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Austria-Hungary out of the war
The beginning of the end: Austrian prisoners captured by the Italians passing on the march Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England] 9 November 1918

Austria-Hungary out of the war

Czecho-Slovaks and Hungarians look to go their separate ways

Vienna, 5 November 1918 - Austria-Hungary is out of the war. Germany’s last remaining ally signed an armistice with Italian authorities, acting on behalf of the Allies, yesterday.

The terms are believed to include the evacuation of all invaded territory; the laying down of arms; the surrender of all ports, warships and submarines; free and unrestricted use of Austrian roads and rails by the Allies; and the immediate return of all prisoners. In effect, it amounts to a complete and unconditional surrender.

The collapse of an empire
Even before its defeat and surrender, news of the fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian empire had been spreading throughout Europe, with Poland having declared its independence in recent weeks. Now there are reports that a Provisional Government has been established in Prague for a new Czecho-Slovakian state and that the authority of Vienna has ceased to exist.

A wireless message from Budapest, addressed to the ‘peoples of the world’, declared that the Hungarians, who instituted a food blockade against Germany to hasten peace, have just completed a ‘pacific and victorious revolution, and, breaking the yoke by which it has been oppressed for centuries, has now formed a democratic and completely independent state.’

The message repudiates Hungarian responsibility for the world war which was ‘declared by its oppressors’ and looks forward to entering the League of Nations declaring the fraternity and equality of all peoples in Hungary, Magyar and non-Magyars’. Furthermore, in referencing its 1,000 year history as a ‘bulwark of Europe and civilisation’, it recommends that the ‘existence and territorial integrity of Hungary’ be recognised among the free nations of the world.’

With Germany now isolated against the force of the Allies, the end of the war cannot be far away.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.