Best books on Austria-Hungary

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Marcus
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Best books on Austria-Hungary

Post by Marcus » 05 Apr 2004 18:29

I unfortunately only know the absolute basics about Austria-Hungary, something I'd like to correct, so I'd appreciate your suggestions on books (preferabbly in English) on the topic.
Thanks.

/Marcus

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Orok
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Post by Orok » 05 Apr 2004 19:02

Marcus,

For a basic introduction to Austrian and later Austro-Hungarian Army, the standard works in English are:

Duffy, Christopher Instrument of War: The Austrian Army in the Seven Years War, Emperor’s Press (2000, ISBN 1883476194)

Rothenberg, Gunther E. Napoleon's Great Adversary: Archduke Charles and the Austrian Army, 1792-1814, Sarpedon Publishers (New York, NY, USA, 1995, ISBN: 1-885119-21-6), first published in 1982 by B. T. Batsford Ltd

Rothenberg, Gunther E. The Army of Francis Joseph, Purdue University Press (West Lafayette, IN, USA, 1981, ISBN 0911198415)

These three titles would form a continuous (almost :lol: ) history of the army from 1740 down to 1918.

For Austrian Navy:

Sondhaus, Lawrence The Habsburg Empire and the Sea: Austrian Naval Policy, 1797-1866, Purdue University Press (West Lafayette, IN, USA, 1989, ISBN 0911198970)

Sondhaus, Lawrence The Naval Policy of Austria-Hungary, 1867-1918: Navalism, Industrial Development, and the Politics of Dualism, Purdue University Press (West Lafayette, IN, USA, 1994, ISBN 1557530343)

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 05 Apr 2004 19:37

Marcus,

For the general history of the monarchy, there are quite a number of works in English, although I would not consider any of them as good as a standard study. The closest perhaps is:

Taylor, Alan John Percivale The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918: A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, University of Chicago Press (December 1983, ISBN: 0226791459)

Another very serviceable and more recent study that accomplishes this title would be:

Ingrao, Charles W. The Habsburg Monarchy, 1618-1815, Cambridge University Press (2nd edition, June 29, 2000, ISBN: 0521785057)

Again this two titles together would cover the period from 1618 down to 1918.

If you only interested in military history and just want to know the minimum general history background to each conflict where Austria-Hungary is involved, I would recommend the following short study:

Jelavich, Barbara The Habsburg Empire in European Affairs, 1814-1918, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL, USA, 1969)

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 05 Apr 2004 19:59

Marcus,

As to Austro-Hungarian military performance in World War One, the sad fact is there is no book-length serious general study ever published in the English language. Although not specific studies of the Austro-Hungarian army, the Following two titles contain good accounts and information on it:

Stone, Norman The Eastern Front 1914-1917, Penguin Books (1998);

Strachan, Hew The First World War: To Arms, Oxford Press (April 2003, ISBN: 0199261911) (so far only volume 1 published)

Another good account by an eye-witness, though not a specific military study and long out of print, would be:

Glaise-Horstenau, Edmund von The Collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, J.M. Dent and Sons Limited (London and Toronto 1930)

As to specific fronts, we are lucky to have Dr. Schindler's standard study of the Isonzo Front:

Schindler, John R. Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT, USA, 2001, ISBN 0-275-97204-6)

As far as I know there is no book length study of the Austro-Hungarian army on the Russian, Romanian and Serbian Fronts in the English language. :(

Best Regards!


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Post by Orok » 05 Apr 2004 20:14

Marcus,

For the so-called nationalist problems of the Austro-Hungarian army, the standard study of the officer corps is:

Deák, István Beyond Nationalism: A Social and Political History of the Habsburg Officer Corps 1848-1918, Oxford University Press, (May 1990, ISBN: 019504505X)

There is no general study of nationalism of the enlisted men in English. However there is a good study on one of the nationalities:

Sondhaus, Lawrence In the Service of the Emperor, Italians in the Austrian Armed Forces, 1814-1918, East European Monographs, (May 15, 1990, ISBN: 0880331887)

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 05 Apr 2004 20:46

Marcus,

These are the biographies of the last two Austro-Hungarian Chief of the General Staff in English:

Lackey, Scott W. The Rebirth of the Habsburg Army: Friedrich Beck and the Rise of the General Staff, Greenwood Publishing Group, (October 30, 1995, ISBN: 0313293619)

Sondhaus, Lawrence Franz Conrad Von Hötzendorf: Architect of the Apocalypse, Central European Histories, Prometheus Books (2000, ASIN 0391040979)

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 06 Apr 2004 02:02

For those of you interested in uniforms and insignia, the standard study in Englilsh is:

