Military Frontier – Wikipedia

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Military Frontier - Wikipedia

The Army Frontier (German: Militärgrenze, Serbo-Croatian: Vojna krajina/Vojna granica, Војна крајина/Војна граница; Hungarian: Katonai határőrvidék; Romanian: Graniță militară) was a borderland of the Habsburg Monarchy and later the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. It acted because the cordon sanitaire towards incursions from the Ottoman Empire.

When created within the 16th century by Ferdinand I, the area was divided into two districts below particular army administration: the Croatian Army Frontier and the Slavonian Army Frontier. Initially, the Army Frontier got here below the jurisdiction of the Croatian Sabor and ban however, in 1627, it was positioned below the direct management of the Habsburg army. For greater than two centuries, they’d retain full civilian and army authority over the realm, as much as the abolition of the Army Frontier in 1881.

In the course of the 17th century, the territory was expanded in direction of the East and new sections had been created. By then, it stretched from Croatia correct within the west to jap Transylvania within the east and included components of present-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania and Hungary. Throughout, this era, the defence system was additionally modified, from a standard garrison mannequin to one in every of ‘soldier-settler’ communities.

The inhabitants of the realm had been generally known as the Grenzer (or frontiersmen). They had been largely Croatian, Serbian, German, Vlach and different colonists.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] In change for land-grants, non secular freedom and favorable tax charges, they colonized the realm and served because the bulwark for the monarchy towards Ottoman incursions. Germans had been recruited by Hungary within the late 18th century to resettle and develop the Danube River Valley, and have become generally known as Donauschwaben. The army regiments fashioned by the settlers had a vested purpose to face and combat and had been accustomed to native terrain and circumstances. They quickly gained a formidable army fame.


The Ottoman wars in Europe triggered the border of the Kingdom of Hungary – and subsequently that of the Habsburg Monarchy – to shift in direction of the northwest. A lot of the previous Croatian territory both turned Ottoman land or bordered the brand new Ottoman area.

In 1435, in an try and strengthen the defences towards the Ottomans and Venice, King Sigismund based the so-called tabor, a army encampment, every in Croatia, Slavonia and Usora. In 1463 King Matthias Corvinus based the banovina of Jajce and Srebrenik, and in 1469 the army captaincy of Senj, modeled after the Ottoman captaincies within the Province of Bosnia. All these actions aimed to enhance defence, however finally proved unsuccessful. However, they did result in growth of the Pandur infantry and the Hussar cavalry.

Vlachs generally known as “Martolos” and “Voynuks” had been essentially the most harmful army factor below Ottomans, whereas Vlachs and Serbs which fled from the Ottomans within the 15th century had an identical army custom which Habsburgs start to make use of on their aspect of the border. They had been joined by some Vlachs from Bosnia and thus below the Habsburgs a particular system of land possession and army group was created ie Army Frontier. This army border was an space of some main warfare campaigns, however largely consisted of everlasting clashes between the Ottoman Vlachs and the Habsburg Vlachs.[12]

Historical past[edit]

16th century[edit]

After the Croatian Parliament elected the Austrian Habsburgs as kings of Croatia in 1526,Ferdinand I promised the Croatian Parliament that he would give them 200 cavalrymen and 200 squaddies, and that he would pay for an additional 800 cavalrymen who can be commanded by the Croatians. Quickly the Habsburg Monarchy based one other captaincy in Bihać. Within the quick time period, all this was ineffective, as in 1529 the Ottomans swept by way of the realm, captured Buda and besieged Vienna, wreaking havoc all through the Croatian border areas.

From the 1530s, immigration to the Army Frontier started to incorporate a lot of Martolos, Vlach army colonists and different irregulars who had been a part of the Ottoman army system, they had been largely Christians and a few had been Muslims.[14]
The brand new army expenditures turned a substantial concern, and the Congress of Internal Austrian lands in Bruck an der Mur in 1578 outlined the obligations of every land in overlaying the army bills and outlined the priorities in enhancing the defensive technique. The the Aristocracy of Styria financed the Higher Slavonian Frontier whereas the others (Decrease Austria, Higher Austria, Carniola, Carinthia and Salzburg) financed the Croatian Frontier.

By the top of the 16th century Slavicized Vlachs, different Vlachs and Serbs flee from Ottoman territory to Army Frontier and Dalmatia.[15] On the similar time the Croatian Army Frontier turned generally known as the Karlovac generalate, and from the 1630s the Higher Slavonian Army Frontier was generally known as the Varaždin generalat. In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, the army administration of the Frontier was moved away from the Croatian ban and the Sabor (Parliament) and as a substitute instated within the excessive command of Archduke Charles and the Struggle Council in Graz[citation needed].

