Who's Who - Alexander von Krobatin

Alexander von Krobatin Field Marshal Alexander von Krobatin (1849-1933) served as Austria-Hungary's Minister of War from 1912-17 and as an active (and moderately successful) field commander from 1917-18.

Graduating from the Artillery Academy in 1869, Krobatin spent a further number of years studying the role of artillery in warfare and eventually taught as an instructor at the Technical Military Academy from 1877-82.

Appointed to the War Ministry in 1896, Krobatin was promoted to Major-General in 1900 and as Minister of War from 1912.  During the July Crisis of 1914 Krobatin's was a prominent voice - as an ally of Army Chief of Staff Conrad - calling for an immediate declaration of war against Serbia.

Krobatin's ministry required him to take responsibility for harnessing the Austro-Hungarian economy to ensure increased and efficient production of arms and supply for the army.  The reality was that Krobatin struggled ineffectually for the first two years of the war, although he succeeded in tripling the available level of artillery at divisional level.

Conrad's dismissal as Chief of Staff in March 1917 left Krobatin politically exposed.  Consequently - and following repeated calls by Krobatin - he was relieved of the War Ministry in April 1917 and handed command of Tenth Army.

For his role in the spectacularly successful action at Caporetto in October that year - Tenth Army captured two Italian divisions - he was promoted to Field Marshal the following month, on 5 November.

1918 brought less impressive fortunes however: five months after his force played a secondary role during Archduke Josef's failed Piave Offensive - and only days after the Italian government turned down an offer of armistice from the Austro-Hungarians - Krobatin's Tenth and Eleventh Armies were demolished at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in November.

Retiring at the close of the war, Krobatin died in 1933.

Panzer was a term used to describe a German tank.

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