(From Geschichte der k. u. k. Train-Truppe. Chronik der wichtigeren Ereignisse und Verfügungen über ihre Entwicklung. Franz Breitwieser. Vienna, 1904.)



Austrian Supply Train Troops in the Occupation of Moldavia and Walachia.



The basic causes of the Oriental War of 1854-1856 lay in Russia’s efforts to bring the Black Sea under its control and thus win unimpeded access to the Mediterranean Sea. These efforts were opposed by the closed ranks of the Porte and other great powers to one extent or another. In 1854 it came about that all Europe had set itself against Russia’s ambition.


On 2 July 1853, the Russians under Gorchakov (50,000 men) marched into Moldavia and deployed their forces throughout Walachia. On 5 February 1854, Austria put an observation corps of 25,000 men on the Serbian border since Russia was not complying with Austrian wishes that they not cross the Danube, evacuate the principalities after the end of the war, and not take away any territory from Turkey.


On 22 February the Observation Corps was strengthened to 50,000 men. Feldmarschalleutnant Graf Coronini took command with headquarters in Semlin. Russia deployed three corps on the Galician border and in addition sent 2 infantry and 2 cavalry divisions into Moldavia and blocked the passes leading to Transylvania.


On 3 July, Austria accompanied a demand for the evacuation of the principalities with a simultaneous order to mobilize the 3rd and 4th Armies and parts of the 1st. The 3rd Army marched into Transylvania and the Bukovina, the 4th went to Galicia, and the Serbian-Banat Army Corps was designated for the eventual occupation of the Danubian principalities.


On 14 June, Austria concluded an agreement [Konvention] with the Porte to occupy the Danubian principalities. The Russians yielded to this pressure. They began to evacuate Walachia on 5 July and Moldavia on 5 September.


Half of the Serbian-Banat Army Corps marched from Transylvania into Walachia on 22 August, and the other half entered Moldavia on 16, 17, and 18 September. Craiova, Bucharest, Galats, and Jassy were occupied. The occupation of the principalities by Austrian troops was intended to hinder any Russian offensive and guarantee the integrity of Turkey.


After the fall of Sevastopol on 8 September 1855, Austria stepped in again as a mediator and this eventually led to the third Paris Peace Treaty. In accordance with this, occupied Ottoman territory was to be evacuated within six months. Consequently, on 17 April 1856 Austrian troops began to leave the Danubian principalities. The Occupation Corps was disbanded in the beginning of August and the final clearance of the Danubian principalities completed on 30 March 1857.


The Crimean Campaign.



After the successful raising of the siege of Silistria on 22 June 1854, France, England, and Turkey decided on the invasion of the Crimea. On 14 September about 30,000 French troops, 28,000 English, and 6000 Turks landed near Eupatoria.


The storming of Sevastopol on 8 September [1855] was the climactic action. Sevastopol was evacuated by the Russians (about 80,000 men) on the 9th. Following some small-scale operations in the Crimea there came the Paris Peace Treaty on 30 March 1856, whereby Russia renounced its protectorate over the Danube principalities (which at once became united as “Romania”), gave up the mouth of the Danube and part of Bessarabia, reduced its fleet in the Black Sea, and had to promise not to rebuild Sevastopol.



[Detailed chronology for the supply train troops.]





February. [At this time Austrian relations with Turkey were temporarily strained due to Christian revolts in parts of the Balkans – M.C.] The allotment of government vehicles at full wartime levels was to be: for a divisional or brigade headquarters – 1 two-horse baggage cart [Bagagekarren]; for a regiment with three battalions – 1 four-horse covered pay wagon [Kassadeckelwagen], 1 two-horse field forge [Feldschmiede], 1 two-horse medical wagon [Sanitätswagen], 19 two-horse baggage carts (1 for the headquarters and 18 for the sub-units), and 2 spare horses. The men were to be drawn from the troops being supported, counted as supernumerary and given the title of drivers [Fahrmannschaft].


For a corps operating towards Bosnia, army transport resources had to be differently organized to ensure the movement and supply of logistical needs, as those resources were intended for operations in civilized lands and not in a region where there were no practicable lines of communication and every axis of movement was cut by impassable mountains and waterways lacking bridges. The greater part of the vehicles had to be given up and the army corps supplied with packhorses [Packpferde]. Each infantry battalion required 62 packhorses, each of which could carry 160 pounds net.


12 February. It was decided to buy 3800 packhorses [Tragpferde] in Hungary. These were to be from 13 hands 2 inches [13 Faust 2 Zoll] to 15 hands tall and from 5 to 9 years old, each costing from 70 to 80 imperial florins. The horses were to be well built with straight backs and strong loins, but neither a pleasing appearance nor lack of blemishes was demanded. Bizarre colors, scaly skin, and minor bone protuberances, as well as galls, were to be ignored. A third of the horses had to be capable of being harnessed to transport wagons in case of need.


