Austro-Hungarian Army

Last updated
Army of Austria-Hungary
Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns  (German)
Császári és Királyi Hadsereg  (Hungarian)
Austria-Hungaria transparency.png
Arms of Austria-Hungary
Active1867–1918
CountryFlag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg  Austria-Hungary
Branch
Type Army
Size7,800,000 c.1917
Part of Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces
Engagements
Soldier of the Landwehr-Regiment Nr. 6 in battle dress K.k. Landwehr in Marschadjustierung nach 1908.png
Soldier of the Landwehr-Regiment Nr. 6 in battle dress

The Austro-Hungarian Army (German : Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns; Hungarian : Császári és Királyi Hadsereg) was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee, "Common Army", recruited from all parts of the country), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr (recruited from Cisleithania), and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd (recruited from Transleithania).

Contents

In the wake of fighting between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom and the two decades of uneasy co-existence following, Hungarian soldiers served either in mixed units or were stationed away from Hungarian areas. With the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the new tripartite army was brought into being. It existed until the disestablishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I in 1918.

The joint "Imperial and Royal Army" (kaiserlich und königliche Armee or k.u.k.) units were generally poorly trained and had very limited access to new equipment because the governments of the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire often preferred to generously fund their own units instead of outfitting all three army branches equally. All of the Honvédség and the Landwehr regiments were composed of three battalions, while the joint army k.u.k. regiments had four.

The long-standing white infantry uniforms were replaced in the later half of the 19th century with dark blue tunics, [1] which in turn were replaced by the pike grey M1908 uniform used in the initial stages of World War I. In September 1915, field gray was adopted as the new official uniform colour. [2] As the KuK Army was plagued with supply shortages, when the new Field-gray uniforms were first introduced, remaining stocks of the preexisting Pike-grey uniforms remained in use alongside the newer Feldgrau model.

The last known surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian Army was World War I veteran Franz Künstler, who died in May 2008 at the age of 107.

From the Compromise of 1867 to the World War

Planning and operations

The major decisions 1867-1895 were made by Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen, who was the nephew of the Emperor Franz Joseph and his leading advisor in military affairs. According to historians John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft:

He was a firm conservative in all matters, military and civil, and took to writing pamphlets lamenting the state of the Army’s morale as well as fighting a fierce rearguard action against all forms of innovation…. Much of the Austrian failure in the First World War can be traced back to his long period of power…. His power was that of the bureaucrat, not the fighting soldier, and his thirty years of command over the peacetime Habsburg Army made it a flabby instrument of war. [3]

Austria-Hungary avoided major wars in the era between 1867 and 1914 but engaged in a number of minor military actions. Nevertheless, the general staff maintained plans for major wars against neighboring powers, especially Italy, Serbia and Russia. By contrast, the main enemies Russia and Serbia had engaged in large scale warfare in the decade before the First World War. [4]

In the late 19th century the army was used to suppress unrest in urban areas of the empire: in 1882 and 1887 in Vienna [5] and notably against German nationalists at Graz and Czech nationalists in Prague in November 1897. [6] Soldiers under the command of Conrad von Hotzendorf were also used against Italian rioters in Trieste in 1902. [7]

The most significant action by soldiers of the Dual Monarchy in this period was the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 1878. When troops under the command of Josip Filipović and Stjepan Jovanović entered the provinces expecting little or no resistance, they were met with ferocious opposition from elements of both Muslim and Orthodox populations there. Despite setbacks at Maglaj and Tuzla, Sarajevo was occupied in October. Austro-Hungarian casualties amounted to over 5,000 and the unexpected violence of the campaign led to recriminations between commanders and political leaders. [8]

Size and ethnic and religious composition

In 1868, the number of active-duty troops in the army was 355,000, and the total could be expanded to 800,000 upon mobilization. However, this was significantly less than the European powers of France, the North German Confederation and Russia, each of which could field more than one million men. [9] Though the population of the empire had risen to nearly 50 million by 1900, the size of the army was tied to ceilings established in 1889. Thus, at the start of the 20th century, Austria-Hungary conscripted only 0.29% of its population, compared to 0.47% in Germany, 0.35% in Russia and 0.75% in France. [10] The 1889 army law was not revised until 1912, which allowed for an increase in annual conscriptions. [11]

The ethnic make-up of the enlisted ranks reflected the diversity of the empire the army served; in 1906, out of every 1000 enlisted men, there were 267 Germans, 223 Hungarians, 135 Czechs, 85 Poles, 81 Ukrainians, 67 Croats and Serbs, 64 Romanians, 38 Slovaks, 26 Slovenes, and 14 Italians. [12]

To aid communication between the multitude of ethnicities, the army developed a simple language called Army Slavic, based primarily on Czech.

