The Field of Blackbirds

A battle in 1389 was part of the background of World War I, and the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s.

The ghost and legend that ignited the First World War

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia von Hochenberg were assassinated by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. This event ignited the First World War.

… that was the day [June 28] commemorating the June 1389 battle in the Balkans between Serb and Ottoman forces at Kosovo Polje (“Field of Blackbirds”). Both leaders, Serbian prince Lazar and the Ottoman sultan Murat I, were killed. With the death of the sultan, the Serbs, if they had so desired, could have claimed victory. But that was not the case. The event instead became a legendary tale of resistance to a foreign power, first to the Ottoman empire, secondly to the empire of Austria-Hungary, thirdly to Yugoslavia itself.

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