Military Review

The destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire did not bring Central Europe peace

Politics of Charles I. Attempt to make peace

The death of Franz Joseph was undoubtedly one of the psychological prerequisites leading to the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was not an outstanding ruler, but became a symbol of stability for three generations of his subjects. In addition, the character of Franz Joseph - his restraint, iron self-discipline, constant politeness and friendliness, the very respectable old age, supported by state propaganda - all this contributed to the high authority of the monarchy. Franz Joseph's death was perceived as a change historical eras, the end of an incredibly long period of history. After all, almost no one remembered the predecessor of Franz Joseph, it was too long ago, and almost no one knew the successor.

Carl was very unlucky. He inherited an empire that was embroiled in a devastating war and was torn by internal contradictions. Unfortunately, like his Russian counterpart and opponent Nicholas II, Charles I did not have the qualities that were necessary to solve the titanic task of saving the state. It should be noted that he had much in common with the Russian emperor. Karl was a great family man. His marriage was harmonious. Karl and the young empress Zita, descended from the Parma branch of the Bourbons (her father was the last duke of Parma), loved each other. A marriage of love was a rarity for the highest aristocracy. Both families had many children: the Romanovs had five children, the Habsburgs - eight. Tsita was the main support of her husband, she had a good education. Therefore, evil tongues said that the emperor was "under his heel." Both couples were deeply religious.

The difference was that Karl had practically no time to transform the empire, and Nicholas II had been over 20 with over the years. However, Karl made an attempt to save the Habsburg empire and, unlike Nicholas, fought for his work to the end. From the very beginning of his reign, Karl tried to solve two main tasks: stop the war and carry out internal modernization. In the manifesto on the occasion of the accession to the throne, the Austrian emperor promised to “return to my people the blessed world, without which they suffer so hard”. However, the desire to get his way as quickly as possible and the lack of necessary experience played a cruel joke with Karl: many of his steps turned out to be poorly thought out, hasty and erroneous.

30 December 1916 in Budapest Karl and Zita were crowned king and queen of Hungary. On the one hand, Charles (like the Hungarian king - Charles IV) strengthened the unity of the dualistic state. On the other hand, he deprived himself of maneuver, tied himself hand and foot, now Karl could not proceed to the federalization of the monarchy. At the end of November, Count Anton von Polzer-Khoditz prepared a memorandum in which he suggested that Karl be put off the coronation in Budapest and come to an agreement with all the Hungarian national communities. This position was supported by all former associates of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who wanted to conduct a series of reforms in Hungary. However, Karl did not follow their recommendations, succumbing to the pressure of the Hungarian elite, especially Count Tisza. The foundations of the Hungarian kingdom remained intact.

The destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire did not bring Central Europe peace

Tsita and Karl with their son Otto on the day of the coronation as the monarchs of Hungary in 1916

Karl took over the duties of the supreme commander. The Hawk Konrad von Hötzöndorf was dismissed from the post of Chief of the General Staff and sent to the Italian front. His successor was General Arts von Straussenburg. The Foreign Ministry was headed by Ottokar Chernin von und Zu Hudenitz, a representative of the Franz Ferdinand circle. The role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this period has increased dramatically. Czernin was a controversial person. He was an ambitious, gifted, but somewhat unbalanced person. Chernin's views represented a strange mixture of supranational loyalism, conservatism and deep pessimism about the future of Austria-Hungary. Austrian politician J. Redlich called Chernin "a man of the seventeenth century who does not understand the time in which he lives."

Chernin himself entered the story of total bitterness with a phrase about the fate of the empire: “We were doomed to death and should have died. But we could choose the type of death - and chose the most painful. ” The young emperor chose Chernin because of his commitment to the idea of ​​peace. “A victorious world is very unlikely,” noted Chernin, “a compromise with the Entente is necessary, there is nothing to count on seizures.”

12 April 1917, the Austrian emperor Karl addressed Kaiser Wilhelm II with a memorandum letter, where he noted that “every day the dark despair of the population grows stronger ... If the monarchies of the Central Powers are unable to make peace in the coming months, people will heads ... We are fighting a new enemy, even more dangerous than the Entente - with the international revolution, of which hunger is the strongest ally. ” That is, Karl rightly noted the main danger for Germany and Austria-Hungary - the threat of an internal explosion, a social revolution. To save two empires, it was necessary to make peace. Karl offered to end the war, "even at the cost of heavy casualties." The February revolution in Russia and the fall of the Russian monarchy made a tremendous impression on the Austrian emperor. Germany and Austria-Hungary followed the same disastrous path as the Russian Empire.

