Friday, January 7, 2011

Austrian General Staff Work, Volumes 1 and 2 of 9, 1740-1748.

The Austrian General Staff, like the Prussian one, made a multi-volume reference work late in the 19th century and into the 20th. This one consists of nine volumes covering the War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748.

It is called Geschichte der Kaempfe Oesterreichs. Kriege Unter der Regierung der Kaiserin-Koenigin Maria Theresia:  Oesterreichischen Erbfolge Kriege 1740-1748, 9 volumes, Vienna, 1896-1914.

Austrian General Staff Work, Volume 1 (Google Books)

For today Volume 1 only, in this link and Volume 2 in the second link given below. Volume 1 has over 600 pages of introductory material. The armies around Europe are described towards the end, including smaller states such as Hessen, the Two Sicilies, and others. Lists of regiments, squadrons and artillery, engineers, etc, with numbers of men, and some commentary, state by state.

I meant to put up the volume with material on Kesselsdorf, to fit the recent trend in articles, but I'm not sure Volume 9 made it into the program available online through Google books this way. I have found Volumes 1-8 but maybe not volumes 2 or 9. Anyway, the first volume is probably a good place to start appreciating this massive work from the Austrians, and the information is a regular goldmine.

There is also an version, in a simpler font, where I was reading about the invasion of Silesia 1740-1741 up to Mollwitz. This one has Volume 2 of the same series. It uses a different font because archive's policy is to be readable even by older machines. Despite the difficulty of it, I now know which regiments and companies did what, how many rounds of artillery ammo were brought into Silesia, for what sizes and number of guns, and plenty more details like that.

Austrian General Staff Work, Volume 2 (

And here is a list of the Austrian guns at Mollwitz. Previously in English I've only seen that there were 19 pieces, that they may have all been long 4-pounders, and pretty much lost to the Prussians. Here is a better list than that:

         8x 3p Regiments-pieces
                            4x 3p Feld-Schlangen "field-snakes" the long barrelled ones
                            4x 6p Falkaunen   "falcons"
                            2x 12p Haubitzen howitzers
                           1x kleinen Petarde                 A small stone-thrower, like a mortar

And there are the 19 pieces. Before seeing this list and using English sources I could easily have thought it was all 4-pounders, or 3-pounders. Also, besides the 16 battalions, we find out here there were also 14 Grenadier companies with the Austrians. That little tidbit alone throws off all my previous strength calculations.

In short, these books are full of better information, which has only been unavailable because of issues about language and marketing ideas of publishers. If we could get hold of it and if we could read German, this list has been around a while now.

There are also French and Russian books roughly comparable to these German-language ones, and I'd also like to see more of them.

My apologies in advance if certain versions do not work in your country due to technical factors we can not control. There may be other ways around the problems. For those who speak English, these books are not in Fraktur and should feed through the Translate tool a bit at a time. Maybe a few paragraphs at a time. Click on the tiny blue link, 'Translate Homepage'  to open the tool in a new window, then copy-paste passages desired.

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EDIT: 8 Jan 11. Here is the link Rampjaar gave to view the first volume in format.
Try this if you are not able to use the first link from Google Books.

Austrian General Staff Work, Vol 1 (

Thanks again to Rampjaar. Many readers are in Europe and this is a very good book, too good to miss.

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  1. Meh, again this book isn't accessible here from google, but you can read it at

  2. Thanks, Rampjaar, I'll post it so it's clickable.