The War between Austria-Hungary and Russia

  • Matthew Hughes
  • William J. Philpott


In Vienna, there was a large gap between ideals and reality when it came to war. The poorly equipped Austro-Hungarian army was recruited from a great variety of ethnic groups, often with doubtful loyalty to the emperor. Mobilisation posters in 1914 came in 15 languages for an army that was 44% Slav, 28% German, 18% Hungarian, 8% Rumanian and 2% Italian, which created command problems between the German-dominated officer corps and the men. But the main difficulty in 1914 was the over-ambitious plans of the Austro-Hungarian commander, Conrad von Hötzendorf, whose lament that he deserved a better army was echoed by his men’s complaint that they deserved a better commander. Life in the Austro-Hungarian army is well described in Jaroslav Hašek’s book The Good Soldier Švejk.



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© Matthew Hughes & William J. Philpott 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Hughes
  • William J. Philpott

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