Franz Ferdinand's car

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Peter H
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Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Peter H » 30 Jan 2005 13:48

Can anyone verify that the car that carried Franz and his wife to their deaths at Sarajevo in 1914 had the following number plate?:

A III–118

A superstitous person could read this as Armistice 11/11/18

Thanks,
Peter

Robert Brockmeier
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Franz Ferdinands Car

Postby Robert Brockmeier » 01 Feb 2005 01:17

I can't verify the license plate number but as I recall, the vehicle is in the Military Museum in Vienna. I saw it several years ago and also had some questions regarding additional bullet holes around the car. Exit and Entrance shots.
Perhaps a call to them or some photos from the museum would answer your question.

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Postby Gwynn Compton » 01 Feb 2005 11:57

I can't find any images of it on the web, so it would be a matter of contacting the musuem.

Gwynn

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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 01 Feb 2005 13:34

I found this photo.Its true. :o

This first 1 of the '118' at the bottom is obscured by the angle of the photo.

Image
http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/ima ... tholes.JPG

I think Ferdinand was visiting the III Corps on manouevres at the time so the A III,on the top, may denote this.

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CMF
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Postby CMF » 01 Feb 2005 16:40

Enjoy!

Chris :D

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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 02 Feb 2005 08:23

Thanks Chris!

And note the '118' on the plate.

Best regards,
Peter

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maxxx
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Postby maxxx » 02 Feb 2005 20:48

A III has nothing to do with 3 Corps. Austrian licence plates differed by regional starting letters/numbers.

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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby muzza » 10 May 2008 08:38

It seems to be somewhat confused....the car shown on this site....has a different set of number plates....and they match a period shot on the day of the assaasination.

See car here....it is Count Harrach's car.

http://www.btinternet.com/~j.pasteur/Aftermath.html
Image

See period pic here....

Image

the number on the car and in the pic is...I 635 not A 11 11 18!

In the first automobile rode the Mayor, Fehim Effendi Curcic, and the city's Commissioner of Police, Dr. Gerde. In the second automobile, its top folded down and flying the Hapsburg pennant, rode Franz Ferdinand, Sophie and General Potoirek. The driver and the car's owner, Count Harrach, rode in front. The third automobile in the procession carried the head Franz Ferdinand's military chancellery; Sophie's lady in waiting; Potoirek's chief adjutant, Lieutenant Colonel Merizzi; the car's owner and his driver. The fourth and fifth automobiles carried other members of Franz Ferdinand's staff and assorted Bosnian officials. The sixth automobile was empty -- a spare should one of the others fail.

The morning was sunny and warm. Many of the houses and buildings lining the route were decorated with flags and flowers. Crowds lined the Appel Quay to cheer the imperial couple. Amid the festive crowd mingled seven young assassins. They took up their assigned positions, all but one along the river side of the Appel Quay. First in line was Mehmedbasic, to the west of the Cumurja Bridge. Near him was Cabrinovic. The others were strung out as far back as the Kaiser Bridge.

The motorcade approached and the crowds began to cheer. As Franz Ferdinand's car passed Mehmedbasic, he did nothing. The next man in line, Cabrinovic, had more resolve. He took the bomb from his coat pocket, struck the bomb's percussion cap against a lamp post, took aim and threw the bomb directly at Franz Ferdinand.
In the short time it took the bomb to sail through the air, many small events took place. The car's owner, Count Harrach, hearing the bomb being struck against the lamp post, thought they had suffered a flat tire. "Bravo. Now we'll have to stop." The driver, who must have seen the black object flying, did just the opposite -- he stepped on the accelerator. As a result, the bomb would not land where intended. Franz Ferdinand, also catching a glimpse of the hurtling package, raised his arm to deflect it away from Sophie. She sat to his right, and so was between Franz Ferdinand and Cabrinovic.
The bomb glanced off Franz Ferdinand's arm, bounced off the folded car top and into the street behind them. The explosion injured about a dozen spectators. The third car was hit with fragments and stalled. Merizzi received a bad cut to the back of the head. Others in the party received minor cuts. The first and second cars continued on for a few moments then stopped while everyone assessed who was injured and who was not.

Discussions were held as to whether to change the rest of Franz Ferdinand's schedule. The Archduke did not wish to cancel his visit to the museum and lunch at the Governor's residence, but wished to alter his plans to include a visit to Merizzi in the hospital.
The same motorcade set out along the Appel Quay, but neither the Mayor's driver, nor Franz Ferdinand's driver had been informed of the change in schedule. This would have been Merizzi's job.

The Mayor's car, followed by Franz Ferdinand's car turned off the Appel Quay and onto Franz Joseph Street, as originally planned, to travel to the museum. General Potoirek leaned forward. "What is this? This is the wrong way! We're supposed to take the Appel Quay!" The driver put on the brakes and began to back up. Franz Ferdinand's car stopped directly in front of Schiller's store -- five feet away from Princip.

If Count harrach's car is the correct car...was this car one of the ones damaged by the bomb then?? That would explain the holes in it.

Image

See full pic here....

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/viewPhoto?uname=jbrosher&aid=5100594376320067185&iid=5100609185367305154

I think there has been a mix up somewhere along the line....and the wrong car is calimed as Franz Ferdinands. i 635 has the strongest claim from the photo.

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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Auseklis » 10 May 2008 08:59

Another picture of the one in Vienna (with me in front of it)...
There is also a 1:1 mock-up of the car on display in Artstetten.

