don't completely get rid of them, the current format is growing on me where there a couple updates or more on the outside world then Greece
Oh I'm not getting rid of them, far from it in fact, but I will be returning the narrative to Greece for quite some time after these next two parts finish up the Revolutions of 1848.
Part 70: Austria's Last Gleaming
Part 70: Austria's Last Gleaming

Victory of the Imperial Army at Szentendre

The start of 1849 would see a number of changes to the Austrian government and military hierarchies in the hopes of improving their flagging positions in both Italy and Hungary. Firstly, Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg was appointed by Emperor Franz Joseph as the new Imperial Chancellor of the Austrian Empire on the 12th of January 1849. Since Klemens von Metternich’s resignation in late October, the position had been a revolving door as several men would assume office and accomplish little of value, before abruptly resigning from the office in short order. As can be expected, this repeated turnover at the top of the Austrian Government greatly destabilizing the Empire and limited its capabilities trememndously. With Schwarzenberg now in charge this changed as he formed a largely bipartisan government comprised of both conservatives and liberals, as well as ministers of Bohemian and Croatian backgrounds as a reward for their continued loyalty to the Crown.[1] However, his policies were strictly conservative and imperialist in nature, and like Metternich, he doubled down on crushing the nationalists and revolutionaries within the Empire. With a firm hand, Schwarzenberg would begin stabilizing the country after months of anarchy and unrest.

Following Schwarzenberg’s assumption of power in Vienna, Field Marshal Count Karl Ludwig von Ficquelmont would quietly resign his command of the Army of Lombardy-Venetia. Reports indicate that he had been suffering from poor health in the weeks leading up to his resignation, likely as a result of his advanced age and the high stress of the job. Other accounts reveal that his relationship with the new Emperor Franz Joseph and his new Chancellor Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg was incredibly strained owing to his close association and loyalty towards the disgraced Chancellor Metternich and for his repeated failings over the past year. Ficquelmont’s replacement as Commander of the Army of Lombardy-Venetia would be the newly promoted Field Marshal Laval Nugent von Westmeath, who had served ably and with distinction over the past year, winning a series of strategic victories over the Venetian rebels.

Unlike Ficquelmont who had been compelled by Metternich to reconquer Northern Italy, Field Marshal von Westmeath was given a more limited task, namely, to defend the territories that he held at present to the best of his abilities until proper assistance could be provided to him. It was an unenviable assignment, outnumbered roughly 3 to 2 in theater by the Italians, Lombardy had been completely lost to Austria and the Italians had made significant inroads into both Trent and Venetia despite the Empire's best efforts to oppose them. The Italians had also begun making forays across the Adriatic to support their Dalmatian cousins, although these efforts generally met with little success. The Austrian Army in northern Italy was also in poor shape having suffered both physically and mentally after a full year of defeats and setbacks; morale was at an all-time low and many soldiers were woefully unequipped for a total war.

Had the Italian armies combined their efforts and pushed the Austrians in their weakened state it is likely they could have delivered the coup de grâce to them, ending the war in Italy by late Spring. Instead, they would bicker and fight amongst themselves as each grandee of the “Italian” Army competed for supremacy over their peers and rivals. King Charles Albert despised General Giovanni Durando as an oath breaker and traitor to Sardinia, following the latter’s involvement in plots against the Sardinian Crown. Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany and King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies were both distrustful of and distrusted by the more radical revolutionaries from Milan, Modena, Parma, and Lucca. Even Pope Pius IX viewed his allies with caution and distrust, despite King Charles Albert's claims of support for the Pope's leadership various rumors had reached Rome of plots by Sardinian Generals to seize all of Italy for Turin. As a result, the Italians would accomplish little in the first few months of 1849 aside from a series of skirmishes South of Trent, a few probing actions against Verona’s stout walls, and a raid against Austrian positions outside Treviso. The same could not be said for Hungary.

In the East, General Alfred Candidus Ferdinand, Prince of Windisch-Grätz was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal following his great victory over the Hungarian Army west of Pressburg. A week later, Gratz would be elevated again to Supreme Commander of all Imperial forces in the Hungarian Theater, giving him nominal authority over the Croatian army of Ban Josip Jelačić, the Serbian Army of Voivode Stevan Šupljikac and Patriarch Josif Rajačić, the Transylvanian Army of lawyer turned freedom fighter Avram Iancu and Metropolitan Andrei Șaguna, and the numerous Slovakian warbands commanded by various grandees and charismatic figures. The Austrian-Serbs and Transylvanians would also receive significant support from their countrymen in the Danubian Principalities, much to Vienna and Constantinople’s chagrin. Nevertheless, the aid was welcomed by Gratz who immediately begin implementing a broad strike against the Hungarian Revolutionaries.


