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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…

Eugen of Austria

(275 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Eugen of Austria (May 21, 1863, Gross-Seelowitz, Moravia – December 30, 1954, Meran/Merano, Italy), archduke of Austria, and Austro-Hungarian fi…

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz

(940 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz (November 11, 1852, Penzing near Vienna – August 25, 1925, Bad Mergentheim), Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal. Conrad, who was made a baron in 1910 and a count in 1918, not only had a typical career in the General Staff which predestined him for a higher office in the future, his participation in the 1878–1879 campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 1882 in Dalmatia also provided him with direct battlefield experience. Service with various bureaus of the General Staff enha…

Karl I, Emperor of Austria

(573 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Karl I, Emperor of Austria (August, 17, 1887, Persenbeug [Lower Austria] – April 1, 1922, Quinta do Monte [Madeira]), Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary (Charles IV). Due to the death of the heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, Archduke Karl was suddenly compelled to assume the role of the successor to the throne without careful preparation, and thus too early. In view of the brevity of Emperor Franz Joseph’s remaining life expectancy, young Karl’s military assignment was above all intended to popularize his person and to assuage the conflicts of interest with the German Reich. Initially only entrusted with representative tasks, Archduke Karl commanded the XXth Corps during the South Tyrol Offensive of 1916. The hope that the name of the future emperor would thereby become linked to a decisive military offensive against Italy was dashed when the plans of the Austro-Hungarian High Army Command were foiled by the successful Russian offensive of General Brusilov. Subsequently, an increasingly massive deployment of German troops became necessary on the Austro-Hungarian Northeastern Front. At the same time, it also became apparent that the German Supreme Army Command was striving to take command of this front as well. This led to the creation of the Army Front Erzherzog Karl (Archduke Charles) in mid-October 1916. Although…

Franz Joseph I of Austria

(380 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Franz Joseph I of Austria (August 18, 1830, Schönbrunn [now part of Vienna] – November 21, 1916, Vienna), Emperor of Austria after 1848 and King of Hungary after 1867. Franz Joseph mounted the throne in 1848, during a war that threatened the very existe…

Kronstadt (Romanian Brașov)

(422 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Kronstadt (Romanian Brașov) Town in the Hungarian province of Transylvania, now in Romania. With their offensive into Transylvania after August 27, 1916, Romanian forces were able to achieve an enormous breakthrough towards Hungary. But the tide turned against them when, following the unfavorable situation in Dobrudja and the necessary reinforcement of Romanian troops on the Danube front, a total of three divisions was withdrawn from Transylvania. The strategic reserve (two divisions) earmarked for…

Friedrich, Archduke of Austria

(367 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Friedrich, Archduke of Austria (June 4, 1856, Gross-Seelowitz near Brünn [now Židlochovice near Brno in Moravia, Czech Republic] – December 30, 1936, Ungarisch-Altenburg [now Mosonmagyaróvár in Hungary]). Until 1914, Friedrich’s career as an army officer largely followed the traditional path set out for a Habsburg prince. In 1905 he became inspector general of all the armed forces of Austria-Hungary, a position which also placed him in line for a wartime command. After 1907, as the commander in chie…

Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten, Rudolf Freiherr

(230 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten, Rudolf Freiherr (April 26, 1861, Pernegg [Styria] – May 12, 1921, Graz), Austrian general and politician, minister of war. Stöger-Steiner followed a career in the general staff, where he reached the rank of major-general fairly early (1910). After the outbreak of war he continued his rapid rise, thanks not least to notable successes as divisional commander on the Russian front (Galicia) in 1914/15, and his dogged persistence as commander of th…

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 Septemb…

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 …

Galicia

(837 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Galicia This province, for the most part ceded to Austria in 1772 upon the first partitioning of Poland, never lost its reputation as a slowly developing region. Accountable for this was its overwhelmingly agrarian character and its prevailing social and national structures. The gentry, almost exclusively Polish, owned vast tracts of land. They were somewhat close to the Polish inhabitants, while the Ukrainian inhabitants (called Ruthenians by the Austrians), who dominated considerable territory,…

Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, Count Ottokar

(345 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, Count Ottokar (September 26, 1872, Dymokury, Bohemia – April 4, 1932, Vienna), Austrian diplomat and politician (foreign minister). Czernin was thought to be particularly close to the heir apparent, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. When in 1913 he became the Dual Monarchy’s envoy to Bucharest after only sporadic service in the diplomatic corps, it was rumoured that he had already been chosen as the next emperor’s first foreign secretary. Following the death of Franz Ferdinand in …

Stürgkh, Karl Count of

(431 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Stürgkh, Karl Count of (October 30, 1859, Graz – October 21, 1916, Vienna [assassinated]), Austrian politician, prime minister. Although Stürgkh was Austro-Hungarian minister of education from 1908 to 1911, this high point of his political career did not cause him to water down his distinctive personal profile. Perhaps it was this shortcoming that caused the Kaiser on November 3, 1911, to appoint him as head of the Austrian government. He failed in his attempts to find majorities in a parliament of …