Explaining History


Mobilising the Habsburg Empire: Austria-Hungary and war in 1914

Austria Hungary, a patchwork empire of nationalities, saw a surprising enthusiasm for war in the summer of 1914 from non Austrian subjects. Across the empire, subject peoples who still had loyalties to the empire as a whole volunteered to fight, overwhelming the offices of military recruiters. The Habsburg empire was far more suspicious of its own population than was in any way warranted, but succeeded in squandering the opportunities for greater social harmony through the closure of the Austrian parliament, the Reichsrat. Whilst this had a limited effect in 1914, the need for cooperation and plurality later on in the war would be paramount.