Field Marshal Alfred Candidus Ferdinand, Prince of Windisch-Grätz and Supreme Commander of the Austrian Army

Known as the Danube Plan, the Austrians and Slovaks would march down the Danube River from the North towards the Hungarian Capitals of Buda and Pest, the Serbs and the Croats would march up from South and West, while the Transylvanians would march in from the East and secure the Pannonian Basin. With Buda captured and Hungary split in two, it was Grätz’ earnest belief that the Hungarians would be forced to surrender by years end if not sooner. With his strategy formulated, Grätz immediately put to work and departed from Pressburg down the Danube River on the 10th of February. Grätz’ advance was slow, but methodical, as his forces steadily reduced every Hungarian fortification in their path thanks to the flotilla of gunboats and river barges laden with artillery pieces Grätz had elected to bring with him. As result, the Austrians would successfully take Gyor on the 16th, Komárom on the 22nd, Esztergom on the 4th of March, and Vac five days later on the 9th clearing the approaches to Buda, Óbuda, and Pest.

Hungarian General Ernő Kiss and the Northern Danube Army would attempt to impede Grätz and the Austrians along their march, but as they were outnumbered and outgunned, he opted for quick pin prick strikes at the slow moving Austrian Army before retreating into the wilderness. His strategy of trading Hungarian land for Austrian lives would achieve moderate success as the raids and skirmishes bled the Austrians white, but Kiss would soon come under mounting pressure by Hungarian Prime Minister Lajos Kossuth and the Provisional Government to stand his ground and fight the Austrians until he could fight no more. And so, when the Austrian Army reached the hamlet of Szentendre they found Hungarians ready to do battle at last. The fight that followed was by all accounts a massacre however, as the Austrians were finally able to bring their full might to bare against the Hungarians, and though they fought bravely and desperately, they were ultimately ground to dust beneath the sweltering cannonade of the Austrian guns. Within an hour the battle of Szentendre was over; the Hungarian Northern Danube Army had been broken, and the road to Buda was now open.

Field Marshal Grätz would immediately give chase after the fleeing Hungarians, capturing hundreds in the pursuit and killing hundreds more. Worst still, the Austrian vanguard would reach the outskirts of Buda by day’s end, whereupon Grätz promptly placed the city under siege. Unlike the first siege the previous Fall, Grätz opted for caution and planned his siege lines with care and precision. His guns were sighted on the city and would methodically reduce the city's defenses. After a month long fight of artillery bombardments and bitter street fighting, the city would ultimately fall to the Austrians, followed soon after by neighboring city of Óbuda a few days later. Still, the defense of Buda and Óbuda by the Hungarians had enabled them to spirit precious men and resources across the Danube into Pest, strengthening the defenses there against the Austrians and enabling them to hold out for several more months. Still, after another three months of hard fighting, even Pest would finally fall to the Austrians.

While the Austrians were extremely successful in the North and West, they were less so in the South and East where the Hungarians mounted a stubborn resistance against Imperial forces. The Croatians and Serbians would reach Mohacs and Pecs but would advance no further when confronted by ever stiffening opposition by the Hungarians. The Transylvanians would achieve even less, only succeeding in killing several Hungarian notables in the region and securing several of their own cities, but their attempts to take the fortress of Arad floundered before it even began. Elsewhere, the Croatians would fight several battles along the banks of the Drava River and the Slovakians would skirmish with their Hungarian neighbors in the Carpathian Mountains, but both would achieve little beyond growing piles of corpses. What’s more, the Hungarian government had successfully escaped from their clutches in Buda and would reestablish themselves in the city of Debrecen far to the East where they endeavored to continue the fight. Still, with the Hungarian capital in hand and the main Hungarian Army defeated and in retreat, it would have seemed that victory was only a matter of time for the Austrian Empire. And so, by the start of May, Chancellor Schwarzenberg and the States Council felt confident enough in its chances to begin moving several corps from Hungary to Northern Italy in the hopes of salvaging the crumbling situation there.