These packhorses were to be formed into divisions [Divisionen] of 250 horses. A division consisted of 1 company-grade officer [Oberoffizier] as commandant, 1 sergeant [Wachtmeister], 3 full corporals [wirkliche Korporalen] (1 for keeping accounts), 3 lance corporals [Vizekorporalen], 89 privates [Gemeinen], 9 reserve privates, 1 personal servant [Privatdiener], 2 blacksmiths, and 1 saddler, being 110 men total with independent accountability to the supply-train regional post commands [Fuhrwesens-Landespostokommanden] in Vienna, Prague, Brünn, Budapest, Graz, and Agram.


Attached to a packhorse division were: 1 officer’s riding horse, 3 non-commissioned officers’ riding horses, and 8 draft horses from the packhorses, plus 1 two-horse field-forge wagon with 1 set of field-forge hand tools and 1 four-horse baggage wagon.


At this same time the required numbers of men on leave were to be immediately called up in each region by the Headquarters of the Military Supply-Train Corps [Militär-Fuhrwesenskorpskommando] and provided with kit, and the necessary officers, wagons, and draft harnesses were to be assigned. In the meantime, leather collars, collar reins, ordinary bits, bridles, and hand reins for the horses were to be gotten out of the depots.


26 February. Political differences with the Porte were almost eliminated, so it was ordered that the purchase of horses be suspended and the production of packsaddles discontinued.


On 8 June Feldmarschalleutnant Gottfried Ludwig von Reschenbach, who had been provisionally charged with the command of the Military Supply-Train Corps since 20 May 1851, was designated commandant of the Corps.


19 July. The military supply-train matériel depot at Moldauthein, which a All-Highest decision of 2 November 1852 ordered to be closed, ceased official operations on 19 July 1853 and was joined to the supply-train matériel depot at Prague.


6 August. His Imperial-Royal Apostolic Majesty was pleased on 6 August 1853 to order the discontinuance of the infantry’s and cavalry’s provisions wagons [Proviantwagen] and their incorporation into the supply-train transport as additions to the column supply stores [Kolonnenverpflegsmagazine] in the field for the purpose of ensuring the delivery of foodstuffs to the troops. For the future, a general discontinuance was also ordered for the use of packhorses by line infantry, frontier troops, and jägers during wartime for transporting the baggage of not only the subordinate units, but also of field-grade officers from captains on up. To make up for this and enable baggage to be brought up, new two-horse, four-wheel baggage wagons [Bagagekarren] were to be introduced, conforming to the test trials of troop requirements and fully capable of field service.


The driver-privates [Fahrgemeinen] for horse-drawn transport were no longer to be drawn from the Military Supply-Train Corps, but chosen from the regiments’ and battalions’ own soldier complement and counted as additional to the complete personnel strength. For foot troops they were armed only with a grenadier saber, had leather cuffs [Strupfen] on their pants, and were to be given boots and spurs instead of shoes, after the pattern for German cavalry. These men were to have the extra pay [Superplus] of supply-train privates on top of that of infantrymen.






On 2 February, given prevailing conditions in Serbia whose development could not be predicted, as well as equally unforeseeable political ramifications due to military operations by the Russians and Turks close to this country, a corps of 25,000 men was ordered set up on a wartime footing to preserve the interests of the monarchy as well as the security of the borderlands.


Consideration was given to the need for baggage animals and locally obtaining the required number as far as possible, while pack saddles [Tragsättel] were to be sent out from Vienna.


In February the Serbian-Banat Army Corps consisted of 18 battalions, 4 companies (2 pioneer, 1 engineer, and 1 medical), 8 squadrons of cavalry, 56 guns, and 4 bridging units [Brückenequipagen]. The 9th Army Corps consisted of 15 battalions, 3 companies, 20 squadrons, 52 guns, and 2 bridging units, totaling 28,714 men, 1933 privately owned horses, 3984 riding horses, 1168 light draft horses, 1752 pack horses, and 1264 heavy draft horses. The Serbian-Banat Army Corps numbered 31,948 men, 1752 privately owned horses, 2003 riding horses, 1282 light draft horses, 3346 pack horses, and 1445 heavy draft horses. Supporting both of these corps were also 2037 men, 280 privately owned horses, 6 riding horses, 242 light draft horses, and 70 heavy draft horses. The 11th Army Corps had 29,381 men, 1782 privately owned horses, 199 riding horses, 1166 light draft horses, 246 pack horses, and 1520 heavy draft horses. The division of troops in Croatia consisted of 18,321 men, 1125 privately owned horses, 1019 riding horses, 784 light draft horses, 1732 pack horses, and 542 heavy draft horses. The brigade of troops in Dalmatia had 7726 men, 342 privately owned horses, 66 riding horses, 72 light draft horses, and 1653 pack horses.