However, Berlin did not hear this call from Vienna. Moreover, in February 1917, Germany, without informing its Austrian ally, launched a total submarine war. As a result, the United States received an excellent reason to join the war on the side of the Entente. Realizing that the Germans still believe in victory, Charles I began to look for a path to peace on his own. The situation at the front did not give the Entente any hope for a quick victory, which reinforced the possibility of peaceful negotiations. The Eastern Front, despite assurances from the Russian Provisional Government to continue the “war to the bitter end,” no longer posed a serious threat to the Central Powers. Almost all of Romania and the Balkans were occupied by the forces of the Central Powers. On the Western front, the positional struggle continued, which depleted France and England. American troops just began to dwell in Europe and doubted their combat effectiveness (the Americans did not have experience of war of such magnitude). Chernin supported Karl.

As an intermediary for establishing relations with the Entente, Karl chose his brother-in-law, brother of Zita, Prince Sictus de Bourbon-Parma. Together with his younger brother Xaverus, Sictus served as an officer in the Belgian army. So began the "scam of Siccus". Sictus maintained contacts with French Foreign Minister Jean Cambon. Paris put forward the following conditions: the return to France of Alsace and Lorraine, without concessions to Germany in the colonies; the world cannot be separate; France will fulfill its obligations towards the allies. However, the new message of Siccus, sent after a meeting with the French President Poincaré, hinted at the possibility of a separate agreement. The main objective of France was the military defeat of Germany, "cut off from Austria."

To condemn the opening opportunities, Karl summoned Siccus and Xavier to Austria. They arrived 21 March. A series of meetings of the brothers with the imperial couple and Chernin took place in Laxenberg near Vienna. Chernin himself was skeptical about the idea of ​​a separate peace. He hoped for universal peace. Chernin believed that without Germany peace cannot be concluded, the rejection of an alliance with Berlin would lead to tragic consequences. The Austrian Foreign Minister understood that Germany could simply occupy Austria-Hungary in the event of her treachery. In addition, such a world could lead to civil war. Most of the Austrian Germans and Hungarians could accept a separate peace as a betrayal, and the Slavs supported it. Thus, a separate peace led to the destruction of Austria-Hungary, as well as the defeat of the war.

The negotiations at Laxenberg ended with the transfer of a letter to Karl to Sixtus, in which he promised to use all the influence to fulfill the French requirements for Alsace and Lorraine. At the same time, Karl promised to restore the sovereignty of Serbia. As a result, Karl made a diplomatic mistake - he presented the enemies with irrefutable, documentary evidence that the Austrian house is ready to sacrifice Alsace and Lorraine - one of the main priorities of allied Germany. In the spring of 1918, this letter will be made public that will undermine the political authority of Vienna, both in the eyes of the Entente and in Germany.

3 April 1917, at a meeting with the German Emperor, Karl suggested that Wilhelm II abandon Alsace and Lorraine. In exchange, Austria-Hungary was ready to hand over Galicia to Germany and agree with the transformation of the Polish Kingdom into a German satellite. However, the German elite did not support these initiatives. Thus, Vienna’s attempt to seat Berlin at the negotiating table failed.

The Sicus Scam also ended in failure. In the spring of 1917, the government of A. Ribot came to power in France, which was wary of the initiatives of Vienna and offered to fulfill the requirements of Rome. And under the London Treaty of 1915, Italy was promised Tyrol, Trieste, Istria and Dalmatia. In May, Karl hinted that he was ready to yield to Tyrol. However, this was not enough. 5 Jun Ribot said that "the world can only be the fruit of victory." There was nobody else to talk about.

Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Ottokar Chernin von und zu Hudjenitz

The idea of ​​the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

World War I was total, intense military propaganda set one goal — complete and final victory. For the Entente, Germany and Austria-Hungary were absolute evil, the embodiment of everything that was hated by Republicans and liberals. Prussian militarism, Habsburg aristocracy, reactionaryness and reliance on Catholicism were planned to be uprooted. "Financial International", which stood for the United States, France and England, wanted to destroy the powers of medieval theocratic monarchism and absolutism. The Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian empires stood in the way of the capitalist and “democratic” New World Order, where large capital, the “golden elite”, was to rule.