The man they had chosen to lead the newest expedition to Northern Italy was a man who was quite familiar with the region and its people, having against fought them extensively over the past year. General Julius Jacob von Haynau’s aggression had betrayed him at Second Goito; costing the Austrians dearly as they lost not only the battle, but nearly a third of their army as well. For this terrible gaffe, General Haynau would be recalled to Vienna where he would face a military tribunal intent on scapegoating him for the loss. Haynau would never see trial as the war with the Hungarians erupted a few weeks later, necessitating that a soldier of his talents be reinstated and sent to the front. Thereafter, he would fight alongside Field Marshal Grätz at Pressburg where he conducted himself with great skill and bravery, and then again at Buda and Pest where he carried out his duties with great vigor and energy. While he still retained much of his infamous aggression and hideous ruthlessness, it had been tempered somewhat by a bruised ego and a slightly better appreciation of patience. With his marching orders received, General von Haynau departed for Italy alongside his newly raised corps to reinforce Field Marshal von Westmeath.


Austrian General Julius Jacob von Haynau, the Arsonist of Padua

The arrival of Haynau and his men in Venetia in mid-June would be a godsend for the beleaguered Austrians there as over the past few months the Imperial position in Northern Italy had steadily deteriorated. Despite the tumultuous Winter and Spring filled with politicking and infighting, the Italians finally made their move in April, with the Sardinian Army launching an offensive up the Adige Valley towards the important supply depot and road junction at Trento. Although the fighting in the hills and valleys had been incredibly difficult and incredibly slow for the Italians, the Austrian troops had suffered greatly for their stubbornness and were gradually forced to give ground to their advancing adversary. By the first of June, the vanguard of the Sardinian expedition would reach the commune of Calliano, less than a days march from Trento, and stood poised to take the city within a few weeks time. The fighting in Venetia was also beginning to intensify as the Italians of Central Italy began making a series of concentrated pushes towards Venice in late April. Their latest attack on the 1st of May would even reach the town of Mestre located on the banks of the Venetian Lagoon, forcing Field Marshal Westmeath to immediately dispatch precious men and resources there to repulse them. The fighting at Mestre would be tough, but through grit and sheer will power, the Austrians managed to overcome the Italians, albeit just barely.

With Haynau and his reinforcements now in his possession, Westmeath could finally begin planning an offensive of his own aimed at eliminating the Italian salient around Padua. Owing to its strategic location as an important road and rail hub, the city was an important staging ground for the Italian Army’s forays into Austrian held Venetia. General Haynau and his men would spearhead the thrust against Padua, whilst the remainder of the Imperial Army moved to engage the Italian Army camped to the southeast of the city. After surveying the city’s defenses, Haynau laid out his siege lines and erected his artillery, before conducting a probing assault against the town. Surprisingly, Haynau and his men would succeed in penetrating the town’s defenses, only for the Italian defenders to quickly rally and fight them to a standstill. Many of the townspeople of Padua even joined in the battle, throwing pots and pans, rocks and debris at the Austrian soldiers, killing a few, injuring many, and incapacitating several more.

Angered by this display of resistance, General von Haynau ordered several buildings be put to the torch to dissuade any further such acts of sedition by the people of the city. The ploy would work, in fact it would work much better than Haynau had originally intended as a gusting wind soon carried the flames to several more buildings down the road, setting part of the city ablaze. Tragically, these buildings were not vacant, many of their inhabitants had been engaged in the earlier fighting burning many of their unfortunate occupants to death. Soon the Italians broke off their fight with the Austrians to rescue their fellow countrymen and to douse the flames before they spread out of control. Haynau would use this break in the fighting to reorganize his forces before promptly counterattacking the distracted Italians to devastating effect. By the end of the day, Padua would be in Austrian hands in a stunning act of cunning and calculated ruthlessness on the part of General von Haynau.

With Padua secured, Haynau soon rushed his exhausted soldiers south to attack the Italian army from the rear and cut off their line of retreat. Although he would ultimately fail in preventing their escape, Haynau’s efforts would inflict a stinging blow against the Italians, forcing them to abandon most of their gains in the region and retreat. Among the losses at Second Padua were several prominent officers, including Prince Ferdinando Carlo of Lucca, who had been serving in the Tuscan Army as a Colonnello (a colonel).[2] Though he was a reluctant revolutionary, having only joined the Tuscan Army out of desperation, Prince Ferdinando Carlo had proven himself to be a relatively capable, if somewhat reckless commander for the Tuscans. Needless to say it was his recklessness that cost him his life at Padua and the lifes of many of his men.