With the 9th Army Corps were: 2 bridging units with 126 men, 16 riding horses, 122 heavy draft horses, and 50 light draft horses; 1 medical company with horse-drawn transport—276 men, 12 privately owned horses, 2 riding horses, and 2 heavy and 44 light draft horses; an ammunition supply reserve [Munitionsunterstützungsreserve]—397 men, 8 privately owned horses, 22 riding horses, 342 heavy and 36 light draft horses; 4 wartime transport divisions [Kriegstransportsdivisionen]—616 men, 40 riding horses, and 8 heavy and 840 light draft horses; 1 corps limber division [Korpsprozentodivision]—52 men, 3 privately owned horses, 8 riding horses, and 2 heavy and 30 light draft horses; 9 packhorse divisions [Tragtierdivisionen] for a brigade operating in mountainous terrain, consisting of 1112 men, 63 riding horses, 72 light draft horses, and 1554 packhorses.


With the Serbian-Banat Army Corps were: 4 bridging units with 252 men, 32 riding horses, and 244 heavy and 100 light draft horses; 1 medical company—276 men, 12 privately owned horses, 2 riding horses, and 2 heavy and 44 light draft horses; an ammunition supply reserve—428 men, 10 privately owned horses, 23 riding horses, 365 heavy and 36 light draft horses; 4 wartime transport divisions—616 men, 40 riding horses, and 8 heavy and 840 light draft horses; 1 corps limber division—52 men, 3 privately owned horses, 8 riding horses, and 2 heavy and 30 light draft horses; and 18 packhorse divisions for 2 brigades operating in mountainous terrain, consisting of 2224 men, 126 riding horses, 144 light draft horses, and 3108 packhorses.


Supporting the two preceding corps in common were: 2 admitting hospitals [Aufnahmsspitäler] with 436 men, 60 privately owned horses, 4 riding horses, and 4 heavy and 196 light draft horses; 4 field hospitals [Feldspitäler]—1036 men, 210 horses; a field-bakery horse-drawn transport division [Feldbacköfenbespannungsdivision] with 10 sets of equipment—57 men, 2 riding horses, and 66 heavy and 8 light draft horses; and the medicine field depot [Medikamentenfelddepot] with 28 men and 38 light draft horses.


The 11th Army Corps was similarly organized.


A horse-drawn transport division with 10 sets of field-bakery equipment consisted of: 1 officer, 1 sergeant [Wachtmeister], 3 full corporals [wirklichen Korporalen], 4 lance corporals [Vizekorporalen], 43 privates, 1 officer’s servant [Offiziersdiener], 2 blacksmiths [Schmiedgeselle], 1 wagon repairer [Wagnergeselle], and 1 saddler [Sattlergeselle]; 1 two-horse field-forge wagon [Feldschmiedewagen], 2 two-horse conductor’s wagons [Leiterwagen], 1 four-horse covered wagons [Deckelwagen], and 10 six-horse field-bakery wagens [Feldbacköfenwagen].


The ammunition support reserve of the 9th Army Corps consisted of: 176 men, 6 privately owned horses, 7 riding horses, and 55 heavy draft horses from the artillery; from the supply train corps [Fuhrwesenkorps]—1 captain [Rittmeister] with 2 of his own horses, 3 subaltern officers, 3 sergeants [Wachtmeister], 18 corporals, 1 senior veterinary’s assistant [Oberkurgeselle] or senior blacksmith, 6 blacksmiths, 3 saddlers, 182 privates, 4 officer’s servants, 3 four-horse baggage wagons [Bagagewagen] for artillerymen, 6 four-horse forage wagons [Fouragewagen], 3 four-horse covered wagons, 3 two-horse field-forge wagons, 15 duty riding horses [Dienstreitpferde] 270 heavy and 36 light draft horses, and 17 heavy reserve horses.


In March, the train sections [Trainabteilungen] of the Serbian-Banat Army Corps consisted of:

1) The ammunition support reserve consisting of: 1st Section [1. Abteilung] - Horse-drawn Trains [Fuhrwesensbespannung] Nos. 52 and 53 with 163 men and 250 horses; 2nd Section - Horse-drawn Train No. 51 with 81 men and 124 horses, together with the artillery (433 men and 436 horses in Alt-Pazua and Neu-Pazua); Wartime Transport Divisions No. 43 in Glogon, No. 44 in Peterwardein, No. 45 in Uginovse, and No. 46 in Blijevsce-Jakova, each of about 150 men and 220 horses; Limber Division No. 65 in Temesvar of 207 men and 149 horses; Packhorse Divisions Nos. 54, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 68, 69, 70, 71, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, and 101, each of about 150 men and 220 horses, in Karlowitz, Petrovce, Szurduk, etc.

