War game, c. 1914

War and Peace


The love of peace is alleged to have been a typical Habsburg family characteristic. The innumerable wars waged during its centuries of rule contradict this claim. The education of most of the male members of the family included becoming familiar with military tasks. Archduke Albrecht was one of the Habsburgs who after their training did in fact pursue military careers and became actors on the battlefields of Europe. In these wars, innumerable men and women died in the name of their rulers.

In the nineteenth century, Solferino and Königgrätz, where decisive and particularly cruel battles took place, became places of definitive importance for the history of the Danube Monarchy, their very names burdened with negative overtones through their association with ominous defeats. In spite of these setbacks, Emperor Franz Joseph was concerned to extend his sphere of influence in the Balkans. The Danube Monarchy finally came to an end in the First World War under Karl, the last Emperor of Austria.

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