17th century[edit]

Regardless of the monetary assist of the Internal Austrian the Aristocracy, the financing of the Army Frontier was not environment friendly sufficient. The army management in Graz determined to attempt options aside from mercenary items. Within the 1630s the Imperial Court docket determined to present land and sure privileges to immigrants into the Frontier (the uskok guerrillas in addition to refugees from Ottoman-controlled lands) on the space of Žumberak. In return they’d serve within the Imperial military. The remaining native inhabitants was additionally inspired to stay by receiving the standing of free peasants (somewhat than serfs) and different privileges. These new items had been organized into ten or extra voivodeships per every captaincy.

In 1627, the Army Frontier was faraway from the management of the Croatian Sabor and put below direct rule of the Habsburg army. It will have full civilian and army authority over it till abolition of the Army Frontiers.[16] In November 1630, Emperor Ferdinand II proclaimed the so-called Statuta Valachorum (“Vlach Statute”),[17] which regulated the standing of so-called Vlach settlers (which included Croats, Serbs and Vlachs) from the Ottoman Empire with regard to army command, their obligations, and rights to inside self-administration. Over time, the inhabitants of the Frontier (because it was then) turned blended between the autochthonous Croats and Croatian serfs who had fled the Ottoman territories, and the quite a few minority of the Serb and Vlach (who had been later assimilated into Croats and Serbs) refugees who strove to increase their rights as a serious contributor within the protection of the land. By creating the brand new army class within the Frontier, the territory of the Frontier finally turned absolutely indifferent from the Croatian Parliament and the ban. As freedom of religion was granted to them, they preserved their Orthodox religion regardless of their dwelling in a Catholic nation. Ultimately, the entire male inhabitants of the Army Frontier turned skilled troopers who served the Empire on a number of fronts and thru many European wars, even after the relief of the Ottoman risk.

Migration of the Serbs (Seoba Srba), by Paja Jovanović, portrays Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III Čarnojević, surrounded by troopers, flocks of sheep and girls with infants, main some 36,000 households from his seat in Peć, to what’s now Vojvodina in 1690, after the failure of a Serb revolt.

In the course of the 17th century territory of the Army Frontier was expanded in direction of the East and new sections had been created. By then, it stretched from Croatia within the west to jap Transylvania within the east and included components of present-day Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Hungary.[18] The world was settled primarily with Croatian, Serbian and German colonists (generally known as grenzer and graničari) who, in return for land grants, served within the army items defending the empire towards Ottomans.[18] The vast majority of immigrants had been Serbs, and a few had been ethnic Croats, primarily from Bosnia. A big migration of Serbs to Habsburg lands was undertaken by Patriarch Arsenije III Čarnojević. The big group of Serbs concentrated in Banat, southern Hungary, and the Army Frontier included retailers and craftsmen within the cities, however primarily refugees who had been peasants.

The 17th century was a comparatively peaceable interval, throughout which solely smaller raids had been created from the Province of Bosnia. After the Ottoman military was repelled on the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Nice Turkish Struggle ended with a lot of the previous Croatian lands below Habsburg management. Regardless of this, the Frontier system was retained, and expanded onto former Ottoman territories in Lika, Kordun, Banija, decrease Slavonia, Syrmia, Bačka, Banat, Pomorišje, and Transylvania. The Habsburg Empire valued the flexibility to centrally management the realm and to draft low-cost and quite a few military items.

After the Treaty of Karlowitz of 1699, the Seressaner troops had been established with each army and police duties. They weren’t paid, however had been exempted from taxes. Over the next century, every regiment had one part of Seressaners that organized border patrols in direction of Bosnia, significantly on troublesome terrain, and stopped incursions of bandits.

Orthodox Christians who settled Army Frontier from the Ottoman Empire had been known as in sources as “Vlachs schismatics” and Vlachs or Uskoks, different names that are talked about are “Valachi seu Rasciani”
“Valachi seu Serviani”, “Valachi seu Graeci”, Vlachs or Morlachs, “Illirica gens graeci ritus” and “homines Ritus Ruthenici seu Graeci”. In the course of the 17th and first half of the 18th century Catholic natives and Catholics immigrated from Bosnia and Kingdom of Croatia additionally transformed to Orthodoxy. Most paperwork state that the Vlachs arriving “from Turkey” or “from Bosnia”, ie the Bosnia Eyalet.[20]

18th century[edit]

