Anschluss refers to the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938. The word's German spelling, until the German orthography reform of 1996, was Anschluß and it was known as the Anschluss Österreichs. Prior to the Anschluss, there had been strong support from people of all backgrounds – not just Nazis – in both Austria and Germany for a union of the two countries; the desire for a union formed an integral part of the Nazi "Heim ins Reich" movement to bring ethnic Germans outside Nazi Germany into Greater Germany. Earlier, Nazi Germany had provided support for the Austrian National Socialist Party in its bid to seize power from Austria's Fatherland Front government; the idea of an Anschluss began after the unification of Germany excluded Austria and the German Austrians from the Prussian-dominated German Empire in 1871. Following the end of World War I with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1918, the newly formed Republic of German-Austria attempted to form a union with Germany, but the Treaty of Saint Germain and the Treaty of Versailles forbade both the union and the continued use of the name "German-Austria".
The idea of grouping all Germans into one nation-state had been the subject of debate in the 19th century from the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 until the break-up of the German Confederation in 1866. Austria had wanted a Großdeutsche Lösung, whereby the German states would unite under the leadership of the German Austrians; this solution would have included all the German states, but Prussia would have had to take second place. This controversy, called dualism, dominated Prusso-Austrian diplomacy and the politics of the German states in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1866 the feud came to an end during the German war in which the Prussians defeated the Austrians and thereby excluded Austria and the German Austrians from Germany; the Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck formed the North German Confederation, which included the remaining German states and further expanded the power of Prussia. Bismarck used the Franco-Prussian war as a way to convince other German states, including the Kingdom of Bavaria, to side with Prussia against the Second French Empire.
Due to Prussia's quick victory, the debate was settled and in 1871 the "Kleindeutsch" German Empire based on the leadership of Bismarck and the Kingdom of Prussia formed - this excluded Austria. The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Ausgleich, provided for a dual sovereignty, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I; the Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various different ethnic groups including Hungarians, Slavic ethnic groups such as Croats, Poles, Serbs, Slovaks and Ukrainians, as well as Italians and Romanians ruled by a German minority. The empire caused tensions between the various ethnic groups. Many Austrian pan-Germans showed loyalty to Bismarck and only to Germany, wore symbols that were temporarily banned in Austrian schools and advocated the dissolution of the empire to allow an annexation of Austria to Germany. Although many Austrians agreed with pan-Germanism ideas, a lot of them still showed allegiance to the Habsburg Monarchy and wished for Austria to remain an independent country.
After the Nazis gained power in Germany in 1933, they used propaganda to try to coerce Austrians into advocating for an Anschluss to the German Reich by using slogans such as Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer. By the end of World War I, Austria had been excluded from internal German affairs for more than fifty years since the Peace of Prague that concluded the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Elite and popular opinion in Austria after 1918 favored some sort of union with Germany, but it was explicitly forbidden by the peace treaties; the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up in 1918, on 12 November that year German Austria was declared a republic. The provisional national assembly drafted a provisional constitution that stated that "German Austria is a democratic republic" and "German Austria is a component of the German Republic". Plebiscites in the German border provinces of Tyrol and Salzburg yielded majorities of 98% and 99% in favor of a unification with the German Republic. In the aftermath of a prohibition of an Anschluss, the Germans in both Austria and Germany pointed to a contradiction in the national self-determination principle because it failed to grant it to the ethnic Germans outside of the German Reich.
The Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Saint-Germain explicitly prohibited the political inclusion of Austria in the German state. This measure was criticized by Hugo Preuss, the drafter of the German Weimar Constitution, who saw the prohibition as a contradiction of the Wilsonian principle of self-determination of peoples, intended to help bring peace to Europe. Following the destruction of World War I, however and Britain feared the power of a larger Germany and had begun to disempower the current one. Austrian particularism among the nobility played a role in the decisions; the constitutions of the Weimar Republic and the First Austrian Republic inclu
Adolf von Boog
Adolf von Boog was an Austro-Hungarian Army officer who served in World War I, holding senior positions in the General Staff and commanding field units, was the commander-in-chief of the Volkswehr of the new postwar rump state of Austria. Adolf von Boog was born in the city of Belluno in 1866 a possession of the Austrian Empire before it became part of the unified Kingdom of Italy, he spoke fluent German and Italian, along with some Bohemian and Bosnian. Boog was commissioned as a lieutenant in a heavy artillery battery of th Austro-Hungarian Army in 1886. In 1892, Boog was appointed to the General Staff, where he remained until 1900, he served in the 31st Infantry Regiment to 1901 before becoming part of the General Staff again serving in the 88th Infantry Regiment from 1907 until 1909. Boog became the chief of staff of XV Corps to 1910. In the period from until 1911, he commanded an infantry regiment before returning to a senior staff position and going to the War Ministry. By the time World War I broke out in August 1914, Adolf von Boog was a colonel in command of the 8th Infantry Brigade.