Over the next several days, the Italians would be slowly and steadily pushed Westward until they finally regained their composure and successfully stopped the Austrian assault along the banks of the Adige. The Austrian advance on the Adige would also force King Charles Albert to abandon the offensive against Trento, as men and resources were pulled from that front to reinforce the main front to the south. Elsewhere, the battle at sea and in Dalmatia turned on a dime against the Italians with the Italo-Dalmatians being quickly overwhelmed by their Croatian neighbors, forcing them to flee their homes while on the waters of the Adriatic the Italian ships found a relatively even match in the Imperial Navy. With Venetia largely restored to Austrian control and Hungary on the verge of defeat it would have seemed as victory for the Austrian Empire was finally at hand after a year and a half of war. It was not to be however, as fate had other intentions in store for the Austrians when suddenly and surprisingly, the Hungarians successfully recouped their earlier losses.

The sudden recovery of the Hungarians over the Summer and Fall of 1849 can be attributed almost single handedly to the herculean efforts of one General Artur Görgei de Görgő et Toporc. Artur Görgei was the son of a minor Hungarian nobleman with great debts and even greater expenses prompting Artur’s father to enroll him in a military academy for engineers at Tulln when he was but 13 years old. Upon graduation, Görgei would serve as a junior staff officer in the Austrian General Staff, a member of the prolific Hungarian Noble Guard, and a lecturer at various military schools across the Empire. Due to his noble birth and latent talents as a soldier and leader of men, Görgei would rapidly rise through the ranks, reaching the rank of Major by 1847.


Hungarian General Artúr Görgei de Görgő et Toporc​

Despite this great success in the Army, Artur Görgei was not a military man by choice, having only accepted the career to please his overbearing father. As a result, when his father died in early 1848, Artur quickly resigned from the Austrian Army and turned to his true passion, chemistry. Sadly, before he could make a name for himself in this field, the Kingdom of Hungary flew into open rebellion against the Austrian Empire and called upon all Hungarian men with military experience to lend their aid to their nation. Despite his reservations and his disdain for war, Görgei was a patriot at heart and gave up his burgeoning research for the life of a warrior once more.

Given his past experience in the Austrian Army, Artur Görgei was commissioned as a Colonel in the Hungarian army and would initially be responsible for training recruits at Pest. This arrangement would only last for a few brief weeks before he and his men were ordered to march against the Ban Josip Jelačić and the Croatian Army which had just crossed the border into Hungary. Thereafter, Görgei would take part in the disastrous battle of Lake Velence, where he would earn recognition for his brave rearguard action in the hamlet of Velence, enabling the remainder of the defeated Hungarian Army to escape back to Buda before retreating later that day under the cover of darkness. Artur Görgei’s true claim to fame would come during the First Siege of Buda, where he was tasked with defending Buda Castle against the Croatians for several weeks before help finally arrived to break the siege.

Lajos Kossuth would recognize Görgei’s talents, promoting him to the rank of General and naming him as his own personal aide-de-camp during the Hungarian offensive against Vienna. However, this appointment would do the Hungarians little good initially as the Dictator of Hungary would aggravatingly ignore every bit of advice and council General Görgei and his other advisors presented to him in the lead up to the disastrous battle of Pressburg. Had Kossuth listened to Görgei it is possible that the Hungarians could have won the day and continued their advance on Vienna, likely ending the war with one swift strike. Instead, Lajos Kossuth believed himself superior to Görgei and the rest of his councilors and ultimately chose to rely upon his own stratagems and tactics resulting in ensuing defeat at Pressburg for the Hungarians and condemning them to a longer and bloodier war.

Still the defeat at Pressburg did have some benefits for the Hungarians as Lajos Kossuth would refrain from taking the field of battle ever again after this failure, having come to learn the error of his ways in this regard. Instead, he would err in other ways, choosing to meddle in his commanders’ affairs, remove potential rivals from positions of authority, and appointing his supporters to positions of power within the Army. Worst of all, he assigned Artur Görgei to the relatively inconsequential front with the Serbians after Görgei had advised the Government to abandon the twin capitals to the Austrians before it was too late.[3] Kossuth would eventually abandon Buda and Pest as Görgei had originally recommended, but only after it had cost the Hungarians dearly both in terms of lives and resources. The fall of Buda and Pest would only worsen the relationship between Kossuth and Görgei, prompting the Dictator of Hungary to strip the Southern Danube Army of men and munitions to reinforce other units.

