From an Austrian point of view, what relevance do the two Russian revolutions have? Many Austrian soldiers, serving under the Habsburg Monarchy’s army, were held prisoner in Russia following the First World War. What did they experience and what were their thoughts on the historic upheaval that not only forever changed Russia, but the entire world? What hopes and fears awaited them at home? How did Austrians comment on the development of a new world order, which would ultimately divide the world into two camps?
Verena Moritz presents and analyzes personal diaries, letters, newspaper articles and further as of now unpublished material. She successfully paints a vivid portrait of an era marked by major historical changes that have had an effect to this day.
New research on the darkest chapter of World War I: the authors examine the strategies and calculations employed by the Habsburg ruling elite. They show how the war, which began with the main aim of destroying Serbia, was allowed to get out of hand, with no consideration of the losses. And what happened in the zones occupied by the Imperial armies? Were Austro-Hungarian forces responsible for war crimes?
This book sheds a shocking light on chains of command, prejudices, and escalating violence towards suspects, civilians and ‘administrated masses’. A disturbing panorama of the Habsburg Empire’s path to downfall.
Maximilian Ronge was the last director of the Austrian k.u.k. monarchy’s secret service. His career shows several similarities to the one of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who headed the German military intelligence service under the Nazi regime. Ronge was an important figure in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and also later, when Austria had become a republic. He used his extended networks of spies against “all kinds of traitors”, secessionists, socialists and Bolsheviks. Before 1938, no spy in Austria could possibly evade him. Even after being released from the Dachau concentration camp, Ronge continued his activities. After the end of WW II, he cooperated with the American occupants to set up a new secret service in Austria.
These are only a few milestones in Ronge’s career. In the course of his life, this man has served many masters, but at heart he remained loyal to his emperor.
Finding out about Ronge’s behind-the-scenes activities required meticulous research, since he not only was an expert in espionage and intrigue, but also a master in covering his tracks.
The two historians Verena Moritz and Hannes Leidinger, however, give full account of this extraordinary life, and Ronge’s grandson Gerhard Jagschitz provides a private insight. A book that will cause a stir!
Alfred Redl, officer of the Austrian general staff under Franz Joseph I. and in his majesty’s secret service, sold explosive military secrets of the Habsburg empire to Russia, Italy and France to pay for his extravagant lifestyle and love life. His suicide, however, averted the final solution of this scandalous case of espionage that affected half of Europe – stuff that myths and legends are made of...
100 years later, Verena Moritz and Hannes Leidinger went on a fascinating search for clues:
What information was sold? Was Redl the head of a whole network of secret agents? What was his motivation? How has this treason influenced World War I? The two historians unearthed sensational material from the archives and shed light on one of the most mysterious chapters in Austrian history.