He served on the Eastern Front until being appointed as the chief of staff of 3rd Army in September 1914, a post he held until May 1915. Boog commanded the 93rd Infantry Division on the Italian Front before returning to the east to lead the 25th Infantry Division in September, he would command that unit until May 1918, at which point he served as the commander of the 4th Infantry Division towards the end of the war. On 7 November 1918, Lieutenant field marshal Adolf von Boog was named supreme commander of the Austrian Volkswehr, the military of the Austrian state after the collapse of the Dual Monarchy, he would retire from that position in 1919 and died in Vienna on 15 February 1929. Dixon, Joe. Defeat and Disarmament: Allied Diplomacy and the Politics of Military Affairs in Austria, 1918-22. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 978-0874132212
Generalfeldmarschall was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire. The rank was the equivalent to Großadmiral in the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine, a five-star rank, comparable to OF-10 in today's NATO naval forces; the rank existed in the Austrian Empire as Kaiserlicher Feldmarschall and in Austria-Hungary as Kaiserlicher und königlicher Feldmarschall - Császári és királyi tárbornagy. Both were based on usage in the Holy Roman Empire; the monarch held other officers were promoted as required. Between 1914 and 1918, ten men attained this rank, of whom four were members of the reigning Habsburg dynasty. In the Prussian Army, the Imperial German Army and in the Wehrmacht, the rank of Generalfeldmarschall had several privileges, such as elevation to nobility, equal protocol rank with cabinet ministers, the right of reporting directly to the monarch, a constant escort. In 1854, the rank of colonel general was created in order to promote William, Prince of Prussia to senior rank without breaking the rule that only wartime field commanders could receive the rank of field marshal for a victory in a decisive battle or the capture of a fortification or major town.
The equivalent of colonel-general in the German Navy was the rank of Generaladmiral. In 1870 Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm—who had commanded armies during the Franco-Prussian War—became the first Prussian princes appointed as field marshals; the exalted nature of the rank was underscored during World War I, when only five German officers were designated Generalfeldmarschall: Paul von Hindenburg, August von Mackensen, Karl von Bülow, Hermann von Eichhorn, Remus von Woyrsch. Only a single naval officer, Henning von Holtzendorff, was designated Grand Admiral. Not such well-known German commanders as Erich Ludendorff, Erich von Falkenhayn, or Reinhard Scheer received marshal's batons or Grand Admiral rank. Before World War II Hitler promoted War Minister Werner von Blomberg and Aviation Minister Hermann Göring to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall. In the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II, the rank of Generalfeldmarschall remained the highest military rank until July 1940, when Hermann Göring was promoted to the newly created higher rank of Reichsmarschall.
The equivalent of a Generalfeldmarschall in the navy was Großadmiral. Unlike Kaiser Wilhelm II, Adolf Hitler distributed the rank more promoting 25 Heer and Luftwaffe officers in total and two Kriegsmarine Grand Admirals. Four weeks after the Heer and Luftwaffe had won the Battle of France, Hitler promoted twelve generals to the rank of field marshal on 19 July 1940: Walther von Brauchitsch, Wilhelm Keitel, Gerd von Rundstedt, Fedor von Bock, Wilhelm von Leeb, Wilhelm List, Günther von Kluge, Erwin von Witzleben and Walter von Reichenau. In 1942, three other men were promoted—"Wüstenfuchs" Erwin Rommel for the siege of Tobruk, Erich von Manstein for the Siege of Sevastopol and Georg von Küchler for his success as Oberbefehlshaber der Heeresgruppe Nord. Hitler promoted Friedrich Paulus—commander of the 6th Army at Stalingrad—to the rank of field marshal via field radio on 30 January 1943, a day before his army's inevitable surrender in order to encourage him to continue to fight until death or commit suicide.
In the promotion Hitler noted that no German or Prussian field marshal at that point in history had been captured alive. Paulus surrendered the following day anyway, claiming Ich habe nicht die Absicht, mich für diesen bayerischen Gefreiten zu erschießen. A disappointed Hitler commented, "That's the last field marshal I make in this war!" Generalfeldmarschall was the highest regular general officer rank in the German Wehrmacht, comparable to NATO rank codes OF10, to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces. It was equivalent to Großadmiral of the German Kriegsmarine. Financially the rank of Generalfeldmarschall in Nazi Germany was rewarding as, apart from a yearly salary, Hitler introduced a tax free fringe benefits for generals in the range of ℛℳ 2,000 to 4,000 per month in 1940, he bestowed generous presents on his highest officers, with Wilhelm von Leeb receiving ℛℳ 250,000 for his 65th birthday from Hitler. Promotion to the rank did not guarantee Hitler's ongoing favor, however; as the tide of the war turned, Hitler took out his frustrations on his top commanders, relieving most of the Generalfeldmarschalls of duty before the war's conclusion.
