Federal Army (1st Republic)
Commander in Chief
de jure :
National Council (until 1929)
Federal President (from 1929)
|Commander in chief de facto :||
Federal Minister for the Army (until 1936)
Federal Minister for National Defense (from 1936)
|Military Commander:||Chief of the General Staff|
|Military leadership:||General Staff|
|Active soldiers:||Most recently: 60,000|
|Conscription:||Banned under the Treaty of St. Germain , reintroduced in 1936|
|Eligibility for military service:||Age 17 - 42|
|Founding:||November 8, 1918 as a people's army|
|Replacement:||In 1938 in the Wehrmacht|
Almost simultaneously with the collapse of the army of the Habsburg Monarchy at the end of the First World War in 1918, the armed forces of the successor states emerged - mostly with recourse to the personnel and material of the Austro-Hungarian army , which the new Republic of German-Austria wanted to avoid as far as possible. For its protection, the young republic also needed a republican-democratically minded army in order to be able to defend itself against reaction and monarchical restoration if necessary . Attempts to overthrow the communist regime also posed a real threat after a short-lived Soviet republic under the leadership of Béla Kun had existed in Hungary from March to August 1919 . It was not only important to defend the borders externally, but also especially the new form of government of the republic and its internal democratic institutions.
However, the cadres of the Habsburg army that had previously been sworn in to the emperor were extremely poorly suited, especially since not a few still felt sworn in to the emperor and monarchy even after the lost war, since emperor Karl did not release the officers from their oath, but only allowed the taking of a vow to the republic. Nevertheless, State Secretary Julius Deutsch managed to prevent a restoration of the Habsburgs, although the officer corps of the new army undoubtedly harbored massive monarchist sympathies.
The People's Army 1918–1920
At the beginning of November 1918 - before the proclamation of the republic - the “Preliminary Guidelines for the Establishment of the People's Army ” were already published in German-Austria . These had been worked out primarily by Julius Deutsch ( SPÖ ) and his staff on the night of November 3, 1918. The plans for the new people's armed forces had to be available sooner than the plans of the conservative forces for the formation of the new army from cadres of the former Austro-Hungarian army . Otherwise these would hardly have had a chance of being realized, since the question of time was one of the very essential and decisive factors when the republic was founded.
After all, the new republic “German Austria” had to be able not only politically but also militarily to withstand any attempts at restoration by the Habsburgs and the monarchists as a whole. Then there was the threat from the communists and the struggle for the southern border of the new state - it was not just about the Carinthian state border , but primarily about the borderline of the entire state of German-Austria. The internal structure of the new republic was also up for debate, heatedly debated and even attempted to solve it by force of arms, as the events of November 12, 1918 and the two communist coups of 1919 show. A soviet republic or a non- republican, rather fascist federal state would also have been conceivable . A particular difficulty in this context was that one had no practical experience with the republican form of government, i.e. it was not possible to assess whether and how it would prove itself in dealing with the numerous pending questions, such as the negotiation of the peace treaty. After all, there was hardly any consensus on this and the victorious powers - as is well known - naturally had their own ideas. In addition, a possible claim to Burgenland or parts of it most likely had to be fought for. In fact, there was no stable peace in sight for a long time. The only thing they agreed was that the young republic was in dire need of an army. How this should look, however, remained a hotly controversial question domestically for a long time. If you consider the restoration attempts of the Habsburgs, which cannot be ruled out, then the signs for the new state were extremely bad, the starting position was, strictly speaking, catastrophic.
Origin and performance of the people's armed forces
Julius Deutsch, the founder of the Volkswehr, which had emerged from an already existing secret organization in the Austro-Hungarian Army, had participated as an artillery officer in the First World War in various theaters of war. At the end of the war he worked in the War Ministry in Vienna. On February 6, 1919, the Provisional National Assembly "German Austria" passed a provisional military law on the basis of the long-discussed draft of November 12, 1918, which provided for general conscription in the "People's Army" from 18 to 41 years of age. In the government of State Chancellor Karl Renner , Deutsch took over the State Office for the Army after the elections on February 16, 1919. His predecessor up to this point was the German national Josef Mayer .
On November 8, 1918, Field Marshal Lieutenant Adolf von Boog , an officer and division commander who was not particularly popular with the troops, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the People's Armed Forces, who made his vow as a "German man in ardent love for my German people". His appointment was a concession to the more monarchist-minded parts of the officer corps of the People's Army, while at that time the teams were still predominantly republican. The military command in this new army was, however, considerably restricted by the appointment of soldiers' councils (e.g. participation in promotions, etc.).
Furthermore, these soldiers' councils did not form a politically homogeneous group, as the example of Captain Josef Leopold , who later became Gauleiter of Lower Austria , shows. Like many others, he had joined the People's Army because he was able to achieve an officer rank as a non-high school graduate, namely the newly created rank of "People's Army Lieutenant". As such, he was also elected Officer Soldier Council in the People's Army Battalion in the 9th district of Vienna.
Despite strong reservations among the former imperial officers, a number of higher commanders made themselves available to help build the army, such as Colonels Haas and Wächter , who had been awarded the Order of Maria Theresa . Colonel Theodor Körner , formerly Chief of Staff of the Isonzo Army and later the Social Democratic Federal President , also joined them, as did Major Alexander Eifler , who later made a name for himself as Chief of Staff of the Republican Guard . Likewise was Erwin von Lahousen , in World War II, a leading member of the military resistance against Adolf Hitler , as a platoon leader of the depot guards Kaiserebersdorf and Korneuburg member of the militia. Julius Deutsch succeeded to a large extent, on the one hand, in not allowing the cadres of the old Habsburg army [...] to become the organizational basis of the new republican armed forces "(German), on the other hand in absorbing radical developments. The “Red Guard” , led by councilors and left-wing socialists, then communists like Josef Frey , was taken over into Volkswehr Battalion 41 and thus integrated into the emerging army of the First Republic.
