47 minutes for half the country - how General Maister conquered Styria contrary to the instructions from Ljubljana

47 minutes for half the country - how General Maister conquered Styria contrary to the instructions from Ljubljana

Without General Rudolf Maister's military actions, Austria could reach as far as the Trojans, historians say. The then Slovene government in Ljubljana did not support Maister's struggle much, and his work was only really appreciated by the state of Slovenia, which also declared a national holiday in his memory. This happened during the first government of Janez Janša.

The national holiday, which is not a day off, is November 23, because on this day in 1918 General Maister disarmed the German Green Guard and occupied the territory of Styria with the army to the border drawn on the basis of ethnicity by Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek. in 1857 he ecclesiastically united Slovene Styria. On the eve of the holiday and anniversary, we therefore publish a few lines.

Why the holidays

The holiday is one of the three new days of remembrance introduced by the first Janša government (2004-2008). The first was September 15, the day of the return of Primorska to its homeland, which was proposed years ago. The third of the holidays, which are not working days off, is the day of the unification of Prekmurje with the motherland.

As early as 23, the Municipality of Maribor declared November 1955 a municipal holiday. On November 1, 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Major Rudolf Maister surprised the Germans and took power over Maribor and Slovene Styria. He submitted to the regional authorities of the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (SHS). The first Slovenian government in Ljubljana then promoted him to general. Although the government did not agree, the general mobilized and set up a 4000-strong Slovene army with 200 officers. The Maribor Infantry Regiment was formed, the first unit of the regular Slovene army, with Slovene command. Namely, immediately after the establishment of the State of SHS, the City Council announced the annexation of Maribor to German Austria, and the cities of Ptuj and Celje also had a completely German character. With a military operation on 23 November, which began at four in the morning and lasted 47 minutes, Maister's fighters disarmed the green guard of the Maribor Germans and in the following days occupied Slovenian towns up to the national border.

Indecisive Ljubljana

They did not have their Maister in Carinthia, nor did the Slovenian government carry out a rapid mobilization to protect the borders. It was not until May 1919 that the Serbian army, together with the general, occupied southern Carinthia, and a few months later it had to withdraw due to the coming plebiscite.

Historians are unanimous in their assessment that Maister is the only Slovene leader who has successfully preserved the Slovene national territory. He managed to defend Styria, Prekmurje and part of Carinthia despite external military pressure and the indecision of official Ljubljana, which is one of the reasons for the loss of Carinthia and Primorska.

Forced retirement

General Rudolf Maister (1874 Kamnik - 1934 Unec) was forcibly retired a few years after the unification of the State of SHS and Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes under unclear circumstances. He devoted years to his death to poetry.

At the first celebration in honor of the new holiday, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that Styria, Carinthia and Prekmurje would be lost without the consolidation of the northern border. It is important for the Prime Minister that the state not only celebrates the events that took place in Ljubljana, but also in other parts of Slovenia, "as we repaid the debt of Primorska's loyalty to Slovenia in September", he reminded. At a time when the superpowers were trying to curtail Slovenia territorially, not all Slovene statesmen were up to the task, Janša described the situation at the end of the First World War. One of the few who was capable and had a vision was the soldier and poet Rudolf Maister, he pointed out. On November 1, 1918, Maister occupied most of the Maribor barracks on behalf of the new state of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, and sent German officers and soldiers out of the city, the Prime Minister continued. On November 23, he disarmed another 1500 men of the German City Guard and with the Slovene army began to occupy Slovene places up to the northern national border, Janša explained. "The occupation of this part of the Slovenian national border area in Carinthia and Styria was an accomplished fact that also passed the Paris Peace Conference, and the proposal for a plebiscite was not accepted."

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