The ideological character of the war after two 1917 events of the year was particularly noticeable. The first was the fall of the Russian Empire, the house of the Romanovs. The Entente acquired political homogeneity, becoming the union of democratic republics and liberal constitutional monarchies. The second event is the entry into the US war. US President Woodrow Wilson and his advisers actively carried out the will of American financial aces. And the main "scrap" for the destruction of the old monarchies was to play the cheating principle of "self-determination of nations." When nations formally became independent and free, they established democracy, and in fact were clients, satellites of the great powers, the financial capitals of the world. Who pays, that and orders music.

10 January 1917 of the year in the declaration of the Entente powers on the objectives of the bloc as one of them indicated the liberation of the Italians, southern Slavs, Romanians, Czechs and Slovaks. However, the liquidation of the Habsburg monarchy was not yet discussed. It was said about the wide autonomy of "unprivileged" peoples. 5 December 1917, speaking in Congress, President Wilson announced the desire to liberate the peoples of Europe from German hegemony. The American president said about the Danube monarchy: “We are not interested in the destruction of Austria. How she manages herself is not our problem. ” In the famous "14 points" of Woodrow Wilson, the 10 item concerned Austria. The people of Austria-Hungary were asked to provide "the widest possible opportunities for autonomous development." 5 January 1918, the British Prime Minister Lloyd George, in a statement on the military objectives of England, noted that "we are not fighting for the destruction of Austria-Hungary."

However, the French were different. No wonder Paris since the beginning of the war supported the Czech and Croatian-Serbian political emigration. In France, legions were formed from prisoners and deserters, Czechs and Slovaks, in 1917-1918. they took part in the hostilities on the Western Front and in Italy. In Paris, they wanted to create a "republicanization of Europe", and this was impossible without the destruction of the Habsburg monarchy.

In general, the question of the division of Austria-Hungary was not announced. The fracture occurred when the “Sixtus scam” surfaced. 2 on April 1918 of the year Austrian Foreign Minister Chernin spoke to the members of the Vienna City Assembly, and in a rush admitted that there were indeed peace talks with France. But the initiative, according to Chernin, came from Paris, and negotiations were interrupted, allegedly due to Vienna’s refusal to agree to Alsace and Lorraine joining France. Outraged by the apparent lie, French Prime Minister J. Clemenceau responded by saying that Chernin was lying, then published the text of Karl’s letter. A hail of accusations of infidelity and betrayal fell upon the Vienna court, that the Habsburgs de violated the "sacred commandment" of "Teutonic loyalty" and fraternity arms. Although Germany itself did the same and led backroom negotiations without Austria.

Thus, Chernin roughly framed Charles. The career of Count Chernin on this ended, he resigned. Austria was hit by a tough political crisis. In the court circles even spoke about the possible resignation of the emperor. Military circles and the Austro-Hungarian "hawks" committed to an alliance with Germany were furious. The Empress and the Parma house to which she belonged were under attack. They were considered the source of evil.

Karl was forced to make excuses in front of Berlin, to lie that it was a fake. In May, under pressure from Berlin, Karl signed an agreement on an even closer military and economic alliance of the Central Powers. The power of the Habsburgs finally became a satellite of the more powerful German Empire. If we imagine an alternative reality, where Germany won the First World War, then Austria-Hungary would become a second-rate power, almost an economic colony of Germany. The victory of the Entente also did not promise Austria-Hungary anything good. The scandal around the “Sixtus scam” buried the possibility of a political agreement between the Hapsburgs and the Entente.

In April, the 1918 of the year in Rome was the "Congress of the oppressed peoples." Representatives of various national communities of Austria-Hungary came to Rome. Most often, these politicians had no weight at home, but they did not hesitate to speak on behalf of their peoples, who, in fact, no one asked. In reality, many Slavic politicians would still be satisfied with broad autonomy within the framework of Austria-Hungary.

3 June 1918, the Entente declared that it considered the creation of an independent Poland, with the inclusion of Galicia, to be one of the conditions for creating a just world. In Paris, the Polish National Council was already created, headed by Roman Dmovsky, who after the revolution in Russia, changed the pro-Russian position to the pro-Western one. The activities of supporters of independence actively sponsored by the Polish community in the United States. In France, a Polish volunteer army was formed under the command of General J. Haller. Yu. Pilsudski, realizing where the wind was coming from, broke off relations with the Germans and gradually gained fame as the national hero of the Polish people.

