that ("Assassination in Sarajevo" OR "Sarajevo assassination" OR "Assassination at Sarajevo") -wikipedia produces ~25.000 results, while ("Assassination of Franz Ferdinand" OR "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand") -wikipedia produces ~27.000 results. There's no overwhelming majority for either, and bear in mind that the second option is a description that's likely to also show up in many articles which call the event "Assassination in Sarajevo."

So, unless somebody actually offers some evidence that the name I originally used is violating the naming convention, I think that further discussion is unnecessary. Zocky | picture popups 10:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I have contributed to this article and related ones a number of times over the past year. I did not vote in the recent requested move because I was undecided. The requested move was conducted legitimately - even if a minority think that it was not the best decision. It is always possible to start another requested move process. But it is entirely inappropriate for anyone (even the original editor of the article) to unilaterally rename the article at this stage. Noel S McFerran 13:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not ruled by majority, and it doesn't matter which view happens to be in minority. No decisions are final, and move requests are not required - any user but newbies can move articles. While move requests can provide additional legitimacy to the renaming of an article, that legitimacy depends on the arguments presented in the request. This article was moved because 4 people said they liked the other title better, without providing any sort of evidence for it being better. So unless somebody actually provides some evidence that this name is in more conforming to the naming convention than the other one, I see no reason why I shouldn't move it back. Zocky | picture popups 16:17, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
You're right that Wikipedia is not ruled by majority. The chief reason that you shouldn't move it back is symmetry: if you're justified in moving it back, then someone else is justified in moving it back again, etc, etc. The solution to this problem is to leave the page where it is, wherever that is, unless it's clearly incorrect.
I closed the move request and moved the article, and it's true that I didn't demand proof that "assassination of archduke franz ferdinand" is the most common name. I took several factors into account. The policy WP:NAME instructs us to choose a name that is (a) recognizable to a majority of English speakers, (b) unambiguous, and (c) natural to link to. "Assassination in Sarajevo" is possibly ambiguous, while "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand" is not. They seem equally easy to link from other articles. For which is the most recognizable, I looked at a basic Google test, and then I tried a modified test to find sites that used one name and not the other. My results:
  • "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand" - 20,400
  • "Assassination in Sarajevo" - 11,200
  • "Assassination at Sarajevo" - 9,860
  • "Assassination of Franz Ferdinand" - 832
  • "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria" - 169
Modified test:
  • "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand" WITHOUT "Assassination in Sarajevo" - 20,100
  • "Assassination in Sarajevo" WITHOUT "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand" - 10.800
I realize this is all pretty imprecise, and I didn't group the " Sarajevo" and " Sarajevo" results together. It appeared to me that "Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand" was the choice that best fits our naming conventions. All of that said, if you choose to move the page back to "Assassination at Sarajevo", I won't revert you. -GTBacchus(talk) 01:38, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
When he closed the requested move debate the administrator GTBacchus said that he did so "per discussion below". Every wiki-editor has opinions about page names; the opinions of administrators aren't meant to count more than those of other editors. They are meant to look at the vote, and if there is a consensus, move accordingly. Noel S McFerran 03:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I consider it my job as an administrator to refrain from treating these discussions as vote-counts. I read the discussion, and people noted the possible ambiguity of the title Assassination in Sarajevo. Nobody opposing the move made a policy-based argument. It's true that I did some googling of my own, but I'm not prohibited from doing that. It's not like we're in court, and I can only consider evidence presented in a formal setting.
I've explained why I closed the request as I did: the title to which I moved the article seems to be slightly more common, and less ambiguous. Like you say, my opinion is worth neither more nor less than anybody else's here, and I invite you to request that my closing be reviewed by other administrators, or by whomever you like. I'm willing to be overruled, if it's determined that my decision was wrong. -GTBacchus(talk) 08:36, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

There's no need for review of anybody's actions - we're not in a court of law, and it's not as if this is a hugely important decision. We're simply expanding on the discussion from the move request. If anything, GTBacchus is to be commended for taking the time to research before blindly following the votes. IMO, my Google test is better, because variations should be included (anybody who knows what Assassination at Sarajevo means will know that Assassination in Sarajevo is the same thing), and pages which mention both names should be counted for Assassination in Sarajevo (the other option is a description that's likely to turn up in a typical definition of Assasination in Sarajevo).

As said above, the solution to endless page moves is to leave the page where it is, wherever that is, unless it's clearly incorrect. So far we've established that the original name was correct, usage is on the same order of magnitude, other wikipedias mostly use the "in Sarajevo" variation, and the only policy-based objection brought up was that the name is potentially ambiguous. Is it really? Do we expect anybody to write an article about assassinations in Sarajevo in general? Do we have such articles for other cities? Zocky | picture popups 12:43, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

It's not particularly ambiguous. The more descriptive name is more accessible, it seems to me, because a reader who doesn't know some context can't tell much from the title. Then again, we don't call the Trail of Tears article Forced relocation of Native Americans from the Southern United States, although such a title would tell readers more. I don't know of any city unfortunate enough that we have an article about the assassination there, as a general topic.
One might also consider which phrase is likely to occur in another Wikipedia article, and to link here. At the end of the day, I can't see that it makes much difference one way or the other, but to clear the backlog at WP:RM, I had to close it one way or the other, and I made a call. If you want to move it back, I won't oppose you. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:12, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
As there seem to be no further objections, I will now move the page back. Zocky | picture popups 01:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Objection registered now and move reverted. There were five opinions in favor of Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and two opposing. Please use WP:RM to revisit the issue so all parties can weigh in before the change is reverted. —  AjaxSmack  02:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Still objecting. The only preferential evidence I see is that other language Wikipedias use the "in Sarajevo" form, but citing Wikipedia isn't useful. The current title is simply superior. After all, the location is largely irrelevant to the event. --Yath 03:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
First of all, we do not count votes. The number of people who favored the move is entirely irrelevant. The article was originally titled Assassination in Sarajevo, and no case was ever established for moving it apart from several editors liking the other title better. I'm sorry, but that just isn't enough. If nobody presents a case (and evidence) for the current title being better than the original title, I will move the article back tomorrow and consider this case closed. Zocky | picture popups 04:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Allow me to repeat my strong objection to a unilateral move by one editor contrary to a perfectly valid vote on a requested move. I was not moved either way by the arguments made in that requested move - and so I did not vote. But that does not mean that "no case was ever established for moving it". Other editors clearly believed that a case was established for the move. Merely because Zocky doesn't agree with the reasons put forward, does not mean that they aren't reasons. If Zocky wants a move, he should initiate another requested move process. The discussion which has taken place since the last one has certainly helped me to decide which is the better page name. Noel S McFerran 04:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me reiterate what I just said above. The number of people and the amount of bureaucracy which were/was involved in the last RM is wholely irrelevant here. RM is not a requirement for moving a page (look, there's a move button on top of every page).
It doesn't really matter whether I agree with the reasons, the point is that the given reasons are not grounded in policy. Consistency (the "Dallas" argument) does not override actual names of things/events, dumbing down (the "I don't know what it means" argument) is bad, not good, there is no ambiguity (even if there was, we don't preemptively disambiguate names) and we have established that both names have about the same usage on the internet. And yes, I know somebody said that history books they read more often call it Assassination of Franz Ferdinand. However, that argument is easily countered by the argument that history books I read more often call it Assassination in Sarajevo. Not useful either way, but there you have it. So, is there any actual policy-related evidence that this title is better? Zocky | picture popups 04:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and BTW, if we were counting votes, 4 out of 6 is not much of a demonstration of consensus for change. Zocky | picture popups 04:49, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, this has been waiting for weeks now. If nobody provides a good reason for Assassination of Franz Ferdinand being a much better title then Assassination in Sarajevo in the next day or so, I will move this back to the original title. Zocky | picture popups 08:09, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

