On the evening of 29th October an Austrian Officer appeared with a white flag near Ala in the Adige valley. He had no proper authority, and was sent back with a message that only a duly accredited mission would be received. On Wednesday, the 30th, the white flag appeared again, and an Austrian Corps Commander, General von Weber, with seven other plenipotentiaries, crossed the Italian lines. Next day they were taken to a villa near General Daiz’s Head - Quarters, and on Sunday 3rd November 1918, the Italian Chief of Staff, General Badoglio, interviewed the mission and presented them with the Allied terms. There were promptly accepted, and at three o’clock on the afternoon of Monday, 4th November 1918, the armistice came into effect, and hostilities ceased, but a unilateral order of the Austro-Hungarian high command made its forces stop fighting on 3rd November.
The terms as communicated to Austria-Hungary were as follows: —
1. The immediate cessation of hostilities by land, sea and air.
2. Total demobilisation of the Austro-Hungarian Army and immediate withdrawal of all Austro-Hungarian forces operating on the front from the North Sea to Switzerland. Within Austro-Hungarian territory, limited as in Clause 3 below, there shall only be maintained as an organised military force a maximum of twenty divisions, reduced to pre-war peace effectives. Half the Divisional, Corps and Army artillery and equipment shall be collected at points to be indicated by the Allies and United States of America for delivery to them, beginning with all such material as exists in the territories to be evacuated by the Austro-Hungarian forces.
3. Evacuation of all territories invaded by Austria-Hungary since the beginning of war. Withdrawal within such periods as shall be determined by the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces on each front of the Austro-Hungarian Armies behind a line fixed so as to provide that the Austro-Hungarian Armies have to retire behind a line which affords a strategic safeguard for Italy's Alpine frontier. From the Swiss frontier this line follows the watershed of the Rhaetian, Carnic, and Julian Alps to the Gulf of Fiume (excluding the port of that name). It compels Austria-Hungary to evacuate all the Tyrol south of the Bemner Pass, and also to evacuate the Carso Plateau and the Istrian Peninsula. Further south the Austro-Hungarian forces have to evacuate the Province of Dalmatia and the Dalmatian Islands, with the exception of the islands in the Gulf of Spalato. All territories thus evacuated will be occupied by the troops of the Allies and of the United States of America. All military and railway equipment of all kinds (including coal), belonging to or within these territories, to be left in situ and surrendered to the Allies according to special orders given by the Commanders-in-Chief of the forces of the Associated Powers on the different fronts. No new destruction, pillage, or requisition to be done by enemy troops in the territories to be evacuated by them and occupied by the forces of the Associated Powers.
4. The Allies shall have the right of free movement over all road and rail and waterways in Austro-Hungarian territory, and of the use of the necessary Austrian and Hungarian means of transportation. The Armies of the Associated Powers shall occupy such strategic points in Austria-Hungary at such times as they may deem necessary to enable them to conduct military operations or to maintain order. They shall have the right of requisition on payment for the troops of the Associated Powers wherever they may be.
5. Complete evacuation of all German troops within fifteen days, not only from the Italian and Balkan fronts, but from all Austro-Hungarian territory. Internment of all German troops which have not left Austria-Hungary within that date.
6. The administration of the evacuated territories of Austria-Hungary will be entrusted to the local authorities under the control of the Allied and Associated Armies of occupation.
7. The immediate repatriation without reciprocity of all Allied prisoners of war and interned subjects, and of civil populations evacuated from their homes, on conditions to be laid down by the Commanders-in-Chief of the forces of the Associated Powers on the various fronts.
8. Sick and wounded who cannot be removed from evacuated territory will be cared for by Austro-Hungarian personnel who will be left on the spot with the medical material required.
1. Immediate cessation of all hostilities at sea, and definite information to be given as to the location and movements of all Austro-Hungarian ships. Notification to be made to neutrals that freedom of navigation in all territorial waters is given to the Naval and Mercantile Marines of the Allied and Associated Powers, all questions of neutrality being waived.
2. Surrender to the Allies and United States of America of fifteen Austro-Hungarian submarines, completed between the years 1910 and 1918, and of all German submarines which are in or may hereafter enter Austro-Hungarian territorial waters. All other Austro-Hungarian submarines to be paid off and completely disarmed, and to remain under the supervision of the Allies and United States of America.
3. Surrender to the Allies and United States of America, with their complete armament and equipment, of three battleships, three light cruisers, nine destroyers, twelve torpedo boats, one minelayer, six Danube monitors, to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America. All other surface warships (including river craft) are to be concentrated in Austro-Hungarian naval bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, and are to be paid off and completely disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Allies and United States of America.
4. Freedom of navigation to all warships and merchant ships of the Allied and Associated Powers to be given in the Adriatic and up the river Danube and its tributaries in the territorial waters and territory of Austria-Hungary. The Allies and Associated Powers shall have the right to sweep up all mine-fields and obstructions, and the positions of these are to be indicated. In order to ensure the freedom of navigation on the Danube, the Allies and the United States of America shall be empowered to occupy or to dismantle all fortifications or defence works.
5. The existing Blockade conditions set up by the Allied and Associated Powers are to remain unchanged, and all Austro-Hungarian merchant ships found at sea are to remain liable to capture, save exceptions which may be made by a Commission nominated by the Allies and United States of America.
6. All Naval aircraft are to be concentrated and immobilised in Austro-Hungarian bases to be designated by the Allies and United States of America.
7. Evacuation of all the Italian coasts and of all ports occupied by Austria-Hungary outside their national territory, and the abandonment of all floating craft, naval materials, equipment, and materials for inland navigation of all kinds.
8. Occupation by the Allies and the United States of America of the land and sea fortifications and the islands which form the defences and of the dockyards and arsenal at Pola.
9. All merchant vessels held by Austria-Hungary belonging to the Allies and Associated Powers to be returned.
10. No destruction of ships or of materials to be permitted before evacuation, surrender, or restoration.
11. All naval and mercantile marine prisoners of war of the Allied and Associated Powers in Austor-Hungarian hands to be returned without reciprocity.
With Turkey having already signed an armistice Germany was left to confront the Allies alone for the remaining days of the war. The end of the First World was coming.
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