30 July 1918, the French government recognized the right of Czechs and Slovaks to self-determination. The Czechoslovak National Council was called upon to be the highest body that represents the interests of the people and is the core of the future government of Czechoslovakia. August 9 The Czechoslovak National Council was recognized by England as the future Czechoslovak government, and the USA on September 3. The artificiality of the Czechoslovak statehood did not embarrass anyone. Although the Czechs and the Slovaks, except for language intimacy, little was united. For many centuries, both nations had a different history, were at different levels of political, cultural and economic development. This did not bother the Entente, as well as many other similar artificial structures, the main thing was to destroy the Habsburg Empire.


The most important part of the policy of Charles I was the liberalization of domestic policy. It should be noted that in the conditions of war, it was not the best solution. At first, the Austrian authorities went overboard with the search for "internal enemies", repressions and restrictions, then they began liberalization. This only aggravated the internal situation in the country. Carl I, guided by the best of intentions, himself rocked the Hapsburg Empire’s boat, which was not so stable.

30 May 1917 was convened by the Reichsrat, an assembly of Austria that did not gather for more than three years. The idea of ​​the “Easter Declaration”, which strengthened the position of the Austrian Germans in Cisleytania, was rejected. Karl decided that the strengthening of the Austrian Germans did not beg the position of the monarchy, but vice versa. In addition, Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza, who was the personification of Hungarian conservatism, was dismissed in May 1917.

The convening of parliament was a great mistake of Karl. The convocation of the Reichsrat was perceived by many politicians as a sign of the weakness of imperial power. The leaders of the national movements received a tribune from which pressure could be exerted on the authorities. The Reichsrat quickly turned into an opposition center, as a matter of fact, into an anti-state body. As parliamentary meetings continued, the position of the Czech and Yugoslav deputies (they formed a single faction) became more and more radical. The Czech Union demanded the transformation of the Habsburg state into a "federation of free and equal states" and the creation of a Czech state, including the Slovaks. Budapest was indignant, since the accession of the Slovak lands to the Czechs meant a violation of the territorial integrity of the Hungarian kingdom. At the same time, the Slovak politicians themselves waited for whose will they take, not giving preference to either an alliance with the Czechs or autonomy within Hungary. Orientation towards an alliance with the Czechs won only in May 1918 of the year.

The amnesty declared by 2 on July 1917 was not conducive to calmness in Austria-Hungary, thanks to which political prisoners sentenced to death, mainly Czechs (more than 700 people), were released. Austrian and Bohemian Germans were outraged by the imperial forgiveness of the "traitors", which further aggravated the national contradictions in Austria.

On July 20, on the island of Corfu, the representatives of the Yugoslav Committee and the Serbian government signed a declaration on the establishment after the war of a state that will include Serbia, Montenegro and the provinces of Austria-Hungary inhabited by southern Slavs. The head of the "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" was to be the king of the Serbian dynasty Karageorgievich. It should be noted that the South Slavic Committee at that time did not have the support of the majority of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes of Austria-Hungary. Most South Slavic politicians in Austria-Hungary at the time were in favor of broad autonomy within the Habsburg federation.

However, by the end of 1917, the separatist, radical tendencies won out. The October Revolution in Russia and the Bolshevik "Decree on Peace", which called for a "world without annexations and indemnities" and the implementation of the principle of self-determination of nations, played a certain role in this. 30 November 1917 of the year The Czech Union, the South Slavic Club of Deputies and the Ukrainian Parliamentary Association made a joint statement. In it, they demanded that the peace talks in Brest should be attended by delegations of various national communities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

When the Austrian government rejected this idea, the 6 of January 1918 of the year in Prague convened a congress of Czech deputies of the Reichsrat and members of the land assemblies. They adopted a declaration in which they demanded the provision of the right of self-determination to the peoples of the Habsburg Empire and, in particular, the proclamation of the Czechoslovak state. Prime Minister of Tsisleytanii Seidler declared the declaration "an act of treason." However, the authorities could no longer oppose nationalism except loud statements. The train left. The imperial power did not enjoy the same authority, and the army was demoralized, and could not resist the collapse of the state.

