The Austro-Hungarian Army

Discussions on all aspects of Austria-Hungary. Hosted by Glenn Jewison.
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Zachary
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The Austro-Hungarian Army

Post by Zachary » 28 Aug 2002 22:02

What did their uniforms look like? What was their format/organization? Guns?
Regards,
Zachary
:D
Last edited by Zachary on 29 Aug 2002 01:38, edited 1 time in total.

Luca
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Post by Luca » 29 Aug 2002 02:26

Thank You..but is possible delete completly the message as i vent write nothing here?
AHHHH i look now... but only in this email i look the x , in the others 3 no appare the x.
My 3th edit = i arrive for mtest section, probable is possible delete only the last email so if You delete i can also delete all this crazy long story..but ve You read this last message???????? :D :D :D :D

Lord Styphon
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Post by Lord Styphon » 29 Aug 2002 04:05

You can only delete things when they are the last post in a thread. After someone else posts, you can't remove it. It's there FOREVER!

Or until a moderator deletes it.

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Glenn2438
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A-H Army

Post by Glenn2438 » 29 Aug 2002 07:10

Zachary,

visit the Austro-Hugarian army site at:

http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/

Glenn

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Oberst Mihael
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Post by Oberst Mihael » 30 Aug 2002 22:53

The basic outlook was very similar to that of the German soldier, of course the army of the A-H was quite mixed as far as nationalities are concerned, some Croatian or Bosnian divisions stood out because of their uniforms (Bosnians had fez caps) and their fighting techniques (Croatians from Dalmatia were feared for their prefered style of fighting, which was to use a huge club to knock out enemies at close range...very messy). Other A-H nationalities, like the Czechs and Slovenes didn't stand out too much, as they were integrated into the army itself. Their guns and equipment differed quite a lot from the German, but there were also many similarities (hand grenades, stahlhelms...). I can't really say much about organization of the armed forces themselves, I'd like to point out General Svetozar Borojevic who was the C-in-C of the Austro-Hungarian forces on the Isonzo front, he was a Slav (I don't know if he was Bosnian or Croatian).

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tyskaorden
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Post by tyskaorden » 09 Sep 2002 07:53

The A-H army had a rather complicated organization first there was the common army made up of units from the whole empire, these regiments where styled K.u.K. (Kaiserlich und Königlich- Imperial and Royal). A note the variorious types of cavalry regiments recruited as follows Dragoons- the Austrian part of the empire, Hussars- the Hungarian parts of the empire, Lancers - mainly the Polish/Ukrainian lands of the Austrian part of the Empire (Galizien, Austrian Silesia).
Then there was the Kaiserlich Köninglich (K.K., not the absense of the und since this was not a joint formation) Landwehr for The Austrian part and The Magyar Kirialy Hoved (the Royal Hungarian Hoved or Homedefense) for the Hungarian part. There was also a third line Home Guard for the two parts.

Breaking this was the Bosnian troops, about Four regiments at the outbreak of WW 1 they had a separate establishment and Fez!.

Best regards,
Marcus Karlsson

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Glenn2438
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Landwehr

Post by Glenn2438 » 09 Sep 2002 19:27

Although both the k.k. Landwehr and the k.u. Landwehr (Honvéd) were recruited from the Austrian crownlands and the Kingdom of Hungary respectively they should not be confused as being "second line" or a reserve formation in the German meaning of the term. Although in effect the Austro-Hungarian monarchy had three separate armies, a conscript was just as likely to be called up for the common army or the respective Landwehr for the part of the monarchy he lived in. Terms of service were more or less identical and once conscripted, the individual served full time in any of the the three components in which he was inducted.

Incidentally, the 4 Bosnian regiments and the independent Jäger battalion (later eight indendndent Jäger battalions) although recruited specifically from their own recruiting districts in Bosnia-Herzegovinia were a component of the common army.

Glenn

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 11 Sep 2002 05:58

As the oberst said Croatian used huge clubs , but not for fighting , they used these primitive weapons to finish off the italians soldiers blinded and poisoned by gas attacks , does not seem a barve way of fighting to finish off in a such a way a wounded and helpless soldier .
Also would say that they were not really feared but DESPISED .

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SerbTiger
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Post by SerbTiger » 17 Sep 2002 23:43

General Svetozar Borojevic who was the C-in-C of the Austro-Hungarian forces on the Isonzo front


General Borojevic was Serbian however since he Served in the Austrian Army he is not very well known.

Also would say that they were not really feared but DESPISED .


I agree Croatian troops have had a long history of "questionable" behaviour in combat.
In WW2 Italian troops saved many thousands of Serbs and Gypsies from persecution in Croatia.

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 23 Sep 2002 08:11

Austria-Hungarian Army also suffered from a low level of leadership , Austrian generals were usually quite behind their times and after the Napoleonic war , and Napoleon defeat can hardly be attributed to Austria whose army was regularly defeated by him , Austria-Hungary suffered an almost unbroken record of defeats (Second Italian war of Independence , Prussian - Austrian war and in WWI suffered initial disastrous defeats by russia and were able to recover only with german help , also later in the war the russian were able to score victories against Austria-Hungary up to 1916 , in the italian front during all war Austria was able to go on the offensive only twice , first time on the highplate of Asiago and were repulsed with heavy losses and later at Caporetto (with notable german help , Rommel got his "Pour Le Merit " on the italian front ).
It was much easier to lead troops on the defensive , behind well prepared positions and with good morale and well fed than bring them to the offensive , if fact in the all war Italy went on the offensive at least ten times against the only two attempts of AH whose military high echelons were generally not of high caliber and would have had problems to handle a modern army on the offensive .
All this coupled with the multinational essence of the AH army made it an old army who could fight well only in weel prepared positions against an enemy attacking in the open .
Just to make things straight the exceptions of AH defeats were both on the italian front , Italy or Piemonte/Sardinia was then the traditional enemy of AH at the First Italian Independence war (still in this war AH suffered initials defeats by a Piemontese army who was clearly inferior ) and at the Third Italian Independence war which was fought concurrently to the Prussian-Austrian war and in which Austria soundly defeated the then Army of the Kingdom of Italy both on land at Custoza ( a place fatal to Italian fortunes and on sea at Lissa ) as I am italian do not want to give the impression that paint an overdark picture of AH army and leadership and am ready to recognize their victories against any enemy .
The occupation of Bosnia Herzegovina was a peacefull event and the last addition to AH .