2) Horse-drawn Chancellery and Finance Office No. 72 [Kazlei- und Kassabespannung Nr. 72] with 4 men and 16 horses, in Semlin; Field Bakery No. 41 with its horse-drawn transport, of 56 men and 77 horses, in Mitrowitz-Semlin; Receiving Hospital No. 1 [Aufnahmsspital Nr. 1] with Horse-drawn Transport Nr. 48 [Bespannung Nr. 48] –176 men, 101 horses–in Dobanovce. Many packhorse squadrons were still being formed or were on the march.


Included in the Serbian-Banat Army Corps were: Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 43 through 46; Medical Division No. 39 [Sanitätsdivision Nr. 39]; Limber Division No. 65; Wartime Bridge Divisions [Kriegsbrückendivisionen] Nos. 21, 22, 30, and 38; Reserve Ammunition Horse-drawn Transport [Munitionsreservebespannungen] Nos. 51, 52, and 53; Hospital Horse-drawn Transport No. 48 [Spitalsbespannung Nr. 48] (for Receiving Hospital No. 1); Bakery Division No. 165 for four sets of equipment; Finance-Office and Chancellery Horse-drawn Transport Division No. 72 [Kassa- und Kanzleibespannungsdivision Nr. 72]; Packhorse Divisions Nos. 54, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 68, 69, 70, 71, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, and 101; and finally the horse-drawn transport for the main ammunition reserve and heavy ammunition reserve, the horse-drawn howitzer transport of the heavy reserve, the army limber division, siege train, and the drivers at the ammunition field depot [die Bespannungen für die Munitionshauptreserve, schwere Munitionsreserve, Haubitzenbespannung der schweren Reserve, Armeeprozentodivsion, Belagerungstrain und die Kondukteurschaften beim Munitionsfelddepot].


On 23 April an “Instruction” [Instruktion] was issued based on an All-Highest written directive of 6 March 1854, given to address the needs of an infantry brigade for packhorses meeting its logistics requirements when operating in mountainous terrain. According to this guidance, such a brigade would have a provisions column [Proviantkolonne] of 8 packhorse divsions plus a ninth packhorse transport division to meet other needs. Each of the 8 packhorse provisions divisions [Provianttragtierdivisionen] was to consist of: 2 officers, 2 sergeants, 4 corporals, 8 lance corporals, 1 trumpeter, 96 privates, 3 blacksmiths, 2 saddlers, 2 officers’ servants, 7 riding horses, 2 heavy and 6 light draft horses, and 166 packhorses, or a total of 120 men, and 181 horses. There was to also be 1 two-horse field forge, 1 four-horse covered wagon, 1 two-horse baggage wagon, 2 two-horse and 1 four-horse complete draft harness sets [Zuggeschirre], 5 sets of riding equipment for non-commissioned officers [Unteroffiziersreitzeugen], and 166 pack saddles. The 9th Packhorse Transport Division numbered an additional 32 privates and 60 packhorses. For five infantry brigades there were thus 40 packhorse provisions divisions requiring 166 packhorses and 5 packhorse transport divisions needing 226 packhorses.


By railroad, there would be sent to Pest (fully equipped but without packsaddles):

          - From Bohemia: 4 packhorse divisions of 166 packhorses and 1 of 226; from Moravia: 5 divisions of 166 packhorses; from Hungary 1 division of 226 packhorses and 19 of 166. From Pest they would be sent to Croatia by the shortest route.

           - From Klosterneuburg: 3120 packsaddles with accessories to Pest, and 1600 to Peterwardein. The Military Supply-Train Corps [Militärfuhrwesenkorps] was to send the necessary officers, officials, and specialists to the various places where the units would be fitted out.