If the death of Franz Ferdinand were not so important to history, then there would be no separate article; instead most of this information would be just part of the regular article on Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. It would also be mentioned (but with less detail) in the article on Sarajevo. Zocky maintains that "the event is commonly known in history as the Assassination in Sarajevo. Other encyclopedias also call it that." So far he has provided no evidence to support that claim (merely restating the claim multiple times isn't evidence). GTBacchus has provided some evidence to the contrary based on Google searches. If one looks at the titles of English-language books specifically on this topic, here is what one finds:

  • Sarajevo: The Story of a Political Murder
  • Assassination at Sarajevo: A Collection of Contemporary Documents
  • The Road to Sarajevo
  • The Desperate Act: The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo
  • The Sarajevo Trial

Not one of these books uses the name which Zocky says is commonly used, i.e. Assassination in Sarajevo. The one which is closest (Assassination at Sarajevo) is a children's book. A Google Books search comes out like this:

  • 191 assassination in Sarajevo
  • 421 assassination at Sarajevo
  • 623 assassination of archduke (387 assassination of archduke franz ferdinand; 287 assassination of archduke francis ferdinand; 337 assassination of archduke ferdinand)

What evidence can Zocky provide that "Assassination in Sarajevo" is the common name? Noel S McFerran 14:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

When I looked for English-language books specifically on this topic, I looked in the library catalogue of the University of Toronto (the fourth largest academic library in North America). I have now done a little more searching for English-language books. I have found several further books with titles of interest:

  • Assassination in Sarajevo (Stewart Ross)
  • Assassination in Sarajevo (Alex Wolfe)
  • Assassination at Sarajevo (Sylvie Nickels)

All three of these books are children's books. Noel S McFerran 15:07, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Citations on Conspiracy to Assassinate Franz Ferdinand

There were complaints as to bias and inadequate citations regarding the conspiracy to assassinate Franz-Ferdinand and the subsequent cover-up. Also there was a complaint about the use of the word "terrorist". I have redone the section dealing with the assassination conspiracy below. Only the 3 assassins from Belgrade and Mehmedbasic are now referred to as terrorists. This word was chosen because Cabrinovic threw a bomb into the street wounding many civilians, Prinicip and Grabez stated at trial that they were terrorists, and because Mehmedbasic said he was eager to carry out acts of terror and plotted them in Tolouse ("Origins of the War, Vol. 2, pp88-9). In other places I have used the word revolutionary, irridentist, or youth. I have also cited the books and page numbers for all the major facts. Frankly I think it is overkill. Next, I set about deleting unnecessary references to the "Black Hand" that someone had put in. All the key members of the Black Hand stated under oath that by 1914 the "Black Hand" no longer was a functioning organization, its president dead, its secretary disinterested, its secret links between cells broken by losses in the Balkans Wars, its coffers empty. What was left was a group of friends of Apis. Since, in his confession, Apis said he organized the assassination in his role as Chief of Military Intelligence, this title should suffice as he was never President or Secretary of the "Black Hand", and under the bi-laws of the "Black Hand" only the President or Secretary could order an action such as the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand without a vote of the entire committee (for which there is no evidence and for which I have found no historical work saying there was such a vote). Finally, I deleted those sentences which seemed to be conclusions. After leaving some time for comment on this portion, I will move on to Russia, France and Montenegro. It seems there was one complaint about citing "Documents Diplomatiques Francais III Serie 1911-14, 3”, X Doc. 537", this is a broadly published diplomatic archive available in most major university libraries and the document in question is cited by major historical works such as "Origins of the War" by Albertini. If you can explain a little better about what is wrong with citing it directly rather than indirectly through Albertini I would appreciate it. By the way, its footnote is misnumbered, it should be "2" rather than "1" if you take a look at the document. Please give me your feedback.

Van Aken

Does the conspiracy material really have to be reincorporated in this article? Editing by several contributors has now streamlined the text to the point where it could again be a serious candidate for "good article" rating. Re-incorporating a mass of conjecture and supposition would undo this good work and return the article to the muddled state that it was in last year.


If you have particular problems with the text below please cite them. I tried hard to follow Wikipedia rules in the text below and I think its important information that the assassins were not Bosnian revolutionaries acting alone but were part of a broad Serbian conspiracy centered on the Chief of Military Intelligence. Its hard to convey that convincingly without a lot of detail which I therefore provide.

Van Aken

In late 1913, Danilo Ilić came to the Serbian listening post at Užice to speak to his handler and recommend an end to the period of revolutionary organization building and a move to direct action against Austria-Hungary. Colonel Popović stated to the historian Albertini that he passed Danilo Ilić on to Belgrade to discuss this matter with Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević (Apis)(“Origins of the War”, Vol II, pp 27-28, 79). Ilić and Apis took the secrets of their discussion to their graves, but soon after their meeting, Apis’ right hand man, Major Vojislav Tankosić, called a Serbian irridentist planning meeting in Toulouse, France (“Origins of the War”, Vol II, pp 76-77). This is established by the statement of Paul Bastaić and Mustafa Golubić to the diplomat and historian Milos Bogićević. During this January 1914 meeting, various possible Austro-Hungarian targets for assassination were discussed including Franz-Ferdinand, but ultimately, at this meeting, it was decided only to dispatch Mohamed Mehmedbašić to Sarajevo, to kill the Austrian Governor of Bosnia, Oskar Potiorek.

Mehmedbašić was delayed and before he made an attempt on Potiorek, Apis ordered the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand (as evidenced by Apis’ confession to the Serbian Court “The Road to Sarajevo” page 398). Mehmedbašić told the historian Albertini that Ilić summoned him to Mostar and informed him that Belgrade had scrapped the mission to kill the governor in favor of the murder of Franz-Ferdinand and that Mehmbedbašić should stand by for the new operation (“Origins of the War”, Vol. 2, pp78-79; please note the date error, 25 July should read 25 June). Ilić recruited the Serbian youths Vaso Čubrilović and Cvjetko Popović shortly after Easter (April 19, 1914), for the assassination as evidenced by the testimony of Ilić, Čubrilović, and Popović at the Sarajevo trial (“The Sarajevo Trial” pp117-118, pp129-130, pg 131, pp140,142). Three Bosnian Serb youths living in Belgrade, Gavrilo Princip (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pp58-9), Trifun Grabež (“The Sarajevo Trial pp93-94), and Nedjelko Čabrinović (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pp26-27, pg.30, pp27-28) testified at the Sarajevo trial that at about the same time, (a little after Easter) they were eager to carry out an assasination and approached Milan Ciganović and through him Major Tankosić and reached an agreement to transport arms to Sarajevo and participate in the assasination.