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Peter H
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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Peter H » 12 May 2008 03:00

Thanks muzza

As indicated in the link you gave the Harrach car photo shown is that of a replicia with the original held at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum,Vienna.Auseklis' photo thus shows the original vehicle.

It has been suggested elsewhere that once war broke up the vehicle was passed into military use and as part of this progress was given a military number plate.This would account for I-635 becoming the later A III–118.

Photos of the car on that day,arriving and leaving townhall.From Purnell's History of the First World War.

Actually as indicated in the photos the Archduke seems to be alighting from the first car in front of I-635.The condition of I-635(note the double spare tyres on running board) doesn't look too regal either.The second photo,if I-635,is missing the back number plate as shown in the first photo as well.

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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Karl » 12 May 2008 09:48

Never seen/found a picture of the Arch-Duke in the specific motor car with the fabled license plate.
Never. Though very intriguing, it remains a myth.

Karl

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Peter H
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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Peter H » 12 May 2008 13:58

As usual others say the car is "cursed" :oops: :oops:

http://library.thinkquest.org/C007446F/jinx.htm#2

The open limousine in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, was assassinated seems to have been a cursed car. His wife died with him in the assassination, which led to the outbreak of World War 1.

Shortly after the opening of hostilities, the car was taken over by Austria’s General Potiorek, who was subsequently disgraced at the battle of Valijevo and died insane. A captain on his staff next assumed ownership. Nine days later, the officer struck and killed two peasants, swerving into a tree and breaking his neck.

The governor of Yugoslavia acquired the cursed convertible after the end of the war, but fared little better, suffering four wrecks in four months. In one of the accidents, he actually lost an arm. The car was then passed on to a doctor, who six months later overturned in a ditch and was crushed to death. A wealthy jeweller then purchased it, and committed suicide.

The disasters continued when another owner, a Swiss race-car driver crashed in the Italian Alps and was hurtled over a wall to his death. A Serbian farmer who forgot to turn off the ignition while the car was being towed became the next victim as the vehicle lurched into motion and ran off the road. The last driver was garage owner Tibor Hirshfield, who was returning from a wedding with four companions. Hirshfield’s friends were killed when he tried to pass another automobile at high speed.

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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Karl » 14 May 2008 05:15

no postings so no one has a picture like that either (if there is, by all means show it.).

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Peter H
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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Peter H » 14 May 2008 16:39

I-635 was actually " a large Mercedes Benz,the second car in the convoy".It was driven by the German Otto Merz,later a famous racing car driver who died in an accident in 1933.

Harrach's car was a 1910 Gräf & Stift and contrary to the supernatural myths was given to Military History Museum in Vienna in 1914:

The Guardian,16th November 2002.

Murder limo sparks another conflict

It was a car made famous by one of the most infamous incidents of the past century. When, in June 1914, a Bosnian student fired seven shots into an open-topped green limousine as it drove through a cobbled Sarajevo street, Europe was plunged into the First World War.

The bullets killed Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, an act credited by historians as the spark that ignited the conflagration. Now the car in which the drama unfolded - a 1910 Gräf & Stift valued at more than £4 million - is at the centre of a bizarre legal wrangle over ownership.

After the shooting it was put in a crate and taken to Vienna for the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Josef, who passed it on after a few weeks to the respected Military History Museum in Vienna. There it has spent the past 88 years as the star exhibit, together with the Archduke's blood-stained tunic.

But the latest twist came after the daughter of the aristocrat who had owned it - and had been seated in front of the imperial couple at the time of the assassination - asked for the museum to confirm the family's ownership.

'We only wanted to clarify the issue and would have been quite happy to leave it in the museum,' said 86-year-old Baroness Alice Dreihann-Holenia, who lives on an estate in upper Austria. 'But the museum and the Ministry of Defence were so rude and aggressive that we decided to go to court.'

Museum director Manfried Rauchensteiner defiantly insisted that the Austrian state was the rightful owner of the car, even though there is a note by the exhibit clearly indicating that the 32 horse-power, four-cylinder limousine is only on loan. Rauchensteiner said the limousine was the most important vehicle in the history of the twentieth century.

'It is absolutely clear,' Rauchensteiner said, 'that the car is the property of the republic of Austria and does not belong anywhere except in the Military History Museum.'

Dreihann-Holenia insists, however, that the museum has no evidence her father, Count Franz von Harrach, ever gave the car to the emperor. 'My father was a very close friend of the successor to the throne and lent him his car when Archduke Franz Ferdinand came to Sarajevo,' she said. 'He then loaned it to Franz Josef, who in turn had it put on display.'

Dreihann-Holenia, who was born two years after the assassination, was the sole heir to her father's estates that had included property in Bohemia and the Balkans. Among the possessions she inherited were hundreds of letters and telegrams that also backed her claim. The legal dispute now in the Vienna court centres on what happened to the car after the assassination.

The letters reveal how the count had been devastated at the fact he had been unable to stop the killing. To his wife, he wrote: 'It was like an awful dream. I held the Archduke by his collar. He died after 10 minutes. The bullets ripped through the metal panels of the car. Why am I still alive? Why have great men died only for hatred and conflict to be sown on the fields which have been soaked with their blood?'

Ludwig Draxler, the family's lawyer, said: 'The car is certain to be returned to the family. If only the museum had been more accommodating at the start all of this could have been avoided.'

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Re: Franz Ferdinand's car

Postby Karl » 14 May 2008 17:39

Peter, the article was published in November 2002. Did she win the case?


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