From a religious standpoint, the Austro-Hungarian army officer corps was dominated by Roman Catholics. In 1896, out of 1000 officers, 791 were Roman Catholics, 86 Protestants, 84 Jews, 39 Greek-Orthodox, and one Uniate. Of the pre–World War military forces of the major European powers, the Austro-Hungarian army was almost alone in its regular promotion of Jews to positions of command. [13] While the Jewish population of the lands of the Dual Monarchy 4.4% including Bosnia and Herzegovina), Jews made up nearly 18% of the reserve officer corps. [12] There were no official barriers to military service for Jews, but in later years this tolerance eroded to some extent, as important figures such as Conrad von Hötzendorf and Archduke Franz Ferdinand sometimes expressed anti-Jewish sentiments. Franz Ferdinand was also accused (by Conrad) of discriminating against Protestant officers. [14]

Funding and equipment

Austro-Hungarian artillery unit appearing in The Illustrated London News in 1914 The.Illustrated.London.News.Aug.01.1914.Issue.3928.Vol.CXLV.Page.17.Image.13.png
Austro-Hungarian artillery unit appearing in The Illustrated London News in 1914

Following the 1867 constitutional arrangements, the Reichsrat was dominated by German Liberals, who generally regarded the army as a relic of feudalism. In Budapest, legislators were reluctant to authorize funds for the joint army but were generous with the Hungarian branch of the army, the Honvédség. In 1867 the military budget accounted for about 25% of all government spending, but the economic crash of 1873 hit Austria-Hungary hard and foreign observers questioned whether the Dual Monarchy could manage a major war without subsidies. [15] Despite increases throughout the 1850s and 1860s, in the latter half of the century Austria-Hungary was still spending less on its army than were other major European powers. [15] While the budget continued to rise—from 262 million crowns in 1895 to 306 million in 1906—this was still far less per capita than for other major European states, including Italy, and about on par with Russia, which had a much larger population. [16] Further contributing to the monarchy's military weakness was the low rate of conscription: Austria-Hungary conscripted only 0.29% of its population annually, compared to 0.47% in Germany and 0.75% in France. Attempts to increase the yearly intake of recruits were proposed but repeatedly blocked by officials in Budapest until an agreement was reached in 1912. [10]

In the emerging field of military aviation, Austria-Hungary lagged behind other European states. While balloon detachments had been established in 1893, they were mostly assigned to the fortress artillery, except for a brief period from 1909 to 1911 when they were under command of the multifaceted Verkehrs Brigade. [17] Realization that heavier-than-air machines were necessary or useful came late, and Austria-Hungary acquired only five airplanes by 1911. In 1914 the budget for military aviation was approximately 125th the amount spent by France. Austria-Hungary entered the war with only 48 first-line aircraft. [17]

Command Structure

Austria-Hungary had a complex military structure. The country had three main distinct ground forces. As a union the Monarchy had a common government of three ministers (Minister of the Imperial Household and Foreign Affairs; Minister of War and Minister of Finance). The Imperial Minister of War had authority over the Common Army, the Navy, and, shortly before and during WWI, the newly established independent Air Troops.

The Common Army was the premier land force. It was the best equipped and had the main role to secure the borders of the Monarchy. In case of war it was to absorb the Austrian Landwehr and the Hungarian Honvéd within its command structure. For that reason the Common Army was organised in army corps even in peacetime, while the Landwehr and Honvéd were organised in territorial districts. The provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were governed as a condominium between the Austrian and the Hungarian parts of the dual monarchy. As such the local troops of Bosnian Riflemen were subordinated through the Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Imperial Minister of War. The general peacetime order of battle of the Common Army included:

