Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.The second post on Kut is coming later this evening. Meanwhile I thought it worth noting another World War I connection: that tomorrow marks the centenary of the "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" that the Iron Chancellor had prophesied in 1878, the assassination in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie. In a little over a month, much of Europe was at war.
—Otto von Bismarck at the Congress of Berlin in 1878
Though Turkey did not formally join the war until October, its tilt towards Germany was already under way in that summer of 1914.