Bock, Brauchitsch and List were all relieved of their posts in 1942 for perceived failures during Operation Barbarossa and took no further active part in the war. Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist and Sperrle were retired in 1944 and Rundstedt and Maximilian von Weichs in March 1945. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was retired in January 1943 following a fierce argument with
Raimondo, Count of Montecuccoli was an Italian-born professional soldier who served the Habsburg Monarchy. He was a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and Duke of Melfi, in the Kingdom of Naples. Montecuccoli was considered as the only commander to be the equal of the French general Turenne, like him, was associated with the post-1648 development of linear infantry tactics. Montecuccoli was born on 21 February 1609 in the Castello di Montecuccolo in Pavullo nel Frignano, near Modena. At the age of sixteen Montecuccoli began as a private soldier under his uncle, Count Ernest Montecuccoli, a distinguished Austrian general. Four years after much active service in Germany and the Low Countries, he became a captain of infantry, he was wounded at the storming of New Brandenburg, again in the same year at the first battle of Breitenfeld, where he fell into the hands of the Swedes. He was again wounded at Lützen in 1632, on his recovery was made a major in his uncle's regiment. Shortly afterwards he became a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry.
He did good service at the first battle of Nordlingen, at the storming of Kaiserslautern in the following year won his colonelcy by a feat of arms of unusual brilliance, a charge through the breach at the head of his heavy cavalry. He fought in Pomerania and Saxony, in 1639 he was taken prisoner at Melnik and detained for two and a half years in Stettin and Weimar. In captivity he studied military science, geometry by the way of Euclid, history of Tacitus, Vitruvius' architecture, all the while planning his great work on war. Returning to Italy and to the field in 1642, Montecuccoli commanded mercenaries loyal to the Duke of his native Modena during the First War of Castro, but when that conflict ground to an unproductive stalemate he departed, his involvement, though understandable given his allegiance to Modena, was nonetheless unusual in that his service pitted him against the papal forces of Pope Urban VIII. In 1643 he was obtained a seat in the Council of War. In 1645–46 he served in Hungary against Prince Rákóczy of Transylvania, on the Danube and Neckar against the French, in Silesia and Bohemia against the Swedes.
The victory of Triebel in Silesia won him the rank of General of Cavalry, at the battle of Zusmarshausen in 1648 his stubborn rearguard fighting rescued the imperialists from annihilation. For some years after the Peace of Westphalia Montecuccoli was chiefly concerned with the business of the council of war, though he went to Flanders and England as the representative of the emperor, to Sweden as the envoy of the pope to Queen Christina, at Modena his lance was victorious in a great tourney. In 1657, soon after his marriage with Countess Margarethe de Dietrichstein, he was ordered by the Emperor to take part in the Habsburg expedition against Prince Rákóczy, Charles X Gustav of Sweden and the Cossacks, who had in 1655, attacked the Kingdom of Poland in the war known in Poland as The Deluge or elsewhere as the Second Northern War. During the conflict he was promoted to commanding officer of the division, he became field-marshal in the imperial army and his division, along with Stefan Czarniecki's division, Frederick William's army and Danish forces, participated in the struggle in Denmark against the invading Swedes.
The war ended with the Peace of Oliva in 1660 and Montecuccoli returned to his sovereign. From 1661 to 1664 Montecuccoli, with inferior numbers, defended Austria against the Turks but at St. Gotthard Abbey, on the Rába, he and Carl I. Ferdinand Count of Montenari defeated the Turks so comprehensively that they entered into a twenty-year truce, they were given the Order of the Golden Fleece, Montecuccoli became president of the council of war and director of artillery. He devoted much time to compiling his various works on military history and science, he opposed the progress of the French arms under Louis XIV, when the inevitable war broke out he received command of the imperial forces. In the campaign of 1673 he outmanoeuvred his rival Turenne on the Neckar and the Rhine, captured Bonn and joined his army with that of William III, the prince of Orange on the lower Rhine, he retired from the army when, in 1674, the Great Elector was named command in chief, but the brilliant successes of Turenne in the winter of 1674 and 1675 brought him back.
For months the two famous commanders manoeuvred against each other in the Rhine valley, but on the eve of a decisive battle Turenne was killed and Montecuccoli promptly invaded Alsace, where he engaged in another war of manoeuvre with the Great Condé. The siege of Philippsburg was Montecuccoli's last achievement in war; the rest of Montecuccoli's life was spent in military administration and literary and scientific work at Vienna. In 1679 the emperor made him a prince of the empire, shortly afterwards he received the dukedom of Melfi from the King of Spain. Montecuccoli died in an accident at Linz in October 1680; as a general, Montecuccoli shared with Turenne and Condé the first place among European soldiers of his time. For his success in halting the Turkish advance he had been hailed the savior of Europe, he was influential as a military theorist, with his most famous quote being "For war you need three things: 1. Money. 2. Money. 3. Money." His Memorie della guerra profoundly influenced the age.
