The Archduke of Austria was killed because his chauffeur turned down the wrong street.
If the driver of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not panicked and taken a wrong turn in 1914, the First World War may never have happened.
The assassination of the Hapsburg Duke was well planned. Six would-be assassins had studied the route the Archduke’s car would take through Sarajevo. They picked their spot and waited for their moment. When the car passed, one of the assassins accurately launched his hand grenade at the car. But it did not detonate in time. Instead, it rolled and rolled under three more cars in the cavalcade, going off under the back tire of the fourth vehicle.
The passengers were injured and chaos erupted. The archduke’s driver, Leopold Lojka quickly sped away with him to prevent his employer becoming a target again. But in his panic, Lojka took a wrong turn.
He quickly realized his mistake and tried to throw the car into reverse. But he was so panicked he stalled it in the middle of a crowded street. On the corner of that street was Gavrilo Princip, one of the six assassins.
Princip was a Serb, raised on a farm in Bosnia which was threatened by the expansion of the Austrian empire. His anti-Austrian, pro-nationalist convictions were unwavering and by 1914, he was a devoted Bosnian activist. The archduke and his wife were now sitting targets. Princip did not pause. He pulled out his handgun and squeezed off two fatal shots. Unlike Lojka, his delivery was without error.