Serbs in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Great War Cover Image

Prečanski Srbi u Velikom ratu
Serbs in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Great War

Author(s): Goran Vasin
Subject(s): Military history, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: Srpsko narodno vijeće, Arhiv Srba u Hrvatskoj
Keywords: Austro-Hungary; Serbs; World War I; Eastern front; Serbia; Croatia;

Summary/Abstract: Participation of Serbs in Austro-Hungarian army during World War I is being largely ignored and it remained on the margins of historiography. They found themselves in between their loyalty to the state (Austria-Hungary) and their own nation (as Serbs). Available documents and literature published on this issue by now offers new insights into their position during the Great War: from marginalization in regiments sent against the Kingdom of Serbia in 1914, through switching to the side of Russia, up to loyalty to the Monarchy at the Italian front. Although Vienna did not have much confidence in loyalty of its Serbian subjects, the war showed that their desertion was within predicted rate, and officers remained largely loyal to the Sovereign. In the army of the Dual Monarchy not a single regiment was Serbian by ethnic composition of its soldiers and officers, which was unlike the case of all the other nations who had ethnically homogenous military units. Still, Serbs made significant percentage of Petrovaradinski (56%), Otočki (51%), Velikobečkerečki (44%), Karlovački (42%) and Novosadski (27%) regiment. In all regiments, including in these, Serbs were mixed with Hungarians and Croats. This paper analyses share of Serbs in Austro-Hungarian army and disharmony between loyalty to Habsburg state and feeling of national identity. It also addresses the issue of suffering of Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other parts of Austria-Hungary, which remained also an under- researched topic.

  • Issue Year: 2/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 52-77
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Serbian