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For God and KaiserThe Imperial Austrian Army, 1619-1918$
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Richard Bassett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178586

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178586.001.0001

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From Magenta and Solferino to the Düppel and Oeversee

From Magenta and Solferino to the Düppel and Oeversee

(p.310) Chapter 14 From Magenta and Solferino to the Düppel and Oeversee
For God and Kaiser

Richard Bassett

Yale University Press

This chapter considers the state of the Habsburg army in the late 1850s. The Austrian army survived the trauma of 1848–49 thanks to the efforts of Radetzky, Jellači ć, and Windischgrätz. The terrible effects of nationalism did not eat away at the fabric of the army's ethos or organisation. But while the aftermath of 1849 appeared to show a Habsburg Empire at the summit of its military prowess, underneath lay hubris and complacency. Here was an army still capable of intimidating Prussia in 1850 by mobilising 450,000 men under Radetzky and forcing Berlin to sign the humiliating “Punctation” of Olmütz whereby Prussia's attempts to reorganise northern Germany under Prussian hegemony were comprehensively checked. Here was an army that still appeared to hold the Italian peninsula in its vice-like grip. Yet, on every front, factors were developing that would conspire to prevent the Habsburg armies from saving the dynasty's position in either Italy or Germany.

Keywords:   Austrian army, Habsburg army, nationalism Prussia, Radetzky, Germany, Italian peninsula

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