This first batch of episodes looks at the opening phases of the crisis. Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo, Europe reacts, then forgets about it, and we examine some of the parties involved in a bit more detail than you've seen before. What was the geopolitical situation of Europe in the summer of 1914? Was it really all that calm? Were tensions so near the surface that they could bubble over at any time? Find out in the first few episodes.

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WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #1: Introduction (27th June 1914)

100 years ago our ancestors launched the First World War. Now it is time to examine their moves, mistakes, decisions and hopes in a day by day account of the month that preceded the war; the so-called July Crisis. Herein, I explain what my plan is for it, why I'm doing it and why you should be excited. A brand new project starts here, and in case you didn't know, I'm SUPER excited! Thanksssss!

How did we get here? How did such a terrible conflict become our own? How did it spread to all corners of the globe? Well history friend, that's what we're here to find out. The First World War was born in the halls and rooms of 19th century statesmen and ideals, as the old era collided with the new, and the common man was sent out to save the world. It's a story which needs to be told, which is why I decided to cover it to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

How did we get here? How did such a terrible conflict become our own? How did it spread to all corners of the globe? Well history friend, that's what we're here to find out. The First World War was born in the halls and rooms of 19th century statesmen and ideals, as the old era collided with the new, and the common man was sent out to save the world. It's a story which needs to be told, which is why I decided to cover it to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #2: Prologue (28th June 1914)

The shot heard around the world is examined, as we look at the final moments of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who's assassination infamously kicked off the greatest conflict ever seen.

The couple that planned to inherit the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire, but who would actually lead the world somewhere entirely different.

The couple that planned to inherit the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire, but who would actually lead the world somewhere entirely different.

WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #3: Reactions (29th June 1914)

How did the rest of the world react to the news that one of Europe's Great Powers had just lost their heirs to assassination? Let's find out.

The NYT seemed to have a fair idea of what was going on

The NYT seemed to have a fair idea of what was going on

WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #4: Profile #1: Serbia

Herein we examine in our first profile of the powers involved the experience of Serbia. It's a critical story of how Europe in its turn had been affected by war, and it's a great place to start if you want to introduce yourself to the era.

Serbia was a land shaped by war - Balkan Wars, with the Ottomans and deep into its history ensured that Serbia was a land poised on the precipice of national realisation, but fuelled additionally by intense nationalistic passion.

Serbia was a land shaped by war - Balkan Wars, with the Ottomans and deep into its history ensured that Serbia was a land poised on the precipice of national realisation, but fuelled additionally by intense nationalistic passion.

WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #5: Profile #2: Austria-Hungary

The rival of Serbia, Austria Hungary had experienced a far less uplifting recent history, as its fortunes dipped, its prestige dropped alongside it, and the narrative of its 'inevitable decline' haunted it and pressured its statesmen right up to the point of the war. 

The Habsburgs had long since lost its expansive lustre, but still clung desperately to its old glories and new allies.

The Habsburgs had long since lost its expansive lustre, but still clung desperately to its old glories and new allies.

WDF Presents: July Crisis Project #6: Hoyos Mission (5th-6th July 1914)

What was the infamous 'blank cheque' and how was it brought about? Was it really as controversial as we've been led to believe, or was it a case of both powers simply not knowing any better? Find out here.

Did Alexander Hoyos know that through acting, he was helping to bring about a war? Or was he merely acting as he thought best, in the interests of his ally?

Did Alexander Hoyos know that through acting, he was helping to bring about a war? Or was he merely acting as he thought best, in the interests of his ally?