From Progress to Reversion

  • John A. DredgerEmail author


Dredger outlines the continued progress of the Habsburg army toward creation of a modern fighting force until the pivotal years in which a return to offensive tactics took place. During the 1880s, the high command continued attempts to improve weaponry with the purchase of repeating rifles and smokeless powder but the artillery suffered from the purchase of inferior Uchatius bronze-steel cannon. The war ministry retained the favor of parliamentary delegates toward the army by proving efficient and responsible, yet needlessly spent large sums on permanent fortresses because of the fear of fighting numerically superior opponents on multiple fronts. However, the early 1890s brought about a turning point in Austro-Hungarian military history with the appointment of Conrad, considered an innovative and progressive thinker, as tactical instructor at the war college in 1888 and the death of Archduke Albrecht in 1895. These changes resulted in a return to the errors of 1866.


Unpublished Documents

  1. Kriegsarchiv (KA), Vienna.Google Scholar
  2. Allerhöchster Oberbefehl (AhOB).Google Scholar
  3. Militärkanzlei Seiner Majestät des Kaisers (MKSM) Sonderreihe 1866–1918.Google Scholar
  4. Militärkanzlei des Generalinspektors der gesamten bewaffneten Macht Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand (MKFF) 1898–1914.Google Scholar
  5. Chef des Generalstabs (GSt) Operationsbüro 1866–1918.Google Scholar
  6. Zentralstellen.Google Scholar
  7. Kriegsministerium (KM) Präsidialbüro (Präsidium) 1866–1918.Google Scholar
  8. Militärerziehungs- und Bildungsanstalten (MEB).Google Scholar
  9. Kriegsschule Wien 1867–1914.Google Scholar

Published Primary Sources

  1. Albrecht (anonymously). Das Jahr 1870 und die Wehrkraft der Monarchie. Vienna: Faesy & Frick, 1870.Google Scholar
  2. Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz. Zum Studium der Taktik. Vienna: L.W. Seidel & Sohn, 1891.Google Scholar
  3. Keltie, J. Scott, ed. The Statesman’s Yearbook: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1891. London: Macmillan and Co., 1891.Google Scholar
  4. Organ der militärwissenschaftlichen Vereine (O.), 1867–1906.Google Scholar
  5. Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift (ÖMZ), 1866–1914.Google Scholar
  6. Ostrymiecz, August Urbański von. Conrad von Hötzendorf. Graz-Leipzig-Vienna: Ulrich Mosers Verlag, 1938.Google Scholar
  7. Pitreich, Oberst Maximilian Freiherr von. Lemberg 1914. Wien: Adolf Holzhausens Nachfolger, 1929.Google Scholar
  8. Poten, Bernhard von. Geschichte des Militär- Erziehungs- und Bildungswesens in Österreich-Ungarn. Berlin: A. Hoffman & Comp., 1893.Google Scholar
  9. Reinländer, Oberst Wilhelm. Vorträge über die Taktik. Vienna: L.W. Seidel & Son, 1870–71.Google Scholar
  10. Stenographische Sitzungs-Protokolle der Delegation des Reichsrathes. Vienna: k.k. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1869–1911.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Clausewitz, Carl von. On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  2. Good, David. The Economic Rise of the Habsburg Empire, 1750–1914. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. Jelavich, Barbara. The Habsburg Empire in European Affairs, 1814–1918. Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1969.Google Scholar
  4. Lackey, Scott. The Rebirth of the Habsburg Army: Friedrich Beck and the Rise of the General Staff. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  5. Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 Vol. 1. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1957.Google Scholar
  6. Rothenberg, Gunther E. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. Sked, Alan. The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815–1918. London: Longman, 1989.Google Scholar
  8. Sondhaus, Lawrence. Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf: Architect of the Apocalypse. Boston: Humanities Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  9. Tunstall, Graydon A. Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2010.Google Scholar
  10. Wagner, Walter. “Die k.(u.)k. Armee - Gliederung und Aufgabenstellung.” in Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918, Vol. 5 Die Bewaffnete Macht. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1987.Google Scholar
  11. Wagner, Walter. Geschichte des K. K. Kriegsministeriums, II. Band 1866–1888. Wien-Köln-Graz: Hermann Böhlaus: 1971.Google Scholar
  12. Walter, John. The Rifle Story. London: Greenhill Books, 2006.Google Scholar
  13. Wawro, Geoffrey. Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792–1914. New York: Routledge, 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assumption AcademyWaltonUSA

Personalised recommendations