Conrad von Hötzendorff, Franz

FIELD MARSHAL (AUSTRIA)
BORN 11 Nov 1852, Penzing - DIED 25 Aug 1925, Mergentheim, Baden-Württembergs
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Hietzinger Friedhof, Maxingstraße 15, Hietzing (Gruppe 37, Reihe 1, Nummer 1)

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorff came from a family of officers. His great grandfather was ennobled in 1815 and his father was involved in the Battle of Leipzig and the fighting of the Revolution of 1848. As a young man he was more interested in Darwins publications than in religion.

He studied at the military academy in Wiener Neustadt and in 1878 he saw action in Bosnia. In 1882 he was involved in suppressing a resurrection in southerh Dalmatia. He married Vilma le Beau in Lemberg in 1886. They had five children.

From 1888 until 1892 he was a teacher at the royal war schools in Vienna and afterwards he returned to the army. He was promoted several times and in 1906 he became the Chief of the General Staff of the army. He continually modernized the army and influenced by Darwins ideas he believed that a war between the German and the Slavic civilizations was inevitable.

Many times he proposed a war against Serbia and in 1914 emperor Francis Joseph agreed with him that it was inevitable. He was a brilliant strategist, but his practical plans were not always realistic and this led to a disastrous defeat against the Russians in 1914 soon after the start of the war. He had seriously underestimated the strength of Russian army and he needed German help to reconquer Galicia in 1915. From then on the Austrian army constantly needed the help of the Germans.

After Francis Joseph died in 1916 the new emperor Karl I dismissed him and put him command of a small army on the Italian front. After the Battle of Piave he was fired. When Karl I treid to negotiate with the allied powers Hötzendorff opposed him.

In 1915 he married Virginia von Reininghaus against the wishes of his children. In 1918 he was made a Count. He died seven years later in Mergentheim.

Related persons
• knew Wildgans, Anton

Events
1914/7/5: Conrad von Hötzendorf considers war with Serbia inevitable
He said this to emperor Francis Joseph who shared his opinion. The emperor asked him if he was sure that Germany would support Austria. A little later the Germans assured the Austrians that they would support them, war or not.

Sources
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf – Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Franz Conrad von Hötzendorff at the Hietzing Cemetery in Vienna.
Picture by androom (15 Aug 2006)

 


Conscience, Hendrik

Published: 9 Jan 2010
Last update: 9 Jan 2010