On 19 June the Serbian-Banat Army Corps (Graf Coronini) was using the following numbers of horses, transport vehicles, and train personnel: 741 riding horses, 2955 draft horses, 3257 packhorses, and 352 horses for artillery transport; 33 light carriages [Kaleschen], 49 two-horse and 288 four-horse equipment wagons [Rüstwagen], 126 two-horse covered wagons, 236 four-horse and 5 six-horse wagons of other types; 47 men under private contract and 4761 men on the imperial payroll. This was a total of 4808 men, 7305 horses, and 737 wagons. In particular, the corps headquarters utilized 153 men, 192 horses, and 33 wagons; the division of Feldmarschalleutnant von Wolf—170 men, 282 horses, 22 wagons; the division of Graf Paar—168 men, 356 horses, 26 wagons; ancillary corps (engineers, medical, pioneers)—268 men, 450 horses, and 113 wagons; the corps cannon reserve and ammunition supply reserve with Artillery-Reserve Horse-drawn Transport Nos. 51, 52, and 53—714 men, 799 horses, and 146 wagons; for the three supply train replenishment commands [Fuhrwesensrespizierungskommanden] (Captains Rödling, Kemmel, and Storchimfeld)—12 men, 12 horses, 6 wagons; for the 41st Horse-drawn Field Bakery—18 men, 30 horses, and 5 wagons; Reception Hospital No. 1 including horse-drawn transport—68 men, 102 horses, and 24 wagons; Field Medical Supplies Depot [Feldmedikamentendepot] including horse-drawn transport—31 men, 50 horses, and 12 wagons; for Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 43 to 46—595 men, 886 horses, and 207 wagons (each with 10 riding horses, 212 draft horses, 50 four-horse equipment wagons, and 1 four-horse covered wagon); 65th Limber Division—305 men, 694 horses, and 27 wagons; 18 packhorse divisions, being Nos. 54, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 68, 69, 70, 71, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 103, and 109 (69, 70, and 109 without any location indicated, only listed)—1800 men, 2828 horses, and 48 wagons, each with 7 riding horses, 8 draft horses, and 226 packhorses; Nos. 54 and 58 each with 148 men, 241 horses, and 3 wagons (1 two-horse equipment wagon, 1 two-horse covered wagon, and 1 four-horse covered wagon); the other divisions with 166 packhorses but otherwise the same. These were located in Semlin, Pazua, Becskerek, Weisskirchen, Werschetz, Pancsova, Mitrowitz, Ruma, Peterwardein, Karlowitz, etc.


On 13 July the Corps Horse-drawn Transport Headquarters [Korpsbespannungskommando] was in Semlin. The Serbian-Banat Army Corps was to immediately move to Transylvania [Siebenbürgen] in several columns from its current positions. There it was to replace the 3rd Army troops designated to join the 4th Army in Bukovina. The corps cannon and ammunition reserves were to march to Máros-Vásárhely and Konkurrenz.


The four wartime transport divisions, Limber Division No. 65, and the eighteen packhorse divisions being organized were to follow the corps as soon as each received the local transport vehicles assigned to them.


The 13th Pioneer Company with the two horse-drawn units of bridging equipment was to march from Semlin to Máros-Vásárhely and Konkurrenz; the 4th Medical Company with all its vehicles was to also go to these points from Pancsova; Reception Hospital No. 1 was to go to Udvárhely; Field Hospital No. 1 was to go to Máros-Vársárhely and No. 2 to Schässburg in Transylvania.


3 August. The Corps Horse-drawn Trains Commandant [Korps-Fuhrwesensbespannungskommandant] was Major Tyll. From the corps’ packhorse sections, a portion with some of the stronger horses was used for wartime transport divisions with local vehicles.


On 11 August a halt was put to the march and relocation of the packhorse divisions due to their being reformed into wartime transport divisions.


On 19 August, the 21st and 22nd Wartime Bridging Units (horse-drawn transport consisting of 2 officers, 138 men, and 184 horses) marched from Tolmács to Kinien in Walachia.


On 20 August three brigades entered Walachia. Behind one brigade marched: an immediate ammunition reserve [Munitionshandreserve] with 35 men, 44 horses, and 14 vehicles; the 45th Wartime Transport Division with 86 men, 173 horses, and 42 vehicles (with provisions and fodder), reaching Boitza on the 21st, Kinien on the 22nd, Titesti on the 23rd, Salatung on the 24th, Kunte Argis on the 25th, resting on the 26th, Manizesti on the 27th, Pitesti on the 28th, resting on the 29th, Kalinesti on the 30th, Gojesti on the 31st, Boinesti on 1 September, resting on the 2nd, Floresti on the 3rd, Bolentin on the 4th, resting on the 5th, and arriving at Bucharest on the 6th.


Behind a second brigade marched: the immediate ammunition reserve with 17 men, 22 horses, and 6 vehicles; Wartime Transport Division No. 43 with 86 men, 173 horses, and 42 vehicles (with provisions and fodder), reaching Kinien on 23 August, Kalimonesti on the 24th, Rimnik on the 25th, resting on the 26th, Orlesti on the 27th, Dragosony on the 28th, Kolibash on the 29th, resting on the 30th, Balsh on the 31st, Teslni on 1 September, and arriving at Krajova on the 2nd. [No details are given for the third brigade – M.C.]


All halts were bivouacs. The routes through border passes into Walachian territory were very bad and there were no bridges over rivers and streams. At Kinien a pontoon bridge was laid over the Aluta. In order for guns and vehicles to move over the steep and very bad stretches of road between Kinien and Ardish, oxen were placed in readiness at the points in question, so that the guns as well as the other transport vehicles were by this means brought through the most difficult parts. On the way from Kinien to Rimnik and also to Ardish a suitable vanguard with pioneer tools was sent out in front of the troops in order to remove any kinds of obstacles as best it could.