In 1919 the transitional army , made up almost entirely of infantry , was deployed in the crushing of communist coup attempts on Maundy Thursday and June 15, as well as in the Carinthian defensive battle , with which the people's armed forces spared the young state of German-Austria the fate of a communist soviet republic. In the Carinthian defensive battle, the Viennese Volkswehr artillery and the Tyrolean volunteer battalion “Captain von Dragoni” in 1919 gave Carinthia massive support. The main burden, however, was borne by the Carinthian People's Army under its Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig Hülgerth . The strongest sub-organization was the Vienna People's Army, as the federal states of Vienna and Lower Austria still formed a political unit at that time. As a result, the Vienna People's Army was divided into the command areas Vienna City and Vienna Land, also called Vienna Province. The people's armed forces were organized throughout the state, with the largest unit being the infantry battalion. This would have made it easy and quick to integrate them into the German Reichswehr if they had joined the Weimar Republic . For the same reason, the armed forces of the First Republic wore uniforms that were clearly similar to the German model.
When the peace treaty of Saint-Germain was signed on September 10, 1919 , the provisional defense law had become obsolete due to its military provisions and the people's armed forces had to be converted into a professional army , the now “Federal Army”. Part V of the contract contained the "provisions on land, sea and air forces". Heavy weapons and the maintenance of air forces, general conscription and the formation of a general staff were banned, the troop strength was set at a maximum of 30,000 men (including a maximum of 1,500 officers and 2,000 non-commissioned officers ), and numerous details such as the length of service were specified.
The Armed Forces in Democracy 1920–1933
The new defense law and the tasks of the federal army
The new Defense Act of March 18, 1920 had to take account of the contractual provisions (e.g. § 1: "The army is formed through recruitment").
However, for financial reasons, the maximum permitted level was rarely reached throughout the First Republic. Mostly he was between 21,000 and 25,000 men. The teams served six years in the presence and in reserve positions.
Domestically, however, the Defense Act bore "the stamp of a compromise between the Social Democrats and the bourgeois parties, although the Social Democrats believed, both through the institution of the soldiers' councils and through their strong support among the soldiers, that they had the upper hand"
The armed forces were subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Army (BMfHW) and had the following purposes:
- Protecting the constitutional institutions of the republic and maintaining order and security inside,
- Assistance in the event of natural disasters and accidents of an extraordinary extent and
- Protection of the borders of the republic
The first test: Burgenland
The first practical test for the still young armed forces was the conquest of Burgenland , which took place in 1921. In the Treaty of Trianon , the separation of the German-speaking areas of Hungary to Austria was determined. The attempt to implement the treaty through the invasion of the Austrian gendarmerie on August 28th was prevented by Hungarian irregulars . The army command was therefore forced to move more and more units of the federal army to the Lower Austrian and Styrian border from August 29th. There was a first heavy battle with the Hungarian paramilitary units on September 5th in Kirchschlag in the Bucklige Welt , when the 2nd Battalion of Infantry Regiment 5 deployed there and lost 7 dead and 15 wounded, the penetration of the Hungarian forces on Austria Territory prevented.
Hungary only submitted to its fate with the Venice Protocol on October 13, 1921, and no longer offered any resistance to the final conquest of the land, which was now carried out by the Federal Army. The occupation of the northern part of the new federal state took place from November 13th to 17th by the 3rd, 4th and 6th Brigade with a total of 17 battalions and eight batteries without bloodshed. After the completion of this operation, the 3rd and 4th Brigades moved to the south of Lower Austria and Styria and, with the 5th Brigade on the Styrian border, occupied the southern part of Burgenland .
The further development of the Federal Army in the 1st Republic
In order to secure the armed forces team, the following contingents had to be advertised from the federal states:
- Vienna 9,000 men
- Lower Austria 6500 men
- Upper Austria 4000 men
- Styria 4000 men
- Tyrol 1700 men
- Carinthia 1700 men
- Burgenland 1500 men
- Salzburg 1000 men
- Vorarlberg 600 men
However, the armed forces primarily served as a means of domestic political power.
Emerging from the republican-social-democratically-minded people's armed forces, men and non-commissioned officers as well as parts of the officer corps were close to the social democracy . This also provided almost exclusively the shop stewards, who had a strong legal position in the army and also ensured that soldiers often joined the Republican Protection Association immediately after they left the army . The development of military policy in these years was characterized by the efforts of the bourgeois parties to suppress the strong influence of social democracy in the armed forces. The social democratic “military association”, in which the majority of the teams were organized, was now opposed by a bourgeois “military association”. He was only able to slowly gain votes in the shop steward elections, but over the years the tide turned.
In 1921 the Christian Social Member of the National Council, Carl Vaugoin, became Minister of the Army for the first time , who finally held this office from May 1922 to September 1933. His efforts to "depoliticize" the army de facto led to its "re-politicization".
Incidentally, the rebuilding of the army was materially endangered by the consequences of the Geneva restructuring . Radical waves of dismantling hit the younger officers in particular, but the material hardship also hampered training and equipment. Army Inspector Major General Theodor Körner submitted a memorandum when he left the service in 1924 in which, in addition to the political criticism of the “change in color”, he denounced the army's financial starvation: “What then remains and is called the Federal Army,” he concluded, “ is only an association that prepares for parades and marches that [...] hides the public about the sad reality "
The federal army in the civil war and in the corporate state 1934–1938
After the Austrofascist federal government had largely overturned the constitution, in February 1934, however, the workers and social democrats rose up in the Austrian civil war . The armed forces took action against the "insurgents" on the orders of the government, in Vienna even artillery was used against members of the Schutzbund. It should be noted, however, that the grenades were appropriately manipulated before use, thus rendering the detonators unusable. As a result, they hit only full floors without exploding. This kept the damage to the buildings as low as possible. Nevertheless, the use of the armed forces with the use of heavy weapons remained long and deeply anchored in the collective memory of Austria and caused an aversion of the Austrian social democracy to the army that lasted for decades. During July Putsch of the Nazis , the army has also been used. During the fighting against the SA and SS, 23 army soldiers fell, including the commanders of the troops deployed: In Carinthia Major Smolle (near Wolfsberg ), in Upper Austria Lieutenant Colonel Charvát (on the Pyhrn Pass ). From 1934 to 1936, contrary to the Treaty of Saint Germain, but with the tolerance of the Western European powers, an air force was initially established and the armed forces subsequently increased to over 30,000 men. Field Marshal Lieutenant Alfred Jansa was chief of the newly established General Staff from June 1, 1935 (title from April 1936). Finally, in 1936 compulsory military service for men between the ages of 18 and 42 was introduced, the initially one-year service period was extended to 18 months in 1938.
