Fall of the Double Eagle


Fall of the Double Eagle

The Battle for Galicia and the Demise of Austria-Hungary

John R. Schindler

360 pages


December 2015


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

December 2015


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

December 2015


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Although southern Poland and western Ukraine are not often thought of in terms of decisive battles in World War I, the impulses that precipitated the battle for Galicia in August 1914—and the unprecedented carnage that resulted—effectively doomed the Austro-Hungarian Empire just six weeks into the war.

In Fall of the Double Eagle, John R. Schindler explains how Austria-Hungary, despite military weakness and the foreseeable ill consequences, consciously chose war in that fateful summer of 1914. Through close examination of the Austro-Hungarian military, especially its elite general staff, Schindler shows how even a war that Vienna would likely lose appeared preferable to the “foul peace” the senior generals loathed. After Serbia outgunned the polyglot empire in a humiliating defeat, and the offensive into Russian Poland ended in the massacre of more than four hundred thousand Austro-Hungarians in just three weeks, the empire never recovered. While Austria-Hungary’s ultimate defeat and dissolution were postponed until the autumn of 1918, the late summer of 1914 on the plains and hills of Galicia sealed its fate.

Author Bio

John R. Schindler is a strategist, military historian, and security consultant whose work focuses on strategy, intelligence, and terrorism. Previously he was an intelligence analyst with the National Security Agency and a professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War and Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad and the coauthor of The Terrorist Perspectives Project: Strategic and Operational Views of Al-Qaida and Associated Movements.


"[A] must-read for students of history and historians alike."—Washington Book Review

"The Fall of the Double Eagle is an excellent examination of one of the most important battles of World War I."—John Fahey, Military Review

"Fall of the Double Eagle can be read and appreciated by interested general readers as well as all students and scholars of the Great War."—Jesse Kauffman, Michigan War Studies Review

“Among the recent books on the Great War’s long-neglected Eastern Front, this stands with the best. . . . Schindler’s comprehensive research and measured judgment combine in an admirably balanced account of the disaster that foreshadowed the end of the Habsburg Empire.”—Dennis Showalter, professor of history at Colorado College and author of Hitler’s Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare

“With a great deal of detail and even greater empathy, Schindler brings both the heroism and blunders of the Dual Monarchy’s doomed war effort to life. Both amateur World War I enthusiasts and specialists are forever in his debt for restoring the battle of Galicia to its proper place.”—Avi Woolf, English editor of MIDA.org.il and blogger for the Times of Israel


“Schindler has written a most exciting account not just of the Galician campaign of 1914 but of its significance for the collapse of Austria-Hungary during the First World War. . . . The reader comes away from this book astonished by the bravery of millions of men of a dozen nationalities, all betrayed by an ignorance of strategy, tactics, and logistics at the very top of the imperial army.”—Alan Sked, professor of international history at the London School of Economics and author of Radetzky: Imperial Victor and Military Genius 

“This excellent account of Austria-Hungary’s fateful role at the outset of the First World War highlights the insoluble dilemma of a two-front war against Serbia and Russia. . . . John Schindler has done a superb job in reconstructing one of the least known military debacles of a century ago.”—György Schöpflin, member of the European Parliament for Hungary and author of Politics, Illusions, Fallacies

Table of Contents

2. The Most Powerful Pillar
3. War Plans
4. July Crisis
5. Disaster on the Drina
6. To Warsaw!
7. Meeting the Steamroller
8. Lemberg–Rawa Ruska
9. From Defeat to Catastrophe
10. Aftermaths

Also of Interest