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The kuk Evidenzbureau modernized spelling Evidenzbüro was the directorate of military intelligence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, headquartered in Vienna, Austria


  • 1 Foundation
  • 2 Functions
  • 3 World War I
  • 4 Directors
  • 5 In Fiction
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References


Founded in 1850 as the first permanent military intelligence service in the world, the Evidenzbureau became active in the 1859 Austro-Sardinian war and the 1866 campaign against Prussia, albeit with little success

The Evidenzbureau initially reported to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry, but was reassigned to the General Staff at the outbreak of World War I It existed until the end of the monarchy in 1918

The Kundschaftsbüro, tasked with monitoring foreign states, was subordinate to the Evidenzbureau


Towards the end of the 19th century, tensions among the major European powers were rising, leading to increased activities of intelligence services Mirroring political interests, attention of Austro-Hungarian services was primarily directed east- and southward Russia and the Balkans; conversely, Russia was chiefly interested in affairs of Austria-Hungary and the German Reich

The bureau collected intelligence of military relevance from various sources into daily reports to the Chief of Staff Generalstabschef and weekly reports to Emperor Franz Joseph; until 1913, the reports to the Emperor had to be submitted in longhand

The core Bureau at the time consisted of 20 officers, a fraction of the numbers employed in the German or Russian services This shortage was primarily because the service was part of the Foreign Ministry, which, as a Imperial and Royal institution, customarily received only the minimum acceptable amount of financing from the Hungarian side see also Ausgleich

World War Iedit

In 1903, the Russian services succeeded in enlisting Col Alfred Redl, General Staff officer and later head of counter-intelligence and deputy director of the Evidenzbureau, as a double agent His discovery in 1913 led to a severe political and military crisis in Austria at the eve of World War I

During that war, the importance of the Bureau was on the rise; the relatively new task of intercepting radio transmissions was added to its traditional functions such as mail censorship

In the last year of the War 1918, the Evidenzbureau – then led by Maj Maximilian Ronge – combined with the domestic intelligence service Staatspolizei is reported to have employed 300 officers, 50 officials, 400 police agents, 600 soldiers and 600 informants


  • Maj Anton Ritter von Kalik, 1850–64
  • Col Georg Ritter von Kees, 1864–66
  • Col Josef Pelikan von Plauenwald, 1866–69
  • LtCol Franz Weikhard, 1869–70
  • Col Ludwig Edler von Cornaro, 1870–71
  • Col Rudolf Ritter von Hoffingen, 1871–76
  • Col Adolf Ritter von Leddihn, 1876–79
  • Col Karl Freiherr von Ripp, 1879–82
  • Col Hugo Ritter Bilimek von Waissolm, 1882–86
  • Col Edmund Ritter Mayer von Wallerstein und Marnegg, 1886–92
  • LtCol Emil Freiherr Woinovich von Belobreska, 1892–96
  • LtCol Desiderius Kolossváry de Kolozsvár, 1896–98
  • Col Arthur Freiherr Giesl von Gieslingen, 1898–1903
  • Col Eugen Hordliczka, 1903–09
  • Col August Urbanski von Ostrymiecz, 1909–14
  • Col Oskar Hranilović von Czvetassin, 1914–17
  • Col Maximilian Ronge, 1917–18

Notable officers

  • Col Alfred Redl, Deputy Director of the service 1908–1912
  • Włodzimierz Zagórski

In Fictionedit

The fictional biography of Rex Stout's detective Nero Wolfe includes a reference to Wolfe - originally a Montenegrin - having acted as an agent of the Evidenzbureau in the years of increasing Balkan tensions leading to the outbreak of World War I

See alsoedit

  • Heeresnachrichtenamt


  • Janusz Piekalkiewicz, World history of espionage: Agents, systems, operations ISBN 978-3-517-00849-3


Evidenzbureau Information about


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