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Toward a National Hungarian Army: The Military Compromise of 1868 and Its Consequences

  • Gunther E . Rothenberg

Extract

In discussing the Ausgleich of 1867 historians generally focus on the complex political and economic arrangements and pay little attention to the military controversy over the problem of restructuring the Habsburg army. Yet this problem almost prevented conclusion of the political agreement and greatly endangered its implementation. Count Julius Andrassy, one of the leading Hungarian negotiators, called it the “sword of Damocles suspended over our heads,” and the common war minister, Franz Baron Kuhn, believed that “the future existence of the monarchy” depended on “a successful solution of the army question”.

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References

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1. Andrassy to Francis Joseph, July 17, 1868, Kriegsarchiv (henceforth KA), Militarkanzlei seiner Majestat (MKSM), Sonderreihe F 29 (a) 3.

2. Cited in Wagner, Walter, Geschichte des kJt. Kriegsministeriums II, 1866-1888 (Vienna, 1971), p. 48.

3. Kiraly, Bela K., Hungary in the Late Eighteenth Century (New York, 1969), p. 1045.

4. Anton Radvanszky, “Das ungarische Ausgleichsgesetz vom Jahre 1867,” in Forschungsinstitut fur den Donauraum, Der osterreichisch-ungarische Ausgleich vom Jahre 1867 (Vienna and Munich, 1967), pp. 9192.

5. Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck, “Der Ausgleich von 1867 und die k.u.k. bewaffnete Macht,” ibid., pp. 116-17.

6. Barany, George, “The Hungarian Diet of 1839-40 and the Fate of Szechenyi's Middle Course,” Slavic Review, 22 (1963): 29798.

7. Rothenberg, Gunther E., “Ban Jelacid, the Croatian Military Border, and the Intervention Against Hungary,” Austrian History Yearbook, 1 (1965): 5556.

8. Cited in Srbik, Heinrich v., Aus Österreichs Vergangenheit (Salzburg, 1959), p. 126.

9. Antonio Schmidt, “Die Armee in Osterreich von 1848-1867” (Ph.D. diss., University of Munich, 1960), 2 vols., typescript, 2: 32.

10. Žolger, Ivan, Der staatsrechtliche Ausgleich zwischen Österreich und Ungarn (Leipzig, 1911), pp. 5–13.

11. For the imperial order, Dec. 28, 1866, KA MKSM 1867 82-1/1-2. For Andrássy's reaction see Wertheimer, Eduard v., Graf Julius Andrássy, 3 vols. (Stuttgart, 1910–13), 1: 250 .

12. KA MKSM 1867 82-5/1.

13. Žolger, Der staatsrechtliche Ausgleich, pp. 34-39; Miskolczy, Julius, Ungarn in der Habsburger Monarchie (Vienna and Munich, 1959), pp. 135–36.

14. Žolger, Der staatsrechtliche Ausgleich, pp. 20-37.

15. The order, a circular to all commanding generals, stated further that troops should be isolated from subversive influences by strict discipline and constant surveillance. See KA Kriegsministerium Präsidial (KM Präs.) 1867 44-46. Also Glaise-Horstenau, Edmund v., Franz Josephs Weggefahrte: Das Leben des Generalstabschef Grafen Beck (Zurich and Vienna, 1930), pp. 144–45.

16. Anon. [Albrecht], Wie soll Oesterreichs Heer organisiert sein (Vienna, 1869), pp. 19–20.

17. Rogge, Walter, Oesterreich von Vildgos bis-zur Gegenwart, 3 vols. (Leipzig and Vienna, 1873), 3: 148–50.

18. KA MKSM 1867 82-5/1.

19. “Gegen die Zweiteilung der Armee,” Nov. 27, 1867, in KA MKSM 1868 82-3/20; MKSM Sonderreihe F 29 (a) 6, and Nachlass Beck (A 2) 143.

20. At this point Beck conceived the national guards as a militia on the Tyrolean pattern, constituted from men over thirty years of age released from the reserves, and employed primarily on internal security duties. Only in times of war was this force to act with the army, and then merely as an auxiliary. See KA Nachlass Beck (A 2) 143 and MKSM 1868-3/20. In the final disposition, of course, the Honvedseg was rather different from the force envisaged by Beck.

21. KA MKSM Sonderreihe F 76 36 and Nachlass Beck (A 2) 144.

22. Albrecht to War Minister Baron von John, December 1867, KA Nachlass John B 138-22.

23. Protocols and position papers, KA KM Präs. 29-1/1-8. Kuhn's report to Francis Joseph, Mar. 27, 1868, ibid., 3/1.

24. KA MKSM Sonderreihe F 29 (a) 2-5e.

25. Ibid., 3.

26. Kuhn to Francis Joseph, telegram, ibid., 6. Cf. Srbik, Aus Österreichs Vetrgangenheit, p. 184.

27. Wertheimer, Graf Julius Andrássy, 1: 361-63.

28. Ibid., p. 355.

29. The view of an old Habsburg loyalist of liberal views, Joseph Redlich, Emperoi Francis Joseph of Austria (New York, 1929), pp. 352-53.

30. The order was most carefully phrased; there exist no less than five different drafts. KA MKSM 82-3/14.

31. Nauendorff, Heinrich v., Die Kriegsmacht Oesterreichs, 2nd ed., 3 vols. (Vienna, 1875–76), 1: 16–39.

32. “Ausbau der Landwehr,” KA MKSM 1914 82-1/1-1. See also the annual ”Schlagfertigskeitberichte, “ a unique feature of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces.

