Born – 25th July 1894
Died – 28th April 1918
Father – Petar Princip
Mother – Marija Mićić
Spouse – not married
Children – no children
Known to History – Assassinated Franz Ferdinand
1894 (25th July)
Gavrilo Princip was born to Petar and Marija Princip in Obalj, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was the couple’s second child, his brother Jovan had been born earlier. His parents had a total of nine children, six of whom did not live to adulthood.
Gavrilo was a sickly child, possibly due to the fact that the family were poor peasant farmers and they lived in a small poorly built shack.
Gavrilo began his education at the local primary school.
Austria-Hungary had annexed part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This move was not well received.
Gavrilo Princip’s elder brother, Jovan, was living in Sarajevo and Gavrilo now joined him in the city. He continued his education at school in Sarajevo.
Princip transferred to a school in Tuzla.
Gavrilo became fascinated with the Bosnian/Serb revolutionary, Bogdan Žerajić who had committed suicide after a failed attempt to assassinate Marijan Varešanin, the Austro-Hungarian governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Princip joined Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) a nationalist Bosnian group that wanted to unite Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia. The group was outlawed by the government and so meetings took place in secret.
Captain Dragutin Dimitrijević founded the Black Hand, a Serbian Nationalist group.
Gavrilo Princip was expelled from school for his involvement in demonstrations against Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After being expelled from school, Princip went to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
1912 (after May)
Gavrilo Princip applied to join Major Vojislav Tankosić’s Guerilla force fighting the Ottoman Turks. Tankosić was a prominent member of the Black Hand Serbian Nationalist group. Princip was rejected as being too short and in poor health.
1912 (after May)
Princip met Živojin Rafajlović, a founder member of the Serbian Chetnik Organisation, which wanted to free the southern Balkan states from Ottoman control. Rafajlović sent him and 15 other members to the organisation training camp at Vranje, Serbia where he learnt how to shoot accurately and set explosives. He was noted for his skill in setting explosives, his shooting ability and also his leadership qualities.
It was announced that Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, would visit Sarajevo on 28th June 1914.
Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović and Trifko Grabež, all noted for their marksmanship and explosives skills, were recruited by the Black Hand to carry out a planned assassination of Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914.
1914 (late May)
Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović and Trifko Grabež managed to cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and made their way towards Sarajevo. They were each armed with a revolver, two bombs and cyanide which they were to use to commit suicide after the assassination.
1914 (4th June)
The assassins reached Sarajevo and then split up. Princip stayed with Danilo Ilić, a member of the Black Hand Group. Ilić had also recruited three other men, Vaso Čubrilović, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, and Cvjetko Popović so there would be seven assassins lining the route that the Archduke would take.
1914 (27th June)
The seven assassins met for the first time and details of the assassination were discussed.
1914 (28th June – 9.30 am)
Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie arrived by train at Sarajevo station. They were met by Oskar Potiorek, governor of Sarajevo with a fleet of cars to take them to inspect troops outside the capital.
1914 (28th June – 10.00 am)
Having inspected the troops, the motorcade left the barracks to travel to the town hall along Appel Quay.
1914 (28th June – around 10.10 am)
The seven assassins were stationed along Appel Quay. The motorcade passed Muhamed Mehmedbašić who decided not to use his weapon because a policeman was standing close to him. Nedeljko Čabrinović threw a grenade at Franz Ferdinand’s car but it bounced off and exploded under the third car injuring about 20 people. The five other assassins did not have opportunity to use their weapons as the motorcade sped up and the Archduke continued to the reception at the town hall. Čabrinović swallowed his cyanide but it did not work and he was arrested.
1914 (28th June – 10.45 am)
The reception finished and Franz Ferdinand and his wife were scheduled to visit the local museum. The journey involved going back along Appel Quay and then turning into Franz Josef Street. However, the archduke expressed a wish to visit the injured people in hospital. It was decided that they would drive straight along Appel Quay to the hospital.
1914 (28th June – around 11 am)
Some of the drivers in the motorcade had not been told of the change to the route and turned into Franz Josef Street as originally planned. Realising his error the driver of the Archduke’s car tried to reverse out of the road. At that point Gavrilo Princip spotted the car, stepped up to it and fired two shots. He then intended to shoot himself but was captured and taken to the local police station. Four other conspirators were soon caught but Muhamed Mehmedbašić managed to escape to Montenegro.
1914 (28th June – 11.30 am)
Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were both pronounced dead.
1914 (12th – 23rd October)
Princip and the other assassins in custody were tried for treason.
1914 (28th October)
Gavrilo Princip and the other assassins were found guilty of treason. Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović and Trifko Grabež were under 20 years of age and could not be executed so were sentenced to twenty years in prison. Danilo Ilić and Vaso Čubrilović were sentenced to death by hanging, Cvjetko Popović was given 13 years in prison.
1914 (28th July)
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany supported Austria-Hungary while Russia supported Serbia. France and Britain were allied to Russia while Italy and Japan were allied to Germany. World War One had begun.
1914 (28th October)
Gavrilo Princip began his sentence. He was kept in solitary confinement and was chained to a wall. He was soon ill with tuberculosis.
Princip had to have his right arm amputated due to the fact that the tuberculosis had destroyed the bones.
Princip tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a towel but was unsuccessful.
1918 (28th April)
Gavrilo Princip died in prison from tuberculosis.
Published Aug 04, 2020 @ 10:55 am – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Gavrilo Princip 1894 – 1918. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/gavrilo-princip-1894-1918 Last accessed [date]