At trial, the 3 youths from Belgrade testified that Tankosić, directly and through Ciganović, not only provided six hand grenades, four Browning Automatic Pistols and ammunition, but also money (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pg. 59) suicide pills (“The Sarayevo Trial”, pg. 41, 46), training (“The Sarajevo Trial” 93-94), a special map with the location of gendarmes marked (“The Sarajevo Trial” pp109-110), knowledge of contacts on a special channel used to infiltrate agents and arms into Austria-Hungary (“The Sarajevo Trial” pg. 106) and a small card authorizing the use of that special channel (“The Sarayevo Trial”, pg. 59, pg. 40). Major Tankosić confirmed to the historian Luciano Magrini that he provided the bombs and revolvers and was responsible for the terrorists’ training and that he initiated the idea of the suicide pills (“Il Dramma Di Seraievo” by Luciano Magrini pp94-5 [In Italian]).

After receiving this training and support from Major Tankosić and his associates, the three conspirators traveled from Belgrade to Šabac and handed the small card to Captain Popović of the Serbian Border Guard. Popović, in turn, provided them with a letter to Captain Prvanović and sent them on to Loznica, a small border town (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pp36-8). When they reached Loznica, Captain Prvanović summoned three of his revenue sergeants to discuss the best way to cross the border undetected. Sergeant Grbić accepted the task and led Princip and Grabež with the weapons to Isaković’s Island, a small island in the middle of the Drina River that separated Serbia from Austria-Hungary, (Čabrinović crossed at another point without weapons) and then handed off the two terrorists (They admitted in open court to being terrorists [“The Sarajevo Trial”, pg 56, 109].) (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pg. 59) and their weapons to the agents of the Serbian Narodna Obrana for transport into Austria-Hungarian territory and from safe-house to safe-house.

The terrorists and weapons were passed from agent to agent until they arrived in Tuzla where the terrorists left their weapons in the hands of the Narodna Obrana agent Miško Jovanović (“The Sarajevo Trial” pp61-64). The agents reported back their activities to the Narodna Obrana President, Boža Milanović, who in turn reported to the then Caretaker Prime Minister Nikola Pašić (“The Road to Sarajevo” 388-9). The report adds the name of a new military conspirator, Major Kosta Todorović, apparently the immediate superior of Captains Popović and Prvanović. Pašić’s handwritten notes document the Prime Minister’s advanced knowledge of the plot and that he was able to connect Major Tankosić (“The Road to Sarajevo”, pg. 503). The Austrians captured the report, Pašić’s handwritten notes, and additional documents corroborating the Civilian Government’s foreknowledge of the plot, and the involvement of Major Todorović and Captain Prvanović (“The Road to Sarajevo”, pg. 390, pg 505). From Tuzla, Grabež and Čabrinović went on to their parents’ homes to lie low until Franz-Ferdinand’s arrival and Princip stayed at Ilić’s mother’s house and there met Ilić. After meeting Princip, Ilić went to Tuzla to bring the weapons to Sarajevo. Miško Jovanović hid the weapons in a large box of sugar and the two went separately by train to Doboj where Jovanovic handed off the box to Ilić (“The Sarajevo Trial” pp185-6). Ilić brought the weapons back to his mother’s house on June 15 and kept them in a suitcase under a sofa (“The Sarajevo Trial” pp118-9). Ilić testified that on June 18 he went to Brod (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pg 126) and here begins an interesting twist in the plot as put forward by Vladimir Dedijer in “The Road to Sarajevo”, because Ilić claimed that from this time on he opposed the assassination. According to Čeda Popović, Đuro Šarac was sent to Šabac by Tankosić to meet with Ilić and cancel the assassination (“The Road to Sarajevo” pg. 393). It is about 100km along the river Sava from Brod to Šabac.

In further testimony Ilić, Princip and Grabež describe how after Ilić returned from Brod he tried to prevent the assassination (“The Sarajevo Trial”, pg. 120, pp122-3). But then, and this is a point of some controversy, on the eve of the assassination, Masterspy Rade Malobabić arrived in Sarajevo on the orders of the Chief of the Serbian General Staff, Marshall Putnik, and apparently gave the final go ahead on the assassination and only then did Ilić hand out the weapons to the assassins. The evidence of this is Rade Malobabić's confession to a priest (“The ‘Black Hand’ on Trial, Salonika 1917” pg. 391, “The Road to Sarajevo” pg. 391), Colonel Ljubomir Vulović's statement to the Serbian Court that he received orders from Putnik and sent Malobabić into Austria-Hungary (“The ‘Black Hand’ on Trial, Salonika 1917”, pg.241-2), witness accounts from Sarajevo (“The Road to Sarajevo” pg. 394), and Dragutin Dimitrijević's confession to the Serbian Court that he had ordered Malobabić to organize the assassination. Still all these statements and accounts are open to multiple interpretations and its possible Malobabić was conducting other business on behalf of the Serbian Military on this particular visit to Austria-Hungary.

Caretaker Prime Minister Pašić learned of the assassination plot and informed members of his cabinet in late May or early June according to Ljuba Jovanović in the article "The Blood of Slavism" (“Origins of the War”, Vol 2, pg. 90). Other evidence making it clear Pašić had sufficient advanced warning to have prevented the attack include Pašić’s handwritten notes on the briefing by the Narodna Obrana and the statement of Serbian Military Attache to Vienna, Colonel Lešanin to the historian Luciano Magrini (“Il Dramma Di Seraievo” by Luciano Magrini pp115-6 [In Italian]). The statements of Colonel Lešanin, and Ljuba Jovanović cite two half-measures taken by the Prime Minister.

The half-measures were doomed to failure. The first half-measure was the instruction to the border guards to block the assassins. Jovanovic’s account makes it clear that the Prime Minister did not give his order immediately, but rather reviewed it with his ministers while the assassins were on the move, and the Prime Minister gave the order through the Minister of the Interior rather than asking The King of Serbia to deliver it. In the Spring of 1914, the Serbian Civilian Government was in the process of trying to establish its authority over the Serbian Military and the Serbian Military was resisting by all means available including refusing to follow orders (“The ‘Black Hand’ on Trial, Salonika 1917” pg. 43), forcing Prime Minister Pašić to resign (“The Road to Sarajevo” pg. 398), and, when the Prime Minister was reinstated, an attempted putsch in Macedonia. The second half-measure was to give Austria an oblique warning through Serbia’s embassy in Vienna. The ambassador was a known ally of the military conspirators and his instructions were carried out poorly (“Origins of the War”, Vol. 2, pg 106) and not followed up on. By Colonel Lešanin’s account, Prime Minister Pašić did not share the details he knew about the assassination with his ambassador such as the name of one of the assassins, the agents who passed them along, and the fact that the weapons were in Tuzla with Misko Jovanovic.

Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, Colonel Ljubomir Vulović, and Masterspy Rade Malobabić were convicted for a fictious crime (posthumously exonerated) by a Serbian kangaroo court and executed (“The ‘Black Hand’ on Trial: Salonika, 1917” in entirety). These executions were orchestrated largely by Prime Minister Pašić. Prime Minister Pašić made the private explanation that Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević had to be executed because he had confessed he had ordered Franz Ferdinand’s assassination (“The ‘Black Hand’ on Trial: Salonika, 1917” pg. 392). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC).

