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Famine

(1,380 words)

Author(s): Corni, Gustavo
Famine The long duration of the war, reciprocal blockades of food imports, and the exploitation of regions occupied by the Central Powers all caused occasional dramatic occurrences of famine in the World War. In the German Reich and Austria especially, the food situation during the second half of the war was appalling. In Germany, the lack of planning to maintain the food supply in case of war was partly the blame for the quantitative and qualitative decline in the diet of a majority of the German civilian population. The weekly flour ration fell…

Rainbow Books

(583 words)

Author(s): Zala, Sacha
Rainbow Books Official printed texts or collections of diplomatic documents, appearing on an ad hoc basis treating primarily questions of foreign policy. A government published “rainbow books,” frequently during or after an international crisis, in order to inform its parliament and/or public, to legitimize its own policy, and/or to criticize the policy of a foreign state. The books owe their name to the colors of their bindings, used on a consistent basis by the various governments: Great Britain blue; Germa…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Eastern Front

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Eastern Front The topography of the Eastern Front differed markedly from that of the Western Front. For one thing, it was twice as long as the Western Front, stretching in an irregular line from the southeast corner of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea – including the Bulgarian Front and all the way to the Aegean Sea. Although the terrain was mainly gently rolling, or else flat and forested, the Carpathian Mountains along the Polish and Hungarian borders could pose a significant obstacle for militar…

The ‘Rebirth of Greater Germany’: The Austro-German Alliance and the Outbreak of War

(9,858 words)

Author(s): Vermeiren, Jan
Vermeiren, Jan - The ‘Rebirth of Greater Germany’: The Austro-German Alliance and the Outbreak of War Keywords: Austro-Hungarian declaration | German war | Habsburg Monarchy | outbreak ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Austria-Hungary | Pre-war period | Home fronts | Politics | Society Abstract: This chapter examines the outbreak of Greater German euphoria at the start of the war and the altered Reich German perception (and more precisely, public depiction) of an ally previously seen as an anachronistic and mortally ill entity,…

Potiorek, Oskar

(317 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Potiorek, Oskar (November 11, 1853, Bleiburg [Carinthia] – December 17, 1933, Klagenfurt), Austrian general. Potiorek had a brilliant career in the General Staff. From 1892 he was head of the Operations Bureau, and in 1902 he was officially appointed deputy head of the General Staff. It was the greatest disappointment for him when in 1906 not he, but Conrad von Hötzendorf, became the new chief of the Austrian Imperial General Staff. Despite this Potiorek was recognized as having great talent, and …

Military Losses (Casualties)

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Overmans, Rüdiger
Military Losses (Casualties) There is little agreement in the literature as to the casualties sustained by the states that took part in the First World War. Figures vary between about 6 and about 13 million. A principle reason for the different estimates lies in the fact that definitions of the term “casualties” differ greatly. In the narrow military terminology of the time and in the specialized military literature, “casualties” frequently included all those soldiers who were no longer available t…

Entente

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jaques
Entente Also referred to as the Triple Entente, this was one of the great alliances that had formed in Europe at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Although these alliances are ascribed a certain responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War, they were far less stable and less systematically structured than was later claimed. The system of alliances created by Reich Chancellor Bismarck after the war of 1870/1871 had as its goal the isolation of France in Europe, and to that end the maintenance of good relations with…

“We Stand on the Threshold of a New Age”: Alice Masaryková, the Czechoslovak Red Cross, and the Building of a New Europe

(8,699 words)

Author(s): Berglund, Bruce R.
Berglund, Bruce R. - “We Stand on the Threshold of a New Age”: Alice Masaryková, the Czechoslovak Red Cross, and the Building of a New Europe Keywords: Alice Garrigue Masaryková | Czechoslovakia; Europe | Red Cross ISFWWS-Keywords: Legacy | Society | Gender | Austria-Hungary | The United States of America | Religion | Politics Abstract: Alice Garrigue Masaryková has long been left in the historical shadow of her father, who served seventeen years as Czechoslovakia's first president, and her brother Jan, the diplomat whose mysterious…

Who Provided Care for Wounded and Disabled Soldiers? Conceptualizing State-Civil Society Relationship in First World War Austria

(11,870 words)

Author(s): Hsia, Ke-chin
Hsia, Ke-chin - Who Provided Care for Wounded and Disabled Soldiers? Conceptualizing State-Civil Society Relationship in First World War Austria ISFWWS-Keywords: Austria-Hungary | Home fronts | Society | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Economy | Politics Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_015 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Hsia, Ke-chin

