Why did Austria Hungray have a hard time with Serbia?

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Panzerfaust XxX
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Why did Austria Hungray have a hard time with Serbia?

Post by Panzerfaust XxX » 11 Nov 2004 20:35

I don't know how well the Austrian military was trained and armed. But had a rough time in Serbia. I am told the Serbs had German training and weapons. I know they were hardened from war in their own country. The Austrians launched three assaults on Serbia failing in all of them. And only won the fourth time with support from their allies. Why was it so hard for Austria to defeat Serbia?

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Post by Karl da Kraut » 12 Nov 2004 16:35

Well, a major reason for the faliure was certainly the A-H's high command plan to launch after the outbreak of war both an offensive against Russia (in Galicia) and Serbia. In the end it turned out that both forces weren't strong enough to achieve their aims.

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A/H and Serbia

Post by kosta » 28 Nov 2004 01:56

When you are fighting for your very homes and families, you seem to give more than 100%!! This was Serbia's position in 1914, any defeat or retreat meant the loss of homes, and thousands of refugees. And on top of that where could they retreat to ?? Serbia was small and didn't have any depth, as was proved in 1915. However they did do a miracle in their 1915 fall retreat, the army was pushed out of Serbia, but they continued the fight!! In the end it was the Serbian Army that broke the Bulgarian lines, and raced into the rear of the Central powers!! A/H should have stayed on the defensive either in Galicia or the Balkans .

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cipiao
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Post by cipiao » 05 Dec 2004 23:49

Austria failed because Serbia knew the attack plannes of the empire, since 1908 or 1909. The head of the empire secret service, a colonel, of whom i dont remember the name, was paid by the russians, and have give them the austrian plannes for a war in the balkans. He was caught, I think in 1912, but no major alteration was made, and so, by the Russians, the Serbs knew what to expect. this was the serbian «miracle»; but it is also true, that the serbians fought very well. Both things: knowing the enemy projects, and a decided and brave defense made them hold until the end of 1915.

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The Edge
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Bad judgement

Post by The Edge » 12 Jan 2006 18:09

Serbs expected mayor A-H attack over Danube river, not over Drina. When Austrians launched their first offensive 1914, Serb HQ was quite suprised where their main attack come from (5th A-H army). They were also delighted, because this means Austrians chose to attack over mountainous terrain with poor communications, over the river with no bridges!
Of course, attack failed, simply because Serbs were able to group more troops than Austrians.
Next time Austrians attacked, they followed the same route. This time they menage to group more forces (5th & 6th armies), so Serbs was unable to repulse them because of their inherent weaknesses - not enough men and no domestic war industry (especially not enough artillery ammo). On the other hand, A-H forces run in all sorts of trouble (big casualty rate, bad terrain, logistic nightmare, Montenegrian offensive towards Sarajevo). So this offencive ended as DRAW.
In third offensive Austrians pushed Serbian forces deep in their teritory, but still fighting remain on bad terrain. Serbs were on their knees when two major factors changed situation dramaticaly - Serbian 1st army was out of fighting for couple of days, their troops get a rest, resupply and big morale trust, because artillery ammo from France arrived. On the other hand, A-H Balkan HQ beleived Serbs are finished and started to shift their major attack towards Belgrade. So Serbian counterattack catch them in the worst moment - troops tired (weather was appaling), logistic lines overstreched (roads in some cases were non-existed, because of mud), bulk of the forces in movement to wrong place. Not suprisingly, Serbs got their biggest victory.
Major reason for A-H lack of succes in 1914 on Sebian front was their overconfidance and understating of opponent ("Serbian militia") - this led to such a bad choice of direction of main attack and impatience to "finish them for good".

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Post by Animal » 13 Jan 2006 09:23

cipiao wrote:Austria failed because Serbia knew the attack plannes of the empire, since 1908 or 1909. The head of the empire secret service, a colonel, of whom i dont remember the name, was paid by the russians, and have give them the austrian plannes for a war in the balkans. He was caught, I think in 1912, but no major alteration was made, and so, by the Russians, the Serbs knew what to expect. this was the serbian «miracle»; but it is also true, that the serbians fought very well. Both things: knowing the enemy projects, and a decided and brave defense made them hold until the end of 1915.
I believe you're talking about Alfred Redl, who had a taste for luxury items more expensive than could be afforded on a colonel's pay, and was a homosexual. He committed suicide in 1913 after being found out, but the plans couldn't be changed in time for the war's outbreak. In fact there was a movie made about him in 1985, "Colonel Redl", with Klaus Maria Brandauer in the title role. It is available on video if you'd like to rent it.

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maxxx
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Post by maxxx » 13 Jan 2006 20:20

And AFAIK Oberst Redl gave Away the plans for the russian campaign, not for the attack on serbia?

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The Edge
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Post by The Edge » 16 Jan 2006 09:01

maxxx wrote:And AFAIK Oberst Redl gave Away the plans for the russian campaign, not for the attack on serbia?

I beleive that was the case.

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