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Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen
Archduke Eugen, commander of the Southwestern Front, takes a deserving rest after repelling the Italian invasions of 1915.
Archduke Eugen Ferdinand Pius Bernhard Felix Maria von Österreich was born 21 May 1863 at Schloß Seelowitz in Moravia.  He was a son of Archduke Karl Ferdinand and Archduchess Elisabeth; his brothers were Archdukes Friedrich and Karl Stefan, the supreme commander of the k.u.k. Armee 1914 to 1917, and Inspector General of the Navy, respectively.   FML Archduke Eugen was appointed to command the XIV. Corps in April 1900.  He remained in this capacity for more than eight years.  In October 1908, he was succeeded by FML Johann Edler von Schemua.  On 27 December 1914, the Archduke Eugen, then ranked GdK, was appointed supreme commander of the Balkan Front, including the V. and VI. Armies and all troops in Bosnia and Vojvodina; he was replacing the failed FZM Oskar Potiorek. His role was expanded to include all of the "Southwestern Front" in May 1915, after Italy declared war.  Now, the Southern Front by itself unified the commands of the V. and VI. Armies that guarded the frontier between Austria and Serbia and Montenegro. 

Eugen was promoted to Generaloberst on 22 May 1915; only five days later, on 27 May 1915, Archduke Eugen assumed command of the Southwestern Front, which unified the armies guarding the Austrian frontier with Italy; meanwhile, the Southern Front was reorganised as Army Group Tersztyanszky, still under the Archduke's umbrella.  Eugen was elevated to the rank of Feldmarschall on 23 November 1916.  The Archduke remained commander of the Southwestern Front until 11 January 1918, after which time the whole Italian battlefront was reorganised following the successes of the Caporetto Offensive.

After the war, Eugen was "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" (Grandmaster of the "German Order" - "Ordo Teutonice").  He remained in this capacity until 1929, when the order was transformed to a priestly order.  Archduke Eugen died on 30 December 1954 in Meran, northern Italy.

GWS, 7/01 [rev. 11/03]

Orders of Battle:  Southwestern Front, late May 1915
Immediately following Italy's declaration of war against the Empire
Southwestern Front, Generaloberst Erzherzog Eugen
   Chief of Staff, Feldmlt.
Alfred Krauss
Tirol Defense Command, Gen. d. Kav.
Viktor Dankl von Krasnik
    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
        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
Army Group Rohr, Gen. d. Kav.
Franz Rohr
    Chief of Staff, Feldmlt.
Karl Scotti
            92. inf. div., Feldmlt. Karl Edl. v. Langer
                   183. inf. brig., Genmj. Gössmann
                   184. inf. brig., Genmj. Jaschke
            Sperren Malborgeth, Raibl - Predil, Flitsch
           57. hus. brig., Genmj. Lanzinger
           59. mtn. brig., Genmj.
   VII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Joseph (transferred from E. Front, mid-May)
    Chief of Staff, Obstlt. Eisner-Bubna
           17. inf. div., Feldmlt. Edler v. Gelb
                   33. inf. brig., Oberst Pacor
                   34. inf. brig., Oberst Frh. v. Henneberg
                   17. field art. brig., Oberst Zagar
           20. Honvéd inf. div., Genmj.
Paul v. Nagy
                   39. Honvéd inf. brig., Oberst Stadler
                   81. Honvéd inf. brig., Genmj. Perneczky
                  20. field art. brig., Oberst Pohl
V. Army, Gen. d. Inf.
Svetozar v. Boroevic
   Chief of Staff, Genmj.
Aurel v. le Beau
       93. inf. div., Genmj. v. Boog
                   58. mtn. brig., Oberst Staufer
                   185. inf. brig., Oberst Vidale
       94. inf. div., Feldmlt. Kuczera
                   187 inf. brig., Kontreadmiral Frh. v. Koudelka
                    60. mtn. brig., Oberst Mitlacher
       57. inf. div., Feldmlt. Heinrich Goiginger
                   2. mtn. brig., Genmj.
Geza v. Lukachich
                   6. mtn. brig., Oberst v. Hellebronth
                   57. field art. brig., Genmj. Adolf Aust
        Küsten detachment, Oberst Voglhuber
        Küsten detachment, Genmj. v. Maric
   XV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Vincenz Fox
    Chief of Staff, Oberst v. Falkenhausen
       1. inf. div., Feldmlt. Bogat
                 7. mtn. brig., Genmj. Ströher
                 8. mtn. brig., Genmj. Andrian
                 1. field art. brig., Oberst Dworak
        50. inf. div., Feldmlt. Edl. v. Kalser
                3. mtn. brig., Genmj. Gerabek
                15. mtn. brig., Genmj. Edl. v. Wieden
XVI. Korps, Feldzeugsmeister
Wenzel v. Wurm
   Chief of Staff, Oberst v. Loefen
       58. inf. div., Genmj.
Erwin Zeidler
                   4. mtn. brig., Genmj. Konopicky
                   5. mtn. brig., Genmj. Nöhring
                   58. field art. brig., Obstlt. Nadherny
       18. inf. div., Genmj. Böltz
                   1. mtn. brig., Genmj.
Novak v. Arienti
                   13. mtn. brig., Genmj. Gf. Berchtold v. Pr., Ch., u. P.
                   18. field art. brig., Oberst Secullic
        48. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gabriel
                   11. mtn. brig., Genmj. Lawrowski
                   12. mtn. brig., Oberst
Felix Prinz zu Schwarzenberg
   Fortified Harbour of Pola, Vice-admiral Ritt. v. Chmelarz
    Chief of Staff, Oberst Funk
                    k.k. 112. Landsturm inf. brig., Genmj. Szentgyörgyi
                    4. fort. art. brig., Genmj. Hlavacek
                    14. mtn. brig., Oberst Großmann

