Tsar Nicholas II’s 1908 arrangment with Austria

The Black Hand made their attempts clear in forming a great union of Southern Slavs, in the regions of the Austrian Empire, when on June 28th, 1914 they assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Previously in 1908, Russian Tsar Nicholas II laid out an informal arrangement, with Austria, that Russia would support Austria’s attempt to annex themselves from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In return Austria would support Russia’s attempts in securing a naval force that would sail from the Black Sea, through the former Ottoman city Dardanelles, and into the Mediterranean. Shortly after the assassination of Ferdinand, the Austrian and Russian armies began mobilizing their forces and declared war on Serbia.

Russian Military Movements during WWI

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