Opening scene shows a man being roughed up by a group of men in an alleyway. A slate comments (in French) that when nations are bellicose, an assassination can cause a world war. Next, a slate shows picture of the world and states (in English) "One murder may start a world war." Another slate (in French) states that In 1914, while Europe's armies and fleets were more powerful than they had ever been, the nephew of the Emperor of Austria (Archduke Ferdinand) was assassinated. A front page is shown of newspaper, "Journal De Geneve" carrying the story. Next scene is a view of the city of Sarajevo. The ancient Emperor's Mosque dominates the scene. A slate appears asking Where is Sarajevo? It is followed by a map of Europe in 1914, which zooms in on Austria and Serbia and identifies and labels Sarajevo,in Austria, close to the Serbian border. Slates (in French) says Austria accused Serbia of War and other nations enter the melee. Animated World map shows the nations getting involved, starting with the German Empire in 1914, including its African colonies, and then successively showing Russia, France, Belgium,Great Britain, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. Map advances to 1915, showing the Italian empire, Bulgaria,and Central Arabia. In 1916 it adds Portugal, Roumania. Next, the U.S.A. is added in, 1917, along with Central and South America, Greece, Siam, and China. Finally, the slate shows the war ending in 1918. Slate shows Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month (November), with time shown on hands of Big Ben in London.
Portrait of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, who were assassinated June 28, 1914. Crowd at Franz Joseph Street in Sarajevo. The last residence of the royal couple, in Bad Ilidze, near Sarajevo. Trees, plants and fountain at the park. Arrival of the ship, "Viribus Unitis," on July 1, 1914 to transport the bodies of the Archduke and Duchess back to Austria. Austrian seamen carry coffins of the Archduke and Duchess to the pier. They place it on a platform. Priests stand near coffins and Austrian officers salute. Horse carriage, soldiers, officers and priests walk in funeral procession to railroad station in Trieste, where the coffins of the Royal couple are transferred for transport home to Vienna. View of Castello Miramare, on the water, in Trieste. Funeral procession with automobiles in Vienna. Views of Castle Artstetten in Austria, the final resting place of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie,Duchess of Hohenberg, laid to rest there on July 4, 1914.
From a documentary film entitled "World War I". Events leading to World War I. Soldiers at a parade. In August 1914 the leading nations of Europe prepare to go for a war. Soldiers on the battle field. The scenes after the war show damage to life and material. Smoke all around. A tank on the battle field. Sketches of the U.S. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson explain people to be neutral in the war. A sketch of a soldier carrying an artillery.
Sketches depict World War I, the industries in the United States. Workers work inside the factory. A sketch of Thomas Woodrow Wilson. People hold strike posters. The President addresses a gathering. A cartoon depicts the concern of the President in the domestic reforms. Sketch of the President sitting in a chair and other officials stand near him. Animation of a map shows Serbia. Sketches of assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary. Serbia raises a war against Austria and Russia assists. Soldiers on horses prepare for war. Soldiers carry weapons as they run. Germany assists Austria in the war. Soldiers on horses carry weapons. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson seeks to help the world. Sketches of soldiers on horses during a fight and of an injured soldier during the war.
1914: Kaiser William II inspects his troops in Berlin, Germany. He shakes hands with military officers and greets other officials. The Kaiser's cousin and heir apparent to the Austrian thrown, Archduke Franz Ferdinand trains Teutonic soldiers. The troops on horses march. Officer greets ladies and children in horse carriages. The Kaiser and the Archduke hunt together. The two standing in a forest with their kill.
Austro-Hungarian soldiers pose with a 77mm Krupp field gun, model 1914, on display in a public square. Several curious civilians take note of them. Another view of the soldiers posing with two such guns, as several civilians walk nearby. In background, across the Danube River (based on information in the film opening slate) are significant large buildings of a major city. Several officers come to stand in front of one of the guns, as a soldier brings a 77mm shell out for all to see. Another soldier also displays a shell up for the camera. Scene shifts back to the initial location and soldiers standing by their gun.
Newspaper headline declares Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Countess Sophie's assassination by a Bosnian youth in Sarajevo. The Archduke's bullet ridden uniform. The caskets carrying the bodies of the Archduke and his wife are taken to Vienna. The caskets wrapped in the Austrian flag at the port. Officers and soldiers salute in their honor. Priests lead the funeral procession followed by the caskets brought in horse carriages. Various New York newspaper headlines depicting beginning of World War I: Austria declares war on Serbia, Russia mobilizes against Austria, Germany declares war on Russia, France and England declare war on the Central Powers. Berlin: A large crowd gathered on the streets of Berlin. German troops and band march on the streets. Crowd greets the soldiers.