27 August. One-half of a medical company, Field Hospital No. 8, and the 47th Wartime Transport Division under the command of Captain Steljno marched on 27 August from Orsova to Turn-Severin, reaching Gutul on the 28th, Estrehaja on the 29th, resting on the 30th, Butojesht on the 31st, Filias on 1 September, Kolzofeni on the 2nd, resting on the 3rd, and arriving at Krajova on the 4th. [Is this the transport for the “third brigade” mentioned above? – M.C.]


On 31 August the 51st Galician Reserve Ammunition Supply Division (22 men and 41 horses), 1 pioneer section, and the 21st and 22nd Wartime Horse-drawn Bridging Units (154 men and 187 horses) were sent out from Gojesti to march to Bucharest.


The total wartime strength of the 3rd and 4th Armies that was supplied by this train transport amounted to 315,599 men who had a daily requirement of 307,319 portions of bread, salt, tobacco, cooking flour [Kochmehl] or other vegetables, plus 72,773 portions of oats each of 1/8 Metzen [1 Metze=0.9081 dry quart] and 15,536 portions at 3/16 Metzen. Other foodstuffs needed to keep the troops supplied, such as hay and drink, were brought up by local transport. The train officers at headquarters did not have anything to do with the number of supply trains, but rather with the kinds of supplies. There were brigade provisions officers [Brigadeproviantoffiziere] who were responsible for keeping the whole brigade supplied. The point of view was maintained that it was indispensable that the army be supplied with all necessary trains, but on the other hand, there was also the concern that each increase of the train beyond actual needs was a great hindrance to the army’s mobility, so that the least possible expansion of the train was an objective pursued with the most zealous effort.


10 September. The Train Transport Corps [Transportfuhrwesenskorps] for the 3rd and 4th Armies consisted of 2444 equipment wagons or 49 wartime transport divisions, with 6 empty wagons remaining available.


Field Marshal Hess was commander-in-chief of the 3rd and 4th Armies. The 3rd Army consisted of the 9th, 11th, 12th, and Serbian-Banat Corps, and the 1st Cavalry Corps; the 4th Army consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Corps.


19 October. The chief commandant of army horse-drawn transport [Hauptarmee-Bespannungskommandant] of the 4th Army was Major Herbert. Available train transport consisted of: 2934 men, 4276 horses, and 1040 vehicles (20 two-horse field-forges, 20 four-horse covered wagons, 1000 two-horse rack-wagons [Leiterwagen] with Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 121, 122, 150, 151, 152, 153, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 234, and 235, each of 52 vehicles. All were with the troops positions around Lemberg and Drohobycze.


3 December. Since generals and, in some circumstances, other high-ranking staff officers of an army corps’ cavalry might happen to visit military train units, such persons were sent copies of “Instruction for the Resupply Captain” [“Instruktion für den respizierenden Rittmeister”] for use in their duties. In this Instruction, it was set forth that the purview of commanders in charge of resupply in regard to their subordinate divisions extended to external duties, as well as to internal administration, and in this regard the external duties had priority and determined internal administrative duties. In peacetime the resupply commanders were subordinate to a regional post command [Landespostokommando], and in wartime to an army horse-drawn transport command [Armeebespannungskommando]. In regard to the men the external duties of a horse-drawn transport unit encompassed: 1) keeping them fit for service (appropriate horse-handling instruction and facilities [Menage], good quarters, application of the sanitary regulations); 2) uniform clothing, accouterments, and equipment (full amounts and conforming to regulations); professional training of the men (moral—respect for oneself and one’s profession—and technical, foot drill, riding school and driver’s training with instruction in the use and maintenance of harness, wagons, and equipment); in regard to horses—feeding, care, shoeing, treatment of tired and unfit horses, matters concerning horse furniture, vehicles, and equipment; external duties in regard to carrying out tasks, whereby the basis for all train duties lies in the application of horses to draft work with the most careful attention given to appearance, temperament, and physical capability. Internal duties were: control of financial accounts (pay, advances for transport, and special expenditures).


15 December. At the end of November the train for the mobile 4th Army consisted of: 10,787 men, 11,332 horses, and 6 eight-horse, 33 six-horse, 2230 four-horse, and 720 two-horse vehicles.


December. The artillery and supply train vehicles and carriages currently used, as well as equipment transport and covered wagons, were modified and for new production were made with—this being the main thing—less cumbersome dimensions.