Despite this, General Görgei would make the most of a bad situation and would use his limited resources to defeat the Austro-Serbian Army at Mohacs in early May and again near Sombor two weeks later. However, his attempts to push deeper into Serbian Vojvodina were hindered by Lajos Kossuth and his sycophants in Buda who continued to deny him the necessary men and resources needed to finally defeat the Serbs. Görgei would also find a capable adversary in the Serbian General Stevan Šupljikac who would successfully repel the Hungarians in a series of pitched battles near the town of Bački Petrovac, located to the Northwest of Novi Sad. After the third day of fighting, the Hungarian attacks began to weaken substantially as both the number of infantrymen committed to the fight and the artillery and cavalry support for them gradually diminished.

Believing that Görgei was at the end of his tether, Šupljikac ordered a general assault against the Hungarian positions. The Austro-Serbians would make some promising gains initially, before running into stouter Hungarian resistance near the enemy's camp, but Šupljikac would not be denied and swiftly committed the entirety of his reserves in the hope of destroying the Hungarian Army. In the face of the superior Serbian advance, the Hungarian resistance soon collapsed into a general retreat as scores of men fell by the wayside dead or dying. Aside from the ease at which he had crushed the Hungarian Army, most surprising for Šupljikac was the lack of any opposing Hungarian Cavalry to shield the Hungarian Army's retreat. Still, the Serbian General cared little for this as hundreds of Hungarians would be slain in the retreat and hundreds more would be captured including their acting commander, General Ernő Poeltenberg; Artur Görgei, however, was nowhere to be seen but soon after, it became very apparent where he had gone.

Within the hour, reports from Novi Sad would begin pouring into General Šupljikac’s camp detailing reports of a Hungarian army to the East of the Capital. Unbeknownst to Šupljikac, Görgei had split his already meager force in twain, leaving his deputy General Poeltenberg to remain in place at Bački Petrovac, while General Görgei and the entirety of the Hungarian Cavalry would ride to the East across Serbian Vojvodina, before falling upon the exposed rear of Novi Sad. Wasting no time, Görgei and his cavalrymen immediately pillaged the city and arrested any Serb grandees that he could find, before falling upon Šupljikac’s undefended camp which was similarly plundered and pillaged by the Magyar horsemen. Before Šupljikac could even react the Hungarian cavalry finally appeared on the horizon and quickly charged through the disheveled and dispirited Serbian ranks who also witnessed the flames of Novi Sad in the distance. Though they were now completely exhausted after their large ride across Vojvodina, the Hungarian Cavalry charge would break through the disheartened Serbian lines with relative ease, compelling Šupljikac to retreat with what remained of his army.


Artur Görgei leads the Hungarian Hussars through the Serbian Defenses at Novi Sad

The final blow to the Serbians would come with the capture of Patriarch Josif Rajačić on the 3rd of June when he attempted to escape across the border into the neighboring Principality of Serbia. With their Army destroyed, their capital plundered, and their leader in fetters; the opposition of the Austrian Serbs was effectively neutralized. Some survivors of the battle would continue to resist the Hungarians, but most simply disappeared into the wilderness or across the border into Serbia where they vowed to avenge these defeats.

For this success against the Serbians, Artur Görgei was finally provided with significant reinforcements, nearly doubling his force from 19,000 to 34,000, and new orders from Pest demanding he march to Pecs and assist General Aulich against the Croatians. For the past few months, General Aulich had fought the Croatians to a standstill in an offensive against the Croatians, but his difficulties with gout and illness would weaken his resolve and dull his senses, enabling Ban Josip Jelačić and the Croats to make moderate gains in the area. Görgei's shift to the West would blunt the Croatian offensive in its track and succeed in forcing them back to the Drava. However, his own attempts to push into Croatia and Slavonia would be delayed by news from Pest, indicating the city had finally fallen to the Austrians and that his presence was now demanded in the East.

The fall of Buda and then Pest to the Austrians was a bitter loss for the Hungarians, but in spite of these setbacks they maintained their resolve in the face of Austrian envoys demanding their surrender. However, when it became clear that the Hungarians would not desist in their rebellion unless forced to do so, Austrian Field Marshal Grätz began planning to march on Debrecen, where he endeavored to end the rebellion once and for all. So it was that when he departed from Buda and Pest in late July he did so with an army 80,000 strong, against which the Hungarians could only field 65,000 men. Neverhtheless, the Hungarian would brazenly march out to combat him only to fail again and again as the superior numbers of the Austrian Army gradually forced the Magyars back. Hungarian General János Damjanich met with little success against Field Marshal Grätz and was ultimately forced to cede more and more territory to the advancing Austrian Army.

