Margraviate of Austria
The Margraviate of Austria was a southeastern frontier march of the Holy Roman Empire created in 976 out of the territory on the border with the Principality of Hungary. Under the overlordship of the Dukes of Bavaria, it was ruled by margraves of the Franconian Babenberg dynasty, it became an Imperial State in its own right, when the Babenbergs were elevated to Dukes of Austria in 1156. In contemporary Latin, the entity was called the marcha Orientalis, marchia Austriae, or Austrie marchionibus; the Old High German name Ostarrîchi first appeared on a famous deed of donation issued by Emperor Otto III at Bruchsal in November 996. The phrase regione vulgari vocabulo Ostarrîchi, that is, "the region called Ostarrîchi" only referred to some estates around the manor of Neuhofen an der Ybbs; the march was called the Margraviate of Austria or the Bavarian Eastern March to differentiate it from the Saxon Eastern March in the northeast. During the Anschluss period of 1938–45 the Nazi authorities tried to replace the term "Austria" with Ostmark.
The march comprised the lands north and south of the Danube river, with the Enns tributary in the west forming the border with the Traungau shire of the Bavarian stem duchy. The eastern frontier with the Hungarian settlement area in the Pannonian Basin ran along the Morava and Leitha rivers, with the Gyepű borderland beyond. In the north, the march bordered on the Bohemian duchy of the Přemyslids, the lands in the south belonged to the Dukes of Carinthia newly instated in 976; the early march corresponded to the modern region of Lower Austria. The initial Babenberger residence was at Pöchlarn on the former Roman limes, but maybe Melk, where subsequent rulers resided; the original march coincided with the modern Wachau, but was shortly enlarged eastwards at least as far as the Wienerwald. Under Margrave Ernest the Brave, the colonisation of the northern Waldviertel up to the Thaya river and the Bohemian march of Moravia was begun, the Hungarian March was merged into Austria; the margraves' residence was moved down the Danube to Klosterneuburg until in 1142 Vienna became the official capital.
The Babenbergs had a defense system of several castles built in the Wienerwald mountain range and along the Danube river, among them Greifenstein. The surrounding area was colonized and Christianized by the Bavarian Bishops of Passau, with ecclesiastical centres at the Benedictine abbey of Sankt Pölten, at Klosterneuburg Monastery and Heiligenkreuz Abbey; the early margraviate was populated by a mix of Slavic and native Romano-Germanic peoples who were speaking Rhaeto-Romance languages, remnants of which remain today in parts of northern Italy and in Switzerland. In the Austrian Alps some valleys retained their Rhaeto-Romance speakers until the 17th century; the first marches covering the territory that would become Austria and Slovenia were the Avar March and the adjacent March of Carantania in the south. Both were established in the late 8th century by Charlemagne upon the incorporation of the territory of the Agilolfing dukes of Bavaria against the invasions of the Avars; when the Avars disappeared in the 820s, they were replaced by West Slavs, who settled here within the state of Great Moravia.
The March of Pannonia was set apart from the Duchy of Friuli in 828 and set up as a march against Moravia within the East Frankish regnum of Bavaria. These march called marcha orientalis, corresponded to a frontier along the Danube from the Traungau to Szombathely and the Rába river including the Vienna basin. By the 890s, the Pannonian march seems to have disappeared, along with the threat from Great Moravia, during the Hungarian invasions of Europe. Upon the defeat of Margrave Luitpold of Bavaria at the 907 Battle of Pressburg, all East Frankish lands beyond the Enns river were lost. In 955 King Otto I of Germany had started the reconquest with his victory at the 955 Battle of Lechfeld; the obscurity of the period from circa 900 until 976 leads some to posit that a Pannonian or Austrian march existed against the Magyars, alongside the other marches, incorporated into Bavaria by 952. However, much of Pannonia was still conquered by the Magyars. In 976, during a general restructuring of Bavaria upon the insurrection of Duke Henry II the Wrangler, Otto's son and successor Emperor Otto II had a new marcha orientalis erected on the territory of the former Pannonian march.
