AH Army divisions on the Western Front, 1918

First World War 1914-1918 from the German perspective.

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Enrico Cernuschi
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AH Army divisions on the Western Front, 1918

Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:22 am

Hello Gentlemen,

Austria-Hungary sent the XVIII Corps in France. It was formed by the 1st, 35th, 37th and 106 th Divisions. When did these divisions joined the German Army there? Were they used before during the Caporetto offensive or the river Piave one in June 1918?

A puzzled

EC
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Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:31 pm

Hello Enrico!

It seems that the Austro-Hungarian XVIII. Korps was sent to France in July of 1918 with the newly appointed Corps commander Feldmarschalleutnant Ludwig Goiginger. See quote from the informative website http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/index.html
Goiginger then assumed command of the XVIII. Corps from GdI Viktor v. Weber in July 1918, and was dispatched to the Western Front, where he was the highest ranking Austrian commander on the whole front. American troops assembled opposite his sector, and made advances against Goiginger's lines in the last weeks of October. The XVIII. Corps did not receive very heavy assaults from their American enemies, nor did they retreat ignominously. The mood among the Austrians was to avoid serious engagements with the enemy at this late and futile stage of the war, without succumbing to the rumours concerning the fighting quality of the Austrian soldiery that was rife amidst both the German and American armies.
http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/goiginger.html


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Enrico Cernuschi
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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:45 pm

Thank you, but was he sent with the Corp in France or did he join it there?

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Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:18 pm

Hello Enrico!

It's hard to find detailed information about the specifics of this Corps' deployment. Although I ran into an interesting little article about the performance of the K.u.K. XVIII Korps in the west. A rather vague date, "mid-1918" is given as when the Corps was deployed on the western front. The article belongs to a re-enactment group which had a quite interesting literature list and some good photographs (real one's!) from 1914-1918...

http://www.geocities.com/haugh58/WF1918 ... 3530029953


Apart from the website link that I provided in my first reply post, I also found the following website on the Austro-Hungarian armed forces in the Great war: http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/


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Krollspell
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Enrico Cernuschi
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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:14 am

Thank you.
It seems the first two divisions come in France in July 1918 and the second pair the next month.

Greetings

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:56 am

Hi Enrico,

Have you any information as to their ethnic composition?

My guess is that they would have been heavily Austrian or Hungarian. By 1918 many A-H minorities were highly unreliable. I seem to remember that the Italians formed several legions of minority deserters from the A-H Army.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:49 pm

Hello Sid,

I know the Germans had asked not to send Czech troops. Italians were used in the Eastern Front.

Italy had formed, in 1918, two Czechslovach divisions, the first of them was used on the Piave River in 1918; there were also Polish troops (a Legione) and an Albanian one too (in Albania).
The small Italian expeditonary corp conceived in 1916 and sent in Palestine th enext year (but the French was not bigger), was formed mainly by Italian Jews coming from the community in Egypt.

Bye

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:09 am

Hello Enrico et al!

Here's a short comment taken from Peter Jung's "The Austro-Hungarian Forces in World War I (2) 1916-18" (Osprey 2003), on the deployment of the k.u.k. XVIII Korps on the western front in 1918...
A further request for troops for the Western Front was recieved during the last year of the war, and altogether four infantry divisions under k.u.k. XVIII Korpskommando were sent to France. The Germans had no intention of deploying them as a corps, but put them into the front lines in the Verdun area as seperate divisions; the Korps-kommando had just one of them and some further German units under command. With the proven exception of the artillery, the Germans do not seem to have had high expectations of the fighting abilities of the Austro-Hungarian forces, and insisted on putting many of the soldiers through basic battle school before sending them to the trenches. The Austro-Hungarians were not posted to the most dangerous sectors; but they suffered significant losses during the final Allied advance of autumn 1918, when they were assaulted by American and French troops with tank support for which they had no answer.

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Krollspell
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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:45 am

Thank you

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Marc Binazzi
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Post by Marc Binazzi » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:10 pm

I arrive a bit late on that one, but still what I can add is that a book has been published here in France about the AH troops in France, by Jean-Claude Laparra, "le Prix d'une Alliance", heavily based on a doctoral study held in Vienna in 1974 by Maximilian Polatschek: "Österreich-Ungarische Truppen an der Westfront 1914-1918"

Indeed there have been AH troops right from 1914, in particular heavy mortars and then occasionally "study" groups until the contribution of several divisions in 1918.

Laparra details the situation and even describes the hectic journey of these troops after November from France till Hungary through a heavily disturbed Germany.

Jean-Claude Laparra
"Le Prix d'une Alliance"
Ysec Editions
BP 405
27404 Louviers, France

ISBN 2 84673 017 2


I have the book and find it pretty interesting and informative.
"the iron fist had a glass jaw" (Ronald Reagan in Raoul Walsh's Desperate Journey)

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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:52 pm

Merci beacoup Marc, tu es un chic type.

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:23 am

Hello again Gentlemen!

Here's a link to a detail and informative lengthy (german speaking) thread on the k.u.k. XVIII Korps on the Western front in 1918. It got some OoB's and all...

http://www.geschichtsforum.de/f62/einsa ... 8-a-16852/


Regards,

Krollspell
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Post by Enrico Cernuschi » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:30 am

VERY interestong indeed and quite detailed.

Thank you

EC
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