Austro-Hungarian General Staff

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.

Imperial and Royal General Staff
k.u.k. Generalstab
Wien - Regierungsgebäude, Stubenring 1.JPG
General Staff building on Ringstraße, Vienna
Country Austria-Hungary
AllegianceWappen Kaisertum Österreich 1815 (Klein).png Armed Forces
BranchActive duty
Part ofMinistry of War
Garrison/HQRingstraße, Vienna
First Chief of the General staffFeldmarschall-Leutant Franz von John
Last Chief of the General StaffGeneraloberst Arthur Arz von Straußenburg


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 staffEdit

† denotes people who died in office.

No. Portrait Chef des k.u.k. Generalstab Took office Left office Time in office
1von John, FranzFeldmarschall-Leutant
Franz von John
20 December 186718691–2 years
2von Gallina, Josef WilhelmFeldmarschall-Leutant
Joseph von Gallina
186918744–5 years
3von John, FranzFeldzeugmeister
Franz von John
187425 May 1876 †1–2 years
4von Schönfeld, AntonFeldmarschall-Leutant
Anton von Schönfeld [de]
4 June 187618814–5 years
5von Beck-Rzikowsky, FriedrichFeldzeugmeister
Friedrich von Beck-Rzikowsky
1881190624–25 years
6von Hötzendorf, Franz ConradGeneral der Infanterie
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
190619114–5 years
7von Schemua, BlasiusGeneralmajor
Blasius von Schemua
3 December 191112 December 19121 year, 9 days
8von Hötzendorf, Franz ConradGeneralfeldmarschall
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
12 December 19121 March 19174 years, 79 days
9von 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 alsoEdit