Military catastrophe

3 March 1918 was signed the Brest Peace. Russia has lost a huge territory. Austro-German troops stood in the Ukraine until the fall of 1918. In Austria-Hungary, this world was called “bread”, so hoped for grain supplies from Ukraine to Ukraine, which should improve the critical food situation in Austria. However, these hopes were not met. The civil war and poor harvest in Little Russia led to the fact that the export of grain and flour from this area to Tsisleytaniyu amounted to less than 1918 thousand cars in 2,5 year. For comparison: about 30 thousand cars were taken out of Romania, and more than 10 thousand from Hungary.

On May 7, a separate peace was signed between the Central Powers and defeated Romania in Bucharest. Romania ceded Dobrudzu Bulgaria, part of southern Transylvania and Bukovina - Hungary. In compensation, Bucharest was given Russian Bessarabia. However, in November 1918, Romania switched to the Entente camp.

During the 1918 campaign of the year, the Austro-German command hoped to win. But these hopes were in vain. The forces of the Central Powers, unlike the Entente, were running out. In March and July, the German army launched a powerful offensive on the Western Front, achieved some success, but failed to defeat the enemy or break through the front. Germany’s material and human resources were running out, morale weakened. In addition, Germany was forced to hold large forces in the East, controlling the occupied territories, losing large reserves that could help on the Western Front. In July-August, the second battle of the Marne took place, the Entente troops launched a counteroffensive. Germany suffered a heavy defeat. In September, the troops of the Entente in a series of operations eliminated the results of previous German success. In October and early November, the Allied forces liberated most of the German territory seized by France and part of Belgium. The German army could no longer fight.

The offensive of the Austro-Hungarian army on the Italian front failed. The Austrians attacked 15 Jun. However, the Austro-Hungarian troops could only wedge themselves into the Italian defense on the Piava river in some places. After a few troops, the heavy losses suffered and the demoralized Austro-Hungarian troops retreated. The Italians, despite the constant demands of the Allied Command, could not immediately organize a counteroffensive. The Italian army was not in the best condition to advance.

Only October 24 Italian army launched an offensive. In a number of places the Austrians successfully defended themselves, repulsed enemy attacks. However, the Italian front soon fell apart. Under the influence of rumors and situations on other fronts, the revolt was raised by the Hungarians and the Slavs. On October 25, all Hungarian troops simply abandoned their positions and went to Hungary under the pretext of the need to protect their country, which was threatened by the Entente troops from Serbia. And Czech, Slovak and Croatian soldiers refused to fight. Only the Austrian Germans continued to fight.

By October 28, the 30 divisions had already lost their combat capability and the Austrian command issued an order for a general retreat. The Austro-Hungarian army was completely demoralized and fled. About 300 thousand people surrendered. 3 November Italians landed troops in Trieste. Italian troops occupied almost all previously lost Italian territory.

In the Balkans, the Allies also launched an offensive in September. Albania, Serbia and Montenegro were liberated. The truce with the Entente was concluded by Bulgaria. In November, the Allies invaded the territory of Austria-Hungary. 3 November 1918 The truce with the Entente was concluded by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 11 November - Germany. It was a complete defeat.

End of Austria-Hungary

October 4 1918, in consultation with the Emperor and Berlin, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Burien sent a note to the Western powers stating that Vienna is ready for negotiations based on Wilson's 14 points, including the item on the self-determination of nations.

On October 5, the National Assembly of Croatia was established in Zagreb, which declared itself the representative body of the Yugoslav lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. October 8 in Washington at the suggestion of Masaryk, the Declaration of Independence of the Czechoslovak People was announced. Wilson immediately admitted that Czechoslovakia and Austria-Hungary were in a state of war, and the Czechoslovak Council was the government leading the war. The United States could no longer consider the autonomy of peoples as a sufficient condition for the conclusion of peace. It was a death sentence to the power of the Habsburgs.

10-12 October, the Emperor Charles received a delegation of Hungarians, Czechs, Austrian Germans and southern Slavs. Hungarian politicians still did not want to hear about the federalization of the empire. Karl had to promise that the forthcoming manifesto on federalization would not affect Hungary. But the Czechs and southern Slavs, the federation no longer seemed a dream - the Entente promised more. Karl did not order, but begged and begged, but it was too late. Karl had to pay not only for his mistakes, but the mistakes of his predecessors. Austria-Hungary was doomed.