When in 1699 and 1718 the lands of Croatia and Hungary returned, which was beforehand occupied by the Ottomans, the overwhelming majority of that space turned the Army Frontier. All through your complete area of this frontier varied ethnic teams was settled together with Croats, Serbs, Albanians and others which had been additionally all collectively known as Vlachs.[21]
From 1718 to 1739 the Army Frontier additionally included the Habsburg-controlled northern components of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.[22] Within the mid-18th century the Frontier was as soon as once more reorganized and modelled after the Imperial military and its common regiments. In 1737 the Vlach Statute was formally abolished. All earlier captaincies and voivodships had been discarded, and the realm was as a substitute subdivided into general-commands, regiments and corporations:

Numerous Frontier troops, 1756

After 1767, each twelfth inhabitant of the Army Frontier was a soldier – in distinction to each 62nd inhabitant in the remainder of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Frontier troopers turned knowledgeable army, prepared to maneuver to all European battlefields. Because of additional immigration of refugees from the Ottoman area, and to the growth of the territory to locations beforehand managed by the Ottomans, the inhabitants of the Frontier turned much more blended. There have been nonetheless many autochthonous Serbs and Croats in Slavonia and in components of present-day Vojvodina (in Syrmia, Bačka and Banat). Nonetheless, at the moment they turned outnumbered by the Serb, Croat and Vlach refugees/immigrants. Some Germans, Poles, Magyars and Slovaks additionally got here to the Frontier, largely as administrative personnel, and a lot of different settlers and army personnel arrived from different components of the Habsburg Empire – Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Rusyns and others.

In 1783 the Croatian and Slavonian frontiers got here below the unified management of the Croatian Common Command headquartered in Zagreb.[24][25]

The Serbian Free Corps of 5,000 troopers had been established in Banat, composed of refugees who had fled earlier conflicts within the Ottoman Empire.[26] The Corps would combat for the liberation of Serbia and for unification below Habsburg rule.[26] A number of freikorps operated alongside the Habsburg-Ottoman frontier.[27] The Austrians used the Corps in two failed makes an attempt to grab Belgrade, in late 1787 and in early 1788.[26]

Serbia was subsequently liberated, and arranged right into a Habsburg protectorate. On Eight October 1789 Ernst Gideon von Laudon took over Belgrade. Austrian forces occupied Serbia, and plenty of Serbs fought within the Habsburg free corps, gaining organizational and army expertise.[28] By 1791, nevertheless, the Austrians had been pressured into withdrawal throughout the Danube and Sava rivers, joined by 1000’s of Serb households who feared Ottoman persecution. The Treaty of Sistova (1791) ended the Austro-Turkish Struggle of 1787.

In 1787 the civil administration turned separate from the army, however this was reversed in 1800.

19th century[edit]

In 1848, Josip Jelačić, Ban of Croatia, turned the commander of the Army Frontier. He pressed for the unification of Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, and the Croatian-Slavonian Frontier. Though he didn’t have the facility to abolish it, he secured approval for reforms and in 1848 the Army Frontier despatched representatives to the Croatian Sabor,[29] nevertheless, this was revoked within the 1850s.[30] From 1850 the Frontier, Croatia and Slavonia formally constituted a single land, however with separate administration and illustration. The Important Command had its headquarters in Zagreb, however remained instantly subordinate to the Ministry of Struggle in Vienna.

Map of the Army Frontier in the course of the 19th century (marked with a pink define)

The Croatian Parliament made quite a few pleas to demilitarize the Frontier after the Turkish wars subsided. The demilitarization started in 1869 and on Eight August 1873, below Franz Joseph, the Banat Frontier was abolished and included into the Kingdom of Hungary, whereas a part of the Croatian Frontier (Križevci and Đurđevac regiments) was already included into Croatia-Slavonia on 1 August 1871. The decree by which the remainder of the Croatian and Slavonian frontiers had been included into Croatia-Slavonia was proclaimed on 15 July 1881, whereas incorporation started on 1 August 1881, when Ban of Croatia Ladislav Pejačević took over from the Zagreb Common Command.



