Tag: Austria-Hungary

The Armistice
How people throughout the war had hoped for the day the ceasefire would come, for the moment that would put an end to the daily massacre! That would be, one thought, a day of redemption, a day of joy; then we would be able to heave a sigh of relief and look forward to better times! Now the armistice has been agreed and our troops have ceased hostilities. Then the Italians too, and at least the lives of our poor soldiers are now no longer endangered by an enemy...
The young soldiers born in 1899 had their baptism of fire. Their behaviour was magnificent. (...) They went to the front line singing. I saw them return in small numbers. They were still singing.
(Daily report signed by General Armando Diaz on 18 November 1917)
The great battle in Veneto started by the Austro-Hungarian army with the last of its forces, but also with the firm will to achieve victory, had ended with a failure very similar to a real defeat.
(Concluding remarks...
"What was going on in my head when the war broke out in 1915? We were complete innocents, we did not know why we were going to that war, we knew nothing at all. We only talked about it among ourselves, all of us people without any schooling, that did not read the newspapers (...) at school I had learned the alphabet and how to grow radishes and parsley, I still have the book that six of us children, brothers and sisters, studied."
Pietro Balsamo (Margarita - Cuneo, born in 1894,...
While in the fall of 1917 the Austro-Hungarian armies had reached the Piave thus threatening to cause the exit of Italy from the war, the Austrian home front was paying dearly for the lack of food. The per capita rations in Vienna, the metropolis of the empire, had collapsed dramatically, prices skyrocketed and the black market flourished, aggravating the conditions of the mass of consumers.
At the outbreak of the war Austria-Hungary and Russia evacuated from the border lands hundreds of thousands of civilians because they were considered untrustworthy. According to the will of the military authorities, women, elderly and children abandoned their lands in Galicia to be moved in the inner regions of the two Empires. Even the Jews, considered particularly dangerous, suffered this tragic fate.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, by terrorist Gavrilo Princip, decreed the end of the fragile balance of the belle epoque and the beginning of the diplomatic crisis that would lead to the outbreak of war.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-confessional state. After 1866 a balance was found with the Magyar component, through the establishment of a dualistic monarchy. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century national tensions were exacerbated especially in the slavic minorities residing in the Balkans.
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