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|FML Alfred Krauss received command of the newly created Combined Corps in September 1914. He led this force until December, when it was taken over by FML Ignaz Trollmann. After this, Krauss took over the 29. Infantry Division from GM Eduard Zanantoni in January 1915, and led this force until July. He was succeeded by GM Josef Kroupa. Krauss went on to become chief of staff for the Southwestern Front of Archduke Eugen following the Italian declaration of war. He was therefore in a position to direct operations against Italy in May 1916, when the immediately successful but ill-fated campaign in the Tirol was launched.
Group Krauss and his I. Corps was one of the key fighting arms that smashed through the Italians at Caporetto on 24 October 1917. By this time, he was ranked General der Infanterie. In May 1918, he replaced General Bhm-Ermolli as commander of the II. Army and this force was redesignated the Ost Armee. GdI Ferdinand Kosak took command of the I. Corps. Ostarmee was assigned as an occupation force in the Eastern Ukraine. Krauss was to remain in this command until well after the armistice; he helped supervise the evacuation of German and Austrian troops not only from the Ukraine but also from Turkey. Krauss published his book "Die Ursachen unserer Niederlage" shortly after the war. Krauss also wrote "Theorie und Praxis in der Kriegkunst" (Munich, 1930) and "Das Wunder von Karfreit" (Munich).
GWS, 11/01 [rev. 3/05]
|Orders of Battle: Serbian Front, October 1914
Immediately following the departure of 2. Army
5. Army, GdI Liborius Frank
Kombiniertes Korps, FML Alfred Krauss
chief of staff, Oberleutnant Ernst Hittl, HQ at Jarak a/d Save
29. inf. div., FML Alfred Graf v. Zedtwitz
Breit brig., GM Breit
57. inf. brig.
14. inf. brig.
58. inf. brig.
7. inf. div., FML Kasimir v. Ltgendorf
41. Schtzen brig.
Fllpp brig., GM v. Fllpp
104. Landstrm brig.
Serbia Invades the Empire
When FML v. Hortstein departed for Galicia with his IX. Corps, he was obliged to leave behind two divisions and a few smaller units to cover Syrmia, the easternmost part of Croatia-Slavonia, and the Serb-populated part of the Empire closest to the Serbian capital of Belgrade. It was during this transfer that the Serbian 1. Army under General Bojovic invaded Syrmia by crossing the lower Save river on the night of 5-6 September 1914, and occupied Semlin opposite Belgrade by morning. Bojovic marched in the direction of the Fruska Range, a small ridge which ran parallel to the Danube river almost to Semlin. Only three brigades, the 7., 57., and 58., were available to defend Syrmia, but they were heavily outnumber and yielded more than two miles per day. Bojovic intended to bring the fight to the Austrians while defending SerbiaÕs right flank.
Krauss Arrives Just in Time
Krauss arrived in time to organise the defense of Syrmia, and on 10 September, the independent 104. Landstrm brigade marched past Jarak in western Syrmia, made a defensive line along the Roman Canal, and stopped the advance of SerbiaÕs Sumadija Division. The next morning, FZM Oskar Potiorek launched a full-scale invasion of Serbia from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and General Bojovic was ordered to withdraw from Syrmia. Krauss had scraped together enough loose Landstrm units from both the long-gone IX. Corps and also from nearby VIII. Corps to form the so-called Combined Corps under the 5. Army, which reoccupied Syrmia.
The Battle for Glusci and Uzvece
By the middle of September 1914, the big action was happening in western Serbia, as the 6. Army crossed into Serbia from the middle Drina River. The 5. Army was engaged all around the Macva, which is in the northwestern corner of Serbia. The commander of the 5. Army, GdI Liborius Frank, ordered Krauss to assist in what was two weeks of frustrating failure for the VIII. Corps. Krauss set his HQ at Jarak, where his 104. Landstrm had saved Syrmia. It was only 10 miles down the road from Mitrovica, where Gen. FrankÕs 5. Army HQ was located.
Krauss was able to cross the Save river in several places in the fourth week of September, and penetrated the Macva in a southwesterly direction to a depth of 10 miles in some places. But the immense obstinancy of the Serbian 2. Army under Gen. Vojvod Stefan Stefanovic prevented Krauss from pushing any further southwest than the villages of Glusci and Uzvece. The 7. infantry division under FML Kasimir v. Ltgendorf occupied Uzvece and pushed west to the sister village of Glusci but the Serbian Timok Division No. 1 and Northern Detachment blocked the way. Fighting remained static in this tight area for weeks, as both sides pummelled the villages to ashes. The 104. Landstrm brigade attempted to outflank the Timok Division to the west of Glusci, but units of the Serbian Northern Detachment held them up along a swampy brook called the Bitva. To the east, the 29. infantry division of FML Alfred v. Zedtwitz pressed further south than other units of the Combined Corps, but that was only because heavy artillery pieces were situated on the Austrian side of the Save river, and ranged against the right flank of the Serbian Sumadija Division No. 1.