Orders of Battle:  Isonzo Front in March 1916

Immediately preceding the Tirol Offensive conducted by General
Dankl von Krasnik
Commander, Erzherzog Eugen
X. Armee, General der Kavallerie
     I. det., XCIV. inf. div., Feldmarschalleutnant Kuczera
     II. det., Globocnik Group, Generalmajor Globocnik
     III. det., XCII. inf. div., Genmj.
     IV. det., XLIV. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Nemeczek
     V. det., XV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten
          L. inf. div., Feldmlt. Kalser von Maasfeld
          I. inf. div., Feldmlt. Schmidt von Fussina
          XLVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gabriel
V. Armee, Gen. d. Inf.
Boroevic von Bojna
     I. det., XVI. Korps, Feldzeugmeister
von Wurm
          LXII. inf. div., Genmj.
Novak von Arienti
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
     II. det., VII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukachich
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gelb
           CVI. Landsturm div., Feldmlt. Kletter
     III. det., Feldmlt. Winckler
          LXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Winckler
          IX. inf. div., Genmj. Krasel
     IV. det. (Küstenland), Konteradmiral von Koudelka
     V. det. (Fiume), Genmj. von Istvanovic
     Support:  III. Korps, Feldmlt.
von Krautwald
          VI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. Schön
          XXVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XVIII. inf. div., Genmj. Stracker

Orders of Battle:  Tirol Front in May 1916
Immediately preceding the Tirol Offensive conducted by General Dankl von Krasnik
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. 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
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
     I. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Karl Frh. v. Kirchbach
            10. Inf. Div., Feldmlt.
Edler v. Mecenseffy
              34. Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Rudolf Krauss
              43. Schützen Div., Genmj. Tunk
     XXI. Korps, Feldmlt. Fhr. V. Lütgendorf
              Kaiser Schützen Div., Genmj. Englert
              44. Schützen Div., Feldmlt. Nemeczek
Landesverteidigungskommando in Tirol (Tirol Defense), Gen. d. Inf.
         Rayon I (Stilfserjoch), Obst. Fhr. v. Lempruch
         Rayon II (Tonale), Genmj. Edler v. Steinhart
         Rayon III (Südtirol), Feldmlt
v. Können-Horák
         Rayon IV, 90 Inf. Div., Feldmlt. Edler v. Scholz
         Rayon V (Pustertal), Feldmlt.
L. Goiginger
Eugen reflects on the war against Italy, 2 July 1916

Reproduced from a newspaper interview:  "You have seen what my troops, exceeding all expectations, have quickly accomplished in the most difficult terrain imaginable.  Any success the Italians could possibly have, they had at the very beginning of the war, when we had only weak forces, Landsturm formations, and native sharpshooters, sparsely lining the Italian border.

