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Army of Francis Joseph

by Gunther Rothenberg

Publication Year: 1998

Rothenberg's work in the first analytical, full, length study of the army of Francis Joseph throughout its history from 1815-1918.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Title Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

The army was one of the most important, if not the most important, single institution in the multinational empire of the Habsburgs. Since the days of Ferdinand I, the dynasty had survived through the military power it could command, and the rise and decline in the fortunes of the Habsburgs were mirrored with a high degree of accuracy in the state of its military establishment. Not only did...

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A Note on Ranks and Names

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pp. xiii-xiv

The highest rank in the Habsburg armies was Feldmarschall, followed either by Feldzeugmeister for officers of the artillery, infantry, or engineers, or General der Kavallerie for mounted troops. In 1908 the designation General der Infanterie was introduced, and in September 1915 the rank of Generaloberst, between Feldzeumeister and Feldmarschall, was established. The lower commissioned and...

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1: The Evolution of the Army: Origins to Archduke Charles

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pp. 1-8

Although the birthdate of the Habsburg army usually is regarded as 1649, when the regiments which Albrecht von Wallenstein raised for the emperor in 1627 were retained in permanent service, this is not strictly accurate. 1 The origins of the military establishment of what became the" Austrian Monarchy" reach back a...

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2: The Austrian Army in the Age of Metternich: 1815-1847

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pp. 9-21

The fall of Napoleon ushered in a period of relative stability in Europe based primarily on the new balance of power established by the treaties of 1815 and the rigorous suppression of all domestic disorders. Preservation of this state of affairs fell in large part to Austria which had emerged from the French wars with enlarged...

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3: Guardians of an Empire: The Army 1848-1849

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pp. 22-37

The February Revolution in France set off revolts across half of Europe. Victory in Paris induced liberal hopes elsewhere that the crowned heads and their governments would hasten to come to terms. Such expectations appeared justified when the second wave of upheavals in March ousted established regimes...

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4: The Emperor's Personal Command: 1849-1859

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pp. 38-55

Grapeshot and bayonet had preserved the Habsburg dynasty and its empire, but a strong military establishment still was needed to preserve Austria's great power position. In Italy internal and external conditions required that a large army be kept on a near-war footing; Prussian aspirations in Germany needed...

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5: The End of an Age: 1860-1866

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pp. 56-73

On the field of Solferino, Francis Joseph lost confidence in his generalship. Thereafter, although he was personally brave, he no longer assumed actual command in battle, though on occasion he did not hesitate to interfere from afar with the conduct of operations. Above all, he jealously guarded his prerogatives...

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6: Dualism and Reorganization: 1867-1874

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pp. 74-89

Although Koniggriitz was neither a Cannae nor a Sedan, it forced Emperor Francis Joseph and his generals to made some major changes in the empire and the army. Above all, sweeping concessions had to be made to Hungary, and the new dualistic structure of the realm was reflected in the military...

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7: The Army and the Balkans: 1874-1881

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pp. 90-104

During the first seven years following the Ausgleich, the Austro-Hungarian army was preoccupied with internal reorganization, but between 1874 and 1881 external events and actual operations of war dominated the scene. The army fought two major campaigns in the Balkans, the only fighting it was to see until 1914, while conflicts of interest with Russia brought the monarchy to the brink of...

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8: The Era of Beck and Albrecht: 1881-1895

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pp. 105-122

Austria-Hungary had reasserted her great power status during the Balkan crisis, but the real test of a great power is her strength for war, and in the closing decades of the nineteenth century the Dual Monarchy found it increasingly difficult to keep up in the European armament race. Unable to fully exploit...

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9: Foreign Equilibrium and Internal Crisis: 1895-1905

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pp. 123-138

The period in the history of the Habsburg army which opened with the death of Archduke Albrecht in 1895 and closed with the dismissal of Beck in 1906 saw a substantial relaxation of tensions in the foreign relations of the monarchy. At the same time, however, and in part because of this reduced outside pressure, internal crises continued and even...

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10: The Conrad Era from His Appointment to the Annexation Crisis: 1906-1909

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pp. 139-156

In the Dual Monarchy the closing decades of the nineteenth century were marked by political and social turbulence arising from the escalation of national conflicts and the stresses of the accelerating industrial revolution. In Austria the conflict between Germans and Czechs had wrecked the constitutional processes of government, while in Hungary a military collision between...

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11: Conrad, Moltke, Aehrenthal, and the Balkan Crises: 1909-1913

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pp. 157-171

Although many circles in the Dual Monarchy hailed the outcome of the Annexation Crisis as proof of the empire's continued vitality, Conrad voiced his bitter indignation in a letter to Francis Joseph. He asserted that the solution was but an illusory triumph and he deplored the failure to crush Serbia and Montenegro. "These two foes," he declared, "have neither been...

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12: Austria-Hungary's Last War: 1914-1915

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pp. 172-186

The outcome of the Balkan Wars shattered many assumptions of Austro-Hungarian military policy. It demonstrated that the potential Balkan enemies had considerable and effective military establishments, and that Russia, with the reorganization and reequipment of her army nearly completed, was willing to embark on an aggressive course. The defection of Rumania jeopardized...

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13: War on Many Fronts and the Death of Emperor Francis Joseph: 1915-1916

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pp. 187-200

When Italy came into the war the Habsburg army already had fought the greatest, bloodiest, and most exhausting battles in its long history. It had sustained heavy losses in men and materiel which were still only partially replaced, and war weariness had begun to affect its depleted ranks. But against the new enemy, the army showed unexpected strength and...

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14: Emperor Charles and the Dissolution of the Habsburg Army: 1916-1918

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pp. 201-218

The old emperor was buried with pomp and circumstance in the family crypt below the Church of the Capuchins. His successor, the Emperor Charles, his grand-nephew, was a well-meaning young man of humanitarian inclinations, but volatile, lacking in balance and experience, and strangely unable to make and stick with decisions. Most of his major civilian advisors, including Ottokar...

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15: Epilogue

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pp. 219-222

Great wars usually do not end neatly with a cease-fire. The dissolution of government and armies and the attendant disruption of authority create a confused period before the new order takes firm hold. And so it was in November 1918. From Russia and the Balkans and above all from the southwestern front, hundreds of thousands of soldiers had only one thought-to get back to...


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pp. 223-272


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pp. 273-298

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490670
E-ISBN-10: 1612490670
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557531452
Print-ISBN-10: 1557531455

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 1998