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Fall of the Double Eagle: The Battle for…
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Fall of the Double Eagle: The Battle for Galicia and the Demise of…

by John R. Schindler

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A very good analysis of the shortcomings of the Austro-Hungarian army in WW I, and the fateful consequences this had for the Empire. Although no army in 1914 was really ready to face modern warfare, the Austro-Hungarian army was particularily badly prepared. For one thing, in an age where the other great powers spent vast sums on armaments, it was chronically underfunded. For another, its function in the Empire was more to repress the internal dissidents and keep modernity at bay, rather than fight an external enemy. This meant that officers were more out of touch with the lives of their men and with the realities of industrial warfare than anywhere else. Finally, the generals (and especially Conrad) had a knack of drawing up clever plans without considering that they had the forces necessary to implement them.

Schindler shows how the disastrous defeats of 1914 came about. The consequences were dire: the Austro-Hungarian war effort came to all intents and purposes under German control. Perhaps more importantly the army, through its inefficiency and callousness, lost its prestige and function as a support of the monarchy.

There is only one important drawback to the book: the complete absence of maps. ( )
  CharlesFerdinand | Mar 23, 2016 |
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