How the Italians Failed

"But Cadorna, my enemy, adhered strictly to the rules of the art of strategy, and at first systematically felt out our entire front, seeking by means of smaller thrusts to determine the stength and make-up of the Austrian troops against him, and by lively artillery fire trying to determine the number and make-up of our batteries.  This methodical, but time-consuming procedure cost him the very first two weeks, during which time we were bringing up our reserves and putting our  positions in a state of defense.

"When General Cadorna actually did seriously begin to go for us, he collided with an unbreakably strong front.  Although the enemy was at that time numerically far superior to us, we still succeeded in making a stand against him all along the line, something we had hardly hoped to be able to do when the Italian war declaration came.  The centre of gravity of the Italian attacks shifted to the Isonzo front, where particularly the second and fourth battles of the Isonzo were extraordinarily hard and bloody.  Even in these battles, it was demonstrated what our offensive has now confirmed: that our men, but not the Italians, could stand the horrors of drumfire.

The Gruesome Scenery of War

"Specifically, the close cooperation between our infantry and our artillery, and the batteries among one another has been the main source of our success.  Our artilleristic defense has cost the enemy veritable hetacombs of dead.

"Before certain sectors of our front, such as [Monte] San Michele and Podgora, veritable mountains of bodies were frequently piled up.  Since, owing to the rocky nature of the terrain and the incessant enemy fire, one couldn't bury them for weeks at a time, and they rendered the air so pestilent that our officers could not eat.  Our men, fortunately, have indestructible nerves, which did not give way even when the Italian shells crashed into the midst of these herds of half-decayed bodies.  Two of our men once remained lying wounded among these bodies, keeping alive from food they found in the pockets of the dead.  After twenty-one days, they were found by one of our patrols among the decaying bodies, both in good spirits and their wounds almost healed of themselves.  Where burial was impossible the bodies have been covered with quicklime.

Building Upon Solid Rock

"Just as difficult, because of the rock. in the laying out of trenches.  Rock splinters and fragments caused by heavy shells striking frequently causes far more serious wounds than the shells themselves, since the rock splinters are razor-sharp and frequently carry dirt into the wounds they inflict.  We have accomplished a great deal, particularly in the matter of road building, which will later be a benefit to tourist traffic.  We have also built various new railways, two here in the Tirol alone.

"I was present at the beginning of our attack on the morning when Asiago was bombarded, where the Italian division command had headquarters.  Our second shot was a bulls-eye and caused a grand confusion among the surprised enemy.  When I came out again in the afternoon, to my army a photograph of this shot was handed to me.  One of our fliers who had been circling over the place during the bombardment had photographed this hit, flown home, and at once had it developed.  One really could not ask more.

"The Italian prisoners unanimously declared the effect of our artillery fire was frightful, simply unendurable.  Under cover of this artillery fire, it was possible for our infantry, with relatively really very slight losses, to tear from the enemy position after position.

"The Italian artillery answered our fire only weakly--not, as captured magazines afterward showed, from lack of ammunition, but because they were holding back for our infantry attacks but when it was always too late.

Reinventing the War Club

"This war employs not only the newest and most unheard-of auxiliary means of modern technology, such as big-calibre guns of fabulous range and effect, wire entanglements charged with high-tension electrical current, and gas attacks, but digs up offensive and effective devices out of long-forgotten ages, such as the steel helmet, which, by the way, is too heavy, and worthless against near shots; breastplates and armoured shields, the knife of the Bavarians and our own mountaineers, and even the old battle-mace and war club. 

