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Viktor Graf Dankl
von Krasnik
The Best Invader the K.u.K. Army Had?

Viktor Dankl was born in Udine, in the Friuli region of the Kingdom of Venezia, on 18 September 1854.  When Viktor's father retired from the army in 1865, they moved to nearby Görz and he was able to enter the Gymnasium there and then the one in Trieste.  Dankl entered the military academy at Wiener Neustadt in 1870, and completed it in 1874.  The following timeline summarizes Dankl's military career:

1874 Part of the Central Soldiers’ Office until 1880
1879 Promoted to Oberleutnant
1880 Part of the General Staff until 1883
1883 Part of the Central Soldiers’ Office until 1888
1884 Promoted to Hauptmann, 1st Class
1888 Part of the General Staff until 1894
1891 Promoted to Major
1894 Part of the Central Soldiers’ Office
1894 Promoted to Oberstleutnant
1894 Part of the General Staff until 1903
1874 Promoted to Leutnant
1897 Promoted to Oberst
1903 Commander of Infantry Brigade No. 66 until 1905
1903 Promoted to Generalmajor
1905 Commander of Infantry Brigade No. 16 until 1907
1907 Commander of Infantry Division No. 36 until 1912
1907 Promoted to Feldmarschalleutnant
1912 Commander of XIV. Corps until 1914
1912 Promoted to General der Kavallerie
1914 Commander of 1. Army until 1915
1915 Commander of Defense Command Tirol until 1916
1916 Commander of  the 11. Army until 1917
1916 Promoted to Generaloberst
1916 Guards Captain of the 1. Arcieren Life Guards until wars’ end
1918 pensioned

Dankl's big assignment came in 1896, when he was appointed Chief of Staff for the XIII. Corps in Agram.  In  February 1912, FML Dankl was granted command of the XIV. Corps, and he replaced GdI
Johann Edler von Schemua. Dankl kept this command until wars' outbreak in August 1914. 

Then, he was appointed to command the 1. Army and he surrendered his XIV. Corps to the
Archduke Josef Ferdinand, who was ranked FML.  Later, GdK Viktor Dankl surrendered control of the 1. Army on 23 May 1915, and travelled to the Tirol to oversee its defense.  He was temporarily replaced by GdK Karl Graf von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach, who in turn was replaced by FZM Paul Puhallo von Brlog. Viktor Dankl was the commanding General of the Austrian 1. Army at the outset of the war, and was ordered to invade Poland—he then held the rank of General der Kavallerie.  He was granted the surname "von Krasnik" in mid-August for winning the Battle of Krasnik (see below).  Dankl commanded the 1. Army until May 23, 1915. 

He surrendered the command to General
Kirchbach auf Lauterbach, because of the Italian declaration of war on the Empire.  He proceeded into the Trentino, where he organised the Defense Command Tirol on May 24, 1915, and secured the mountain heights south of Rovereto, thus halting the Italian advance.  He supervised this force until 14 March 1916, when he was granted command of the newly formed 11. Army for the purpose of invading Venezia from the Tirol.  General Josef Roth replaced him in the Defense Command Tirol.  Dankl was elevated to the rank of Generaloberst on May 1, 1916.   He continued to command the 11. Army in the Trentino until 18 June 1916, when his ailing health caused him to bow out of the war.  He was replaced by General Rohr. Dankl was "Protektor des Baues des Heldendenkmals im Äußeren Burgtor" in Vienna after the war. 

Viktor Dankl von Krasnik died on 8 January 1941 in Innsbruck.