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Glenn2438
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A-H Army

Post by Glenn2438 » 23 Sep 2002 17:15

Gladivm,

Thats a pretty sweeping statement about the quality of Austro-Hungarian leadership. I for one am of the opinion that it was certainly better than you give it credit for. Admittedly Austro-Hungary was on the defensive on the Isonzo for much of the war and in the South Tyrol but this was necessitated by having the vast majority of their forces on the Eastern Front and the numerical superiority of the Italian army. In the early weeks of the war in 1915 the Italian army completely failed to take advantage of the almost negligible opposition facing it.

Like their German counterparts, the Austro-Hungarian army suffered from the effect of the allied naval blockades and were never as well fed, equipped or armed as their entente enemies. It is to the credit of the Austro-Hungarian leadership and army, that against all the expectations, they managed to remain in the war to the end. With German support both Russia and Rumania were knocked out of the war as indeed for all intents and purposes was Serbia. When one considers the French mutinies, the Russian collapse, the Rumanian collapse, the collapse of the Italian 2nd army at Caporetto and the the similar defeat of the British 5th army in March 1918 then the performance of the Austro-Hungarian army should not be judged in isolation.

The Austro-Hungarian army did not have to resort to the wholesale shooting of hundreds of it's own soldiers to maintain discipline and morale like the British, French and Italian armies.

Finally, when one considers high level leadership, that of General Count Cadorna and his senior commanders can only be described as lamentable. Fortunately for Italy, General Diaz was of higher quality.

Regards
Glenn

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 24 Sep 2002 05:06

I never said that Italian military high echelons were of high calibre on the contrary , italian military doctrine was antiquate and surely not worth of the soldiers they sent to their deaths in senseless offensives . But this was a common occurence in WWI were the Commanders , especially French & Italians and also British , never understood how much machine guns had changed the form of defence and assault .
In fact Cadorna was a good soldier but in a wrong role , he was a good organizer and not a tactician or strategist , obviously he was employed in a position not suitable for his expertise .
AH military doctrine was also very antiquate and it reflected in the heavy defeats suffered by the army , do you think a good and well led army would have been defeted twice by the Serbians ? That a good and well led army would have been repeatedly heavly defeated in Poland by the Russians ?
without german help AH would have been knocked out of the war by Russia alone in the first months of war .
The offensives started by AH alone in the Italian & Russian front met with disaster and were resuplsed with heavy losses , they met with success only when had german backing .
In fact as I already pointed out the only significant AH successes were against Italians , in the First & Second Italian war of Independence and at Caporetto , this was mainly due to the dismayal italian generalship , Custoza and Lissa especially are examples of how much Italian comanders were responsible for these heavy defeats and the AH generalship was not much better as when confronting other enemies they always met with disaster .
Anyhow everybody is entitled to have his own opinion and mine of the AH commanders is not a favourable one .

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Post by Karl da Kraut » 25 Sep 2002 01:27

The A-H leadership faced a number of serious problems they wren't responsible for:

- AH wasn't a much industrialized empire. Thus the AH army couldn't equip their forces in the way Germany, for example, could. They were especially short of artillery and machine guns.
- Due to the multi-ethnical character of the AH empire their troops often lacked a determined fighting spirit or their loyality was even questionable.
- Since in many parts of AH people didn't exactly rally to the flags, the AH mobilization ratio (army/inhabitants) was pretty low throughout the war.
- lack of infrastructure in SE-parts of AH.

A serious setback for the AH army was the loss of 1/5 of their active officers at Lemberg early in the war. They could never make up for it.

Nevertheless I guess it's too generalizing to state the AH army performed only well on the Italian front.

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 30 Sep 2002 06:30

my point is that AH army could fare well only in defensive well prepared position and helped by natural configuration of terrain .

It is true that AH army did not suffer from mutinies but instead suffered form a very high rate of desertion , from Czech desereters , Italian and Russians formed full brigates , no other WWI army had such a problem , of course this was due to the nationality issue but probably also to poor leadership .

I personally cannot recall any AH High commanders , Generals or Fieldmarshall of such high standing and reputation to make me change my mind about the inadequadecy of AH leadership , would be glad if anyone can enlight me with examples of outstanding and successfull AH leadership in WWI .

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Robert Hurst
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The Austro-Hungarian Army

Post by Robert Hurst » 15 Oct 2002 15:21

Hi Zachary

Just seen your post, and I thought that you may be interested in the following book, that may answer some of your questions.

The book is entitled 'Austro-Hungarian Infantry 1914-1918', by J S Lucas,
published by Almark Publishing Co.Ltd., 270 Burlington Road, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4NL, United Kingdom.

The only problem is the book is out of print, so that if are interested in trying to find this book you will have to try and see if your local library or second-hand book seller has a copy, or you could try looking on the internet.

Regards

Bob

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