11.11.

1852: Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal who Started the Great War

1852: Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal who Started the Great War
Photo Credit To http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Hoetzendorf_Franz_Graf_conrad.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: Hötzendorf was the Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff since 1906. He was one of the main proponents of starting a so-called preventive war against the Kingdom of Serbia since before World War I began. He allegedly proposed going to war as many as 25 times in the period from 1 January 1913 to 1 January 1914!

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, one of the people most responsible for starting World War I, was born on this day. He was namely the Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff in 1914. From that position, he advocated a military strike against Serbia. War with Serbia did indeed break out, but then grew into a worldwide conflict in which millions would die.
Hötzendorf held the highest rank in the Austro-Hungarian Army – that of field marshal. At that time, he was the only Austro-Hungarian field marshal who wasn’t of royal blood (the emperor’s sons received that rank by default).
As the Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff since 1906, Hötzendorf was one of the main proponents of starting a so-called preventive war against the Kingdom of Serbia since before World War I began. He allegedly proposed going to war as many as 25 times in the period from 1 January 1913 to 1 January 1914! Of course, he wasn’t the only such warmonger. The faction that advocated war included many other Austro-Hungarian statesmen, such as the powerful Count Leopold von Berchtold (foreign minister and one of the richest men in the country).
In 1914 Austria-Hungary really did invade Serbia, but the result was catastrophic. Conrad von Hötzendorf’s plans proved too ambitious for the Austro-Hungarian Army. It also seems he greatly underestimated the Serbian Army, which proceeded to repel the Austro-Hungarians and drive them back across the border. Only later, when the Germans sent reinforcements, were the Austro-Hungarians able to conquer Serbia.

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