GWS, 1/01 [rev. 5/05]

Attention: Visit FEEFHS map room for a Map of Galicia including some of the placenames mentioned here.  Be sure to open in a separate window to toggle between this page and FEEFHS.
Order of Battle: 
Polish Front August 1914
At the assembly of the invasion forces
I. Armee, General der Kavallerie Viktor Dankl
     I. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Karl von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach
          V. inf. div., Feldmarschalleutnant
Scotti
          XLVI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Nastopil
     V. Korps, Feldzeugmeister
Puhallo von Brlog
          XIV. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Hugo Martiny
          XXXIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Rebracha
          XXXVII. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt.
Weber
     X. Korps, General
Meixner von Zweienstamm
          II inf. div., Feldmlt. Anton Lipocsak
          XXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Rudan und Poria
          XLV. Schützen div., Feldmlt.
Ljubicic
     Support: XII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Kestranek
          III. kav. div., Feldmlt.
von Brudermann
          IX. kav. div., Feldmlt.
von Hauer
Bringing War to a New Enemy, August 1914

Dankl's I. Army was situated in central Galicia from Krakau to the river San.  On Dankl's right flank was the 4. Army under the command of General Auffenberg.   On Dankl's left, across the Vistula, were the K.K. Landsturm Corps of General Kummer and the German Landwehr Corps of General Woyrsch, whose task it was to raise revolt among the Poles against the Russians.  This mission failed very early on, and soon Kummer's group was transferred to the left bank of the Vistula to help Dankl's effort. 

Meanwhile, Dankl was to initiate General Conrad's plan "R" by invading Poland east of the river Vistula.  The 1. Army was supposed to cover the 4. Army's left flank as both seized eastern Poland.  The idea was to pin what Russian forces were to be found in Poland into a vise between the advancing Austrians and the Germans under the command of General Prittwitz in East Prussia.  In mid-August, Dankl won the battle of Krasnik against the Russians, and he was awarded the title "von Krasnik," which he wore with aristocratic flair.  Shortly, the 3. Army under General
Brudermann caved under a tremendous and unexpected Russian advance, and all focus by the Army High Command shifted east.  Both the 1. and 4. Armies were ordered out of Poland or face being surrounded by four Russian armies.  Dankl soon felt the pressing weight of the Russians under General Plehve's 5. Army and Radko Dmitriev's 3. Army.  By the first week of September, Dankl's 1. Army was fighting desperately to keep the Russians from splitting the 1. Army from the 4. Army, and causing them to collapse against the Carpathians. 

By the end of the first week in September, the Russians had sealed off General
Kusmanek in Przemysl, and Dankl was making extreme efforts to force a break in the Russian offensive from behind the river Dunajec.  This line would be revisited several times by the 1. Army in the coming months. 