By all means leave this material on the discussion page or create a new linked article for it - I am sure you are sincere in your views and have done a lot of work in preparing them for presentation. However please do not swamp the main article with conspiracy theory detail - this has happened twice before and had the effect of making the Wikipedia coverage of a serious historical event look ridiculous. Thank you. 20:29, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

If you have particular problems with the text I plan to insert please cite them by tomorrow.

Bullet Proof Vest...Isn't that legend?

I think I have read all the reference books listed and none cited evidence of Franz-Ferdinand wearing a bullet proof vest. Where does this come from? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC).

Error About Mehmedbasic

The article appears to be in error. Mehmedbasic was armed by Ilic with only a bomb. He was positioned by Ilic in front of the Garden of the Mostar Cafe. From "The Road to Sarajevo", pg. 313: "The first was Mehmedbasic, the oldest, who had to wait in front of the garden of the Mostar Cafe..." and further down the page: "On the way he (Ilic) gave him (Mehmedbasic) a bomb, with brief instructions on how to handle it." There were only four revolvers for 6 assassins, 2 had to make due with only bombs. There is a story that Mehmbedbasic obtained a pistol in Stolac, but even if true, I find no evidence he brought it to the assassination.

Please cite the source of the material regarding Mehmedbasic's position and failure to fire or correct the account to match "The Road to Sarajevo's version"?

Van Aken —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC).

The Black Hand was NOT a Fringe Political Group

"Unification or Death", also known as the Black Hand, was not a "fringe political group". All three words are somewhat in error

Not from the Fringe: As the assassins and their weapons were on their way from Belgrade to Sarajevo, Dragutin Dimitrievic, a member of the Supreme Central Directorate of "Unification or Death!" organized a successful no-confidence vote leading to the resignation of Serbian Prime Minister Pasic and his government. In the period between the Prime Minister's resignation and his reinstatement pending new elections Dragutin Dimitrievic was active in organizing a new government. "Unification or Death"'s goal of the unification of all Serbs was popular as was its leading personality, Dragutin Dimitrievic.

Not what we normally think of as Political: Politics is a broad term and its use could lead to a serious misunderstanding. "Unification or Death" was a secret organization. It did not field candidates for elections. "Unification or Death" was established primarily as a counterweight to IMRO which on behalf of Bulgarian interests engaged in a dirty war against the Turks and Serbs in Macedonia. "Unification or Death" did the dirty work the Serbian Government felt it could not do directly. "Unification or Death"'s actions include propaganda, terrorism, revolution, and organizing fifth columns and auxiliaries.

Organization not Group: "Unification or Death" was a formal organization founded in 1911 and winding down in 1913. During its funtioning period it had a constitution, organizational structure, treasury, and it paid a salary to its secretary. Thus "Organization" is more apt than "group". After 1913 "Unification or Death", due to poverty and attrition, was no longer capable of functioning in accordance with its constitution and instead its rump was functioning indeed as a "group" of friends of Dragutin Dimitrievic.

A more accurate discription of "Unification or Death" is a Secret Organization aimed at the Unification of Serbdom by propaganda ('Pijemont'), revolution, assassination and terror.

Werchovsky 21:38, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Arcane Disputes over Several Decades?

My understanding is that the collapse of relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary did not begin until roughly 10 years before the assassination; starting soon after the 1903 assassination of the King and Queen of Serbia, the Queen's brothers, and two cabinet members in 1903. Can the person who wrote the "Arcane" sentence please list the disputes prior to 1903 he has in mind that contributed significantly to the assassination?

Werchovsky 00:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Jevtic Unreliable Source: Suggest Deletion of the cut and pasting into this Article

Dedijer describes Jevtic as "Being a fiction writer first and only afterward an objective witness of a historical process, Jevtic did not take much care with his facts..." Albertini mentions the uncorroberated nature of various statements of Jevtic. The fantastic nature of the account [including 22 (unnamed and armed with unknown weapons) assassins is not credible without details and corroberation] leads me to recommend deletion.

Werchovsky 04:02, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. This article should be a straight-forward account of the assasination, its historic context and consequences. By all means put rambling conspiracy theories or doubtful material such as the Jevtic addition on the discussion page but try and keep the main section factual and npov 20:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Young Bosnia

Although a few articles were published prior to WWI with "Young Bosnia" or "Young Bosnians" in the title, no such organization existed at the time. Rather, "Young Bosnians" became a popular term after the war to refer to many individuals or groups dedicated to the revolutionary destruction of the Hapsburg empire prior to the war. The term includes Serb Ultranationalists like Gacinovic, advocates of a true Yugoslavia, and those like Princip who favored a south-slav republic with Serbia as Piedmont. See "The Road to Sarajevo" on the subject starting on page 175. Under the popular definition after the war, any south slav to make an attempt against the Dual Monarchy would automatically be a member of "Young Bosnians", and so, as used in this article, "Young Bosnia" is a term which implies something, but which actually signifies nothing.

Werchovsky 04:23, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Consequences (section) The Funeral

Franz Ferdinand's funeral was one step down from an offical state funeral by order of Franz Joseph. Therefore, diplomats from neighbouring countries were not encouraged to attend.

I think this is important for the Consequences section because it would have made for a natural occasion for heads of state to attend - thus allowing for discussions. It would have been an important occasions for Officials to talk - i.e Sir Edward Grey and Franz Joseph. Instead it allowed Austria (Alexander Hoyos) to approach Germany to seek support. Taybot 02:44, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Narodna Odbrana (A.K.A. The Black Hand)

I would like to point out that Narodna Odbrana (A.K.A. The Black Hand) is a false bit of information (this is stated in the article), Narodna Odbrana are two different groups.


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Right, the Narodna Odbrana and "Unification or Death"(the "Black Hand") were two distinct organizations. In discussions of the Sarajevo Outrage, this is often muddled. The reason is that Serbian Military Intelligence through remnants of the "Black Hand" had penetrated the Narodna Odbrana and was therefore able to use Narodna Odbrana operatives and safe houses to transport the terrorists and their weapons from Serbia to Sarajevo. If you read the report by the Narodna Odbrana to Caretaker Prime Minister Pasic, you can judge by the tone and the comment about the "password" ("Boža has informed all the agents that they should not receive anyone unless he produces the password given by Boža.") that the President of the Narodna Odbrana was concerned that others had used the Narodna Odbrana for several arms transport missions without his prior approval and he was putting a stop to it. While Austrian Intelligence had some slight knowledge of the "Black Hand", the investigators and trial court at Sarajevo had vague knowledge only of terroristic organizations, and as the operators of the "channel" that they arrested were all members of or working with the Narodna Odbrana, the prosecutor focused on that organization. This was convenient too for Austrian authorities as the Narodna Odbrana was officially recognized by the Serbian Government and so made Austria's political case against Serbia stronger. Werchovsky 17:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Links for Links Sake

I note that many links people are placing on this article serve no purpose. Today, I deleted a link, where the article was talking about the Magyar ethnic group but the link connected to a site talking about the Magyar language. Many links are just too general. New links added today for Macedonia and Kosovo don't link to maps of the exact regions in question in 1912, but rather to very general descriptions of various Macedonias and Kosovo. People may come away with the idea that Serbia conquered Greek Macedonia, which is not the case. I didn't delete these links, but I don't think they add much. Please put thought into your links; search hard for a link that really addresses the issue, or create your own page with the right information and link to it.

