Franz Ferdinand
Historical Figure
Nationality: Austria-Hungary
Date of Birth: 1863
Date of Death: 1914
Cause of Death: Murder by firearm
Occupation: Nobleman, politician, heir to the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary
Spouse: Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
Children: Three
Relatives: Franz Joseph I of Austria (uncle);
Maximilian I of Mexico (uncle);
Charles I of Austria (nephew)
House: Hapsburg
Turtledove Appearances:
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front, Blood and Iron
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references
Date of Death: 1914
Cause of Death: Murder by a bomb
Franz Ferdinand of the House of Hapsburg (18 December 1863 - 28 June 1914) was an Archduke of Austria, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and from 1896 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. His death led to the great powers of Europe invoking their alliance systems against one another and going to war, touching off World War I.

Because his and Sophie's marriage was "morganatic," none of their children were eligible for succession to the throne. When Ferdinand died, his nephew Archduke Karl became heir to the throne, and eventually the last Austrian Emperor.

Franz Ferdinand in Southern VictoryEdit

When the vehicle transporting Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie through Sarajevo were blown up by an assassin's bomb in 1914, Austria-Hungary issued a number of ultimata against Serbia, which was supported by Russia. Austria-Hungary was in turn supported by Germany and the United States. Russia invoked its alliances with Britain, France, and the Confederate States, and the Great War began.[1]

Franz Ferdinand's death inspired Arthur McGregor's last failed attempt to assassinate General George Armstrong Custer in 1922.[2]

See AlsoEdit


  1. American Front, pg. 15.
  2. Blood and Iron, pg. 483.