A-H True Army Size

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C.Z.A.R.
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A-H True Army Size

Post by C.Z.A.R. » 23 Jul 2022 05:16

Hyello!,

World War I is filled with millions of men “deployed”, but only a fraction were “teeth” and not “tail” soldiers. After translating some work of N.N Golovnin to find out that Russia never surpassed 3,500,000 active frontline soldiers, this raises many questions about Austria Hungary. Many sources are stated as A-H having 6,000,000+ men, but I doubt this was all field strength. So, I ask today that we piece together a number of the “true” fighting force of Austria-Hungary from 1914-1918.

CZAR.

Peter89
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Re: A-H True Army Size

Post by Peter89 » 26 Jul 2022 07:52

C.Z.A.R. wrote:
23 Jul 2022 05:16
Hyello!,

World War I is filled with millions of men “deployed”, but only a fraction were “teeth” and not “tail” soldiers. After translating some work of N.N Golovnin to find out that Russia never surpassed 3,500,000 active frontline soldiers, this raises many questions about Austria Hungary. Many sources are stated as A-H having 6,000,000+ men, but I doubt this was all field strength. So, I ask today that we piece together a number of the “true” fighting force of Austria-Hungary from 1914-1918.

CZAR.
Do you mean at any given moment or combined?

By the way, it is questionable why the "tail" soldiers don't count as "true" fighting force; without them, the "teeth" soldiers could do nothing.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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pikeshot1600
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Re: A-H True Army Size

Post by pikeshot1600 » 26 Jul 2022 17:18

Not sure how that info can be determined without access to official archives, and even then it probably would be a lot of research. There are many entries on-line, but the numbers are all over the place. However, there has to be a distinction between troops mobilized and those deployed. The total of troops mobilized is never an indication of combat strength (which is often determined both by topography and by logistical adequacy).

A-H mobilized something on the order of 7,800,000 1914-1918, the number being approximate and taken from several different sources. Most were part of the "tail." In 1914 (according to multiple on-line indications, whatever they are worth) there were 450,000 on active duty and 3,500,000 reserves available for call up. It is more than doubtful that the 7.8m was ever anticipated, but until 1917 A-H was fighting on three major fronts.

After 1915, these fronts became mostly characterized by defensive operations in very mountainous terrain (Alps, Balkans, Carpathians). Not to say there were not offensive ops too (Romania, Albania, Caporetto), however after the disaster in Poland in 1914 (Galicia/Lemberg), A-H had lost about 400,000 effectives out of 1,200,000 committed, and the army could never really recover from the loss of great numbers of regular officers and NCOs.

Large numbers of troops were engaged in occupation in Serbia and later in Ukraine after Russia left the war. I have not seen numbers indicated. Against Italy, A-H stayed primarily on the defensive, but still had to commit large numbers of troops to defend the Isonzo and also in the Alps. I have not found specific numbers for A-H in the Italian theater.

All that said, considering the losses of 1914-15, it is impressive that A-H continued an effective defensive strategy for three more years. In the initial campaigns in Serbia and Poland, the army lost about 10% of its mobilized manpower - about 400,000 of 4,000,000 - and a third of its combat effectives. Still, the populous heartland of the empire and all its industrial areas were not lost to enemy forces at any time.

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