It was a sultry afternoon in Sarajevo when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir-presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne visited city to observe military manouevres, under the orders of Emperor Franz Joseph. Meanwhile a group of Bosnian Serb assassins led by Gavrilo Princip lay in wait, setting the stage for a day that would ultimately change the world forever.
A new documentary uses reconstruction and archive footage to re-examine these calamitous events, and to consider how the assassination - itself the product of simmering regional tensions that had build up during decades of Hapsburg rule - sparked an international conflict.
How was violence allowed to escalate so quickly? What were the reasons for this tragic failure of diplomacy? And what, exactly, was it about the geopolitical status quo in Europe at the end of the 19th century that made for such a perfect storm in 1914?
The Road to War is offered as suggested companion programming to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's Centenary Concert offered for broadcast on 28 June 2014.
TV Documentary and online resource
52 minutes (tbc)
Société de production
RAI, BBC, ORF, VRT, NRK, YLE
+41 22 717 26 23