28/6/1914 Austrian Reactions

Franz Josef, Habsburg emperor of Austria-Hungary, is at Ischl when the news of Franz Ferdinand’s murder arrives. He displays no visible emotion but dines alone.

Franz Josef was not fond of Franz Ferdinand, his nephew. The Emperor strongly disapproved of the Archduke’s marriage and only allowed it on condition that Franz Ferdinand and Sophie’s children would not be in line for the throne. Now Franz Josef seems to see the Archduke’s murder as divine judgement for marrying beneath him. The Emperor forbids the Archduke’s burial in the Habsburg family vault.

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf is chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian army. He is on manoeuvres in Croatia when he hears of Franz Ferdinand’s murder. Conrad had been close to Franz Ferdinand. Now, assuming that the Archduke’s murder was directed by Austria-Hungary’s enemies in Serbia, he decides that the time has come for a final reckoning with that upstart Balkan kingdom.

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