Disaster Averted? How a single turn changed the world.

Introduction
DisaterAvertedd (2).png

Disaster Averted?

How a single turn changed the world.

For the past century, Europe hasn't seen much of a continent-spanning conflict. There have been hiccups here and there but for the most part, the continent was able to avoid another continent-wide war. During this time many European powers would expand their empires abroad on multiple continents, with Asia and nearly all of Africa under their colonial control. The industrialization of the continent would see the rise of new technologies. By the dawn of the 20th century, new powers would arise such as Germany, the Russian Empire and the United States. However, this peace was not meant to last. Tensions between several great powers would see a powderkeg lit up and it would take one small incident to lit up the powderkeg into a worldwide conflict.

---

Hello everyone! One thing I would like to make clear is that yes there will still be a world war, I'm aware that even if Ferdinand survives his assassination attempt another thing will spark the war. This timeline will still focus on how the world changed without the war starting in 1914 however and what changes would it bring. Mind you this is not meant to be a utopian or a dystopian timeline, probably obvious but I would like to get it out of the way as well. Whiles, I wouldn't call myself the greatest writer (or even a good writer), I do hope you guys enjoy this timeline.

 
Prolouge

DISASTER AVERTED?

How a single turn changed the world.

PROLOGUE

Sarajevo.jpg

Postcard of Sarajevo, 1914
28 June 1914
Not exactly the most well-known or important date, even with Historians it would be seen as an unimportant day if not for one event of course. In Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand had announced earlier in March that he will be visiting Sarajevo for inspecting the army there. Several members of the Young Bosnia took notice of this and plotted to assassinate Ferdinand. The Austrian government as well as Franz Ferdinand himself were aware of the danger of going to the city with a possible chance of being killed. Despite this, they continue with their plans. Sometime in May, Princip and two other members of the group travelled to Belgrad, Serbia, where the Black Hand provided them with 4 pistols and 6 bombs. They soon left Belgrad and went to Sarajevo taking around 8 days to arrive. When they finally arrive they would begin preparing for the assassination. Ferdinand and his wife would soon arrive in Sarajevo a day earlier than expected. They would wander throughout the city enjoying its views. Despite this, there were still some, such as a member of the Bosnian parliament who was warry about this decision and urge Ferdinand to cancel the trip, although he and his wife decided to continue on.

Archduke_Franz_with_his_wife.jpg

Left: Sophie, Right: Franz Ferdinand

On the next day, Ferdinand and his wife would drive their car again, exploring the city. The Young Bosnia group soon became aware of Ferdinand's arrival and around 7 hitmen were sent to kill him. As Ferdinand was driving to a bridge to cross it, Nedeljko Čabrinović, an assassin, discover them and in an instant, threw a bomb at the motorcade. The bomb however missed, avoiding the motorcade and instead landing and exploding several people including two of the archduke guards. The guards would survive the explosion but were injured in the process. Ferdinand screamed, “So you welcome your guests with bombs!”. Čabrinović quickly jumped off the bridge towards the river, where the police drag him out of the river and arrested him. The motorcade quickly drove out of the bridge where they’d soon arrive at the town hall and would listen to the speeches going on there. Hours passes and Ferdinand decided to go visit the hospital where the two guards and some of the spectators were after the bombings to check up on them. As they were driving to the hospital, the driver would turn left on the road to the Latin Bridge [1]. Although he was a bit confused about the new route, he was able to reach the hospital on time.

Dukeee.png

(Route that Franz Ferdinand took)
1: The place where Čabrinović attempted to assassinate Ferdinand
2: The town hall where Ferdinand arrived to
3: The Latin Bridge that leads to the Hospital​

Ferdinand and Sophie would soon enter the hospital where they greet many of the spectators as well as the two guards as they were lying in bed. While they were in the hospital, Ferdinand told his wife, “We can't stay here anymore, who knows how many assassins are in this city.” His wife reluctantly agreed. Ferdinand and Oskar Potiorek, the governor of Bosnia, would discuss a plan to leave the city without anyone noticing. They ultimately decided to leave at around midnight and not announce their departure from Sarajevo until after a day [2]. After saying goodbye to the remaining victims of the bombings, they would leave the hospital. At around 11:13 PM, Ferdinand and Sofia would arrive on their motorcade, accommodated by two guards, and would drive away from the city. By 30 August, they would finally arrive in Vienna. It would also be announced on the same day that the archduke had left Sarajevo due to fears of an attack.

