If you don’t think the .380 Auto aka 9mm Browning isn’t a powerful round, show me another pistol cartridge that was used to start a world war. For it was with a FN Model 1910 chambered in .380 Auto (or 9mm Browning to be more precise) that Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg 100 years ago today in Sarajevo.
Princip did it in the name of Yugoslav nationalism. He was a Bosnian Serb. As a result of the assassination, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia a month to the day after the Archduke was assassinated. A few days later Germany which had declared support for Austria then declared war on Russia and the rush to war spiraled out of control. Barbara Tuchman describes this spiraling out of control in her book The Guns of August.
Princip’s FN Model 1910 is now a part of the permanent display at the Museum of Military History in Vienna, Austria. How it got there is a story unto itself.
So while the cartridge debate rages on as to which cartridge has enough power, none save the .380 Auto can say they helped start a war, let alone the War to End All Wars.