"Unequalled as a master of 17th-century warfare, Montecuccoli excelled in the art of fortification and siege and cou
Béla Miklós de Dálnok, Vitéz of Dálnok was a Hungarian military officer and politician who served as acting Prime Minister of Hungary, at first in opposition, officially, from 1944 to 1945. He was the last Prime Minister of war-time Hungary. Béla Miklós was born into a Székely primipilus family in Budapest on 11 June 1890, his parents were Janka Traviczky. Miklós used the title of dálnoki after Dálnok, where his father worked as a teacher. Béla Miklós married Éva Csákány, he finished secondary studies at the Honvéd Principal Gymnasium of Sopron in 1907. After graduating from Ludovica Military Academy in 1910, he was promoted to Hussar Lieutenant, he participated in the First World War. Returning home, he became a member of the Sopron military command, he graduated from General Staff College between 1920 and 1921, after that he worked in the Ministry of Defence. He was awarded Order of Vitéz by Regent Miklós Horthy in 1929. In that same year he became Deputy Chief of the Regent's Military Office. Miklós was chief of military intelligence until he was appointed military attaché to Berlin and Stockholm between 1933 and 1936 coming to lead his own regiment.
After rising from regimental to corps command, he became military director of the office of Admiral Miklós Horthy, regent of Hungary, in October 1942. He was promoted to Colonel General in 1943. Miklós became commanding general of the Hungarian First Army from 1 August 1944 and he supported leaving the Axis powers and joining the Red Army. On 16 October 1944, Miklós was ordered to appear at the headquarters of German General Heinrici. Suspicious of an eventual arrest, he defected through the Hungarian front with one of his aides and two sergeants, he approached the Soviet forces. After some apprehension, they escorted Miklós near Przemyśl; this was the location of the Soviet general headquarters. Miklós arrived at Lisko on the morning of 17 October. Per the request of the Soviets, he spoke on the radio and made a plea for the commanding officers of his Hungarian First Army to defect with their units to the Soviets; the Soviets re-armed prisoners of war and planned to form a Hungarian liberation army from the defectors.
But, with the exception of one regimental commander, no other Hungarian officer defected in response to Miklós's plea. The one regimental commander who did defect was arrested by the Germans and executed. A few days Soviet emissaries were sent to negotiate with Miklós about the formation of a Hungarian counter-Government; these negotiations came to nothing. On 21 December 1944 the Interim Assembly met in Debrecen. Representatives were present from the Communist, Social Democratic, Peasant Party and Citizen's party; the Assembly elected the interim government, with Soviet approval, headed by Miklós. He remained in this post until the coming elections on 15 November 1945; the High National Council, which functioned as a collective head of state, formed on 26 January 1945 under the presidency of Béla Zsedényi. Miklós as incumbent Prime Minister became a member of the body. During his premiership, the arrest of war criminals and confiscations had begun, pro-German organizations and political parties were dissolved, the new regime removed the "reactionary elements" from public institutions and the Hungarian army.
The Provisional National Government established the people's tribunes. Miklós disbanded the Military Order of Maria Theresa with a decree in the summer of 1945. Béla Miklós could not prevent the deportation of hundreds of thousands to the Soviet Union. Following the 1945 Hungarian parliamentary election, he was replaced by Zoltán Tildy. Before the 1947 Hungarian parliamentary election he joined the Hungarian Independence Party, where he was a leading member. Although he got into the parliament, he was illegally deprived of his mandate by the communists. After that Miklós retired from politics, became isolated politically, his family was harassed and his son was resettled. Béla Miklós died in Budapest on 21 November 1948, he did not receive military honours at his funeral. Kovács, Attila Ótott. Die ungarischen Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes. Ranis: Scherzers Militaer-Verl. ISBN 978-3-938845-02-8. Magyar Életrajzi Lexikon Library of Szeged
The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806; the Kingdom of Hungary – as Regnum Independens – was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary; the power of nationalism to create new states was irresistible in the 19th century, the process could lead to collapse in the absence of a strong nationalism.
The Austrian Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities and languages that served as the bases for separatist nationalism, it had a large army with good forts. Its naval resources were so minimal, it typified by Metternich. They employed a grand strategy for survival that balanced out different forces, set up buffer zones, kept the Habsburg empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War; the Empire overnight disintegrated into multiple states based on nationalism. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt and Regensburg. On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6; this measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire.
Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors. In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years, he did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status, affirmed by Article X, added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions, thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm; the French victory resulted in the capture of many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805; the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December; each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg, which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in