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Austro-Hungarian Army

In researching for this “project”, I needed to understand the rules regarding the Austro-Hungarian Army as so many family members had been enlisted into (and volunteered for) this army. This is a short summary of relevant facts:

Every male in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had to be available for military service from 1st January of the year in which his 19th birthday fell until 31st December of the year in which he became 42. Men found fit and suitable from each region were selected for full time service to begin on the 1st January of the year in which their 21st birthday fell. All did two years full time service with one part or another of the Army.

Men could volunteer to serve as regular soldiers provided they conformed to the nationality, age and health requirements, and were not criminals. Recruits under the age of 19 could be accepted with their father's permission. Foreigners could join with the sanction of the Monarch and of their own government.

In addition there were One-Year Volunteers (Einjährig- Freiwillige), who were better educated men who could finish their professional etc studies before serving for one year, which had to be completed before their 24th birthday. 

Officers were normally recruited either from cadet schools, from the military academies - for which special preparatory schools existed - or from one-year volunteers (Einjährig Freiwillige).

The Cadet Schools. These could be entered between the years of 14 and 18. The course lasted four years, after which the young men were posted to the Army as Fähnriche with non-commissioned rank, eventually rising to the commissioned rank of Lieutenant after another two years. The first three years of the course were devoted to general education, the last year to military education. For the k.u.k. Army fourteen such schools existed: Wien; Budapest; Prag; Karlstadt; Königsfeld, near Brunn; Lemberg; Nagyszeben; Liebenau; Innsbruck; Temesvár; Kamenica, near Peterwardein; Hainburg (for engineers); Mährisch-Weisskirchen (for cavalry); and Traiskirchen (for artillery). For the k.k. Landwehr and the Honvéd there were similar schools at Wien, Pecs and Nagyvárad.

The Preparatory Schools. These were affiliated to the military academies and were intended for officers sons. Youths entered the lower schools between the ages of 10 and 12, and passed thence into the upper schools between the ages of 14 and 16, out of which they passed into the military academies between the ages of 18 and 20. Six lower schools existed for the k.u.k. Army: Koszeg; Maros-Väsärhely; Fischau; St Polten; Strass in Steirmark; and Enns. Six upper schools existed for the k.u.k. Army: Mährisch-Weisskirchen; Krakau; Kismarton; Kassa; Marburg; and Pozsony. For the k.k. Landwehr there was an upper school in Wien and for the Honvéd a similar establishment at Sopron.

The Military Academies might be entered at the age of 18 by those who had finished their studies at an upper school. After a three years course, students were passed out into the various branches of the Army with the rank of Lieutenant. The four military academies were:
The Maria-Theresa Military Academy at Wiener Neustadt, supplied officers for the k.u.k. Army;
The Technical Military Academy at Mödling near Wien, supplied officers for the k.u.k. Army;
The Francis Joseph Military Academy supplied officers for the k.k. Landwehr, at Wien;
The Ludovic Military Academy at Budapest which was similar to the Maria-Theresa Academy but was intended to supply officers for the Honvéd.

The One-Year Volunteers (Einjährig Freiwillige) were young men who had reached a certain standard of education and undertook to clothe, feed and equip themselves. At the end of a year with the colours they could either continue their service with the active army, or be passed into the reserve; in both cases they then took an examination qualifying them to become officers. After passing this examination they were given the rank of ensign on probation (Probe-Fähnrich). Then after a further examination they were appointed Fähnriche (Ensign), ranking in seniority after those who had attained the rank of Fähnrich by passing through the Cadet Schools. Those who were passed into the reserve, after passing the examination qualifying them to become officers, automatically in course of time attained the rank of Fähnrich in the Reserve.

Ensigns (Fähnrich) were classified as aspirant officers which meant that they were classified as “combatants” but not as “combatant officers”. This was important in the event that you were captured and became a prisoner of war. Aspirant officers qualifying through the Cadet Schools and for one-year volunteers, the attainment of the rank of Fähnrich meant that an officer's commission would follow automatically - generally within two years - while for aspirant officers qualifying through the Military Academies the commission followed the successful passing of the final examination without the intermediary rank of Fähnrich having to be attained.

… to be continued…
…keep working on this document ….
6 VI Zagreb XIII 42 
No 25 Zagreb to 42HID
No 26 Karlovac to 42HID
No 27 Sisak to 42HID
No 28 Osijek to 42HID

Whereas before the war the standard of education required of aspirant officers was that of the Realschule and Gymnasium, after the outbreak of war it was lowered to that of the Mittelschule. The volunteer system was considerably enlarged at the same time, and in addition to the Cadet Schools, a large number of schools for reserve officers (Reserveoffiziersschulen) were instituted.

The training of Officers in peace-time: instruction at institutes and courses for officers may be divided under two general headings:
a. Institutes and courses dealing with higher military education in general.
b. Institutes and courses dealing with particular branches and special subjects
The latter included cavalry, pioneers, musketry, fencing and gymnastics, medical, veterinary and aviation schools; field, fortress and mountain artillery schools; higher artillery and engineer courses (from the graduates of which the artillery and engineer staffs were recruited); military equitation institutes, artillery riding courses, transport courses and courses for technical troops. And also an infantry and cavalry telegraph course, and courses in military administration.

The training of Officers in wartime: early in 1915 the following regulations were laid down for the training of one-year volunteers in the infantry:
1. Six weeks military training; then,
2. Six weeks at a school for reserve officers where the greatest stress was laid on the practical side of training, the theoretical being cut down to the minimum.
3. Those who were successful in the second step above, were styled Offiziersanwarter, and were posted to depots as draft instructors.
4.  The best, as the need arose, were incorporated straight into Marsch units; the remainder, before going to the front, underwent another four weeks‘ practical training while employed as draft instructors.