With the Hungarians subjected to defeat after defeat and his other commanders failing repeatedly, Lajos Kossuth could no longer ignore Artur Görgei's immense talent as a commander. Putting aside his personal contempt and animosity for the General, Lajos Kossuth appointed General Artur Görgei as Commander in chief of the entire Hungarian Honvéd Army. This assignment did not come without its drawbacks however, as Lajos Kossuth demanded much of General Görgei and promptly ordered him to engage the Austrian Army before it reached Debrecen, lest they all be hanged as traitors. Needing no persuasion, the General immediately assumed command of the Hungarian Army of General Damjanich and moved to confront Grätz near the village of Heves on the 26th of July. The Austrians would ultimately win the battle, but at a terrible cost, having lost much of their artillery when the Hungarians broke through their lines and spiked or captured several dozen guns.

After resting for a day and receiving reinforcements in the form of Polish volunteers, General Görgei would press the attack on the 28th of July and successfully fight the Austrians to a stalemate. The next few days would see Görgei and Grätz mirror one another up and down the length of the Panonnian Plains. Unable to find an opening to attack, the cautious Field Marshal Grätz would be forced to order a withdrawal to Pest where he hoped to receive further reinforcements from Vienna. Görgei would not allow him to retreat unhindered however, and over the course of the next eleven days, Gorgei would chase the old Austrian Commander back to Buda, skirmishing with the Austrian rearguard all the way. When the Hungarians finally arrive outside Pest in late July, they promptly place the city under siege. Within a fortnight, Pest had been liberated by the Hungarians, but attempts to cross the river met with stiffer opposition as the Austrians deliberately destroyed the newly constructed Chain Bridge to delay the Hungarians crossing. Despite this setback, the Hungarians would manage to recover Obuda the following week, followed soon after by much of Buda city. By the beginning of September, only Buda castle remains in Austrian hands, and after another month of stubborn resistance, it too was forced to surrender.


Hungarian Soldiers Charge into Buda

Despite the cajoling of his soldiers and demands of his superiors, Görgei would treat his Austrian captives with dignity and respect, even choosing to wine and dine with several captured officers whom he had known during his earlier years in the Imperial Army. Sadly, many Austrian soldiers would not be as fortunate and were lynched in the streets by the frenzied soldiers and civilians wherever they found them. While he had no responsibility to protect them, the fate of these men would surprisingly weigh heavily on the conscious of General Görgei for the remainder of his life, being one of his greatest regrets. Still, the Fall of Buda to the Hungarians at the end of September would provide a shot in the arm to the Hungarian revolutionaries, but that optimism would soon be chastened by news of Russian intervention in Galicia.

By the Summer of 1849, Vienna fully recognized that it could not win on all fronts simultaneously. Instead, it looked to its allies for aid and it quickly found a willing partner in Emperor Nicholas I of Russia who immediately accepted Franz Joseph’s request for assistance without hesitation and dispatched an Army to Galicia barely a month later in August. Austria hoped that the intervention of the Russians would salvage their crumbling Empire, that they would swiftly crush the Galicians, cross the Carpathians and humble the Hungarians, while they turned to their full might against the Italians. It was not to be however as the stalwart resistance of the Galicians and the fickle Carpathian weather prevented the Russian Army from invading Hungary in 1849. While the Fall of Congress Poland had presented an opportunity to the Austrians in the form of Russian aid, it also presented a problem for them as well, namely in the form of Polish refugees who flooded across the border in the tens of thousands. These refugees went not only to Galicia-Lodomeria, but also to the Kingdom of Hungary where they joined with their Magyar allies, replenishing their flagging manpower and forwarning them of Russian intervention in Galicia.

Recognizing the looming threat of Russian intervention, General Artur Görgei would appoint the Polish General Henryk Dembiński commander of the Army of Transylvania and ordered him to march against the Transylvanians during the height of Winter. Although the campaign was costly for the Hungarians – with many men succumbing to frostbite and exposure to the elements – the Transylvanians would suffer more so. Villages were destroyed, settlements where razed to the ground, and hundreds of innocent Transylvanian and German civilians were butchered. After three months of frantic fighting, Dembiński and the Hungarians would finally capture Weissenberg, effectively crippling the Transylvanian resistance to Hungarian rule and securing much of the region for Buda. With the threat to their rear destroyed, General Görgei was now free to turn Hungary’s full attention towards the West, sending one force under Lajos Kulich to occupy Croatia, while Dembiński's force was kept in reserve guarding the passes through the Carpathian Mountains. Gorgei would lead the remainder of the army against Vienna in the hopes that a victory there would force the Imperial Government and Emperor Franz Joseph to finally accept Hungarian independence.