Within the 18th and 19th centuries, the frontier was divided into a number of districts:

Division Interval Notes
Danube Army Frontier 1702–1751 Comprised components of southern Bačka (together with Palanka, Petrovac, Petrovaradinski Šanac, Titel, and many others.) and northern Syrmia (together with Petrovaradin, Šid, and many others.). After the abolishment of this part of the Frontier, one a part of its territory was positioned below civil administration and one other half was joined with different sections of the Frontier.
Tisa Army Frontier 1702–1751 Comprised components of north-eastern Bačka (together with Sombor, Subotica, Kanjiža, Senta, Bečej, and many others.). After the abolishment of this part of the Frontier, most of its territory was positioned below civil administration, whereas one small space within the south remained below army administration as a part of the Šajkaš Battalion.
Mureș Army Frontier 1702–1751 This frontier included the area of Pomorišje, the realm on the northern financial institution of the river Mureș. After the abolishment of this part, its whole territory was positioned below civil administration.
Sava Army Frontier 1702–1751 It was positioned alongside the Sava river.
Banat Army Frontier 1751–1873 It was positioned on the present-day Serbian-Romanian border. It was divided into Serbian (Illyrian), German (Volksdeutscher) and Romanian (Vlach) sections.
Slavonian Army Frontier 1745–1881 It was positioned alongside Posavina, from jap Croatia, following the river Sava, alongside the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and stretched into Syrmia, till influx into Danube close to Zemun (right this moment a part of Belgrade). Its north-eastern border adopted the Danube up till the Petrovaradin.
Croatian Army Frontier 1553–1881 It was positioned on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. This a part of the Army Frontier included the geographic areas of Lika, Kordun, Banovina (named after “Banska krajina”), and bordered the Adriatic Sea to the west, Venetian Republic to the south, Habsburg Croatia to the west, and the Ottoman Empire to the east. It prolonged onto the Slavonian Army Frontier close to the confluence of the rivers Una and Sava.
Šajkaš Battalion 1763–1873 It was a small a part of the Frontier that was fashioned in 1763 from components of the beforehand abolished Danube and Tisa sections of the frontier. In 1852, Šajkaš battalion was reworked into Titel infantry battalion. It was abolished in 1873, and its territory was included into Bačka-Bodrog County.
Transylvanian Army Frontier 1762–1851 It was positioned within the jap and southern components of Transylvania. It was composed of two Székely and two Romanian regiments. The institution of the frontier was adopted by the Mádéfalva Bloodbath or Siculicidium.




In 1828 the inhabitants included:[33]


An Austrian statistical yearbook for 1846 notes that 1,226,408 residents lived within the Army Frontier:[34]

  • 598,603 (48.82%) Jap Orthodox
  • 514,545 (41.96%) Roman Catholics
  • 62,743 (5.12%) Greek Catholics
  • 49,980 (4.08%) Protestants
  • 537 (0.05%) Jews


The primary trendy inhabitants census within the Austrian Empire was carried out in 1857 and recorded the faith of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of the Army Frontier numbered 1,062,072 inhabitants, whereas the non secular construction of the Army Frontier was:

  • 587,269 (55.30%) Jap Orthodox
  • 448,703 (42.26%) Roman Catholics
  • 20,139 (1.91%) Protestants
  • 5,533 (0.53%) Greek Catholics
  • 404 (0.05%) Jews

Inhabitants information by divisions:

Croatian-Slavonian Army Frontier (Complete 675,817)

  • 396,843 (58.72%) Roman Catholics
  • 272,755 (40.36%) Jap Orthodox
  • 5,486 (0.81%) Greek Catholics
  • 733 (0.11%) others

Banat Army Frontier (Complete 386,255)

  • 314,514 (81.43%) Jap Orthodox
  • 51,860 (13.43%) Roman Catholics
  • 19,418 (5.03%) Evangelists
  • 393 (0.1%) Jews
  • 70 (0.01%) others

Many Serbs emigrated to the north towards the southern areas of Hungary throughout the interval when the territory of Serbia was largely below Ottoman rule. In an effort to appeal to Serbs into Hungary, emperor Leopold I decreed that they’d be allowed to elect their very own ruler, or Vojvoda, from which the title Vojvodina derives. In 1690, about 30,000 to 70,000 Serbs settled jap Slavonia, Bačka and Banat in what turned generally known as the Nice Serbian Migrations. Later the Habsburgs didn’t permit Serbs to elect their very own vojvoda; they included the area into the army frontiers of jap Slavonia and the Banat. Nonetheless, the robust Serb presence within the area resulted in Vojvodina serving because the cradle of the Serbian renaissance throughout the 19th century.[18]

From October 1990, eight months earlier than Croatia declared independence (June 25, 1991) from Yugoslavia, the Serbs who lived within the area of the previous Army Frontier (Vojna Krajina) stared rebellion and adopted the title (Krajina) for his or her unrecognised Republic of Serbian Krajina. The occupied territory was just about an identical to the Army Frontier’s territory, additionally together with some territories that had been by no means part of former Army Frontier, equivalent to northern Dalmatia with city of Knin. Different territories that had constituted the Army Frontier remained below management of Republic of Croatia. Croatian forces regained management over Serb occupied territories after Operation Storm in 1995 (see the Croatian Struggle of Independence for extra info).

