Austro-Hungarian General Staff

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Imperial and Royal General Staff
k.u.k. Generalstab
Wien - Regierungsgebäude, Stubenring 1.JPG
General Staff building on Ringstraße, Vienna
Country Austria-Hungary
AllegianceAustro-Hungarian Army
BranchActive duty
Part ofMinistry of War
Garrison/HQRingstraße, Vienna
First Chief of the General staffFeldmarschall-Leutant Franz von John [de]
Last Chief of the General StaffGeneraloberst Arthur Arz von Straußenburg

The Imperial and Royal General Staff (German: k.u.k. Generalstab) of Austria-Hungary was part of the Ministry of War. It was headed by the Chief of the General Staff for the Whole Armed Forces (Chef des Generalstabes für die gesamte bewaffnete Macht), who had direct access to the Emperor.


The general staff was responsible for planning and preparations, while the Armeeoberkommando (AOK) was the operational high command. In fact, since the AOK was under the direct command of the Emperor and the Chief of the General Staff was his chief adviser, in practice the AOK was under the control of the Chief of the General Staff.

List of chiefs of the general staff[edit]

† denotes people who died in office.

Chef des k.u.k. Generalstab Took office Left office Time in office
Franz von John [de]
von John, FranzFeldmarschall-Leutant
Franz von John [de]
20 December 186718691–2 years
Joseph von Gallina
von Gallina, Josef WilhelmFeldmarschall-Leutant
Joseph von Gallina
186918744–5 years
Franz von John [de]
von John, FranzFeldzeugmeister
Franz von John [de]
187425 May 1876 †1–2 years
Anton von Schönfeld [de]
von Schönfeld, AntonFeldmarschall-Leutant
Anton von Schönfeld [de]
4 June 187618814–5 years
Friedrich von Beck-Rzikowsky
von Beck-Rzikowsky, FriedrichFeldzeugmeister
Friedrich von Beck-Rzikowsky
1881190624–25 years
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
von Hötzendorf, Franz ConradGeneral der Infanterie
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
190619114–5 years
Blasius von Schemua [de]
von Schemua, BlasiusGeneralmajor
Blasius von Schemua [de]
3 December 191112 December 19121 year, 9 days
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
von Hötzendorf, Franz ConradGeneralfeldmarschall
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
12 December 19121 March 19174 years, 79 days
Arthur Arz von Straußenburg
von Straußenburg, Arthur ArzGeneraloberst
Arthur Arz von Straußenburg
1 March 19173 November 19181 year, 247 days


  • Lackey, Scott W. The Rebirth of the Habsburg Army: Friedrich Beck and the Rise of the General Staff. Greenwood Press, 1995.
  • Rothenberg, Gunther E. The Army of Francis Joseph. Purdue University Press, 1998.
  • Sondhaus, Lawrence. Franz Conrad Von Hötzendorf: Architect of the Apocalypse. Humanities Press, 2000.

See also[edit]