Alois Schönburg-Hartenstein

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Alois Eduard Fürst von Schönburg-Hartenstein as Generaloberst

Alois Schönburg-Hartenstein, (German: Alois Furst von Schönburg-Hartenstein) (November 21, 1858 - September 21, 1944) was a military officer in the Austro-Hungarian army and as a Prince of Schönburg-Hartenstein, a member of the Austrian nobility. He briefly served from March to July 1934 as the minister of defense in the First Austrian Republic.

From 1899 to 1913 he was president of the Austrian Red Cross. Following the outbreak of the First World War, he commanded several units, including the 6th Division and the XX (Edelweiss) Corps.[1]

According to Baron Ferdinand Marterer, Schönburg-Hartenstein was suggested as a candidate for imperial minister of defense by chief of the general staff Arz von Straussenberg in April 1917.[2] In early 1918, as domestic unrest over the war and continuing shortages of food increased within Austria-Hungary, he was appointed to command troops to maintain security within the empire by Emperor Karl I.[3] In this capacity, he arrested strike leaders and 44,000 military deserters.[4] In the summer of 1918, he again took combat command, leading the 6th Army in Northern Italy during the Battle of the Piave River, in which he was wounded in the leg.[4] As the Austro-Hungarian political and military situation became ever more precarious in the fall of 1918, Prince Alois expressed a realization of the coming end of the war and the monarchy, writing his family that "[my] remaining duty is to preserve discipline and protect the new Austria."[5]

Following the fall of the Habsburg monarchy and the establishment of republican Austria, he was the state secretary of the army from September 1933 to March 1934, when he was appointed to the post of defense minister in the cabinet of Engelbert Dollfuss, a position he held until July 1934. While in government, he appealed to Austrian nationalists and veterans to support the Dolfuss administration and oppose pro-German National Socialism.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bourne, J.M. Who's Who In World War One. Taylor and Francis e-library, 2006. p 260. (Accessed via Google Books 2/19/11.)
  2. ^ Rothenburg, G. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1976. p 203.
  3. ^ Rothenburg 1976, p. 211.
  4. ^ a b Bourne 2006, p. 260.
  5. ^ Rothenburg 1976, p. 216.
  6. ^ Davidson. E. The Unmaking of Adolf Hitler. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1996. p 90-91. (Accessed via Google Books 2/19/11.)