Warguilt Assignment Conclusion and Related Matters in Recent Edit

A recent set of 3 edits attempt to place blame for WWI on Germany and Austria-Hungary a controversial conclusion that goes beyond the scope of this article. I have the following comments:

Edit 1a. "(which it did, because Berlin was anxious to start a war for its own reasons)" This is a controversial and vague conclusion without supporting facts or citations. It goes beyond the scope of this article. Please try Wikipedia's Origin of World War I.

Edit 1b. ".(The note had, in fact been phrased so that Serbia could not accept it, so the break was expected)" This sentence has some merit but goes beyond the facts to a probably false conclusion (Serbia very nearly did decide to accept it). It also has punctuation problems.

Edit 1c: "Pursuant to Vienna's policy of forcing a war, this" "Vienna's policy of forcing war" is again another conclusion devoid of supporting facts within the article and that is better argued out in "Origin of World War I". There is also a factual problem in that the initial over-interpretation of the telegram on the incident was at least partially accidental.

Edit 2a:"written together with the envoys of the German Ambassador in such a vein that no country could accept it" The the vein of the letter was "such that no country could accept it" is impossible to verify. Certainly, it was a tough letter by diplomatic standards, but Serbia nearly did accept it. That the letter was written together with German envoys can't be kept in the article without a citation.

Edit 2b.: "but also effectively demanded the ceding of a part of Serbia's sovereignty to Austria." This is certainly the Entente line, but since all international agreements involve ceding some sovereignty, it is actually meaningless. The amount of sovereignty Serbia claimed Austria was asking it to give up was more than what the Austrians had asked. See the Austrian response.

Edit 2c.: "The 'reason given for these' demands 'was that they were nessesary(sic) for' destroying the funding and operation of terrorist organizations"

Given by whom, when, how? Didn't some of the demands aim at destroying the terrorist infrastructure as was originally written? The new edit is less factual so reverting to the old version is more appropriate.

Edit 3: Just a typo correction to edits 1 and 2. It has to be reverted to revert the other two.

Werchovsky 19:50, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

What was the Museum ?

I was interested to see that one of the reasons for the Archduke visiting Sarajevo was to to open a museum (in addition to the usually cited military manouvers). Could the editor who added this information identify the museum or give a reference? Thanks. Buistr 02:32, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

relics on display in Vienna: Princip's weapon

Not just one Browning Automatic Pistol is shown along with Franz Ferdinand's uniform at the Museum of Military History, Vienna, but three. According to guides at the museum, the pistols on display do however NOT include the one used by Princip. Princip's gun was stolen by the end of WW II and has not been recovered yet, although its serial number is known. ViennaUK 09:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

11 11 18

This has probably been mentioned hundreds of times, but is the fact that the number plate of Ferdinands car was 11 11 18 mentioned in the article? I can't see it, and it's quite interesting. SGGH speak! 01:21, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

That is interesting Kriva drina 06:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Article needed tightening

Lots of material irrelevant to the assassination in Sarajevo, which was deleted.


- details of the 1903 Serbian coup d'etat (there's an article on King Aleksandar)
- details of the Pig War and Bosnian Crisis (there are articles on both)

This material belongs in these other articles, so that it can be maintained in one place.

Some very long sentences. I.E.

"Serbia's military successes emboldened nationalistic elements in Serbia and amongst the indigenous Serbian populations within Austria-Hungary who chafed under Magyar rule and who through "cultural" organizations were inspired by Serbian or South Slav nationalistic ideas."

which have been broken up.

Extraneous unnecessary verbiage deleted here and there, or replaced with direct phrasing.

The description of the car's movement just before the attack was confusing - rewritten.

Some necessary links added: Magyar, irredentist, Morganatic

Error fixed - the assassins did not have "six bombs and four revolvers"; the guns were semi-automatic pistols.

The make and model of FF's car: Graf and Stift is correct, but "Rois de Blougne" looks very much like a garble of "Bois de Boulogne". I cannot find any information on the Net about G&S's cars except a 1932 model, and that the 1911 tourer was model "HP 28/32". I cannot find any reference at all to "Blougne" except cites of this story, and obvious garbles of Boulogne, e.g. "Blougne-Billancourt". I have commented out this name, to prevent further cites of this apparent garble.

ISTM that the section "The Assassins on Their Way" should precede the narrative of the assassination.

--Rich Rostrom (Talk) 02:59, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

This series of changes represents a degradation of the article and is misleading. Since there are so many problems I am reverting it with the suggestion that the author of these changes read the relevant portions of the discussion section, reference books, footnotes and linked material, and try again this time being more careful to make only solid improvements.

Some examples: 1) The Magyar link added leads to an article on Hungary. The point of chafing "under Magyar rule" is that the Magyar ethnic group was seen as oppressing Serbs and other Slavs. The link should be to Magyar oppression or to the Magyar ethnic group. This was previously discussed on the discussion page when someone linked to the Magyar language instead of the Magyar ethnic group's oppression of Slavs. 2) Military Officers was changed to Army Officers which may mislead readers into believing that no officers from the palace guards, military intelligence, or the frontiers service were involved. 3) The reason for describing the brutality of the murders of the royal couple has already been described in the discussion section. I question the account on the assassination of the royals in the King Aleksandar article saying that eyewitnesses said the royals were still alive when their bodies/corpses were thrown out the window. Let me quote from "The 'Black Hand' on Trial: Salonika 1917": "Captain Mihailo Ristic fired at Aleksandar; as he fell, Queen Draga threw herself on the King as if to shield him. A shot from Captain Ilija Radivojevic's revolver killed her instantly. Other conspirators joined in: thirty shots were fired at the King and eighteen at the Queen. The royal couple died at 3:50a.m., almost two hours after the officers entered the palace. Their corpses were then stripped and brutally sabred." 4)The assassins meant by their actions to instigate the breaking off of the provinces from Austria-Hungary, so the new more passive voice misses the mark. 5) Replacing the word dispute with quarrel understates the seriousness of the disputes in question. Two of these disputes led swiftly and directly to two wars and another of these disputes nearly led to a wide conflict involving 3 Great Powers and Serbia. Most history books describe these as disputes, not quarrels, and generally speaking in discussing serious disagreements between nations the word dispute is preferred. Try searching "Diplomatic dispute" vs. Diplomatic Quarrel" or "Quarrel between nations" vs. Dispute between nations" or the disputes themselves and you will see even on the net you get ratios of 5-35:1 in favor of dispute over quarrel.

Werchovsky 07:59, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Very promising article. There are a few problems:

  • Calling people "terrorists" and using expressions like "slaughtered" is point of view. The language throughout needs neutralising.
  • Many statements still need citation. Every direct quote needs a citation as do controversial allegations (like those of false charges, for instance).
  • The language is unencyclopedic ("of whom we hear more later")
  • Pictures are needed throughout the text. they are mostly in the early sections.
  • Quotations needs to follow logical punctuation.
  • Terms like archduke and duchess should only be capitalised when used as a title, that is followed by the name of person ("Archduke Franz Ferdinand" but the "archduke went")
  • It needs a copy edit.