The Austrian part of the monarchy (officially called Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council, unofficially and for short Cisleithania ) had its own government. It included the Imperial and Royal Ministry of National Defence (completely independent from the Imperial War Ministry). In peacetime it had complete authority and responsibility for the Imperial-Royal Landwehr and its:

The Hungarian part of the monarchy (officially called Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, unofficially and for short Transleithania) also had its own government. One of its ministries was the Royal Hungarian Honvéd Ministry (also completely independent from the Imperial War Ministry). In peacetime it had complete authority and responsibility for the:

Austro-Hungarian Army in July 1914

Austro-Hungarian soldiers resting in a trench BASA-1221K-1-48-11.jpg
Austro-Hungarian soldiers resting in a trench
Austro-Hungarian POWs in Russia, 1915; photo by Prokudin-Gorskii Gorskii 04423u.jpg
Austro-Hungarian POWs in Russia, 1915; photo by Prokudin-Gorskii

Official designations were as follows:

After war was declared, 3.35 million men (including the first call-up of the reserves and the 1914 recruits) gathered for action.

The Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army was officially under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, Emperor Franz Josef. By 1914, however, Franz Josef was 84 years old and the chief of staff, Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, effectively had more power over the armed forces. Conrad favored an aggressive foreign policy and advocated the use of military action to solve Austria-Hungary's territorial disputes with Italy and Serbia. [19]

Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen was appointed Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian army by Franz Joseph on July 11, 1914. It was thought he would not interfere with the operational and tactical plans of Conrad von Hötzendorf. Friedrich remained Supreme Commander until February 1917, when Emperor Charles I decided to assume the office himself.

Common Army

Corps areas in the Austro-Hungarian Army Corps of Austria-Hungary.jpg
Corps areas in the Austro-Hungarian Army

The Common Army (k.u.k.—kaiserlich und königlich ) consisted of:

Imperial-Royal Landwehr

Officer's helmet, Imperial and Royal Dragoons Helm eines k.u.k. Dragoneroffiziers.jpg
Officer's helmet, Imperial and Royal Dragoons

The Imperial-Royal Landwehr (k.k. or kaiserlich österreichisch/königlich böhmisch) was the standing army of Austria responsible for the defence of Austria itself.

The mountain infantry had the following units:

Royal Hungarian Landwehr

Officer's Czapka (cap), 2nd Landwehr Lancers Tschapka k.k.Ulanen subaltern.jpg
Officer's Czapka (cap), 2nd Landwehr Lancers

The Royal Hungarian Landwehr (königlich ungarische Landwehr) or Royal Hungarian Honvéd (k.u. Honvéd) was the standing army of Hungary. A part of the Honvéd was the Royal Croatian Landwehr (Kraljevsko hrvatsko domobranstvo), which consisted of 1 infantry division (out of 7 in Honvéd) and 1 cavalry regiment (out of 10 in the Honvéd).

The infantry regiments of the k.u.k. army had four battalions each; the infantry regiments of the k.k. and k.u. Landwehr had three battalions each, except the 3rd Regiment of the "Tiroler Landesschützen" (Tyrolian fusiliers), that had also four battalions.

In 1915 units that had nicknames or names of honour lost them by order of the War Ministry. Thereafter units were designated only by number. For instance, the k.u.k. Infanterie-Regiment (Hoch und Deutschmeister) Nr. 4 became Infanterie-Regiment No. 4 (4th Infantry Regiment).

Landsturm

The Landsturm consisted of men aged 34 to 55 who belonged to the Austria k.k. Landsturm and the Hungarian k.u. Landsturm. The Landsturm formed 40 regiments totaling 136 battalions in Austria and 32 regiments totaling 97 battalions in Hungary. The Landsturm was a reserve force intended to provide replacements for the first line units. However, the Landsturm provided 20 brigades who took to the field with the rest of the army.

Standschützen

The Standschützen (singular: Standesschütze [A. 1] ) were originally rifle guilds and rifle companies that had been formed in the 15th and 16th centuries, and were involved time and again in military operations within the borders of the Austrian County of Tyrol. A Standschütze was a member of a Schützenstand ("shooting club"), into which he was enrolled, [A. 2] which automatically committed him to the voluntary, military protection of the state of Tyrol (and Vorarlberg). In effect they were a type of Tyrolean local militia or home guard.