He appointed the Babenberg count Leopold the Illustrious from the House of Babenberg margrave in turn for his support. Leopold replaced one Burchard, whose status is not well known but may represent a continual margravial authority in the region during the interval 900–976. Margravial Austria reached its greatest height under Leopold III, a great friend of the church and founder of abbeys, he developed a great level of territorial independence. In 1139, Leopold IV inherited Bavaria; when his successor, the last margrave, Henry Jasomirgott, was deprived of Bavaria in 1156, Austria was elevated to a duchy independent from Bavaria by the Privilegium Minus of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. From 1192 the House of Babenberg ruled over the neighbouring Duchy of Styria; the line became extinct with the death of Duke Frederick II of Austria at the
Duchy of Austria
The Duchy of Austria was a medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus, when the Margraviate of Austria was detached from Bavaria and elevated to a duchy in its own right. After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct in male line, there was as much as three decades of rivalry on inheritance and rulership, until the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the patrimony and ancestral homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the archducal title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III; the duchy was comparatively small in area comprising the modern-day Austrian state of Lower Austria. As a former border march, it was located on the eastern periphery of the Empire, on the northern and southern shores of the Danube River, east of the Enns tributary.
Drosendorf, Raabs and other fortifications along the Thaya River, north of the historic Waldviertel and Weinviertel regions and separated by the Manhartsberg range, marked the border with the Duchy of Bohemia and the Moravian lands, both of which were held by the Czech Přemyslid dynasty. In the east, the Imperial border with the Kingdom of Hungary had shifted towards the plains of the Morava River and the eastern rim of the Vienna Basin. On the right shore of the Danube, the lower Leitha River marked the Imperial–Hungarian border for centuries. In the south, Austria bordered the Styrian lands which were elevated to a duchy, unified with Austria in 1192; the territory inhabited by Celts was for centuries crossed in transit by several Germanic tribes and from the 6th century onwards settled by Avars as well as by Slavic tribes, who about 600 founded the independent principality of Carantania in the south. The Avar Khaganate established in 567 comprised most of the Austrian march up to the Enns river, where it bordered on the German stem duchy of Bavaria.
Temporarily part of Samo's Empire from 631 to 658, the territory was under constant attack by the Carolingian forces of Charlemagne from 791 onwards. About 800 Charlemagne, having won several victories against the Avars, established a frontier march in the region between the Enns and Raab rivers, called the Avar March, part of the marcha orientalis; the East Frankish margraviate was again lost to the invading Magyars at the 907 Battle of Pressburg, re-established as the Bavarian March of Austria after King Otto I of Germany's victory at the 955 Battle of Lechfeld. In 976 Emperor Otto II enfeoffed the Babenberg count Leopold the Illustrious with the Austrian margraviate. A large-scale German settlement along the Danube down to the border with Hungary followed, which disrupted the Slavic continuity between the West Slavic and South Slavic lands. Although today associated with the Habsburg dynasty, Austria was, until 1246, a feudal possession of the younger House of Babenberg. Margrave Leopold the Generous was a loyal liensman of the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen in the struggle against the Bavarian Welf dynasty.
In 1139, after King Conrad III of Germany deposed the Welf duke Henry the Proud, he gave the Bavarian duchy to his half-brother Margrave Leopold. Leopold's brother and successor Henry Jasomirgott was enfeoffed with Bavaria in 1141. In 1156 the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick Barbarossa approached a settlement with the Welfs. At the 1156 Imperial Diet in Regensburg, Henry Jasomirgott had to renounce the Bavarian duchy in favour of Henry the Lion. In compensation, the Babenberg margraviate was elevated to an equal duchy, confirmed by numerous privileges granted by the Privilegium Minus on 17 September; the new Austrian duke took his residence at Vienna at the site of the Hofburg Palace. He founded Schottenstift Abbey as the Babenberg proprietary church, settled with Irish monks; the Austrian lands prospered, due to their favourable location on the Danube, as an important trade route from Krems and Mautern via Vienna down to Hungary and the Byzantine Empire. For a short time, the Babenbergs came to be one of the most influential ruling families in the Empire, peaking under the reign of Leopold V the Virtous and Leopold VI the Glorious.