Once these are done, it'll easily meet B-class and you may want to consider going for good article status. All the best, --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. You have helped the article greatly. I have some request and some issues of concern:

1. There are many pictures in the reference materials that would be good to add into the article. My concern is that they may be copyrighted and I don't know how to determine if they are.

  • Initially, I'd cheat and spread the existing ones throughout the article :) There's an article somewhere on how to source images: I'll try to find it and post a link here.--ROGER DAVIES talk 11:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

2. The use of the words "terrorist" and "slaughtered" were intended to be neutral descriptions of the subject matter described in more detail below. I have not heard that such words are banned outright on Wikipedia and it seems to me those words are well warranted in this case:

Slaughtered: "Finally, Aleksandar, realizing his hiding place had been discovered, queried: 'Who is calling me?' His aide replied: 'It is I, first adjutant Laza Petrovic. Open to your officers.' The King turned the key and appeared in the half-open doorway. Captain Mihailo Ristic fired at Aleksandar; as he fell, Queen Draga threw herself onto the King as if to shield him. A shot from Captain Ilija Radivojevic's revolver killed her instantly. Other conspirators joined in: thirty shots were fired at the King and eighteen at the Queen. The royal couple died at 3:50 a.m., almost two hours after the officers entered the palace. Their corpses were then stripped and brutally sabred."

Terrorist was intended to be a neutral word too: There is already a very, very long discussion section on this including many direct quotations from the terrorists. The terrorists were self-admitted terrorists, admissions in some cases made under oath with able representation and in other cases to historians in safe settings; they carried out a variety of acts of terror (by their own admissions and by the testimony of other witnesses) and were armed with bombs to throw at a parade.

You said there were other passages that needed neutralizing. Perhaps we should focus on them instead. Can you list them up? I don't catch any when I read through it.

  • Wikipedia adopts a position of neutrality. This means avoids emotionally-charged words. Here's some advice from Karada offered in the context of the Saddam Hussein article:

You won't even need to say he was evil. That is why the article on Hitler does not start with "Hitler was a bad man"—we don't need to, his deeds convict him a thousand times over. We just list the facts of the Holocaust dispassionately, and the voices of the dead cry out afresh in a way that makes name-calling both pointless and unnecessary. Please do the same: list Saddam's crimes, and cite your sources. Remember that readers will probably not take kindly to moralizing. If you do not allow the facts to speak for themselves you may alienate readers and turn them against your position.

  • We don't need to say "slaughtered"; the description makes that clear. We don't need to say "terrorist" eight times. More specific and less emotionally-charged descriptions would be "plotters" or "conspirators" or "assassins"; again their purpose is blatant even without the label. Another example is "Sarajevo outrage", used ten times. The expression itself reflects an agenda or point-of-view and Wikipedia should not embrace it so wholeheartedly. While the expression may be used by some, mainstream WWI historians use "Sarajevo affair" or, more commonly, "Sarajevo assassination". Mention that some people refer to "Saravejo outrage" by all means, but don't use it as the only way of referring to the assassination.:--ROGER DAVIES talk 11:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

[The next 4 paragraphs were seperated by a refactoring from other material related to the use of the word "slaughtered" in reference to the Obrenovic murders and so is copied and pasted in below as a duplicate between the "................."s.]


The use of the words "terrorist" and "slaughtered" were intended to be neutral descriptions of the subject matter described in more detail below. I have not heard that such words are banned outright on Wikipedia and it seems to me those words are well warranted in this case:

Slaughtered: "Finally, Aleksandar, realizing his hiding place had been discovered, queried: 'Who is calling me?' His aide replied: 'It is I, first adjutant Laza Petrovic. Open to your officers.' The King turned the key and appeared in the half-open doorway. Captain Mihailo Ristic fired at Aleksandar; as he fell, Queen Draga threw herself onto the King as if to shield him. A shot from Captain Ilija Radivojevic's revolver killed her instantly. Other conspirators joined in: thirty shots were fired at the King and eighteen at the Queen. The royal couple died at 3:50 a.m., almost two hours after the officers entered the palace. Their corpses were then stripped and brutally sabred." [Author: Werchovsky]

  • Wikipedia adopts a position of neutrality. This means avoids emotionally-charged words. Here's some advice from Karada offered in the context of the Saddam Hussein article:

You won't even need to say he was evil. That is why the article on Hitler does not start with "Hitler was a bad man"—we don't need to, his deeds convict him a thousand times over. We just list the facts of the Holocaust dispassionately, and the voices of the dead cry out afresh in a way that makes name-calling both pointless and unnecessary. Please do the same: list Saddam's crimes, and cite your sources. Remember that readers will probably not take kindly to moralizing. If you do not allow the facts to speak for themselves you may alienate readers and turn them against your position.

  • We don't need to say "slaughtered"; the description makes that clear. [Author: Roger Davies]


"Slaughtered": I was trying to keep this part of the article as short as possible but I will add the long description as you suggest and hope there won't be houls of protest from other quarters.Werchovsky (talk) 18:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • !? Replacing "slaughtered" with "killed" or "murdered" does it.--ROGER DAVIES talk 19:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I've just seen your last edit and edit note:) Bit WP:POINTY, no? The previous description made it perfectly clear that they didn't die of old age. --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:52, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No. "Pointy" seems a bit ill-defined and the edit that only added the Wikilink that includes the possibility of blocking the user engaged in such behavior seems a bit threatening. I sincerely agreed with you that the description of the slaughter had several advantages over simply using the word slaughter. In many ways, I look at any kind of discussion (as we are now engaged in) as though it is a court case. There was an objection to characterizing the murders as a slaughter. Any good attorney will move on and ask the witness to describe the murder in sufficient detail that the finder of fact can see for himself/itself that it was indeed a slaughter, not a self-defense killing, or a simple shooting, but something pitiless, horrific and designed to strike fear in people's hearts. If there was then an objection that the description lacked probitive value or was more prejudicial than probitive, the attorney would make an offer of proof which would make clear the reason the brutality of the murders had bearing on the issue at hand.
The reason why it is useful to show the horror of the murders is to introduce the character of Apis and Tankosic who were key players in the instigation and preparation of the Outrage. These men were utterly ruthless and understood how to use terror. In 1911-13 they were members of the Black Hand central committee, an organization founded in large measure to conduct terrorism in the Balkans Wars. The brutality of the murders is a form of terrorism; who would dare try to arrest these men for their crime knowing their utter ruthlessness? The answer was no one, and so they were allowed to operate with near impunity right up to the outbreak of the war. No wonder that Ambassador Jovanovic carried out his instructions badly. No wonder Pasic did not shut down the Sarajevo plot directly himself. No wonder that the Serbian Government failed to take any meaningful action against the conspirators after the assassination even with the likelihood of war looming. Werchovsky (talk) 22:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Your courtroom analogy explains a great deal about your editing style :) The problem with it is that the courtroom process is about points of views (the "guilty" point of view versus the "not guilty" point of view), ending in a determination of which point of view has prevailed. In court, no middle course is possible because a defendant cannot be "guilty" and "not guilty" of the same charge. In stark contrast, Wikipedia is about providing a narrative which describes fairly both points of view without favouring either. I see, looking through this talk page, that many sensible points aabout about content and style have been brushed aside. This is counter-productive, as this article will be immeasurably better as a result of collaboration between editors, each contributing in their own way and from their own sphere of interest. An example of ignoring others' views is the lengthy (and recently even lengthier) description of the 1903 episode, which is of only tangential relevance to the 1914 events. We do not describe in detail previous bombings, for example, within an article about a particular IRA attack because the information is available elsewhere; a passing reference is sufficient. Applying this principle to this article - and deleting material or moving it elsewhere - will make it much easier to follow as people will then be able to see the wood for the trees.--ROGER DAVIES talk 07:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Here is the problem. Readers and editors sometimes object to the use of relatively precise and accurate words to describe people and events such as "terrorists" and "slaughtered" with the not entirely unreasonable argument that events and actions should speak for themselves and the article should not draw conclusions or use charged language. Similarly, readers and editors expect that all controversial points be well substantiated. The Outrage is a subject that through kriegschuld impacts on the legitimacy of international borders, sovereign governments, reparations, alliances, personal reputations, and national psyches and so nearly every point is controversial from someone's point of view. Finally, the articles that it might be helpful to link to are very weak pieces, nationalistic pieces, pieces that accept myth as fact, or they are simply non-existent. I've made a half-hearted effort to improve some of these documents with facts and footnotes, but I cannot do justice to them for reasons of time and expertise. The information is not available elsewhere; at least not on Wikipedia. So, to properly describe the Outrage and work within the constraints much ink is needed. I thought that the dozen or so quotes in the discussion section that substantiated that the terrorists were terrorists would be a good alternative to adding more text describing their character through their actions and words to the article, but I accepted your subsequent guidance that it was better to add more facts to the article and not refer to them as terrorists.

