ARTICLE ALERT: The Green Cadres and the Collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918

Jakub Beneš's picture

Beneš, Jakub. The Green Cadres and the Collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918. Past & Present. Vol. 236, Issue 1, 2017. Pp. 207-241.


This article sheds light on a forgotten aspect of Austria-Hungary’s collapse at the end of the First World War: the armed antiwar resistance and violent attacks perpetrated by Green Cadres, or loosely organized bands of mostly peasant army deserters, of whom there were scores of thousands in the last months of the monarchy. Drawing on sources from across the former empire, this article conceptualizes the Green Cadres as a loose social movement that in 1918 fused together a number of meaningful cultural-political scripts, both old and new. They were simultaneously deserters, bandits, avengers, national heroes, and social revolutionaries. Though short-lived, this synthesis had an important impact on rural society in post-Habsburg central Europe.