Joseph Roth

The Radetzky March 1

For many years he had been a delegate at the Reichstag [sic!], regularly returned by his district, seeing off all comers with a combination of money, violence and cunning; a favourite with the government and a despiser of the parliamentary body to which he belonged. He had never made a speech, never even heckled.
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The Radetzky March 2

... no one heard the rapid gallop of the orderly who raced across the forecourt, came to a sudden stop, and in full regulation kit, with glittering helmet, rifle across his shoulders and cartridge pouch on his belt, white lightning flashing around him and purple clouds darkening him, looked not unlike a herald of war in a play. The dragoon dismounted and asked for Colonel Festetics.
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The Radetzky March 3

On the third day came the command to withdraw, and the batallion got into marching order. Officers and men alike were disappointed. A rumour spread that two miles east of them, an entire regiment of dragoons had been pulverized, and that enemy Cossacks had already broken through into the interior. The troops marched westward in grim silence.
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Joseph Roth


Initially a pacifist who had been declared unfit for war service, Joseph Roth (b. September 2, 1894 in Brody, East Galicia, d. May 27, 1939 in Paris) volunteered for military service with the Feldjäger batallion in 1916 and spent the rest of the war with the news service in Galicia. The war and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy – his “strongest experience,” as he later wrote – inspired his greatest novel, The Radetzky March (1932).