Armed Forces (Austria-Hungary)

(3,011 words)

Author(s): Rauchensteiner, Manfried
Armed Forces (Austria-Hungary) The organization of the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces during the First World War originated in the Compromise of 1867. Under this agreement the Habsburg Monarchy sported the outward appearance of a dual monarchy, yet internally there was minimal uniformity, and the merest balance of interests. The major weakness of the Compromise between the Kingdom of Hungary and the remainder of the Double Monarchy was the fact that the Slavs within Austria-Hungary, who had mainly s…

Drina

(966 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Drina Border river between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. The battle of the Drina (August 12–21, 1914) was, for Austria-Hungary, the most unfortunate conceivable prelude to the war against Serbia. The prime cause was the incomplete deployment of the Austro-Hungarian forces. The forces ranged against Serbia comprised not only the Fourth and Fifth Armies, but also the Second Army, which had been earmarked for use against the Russians in the event of the opening of a second front in Galicia. However…

Introduction

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Bobič, Pavlina
Bobič, Pavlina - Introduction Keywords: Austria-Hungary | Catholic Church | Franz Ferdinand | ideological legitimation | Slovenian Abstract: This chapter examines the Catholic Church's interpretation of the causes of the war, an interpretation which endowed the war with a moral dimension and conferred on it adequate ideological legitimation. It occupies with the rhetoric employed by the Church in the context of Franz Ferdinand's assassination and the declaration of the state of siege that …

Artillery

(3,394 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Artillery Next to infantry and cavalry, artillery was the third combat arm of the land forces in 1914. Its task was to support other branches of the service, in particular the infantry. Since modern warfare was thought of as a war of movement, artillery doctrine, equipment and training were designed for mobile combat. It had to be able to follow the infantry in the field. This requirement restricted the weight and thus the caliber and ballistic capability of the guns. The primary weapons of the a…

Bucharest

(352 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Bucharest Capital of Romania. On August 27, 1916, Romania entered the war against the Central Powers. As early as August 28, a German zeppelin attacked the city in response. Further airship raids followed on September 4, 5, and 24. On September 25, Bucharest experienced the first air raid carried out by aircraft from the German Bomber Wing 1. Until November 20, seven more raids flown either by Zeppelins or by aircraft, or a combination of both, targeted the city. When the “Army of the Danube,” a …

Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is the peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, by Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Soviet Russia. After the October Revolution, the fact that the Bolsheviks had included a call for an immediate end to the war in their October Manifesto introduced the prospect of concluding a separate peace with the Central Powers. Already on November 8, 1917, one day after the fall of the Provisional Government, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets rejected Lenin’s Decree on Peace, his proposal for an immediate “peace witho…

War Aims

(1,667 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Wolfgang J.
War Aims Prior to the outbreak of the war, none of the European Powers had pursued concrete territorial annexation aims that might have significantly influenced their decision to take up arms. Soon after the beginning of the war, however, the issue of war aims began to be debated in all countries, at first mostly behind closed doors. The British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey was able to prevent a public discussion of British war aims. Great Britain was quite resolute in its demand that the ind…

Balkan Wars

(957 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Balkan Wars Two wars in the Balkans region (1912–1913) that caused the Ottoman Empire to lose most of its European territories. During this period of conflict there were differences between the Great Powers concerning the consequences of the Balkan Wars. Against the backdrop of the Italo-Turkish war (1911–1912), the ethnically diverse and unstable Southeastern European States led by Serbia attempted to secure for themselves a share of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. A direct consequence of the Turkish weakness wa…

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este

(274 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este (December 18, 1863, Graz – June 28, 1914, Sarajevo [murdered]), Archduke of Austria-Este. Obligatory for archdukes, Franz Ferdinand underwent military service, soon advancing in royal succession after the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889. Convinced that the struggle for independence of the Magyar political elites would very soon destroy the Habsburg Empire, Franz Ferdinand opposed, without compromising, every concession to Hungary. Instead, he planned a…

Occupation (East)

(1,730 words)

Author(s): Liulevicius, Vejas Gabriel
Occupation (East) In 1915, the German Reich and Austria-Hungary conquered enormous areas of Eastern Europe, and subjected them to an occupation regime. Among the areas in question were Russian Poland and Lithuania, and parts of the Baltic provinces (now Estonia and Latvia), Belarus (White Russia), the Ukraine, Russia, and Serbia. These conquests were joined by Romania in 1916. As there was no detailed prewar planning for such an event, the occupation was initially characterized by improvisation and ad hoc policies with various different plans being proposed for the future…
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