In 1186, they signed the Georgenberg Pact with the first and last Otakar duke Ottokar IV of Styria and, upon his death in 1192, acquired the adjacent Styrian lands in the south, which were ruled with Austria in personal union until 1918. They expanded their territory into the old Bavarian lands west of the Enns River, along the Traun to the city of Linz, the future capital of Upper Austria. In 1191 Duke Leopold V joined the Siege of Acre. Once the city was conquered and occupied, he picked a fierce quarrel with King Richard the Lionheart over Leopold's raising of his Babenberg banner beside the royal flags of Richard and Philip II of France; when the English king passed through Austria on his way home, Leopold had him abducted and arrested at Dürnstein Castle. Handed over to Emperor Henry VI, Richard was only released after paying an enormous ransom, the duke used his share to lay out the Wiener Neustadt fortification near the Hungarian border. According to legend, the emperor granted him permission to bear the red-white-red colours that became the flag of Austria.
His son Leopold VI, sole ruler of the Austrian and Styrian lands from 1198, married the Byzantine princess Theo
Federal State of Austria
The Federal State of Austria was a continuation of the First Austrian Republic between 1934 and 1938 when it was a one-party state led by the clerico-fascist Fatherland Front. The Ständestaat concept, derived from the notion of Stände, was propaganda advocated by leading regime politicians such as Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg; the result was an authoritarian government based on a mix of conservative Catholic and Italian Fascist influences. In the 1890s, the founding members of the conservative-clerical Christian Social Party like Karl von Vogelsang and the Vienna mayor Karl Lueger had developed anti-liberal views, though from an economic perspective considering the pauperization of the proletariat and the lower middle class. Referring to the doctrine of Catholic social teaching, the CS agitated against the Austrian labour movement led by the Social Democratic Party of Austria; the CS spread antisemitic prejudices, albeit never as virulent as the Nazis became. During the Great Depression in the First Austrian Republic of the early 1930s, the CS on the basis of the Quadragesimo anno encyclical issued by Pope Pius XI in 1931 pursued the idea of overcoming the ongoing class struggle by the implementation of a corporative form of government modelled on Italian fascism and Portugal’s Estado Novo.
The CS politician Engelbert Dollfuss, appointed Chancellor of Austria in 1932, on 4 March 1933 saw an opportunity in the resignation of Social Democrat Karl Renner as president of the Austrian Nationalrat, after irregularities occurred during a voting process. Dollfuss called the incident a "self-elimination" of the parliament and had the following meeting on 15 March forcibly prorogued by the forces of the Vienna police department, his party fellow, President Wilhelm Miklas, analogous to Adolf Hitler's victory in the German elections of 5 March 1933 did not take any action to restore democracy. Chancellor Dollfuss governed by emergency decree, including the ban of the Communist Party on 26 May 1933, the Social Democratic Republikanischer Schutzbund paramilitary organization on 30 May and the Austrian branch of the Nazi Party on 19 June. Instead on 20 May 1933 he had established the Fatherland's Front as a unity party of "an autonomous, German, corporative Federal State of Austria". On 12 February 1934 the government's attempts to enforce the ban of the Schutzbund at the Hotel Schiff in Linz sparked the Austrian Civil War.
