Austrian defences against the former Yugoslavia

In 1945, the allies occupied Austria as part of a defeated Germany.

Yugoslav troops rushed to secure a part of Carinthia which was populated by Slovenians, but they were soon forced to retreat behind the pre-war borders. British, American and Russian troops remained in occupation until 1955, when the Austrian State Treaty was signed, allowing Austria to become an independent nation once more. The Russians agreed to sign this Treaty only under the condition that Austria would remain neutral. However, despite its neutrality, Austria soon created a reasonably strong army and since it lay within the Western area of interest, the NATO countries were happy to see it as a buffer force against the Warsaw pact.


The Bundesheer, as the new army was called, never faced a real threat, but some opportunities, other than military exercises, did arise for it to demonstrate its capabilities. These were firstly, the border protection operations during the Hungarian uprising of 1956, secondly, the Prague Spring suppression in 1968 and thirdly, the Slovenian war of independence in 1991.


In the 1960's, fortifications became a very important part of border protection on this frontier, stemming partly from a linguistic problem. The Austrian State Treaty of 1955 prohibited Austria from possessing missiles, but in the German translation, it was unclear if this related only to long range missiles or also to short range anti-tank rockets. To avoid any diplomatic incidents, the Austrian leadership decided to play it safe, and instead of forming highly mobile anti-tank units armed with short-range rockets, set out to construct a network of permanent positions in which a tank cupola with an anti-tank gun was the main armament.

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Author: Aleksander Jankovic Potocnik

Article and Image Source: http://www.fsgfort.com

Keywords: Austria, Border, Fortifications, Bunkers, Artillery



Aleksander Jankovic Potocnik

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