History - OnThisDay - 21 May 1863 - Archduke Eugen of Austria, with a great military career

On 21 May 1863, Archduke Eugen Ferdinand of Austria was born in
Gross-Seelowitz, Moravia in the Austrian Empire.


Archduke Eugen was the son of Karl Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria,
Duke of Teschen and his wife Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria.

Archduke Eugen was born at the castle of Gross Seelowitz in Moravia,
nowadays the Czech Republic.

Early life

At the Palace Erzherzog Albrecht, (Archduke Albrecht's Palace) in Vienna,
Eugen recieved intstruction in all the military subjects in addition to
languages, music and the history of art.

In the army

At the age of 14, Archduke Eugen entered the army and he started a
military career with the Tyrolean Kaiserjäger Regiment.

On 27 October 1877, Archduke Eugen was commissioned as
a Lieutenant.  Shortly thereafter he was transferred as an Oberlieutenant
to a hussar regiment and in the following years participated in many

In 1885 Archduke Eugen was assigned to the General Staff and rapidly
became more important. He commanded a battalion of Infantry Regiment
13 as a lieutenant colonel before assuming command of the entire regiment as
a colonel. From 1900-1901 he made several other promotions.

World War I

At the beginning of World War I, Archduke Eugen immediately reported
for active duty. In December 1914 he entered active military service.

On 22 May 1915, Eugen was promoted to Generaloberst later he was
entrusted with the command of the southwestern front against Italy.

From March 1916, he had a headquarter in Tyrol. He also participated
in the First Battle of the Isonzo. By his troops he gained a great

On 23 November 1916, Eugen was promoted to Field Marshal and in
March 1917 he took up again his work as the commander of the
southwest front inter alia during the Caporetto offensive.

On 18 December 1917, Emperor Karl of Austria released Eugen from
active service.

At the end of World War I, in november 1918 the fall of the empire
started, a few moments there was an idea that Archduke Eugen would
be a regent for the Austrian Empire. However Eugen would never
accept this without the consent of the emperor.

Collapse of the monarchy

In 1919 the monarchy collapsed and Archduke Eugen went abroad
(already from 1918). He lived modestly in a hotel, first in Lucerne
and then in Basel (Switzerland), where he stayed from 1918 till

Teutonic order

Archduke Eugen of Austria became Grand Master of the Teutonic
Knights in 1894 till 1923. However in 1934, Eugen settled at the
order's convent at Gumpoldskirchen near Vienna.

World War II

During World War II, Archduke Eugen of Austria returned to Austria.
He went to Tyrol where he received through the French occupying
power a small rented villa at Igls.

Later life

On 21 May 1953, the whole of Innsbruck celebrated the Field Marshal 's
90th. B-Day.


Archduke Eugen of Austria died on 30 December 1954 at Meran, then a
part of Italy. On 6 January 1955 he was buried in the St. Jakobskirche at


Archduke Eugen of Austria received several military orders, he also was
a knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. Others were inter alia:

- Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania;
- Grand Cross of the Royal Spanish Order of Charles III;
- Imperial Russian Order of St. Andrew;
- Royal Swedish Jubilee Commemorative Medal;
- Grand Cordon of the Royal Belgian Order of Leopold;
- Imperial Ottoman Gold and Silver Imtiyaz Medals;

and many more.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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