This latter first appeared on the Isonzo, where in the front hand-to-hand fighting there, our men found themselves hindered rather than aided by rifles, so they took gas pipes, cut them into convenient lengths, and fitted them into blocks of wood which they studded with nails after the manner of the medieval 'morgenstern.'  These primitive battle clubs proved such a success in hand-to-hand fighting in narrow trenches that in compliance with the wishes of our men substantially made battle clubs have now been generally placed at their disposal.  Thus, war makes invention."
Archduke Eugen and General Fabini on the Isonzo Front, 1917
Orders of Battle:  Italian Front in August 1916
Immediately following the Italian Isonzo Offensive that captured Görz

Army Group Erzherzog Eugen, Generaloberst Erzherzog Eugen
     Rayon I-Stilfserjoch
     Rayon II-Tonale, Genmj. von Steinhart
XI. Army, Generaloberst
     Rayon III-Feldmlt.
von Koennen-Korak
     XXI. Korps, Feldmarschal von Lütgendorf
          Guseck Group, Feldmlt. von Guseck
          Kaiser Schützen div., Genmj. Englert
     XX. Korps, Feldmlt.
          III. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Horzetzky
          VIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Fabini
     III. Korps, Feldmlt.
von Krautwald
          VI. inf. div., Genmj. Müller
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. von Kochanowski
          XXVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          X. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Mecenseffy
     XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
          XVIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Hrozny
     Roth Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
von Roth
     Rayon IV-Feldmlt. von Scholz
          XC. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Scholz
          LVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. H. Goiginger
     Rayon V-Feldmlt.
L. Goiginger
X. Armee, Feldmlt. Scotti
          XCIV. inf. div., Genmj. Lawrowski
          XCII. inf. div., Genmj. von Krasel
V. Armee, Generaloberst
Boroevic von Bojna
     XV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten
          L. inf. div., Genmj. Gerabek
          I. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Fussina
     XVI. Korps, Feldz.
von Wurm
          LXII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Arienti
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
     VIII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukachich
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gelb
          IX. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Alfred Edl. von Schenk
     Reinforcement, XXVIII. inf div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XLIV. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Nemeczek
          XVI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Schariczer
     Triest Rayon, Conteradmiral von Koudelka
     Fiume Rayon, Genmj. von Istvanovic
Archduke Eugen and his officers during the Italians' eleventh Isonzo offensive, summer 1917.
Orders of Battle:  Italian Front in November 1917
Immediately preceding the Caporetto Offensive

Erzherzog Eugen Army Front, Feldmarschal Erzherzog Eugen
Deutsch XIV. Armee, Gen. d. Inf.
von Below
     Group Krauss, K.u.K. I. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Alfred Krauss
          Edelweiss, III. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. von Wieden
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. Müller
          LV. inf. div., Genmj.
Felix Prinz zu Schwarzenberg
     Group Stein, III. Bayerisch Korps, Genlt.
von Stein
          L. inf. div., Genmj .Gerabek
          XII. inf. div., Genmj. Lequis
     Deutsch Alpenkorps, Genmj. von Tutschek
          CXVII. inf. div., Genmj. Seydel
     Group Berrer, Genlt.
von Berrer
          XXVI. inf. div., I. Württembergisch inf. div., Genlt.
von Hofacker
          CC. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Hans von Below
     Group Scotti, XV. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
          I. inf.div., Feldmlt. Metzger
          V. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. von Wedel

The conquest of Friulia and part of Venezia following Caporetto was a relief for the Army's supply situation, but not for long.  On 30 December 1917, Archduke Eugen wrote to his military governor in Bosnia-Herzegovina, General Stefan v. Sarkotic, "Economically, the situation here is less pleasing.  The food situation is at the moment worse than critical since, from the start of the offensive, I have fed the three armies under my command exclusively from the occupied territory.  Supplies from the hinterland was irregular and scarce.  Almost no tobacco, which the troops find hard to bear, but they do still get every day half a litre of wine [the full ration] which is plentifully available in this region.  Bread is bad and only half the ration."

GWS, 9/03
The Archduke Eugen with General Zehner on 28 October 1934
The Archduke Eugen in the garb of a Knight, 1934.