On this day in oil and gas: June 28 - First World War
June 28th, 1914, Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary – A motorcade makes its way through the packed streets of Sarajevo. The third car from the front is a convertible 1911 Gråf & Stift Double Phaeton.
The top is down and the occupants are wary. A few hours earlier a bomb had been thrown at the six car procession, injuring passengers and bystanders alike. At just after 10.45, the Double Phaeton’s driver takes a wrong turn. As the driver realises his mistake he puts his foot on the brake, and begins to back up. The car engine stalls outside Schiller's delicatessen. As luck would have it Gavrilo Princip, one of the day’s failed assassins, is just exiting the shop. He takes his chance. He fires two shots into the car at point blank range. Ten minutes later, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg are dead.
This would set into motion a series of events that would precipitate the First world War and 37 million military and civilian casualties. What does this have to do with oil and gas? Well, with the debut of motor cars, tanks, planes and oil-fuelled ships, WWI was the first conflict in which the control of oil would play a major role, and would shape of many things geopolitical in the century to come.
In more light-hearted news, Mel Brooks is 86 today! Spaceballs anybody?
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