Medals (example)

Medals for valour, 1914-1918 K.u.k. Orden.JPG
Medals for valour, 1914–1918

The following were the medals awarded to a Zugsführer (Staff-Sergeant) of the 2nd Regiment of the Tyrolian Imperial Rifles (later transferred to the 30th High Mountain Company), who saw action at:

He received the following decorations:

The triangular folded style of ribbon seen on medals of the Austro-Hungarian Army could be seen with armies of former territories or successor states of Austria-Hungary, including the Royal Hungarian Army and the Croatian Home Guard (World War II).

Ranks and rank insignia of the Austro-Hungarian Army

The different colors of the rank patches and buttons on the tunic are the marks for identifying the infantry regiments (except Generals)

k.u.k. cavalry, 1898 KuK Kavallerie 1898.jpg
k.u.k. cavalry, 1898
k.u.k. infantry, 1898 KuK Infanterie 1898.jpg
k.u.k. infantry, 1898
InfantryCavalryArtilleryRiflesRank insignias
TroopsHeer Mountain rifles
Infanterist
Honvéd (Hung.)
Szeregowy (Polish)

Vojín (Czech)

Soldat (Romanian)
Vojnik (Croatian)
(Private/Trooper/Gunner/Rifleman)

Dragoner
Husar
Ulan
Kanonier

Dělostřelec (Czech)

Jäger

Myslivec (Czech)

Soldat der k.u.k Infanterie mit Lichtdrap Egalisierung.png Jager der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Gefreiter
Őrvezető (Hung.)
Svobodník (Czech)
Fruntaș (Romanian)
Razvodnik (Croatian)
Caporale (Italian)
(Private 1st Class/Lance Corporal)
Gefreiter

Svobodník (Czech)

Vormeister

Nápředník (Czech)
Főtűzér (Hungarian)

Patrouilleführer

Závodčí/Stráževod (Czech)
Járőrvezető (Hungarian)

Gefreiter der k.u.k. Infanterie.png Patrouillefuhrer der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Non-Commissioned OfficersHeerMountain rifles
Korporal
Tizedes (Hung.)
Kapral (Polish)

Desátník (Czech)
Caporal (Romanian)
Desetnik (Croatian)
(Corporal)

Korporal

Desátník (Czech)
Tizedes

Geschütz-Vormeister

Dělostřelecký Nápředník (Czech)

Unterjäger

Podmyslivec (Czech)

Korporal der k.u.k. Infanterie mit Apfelgruner Egalisierung.png Unterjager der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Zugsführer
Szakaszvezető (Hung.)
Plutonowy (Polish)
Četař (Czech)
Sergent (Romanian)
Vodnik (Croatian)
(Sergeant)
Zugsführer

Četař (Czech)
Szakaszvezető

Zugsführer

Četař (Czech)
Szakaszvezető (Hungarian)

Zugsführer

Četař (Czech)
Szakaszvezető (Hungarian)

K.u.k. Zugsfuhrer Krapprote Egalisierung.png Zugsfuhrer k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Feldwebel
Őrmester (Hung.)
Šikovatel (Czech)
Plutonier (Romanian)
Sierżant (Polish)
Narednik (Croatian)
(Master-Sergeant)
Wachtmeister

Strážmistr (Czech)
Őrmester

Feuerwerker Tűzmester

Střelmistr (Czech)

Oberjäger

Nadmyslivec (Czech) Fővadász (Hungarian)

K.u.k. Feldwebel.png Oberjager k.k. Gebrigstruppe 1907-18.png
Kadett-Feldwebel / Hadapród őrmester (Hung.)
(Hadapród)
Kadet-narednik (Croatian)
(Cadet Sergeant; Cadet after 1908)
Kadett-Wachtmeister
(Kadett)

Kadet-Strážmistr (Czech)

Kadett-Feuerwerker
(Kadett)

Kadet-Střelmistr (Czech)

Kadett-Oberjäger
(Kadett)

Kadet-Nadmyslivec (Czech)

K.u.k. Kadett 1908-14.png Kadett k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1908-14.png
Stabsfeldwebel
Törzsőrmester (Hung.)
Štábní šikovatel (Czech)/
Sierżant sztabowy (Polish)
Stožerni narednik (Croatian)
(1st Sergeant after 1913 - rank badges until 1914)
Stabs-Wachtmeister

