Pola (today Pula, Croatia) was the monarchy’s most important naval base on the Istrian peninsula. Previously, along with Dalmatia, Istria and Pola were Venetian estates until the Napoleonic Wars. In 1813 it became part of the Habsburg Empire. Austria was then essentially capable to start developing a commercial and military fleet for her maritime power aspirations. Pola became the headquarters of the Imperial and Royal Navy after 1859. The largest, most up-to-the-top battleships (such as the Viribus Unitis class) were stationed here. But the naval air base was also important. The port was protected by high-fire coastal guns and forts. At the outbreak of the Great War, the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s navy was the 6th strongest in the world.
Pola was sidelined during Venetian rule, and was almost depopulated. But before that, it flourished. The monumental memory of the first booming age is the amphitheater of the city. It could accommodate 23,000 people. It was built during the reign of Emperor Augustus and was one of the greatest arenas. The outer walls of the coastal structure have survived to this day. They’re very impressive, as you can see against the backdrop of the badge shown. The background image of the badge shows the building from the city, looking towards the sea. On the south side (on the badge to the left) you can see the buildings of the city and the parish church of St. Anthony, built in Romanesque style.
The badge is for the 5th Landsturm Regiment. In addition to the “common” i.e. K.u.K infantry regiments, in Hungary the Honvéd and Austrian provinces the Landwehr infantry regiments were first-line infantry units. These were completed by Landsturm and Hungarian „Népfelkelő” insurgent units made up of older age groups. In the first half of the war, only security control, building, supply functions were trusted to the units. By mid-1915, however, with a few exceptions, most of these regiments had disbanded and merged into first-line regiments. One of the few remaining regiments was the 5th. Its recruitment area was the Seaside and Istria, and its headquarters was Pola. The regiment was used to secure the port’s security system, so it was kept in place.