While your comments above are sincere and meant to help, I think if you reflect on what you have written you might see some flaws. Argumentum ad hominem is a logical fallacy and a distraction, so I will skip over that first sentence that appears to be trying to look into my character. The next 3 sentences you wrote I think you can see are unreasonable. Take for example the "Jevtic" edit in which an author, in naive good faith, cut and pasted an account by Jevtic of the Outrage. Jevtic's account, even though he was an acquaintance of Princip, told a completely fantastic story without any corroboration or even a level of detail that would allow investigation, a story contradicted by other reliable sources, and leading authors such as Dedijer and Albertini dismissed Jevtic and his accounts. The cut and paste was first challenged, and when there was no defense another author moved it to a new section. When another reader complained and recommended deletion and still no one defended it, I removed it from the article. This was a proper procedure and the article is better and shorter for it. It would have been terrible to give the Jevtic account equal weight in the article. If you look at the next few sentences of what you wrote and reread the discussion section the record clearly show that rather than ignoring or brushing aside other points of view I challenged them logically. Take for example the 1903 episode that you mention. I explained, for example, that the article that the commentor wanted this article linked to to cover the 1903 coup contained misleading and incomplete information. Finally compromises are possible in the law, but generally preceeded by rational discourse with rules and evidence or at least stipulation to facts. With a piece like this one where every fact is controversial to someone, we cannot just skip over the rational discourse or ignore rules and evidence and jump to the compromise (he says evil doers, she says saints, let's call them guys). It would be great to have knowledgable contributors to this article willing to footnote with page citations. While many people have edited, there are no page citations except the ones I put in. Without page citations its hard to verify the material they add and often when I check in the reference materials I end up having to make corrections and page citations often to things I don't consider important but I don't want inaccuracies to destroy the article credibility. I am a bit troubled by the lopsided nature of some of the discussions on the discussion page; your "brush aside" calls up the image of a tank unit scattering some foot soldiers. I wish the countervailing view would open a few books and cite some material supporting their thesis and then we could dive through the footnotes to the footnotes and make an attempt at reaching a verifiable truth or compromise and improve the article through a logical process, but so far that has not happened. I think there just may be no other Wikipedia editors who specialize on the Sarajevo Outrage and having just a little knowledge and writing on this topic is very dangerous as there is much disinformation in the literature.Werchovsky (talk) 19:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The word "terrorist" appears just once in the article used in the phrase "destroying the funding and operation of terrorist organizations". I will get rid of it. "Terrorists" was used as a collective noun to refer to Princip, Grabez and Cabrinovic whose common quality was their willingness and intention to carry out acts of terror and then their actual carrying out of those intentions. "Plotters" is a poor word here as the chief plotters were in Belgrade and not at Sarajevo, "conspirators" is not apt due to there being so many conspirators and levels of conspiracy, "assassins" is not too bad and was used when referring to the six assassins, but generally the term doesn't do complete justice to the work of the three from Belgrade so to set the three apart when referring to just the three terrorists from Belgrade, and only when referring to just the three terrorists from Belgrade, I used the word "terrorists". Werchovsky (talk) 18:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Perhaps use words carrying different nuances to express the differing levels of involvement. Terrorist is such a blunt emotive cudgel. Or even just call them by name, that's clearest. --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I can swap to using their names. This will require adding some additional quotes so we can understand their character without using the "T" word. The article will get longer. Please think about it.Werchovsky (talk) 22:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I have no qualms about using the T-word where appropriate (for instance, in describing "the funding and operation of terrorist organizations") but, post 9/11 it has lost much of its actual meaning and seems clumsy applied to three hungry Serbian youths. But, otherwise, the more sourced material - especially for contentious stuff - the better.--ROGER DAVIES talk 23:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll bring the material in the discussion section in then. It will take time. Its scattered through trial transcripts and other places. Lots of terrorists get indoctrinated due to their poor or hungry status. The three got paid for the operation in advance. This is a good reminder I should bring in their first approach to the Narodna much earlier when they were too poor to eat or travel home and the Narodna gave them money with no strings except to take some literature and be "good Serbs". Werchovsky (talk) 23:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I caution you against bringing in voluminous new material. You can explain that they were poverty-stricken and filled with youthful idealism in a few words. I'm suggesting changing "terrorists", which is tabloid-speak and ambiguous, to something less emotive and more descriptive (perhaps the three Serbs youths, or the Bosnian Serb youths). This article contains a huge number of passing references to vanishingly obscure people (why do we need to know the name of the revenue sergeant for instance?) so whatever you can do to clarify who is who and who did what in the briefest possible way the better. The secret to good article writing is brevity and clarity. --ROGER DAVIES talk 07:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

--->We are in a trap now if we follow all of the cautions. We can't use the "T" word, we can't quote Princip when he said that at 17 years old he decided he would commit an "outrage" (his word as translated into english) or how he admitted to being a terrorist and we can't describe how he terrorized people on his way to Sarajevo. We can however describe Princip and his fellow terrorists as youthful-poverty-stricken idealists. One might think we could put something short in to make some negative points about his character, but there are still people out there who idolize Princip and unless its long, detailed, accurate and footnoted it will probably be deleted or modified to something like "youthful-poverty-stricken idealists".