In general, Carl can sympathize. It was an inexperienced, kind, religious man who was responsible for the empire and felt a terrible heartache, as his whole world collapsed. The nations refused to obey him, and nothing could be done. The army could have stopped the collapse, but its combat-ready core was killed on the fronts, and the remaining troops almost completely decomposed. We must pay tribute to Karl, he fought to the end, and not for power, so he was not a power-hungry man, but for the legacy of his ancestors.

October 16 The 1918 of the year issued a manifesto on the federalization of Austria (“Manifesto of the Nations”). However, the time for such a step has already been missed. On the other hand, this manifesto made it possible to avoid blood. Many officers and officials, educated in the spirit of loyalty to the throne, could quietly begin to serve the legitimate national councils in whose hands power passed. I must say that many monarchists were ready to fight for the Habsburgs. Thus, "the lion of the Isonzo" Field Marshal Svetozar Boroevich de Boina had troops that retained discipline and loyalty to the throne. He was ready to go to Vienna and occupy her. But Karl, guessing the plans of the field marshal, did not want a military coup and blood.

October 21 The Provisional National Assembly of German Austria was created in Vienna. It includes almost all the deputies of the Reichsrat, who represented the German-speaking districts of Cisleytania. Many deputies hoped that soon the German districts of the collapsed empire could join Germany, completing the process of creating a united Germany. But this contradicted the interests of the Entente, therefore, at the insistence of the Western powers, the Republic of Austria, declared 12 in November, became an independent state. Karl announced that he was “removed from government”, but stressed that this is not a renunciation of the throne. Formally, Karl remained the emperor and the king, since refusal to participate in public affairs was not equivalent to renunciation of the title and the throne.

Karl "suspended" the execution of his powers, hoping that he could return the throne. In March, 1919, under pressure from the Austrian government and the Entente, the imperial family moved to Switzerland. In 1921, Karl will make two attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, but unsuccessfully. He will be sent to the island of Madeira. In March, 1922, Karl will be ill with pneumonia due to hypothermia, and April 1 will die. His wife, Tsita, will live a whole era and die in 1989.

By October 24, all Entente countries and their allies recognized the Czechoslovak National Council as the current government of the new state. On October XNUM, the Czechoslovak Republic (ČSR) was proclaimed in Prague. October 28 Slovak National Council confirmed the accession of Slovakia to Czechoslovakia. In fact, Prague and Budapest fought for Slovakia for several more months. On November 30, the National Assembly met in Prague, Masaryk was elected president of Czechoslovakia.

October 29 in Zagreb The people's assembly declared its readiness to take all the power in the Yugoslavian provinces. Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia and the lands of the Slovenes withdrew from Austria-Hungary and declared neutrality. True, this did not prevent the Italian army from occupying Dalmatia and the coastal areas of Croatia. In the Yugoslav regions came powerlessness and chaos. The widespread anarchy, the collapse, the threat of famine, the rupture of economic ties forced the Zagreb veche to seek help from Belgrade. Actually there was no way out for Croats, Bosnians and Slovenes. The Hapsburg Empire collapsed. Austrian Germans and Hungarians created their own states. It was necessary either to take part in the creation of a common South Slavic state, or to become victims of the territorial seizures of Italy, Serbia, and Hungary (and possibly Austria).

November 24 The National Assembly appealed to Belgrade with a request for the entry of the Yugoslav Saints of the Danube monarchy into the Serbian kingdom. 1 December 1918 was announced the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the future Yugoslavia).

In November, the Polish statehood was formed. After the capitulation of the Central Powers in Poland, a dual power was formed. The Regent Council of the Kingdom of Poland sat in Warsaw, in Lublin the Provisional People's Government. Jozef Pilsudski, who became the universally recognized leader of the nation, united both power groups. He became the "head of state" - the interim chief executive. Galicia became part of Poland. However, the borders of the new state were defined only in 1919-1921, after Versailles and the war with Soviet Russia.

October 17 1918, the Hungarian Parliament broke off the union with Austria and declared the country's independence. The Hungarian National Council, which was headed by the liberal Count Mihai Karoyi, took the course to reform the country. To preserve the territorial integrity of Hungary, Budapest announced its readiness for immediate peace negotiations with the Entente. Budapest recalled the Hungarian troops from the crumbling fronts to their homeland.

