Franz Schlik

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Franz Joseph von Schlik of Bassano and Weisskirchen
Kriehuber Franz Schlick.jpg
Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1849
Born (1789-05-23)23 May 1789
Prague
Died 17 March 1862(1862-03-17) (aged 72)
Vienna
Allegiance Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Service/branch Army (Cavalry)
Rank General
Battles Battle of Budamér (1848)
Battle of Kassa (1848)
Battle of Szikszó (1848)
Battle of Tarcal (1849)
Battle of Bodrogkeresztúr (1849)
Battle of Tokaj (1849)
Battle of Kápolna (1849)
Spring Campaign of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Battle of Isaszeg (1849)
Battles of Komárom (1849)
Summer Campaign of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Battle of Győr (1849)
Battle of Szőreg (1849)
Battle of Solferino (1859)
Awards Ordine imperiale della corona di ferro, austria.png Austrian Order of the Iron Crown (1849)
Ord.MariaTeresa-CAV.png Military Order of Maria Theresa (1849)

Franz Joseph von Schlik of Bassano and Weisskirchen (Prague, 23  May 1789 – Vienna, 17 March 1862) was an Earl and general in the Austrian Empire's army. He was one of the most successful Austrian generals during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

In 1808 he enrolled in the Emperor's army. He was engaged in the Napoleonic Wars. He lost the sight of his right eye in the Battle of Leipzig on 19 October 1813. In 1848, with the rank of Lieutenant general, he was regent of Kraków, Poland.

During the Hungarian Revolution[edit]

In late 1848 Schlik led a legion of 8,000 men through the Dukla Pass into the Kingdom of Hungary before Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz started to attack Hungary in the Winter Campaign of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. On 11 December Schlik defeated Sándor Pulszky in the Battle of Budamér and occupied Eperjes (now Prešov, Slovakia) and Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia).

His victories alarmed the Hungarian Military Commission and they recruited approximately 10,000 men around Miskolc, under Lázár Mészáros's command, but Schlik defeated him on 28 December 1848 in the Battle of Szikszó and on 4 January 1849 in Kassa.

Franz Schlik with an eyepatch

After this Schlik waited two weeks to resume the attack. Meanwhile György Klapka reorganized the Upper Tisza legion and because of this the Hungarians won the Battle of Tarcal on 22 January and the Battle of Bodrogkeresztúr on 23 January. In the Battle of Tokaj Schlik and Windish-Grätz attacked Klapka's positions on 31 January, but they lost again.

Richard Guyon's victory in the Battle of Branyiszkó created the possibility that Schlik would be surrounded, but Henryk Dembiński wouldn't change his plans Schlik escaped and joined up with Windish-Grätz. Because of their joining forces they won the Battle of Kápolna on 26 – 27 February.

Schlik took part in the Spring Campaign as the leader of the 3rd legion. He lost the battle against András Gáspár, the leader of the 7th Hungarian legion in the Battle of Hatvan on 2 April. He took part in the Battle of Isaszeg on 6 April and on 26 April in the First Battle of Komárom and later he retreated in the direction of the River Rába.

In the Summer Campaign he took part as a leader of the 1st legion and so was in command at the Battle of Győr on 28 June and the July Battles of Komárom. Julius Jacob von Haynau moved the Austrian legions in three parallel lines against the Hungarians at Szeged. Schlik was the leader of the line which was advancing towards Makó and he fought to cross the River Maros on 5 August. Haynau ordered Schlik that after the Battle of Szőreg he was to continue the advance to the Castle of Arad, where János Damjanich was based, but the castle had been retaken by another Austrian legion so he did not occupy it.

After the Hungarian Revolution[edit]

In September 1849 Schlik was promoted to cavalry general and he received the Order of the Iron Crown and the Military Order of Maria Theresa for his victories during the Hungarian Revolution. From 1854 he was Galicia and Bukovina's major general and was the commander of the 4th legion against the Russian Empire. On 24 June 1859 he was the command of the 2nd Italian army in the Battle of Solferino. After the Treaty of Villafranca he resigned his commission.

Sources[edit]

Schlik's proclamation to the Hungarians
  • Liptai, Ervin, ed. (1985), Magyarország hadtörténete két kötetben ("Military History of Hungary in Two Volumes") (in Hungarian), Zrínyi Katonai ("Zrinyi Military"), ISBN 963-326-337-9 
  • Hermann, Róbert (2004), Az 1848–1849-es szabadságharc nagy csatái ("Great Battles of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49") (in Hungarian), Zrínyi, ISBN 963-327-367-6 
  • hu:Révai Nagy Lexikona ("Revai's Hungarian Encyclopaedia")