AUSTRIAN ARMOR

About 2,000 armoured vehicles 1920-2016.

Models

Before Austria: The Empire

The Austro-Hungarian Empire already traded with armoured vehicles, whereas through Gunther Burstyn’s visionnary “trench-crosser” tank which was in 1911 the first practical tracked vehicle armed with a turret (but never produced) or the 1905 Daimler Panzerwagen which preceded the Russo-French Charron as the first armoured vehicle with an enclosed revolving turret. However officially the Army never expressed much interest in these experiments. It was for the will of some officers that two classes of vehicles came into service, the Romfell (PA2) and the Junovicz (PA2). A unit operated with a mix of these and captured vehicles. To read more about this chapter, see the Austro-Hungarian armoured vehicles page.

The 1930s: Austrian armoured vehicles

Between 1918 and 1920, the armour mostly fought Yugoslav incursions The Austrian Heer (an emanation of the Volkswehr or “People’s Defence”) and Police relied on a collection of armoured vehicles like the ww1-era Lancia IZM, and various Skoda models including the famous “Zvezda” (Turtle) according to new footage. For urban security purposes. It was when the BundesHeeres needed a new armoured vehicle, that the Steyr company proposed a symmetrical, heavy 8×8 armoured car, known as the ADGZ. It was accepted in service in 1934 and the 49 built formed the backbone of an army made of a regular motorized infantry and mountaineers, but with no tanks in support. 14 of these were given to the Gendarmerie. However the ADGZ were seen pretty much as a dual rôle vehicle that can perform border patrols and reconnaissance missions in force as they were armed with a 20 mm auto-cannon in addition to MG03 machine guns.

Anschluss and ww2

With the Anschluss the Reich absorbed a German-speaking Country that had ancient ties with its Northern neighbor but at the same time a democratic regime that despised the Nazis, although the population had mixed feelings. The acquisition was less fructuous than later the Czech partition on the industrial standpoint, but Germany had now access to the expertise of Steyr and Daimler-Puch, which would crank-up hundreds of military vehicles for the IIIrd Reich until the end of the war.

Austria in the Cold War

In 1955 Austria declared and inscribed in the Constitution its Everlasting Neutrality and the BundesHeer was consequently tailored for an efficient territorial Defence. The country had industrial basis upon which to create its own tanks and AFVs. Its structure was fixed and did not changed much until 1993.

1991 Reforms

<<< Work in progress !>>>

Links

The Austrian Army (Wikipedia)

Austrian Armour past and present

Leopard 2
Leopard 2 The German best seller also equipped the Austrian Ground Forces since the 1980s. Here a Leopard 2A4 from the 14th tank batallion, along with a M88 ARV. 56 are in service currently.

Ulan
UlanThis IFV is an Austrian product and one of the best of its kind in Europe, complementing well the Leopard. 112 are in service.

Pandur
Pandur This 6×6 APC reminiscent of the Mowag Piranha was developed to replace the ageing tracked APCs Saurer 4K-4FA. 71 are in service today.