“One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.”
~Otto von Bismarck, 1888 (26 Years before the start of World War One)
I find this quote funny, because Bismarck knew how ridiculous things were in the Balkans.
If you look at the map, just above Serbia is where Austria-Hungary once was. Austria-Hungary controlled Bosnia and Herzegovina. On a visit to Imperial Austrian-Hungarian forces stationed there, the Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, was shot and killed by a Serbian nationalist. Where? In the Balkans. It became even more ridiculous when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which caused Russia to declare war on Austria-Hungary, which caused Germany to declare war on Russia and Serbia, which cause France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Austria-Hungary, and Germany, which caused the Ottoman Empire to declare war on Serbia, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom…
Not to mention the countless other countries roped into this.
Welcome to the First World War.