The provisions (equipment) wagon measured 23 Schuh [22 feet 7 inches; 1 Schuh=11.81 inches] (from the point of the shaft to the rear projection [Landwiedenvorschuss]), the track width was 3 Schuh 6 Zoll [3 feet 6 inches]. The smallest arc described in turning was 26 Schuh 8 Zoll [26 feet 3 inches] in diameter. Capacity was 1200 bread portions (=600 loaves) or 130 10-pound portions of hay, or either 448 5-5/8 pound portions of oats or 20 to 25 hundredweights [Zenter]of flour in barrels, or 20 hundredweights of zwieback in barrels, or 1 1/4 Klafter [1 Klafter = 0.941 cord] of wood, or 20 casks of wine in two ten-bucket assemblages.






1 January. The strength of the 3rd Army in Transylvania (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and Serbian-Banat Corps, and 1st Cavalry Corps) was: 100 battalions, 32 2/4 companies, 112 squadrons, 436 guns, and 10 bridging units with a total of 202 field-grade officers, 3557 company-grade officers, 163,799 men, and 44,062 horses.


18 January. The train assets with the mobile 3rd Army comprised: at main army headquarters [Armeehauptquartier] – 530 men, 758 horses, and 149 four-horse and 62 two-horse vehicles; at the army high command [Armeegeneralkommando] – 4583 men, 3278 horses, and 6 six-horse, 705 four-horse, and 371 two-horse vehicles; with the 9th Army Corps – 1459 men, 1604 horses, and 5 six-horse, 309 four-horse, and 93 two-horse vehicles; with the 11th Army Corps – 1416 men, 1526 horses, and 5 six-horse, 278 four-horse, and 74 two-horse vehicles; with the 12th Army Corps – 1431 men, 1547 horses, and 7 six-horse, 306 four-horse, and 81 two-horse vehicles; with the 1st Cavalry Corps – 398 men, 547 horses, and 3 six-horse, 118 four-horse, and 7 two-horse vehicles; with the Serbian-Banat Corps – 3832 men, 3623 horses, and 10 six-horse, 661 four-horse, and 389 two-horse vehicles; a total of 13,657 men, 12,900 horses, and 34 six-horse, 2526 four-horse, and 1075 two-horse vehicles.


22 January. In the 3rd Army, Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 66, 67, 154, and 155 belonged to the 9th Army Corps; Nos. 123, 124, 175, 176, and 236 to the 11th Army Corps; Nos. 183, 184, 185, 186, and 231 to the 12th Army Corps; Nos. 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 237, and 238 to the Serbian-Banat Army Corps; Nos. 156, 157, 102, 106, 107, and 108 to the 1st Cavalry Corps; and Nos. 97 and 98 to the army headquarters of the 3rd Army. All together these came to 30 wartime transport divisions [sic, 29 – M.C.].


In the 4th Army, Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 179, 180, 181, 192, and 241 were with the 2nd Army Corps; Nos. 187, 188, 189, 121, and 177 were with the 4th Army Corps; Nos. 150, 151, 152, 153, and 178 were with the 10th Army Corps; Nos. 42, 182, 191, 234, 235, 242, and 250 were with the 2nd Cavalry Corps; and Nos. 122 and 190 were with the army headquarters of the 4th Army. All together these were 24 wartime transport divisions.


In addition, in Lower Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia there were Wartime Transport Divisions Nos. 59, 69, 84, 87, 95, 96, 100, 101, 112, 113, 240, 246, 247, 248, and 249, or a total of 15 wartime transport divisions. In all, there were 69 wartime transport divisions for the 3rd and 4th Armies.







20 May. It was announced through an army order that the occupation of the Danube principalities had given the troops assigned to this mission the opportunity to prove themselves under difficult conditions in the face of many hardships and demands in perseverance while operating in these war-torn lands that had just recently been the scene of strife. The troops here had proven themselves to their advantage and most satisfactorily maintained their innate military spirit as well as their fine material condition. As a result, at the time that the army corps began to leave the principalities, the Kaiser expressed his satisfaction with the generals and field and company-grade officers, as well as all lower ranks.


