Military Diplomacy in the Dual Alliance: German Military Attaché Reporting from Vienna, 1879–1914

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9781498528979: Military Diplomacy in the Dual Alliance: German Military Attaché Reporting from Vienna, 1879–1914
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The book also reveals a new perspective of Bismarck’s diplomacy beginning shortly after he engineered the Dual Alliance between the two countries in 1879. It demonstrates that as early as 1882 Bismarck became aware that the Austrian army was far weaker than assumed when he concluded the alliance. It was primarily his concern about Austria’s weakness that spurred Bismarck’s energetic diplomacy, seeking alliances and understandings with other countries in the region, and which became the main consideration that guided his foreign policy from then on. For if Austria suffered a defeat, Germany would find itself alone between two dangerous powers: France and Russia. The consequences of his policies resulted in peace down to his departure in 1890. His successors, for a variety of reasons addressed in the book, were not as careful, ignored Austria’s weaknesses despite the warnings of the military attachés, and permitted Austria to become involved in a war. The result was tragically foreseeable.

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Tim Hadley is adjunct professor at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and at Webster University Vienna.

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Tim Hadley has a valuable perspective on the military lead-up to the war in 1914. . . scholars in the field as well as others interested in Austro-German relations will welcome Military Diplomacy in the Dual Alliance as an important contribution to our understanding of one aspect of the Great War's origins. (The Historian)

The role of military attachés has been a greatly neglected subject for research, Alfred Vagts’ classic overview having been published as long ago as 1967. Fortunately, this is now changing. Timothy Hadley gives us a welcome and detailed analysis of the work of German military attachés in Vienna set in the context of wider European military diplomacy and intelligence gathering. Based on a formidable range of primary sources, it is a sobering assessment of how much the Germans knew—and chose to ignore—about Austro-Hungarian military capabilities, not least in the July Crisis of 1914. (Ian Beckett, University of Kent)

Exhaustively researched and clearly written, this monograph presents a detailed account of the comprehensive information German attaches in Austria Hungary provided on the Habsburg army’s institutional and cultural shortcomings—and of the ignoring of that information in Berlin. It makes a correspondingly persuasive case that frank communication and focused financial assistance could have significantly improved Habsburg military effectiveness before 1914. (Dennis Showalter, Colorado College)

Hadley's account, based on a rich trawl in both archival and secondary sources, perceptively analyzes the bewildering confusion inherent in the ultimately fatal Dual Alliance of the German and Austro-Hungarian empires. Berlin's decision to rely militarily on Vienna, dissected here in clear detail, is simply astounding. (Lamar Cecil, Washington and Lee University)

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