The grand strategy of the Habsburg Empire / A. Wess Mitchell.  (Text) (Text)

Mitchell, A. Wess, 1977-
Call no.: DB36.3.H33 M58 2018Publication: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2018Description: xiv, 403 p. : ill., mapsISBN: 9780691176703 ; 0691176701 (hbk.); 9780691196442 (pbk.); 0691196443 (pbk.)Subject(s): Habsburg, House ofAustria -- HistoryLOC classification: DB36.3.H33 | M58 2018
Contents:The Habsburg puzzle -- Part I. Strategic characteristics of the Habsburg Empire -- Empire of the Danube: the geography of Habsburg power -- Damnosa hereditas: Habsburg people and state -- "Si Vis Pacem": Habsburg war and strategy -- Part II. Habsburg frontier defense "systems" -- Harvest of briars: Turks, Russians, and the southeastern frontier -- "The monster": Prussia and the northwestern frontier -- Teufelfranzosen: France and the western frontier -- Part III. Zenith, decline, and legacy -- Barricades of time: Metternich and the Habsburg system at its peak -- Between hammer and anvil: eclipse of the Habsburg monarchy -- The Habsburg legacy: taming chaos -- Epilogue: Habsburg lessons.
Subject: "The Empire of Habsburg Austria faced more enemies than any other European great power. Flanked on four sides by rivals, it possessed few of the advantages that explain successful empires. Its army was not renowned for offensive prowess, its finances were often shaky, and its populace was fragmented into more than a dozen ethnicities. Yet somehow Austria endured, outlasting Ottoman sieges, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire tells the story of how this cash-strapped, polyglot empire survived for centuries in Europe's most dangerous neighborhood without succumbing to the pressures of multisided warfare. Taking readers from the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 1700s to the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, A. Wess Mitchell argues that the Habsburgs succeeded not through offensive military power or great wealth but by developing strategies that manipulated the element of time in geopolitical competition. Unable to fight all their enemies at once, the Habsburgs learned to use the limited tools at their disposal--terrain, technology, and treaty allies--to sequence and stagger their conflicts, drive down the costs of empire, and concentrate scarce resources against the greatest threat of the moment. Rarely holding a grudge after war, they played the "long game" in geopolitics, corralling friend and foe alike into voluntarily managing the empire's lengthy frontiers and extending a benign hegemony across the turbulent lands of middle Europe. A study in adaptive statecraft, The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire offers lessons on how to navigate a messy geopolitical map, stand firm without the advantage of military predominance, and prevail against multiple rivals." -- from publisher's website.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-391) and index.

The Habsburg puzzle -- Part I. Strategic characteristics of the Habsburg Empire -- Empire of the Danube: the geography of Habsburg power -- Damnosa hereditas: Habsburg people and state -- "Si Vis Pacem": Habsburg war and strategy -- Part II. Habsburg frontier defense "systems" -- Harvest of briars: Turks, Russians, and the southeastern frontier -- "The monster": Prussia and the northwestern frontier -- Teufelfranzosen: France and the western frontier -- Part III. Zenith, decline, and legacy -- Barricades of time: Metternich and the Habsburg system at its peak -- Between hammer and anvil: eclipse of the Habsburg monarchy -- The Habsburg legacy: taming chaos -- Epilogue: Habsburg lessons.

"The Empire of Habsburg Austria faced more enemies than any other European great power. Flanked on four sides by rivals, it possessed few of the advantages that explain successful empires. Its army was not renowned for offensive prowess, its finances were often shaky, and its populace was fragmented into more than a dozen ethnicities. Yet somehow Austria endured, outlasting Ottoman sieges, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire tells the story of how this cash-strapped, polyglot empire survived for centuries in Europe's most dangerous neighborhood without succumbing to the pressures of multisided warfare. Taking readers from the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 1700s to the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, A. Wess Mitchell argues that the Habsburgs succeeded not through offensive military power or great wealth but by developing strategies that manipulated the element of time in geopolitical competition. Unable to fight all their enemies at once, the Habsburgs learned to use the limited tools at their disposal--terrain, technology, and treaty allies--to sequence and stagger their conflicts, drive down the costs of empire, and concentrate scarce resources against the greatest threat of the moment. Rarely holding a grudge after war, they played the "long game" in geopolitics, corralling friend and foe alike into voluntarily managing the empire's lengthy frontiers and extending a benign hegemony across the turbulent lands of middle Europe. A study in adaptive statecraft, The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire offers lessons on how to navigate a messy geopolitical map, stand firm without the advantage of military predominance, and prevail against multiple rivals." -- from publisher's website.

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