In December, as a result of a new organizational statute, the military supply train corps [Militärfuhrwesenskorps] was to consist of a supply-train general inspectorate [Generalfuhrwesensinspektion] in Vienna (inspector-general of the train, with 1 field-grade officer and 1 subaltern as adjutants), 7 regional supply-train commands [Landesfuhrwesenskommanden] (the 1st in Vienna, for Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, and the Tyrol; the 2nd in Prague, for Bohemia; the 3rd in Brünn, for Moravia and Silesia; the 4th in Verona, for Italy, Carithnia, Crainola, and the Coastal Lands; the 5th in Budapest, for Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, the Temes Banat, and the Voivodina; the 6th in Hermannstadt, for Transylvania; and the 7th in Lemberg, for Galicia and the Bukovina), 24 train transport squadrons [Fuhrwesenstransporteskadronen], 9 supply-train matériel depots [Fuhrwesensmaterialdepots] (the 1st in Klosterneuburg, the 2nd in Marein, the 3rd in Prague, the 4th in Moldauthein, the 5th in Olschau, the 6th in Treviso, the 7th in Budapest, the 8th in Thorda, and the 9th in Drohobycz), 12 supply-train maintenance depots [Fuhrwesensstandesdepots] (the 1st in Vienna for Upper and Lower Austria; the 2nd in Graz for Styria; the 3rd in Chrudim for the conscription districts of Infantry Regiments Nos. 11, 18, and 21; the 4th in Prague for the districts of Regiments Nos. 28, 35, 36, and 42; the 5th in Brünn for Moravia and Silesia; the 6th, in Laibach for Carinthia, Crainola, and the Coastal Lands; the 7th, in Verona for Lombardy and Venetia; the 8th, in Budapest for administrative districts of Ofen, Pressburg, Ödenburg, and for Croatia and Slavonia; the 9th, in Grosswardein for the administrative districts of Grosswardein and Kaschau and the Temes Banat and the Voivodina; the 10th, in Hermannstadt for Transylvania; the 11th, in Cracow for West Galicia; and the 12th, in Lemberg for East Galicia and the Bukovina).


A supply-train transport squadron was to consist of: 1 senior lieutenant, 1 junior lieutenant 1st class, 1 senior farrier and veterinary assistant [Oberkurschmied]; 6 sergeants, 18 corporals, 1 trumpeter, 60 privates, 2 officers’ servants, 2 blacksmiths, 1 wagon repairer, and 1 saddler, with 8 riding horses, 74 heavy draft horses, 1 four-horse covered wagon, 17 four-horse equipment wagons, 1 two-horse field-forge wagon, totaling 2 officers, 92 men, 82 horses, and 19 vehicles. A suppy-train maintenance depot was to consist of: 1 senior lieutenant or junior lieutenant 1st class, 1 sergeant, 2 corporals, 1 private, 1 officer’s servant, or a total of 6 men. A supply-train matériel depot was to consist of 1 captain [Rittmeister] 1st or 2nd class, 1 senior lieutenant or junior lieutenant 1st class (2 in Klosterneuburg and Prague), 1 accounting official [Rechnungsoffizial], 1 master blacksmith, 1 master wagon repairer, 1 master saddler, 1 sergeant (2 in Klosterneuburg and Prague), 5 corporals (15 at Klosterneuburg and 9 at Prague), 6 to 27 privates, 2 officers’ servants, 2 to 6 blacksmiths, 1 to 3 wagon repairers, and 1 to 3 saddlers.


The personnel for a regional supply-train command consisted of: 1 field-grade officer as commandant, 1 captain as technical deputy [Adlatus], 1 other captain, 1 subaltern, 1 accounting official, 1 or 2 assistant accountants [Rechnungsakzessisten], 1 veterinarian [Tierarzt] 2nd class, 2 corporals (but 3 in Prague and 4 in Vienna), and 2 to 5 officers’ servants. Of the various commands’ field-grade officers, 3/5 were to be majors, 1/5 lieutenants colonels, and 1/5 colonels. Of the subaltern officers, half were to be senior lieutenants and half junior lieutenants 1st class.


The total personnel strength was: 1 general inspectorate of the supply train, 7 regional supply-train commands, 24 supply-train transport squadrons, 9 supply-train matériel depots, and 12 supply-train maintenance depots with 1 inspector general of the supply train, 8 field-grade officers (2 colonels, 2 lieutenant colonels, and 4 majors), 20 captains, and 80 subaltern officers (40 senior and 40 junior lieutenants), being a total of 109 officers.


31 December. In Moldavia there were still 7006 men and 2113 horses, which included the supply-train’s 44th Squadron with 120 men and 219 horses.







26 January. The remaining troops in the Danubian principalities prepared to withdraw since the region had to be cleared by the end of March. Supply-train units were to march to the following stations: the ammunition supply reserve with Packhorse Transport No. 51 – to Karlsburg; the field post office [Feldpost] with Horse-drawn Transport No. 239 – to Hermannstadt; Field Printing Press No. 3 [Feldpresse Nr. 3] - to Vienna; Horse-drawn Medical Transport Section No. 39 [Sanitätsbespannungsabteilung Nr. 39] to Sissek by water and then to Slatina; the field inspectorate of the supply train - to Bucharest and Galicia; Transport Squadrons Nos. 44 and 45 were to accompany the infantry battalions as they marched.


On 17 February the position of military supply-train corps commandant [Militär-Fuhrwesenskorpskommandant] was abolished, but in its place was created the position of a general inspector of the supply train [Generalfuhrwesensinspektor].


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Translated by Mark Conrad, 2000.