Elimination and takeover of the armed forces in the armed forces in 1938
In the Berchtesgaden Agreement of February 12, 1938, Federal Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was forced to appoint the National Socialist Arthur Seyß-Inquart as Minister of the Interior and Security. At the same time, point 8 of this agreement ensured that the Chief of the General Staff Field Marshal Lieutenant Alfred Jansa , who advocated an independent Austria , was retired on February 17 and replaced by Major General Franz Böhme, who was the only member of the Austrian generals who was a member of the illegal National Socialist soldiers' ring. Even later as a Wehrmacht general he was a fanatical National Socialist and "the only high Austrian commander who was an active promoter of the Holocaust and who went further in its implementation than the orders [...] prescribed"
As a result, Schuschnigg planned to hold a referendum on Austria's independence on March 13, 1938. However, he had to give up this project under pressure from Hitler, whereupon Schuschnigg resigned on March 11th. On the same day, Seyss-Inquart was appointed Chancellor by Federal President Wilhelm Miklas after Hermann Göring threatened to invade him by telephone . Göring then had a telegram drawn up on Hitler's orders requesting the dispatch of Reich German troops, which the Reich government then sent to itself on behalf of the now Federal Chancellor Seyss-Inquart. The next day, March 12, 1938, units of the German Wehrmacht and the German police, a total of 65,000 men, some of whom were heavily armed, marched into Austria.
The Federal Army, already led by Böhme, offered no resistance on the orders of the Austrian federal government, which was now also led by the National Socialists.
On March 15, the personnel changes in the army command began. Those members of the armed forces who were persecuted for reasons of “political unreliability” and / or because of their “racial” origin after the “Anschluss” were not accepted into the Wehrmacht. The remaining generals, officers and army officials were usually accepted into the Wehrmacht with their previous rank (exceptions: field marshal lieutenants received the rank of lieutenant general, army ensigns were generally appointed chief middlemen of the army). 14 generals and 50 staff officers were dismissed, and another 70 followed in the next few weeks. The layoffs continued until 1939.
In total, 55 percent of all generals, 40 percent of the colonels and about 14 percent of the other ranks down to lieutenant were "excluded from being accepted into the Wehrmacht". After the state secretary General Wilhelm Zehner , the general troop inspector, three of the eight division commanders, three brigadiers, twelve regimental commanders and the army medical chief were among the dismissed , “one can speak of an amputation of the head of the army”. The previous State Secretary, General der Infanterie Zehner, was apparently murdered on April 11, 1938 when the Gestapo entered his apartment, and a number of officers lost their lives in the prisons and concentration camps of the National Socialists, including Field Marshal Lieutenant Johann Friedländer and Major General Josef Stochmal . General Troop Inspector Schilhawsky and General Luschinsky, who later worked in the resistance movement, were also temporarily in custody, as were a number of lower officers. Others, such as the former Chief of Staff Field Marshal Lieutenant Jansa or the commander of the 6th Division, Major General Szente, were banished to the " Altreich " and placed under police supervision. This ended the history of the first Austrian army in 1938.
The incorporation of the personnel level below the officer corps, i.e. the military men, batches (private, corporal, platoon leader), non-commissioned officers (sergeant, staff sergeant, sometimes also officers' deputies) and professional non-commissioned officers (officer deputy, deputy lieutenant), also caused distortions. The batches and non-commissioned officers who were required to do so were classified according to their rank, recognizing their previous service: soldiers as riflemen, etc. or privates; Corporals as private or corporal, rarely as non-commissioned officers; Platoon leader as a corporal, rarely as a sergeant or sergeant. The sergeants were usually taken over as Unterfeldwebel or Feldwebel, the staff sergeant as sergeant in the Wehrmacht. The officers' deputies who served as temporary soldiers received the rank of sergeant major.
The multiple grouping of the corporal and platoon commander's ranks in the Wehrmacht's ranks was often perceived by those affected as degrading; Even former sergeants and staff sergeants often quarreled with their new, in their opinion low-qualified ranks. In the units of the former armed forces, the procedure led to a shortage of sergeants' doors (which the German side may have deliberately accepted), even in the upper echelons. The resulting gaps were filled with NCOs of all ranks from the "Altreich".
The professional NCOs were on November 30, 1938, i. d. R. under promotion to Landwehr officer, retired. The reason for the measure was that the Wehrmacht hired professional officers, but not professional non-commissioned officers (only non-commissioned officers and crews with a maximum of twelve years of commitment). During the eight and a half month transition period between "Anschluss" and discharge, the professional NCOs were initially grouped as sergeant-major. After massive protests, they were soon allowed to continue their armed forces rank and placed officers' deputies (if they were professional sergeants) and vice lieutenants on an equal footing with the senior middlemen (and not, for example, with the newly introduced Wehrmacht staff sergeant!). Since their dismissal was already certain, the professional NCOs were allowed to wear either the army uniform or the Oberfähnrich uniform of the Wehrmacht with the armpit flaps worn in the Austrian army from 1923 to 1933/34 until their departure.
The associations were partially closed (see below) and taken over into the Wehrmacht, but were not allowed to continue any specifically Austrian traditions. This was even more true for new units that supplemented their crews from what is now the Ostmark . Wehrkreis XVII (Vienna, 44th and 45th Infantry Division ), Wehrkreis XVIII (Salzburg, 2nd and 3rd Mountain Division ) and the 4th light division of the XIXth Division were Austrian . Army corps , but they were mainly commanded by Imperial German officers, as the younger officer corps and the offspring of the army were almost completely distributed among various troops in the "Old Reich". It was only when the regime had to mobilize all reserves after the Battle of Stalingrad that they wanted to motivate the Austrians again with a cautious return to Austrian traditions, so in June 1943 the 44th Infantry Division, which was destroyed there and consisting mainly of Viennese and Lower Austrians, was placed under the Name "Reichsgrenadierdivision Hoch- und Deutschmeister" again.
