With uniforms this snazzy, how could they lose?

The below image shows a  great selection of Soldiers of various units of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian army in 1914 (click to big up).

From left to right:
Austrian Landwehr ulan cavalrymen,
Austrian Landwehr (infantryman),
Bosnian Jäger,
Austrian Jäger,
Austrian infantryman,
Hungarian infantryman,
Tyrolean and Imperial Jäger,
Bosnian infantryman,
Hungarian honvéd infantryman,
Common, or joint (közös) Hussar in a new camp uniform,
Common, or joint (közös) hussar,
Common, or joint (közös) Jäger,
Common, or joint (közös) dragoon.

Note the Austro-Hungarian bluejacket at the far right, dressed for shore duty.

And it doesn’t even include such exotic units as the Albanians:

or ski troops…

Or crazy weapon systems like the water-cooled Standschütze Hellriegel Submachine Gun

While they looked good in photos and on paper, the Austrian forces were so poorly led, confusingly staffed and shallow in depth that German warlord Gen. Erich von Ludendorff said that to fight alongside old Franz Josef’s army was like being “shackled to a corpse.”

Of course, the uniforms would become much more practical as the Great War’s modern combat left the quaint 19th Century stylings behind in the mud of trench warfare– especially on the horrors of the Italian front, where the Austrians gave a better account of themselves than against the Serbs and Russians in the opening stages of the conflict.

Austro-Hungarian assault troops k.u.k. Sturmbatallione. They’ re-equipped with Austrian zeitzunderhandgranates, wire cutters and a variety of small arms.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “With uniforms this snazzy, how could they lose?”

  1. Fergus says :

    For a corpse the AH army proved a tough opponent and amazing resilient. It fought on three theaters, inflicted more defeats than it suffered, and while not as professional as the German Army proved better than most of its opponents. Given that some of its components weren’t too enthusiastic about fighting for Vienna, the army did remarkably well. Its officer corps was better than its Italian, Serbian, or Russian opponents. Its equipment was often very good. Much of it on a par with the best of Germany. Its failings were in logistics, organization, communication and planning.

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