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The naval policy of Austria-Hungary, 1867-1918 : navalism, industrial development, and the politics of dualism

Author: Lawrence Sondhaus
Publisher: West Lafayette, Ind. : Purdue Univ. Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Austro-Hungarian navy warrants recognition because it functioned far better than most organs of the multinational Habsburg state. Ultimately, in the pre-World War I age of navalism, the fleet provided a unique common cause for a wide variety of nationalities and political parties. Dramatic funding increases fueled the expansion of the fleet, and lucrative naval contracts, judiciously distributed, reinforced and  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Naval history
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Lawrence Sondhaus
ISBN: 1557530343 9781557530349
OCLC Number: 28112077
Description: xv, 441 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Lawrence Sondhaus.

Abstract:

The Austro-Hungarian navy warrants recognition because it functioned far better than most organs of the multinational Habsburg state. Ultimately, in the pre-World War I age of navalism, the fleet provided a unique common cause for a wide variety of nationalities and political parties. Dramatic funding increases fueled the expansion of the fleet, and lucrative naval contracts, judiciously distributed, reinforced and further broadened the navy's base of support. Though often criticized by its German ally, the Austro-Hungarian navy succeeded in defending the Adriatic throughout World War I, in the process requiring the constant attention of a significant share of enemy sea power; as late as the spring of 1918, an American admiral characterized the Adriatic as "an Austrian lake." The navy collapsed only when Austria-Hungary as a whole disintegrated, in the last days of the war. This detailed study charts the uneven growth of the Austro-Hungarian navy from its high point following Archduke Ferdinand Max's administration and the War of 1866 to its ultimate dissolution after World War I. In following this development, Sondhaus not only relates the operational aspects of the Habsburg navy but also traces the growth of popular navalism in Austria-Hungary, the role of naval expansion in stimulating industrial development, and the peculiar difficulties of navy commanders in dealing with the Habsburg nationality problem and the cumbersome politics of Austro-Hungarian dualism. Drawing on a vast variety of archival sources and government documents and protocols, Sondhaus analyzes economic factors carefully and shows how these tended to complicate, perhaps even to override, political divisions. He ably demonstrates how such varied factors as the wavering policy of Italy, French naval theory, the need for consensus within the Dual Monarchy, and the general European escalation in naval armaments influenced the fortunes of the fleet.

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