By Geoffrey Wawro
The Austro-Hungarian military that marched east and south to confront the Russians and Serbs within the establishing campaigns of global struggle I had an excellent prior yet a pitiful current. conversing a mystifying array of languages and lugging outmoded guns, the Austrian troops have been hopelessly unprepared for the industrialized struggle that might presently eat Europe.
As prizewinning historian Geoffrey Wawro explains in A Mad Catastrophe, the doomed Austrian conscripts have been an unlucky microcosm of the Austro-Hungarian Empire itself—both both ripe for destruction. After the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, Germany goaded the Empire right into a struggle with Russia and Serbia. With the Germans massing their forces within the west to interact the French and the British, everything—the process the conflict and the destiny of empires and alliances from Constantinople to London—hinged at the Habsburgs’ skill to overwhelm Serbia and retain the Russians at bay. notwithstanding, Austria-Hungary have been rotting from inside for years, hollowed out by way of repression, cynicism, and corruption on the maximum degrees. Commanded via a death emperor, Franz Joseph I, and a querulous famous person normal, Conrad von Hötzendorf, the Austro-Hungarians controlled to bungle every little thing: their ultimatum to the Serbs, their declarations of warfare, their mobilization, and the pivotal battles in Galicia and Serbia. through the top of 1914, the Habsburg military lay in ruins and the result of the conflict appeared all yet made up our minds.
Drawing on deep archival examine, Wawro charts the decline of the Empire prior to the warfare and reconstructs the nice battles within the east and the Balkans in exciting and tragic aspect. A Mad Catastrophe is a riveting account of a overlooked face of worldwide struggle I, revealing how a once-mighty empire collapsed within the trenches of Serbia and the japanese entrance, altering the process ecu historical past.
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Extra info for A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire
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