To the Young Bosnia, their only chance of assassinating the archduke was now gone, and they were now on the run with 2 of their hitman arrested and the police everywhere in the city looking for them. By August 30, the group had fled from Sarajevo and planned on fleeing to Serbia or Montenegro. On July 2, they reach the Serbian border where they disguise themselves and were able to successfully enter Serbia without much trouble. Although they hope to one day return to Bosnia, they would never see it happen. Two of the assains, Nedeljko Čabrinović and Trifko Grabež, who was apprehended around the gates of Sarajevo under suspicion of being a possible accomplice. On July 1 they would be interrogated by the police over their reasoning and other accomplices to the attack. They didn’t reveal the identities of the other hitmen and were both sentenced to 20 years in prison. With both of them behind bars, Newspapers across the country would report the attempted assassination, many were shocked by the news, though others were used to it as political assassination attempts were common at the time. To Franz Ferdinand, he would breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that he was able to avoid getting killed.
1: This is the POD, where the driver of the motorcade instead of making a right where Gavrilo Princip was, made a left turn to the Latin bridge thus avoiding the assassin.
2: This was done in order to prevent an alarm in the city and to find the Young Bosnia group while they still thought to be in the city.
 
Last edited:
Followed, looks promising. Things I would recommend looking out for:

- A-H had a massive build up program going on by this point, so if the war starts years later compared to OTL, then their performance should reflect that.

- Hötzendorf was likely to be dismissed in within a year or a few years by this point.

- Elections under a new electoral law were scheduled in Hungary for 1915.

- Noone notable wanted to change the dualist system within the Habsburg Monarchy. Both "USGA" and trialism were dropped even by Franz Ferdinand. They were not viable. If you plan to introduce some kind of change into the Habsburg realm, make it an inoffensive, slow and gradual process.

Keep up the good work!
 
Followed, looks promising. Things I would recommend looking out for:

- A-H had a massive build up program going on by this point, so if the war starts years later compared to OTL, then their performance should reflect that.

- Hötzendorf was likely to be dismissed in within a year or a few years by this point.

- Elections under a new electoral law were scheduled in Hungary for 1915.

- Noone notable wanted to change the dualist system within the Habsburg Monarchy. Both "USGA" and trialism were dropped even by Franz Ferdinand. They were not viable. If you plan to introduce some kind of change into the Habsburg realm, make it an inoffensive, slow and gradual process.

Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your recommendations.
 
Chapter 1

Chapter I


It has been a few weeks following the assassination attempt on Franz Ferdinand. Despite surviving the bomb attack, there were still fears among the government of possible future assassination attempts. Due to the assassins being Bosnian Serbs nationalists, further investigation would be launched by the Evidenzbureau over the possibility of Serbian involvement. Since the Bosnian Crisis, which saw Austria-Hungary annex Bosnia, the relationship between Austria and Serbia was significantly diminished. Many Serbians living in Bosnia wanted the land to become a part of Serbia. The Austrians began to suspect the Serbian government of sponsoring the attack. On July 10, around 2 weeks after the failed bombing attempt, the Austrian government would deliver a warning to the Serbian Government, calling for them to curb groups like the Black Hand and other Bosnian Serbs nationalist groups. The Serbian government denied any involvement in the attack and stated that they will not support any ultranationalist groups in Bosnia.
Siegelmarke_K.u.K._Generalstab_-_Evidenzbureau_W0261211.jpg

The Evidenzbureau seal

The rest of the world didn't have much to say about the assassination attempt. Most countries outside of Europe didn't care about it. The Russians warn the Austrians of falsely accusing Serbia in order to vilify the country for their own gains. The Germans defended Austria's accusations, stating that there have been other assassinations and attacks in Bosnia and that they were in the right to be suspicious. Regardless both German and Russian governments stated that they were thankful for the archduke's survival and hope to continue peace in the Balkans. In Serbia, the Black Hand faced scrutiny following the bombings. The Serbian government was concerned over the growing group and launched several investigations into their influence in the military and in Bosnia. Attempts to curb their influence were however unsuccessful and their ranks continue to grow, albeit slower. With the Black Hand now being investigated and the Austrian government becoming more cautious, they were forced to slow their operations in Serbia and Bosnia. Despite Serbia's attempts to curb the Black Hand, tensions between Austria and Serbia continued, with Bosnia still being a major issue.