Štábní-Strážmistr (Czech)

Stabs-Feuerwerker

Štábní-Střelmistr (Czech)

Stabs-Oberjäger

Štábní-Nadmyslivec (Czech)

K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1913-14.png Stabsoberjager k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-14.png
Stabs-Feldwebel
Törzsőrmester (Hung.)
Štábní šikovatel(Czech)
Plutonier-major (Romanian)
Sierżant sztabowy (Polish)
Stožerni narednik (Croatian)
(1st Sergeant, rank badges after 1914)
Stabs-Wachtmeister

Štábní-Strážmistr (Czech)

Stabs-Feuerwerker

Štábní-Střelmistr (Czech)

Stabs-Oberjäger

Štábní-Nadmyslivec (Czech)

K.u.k. Stabsfeldwebel 1914-18.png Stabsoberjager k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1914-18.png
Offiziersstellvertreter (seit dem 6. Juni 1915)
Tiszthelyettes (Hung.)/
Důstojnický zástupce(Czech)
Locțiitor de ofițer (Romanian)
Časnički namjesnik (Croatian)
(UK Warrant Officer [II] or US Warrant Sergeant)
Offiziersstellvertreter

Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

Offiziersstellvertreter

Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

Offiziersstellvertreter

Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

K.u.k. Offiziersstellvertreter 1915-1918.png Offiziersstellvertreter k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1915-18.png
Officer Candidates
Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter
Hadapród-Tiszthelyettes (Hung.)
Kadet-časnički zamjenik (Croatian)
(Cadet Warrant Officer, UK Warrant Officer I, or US Warrant Officer) (until 1908)
Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter

Kadet-Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter

Kadet-Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter

Kadet-Důstojnický zástupce (Czech)

K.u.k. Kadett-Offziersstellvertreter bis 1908.png Kadett-Offiziersstellvertreter k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-08.png
Fähnrich (ab 1908)
Zászlós (Hung.)
Stegar (Romanian)

Praporčík (Czech)
Zastavnik (Croatian)

Chorąży (Polish)
(Ensign or Officer Cadet) (from 1908 - replaced the CWO/WO I)

Fähnrich

Praporčík (Czech)

Fähnrich

Praporčík (Czech)

Fähnrich

Praporčík (Czech)

K.u.k. Fahnrich 1908-18.png Fahnrich der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1908-18.png
Low Grade Officers
Leutnant
Hadnagy (Hung.)

Poručík (Czech)
Podporucznik (Polish)
Locotenent (Romanian)
Poručnik (Croatian)
Tenente (Italian)
( Lieutenant/2nd Lieutenant)

Leutnant

Poručík (Czech)

Leutnant

Poručík (Czech)

Leutnant

Poručík (Czech)

K.u.k. Leutnant orangegelbe Eaglisierung.png Leutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Oberleutnant
Főhadnagy (Hung.)
Nadporučík (Czech)
Locotenent-major (Romanian)
Porucznik (Polish)
Natporučnik (Croatian)
(First Lieutenant/Lieutenant)
Oberleutnant

Nadporučík (Czech)

Oberleutnant

Nadporučík (Czech)

Oberleutnant

Nadporučík (Czech)

K.u.k. Oberleutnant der Infanterie.png Oberleutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe1907-18.png
Captains
Hauptmann
Százados (Hung.)
Kapitán (Czech)
Kapitan (Polish)
Căpitan (Romanian)/
Satnik (Croatian)
Capitano (Italian)
(Captain)
Rittmeister

Rytmistr (Czech)

Hauptmann

Kapitán (Czech)

Hauptmann

Kapitán (Czech)

K.u.k. Hauptmann der Infanterie.png Hauptmann k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Staff-Officers
Major
Őrnagy (Hung.)
Maior (Romanian)
Bojnik (Croatian)
Maggiore (Italian)
Major

Major (Czech)

Major

Major (Czech)

Major

Major (Czech)

K.u.k. Major.png Major k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png
Oberstleutnant
Alezredes (Hung.)
Podplukovník (Czech)
Locotenent-colonel (Romanian)
Potpukovnik (Croatian)
(Lieutenant Colonel)
Oberstleutnant

Podplukovník (Czech)

Oberstleutnant

Podplukovník (Czech)

Oberstleutnant

Podplukovník (Czech)

K.u.k. Oberstleutnant.png Oberstleutnant k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-1918.png
Oberst
Ezredes (Hung.)
Plukovník (Czech)
Colonel (Romanian)
Pułkownik (Polish)
Pukovnik (Croatian)
(Colonel)
Oberst

Plukovník (Czech)

Oberst

Plukovník (Czech)

Oberst

Plukovník (Czech)

K.u.k. Oberst RK VI.png Oberst k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png

Please note, that the first name is always in German.