See additionally[edit]


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  2. ^ Traian Stoianovich; (1992), Balkan Worlds: The First and Final Europe: The First and Final Europe p. 152; Routledge, ISBN 1563240335
  3. ^ Guðmundur Hálfdanarson; (2003), Racial Discrimination and Ethnicity in European Historical past [1]
  4. ^ C. A. Macartney; (2017), Hungary: From Ninth Century Origins to the 1956 Rebellion p. 116; Routledge, ISBN 1138525545
  5. ^ Noel Malcolm; (1996), Bosnia: A Quick Historical past p. 98; NYU Press, ISBN 0814755615
  6. ^ Ferenc VÉGH; (2017), College of Pécs Institute of Historical past, The Contribution of the Hungarian Historiography to the Analysis on the “Army Frontier” within the Early Trendy Interval (16th-17th Centuries), {The Habsburg authorities on this approach got here to comparatively low-cost army drive utilizing the South Slavic (Croatian, Vlach, Serbian) grencers} [2] #web page= 169
  7. ^ Pál Fodor, Geza David, Gábor Agoston, Klára Hegyi, József Kelenik, András Kybinyi; (2000), Ottomans, Hungarians, and Habsburgs in Central Europe: The Army Confines within the Period of Ottoman Conquest (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage) p. 62; Brill, ISBN 9004119078
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  9. ^ Géza Pálffy; (2000), A tizenhatodik század története [Geschichte Ungarns im 16. Jahrhundert / History of Hungary in the Sixteenth Century], {A háborúk következtében megfogyatkozó magyarság a honkereső délszláv (szerb, horvát, bosnyák, vlah) és román lakossággal szemben visszafordíthatatlanul megindult a kisebbségbe kerülés útján. “Hungary’s ethnic profile modified dramatically within the 16th century. The waning Hungarians began irreversibly on their method to the minority inhabitants, towards the South Slavic (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Vlah) and Romanian inhabitants.”} [3] #web page= 76
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    Catherine Wendy Bracewell; (2011) The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry, and Holy Struggle within the Sixteenth-Century Adriatic p. 27-31; Cornell College Press, ISBN 0801477093
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  16. ^ “Statuta Valachorum (prevod)”. Retrieved 2016-03-23.[better source needed]
  17. ^ a b c Historic Atlas of Central Europe, Paul Robert Magocsi, p. 34
  18. ^ Zlatko Kudelić, 2010, Čaplovičeva povijest Marčanske biskupije, #web page=137-138
  19. ^ Ilona Czamańska; (2015) The Vlachs – a number of analysis issues p. 13; BALCANICA POSNANIENSIA XXII/1 IUS VALACHICUM I, [4]
  20. ^ Plamen Mitev (2010). Empires and Peninsulas: Southeastern Europe Between Karlowitz and the Peace of Adrianople, 1699–1829. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-3-643-10611-7.
  21. ^ Karl Kaser: Freier Bauer und Soldat: die Militarisierung der agrarischen Gesellschaft and der kroatisch-slowanischen Militärgrenze (1535–1881), Böhlau Verlag Wien, 1997, p. 369
  22. ^ Gunther Erich Rothenberg: The Army Border in Croatia, 1740–1881: a research of an imperial establishment, College of Chicago Press, 1966, p. 63
  23. ^ a b c Paul W. Schroeder (1996). The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848. Oxford College Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-19-820654-5.
  24. ^ Društvo, Srpsko Učeno (1866). Glasnik Srpskoga učenog društva. 20. pp. 69–.
  25. ^ R. S. Alexander (30 January 2012). Europe’s Unsure Path 1814–1914: State Formation and Civil Society. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-1-4051-0052-6.
  26. ^ Tanner, Marcus (2001). Croatia : A Nation Solid in Struggle (2nd ed.). New Haven; London: Yale College Press, p. 86-87
  27. ^ Tanner, (2001). Croatia, p. 104
  28. ^ Versuch einer Darstellung der oesterreichischen Monarchie in statistischen Tafeln, p. 7
  29. ^ Uebersichts-Tafeln zur Statistik der österreichischen Monarchie: besonderer Abdruck des X. und XI. Heftes der “Statistischen Mittheilungen”. 1850, web page 2


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