The takeover of the armed forces in the armed forces is documented in the Vienna Army History Museum . One of the exhibits is an M 33 officers' field blouse, which was adapted for use in the German Wehrmacht, as German uniforms were not available in sufficient quantities after the armed forces were incorporated into the Wehrmacht. So Austrian uniforms were quickly adapted.
Defense ministers and army inspectors from 1918 to 1938
Defense Minister of the First Republic
State Secretaries in the State Office for the Army
Federal Minister for the Army
- 1920: Egon Glanz
- 1921: Walter Breisky
- 1921: Carl Vaugoin
- 1921: Josef Wächter
- 1922: Carl Vaugoin
- 1933: Engelbert Dollfuss
- 1934: Alois Schönburg-Hartenstein
- 1934: Engelbert Dollfuss
- 1934: Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg
- 1934: Kurt Schuschnigg
Federal Minister for National Defense
- 1936 Kurt Schuschnigg
Army inspectors (from 1937 general troop inspectors)
- 1922–1923 Colonel Brigadier Rudolf Vidossich
- 1923–1924 Major General Theodor Körner
- 1924 Major General Josef Schneider
- 1925–1926 General Thomas Buzek
- 1926–1929 General Richard Schilhawsky
- 1929–1930 General Ludwig Eimannsberger
- 1930–1932 Infantry General Siegmund Knaus
- 1932–1938 General of the Infantry Sigismund Schilhawsky
(In 1937 the office of Army Inspector was renamed General Troop Inspector.)
In 1920/21 six mixed brigades with 140 to 198 officers and 4,250 to 5,350 men were set up as combat units with combined arms - a progressive solution for the conditions at the time. Each brigade should include two regiments of infantry or alpine hunters , a military police battalion on wheels, a squadron of dragons, an artillery division and an engineer battalion. In addition, there were the necessary staff and telecommunications troops, as well as corresponding supply units, including one vehicle each.
In 1926 plans were made to reclassify into three divisions (1st Lower Austria and Burgenland, 2nd Vienna, 3rd Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg) and an independent brigade (Styria and Carinthia), but this failed due to personnel, material and financial reasons. For financial reasons, only about 80% of the permitted maximum strength of 30,000 men was set up. In 1933 a guard battalion was set up.
The brigades were converted into divisions of about 12,000 men each on June 1, 1935 .
Only the 8th Brigade, built in early 1935, remained as such with a strength of 6,769 men (as of March 1938).
On February 1, 1936, a 7th division was set up.
In March 1938 the armed forces had a presence of around 60,000 men and a mobilization level of around 127,000 men.
In addition, eight militia brigades with 18 regiments and a total of 104 battalions of infantry, as well as a militia cavalry squadron, eleven militia batteries with 44 old guns, a militia motor corps, air raid formations and company militias were to be mobilized for the protection of industrial plants.
The total strength of this militia, known as the front militia, would have been over 100,000 men, but the armament was hopelessly outdated, anti-tank weapons did not exist, and in some cases rifles were only available for half of the militia officers. The ammunition supply was less than 40 rounds per rifle, and the ammunition was not compatible with that of the armed forces.
The infantry regiments consisted of a headquarters company, a heavy company and three battalions with four companies each. Feldjäger were reconnaissance officers, while motorists were motorized infantry. Telegraph and engineer battalions of the divisions were partially motorized.
The infantry cannon departments were motorized tank destroyers, some with ADMK motorized cartridges as the towing vehicle. The light artillery regiments were generally horse-drawn (only No. 9 fully motorized) and were composed as follows:
- medium artillery battalion with two batteries of field cannons and one battery of light field howitzers
- Motorized artillery battalion with three batteries of light field howitzers (the Salzburg Light Artillery Regiment No. 8 had an infantry cannon department instead)
- Mountain Artillery Battalion (motorized in some divisions) with two batteries 7.5 cm mountain guns and one battery 10 cm mountain howitzers
The following list shows the association allocation at the time of establishment or conversion to division (changes up to 1938 at the end, locations - if known - in brackets):
1st Brigade Burgenland (from 1935: 1st Division)
- Colonel Brigadier Rudolf Vidossich (December 1, 1920 to November 1, 1922)
- Colonel Oskar Jaeger (November 1 to December 1, 1922)
- Major General Ottokar Hubert (December 1, 1922 to August 1, 1923)
- Colonel Karl Köbe (August 1, 1923 to January 31, 1924)
- Major General Hermenegild Sandri (February 1, 1924 to April 30, 1925)
- Major General Ferdinand Pfisterer (May 1, 1925 to July 31, 1926)
- Major General Leopold Schubert (August 1, 1926 to January 31, 1929)
- Major General Eugen Redl (February 1, 1929 to March 31, 1931)
- Major General Heribert Wuczkowski (April 1, 1931 to July 31, 1933)
- Colonel Albert Oberweger (August 1 to December 1, 1933)
- Major General Theodor Haselmayr (December 1, 1933 to March 1, 1934)
- Major General Ferdinand Pichler (March 1 to July 3, 1934)
- Major General Heinrich Stümpfl (August 1, 1934 to March 1938)
- Division command (Vienna I, Universitätsstrasse )
- Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment Emperor Franz Joseph I. No. 1 ( Wiener Neustadt , Wöllersdorf , Felixdorf )
- Vienna Infantry Regiment Alt-Starhemberg No. 2 (Vienna VII and XVI)
- Burgenland Infantry Regiment Carl Herzog von Lothringen No. 13 ( Eisenstadt , Hainburg )
- Burgenland military police battalion No. 2 ( Pinkafeld , Oberwart )
- Lower Austrian Light Artillery Regiment No. 1 (Vienna II and III, Payerbach )
- Vienna Engineer Battalion No. 1 ( Klosterneuburg )