General officers

InfantryCavalryArtilleryRiflesRank insignias
Generalmajor  | Vezérőrnagy (Hung.)  |  Generálmajor (Czech)  | General-maior (Romanian)  | General-bojnik (Croatian)  | Maggiore Generale (Italian)
(en: Major general, however, equiv. to Brigadier-General)
K.u.k. Generalmajor.png
Feldmarschall-Leutnant  | Altábornagy (Hung.)  |  polní podmaršálek (Czech)  | Podmaršal (Croatian)  | Marseciallo Tenente (Italian)
(en: Field marshal lieutenant, equiv. to Major-General)
K.u.k. Feldmarschall-Lt -1918.png
General of the branch (en: Lieutenant general) K.u.k. Feldzeugmeister.png
  • General der Infanterie
  • Gyalogsági tábornok (Hung.)
  • Generál pěchoty (Czech)
  • General pješaštva (Croatian)
  • General piechoty (Polish)
  • Generale della fanteria (Italian)
    (en: General of the Infantry)
no equivalent
since 1915 Generaloberst  | Vezérezredes (Hung.)  | General-pukovnik (Croatian)  | Generálplukovník (Czech)  | General pulkownik (Polish) | General Polkovnik (Slovene)

(en: Colonel general)

K.u.k. Generaloberst.png
Feldmarschall  | Tábornagy (Hung.)  | Polní maršál (Czech)  | Feldmaršal (Croatian)  | Mareșal (Romanian)  | Marszałek (Polish)
(en: Field marshal)
K.u.k. Feldmarschall.png
Note

The ranks displayed after the "/" are the Hungarian and Croatian equivalents of the Austrian ranks, since they were used in this format in the Magyar Királyi Honvédség / königlich ungarische Landwehr (Royal Hungarian Home Defence Forces) as well as in the Kraljevsko Hrvatsko Domobranstvo / königlich kroatische Landwehr (Royal Croatian Home Guard).

The English equivalents are from the Austrian Bundesheer's homepage.

Types of uniforms

See also

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The following shown below is a history of the Austrian military history.

Imperial and Royal Army during the Napoleonic Wars

The Imperial and Royal or Imperial Austrian Army was strictly speaking, the armed force of the Holy Roman Empire under its last monarch, the Habsburg Emperor Francis II, although in reality, it was nearly all composed of the Habsburg army. When the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, it assumed its title of the Army of the Austrian Empire under the same monarch, now known as Emperor Francis I of Austria.

The 87th Infantry Division was a formation of the Imperial German Army in World War I. The division was formed in February 1915 as the provisional Dickhuth Corps, named after its commander, and became the 87th Infantry Division in August 1915. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.

The Royal Saxon Army was the military force of the Electorate (1682–1807) and later the Kingdom of Saxony (1807–1918). A regular Saxon army was first established in 1682 and it continued to exist until the abolition of the German monarchies in 1918. With the formation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon the Royal Saxon Army joined the French "Grande Armée" along with 37 other German states.

Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces

The Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces or Imperial and Royal Armed Forces were the military forces of Austria-Hungary. It comprised three main branches: The Army (Landstreitkräfte), the Navy (Kriegsmarine) and the Aviation Troops (Luftfahrtruppen). The Army in turn consisted of its own three branches: The Common Army, the Imperial-Royal Landwehr and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd.

The Bavarian Army was the army of the Electorate (1682–1806) and then Kingdom (1806–1919) of Bavaria. It existed from 1682 as the standing army of Bavaria until the merger of the military sovereignty (Wehrhoheit) of Bavaria into that of the German State in 1919. The Bavarian Army was never comparable to the armies of the Great Powers of the 19th century, but it did provide the Wittelsbach dynasty with sufficient scope of action, in the context of effective alliance politics, to transform Bavaria from a territorially-disjointed small state to the second-largest state of the German Empire after Prussia.