GWS, 10/00 [rev. 5/05]
Orders of Battle, Eastern Front in January 1915
Immediately preceding the Battles for the Carpathians
I. Armee, Gen. d. Kav. Dankl von Krasnik
     II. Korps, Feldmarschal
Johann von Kirchbach
          XXV. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand
          IV. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten
     I. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Karl von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach
          V. inf. div., Feldmlt. Habermann
          LXVI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Brandner
     Martiny Group, Feldmlt.
Martiny
          XIV. inf. div., Generalmajor von Willerding
          CVI. k.k. Landsturm inf. div., Feldmlt. Kletter
          XCI. Schützen brigade, Genmj. Urbanski von Ostrymiecz
          II. kav. div., Feldmlt.
von Ziegler
Dankl with his chief of staff Kochanowski on the left and Alfred v. Waldstaetten on the right, Eastern Front winter 1915.
Orders of Battle, Eastern Front on 1 May 1915
Immediately preceding the Dunajec Offensive
I. Armee, Gen. d. Kav. Viktor Dankl
   Chief of Staff, Genmj. Edl. v. Kochanowski
     I. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Karl Frh. v. Kirchbach
     Chief of Staff, Oberst Demus
           92. Schützen brig.,  Genmj. Haas
          16. kav. brig.,  Oberst v. Kirsch
       46. Schützen div.,   Genmj. v. Czapp
             91. Schützen brig.,  Genmj. v. Urbanski
             46. field art. brig., Oberst Exner
       2. KD., Genmj. Ritt. v. Ursyn-Pruszynski
              3. kav. brig., Genmj. Frh. v. Abele
   II. Korps, Feldmlt.
Johann Frh. v. Kirchbach
   Chief of Staff, Oberst
Gf. Szeptycki
       25. inf. div.,  Feldmlt.
Archduke Peter Ferdinand
          49. inf. brig., Genmj. Edl. v. Severus
          50. inf. brig., Genmj. Ritt. v. Bolberitz
          25. field art. brig., Genmj. v. Jemrich
       4. inf. div.,  Genmj. Edl. v. Bellmond
          8. inf. brig., Oberst Mietzl
          4. field art. brig., Oberst Machaczek
          1. brig. d. poln. Legion: Oberst
Josef Pilsudski
Orders of Battle, Tirol Front in late May 1915
Immediately following Italy's declaration of war against the Empire
Southwestern Front, Generaloberst Archduke Eugen
Tirol Defense Command, Gen. d. Kav. Dankl
    Chief of Staff, Genmj. Kletus Pichler
       Rayon I (Ortler)
          53., hus. brig., Obstlt. Hradezny
          Sperren Nauders und Gomagoi
       Rayon II
           54. hus. brig., Oberst Stiller
           Sperren Tonale, Pejo Günther
        Rayon III (Südtirol)
         91. inf. div., Feldmlt.
v. Können-Horak
                  50. hus. brig., Oberst Spiegel
                 detachment Riva. fortress detachment command, Genmj. Schiesser
                  181. inf. brig., Genmj. Englert
                  180. inf. brig., Genmj.
Edler v. Verdross
                  52. hus. brig., Oberst Edl. v. Kreschel
             Rayon IV (Fleimstal)
              90. inf. div., Feldmlt. Edl. v. Scholz
                  55. mtn. brig., Oberst Frh. v. Concini
                  179. inf. brig., Oberst Schiessler
                   Sperren Paneveggio und Moena
           Rayon V (Pustertal)
                 Komb. div. Pustertal, Feldmlt.
Ludwig Goiginger
                 51. mtn. brig., Oberst Edl. v. Sparber
                 56. mtn. brig., Genmj. Bankowski
           Sperren Corte, Ruaz, Tre Sassi, Plätzwiese, Landro, Mitterberg, Haideck
    Fortress Trient, Feldmlt. Edl. v. Gusek
                  k.k. 5. Landsturm matrosen brig., Genmj. v. Jonak
                  3. fort. art. brig., Oberst Kleinschnitz
Orders of Battle, Tirol Front in April 1916
Immediately preceding the Tirol Offensive
Army Group Archduke Eugen, GO Archduke Eugen
   Chief of Staff, Feldmlt.
Alfred Krauss
XI. Army, GO Viktor Dankl
   VIII. Korps, FZM
Viktor Scheuchenstüel
      57. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. H. Goiginger
      59. Inf. Div., Genmj. Kroupa
      48. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Gabriel
      Border detachment 4
   XX. Korps, Feldmlt.
Archduke Karl Franz Josef
      Chief of Staff, Obst.
Alfred Frh. v. Waldstätten
      3. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Edler v. Horsetzky
      8. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Fabini
          58. Mtn. Brig., Obst. v. Merten
          180. Inf. Brig., Feldmlt.
Edler v.Verdross
   III. Korps, Feldmlt. Ritter v. Krautwald
      6. Inf. Div., Feldmlt.
Fst. v. Schönburg-Hartenstein
      22. Schützen Div., Genmj. Edler v. Kochanowski
      43. Schützen Brig., Obst. Ritter v. Ellison
           18. Inf. Brig., Obst.
W. Laxa
           22. F.A. Brig., Obst. Nobile di Giorgi
       5. Kompanie
      28. Inf. Div., Feldmlt.
Schneider v. Manns-Au
Too much Dankl?
The Dankl medal for soldiers serving in the Landesverteidigung Tirol
General Viktor Dankl von Krasnik plus medals and awards of every description
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