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Karl Kritek
Karl Kritek was born in Spalato (Split), Dalmatia on 24 October 1861 and entered the military schools as soon as he was able to.  After graduating from the Academy at Wiener Neustadt, Kritek held numerous peacetime commands, and became head of the geographic survey and mapping bureau in 1900.  

Kritek was promoted and cited for excellent service numerous times before the war.  However, he did not attain higher commands until the latter half of the war; by then, the k.u.k. Armies had been severely depleted in both manpower and resources.  J.H. Verdun's timeline outlines Kritek's military career:


April 1891-May 1893
served in landesbeschreibungsboro in the General Staff and as a company commander in XLIX. Infantry Regiment.
1894
promoted to Major, Chief of Staff to VIII. Infantry Division in Innsbruck
1898
battalion commander in LXXXV. Infantry Regiment until 1900
1900
promoted to Colonel, Chief of the Landesbeschreibungsbüro
1906
promoted to Major General
1906
commander 20. Infantry Brigade in Königgrätz until 1910
1910
promoted to Field Marshal Lieutenant
1910
commander 49. Infantry Division in Vienna until 1914
1914
commanded 26. Landwehr Division
1914
promoted to General of Infantry
1914
commanded XVII. Corps until 1916
1917
commanded X. Army Corps
1917
promoted Colonel General
1917
commanded III. Army from July 1917 until 1 December 1917
1917
promoted Generaloberst
1918
commanded VII. Army from 16 January 1918 until 15 April 1918

As the timeline shows, Kritek held numerous commands.  At the outbreak of war, he was still commanding the 49. Infantry Division, but in August 1914 he replaced FML Johann von Friedel in the 26. Landwehr Infantry Division.  Kritek then replaced Graf
Karl Huyn as commander of the XVII. Corps in early October 1914, and his former position was taken over by FML Emil Lischka in late September.  Kritek remained at the helm of the XVII. Corps for more than two years.  He was replaced by FML Ludwig von Fabini in early January 1917, and Fabini led the Corps until wars' end.  Then, GdI Kritek assumed control over the X. Corps in that month, replacing GdI Friedrich Csanady von Bekes.  This command he held until July 1917, when he was succeeded by FML Viktor Weber Edler von Webenau. GO Kritek meanwhile was appointed to command the III. Army, after its commander GO Karl Tersztyánszky von Nádas was dismissed.  Kritek remained in this capacity until 12 January 1918, when the III. Amy was dissolved for the last time.

GWS, 2/02
Orders of Battle:  Polish Front, January 1915
Immediately preceding the Battles for the Carpathians
IV. Armee,
General der Infanterie Erzherzog Josef Ferdinand
     XVII Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kritek
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Feldmarschalleutnant Schay

Orders of Battle:  Eastern Front, May 1915
Immediately preceding the Dunajec offensive
III. Armee, Gen. d. Inf.
von Boroevic
   XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kritek
   Chief of Staff, Oberst Edl. v. Lerch
       11. inf. div., Feldmlt. Edl. v. Bellmond
                    21. inf. brig., Genmj. Grubic
                    22. inf. brig., Genmj. Ritt. v. Wasserthal
                    11. field art. brig., Oberst Steinhardt
        4. kav. div., Genmj. Berndt
                    18. kav. brig., Genmj. Kopecek
                    Gruppe Oberst Weiß v. Schleusenburg
                    k.k. 1. Landsturm inf. brig., Oberst Brauner
                    Gruppe Genmj. Gf. Marenzi
        k.u. 1. Landsturm hussars brig., Oberst v. Berzeviczy
Orders of Battle:  Podolian Front, September 1915
Immediately following the summer offensive against Russia
VII. Armee,
General der Kavallerie von Pflanzer-Baltin
     Army reserves:  XVIII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kritek
          XI. inf. div., Genmj. Brubic
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Schamschula

Orders of Battle:  Tirol Offensive, 15 May 1916
Immediately preceding the Offensive against Italy
Army Group Archduke Eugen, GO Archduke Eugen
     Chief of Staff, Feldmlt.
Alfred Krauss
III. Army, GO Hermann v. Kövess
     XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Karl Kritek
               18. Inf. Div., Genmj. Stracker
               2. Mtn. Brig., Obst. Panzenböck
               8. Mtn. Brig., Genmj. Wossala
               181. Inf. Brig., Genmj. Kindl

As of 1 January 1916, Kritek's Group was flanked on the north by Fath's Corps and on the south by the II, XVII, X, and IX Corps.  Facing Kritek was the Russian XXX. Corps, a part of the 8. Army.  Kritek's front guarded the southern flank of the river Styr.  This entire force was transferred to the Tirol in late April in strictest secrecy to become part of the new III. Army.  The force had to wait in the Trient area for more than a month while heavy snows of a cold spring continued to impede the long-awaited launch of the "justice offensive" against Italy.

GWS, 9/03

Orders of Battle: Tirol Front, August 1916

Immediately preceding Roumania's declaration of war against Austria
XI. Army, Generaloberst
Rohr
     XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kritek
          XVIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Hrozny

Kritek was still part of the XI. Army in the South Tirol in summer 1916, but soon was moved to the Isonzo in a reorganization of the Southwestern Front as the Italians made new efforts to break the Austrian lines.  Thus, Kritek was placed under the command of Gen.
Svetozar Boroevic. Following the attack of the Italian IV. Corps in the so-called "Seventh Isonzo" on 15 September 1916, Kritek's XVII. Corps occupied a 12 km long front situated right on the river itself.  His northern boundary was the town of Auzza, controlled by the 1. ID under GdI Stöger-Steiner. Kritek's southern boundary was Monte Santo, which soared above the road that passed through the Cepovan valley, a strategically important supply and communication route.  Opposing Kritek was the Italian II. Corps and parts of the IV. and VI. Corps, respectively.  Their goal was to break into the valley and seize the road to Cepovan, but initial bombardments made little headway against the fortifications along this narrow stretch of river, and in fact, two more pushes to seize the Cepovan road in 1916 were fraught with failure for the Italians.  Kritek was entrusted to retain command of this stretch of river through the year.

GWS, 9/03 [rev. 3/04]
Orders of Battle: Moldavian Front, July 1917
Immediately preceding Brussilov's second offensive (Kerensky Offensive)
IV. Armee, Generaloberst
von Kirchbach
     Mittel Group, Generaloberst Kritek
          X. Deutsch Landwehr div., Genlt. von Stocken
          XIII. k.k. Schützen div., Feldmlt. von Kasler
          II. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. ?
What is there left to do?  War in 1918

Following the Kerensky Offensive, the VII. Army maintained its position in the Bukowina as before, guarding the heavily damaged frontier city of Czernowitz.  There was little chance the Russians would move to take the city again.  The Bolsheviki November revolution promised land reforms, and a great many of those troops in the Russian army who had not deserted now left the trenches in droves to make it to their villages in time to claim a piece of land.  Little did they know that the Bolsheviki were planning a class war against land-owning peasants.  Nevertheless, an Armistice between the Quadruple Alliance and Russia was signed in early December 1917. 

General Kritek picked up command of the VII. Army during the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk.  When the peace talks faltered in mid-February 1918, General
Max Hoffmann of the Eastern Command ordered an invasion of the Ukraine (ostensibly at the request of the Rada which had just signed a peace treaty with Austria through Foreign Minister Czernin's efforts).  Kritek met almost no opposition as the VII. Army moved into the fortress of Kamienets Podolski, which sat along the Dniester river, 30 miles south of Czernowitz. 

GWS, 4/01
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