- Lower Austrian Telegraph Battalion 1 (Klosterneuburg)
- Burgenland Division Motor Vehicle Department 1 (Vienna III)
Additions until 1938:
- III. Battalion of the Salzburg Infantry Regiment No. 12 (Vienna XVI) from the 8th Brigade
- III. Battalion of the Tyrolean Jägerregiment (Vienna IX, Lermoos ) from the 6th Division
2nd Brigade Vienna (from 1935: 2nd Division)
- Colonel Johann Graf (September 1, 1920 to January 31, 1924)
- Major General Thomas Buzek (February 1, 1924 to March 31, 1925)
- Major General Paul Hofmann (April 1, 1925 to July 31, 1926)
- Major General Otto Wiesinger (July 1, 1926 to February 28, 1931)
- Major General Sigismund Schilhawski (March 1, 1931 to October 16, 1932)
- Major General Ing.Eugen Luschinsky (October 16, 1932 to February 28, 1934)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Theodor Haselmayr (March 1, 1934 to March 1938)
- Division command (Vienna I, Universitätsstrasse)
- Guard battalion (Vienna I)
- Vienna Infantry Regiment Archduke Carl No. 3 (Vienna III, Mistelbach )
- Vienna Infantry Regiment Hoch- und Deutschmeister No. 4 (Vienna IX)
- Vienna Infantry Regiment Babenberg No. 15 (Vienna III and X)
- Lower Austrian Infantry Cannon Department 2 (Vienna III)
- Vienna Light Artillery Regiment No. 2 (Vienna XIV)
- Independent artillery regiment of Emperor Maximilian I (Vienna XI)
- Vienna Engineer Battalion No. 2 ( Korneuburg )
- Vienna Telegraph Battalion 2 (Vienna XII)
- Vienna Division Motor Vehicle Department 2 (Vienna III)
Departures until 1938:
- Independent artillery regiment of Emperor Maximilian I to the army troops
- III. Battalion of Infantry Regiment No. 4 ( Landeck, Imst ) to the 6th Division
3rd Brigade Lower Austria (from 1935: 3rd Division)
- Lieutenant Field Marshal Viktor Sagai (December 1, 1920 to July 1, 1923)
- Infantry General Josef Schneider Edler von Manns-Au (July 1 to December 22, 1923)
- Major General Maximilian Freiherr von Themer-Jablonski (December 22, 1923 to December 1, 1924)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Friedrich Januard (December 1, 1924 to May 31, 1930)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Alfred Jansa (June 1, 1930 to August 31, 1932)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Wilhelm Gebauer (September 1, 1932 to March 31, 1937)
- Major General Valentin Feurstein (April 1, 1937 to March 1938)
- Division headquarters ( St. Pölten , Conrad-von-Hötzendorf-Straße)
- Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment General of Infantry Carl Vaugoin No. 5 (St. Pölten)
- Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment No. 6 Hesser (Staff and I. Bat. Krems ; II. And III. Bat. St. Pölten)
- Lower Austrian Light Artillery Regiment No. 3 (Vienna)
- Infantry cannon department 3 (St. Pölten)
- Lower Austrian Engineer Battalion No. 3
- Telegraph Battalion 3 ( Guntramsdorf / Vienna)
- Bridge Battalion Vice Admiral Tegetthoff
- Division Motor Vehicle Department 3
Departures until 1938:
- Bridge battalion Vice Admiral Tegetthoff to the army troops
Additions due to reorganization until 1938:
- IV. Battalion for Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment No. 6 Hesser ( Horn )
4th Brigade Upper Austria (from 1935: 4th Division)
- Lieutenant Field Marshal Karl Glöckner (August 1, 1920 to July 31, 1923)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Josef Dobretzberger (August 1, 1923 to November 30, 1925)
- Lieutenant Field Marshal Richard Schilhawsky, Knight von Bahnbrück (December 1, 1925 to March 1, 1926)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Oskar von Englisch-Popparich (March 1, 1926 to April 30, 1931)
- Major General Wolfgang Waldherr (May 1, 1931 to July 31, 1933)
- General of the Infantry Wilhelm Zehner (August 1, 1933 to July 20, 1934)
- Major General Josef Stochmal (July 20 to December 31, 1934)
- Major General Anton Kienbauer (January 1, 1935 to March 1938)
- Division headquarters ( Linz , Museumstrasse)
- Upper Austrian Alpine Hunter Regiment Empress Maria Theresia No. 8 (Wels)
- Upper Austrian Infantry Regiment No. 14 Hessen (Linz)
- Upper Austrian Light Artillery Regiment No. 4 (Linz)
- Infantry cannon division 4 ( Freistadt )
- Upper Austrian Pioneer Battalion No. 4 Birago
- Telegraph Battalion 4 (Linz)
- Division Motor Vehicle Department 4
Additions due to reorganization until 1938:
- IVth Battalion Upper Austrian Alpine Hunter Regiment Empress Maria Theresia No. 8 ( Gmunden )
- Infantry Regiment No. 17 ( Ried , Schärding , Braunau , Freistadt)
5th Brigade Styria (from 1935: 5th Division)
- Major General Karl Plachota (December 1, 1920 to October 31, 1922)
- Major General Martin Pedretti (November 1, 1922 to January 31, 1924)
- Major General Karl Plachota (February 1, 1924 to February 28, 1926)
- Major General Franz Klemm (March 1 to October 31, 1926)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Hugo Metzger (November 1, 1926 to December 31, 1928)
- General of the Infantry Sigismund Schilhawsky, (January 1, 1929 to March 31, 1930)
- Major General Johann v. Sagburg zu Pfefferslehensegg, Gösslheimb u. Gallo di Escalada (April 1, 1930 to July 31, 1933)
- Major General Ferdinand Pichler (August 1, 1933 to February 28, 1934)
- Major General Chlodwig Schwarzleitner-Domonkos (March 1 to July 3, 1934)
- Major General Ferdinand Pichler (July 3, 1934 to March 1, 1936)
- Major General Eduard Barger (March 1 to September 30, 1936)
- Major General Rudolf Scheffarz (October 1, 1936 to March 1938)
- Division staff ( Graz , Glacisstraße)
- Styrian Alpine Hunter Regiment Field Marshal Daun No. 9 (Graz, Straß )
- Styrian Alpine Hunter Regiment Field Marshal Conrad v. Hötzendorf No. 10 (Graz, Radkersburg )
- Styrian Infantry Regiment Field Marshal Laudon No. 11 ( Leoben , Bruck , Judenburg )
- Styrian Light Artillery Regiment Van der Gröben No. 5 (Graz)
- Styrian Infantry Cannon Department 5 ( Gösting )
- Styrian Pioneer Battalion Hermann von Hermannsdorf No. 5 (Gösting)
