Imperial and Royal Armed Forces (k.u.k. Bewaffneten Macht)
Austrian germany by 1blomma-d4nr5us
Flag of Imperial and Royal Armed Forces
Active 1867, reformed 1920/1921
Country Austria-Hungary
Branch Imperial and Royal Army, Imperial and Royal Navy and Imperial and Royal Air Force. Includes also Standschützen and Landsturm
Type Land, sea and air armed forces
Role Territorial defense
Garrison/HQ Vienna
Engagements Hungarian Civil War (april-june 1915) and World War I (may 1915- may 1920)
defense ministry
Federal Minister of Defense
military command of all branches
Armeeoberkommando (AOK)
Naval flag and merchant ensign Austria-Hungary-flag-1869-1914-naval-1786-1869-merchant
Roundel Air Force Roundel Austria-Hungary (TNE)
National Cockade National Cockade of Austria (until 1918)

The Imperial and Royal Armed Forces (k.u.k. Bewaffneten Macht) are made of the following branches, all dependent of the Federal Defense Ministry.

  • Imperial and Royal Army (k.u.k. Landwehr / Honvédseg)
  • Imperial and Royal Navy (k.u.k. Kriegsmarine / Haditengerészet)
  • Imperial and Royal Air Force (k.u.k. Luftstreitkräfte / Légierő)

It also includes as auxiliary forces:

  • Standschützen
  • Landsturm (reserve army)


The present Imperial and Royal Armed Forces is the product of the reform after the Hungarian Civil War replacing the previous Joint Army (Gemeinsame Armee), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr, the Royal Hungarian Honved, thye Royal Croatian Home Guard, several other army divisions, the militias of the national councils, the Austro-Hungarian Navy, K.u.K. Seefliegerkorps and K.u.K. Luftfahrtruppen (naval and army aviation).

The reforms of 1920 disbanded the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee, "Common Army", recruited from all parts of the country), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr (recruited from Cisleithania), and the Royal Hungarian Honved (recruited from Transleithania) and merged them in one single army with a single command, common recruitment and training and one budget and standard equipment.

The Imperial and Royal Air Force (k.u.k. Luftstreitkräfte) was organized by the merge of personal and equipment of the K.u.K. Seefliegerkorps (naval aviation), K.u.K. Luftfahrtruppen (army aviation) and the Hungarian Military Air Corps. The k.u.k. Luftstreitkräfte however keeps a distinctive naval aviation for the Adriatic Coast.

Command and central organization

The Commander-in-Chief (Armeeoberkommandanten) is the Emperor-King or whom he designates as his representative. The Federal Defense Ministry is responsible for implementing the defense policies, coordination and control of the Armed Forces.

The military command of the land, sea and air forces is in the Armeeoberkommando (AOK), established in 1915 and made a permanent body, replacing the former system of the Army Inspectorates (Armee-Inspektionen) and the separate commands of sea and air forces

The k.u.k. Evidenzbureau (modernized spelling Evidenzbüro) is the directorate of military intelligence, headquartered in Vienna, is combined with the domestic intelligence service (Staatspolizei).


The language of command is the German, although regiments were organized along linguistic lines. By law ethnic factors did not prevent recruitment of non-German speakers to the officer corps or their regular promotion. The training and administration of the troops is made on the recognized languages of the Federal State. The personnel of the armed forces recruited by Obligatory National conscription service (12 months of duration) for all adults and the Military Career (for all adults that voluntary enlist after the conscription period).

Military Education

The k.u.k. War College (kuk Kriegsschule), located in Vienna, is the highest military facility to educate, instruct, train, and develop general staff officers of the AOK and each of the branches of the armed forces. It is administered by a department of the AOK.

There are also five military academies in Austria-Hungary. These are:

  • The Army's Theresian Military Academy (Wiener Neustadt, founded 1751), Royal Hungarian Ludovica Defense Academy (Budapest, 1808), and Technical Military Academy (Mödling). Besides the military academies there are the Cadet Schools (Kadettenschulen), Preparatory Schools (Militärrealschulen, secondary military schools) and Militär-Volksschule (primary military schools).
  • The Navy's kuk Marine-Akademie in Fiume and Split.
  • The Air force's kuk Militär-Aeronautischen Anstalt in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Split

Naval facilities

The Imperial and Royal Navy (k. u. k. Kriegsmarine / Haditengerészet) as its ports on the Adriatic Sea. These are

  • Pola, the Home Port. It is also site of the central church of the navy "Stella Maris" - k.u.k. Marinekirche "Stella Maris"-, of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Observatory and the naval military cemetery - k.u.k. Marinefriedhof,
  • Trieste
  • Fiume, seat of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy (k.u.k. Marine-Akademie)
  • Dubrovnik (Ragusa).
  • Split, home of the naval air force corps.
  • Cattaro (now Kotor) was lost during World War I, with its installations destroyed.


Its main domestic weapon suppliers are Skoda Works (Boehemia), Steyr Mannlicher (Austria), Österreichische Aviatik (Austria), Aero Vodochody (Bohemia), Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino (STT, Trieste), Ganz vállalatok (Hungary), Cantiere Navale Triestino (Trieste), Fegyver- és Gépgyártó Részvénytársaság (FEG, Hungary), and Zbrojovka Brno (Bohemia)

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