Austro-Hungarian Empire Military Records
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Military Records[edit | edit source]
The military played a significant role in the lives of the citizens of the Empire. Prior to 1802 a soldier's term of service was for life, although he was not necessarily on active duty the entire time. Those exempt from military service included the clergy, the nobility, certain government officials, and workers employed in mining, iron production, and necessary agricultural occupations.
After 1802 the term of service was reduced to ten years, but many were still exempt from military service. In 1868 a universal conscription went into effect. Every male citizen was obligated to serve three years of active duty with the military. This was modified in 1912 to a two-year term of active service.
The Military Archives in Vienna contain documents relating to the Austrian military from the sixteenth century until the end of WWI. The earlier records contain less genealogically relevant information. Some of the most recent records have been claimed by modem successor nations, notably Hungary and Yugoslavia.
The major collections in the Vienna War Archives have been microfilmed. Indexes to many of the records are available, especially if you ancestor happens to be an officer, staff member or official. In addition to indexes of soldier's names, indexes of regiments and recruitment places are available. Enlisted men can be located when the name of the regiment or military unit, or place of recruitment can be discovered. If the regiment is not known then place and regimental indexes must be consulted.
For more detailed information go to Austria Military Records.