- Styrian Telegraph Battalion 5 (Graz)
- Styrian Division Motor Vehicle Department 5 (Graz)
6th Brigade Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg (from 1935: 6th Division)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Georg Hohenberger (December 1, 1920 to November 1, 1922)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Karl Heppner-Kadlcik (November 1, 1922 to March 8, 1924)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Oskar Suttner (March 8, 1924 to December 31, 1926)
- Major General Adolf Sterz, Edler von Ponteguerra (January 1, 1927 to June 30, 1929)
- Major General Walter Kirsch (July 1, 1929 to January 31, 1930)
- Major General Alfred Thym (February 1, 1930 to July 31, 1932)
- Major General Artur Wimmer (August 1, 1932 to September 30, 1933)
- Major General Willibald Perko, Knight von Greiffenbühl (October 1, 1933 to December 31, 1934)
- Major General Johann Harhammer (January 1, 1935 to August 31, 1935)
- Field Marshal Lieutenant Eugen Beyer (September 1, 1935 to March 1938)
- Division headquarters ( Innsbruck , Innrain)
- Tyrolean Jägerregiment (Innsbruck)
- Tyrolean Rifle Regiment Dr. Dollfuss ( Solbad Hall , Kufstein )
- Vorarlberg Alpine Hunter Battalion No. 4 ( Bregenz , Bludenz )
- Tyrolean and Vorarlberg Light Artillery Regiment No. 6 (Innsbruck)
- Telegraph Battalion 6 (Innsbruck)
- Division Motor Vehicle Department 6 (Bregenz)
Departures until 1938:
- III. Battalion from the Tyrolean Jägerregiment to the 2nd Division
Additions until 1938:
- III. Battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Division ( Landeck )
7th Division (established in 1936)
- Major General Albert Oberweger (February 1 to September 30, 1936)
- Major General Eduard Barger (October 1, 1936 to March 1938)
- Division headquarters ( Klagenfurt )
- Carinthian Infantry Regiment Khevenhüller No. 7 (Klagenfurt, Wolfsberg , Völkermarkt )
- Carinthian Alpine Hunter Battalion No. 1 ( Spittal )
- East Tyrolean Alpine Hunter Battalion Andreas Hofer No. 3 ( Lienz )
- Carinthian Alpine Hunter Battalion No. 5 ( Villach )
- Carinthian and East Tyrolean Light Artillery Regiment No. 7 (Klagenfurt)
- Carinthian and East Tyrolean Pioneer Battalion No. 7
- Telegraph Battalion 7 (Klagenfurt)
- Division Motor Vehicle Department 7
8th Brigade (established in 1935)
- Colonel Josef Schmidberger (January 20 to September 1, 1935)
- Major General Adalbert Szente (September 1, 1935 to January 31, 1938)
- Major General Kurt Zborzil (February 1 to March 1938)
- Brigade staff ( Salzburg )
- Salzburg Infantry Regiment No. 12 (Salzburg)
- Salzburg Light Artillery Regiment No. 8 (Salzburg)
- Salzburg Pioneer Battalion No. 8 (Salzburg)
Departures until 1938:
- III. Battalion of the Salzburg Infantry Regiment No. 12 to the 1st Division
Additions until 1938:
- 1st Battalion of Infantry Regiment No. 2 of the 1st Division ( Saalfelden )
Fast Division (established 1935)
- Major General Johann Kubena (June 1, 1935 to September 30, 1936)
- Major General Alfred Hubicki (October 1, 1936 to March 1938)
- Division staff (Vienna)
- Cavalry Brigade
- Armored Car Battalion ( Bruckneudorf )
- Armored car company
- 4 small combat vehicle companies
- Motor Vehicle Brigade
- Burgenland truck battalion No. 1 ( Neusiedl am See )
- Vienna Motor Vehicle Battalion Field Marshal Radetzky No. 2 (Vienna)
- Lower Austrian motor vehicle battalion Kopal No. 3 (Vienna)
- Vienna Motor Vehicle Battalion No. 4 (Vienna)
- Vienna Light Artillery Regiment 9 (Vienna)
- Motor Pioneer Company
- Motor Telegraph Battalion
Independent units and army troops
- Army Engineer Department
- Railway company
- Army Telegraph Department
- Remonte squadron
- Military patrol train (military police and order force)
- Danube flotilla (with some small older boats).
Additions until 1938:
- Independent artillery regiment of Emperor Maximilian I. (partially motorized, consisting of two medium batteries with 10 cm cannons, two heavy batteries with 15 cm howitzers and a school battery with 15 cm cannons)
- Bridge Battalion Vice Admiral Tegetthoff
Appropriate schools were used to train cadre and specialist staff. The officer training took place from 1928 in a three-year officers academy for high school graduates and a two-year officers school, in which qualified NCOs were trained to become officers.
The army was mainly armed with handguns and artillery from the First World War, some models were slightly modified. The standard rifle was the Mannlicher Model 1895 carbine . The 4.7 cm infantry and anti-tank gun M35 Böhler was the only real new development.
- Steyr M1912 pistol
- Mannlicher model 1895 (shortened carabiner version)
- Submachine gun 34
- MG 30
- Machine gun Schwarzlose
Here is the target inventory of the major associations from March 1938 (excluding rifles, pistols and revolvers):
- Cavalry horses + carts:
- 1094 horses
- 60 wagons
- Submachine guns and machine guns:
Infantry division (based on divisions with nine infantry battalions, i.e. 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th)
- 708 submachine guns
- 278 light machine guns
- 181 heavy machine guns
- 21 anti-aircraft machine guns
- 27 8 cm grenade launchers (nominal strength was nowhere achieved)
- 39 M35 Böhler 4.7 cm infantry and anti-tank gun
- 8 8 cm mountain guns
- 8 8 cm field cannons
- 4 10 cm mountain howitzers
- 16 10 cm field howitzers
8th Infantry Brigade
- 346 submachine guns
- 130 light machine guns
- 78 heavy machine guns
- 12 anti-aircraft machine guns
- 12 8 cm grenade launchers
- 24 4.7 cm infantry and anti-tank guns
- 4 8 cm mountain guns
- 4 8 cm field cannons
- 2 10 cm mountain howitzers
- 6 10 cm field howitzers
The appearance of the armed forces was initially largely based on the German Reichswehr . Brown lace-up shoes and, for the cavalry, a hussar -like, double-breasted mente with a fur collar remained a characteristic Austrian element.