October 30-31 rebellion began in Budapest. Crowds of thousands of citizens and soldiers returning from the front demanded the transfer of power to the National Council. The former prime minister of Hungary, Istvan Tisza, who was torn to pieces by soldiers in his own house, became the victim of the insurgents. Count Károlyi became prime minister. November 3 Hungary concluded a truce with the Entente in Belgrade. However, this did not prevent Romania to seize Transylvania. Attempts by the Karolyi government to negotiate with the Slovaks, Romanians, Croats and Serbs about preserving the unity of Hungary on the condition of granting its national communities broad autonomy ended in failure. Time has been lost. Hungarian liberals had to pay for the mistakes of the former conservative elite, which until recently did not want to reform Hungary.

Revolt in Budapest 31 October 1918

November 5 in Budapest, Charles I was deposed from the throne of Hungary. 16 November 1918 Hungary was proclaimed a republic. However, the situation in Hungary was difficult. On the one hand, in Hungary itself, the struggle of various political forces continued - from conservative monarchists to communists. As a result, Miklos Horthy, who led the resistance to the 1919 revolution of the year, became the dictator of Hungary. On the other hand, it was difficult to predict what would remain from the former Hungary. In 1920, the Entente withdrew troops from Hungary, but in the same year the Trianon Treaty deprived the country 2 / 3 of the territory where hundreds of thousands of Hungarians lived, and there was a large part of the economic infrastructure.

Thus, the Entente, having destroyed the Austro-Hungarian empire, created a huge area of ​​instability in Central Europe, where old insults, prejudices, hostility and hatred broke free. The destruction of the Habsburg monarchy, which was an integrating force, capable of more or less successfully representing the interests of the majority of subjects, smoothing and balancing political, social, national and religious contradictions, was a great evil. In the future, this will be one of the main prerequisites for the next world war.

Map of the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1919 — 1920.
Articles from this series:
Part 1. Austria-Hungary in the First World War
Part 2. The imperial and royal army of Austria-Hungary on the eve of the First World War
Part 3. Towards a catastrophe: the foreign policy of Austria-Hungary on the eve of the First World War
Part 4. Hope for the preservation of the Habsburg Empire. Plans for the Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Part 5. "Now or never". Why did Austria-Hungary start World War I?
Part 6. Austria-Hungary retained the Eastern Front only with the help of Germany
Part 7. Austria-Hungary in the war: 1916 and 1917 campaigns. Deterioration of the empire

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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 10 June 2015 08: 05
    The idea of ​​dismembering the Austro-Hungarian Empire the goal of the world war is, if possible, the collapse or weakening of European empires: Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman, Russian empires .. Imagine .. the union of these empires .. during the years of the world war ..?forced the Zagreb veche to seek help from Belgrade. In fact, the Croats, Bosnians and Slovenes had no way out..No..there was a little bit wrong..When the delegation of the Croatian Veche pushed to Paris asking for help, well, at the same time that France and the other ANTANT powers would support Croatian independence .. it was politely said: boys, we see you as part of only the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes..figwam..national American hut for you, not independence..ANTANT .. you had to pay Serbia for shots in Sarajevo .. But later .. in the 1990s. .Europe and the USA came to the conclusion that a unified Yugoslavia is not needed .. and everything turned in the ass ..
  2. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 10 June 2015 09: 39
    Glory to the Great October Revolution !!!
  3. Cossack Ermak
    Cossack Ermak 10 June 2015 10: 11
    Just re-reading the adventures of the brave soldier Schweik. wink The book in an interesting form will tell more than this article about the collapse of Austria-Hungary.
    1. V.ic
      V.ic 10 June 2015 10: 55
      Quote: Cossack Ermak
      The book in an interesting form will tell more than this article about the collapse of Austria-Hungary.

      Download the 1962 film "Big Road" produced by Mosfilm / Barrandov studios.
  4. Guntruck
    Guntruck 10 June 2015 12: 44
    > In general, one can sympathize with Karl. It was inexperienced good, a religious man who was in charge of the empire and felt a terrible mental pain, as his whole world was collapsing.

    Yeah, he’s still kind. In Thalerhof and Terezin with pleasure confirm.

    They have a specific "kindness" there in the West, especially towards us, towards the Russians. They can sometimes feel sorry for a dog, but never for a Russian person.
    1. Dart2027
      Dart2027 10 June 2015 22: 50
      Quote: Guntruck
      In Thalerhof and Terezin

      Is Telesin not a VM?