The Hungarian Army Marches to Weissenberg

Next Time: Empire's End

Author's note: I know I said that this would be the last update on Austria, but the update quickly grew a little too long for my liking so I've decided to split this part in two. I'll post the second half of this update tomorrow which will definitely conclude this segment on the Austrian Empire.

[1] Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg was quite the interesting man. He was the protégé of Klemens von Metternich, having studied under him in the art of statecraft and diplomacy. He was also a archconservative, fiercely opposed to liberalism and nationalism, but unlike Metternich he was willing to accept liberals in his cabinet and take inspiration from them if there was merit to their ideas. He was also considered by many to be the Austrian equivalent to Otto von Bismarck, although Schwarzenberg died long before he could rise to the same levels that Bismarck would eventually reach.

[2] In the OTL Revolutions of 1848, Prince Ferdinando Carlo was captured by the Italian revolutionaries in Parma and sent to Milan where he was briefly imprisoned before being forced into exile for the remainder of the War. Upon the war's end, Ferdinando's father would abdicate the throne in his favor, but he would not enjoy it for long as he was assassinated soon after in 1854. In TTL, he is captured by the revolutionaries in Lucca, but then sent to his cousin, the Grand Duke of Tuscany who is overtly engaged in the War against Austria thus far. Thereafter he serves in the Tuscan Army in an effort to help reclaim his and his father’s throne once the war ends.

[3] In OTL, Artur Gorgei would indeed abandon Buda and Pest to the Austrians during the Winter Campaign of 1849, believing that they were indefensible. While he would ultimately be proven right, his actions soured his relationship with Lajos Kossuth and much of the Hungarian Government, leading to his later conflicts with them.
Artur Görgei very much reminds me of Yang Wen-Li from Legend of the Galactic Heroes. If he were interested in History instead of Chemistry it would be a near match.
Artur Görgei very much reminds me of Yang Wen-Li from Legend of the Galactic Heroes. If he were interested in History instead of Chemistry it would be a near match.
Its been a while since I've seen Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but yeah I'd say that's a pretty accurate comparison, Görgei should have a better fate in store for him ITTL than Yang Wen-Li though.
Artur Görgei very much reminds me of Yang Wen-Li from Legend of the Galactic Heroes. If he were interested in History instead of Chemistry it would be a near match.

The comparison is more valid then you would think. I would add couple information to the mix:
Görgei was a staunch constitutionalist, in fact in OTL one of the reason why Görgei's and Kossuth's relation soured was the Vác Proclamation. Where he openly proclaimed to his Upper Danubian Army that he and his army should only fight to defend the constitution signed by king Ferdinand V., rather some lofty revolutionary or patriotic fever. While this and his constant blaming of himself and the Committee of National Defense (lead by Kossuth) restored some faith in the beleaguered army, but anger Kossuth as he saw this as a general making politics.
There is also the importance of his name. Görgei was original born as Arthúr Görgey (with a so called "nobel y" at the end of his family name), but during the revolution he changed it Görgei with the more common i at the end. This was to signal his commitment to the liberal cause of the reforms and the revolution that made it possible.
He also had a cult of personality among the solders. In early 1849 after the defeat at Kápolna the army began to demand that Görgei be appointed as supreme commander, but Kossuth responded by going in the camp with a couple loyal men to execute Görgei for treason. He only changed his mind when he realized that Görgei had nothing to do with the demands and that he has not enough men to act against the wishes of the entire army. So he appointed a new commander and Görgei as his vice-commander, but the new commander tactically announced that he has flu and appointed Görgei as interim leader of the army. His man remained so loyal to him that as he was forced to surrender at Világos the army began to shout "Viva Görgei, viva Hungary" as they laid down their arms.