Black_Hand,_logo.png

The Black Hand Seal
With July passing, Ferdinand's paranoia would steadily decrease. His distaste towards the Serbians in Bosnia would steadily increase with the bombing attempt making him more suspicious of the loyalty of the Serbians. Ferdinand would also grow to distrust the Serbian government, believing that they were purposely not doing much to contain the rise of Serbian nationalist groups in Bosnia. Even with these, he is glad to have survived the ordeal and hopes that not only would this be a small incident, but that Europe will remain in peace. Following July 28, Europe would avoid the bullet and, for now at least, remain in relative peace, though that was not going to last long.
 
Followed, looks promising. Things I would recommend looking out for:

- A-H had a massive build up program going on by this point, so if the war starts years later compared to OTL, then their performance should reflect that.

- Hötzendorf was likely to be dismissed in within a year or a few years by this point.

- Elections under a new electoral law were scheduled in Hungary for 1915.

- Noone notable wanted to change the dualist system within the Habsburg Monarchy. Both "USGA" and trialism were dropped even by Franz Ferdinand. They were not viable. If you plan to introduce some kind of change into the Habsburg realm, make it an inoffensive, slow and gradual process.

Keep up the good work!
I agree that there would be a war, and soon. Too many greedy and stupid idiots in power. While I can envision scenarios where nobody goes to war, it would require HUGE changes to personalities of the major players and changes that happened years before. Maybe if Wilhelm II dropped dead and Wilhelm III replaced him a few years earlier. It would require a lot of change in Russia, a LOT of change. Really, it would require one more cousin besides King George V to have been sane, preferably both of them.
 
Last edited:
Apologize for no updates in the past few weeks. Having writer's block isn't fun. I'll try to get another post out by the end of the month.
 
Probably there is Third Balkan War on end of 1914/early 1915. Probably either something doing with Albania (it was midst of revolt on Autumn 1914) or perhaps Bulgaria decides begin new war against Serbia and perhaps Greece. But such hardly would be possible before 1915 or even 1916.

You can too check how Russia is developing its railroad network and Germany and Britain probably approach each others when they can deal over their naval rivalry.

Hoperuflly this helps you go forward.
 
First off, the POD is well written, entirely credible and plausible.

Sometimes, events happen which are, to an extent, inexplicable. Princip "enjoyed" more than his share of "dumb luck" that fateful day. The POD as written is a more credible outcome based on nothing more than what sensible people ought to have done in the circumstances.

That's not how history works as we know.

As for what could or would have triggered the next conflict, the Second Balkan War left plenty of issues unresolved. Bulgaria was the fall guy in 1913 but was revanchist and looking for a way to get back what it had lost. A renewed conflict with Serbia, Romania, the Ottomans and Greece couldn't be ruled out but would that necessarily draw in the bigger powers if it hadn't the first two occasions?

The Third Balkan War might have been about Albania or Macedonia or about simply wanting to take Serbia back a notch or two. Fine but how does that bring the bigger powers into a conflict?

It seems unlikely there'd be another Morocco Crisis with the country a French protectorate since 1912. What of Libya? Occupied by Italy since 1911 but not secure - could we see a rebellion in the late 1910s/early 1920s which could drag in the Ottomans, the British and the French? Seems implausible but possible.

I presume we can never rule out a colonial issue in either Africa or the Pacific but how that translates into a global conflict is again unclear. China is sinking into anarchy after the fall of the Manchu Dynasty but again it's largely an internal issue.

I keep coming back to the Balkans as the next most likely conflict with Bulgaria the most likely instigators but it's a stretch from that to a European-wide conflict.
 
Top