The Battles for Glusci and Uzvece are remarkable in that the majour portion of PotiorekÕs second invasion of Serbia had ended by the third week of September 1914, but the brutal fighting around these two villages continued unabated until the third week of October. The lines remained static for a month thereafter, as the Serbian 2. Army prepared for another blow from the Austrians. The dead were in the unknown thousands, and the Austrians suffered more casualties than the Serbians. See The Field of Honour for the names and faces of some casualties from this terrible battle.
Orders of Battle: Italian Front, May 1915
Immediately following ItalyÕs declaration of war against the Empire
Southwestern Front, Generaloberst Erzherzog Eugen
Chief of Staff, Feldmlt. Alfred Krauss
Orders of Battle: Tirol Front, May 1916
Immediately preceding the Offensive against Italy
Army Group Archduke Eugen, GO Archduke Eugen
Chief of Staff, Feldmlt. Alfred Krauss
XI. Army, GO Viktor Dankl
VIII. Korps, FZM Viktor Scheuchensteuel
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. Waldsttten
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. Schnburg-Hartenstein
22. Schtzen Div., Genmj. Edler v. Kochanowski
43. Schtzen Brig., Obst. Ritter v. Ellison
18. Inf. Brig., Obst. Laxa
22. F.A. Brig., Obst. Nobile di Giorgi
28. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Schneider v. Manns-Au
III. Army, GO Hermann v. Kvess
XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Karl Kritek
18. Inf. Div., Genmj. Stracker
2. Mtn. Brig., Obst. Panzenbck
8. Mtn. Brig., Genmj. Wossala
181. Inf. Brig., Genmj. Kindl
I. Korps, Gen. d. Kav. Karl Frh. v. Kirchbach
10. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Edler v. Mecenseffy
34. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Rudolf Krauss
43. Schtzen Div., Genmj. Tunk
XXI. Korps, Feldmlt. Fhr. V. Ltgendorf
Kaiser Schtzen Div., Genmj. Englert
44. Schtzen Div., Feldmlt. Nemeczek
Landesverteidigungskommando in Tirol (Tirol Defense), Gen. d. Inf. Roth
Rayon I (Stilfserjoch), Obst. Fhr. v. Lempruch
Rayon II (Tonale), Genmj. Edler v. Steinhart
Rayon III (Sdtirol), Feldmlt v. Knnen-Hork
Rayon IV, 90 Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Edler v. Scholz
Rayon V (Pustertal), Feldmlt. L. Goiginger
|Orders of Battle: Italian Front, November 1917
Immediately preceding the Caporetto Offensive
Deutsch 14. Armee, GdI Otto v. Below
Group Krauss,. I. Korps, GdI Alfred Krauss
Edelweiss, inf. div., GM v. Wieden
22. Schtzen div., GM Mller
55. inf. div., GM Felix Prinz zu Schwarzenberg
|Orders of Battle: Eastern Front, mid-October 1918
Austria's Army of Occupation in the Ukraine
Ost Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Krauss
XXV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Hofmann
CLV. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. ?
LIV. Schtzen div., Feldmlt. Severus von Laubenfeld und Ciminago
XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Fabini
VII. kav. div., Genmj. Szivo de Bunja
XI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Metz von Spondalunga
XII. Korps, Feldzm. von Braun (Odessa sector; Governor Feldmlt. von Bltz)
V. Honved kav. div., Genmj. von Mouillard
XV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Aust
II. kav. div., Feldmlt. Abele von und zu Lilienberg
IV. Gen. Kom., Feldzm. Heinrich Goiginger
Siebenbrgen Group Command, Feldmlt. Goldbach von Sulittaborn
I. kav. div., Genmj. von Haberman
Oberkommand Mackenstein, XVI. gen. kom., Feldmlt. von Salis-Sewis
LXII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Braunschweig von Krompa
|The Ost Armee: Deep in Alien Territory, 1918
Alfred Krauss was given command of a newly designated "Ost Armee" in early May, 1918. It's mission was to protect the Ukrainians from Soviet penetration. General Kritek and his VII. Army had pushed to Odessa in March under terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed on February 9 by Austrian Foreign Minister Czernin and the Rada's representative, Hrushchevsky. The Austrians and Germans divided the occupation of the Ukraine into several sectors. Odessa and Podolia came under Austrian control, while Volhynia, Kiev, and Kharkov was occupied by the German Ost Armee under Genmajor Max Hoffmann. The Dnieper River and the Crimea was also administered by the Germans.
The Zaporozhian or "Wild" Plains together with the South Russian port of Taganrog was under Austrian control, while Rostov and the Don Basin was occupied by the Germans in late June 1918, at the request of the Cossacks. Krauss soon discovered that his forces were quite unwelcome in the Ukraine, and the people, though loathing the bolsheviki and Russians in general, did not look upon the Quadruple Alliance as liberators. In general, the Ukrainians had supported the Tsar's war against Austria as much as the Russians, and the fall of Przemysl in early 1915 was acclaimed throughout Kiev as a great victory for Slavdom. On the Zaporozhian Plains especially, there was a significant anarchist element that strove to expel the occupiers, no matter whom it might be...
|Krauss and General Eichhorn tour Odessa after its occupation by Austrian troops in May 1918.|