33. Appointment, Dec. 5, 1868, KA MKSM 82-3/17.

34. Ludwig Jedlicka, “Vom Kaiserthum Österreich zur Doppelmonarchie Österreich- Ungarn,” in Wolfgang v. Groote and Ursula v. Gersdorff, eds., Entscheidung, 1866 (Stuttgart, 1966), p. 269. Also consult the figures in the annual Militärstotistische Jahrbϋcher, which show an almost double intake of recruits for the Honvédség compared with the Landwehr.

35. KA MKSM 1870 1/4S. The Gatling batteries were dissolved only in 1875 when they had proved not practical. Cf. Wrede, Alphons, Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, 5 vols. (Vienna, 1898–1905), 5: 557 . See also Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Politisches Archiv, Militaria, Box 560-12, “Einführung der Gatling-Kanonen für die ungarische Armee.”

36. See the report “Schlagfertigheit der k. ung. Landwehr,” Apr. 28, 1881, KA MKSM 1881 64-4/1.

37. Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung des k.u.k. Kriegsarchivs, , Sechsig Jahre Wehrmacht, 1848-1908 (Vienna, 1908), p. 15253.

38. Rotlienberg, Gunther E., The Military Border in Croatia, 1740-1881 (Chicago, 1966), and The Austrian Military Border in Croatia, 1522-1747 (Urbana, 1960).

39. Seton-Watson, Robert W., The Southern Slav Question and the Habsburg Monarchy (London, 1911), p. 372.

40. Wertheimer, Graf Julius Andrássy, and Andrássy's statements in the Ministerrat fur gemeinsame Angelegenheiten, May 26, 1869, cited in Rothenberg, Military Border, p. 170.

41. For a detailed discussion see Rothenberg, , “The Struggle Over the Dissolution of the Croatian Military Border,” Slavic Review, 23 (1964): 6378 . For the dissolution of the remaining border districts see the memoirs of Mollinary, Anton Freiherr V., Sechsundvierzig Jahre im österreichisch-ungarischen Heere, 1833–1879, 2 vols. (Zurich, 1905), 2: 203–12, 215–21, 272–78.

42. Sosnosky, Theodor V., Die Politik im Habsbwgerreiche, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1912), 2: 167–71, and Péter Hanák, “Hungary in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy: Preponderancy or Dependency?” Austrian History Yearbook, 3, pt. 1 (1967): 296-97.

43. Miskolczy, Ungarn in der Habsburger Monarchie, p. 162, and Hanak, “Hungary in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy,” p. 298.

44. Die Einheit der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee: Rede des Grajen Julius Andrássy gehalten im Ausschuss des ungarischen Magnatenhauses am 5. April 1889 (Vienna, 1889), pp. 18–19.

45. Jenks, William A., Austria Under the Iron Ring, 1879-1893 (Charlottesville, 1965), pp. 245–46. On the intentions of the Magyars to use the language of command question to pave the way for a national army see the documents in Kemény, Gábor G., Iratok a nemsetiségi kérdés történeténes Magyaroszágon a dualizmus korában, 4 vols. (Budapest, 1952–66), 4: 395, 301, 305–6.

45. Jenks, William A., Austria Under the Iron Ring, 1879-1893 (Charlottesville, 1965), pp. 245–46. On the intentions of the Magyars to use the language of command question to pave the way for a national army see the documents in Kemény, Gábor G., Iratok a nemsetiségi kérdés történeténes Magyaroszágon a dualizmus korában, 4 vols. (Budapest, 1952–66), 4: 395, 301, 305–6.

45. Jenks, William A., Austria Under the Iron Ring, 1879-1893 (Charlottesville, 1965), pp. 245–46. On the intentions of the Magyars to use the language of command question to pave the way for a national army see the documents in Kemény, Gábor G., Iratok a nemsetiségi kérdés történeténes Magyaroszágon a dualizmus korában, 4 vols. (Budapest, 1952–66), 4: 395, 301, 305-6.

46. Landesverteidigung, Bundesministerium f., Österreich-Ungarns Letzter Krieg, 7 vols. (Vienna, 1930–38), 1: 2729.

47. Conte Corti, Egon C. and Sokol, Hans, Der alte Kaiser Franz Joseph I (Vienna, Graz, and Cologne, 19SS), p. 72.

48. A detailed analysis together with pertinent documents is given by Peball, Kurt and Rothenberg, Gunther E., “Der Fall ‘U’: Die geplante Besetzung Ungarns durch die k.u.k. Armee im Herbst 1905,” Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums in Wien, 4 (1969): 85126.

49. Regele, Oskar, Feldmarschall Conrad: Auftrag und Erfüllung, 1906 bis 1918 (Vienna and Munich, 1956), pp. 161–64, 184.

50. Spitzmiiller-Harmersbach, Alexander, Der letste österreichisch-ungarische Ausgleich und der Zusammenbruch der Monarchie (Berlin, 1929), pp. 7983 . Cf. Regele, Feldmarschall Conrad, pp. 439-41. Documents include the protocol of the crown council, Dec. 4, 1917, KA MKSM 1918 38-2/1, 2, and projects for the implementation of this proposal dated as late as Sept 12, 1918, ibid.

51. See, for instance, the judgment by an English scholar: "The weakness of the Habsburg army in 1914 stemmed not from the disaffection of its soldiers but from the intransigence of politicians in Hungary." Norman Stone, "Army and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1900-1914," Past and Present, no. 33 (1966): 103.

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