Its been a while since I've seen Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but yeah I'd say that's a pretty accurate comparison, Görgei should have a better fate in store for him ITTL than Yang Wen-Li though.
First of all, thank you. Second of all I hope that his fate will also better as in OTL, because that was still rather sad. I recently read through this incredible story, but if you don't make the life of my favorite historical person's (aka Görgei's) life miserable as OTL, this story becomes perfect in my eye.
First of all, thank you. Second of all I hope that his fate will also better as in OTL, because that was still rather sad. I recently read through this incredible story, but if you don't make the life of my favorite historical person's (aka Görgei's) life miserable as OTL, this story becomes perfect in my eye.
I think what happened to Artur Görgei in OTL was extremely tragic. He served his country loyally and with dignity, suffering abuse and great personal loss, and when it became apparent that Hungary was going to lose the War, he made a deal to save as many of his men's lives as he could only to be painted as a traitor who sold out his country by Lajos Kossuth. By virtue of Hungary winning its independence ITTL, he should have a better fate in store for him than in OTL, but beyond that I can't really say how his life will progress once the war ends. Perhaps he can finally return to his career as a chemist once everything has settled down.
The final borders of Hungary will be determined in the next part, but at present the Hungarian State controls Hungary, most of Slovakia, most of Transylvania, most of Vojvodina and Banat, and some parts of Croatia and Slavonia.
k anyway
I think the fall of the empire will not be from the Italians keep pushing or exc but will be from the accepting of Hungary independence which will cause a domino effect prob started by internal unrest in the heart emire form the citizenry and then they over react shooting Austrians which won't go over well, also huge loss of morale among soldiers that could cause outright mass surednering esspcially in fronts that are already on low morale and gives movemtne to other rebblions,
I am actually really proud of the austrians right now, even if they are on a sinking ship, they are going all out and really trying their hardest. While the story looks like its going to kill off the austrian empire, I hope the austrian and czech peoples can still play a major role in the world. Maybe they can join that kinda floundering German confederation and turn it into something.

While losing a ton of prestige from this whole situation, if the austrians were good at anything in the 19th century it was diplomacy, so they can probably spin the whole situation into the austrians wanting to join the germans the whole time, and hopefully make something of themselves over there. I just hope all the efforts in this latest update won't be in vain.
I am actually really proud of the austrians right now, even if they are on a sinking ship, they are going all out and really trying their hardest. While the story looks like its going to kill off the austrian empire, I hope the austrian and czech peoples can still play a major role in the world. Maybe they can join that kinda floundering German confederation and turn it into something.

While losing a ton of prestige from this whole situation, if the austrians were good at anything in the 19th century it was diplomacy, so they can probably spin the whole situation into the austrians wanting to join the germans the whole time, and hopefully make something of themselves over there. I just hope all the efforts in this latest update won't be in vain.
Despite all their faults, the Austrian Empire was still considered one of the Great Powers of the 19th Century so they wouldn't just collapse overnight. I also wanted to do them proper justice, by giving them some successes to balance out their multiple failures. Ultimately, the Austrian Empire as we know it will be dead and gone, and in its place will emerge something different.

I second this
Also where are the refuges going at the moment? How many have went to Greece?
Well at the moment, there are several hundred thousand to a few million refugees scattered across Europe and the Americas, most from Poland, but there are quite a few Germans, Frenchmen, Irishmen, and Italians out there as well. I think I mentioned it before in Part 65, but about 40,000 refugees traveled to Greece, either temporarily or permanently as a result of the Revolutions and their aftermath.
Well at the moment, there are several hundred thousand to a few million refugees scattered across Europe and the Americas, most from Poland, but there are quite a few Germans, Frenchmen, Irishmen, and Italians out there as well. I think I mentioned it before in Part 65, but about 40,000 refugees traveled to Greece, either temporarily or permanently as a result of the Revolutions and their aftermath.
Ah I thought that just refer to the Germany revolution my mistake
You know, given he is nobility and is incredibly popular and is Hungarian he would definitely be a prime candidate for becoming king, at least when looking for a home-grown candidate. Though, it would probably piss of Kossuth. Then again, I'm sure there are some involved in local politics that could see that as a benefit.
I definitely think Artur Gorgei should definitely have a better fate ITTL. Honestly, it kind of makes me mad at how poorly he was treated after all of his hard work and sacrifices (thanks for nothing Kossuth) and it impresses me that despite all the abuse, he kept his head held high and kept his dignity.
I still cringe for ravaged Venetia, now I really hope and can't wait to see the Empire collapsing with a loud bang.

And after Greece will achieve its unification, to wait for Russia's turn.
I'm sure Russia will have his time.

On the subject of the possibility of a monarch for an independent Hungary, I dunno...its not often a nobleman (especially one from the country of origin) takes the throne.
I'm sure Russia will have his time.

On the subject of the possibility of a monarch for an independent Hungary, I dunno...its not often a nobleman (especially one from the country of origin) takes the throne.
That's because they often need to form connections with other countries, often foreign powers-- that's why you choose a nobleman or Prince from said country. For example, I believe Belgium in OTL (and Greece ITTL) chose Leopold because of his close ties to both the British Monarchy and people in some German states. For Hungary, likely a Prince from a country that can ally with them against an Austrian reconquest. I would suggest a Hohenzollern, personally. @Earl Marshal