The Director of the Military History Museum in Vienna with the pistol

Pistol used by one of Archduke's assassins on display at Museum of Military History in Vienna

Posted on on 25 June 2014
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One of the pistols used by the group of assassins involved in the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie has returned to the Museum of Military History in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The Browning M 1910/12 was one of the weapons used on the 28th June 1914 to kill the heir-apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Sarajevo. It will be on display from the 28th June 2014.

As the Centenary approaches, there has been a renewed interest in the principal gunman - Gavrilo Princip - and his motivations.

Princip - a Bosnian-Serb nationalist - and his group sought to assassinate the Archduke as part of a campaign to gain independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In mainstream histories of the origins of the First World War, the assassination is viewed as central in triggering a chain of events which would lead the world to war one month later.

The pistol will join the car in which the Archduke was sat in when he was attacked, as well as his blood-stained shirt, which are also on display at the museum.

                                      Archduke Franz Ferdinand's blood-stained shirt

Source: Museum of Military History, Vienna

Images courtesy of the Museum of Military History, Vienna

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News