Rest, Stefan; Ortner, Christian & Ilming, Thomas The Emperor’s Coat in the First World War: The Uniforms and Equipment of the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1914 to 1918, Verlag Militaria (Wien, Austria, 2002, ISBN 3-9501642-1-9)

Of course there are always the Osprey booklets you can buy:

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Younghusband, Bill The Austrian Army 1740–80 (1) Cavalry, Men-at-Arms 271, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1994, ISBN 1-85532-415-6)

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Younghusband, Bill The Austrian Army 1740–80 (2) Infantry, Men-at-Arms 276, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1994, ISBN 1-85532-418-0)

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Younghusband, Bill The Austrian Army 1740–80 (3) Specialist Troops, Men-at-Arms 280, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1995, ISBN 1-85532-527-6)

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Fosten, Bryan Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1) Infantry, Men-at-Arms 176, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1986, ISBN 1-85045-689-4)

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Fosten, Bryan Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (2) Cavalry, Men-at-Arms 181, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1986, ISBN 1-85045-726-2)

Haythornthwaite, Philip & Fosten, Bryan Austrian Specialist Troops of the Napoleonic Wars, Men-at-Arms 223, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1990, ISBN 1-85045-950-8 )

Hollins, David & Burn, Jeffrey Austrian Grenadiers and Infantry 1788–1816, Warrior 24, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1998, ISBN 1-85532-742-2)

Hollins, David & Younghusband, Bill Austrian Auxiliary Troops 1792–1816, Men-at-Arms 299, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1996, ISBN 1-85532-620-5)

Pavlovic, Darko The Austrian Army 1836–66 (1) Infantry, Men-at-Arms 323, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1999, ISBN 0-85532-801-1)

Pavlovic, Darko The Austrian Army 1836–66 (2) Cavalry, Men-at-Arms 329, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 1999, ISBN 0-85532-800-3)

Jung, Peter & Pavlovic, Darko The Austro-Hungarian Forces in World War I (1) 1914-16, Men-at-Arms 392, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 2003, ISBN 1-84176-594-5)

Jung, Peter & Pavlovic, Darko The Austro-Hungarian Forces in World War I (2) 1916-18, Men-at-Arms 397, Osprey Publishing (Oxford, UK, 2003, ISBN 1-84176-595-3)

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 06 Apr 2004 02:03

KaaN,

Thanks for the links. You are so considerate! :lol:

Best Regards!

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Post by Orok » 06 Apr 2004 15:59

And Everybody,

Don't you forget this eternal classic study of life in the last years of the Habsburg empire and its ever victorious army! :lol:

Best Regards!
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Post by Marcus » 06 Apr 2004 21:14

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

btw. the last one is the only one of them I've read for some reason :-)

/Marcus

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Post by Marcus » 02 May 2004 18:20

I've just ordered a copy of "The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918: A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary" by Alan John Percivale Taylor, I hope that will be a good place to start.

/Marcus

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Recommended reading

Post by Jon Sutton » 02 May 2004 20:13

Try also: "The decline and fall of the Habsburg Empire 1815-1918" by Alan Sked, published by Longman ISBN 0 582 35666 0. The author uses the title deliberately to evoke "The decline and fall of the Roman Empire" by Gibbons but in fact his view is that Austro-Hungarian Empire was by no means "in decline" during this period. Very readable.

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Post by Orok » 05 May 2004 01:19

Marcus and Jon,

I did not recommend Alan Sked's very readable book for the following reasons:

- This book is not a general history book, but an anthology of several thematic studies.

- This book champaigns the maveric view that the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was not in decline at all at its demise and the collapse was all avoidable.

- Mr. Sked absolutely has no clue as to the military aspects of the Monarchy and generally deals with them in crude generalization or fails to deal with them at all.

For the first two reasons I don't think this is a book for people who first dab into the Monarchy's complex history, it only serves to confuse and mislead such readers. For the last reason I would not recommend it to people who are primarily interested in military histories.

But as Jon said, it's a fun reading, although some people might find some of Mr. Sked's claims preposterous and overly simplistic. 8)

Jon Sutton wrote:The author uses the title deliberately to evoke "The decline and fall of the Roman Empire" by Gibbons but in fact his view is that Austro-Hungarian Empire was by no means "in decline" during this period. Very readable.


Jon,

Mr. Sked was accused in academic circle as trying to mislead readers by choosing an impropriate title for his book. In an interview Mr. Sked clarified that since it was a collection of essays, the title of the book was chosen by his editor and publisher, not by him. I think it's a marketing gimmick to evoke the name of the great classic by Gibbon! Only it backfired! :lol:

Best Regards!

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Post by Karl » 08 May 2004 06:44

Orok wrote:- This book champaigns the maveric view that the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was not in decline at all at its demise and the collapse was all avoidable.


Ha-ha.

Anyway, I liked this one too:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... 9?v=glance

Regards.

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