Few single events in history have carried such vast consequences as the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to World War I, a war whose aftermath continues to affect our world today, a century later. But could the assassination have been prevented? Lisa Traynor starts with a little-known fact: the Archduke hadbut did not wear that daya bulletproof vest. From there, she highlights the risks faced by all powerful figures in that period of unrest, charts the technological development of pistols in the era, and, finally, tests her findings on a replica of the Archduke’s vest. Could it have stood up to a close-up shot from the Browning Model 1910 used by the assassin? Of such questions is history made.
About the Author
Lisa Traynor is curator of firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations viii
List of plates x
St Vitus Day 1914 3
Weapons of choice 8
An international race: the development of self-loading pistols 16
Casimir Zeglen: the bullet-proof priest 21
Preliminary testing 27
The Zeglen Bullet-Proof Cloth Co. catalogue 36
Aim for the head 40
Pure silk 49
Franz Ferdinand's vest? 54