The field-gray field blouse without visible buttons had a high turn-down collar and double strands on the collar tabs in gun color , and a German steel helmet model 1916 or a peaked cap with gun- colored lugs on the band and edge of the lid was worn. Under the red-white-red cap cockade was a federal or state coat of arms made of brass.
Gun colors were as follows:
- Generals: vermilion
- Infantry: green grass
- Hunter: yellow green
- Cavalry: golden yellow
- Artillery: Crimson
- Pioneers: Black
- Driver: light blue
- Telegraph Troop: light brown
In the corporate state from 1934, uniforms were historicized based on the model of the Austro-Hungarian army . In addition to the field gray uniform, there was now also a peace uniform in traditional pike gray (exception: Guard battalion dark green, cavalry squadron 2 to 6 sky blue skirt, cavalry red trousers and red peaked caps). The old equalization (colloquially known as color box) was also revived in a reduced form: badge color (collar flap) and button metal as follows:
- Generals: vermilion / yellow
- Guard battalion: red with white advance / white
- Infantry regiments
- No. 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9: green / white
- No. 4: sky blue / yellow
- No. 5: carmine / yellow
- No. 6: pike gray / white
- No. 7: dark brown / white
- No. 10: imperial yellow / yellow
- No. 11: steel green / white
- No. 12: orange-yellow / yellow
- No. 13: pike gray / yellow
- No. 14: black / yellow
- No. 15: sulfur yellow / yellow
- State riflemen, hunters and motor vehicle hunters: grass green / yellow
- Driver and tank troops: black / yellow
- Artillery: scarlet / yellow
- Pioneers: steel green / yellow
- Dragoons (Regiment No. 1: 1st – 3rd Squadron, Regiment No. 2: 4th – 6th Squadron)
- 1st squadron: grass green / yellow
- 2nd squadron: dark red / yellow
- 3rd squadron: grass green / white
- 4th squadron: imperial yellow / white
- 5th squadron: scarlet / white
- 6th squadron: white / yellow
Generals wore wide red double stripes ( lampasses ) on the outside of their trousers. The mountain troops had edelweiss badges on the collar flaps and the left side of the cap. The guards wore a chased national coat of arms on their steel helmets and a white (gold for officers) lanyard on their left shoulder. The armored troops had an embroidered armored knight in gold, silver or dark gray on a black triangle over the right breast pocket. The drivers wore an impeller on their collar flaps.
After the "Anschluss" in 1938, the previous uniform was initially provided with the German national emblem, and around June 1938 it was replaced by the Wehrmacht uniform.
Integration into the Wehrmacht
After the " Anschluss ", the armed forces were integrated into the Wehrmacht , where they strengthened the mountain troops in particular. Some units were not transformed into new Wehrmacht units, but distributed to others. This was particularly the case with units whose previous name (e.g. "Dr. Dollfuss") was not compatible with the ideology of the new rulers.
Overview of the incorporated army units and their whereabouts in the Wehrmacht:
Infantry or Alpine Jäger Regiment No .:
- 1: II./Schützen -Regiment 12
- 2: 2nd / Cavalry Rifle Regiment 10
- 3: Infantry Regiment 131
- 4: Infantry Regiment 134
- 5: (without specific continuation)
- 6: Infantry Regiment 132, parts also from Cavalry Rifle Regiment 10
- 7: Mountain Jäger Regiment 139
- 8: Infantry Regiment 130
- 9: II./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
- 10: III./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
- 11: I./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
- 12: I / Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 137
- 13: Infantry Regiment 134
- 14: Infantry Regiment 133
- 15: (without specific continuation)
- 17: Infantry Regiment 135
- Guard battalion: Guard battalion Vienna
- Tyrolean Rifle Regiment Dr. Dollfuß : (without specific continuation)
- Tyrolean Jägerregiment: Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 136, 1 battalion to Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 140
Alpine Hunter Battalion No .:
- 1: II./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 137
- 3: III./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 137
- 4: (without specific continuation)
- 5: II./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 139
- 1: Engineer Battalion 80
- 2: Railway Pioneer Battalion 56
- 3: Engineer Battalion 70
- 4: Engineer Battalion 81
- 5: Mountain Pioneer Battalion 83
- 7: Mountain Pioneer Battalion 82
- 8: Mountain Pioneer Battalion 85
- Army Pioneer Department: Pioneer Battalion 86
- Bridge Battalion Vice Admiral Tegetthoff : (without concrete continuation)
- Motor Pioneer Company: (without specific continuation)
- 1: (without specific continuation)
- 2: Infantry Division Intelligence Division 64
- 3: Corps Intelligence Division 66
- 4: Infantry Division Intelligence Division 65
- 5: Mountain News Section 68
- 6: Mountain News Division 67
- 7: Mountain Corps Intelligence Division 70
- 8: (without specific continuation)
- Motor Telegraph Battalion: (without specific continuation)
Division motor vehicle department:
- 1: (without specific continuation)
- 2: (without specific continuation)
- 3: Division Motor Vehicle Department 17
- 4: Division Motor Vehicle Department 17
- 5: Mountain Motor Vehicle Department 18
- 6: Mountain Motor Vehicle Department 18
- 7: (without specific continuation)
- Armored Car Battalion: Panzer Division 33
Kraftfahrjäger Battalion No .:
- 1: I./Schützen -Regiment 12
- 2: 1st / Cavalry Rifle Regiment 11
- 3: 1st / Cavalry Rifle Regiment 10
- 4: 1st / Reconnaissance Regiment 9th
- Feldjäger Battalion No. 2: 2nd / Cavalry Rifle Regiment 11
- Dragoon Regiment No. 1 and 2: Cavalry Regiment 11
Light Artillery Regiment No .:
- 1: Artillery Regiment 96
- Staff / 2: Staff / Artillery Regiment 96
- I./2: II./Artillery Regiment 96
- II./2: Observation Department 44
- III./2: I./ Artillery Regiment 98
- Staff / 3: Artillery Regiment 103
- I./3: I./Artillerie-Regiment 97
- II./3: I./Artillery Regiment 103
- III./3: I./Artillerie-Regiment 96
- Staff / 4: Staff / Artillery Regiment 98
- I./4: I./Artillerie-Regiment 98
- II./4: 1st / Artillery Regiment 103
- III./4: 1st / Artillery Regiment 99
- 5: Mountain Artillery Regiment 112
- 6: Mountain Artillery Regiment 11
- 7: (without specific continuation)
- Staff and II./8: I./Artillerie-Regiment 110
- I./8: I./Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 113
- 9: Artillery Regiment 102
- Artillery Regiment “Kaiser Maximilian I.”: Artillery Regiment 109
Infantry cannon compartments
- 2: Anti-tank department 46
- 3: Anti-tank department 50
- 4: Anti-tank department 45
- 5: Mountain Anti-tank Department 48
In 1919, the Republic of Austria was forbidden to operate military aircraft in the peace treaty. In 1927, the Heimwehr Air Corps was founded with aircraft from Austrian, British and German production (dissolved in 1938 after the Anschluss). His symbol was a red-white-red flag with a white eagle in the middle on a green circle.
