Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf

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   <default>Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf</default>
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</image> <label>Real Name</label> <label>Other Names</label> <label>Car used</label> <label>Weapon used</label> <label>Born</label> <label>Born of Place</label> <label>Death</label> <label>Death of Place</label> <label>Cause of Death</label> <label>Fate</label> <label>Allies</label> <label>Enemies</label> <label>First Quotes</label> <label>Last Quotes</label> </infobox> Franz Xaver Josef Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf (since 1919 Franz Conrad; 11 November 1852 – 25 August 1925), sometimes anglicised as Hoetzendorf, was an Austrian general who played a central role in World War I. He served as Field Marshal and Chief of the General Staff of the military of the Austro-Hungarian Army and Navy from 1906 to 1917. He was in charge during the July Crisis of 1914 that caused World War I. For years he had repeatedly called for preemptive war against Serbia to rescue the multiethnic Habsburg Empire, which was, he believed, nearing disintegration. Later on, he came to believe that the Dual Monarchy had taken action at the eleventh hour. The Army was also unprepared and he had resorted to politics to further his goals. He was unaware that Germany would relocate the majority of his forces to the East, rather than in the Balkans. Conrad was anxious about invading Russia and when the Tsar's armies had captured the Carpathian mountain passes and were on the verge of invading Hungary, Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies. Nevertheless, the Austro-Germans cleared Galicia and Poland during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive in the summer of 1915 and later conquered Serbia in October. From 1915 his troops were increasingly reliant on German support and command. Without support from his Germanic allies the Austro-Hungarian Army was an exhausted force. In March 1917, Charles I of Austria dismissed him as Chief of Staff after Emperor Franz Joseph died and Conrad's Trentino Offensive had failed to achieve its objective; he then commanded an army group on the Italian Front until he retired in the summer of 1918. He died in 1925. For decades he was celebrated as a great strategist, albeit one who was defeated in all his major campaigns. Historians now rate him as a failure whose grandiose plans were unrealistic. During his tenure, repeated military catastrophe brought the Austrian army to its near destruction.