“Si Vis Pacem”
“Si Vis Pacem”
Habsburg War and Strategy
This chapter explores the outworkings of geography and administrative complexity on Habsburg conceptions of military force and political power more broadly. The Habsburg Monarchy’s physical and political geography shaped how its leaders thought about war. Austria’s position at the heart of Europe dictated that it would be a continental power and thus need large land armies to achieve security. But encirclement by powerful rivals meant that Austria could not defend all of its frontiers simultaneously using military force alone. Internal complexities placed further limitations on the size and capabilities of Habsburg armies, curtailing their utility as offensive instruments. Together, these constraints influenced Habsburg strategic behavior by encouraging the development of defensive conceptions of force that sought to avoid risk when possible, highlighting gaps that would need to be filled to augment the monarchy’s weak military capabilities, and prompting the systematic development of strategy as a tool for coping with Austria’s difficult environment, with a particular emphasis on managing the time parameters of competition and avoiding the full impact of the virtually limitless threats facing the monarchy.
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.