In 1928, the army began with the secret training of pilots. As a result, a technical infrastructure was created and aircraft were ordered in Italy.
In August 1933 the first aircraft ordered by the republic (5 Fiat CR.20 biplanes) were delivered. The armed forces secretly began to set up aviation associations in Vienna-Aspern and Graz-Thalerhof with aircraft made in Italy (Fiat Ansaldo and Caproni).
In 1936, the flight engineer Rosner from the Graz-Thalerhof Fliegerwerft won the competition for a new national emblem, which was introduced that same year. This white, isosceles triangle with the point downwards in a red disk was new in its graphic design and (unlike the flag or coat of arms) had no predecessor.
The Aviation Barracks Aspern was the only new barracks built in Vienna in the interwar period. Although the Austrian government planned to build an air base in Tullnerfeld , this plan was only implemented by the German Wehrmacht (today: Brumowski Air Base in Langenlebarn ). When it comes to uniforms, they deviated from all traditions and followed international models: the gray jacket with four buttons, a wing emblem on the chest and soft peaked caps were more reminiscent of British models.
Aviation Regiment No. 1
The regiment was formed in 1934 and was based in Vienna.
- Lieutenant Colonel Josef Brunner (May 2, 1934 to March 1938)
Associations (as of 1934)
- Fighter squadron of 3 squadrons
- Bomb squadrons of 3 squadrons
- School squadron of 3 squadrons
- Airport company No. 2, 4, 6 and 8
- Aviator Park Company No. 2 and 3
- Air weapons company
Aviation Regiment No. 2
The regiment was formed in 1934 and was based in Graz.
- Colonel Julius Yllam (April 1, 1934 to February 28, 1937)
- Lieutenant Colonel Viktor Seebauer (March 1, 1937 to March 1938)
(As of 1934)
- Fighter squadron of 3 squadrons
- Reconnaissance squadron of 3 close reconnaissance squadrons
- Airport company No. 1, 3, 5 and 7
- Aviator Park Company No. 1
- Observer company
- Aeronautical radio company
- Aerial photography company
(As of 1938)
- Command of the air raid troops (Vienna)
- heavy anti-aircraft battery with five 8 cm M14 anti-aircraft guns
- two anti-aircraft automatic cannon departments with 3 batteries each with 4 cm flak
- light anti-aircraft company with 2 cm flak
- light anti-aircraft company with anti-aircraft machine guns
- Flight News Company
- Air raid school
(As of 1938)
- Aircraft yard in Graz
- Aviation Telegraph Company
- Air bases in
- Wiener Neustadt
Aviation Regiment No. 1
- Jagdstaffel 1: 12 Fiat CR.20 bis / bip as well as training aircraft Falke RVa , Focke-Wulf Fw 44 , Focke-Wulf Fw 56 , Gotha Go 145 , Phoenix L2c
- Jagdstaffel 2: 12 Fiat CR.20 bis / bip as well as training aircraft Falke RVa, Focke-Wulf Fw 44, Breda Ba 28 and GothaGo 145
- Fighter squadron 3: 12 Fiat CR.20 bis / bip as well as training aircraft Focke-Wulf Fw 56 and Breda Ba 28
- Bomber squadron 1: Focke-Wulf Fw 58 , Caproni Ca.133 and trainer aircraft Breda Ba 28 and Focke-Wulf Fw 44
- Bomber squadron 2: Caproni Ca.133, Focke-Wulf Fw 58 and Junkers F 13 trainer aircraft
- School season A: Caproni Ca.100 , de Havilland DH60 GIII, Hopfner HS 9/35 and Udet U 12
- School season B: De Havilland DH 60 GIII, Focke-Wulf Fw 44, Gotha Go 145 and Hopfner HM 13/34
Aviation Regiment No. 2
- Fighter squadron 4: 12 Fiat CR.32bis as well as Fiat CR training aircraft . 30 and De Havilland DH 60GIII
- Fighter squadron 5: 12 Fiat CR.32s and Fiat CR training aircraft. 30 and Udet U 12a
- Fighter squadron 6: 12 Fiat CR.32s and Fiat CR training aircraft. 30 and De Havilland DH 60GIII
- Reconnaissance squadron 1: 8 Fiat A 120 / A and Udet 12a training aircraft
- Reconnaissance squadron 2: 8 IMAM Ro.37 and training aircraft Hopfner 8/29
- Thalerhof school relay: DFS Habicht , Falke RVa , Focke-Wulf Fw44 and Gotha Go 145
Of the 45 Fiat CR.32s originally procured, 36 were still available in 1938 and were handed over to Hungary, an ally of Germany, after the "Anschluss".
The CR20 and CR32 were very modern combat aircraft in their time, but were already outdated by 1938. Your type designation "CR" was derived from caccia (Italian: hunting) and the name of the designer Rosatelli. The “A” in the type designation Fiat A120 stands for the aircraft division of the Ansaldo group, which was taken over by Fiat in 1926.
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