The revolt was suppressed with support by the Bundesheer and right-wing Heimwehr troops under Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, ending with the ban of the Social Democratic Party and the trade unions. The path to dictatorship completed on 1 May 1934, when the Constitution was recast into a authoritarian document by a rump National Council. Dollfuss continued to rule by emergency measures until his assassination during the Nazi July Putsch on 25 July 1934. Although the coup had the encouragement of Hitler, it was suppressed and his education minister, Kurt Schuschnigg, succeeded him. Hitler denied any involvement in the coup d'état, he continued to destabilize the Austrian government system by secretly supporting Nazi sympathizers like Arthur Seyss-Inquart and Edmund Glaise-Horstenau. In turn Austria under Schuschnigg sought the backing by its southern neighbour, the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Tables turned after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935/36, when Mussolini, internationally isolated, approached Hitler.
Though Schuschnigg tried to improve relations with Nazi Germany by amnestying several Austrian Nazis and accepting them in the Fatherland's Front, he had no chance to prevail against the "axis" of Berlin and Rome proclaimed by Mussolini on 1 November 1936. According to the Hossbach Memorandum, Hitler in November 1937 declared his plans for an Austrian campaign in a meeting with Wehrmacht commanders. Under the mediation of the German ambassador Franz von Papen, Schuschnigg on 12 February 1938 traveled to Hitler's Berghof residence in Berchtesgaden, only to be confronted with an ultimatum to readmit the Nazi Party and to appoint Seyss-Inquart and Glaise-Horstenau ministers of the Austrian cabinet. Schuschnigg, impressed by the presence of OKW chief General Wilhelm Keitel, gave in and on 16 February Seyss-Inquart became head of the strategically important Austrian interior ministry. After the British ambassador to Berlin, Nevile Henderson on 3 March 1938 had stated that the German claims to Austria were justified, Schuschnigg started a last attempt to retain Austrian autonomy by scheduling a nationwide referendum on 13 March.
As part of his effort to ensure victory, he released the Social Democratic leaders from prison and gained their support in return for dismantling the one-party state and legalizing the socialist trade unions. Hitler reacted with the mobilization of Wehrmacht troops at the Austrian border and demanded the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Austrian chancellor. On 11 March Austrian Nazis forced Schuschnigg to resign. Seyss-Inquart was sworn in as his successor by Miklas and the next day Wehrmacht troops crossed the border meeting no resistance. Hitler had intended to retain Austria as a puppet state headed by Seyss-Inquart. However, the enthusiastic support for Hitler led him to change his stance and support a full Anschluss between Austria and Nazi Germany. On 13 March Seyss-Inquart formally decreed the Anschluss, though President Miklas avoided signing the law by resigning immediately. Seyss-Inquart took over most of Miklas' duties and signed the Anschluss bill into law. Two days in his speech at the Vienna Helden
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
Ostmark was the name used by Nazi propaganda from 1938 to 1942 to replace that of the independent Federal State of Austria after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany. After Austrian-born Adolf Hitler had completed union between his birth country and Germany the Nazi government had the incorporated territory renamed: the name Austria was at first replaced by "Ostmark", referring to the 10th century Marcha orientalis; the change of name was meant to refer to Austria as now being the "eastern march" of the Reich. In August 1938, the Donau-Zeitung proudly referred to Passau as "the cradle of the new Ostmark". According to the Ostmarkgesetz with effect from 1 May 1939 the former States of Austria were reorganized into seven Reichsgaue, each under the rule of a government official holding the dual offices of Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter: Carinthia, including East Tyrol. Salzburg Styria, including the southern districts of Burgenland. A Reichsgau was a new, simple administrative sub-division institution which replaced the federal states in the otherwise centralized Third Reich.
From 1942, as the term "Ostmark" was still too reminiscent of the old, independent state of Austria, the chosen official name for the seven entities was Donau- und Alpenreichsgaue. In the course of the Allied occupation after World War II, the Austrian state was restored in its pre-1938 borders according to the 1943 Moscow Declaration. Anschluss Areas annexed by Nazi Germany Austria in the time of National Socialism
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e