101405 | AUSTRIA. Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf bronze Medal.

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    101405  |  AUSTRIA. Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf bronze Medal. Issued 1915 (65mm, 100.01 g, 12h). By A. Hartig.

     

    CONRAD von HÖTZENDORF, uniformed bust left / Hötzendorf, in full medieval body armor, standing left, holding reversed sword and resting elbow upon shield; to left, dragon crouching right, with lengthy tail winding through the valley in the background. Edge: Plain.

     

    Hauser 7263. Choice Mint State. Yellow-bronze surfaces, with a slight matte nature; a few inconsequential spots are noted merely for completeness. A great allegorical type.

     

    Serving as the Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian military, Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf was in this role during the July Crisis of 1914—the chaotic sprial that involved the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in the steets of Sarajevo and the spark of World War I. Rather eager for action finally to be taken against Serbia, von Hötzendorf wished to restore the once great Habsburg Empire, believing the successor at that time to be fading in power and influence. During the ensuing war, von Hötzendorf was fairly underwhelming in military strategy, with many pivotal defeats weakening the confidence in him. After the death of Emperor Franz Josef, von Hötzendorf was dismissed by the latter's successor, Karl I/IV. The iconography used on this medal would appear to paint a much rosier image of von Hötzendorf's career in the war than was actually the case.

     

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