On 28 June 1914 the Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand in his car in Sarajevo. It was the act that triggered World War I. Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of Austria, which was a large empire at the time. Austria held Serbia responsible and declared war. Both countries had allies so the war escalated and it became the first world war. World War I ended with the Armistice of 11 November 1918. 11 November can be written as 11-11. But there is something far more peculiar about this event. The car in which Franz Ferdinand was killed had licence plate number A III 118. This could mean Armistice 11-11-18.
The assassination succeeded after a series of mishaps. Two conspirators failed to act. A third threw a bomb that exploded below the next car. Franz Ferdinand then changed his plan to visit the wounded from the bombing at the hospital. After learning that the plot had failed, Princip positioned himself near a food shop on the route to the hospital. There he saw Franz Ferdinand’s open car reversing after having taken a wrong turn. The engine of the car stalled and the gears locked. This gave Gavrilo the opportunity to strike. He only fired two bullets without aiming well because he was hindered by the crowd, miraculously killing both the Archduke and his wife.1
Franz Ferdinand had premonitions of an early death. The accounts of these premonitions appear reliable. One relative mentioned that he had told some of his friends a month before his death that he knew that he was going to be murdered. According to another account the Archduke had shot a rare white stag a year earlier. It was widely believed that a hunter who killed such an animal, or one of his family members, would die within a year.1
Indeed, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was beset by some unusual coincidences, for example the car just stopping in front of Gavrillo, the only person still prepared to kill the Archduke, but the most striking one proved to be the licence plate number. Did someone already know in 1914 that Franz Ferdinand would be assassinated in this car, even though a few assassination attempts failed, and that this event would ignite a war that would end on 11 November 1918? The future may have been planned. If there was a plan for the future in 1914, there could be one in place now. This is an attempt to make sense of the future. You can join me on this journey and make some interesting discoveries along the way.
Featured image: Gräf and Stift Double Phaeton ridden by the Archduke Franz Ferdinand at the time of his assassination. User OlliFoolish (2011). Wikimedia Commons.
1. Curses! Archduke Franz Ferdinand and His Astounding Death Car. Mike Dash (2013). Smithsonian. [link]