4th Cavalry Division (German Empire)

The 4th Cavalry Division was a unit of the German Army in World War I. The division was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.

Landwehr Corps Military unit

The Landwehr Corps was a corps level command of the German Army in World War I.

Battle of Caporetto order of battle

The Battle of Caporetto, took place from 24 October to 19 November 1917, near the town of Kobarid, on the Austro-Italian front of World War I. The battle was named after the Italian name of the town of Kobarid.

Imperial and Royal Hussars

Together with the Dragoons and Uhlans, the Imperial and Royal Hussars, made up the cavalry of the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1867 to 1918, both in the Common Army and in the Hungarian Landwehr, where they were known as the Royal Hungarian Hussars.

Common Army

The Common Army as it was officially designated by the Imperial and Royal Military Administration, was the largest part of the Austro-Hungarian land forces from 1867 to 1914, the other two elements being the Imperial-Royal Landwehr and the Royal Hungarian Landwehr. However, it was simply known as the Army (Heer) by the Emperor and in peacetime laws, and, after 1918, colloquially called the k.u.k. Armee.

Imperial-Royal Landwehr

The Imperial-Royal Landwehr, also called the Austrian Landwehr, was the territorial army of the Cisleithanian or Austrian half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1869 to 1918. Its counterpart was the Royal Hungarian Landwehr. The two Landwehrs, together with the Common Army and the Imperial and Royal Navy, made up the armed forces of Austria-Hungary.

Royal Hungarian Honvéd

The Royal Hungarian Honvéd, Royal Hungarian Honved or Royal Hungarian Landwehr, commonly known as the Honved, Honvéd or in Hungarian, Honvédség, was one of the four armed forces of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918. The others were its counterpart the Austrian Landwehr, the Common Army and the Imperial and Royal Navy. The word "honvéd" means an enlisted private without a rank, literally "Defender of the Homeland". "Honvédség" is degree of the noun and refers to the community, institution of these soldiers.

Imperial-Royal Mountain Troops

The Imperial-Royal Mountain Troops were founded in 1906 as part of the Austrian Landwehr, the territorial army of the Cisleithanian half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As a result, the abbreviation "k.k." was used and not "k.u.k." which would have implied a connexion with the Hungarian half of the Empire.

The arm of the Common Army of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy that was usually called the Imperial and Royal Infantry comprised two elements:

Johann Iskrić

Johann Iskrić was a Croatian Serb army officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and later in the Yugoslav Army and Croatian army, who fought in the Battles of the Isonzo. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa.

References

  1. Rothenberg, G. (1976). The Army of Francis Joseph . West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press. p.  83. ISBN   0911198415.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. Rothenberg 1976, p. 193.
  3. John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft, Who's Who in Military History: From 1453 to the Present Day (2001) p, 12.
  4. Rothenberg 1976, pp. 97, 99, 113–17, 124–25, 159.
  5. Rothenberg 1976, p. 121.
  6. Rothenberg 1976, p. 130.
  7. Rothenberg 1976, p. 143.
  8. Rothenberg 1976, pp. 101–02.
  9. Rothenberg 1976, p. 81.
  10. 1 2 Rothenberg 1976, p. 126.
  11. Rothenberg 1976, pp. 126, 165.
  12. 1 2 Rothenberg 1976, p. 128.
  13. Rothenberg 1976, p. 118.
  14. Rothenberg 1976, p. 142, 151.
  15. 1 2 Rothenberg 1976, p. 78.
  16. Rothenberg 1976, pp. 125–26.
  17. 1 2 Rothenberg 1976, p. 175.
  18. Steiner, Glenn Jewison & Jörg C. "Austro-Hungarian Land Forces 1848-1918". www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-02-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  1. The German word Standschütze is derived from Schützenstand or Schießstand, which means "firing point" or "firing range", and generally refers to the members of a local shooting club – the Schießstand, Schützenstand or Schützenverein – in German-speaking countries. These were in essence volunteer militia. They still exist today, albeit their role is purely social and ceremonial.
  2. enrolliert is the Austrian military jargon for "enrolled" (from the Old French enroller).

Further reading

In German