--->The reasons for adding names: Including peoples names in the article such as Sergeant Grbic makes the article more factual and verifiable and adds little or nothing to the length of the article. Beyond that, it helps connect this article to other historical articles. For example, if you look up the Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum or Demarche to Serbia, you will find Sergeant Grbic mentioned in the letter's short appendix. It may not be on the net but you can find him fingered in the June 5, 1914 Narodna report to Prime Minister Pasic as well. Sergeant Grbic played an important role in the Sarajevo Affair not just by helping the terrorists but also by Serbia's failure to inform Austria-Hungary before the assassinations of the specifics and Serbia's failure to arrest and interrogate Grbic.Werchovsky (talk) 19:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm busy with other things so I won't comment in detail right now. Luigi Albertino used the Italian word attentato to describe the incident at Sarajevo, the primary meaning of which - like the French attentat - is "attack" not "outrage". I'd be extremely surprised if whatever word Princeps used translated wholly and exclusively as "outrage".--ROGER DAVIES talk 00:10, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. That is a great point, and although there are some other defenses of the word "outrage", it does not seem they are adequate justification for such repeated use. Let me do a little more study before switching "outrage" to attack or murders in most instances(since I just got done putting quotation marks arround "Sarajevo Outrage" if I switch and switch back again it will look pretty silly).Werchovsky (talk) 17:45, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I studied this a little further and met the limit of my expertise and decided to therefore accept your opinion and remove the word "outrage" except when quoting material. When I searched I found a lot of uses of the word "outrage" with respects to Sarejevo. The Serbian Blue Book as published by the British Government in English used "outrage" 49 times referring to Sarajevo, "affair" was used once, perhaps for stylistic reasons, and "attack" was never used (the German, French, Russian and Austro-Hungarian colored book translations into english also use the word outrage). On July 2 we have Sir Edward Grey referring to the "bomb outrage" and in another telegram on that same as an "outrage", and Maurice de Bunsen referring to it as a dastardly outrage two days later, and more instances can be found in other early British telegrams, then the British stop using the word about the time of the Ultimatum; at least that's what I get searching through the BYU archive on line. There are a few other books on the web that use "Sarajevo Outrage". The first New York Times dispatch on this subject also uses the word "outrage" to refer to the bombing. So, it's hard to say this was a word reflecting bias against the Entente. A link that someone put on the Wikipedia July Ultimatum page to the Serbian response ( translated attentat as "outrage". My guess is that Albertini was not translated poorly, but rather that "outrage", attentat and attentato' had somewhat different meanings or usage 50 to 100 years ago than they do today...just reading the various books on Sarajevo I sense that people at that time often used those words to refer to political assassinations and bombings whereas today, the words are not used that way so often; but that is just my feeling and perhaps we should get the opinion of someone more expert; if I have time I will look for an old dictionary or thesaurus but that likely will not be enough to truly understand the translation of Albertini and other translations to "outrage".

I absolutely agree that we should aiming for uncontroversial modern English throughout :) This will achieve maximum accessibility for a world-wide audience with many cultural viewpoints and levels of understanding. --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Sarajevo outrage
Sarajevo Outrage: I think you have things backwards in the affair vs. outrage discussion. "Origins of the War of 1914, Vol II, The Crisis of July 1914 from the Sarajevo Outrage to the Austro-Hungarian General Mobilization" is mainstream by a mainstream author with a relatively neutral point of view (although he did express sympathy for irredentist assassinations). The term "Outrage" was a common way to describe bomb throwings and assassinations and better encompasses the events of June 28 and the outrage it provoked than "assassination". "Affair", is used when seeking to specify things vaguely. Affair might be appropriate when an author wants to be vague or include issues beyond just the events of June 28 such as related diplomatic maneuvring, Serbia's byzantine warning to Austria-Hungary and so on. The article uses "outrage" just to refer to the violence of June 28, not the broader "affair". Werchovsky (talk) 18:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "Sarajevo outrage" is not used to describe events by Hew Strachan (either in his concise "The First World War" or in the definitive "The First World War Vol 1: To arms"; by Lyn MacDonald in "1914: The Days of Hope"; by A J P Taylor in "The First World War"; or by Barbara Tuchman in "August 1914". --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I accept the limited statement you just made (and I take it you accept my statement that Alberrtini is mainstream too), but unless these fine British and American authors agreed on the term "Sarajevo affair" to refer specifically to the violence of June 28, 1914 it is not a justification for swapping in the term "Sarajevo affair". Really, its hard to believe neutral authors would use "affair" to refer to the murder of two people and wounding of twenty ("Outrage" seems so much more accurate), but if you go on to tell me that at least three of the four you cited did, I will doublecheck and make the edit. Werchovsky (talk) 22:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • It's not just this ... historians (usually) describe the carnage of World War I and the Holocaust dispassionately so it's not surprising. Incidentally, I looked at The Times (of London) archive earlier: their reporting (in June/July 1914) referred to the "terrible crime" and the "Sarajevo assassination".
  • An alternative, incidentally to expunging, is to use "Outrage" throughout but always in quotes and with an explanation at its first use of its source. This makes it clear that it's a particular historian's shorthand rather than a Wikipedia editor's sentiment. If you wish to develop this article and take it up through the review system, you'll need to make it fairly bullet-proof as there are plenty of editors who will swoop on anything POV as a reason to oppose promotion.
--ROGER DAVIES talk 23:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
That is a good suggestion. Werchovsky (talk) 23:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

3. Capitalizations: In the article you wrote on the Vietnam War I find the text "Legally, the President, used his ....", capitalizing "President" but you say in the phrase "the Archduke went" "archduke" should not be capitalized? I think you must not have written this rule as you intended. The reference materials for this article have thousands of examples of capitalizing "the Archduke", "the King", "the King and Queen", "the Duchess" and so on. I believe the Wikipedia style manual calls for capitalization when "the Archduke" refers to a specific archduke, but lowercase in "a archduke" or "the three archdukes". Could you double check this? Werchovsky (talk) 06:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I didn't write the Vietnam War article; I was involved in an extremely long and boring tidy up of the sources, and various efforts to stop an edit war. The Chicago Manual of Style—one of the sources MoS refer us to for clarification—says "the generic element in a title, however (the duke, the earl, etc.), is lowercased when used alone as a short form of the name". --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't reconcile what you are saying about capitalization with the Wikipedia Manual of Style which states: "A good rule of thumb is whether the sentence uses a definite article [the] or an indefinite article [a]. If the sentence uses the, use "Prime Minister." The Wikipedia style manual writes "The British Prime Minister is Gordon Brown", but the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A writes "We appreciate the support of the prime minister of India." There may be differing permissable styles, but capitalization appears to be the Wikipedia recommended one. I don't think we should be changing style unless there is a consensus to do so which can't happen in direct contradiction to the Wikipedia rule of thumb and the reference materials for the article. Perhaps you can get the Wikipedia rule of thumb changed and stabile and then it will be safer to make the edits.Werchovsky (talk) 18:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The British Prime Minister example is plain strange.--ROGER DAVIES talk 19:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Refactoring I object to the refactoring of 07:45 20 Nov. 2007. The refactoring has made it harder for me to follow the changes. It looks like a small amount of material was overwritten or deleted. The section headings such as slaughtered seperate important parts of the "slaughtered" discussion from that below the "Slaughtered" section heading. Will you revert or will you accept me pasting (duplicating) the slaughter description quotation and your response immediately under the "Slaughtered" heading? This ties in with the edit you made that I mentioned made me feel threatened so although this is a small point it is one I am sensitive to.Werchovsky (talk) 23:38, 20 November 2007 (UTC)