Who led Austria-Hungary through the First World War?

Historical background

The beginning of the First World War was initiated by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist. After the assassination, the Austro-Hungarian Empire sent an ultimatum to Serbia with a list of concessions that the state had to respect or would attack Serbia. Franz Joseph I was emperor at the time, but the ultimatum was created by Count Leopold Berchtold, the foreign minister. The Serbian government agreed to all but one of the demands, and the Austro-Hungarian government saw this as a sign of aggression and began World War I. Franz Joseph I was emperor at the beginning of the war. However, he was not interested in the details of the war and left the decisions to his army. In fact, the declaration of war on Serbia was encouraged by Berchtold because he did not want a compromise with the Serbian government.


Austria-Hungary had Germany as its main ally, which supported all their war efforts. The original rationale for starting the war was to retain the power of the monarchy because Serbia had directly threatened it with the assassination of the Archduke. In 1916, Foreign Minister Istvan Burian considered what territorial advantages war could bring to the empire. Later in the year the war against Austro-Hungary turned around and the monarchy relied on Germany for funding. Brusilov’s offensive launched by Russia did not end well for Austria-Hungary. Conrad von Hötzendorf was Chief of Staff when the attack was attacked, and soon after Charles I removed him and replaced him with Arz von Staussenberg. Archduke Friedrich was also blamed for poor defensive strategy, and he was also fired by the new emperor.


One of the most prominent officers of Austro-Hungary was Svetozar Boroevic, a brilliant defense strategist. He fought in the war in the Carpathians from the beginning of 1914, and was later transferred to the Italian front in Isonzo in 1915, leading armies in all 12 battles against the Italians. After the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved in 1918, he withdrew from the public eye to experience the remaining two years of his life.

Charles I was the last emperor of Austro-Hungary before the empire disintegrated in 1918. After the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, he became heir to the throne. The future emperor served on several fronts in the army until Franz Joseph I died in 1916. He believed in liberal measures and reformed the military by banning practices such as flogging and duels. Disagreements within the empire grew and Karl tried to introduce changes to calm the population. He announced the October Manifesto in 1918, but the reforms did not go far enough and the empire soon fell apart. The family had to flee to Switzerland and could not return after trying to regain his throne.

Who led Austria-Hungary through the First World War?

rank leader the role
1 Franz Joseph I. Emperor of Austro-Hungary (1848-1916)
2 Charles I. The last emperor of Austro-Hungary (1916-1919)
3. Count Leopold Berchtold He served as the Imperial Foreign Minister at the beginning of the First World War.
Fourth István Tisza Prime Minister of Hungary (June 10, 1913 – June 15, 1917)
5 Archduke Friedrich Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Army
6. Conrad von Hötzendorf Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff
7. Arthur Arz von Straussenburg Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff
8. Svetozar Boroevic Austro-Hungarian field marshal and one of the best strategists of the world war.
9 Anton’s house Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
10 Maximilian Njegovan Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
11 Miklós Horthy Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
12. Milan Emil Uzelac Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Air Force Kuk

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