Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen
|Supreme Commander of the Imperial and Royal Armed Forces|
1914 – 2 December 1916
|Predecessor||Franz Joseph I|
|Duke of Teschen|
|Born||4 June 1856|
|Died||30 December 1936 (aged 80)|
|Spouse||Princess Isabella of Croÿ|
(m. 1878–1931; her death)
|Issue||Archduchess Maria Christina, Hereditary Princess of Salm-Salm|
Archduchess Maria Anna, Hereditary Duchess of Bourbon-Parma
Archduchess Maria Henrietta
Archduchess Natalie Maria
Archduchess Stephanie Maria Isabelle
Archduchess Gabriele Maria Theresia
Archduchess Maria Alice
Archduke Albrecht Franz, Duke of Teschen
|Father||Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria|
|Mother||Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria|
Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen (Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl; 4 June 1856 – 30 December 1936) was a member of the House of Habsburg and the Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I.
When Friedrich's uncle Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen died in 1895, he and his brothers each inherited large estates. Friedrich owned properties at Ungarisch-Altenburg (now Mosonmagyaróvár in Hungary), Belleje, Saybusch (now Żywiec in Poland), Seelowitz (now Židlochovice) and Frýdek in the Czech Republic, and Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia). His Vienna residence, the Palais-Albrecht, housed the Albertina art collection which he owned.
On 8 October 1878 Friedrich married at Château L'Hermitage in Belgium, Princess Isabella of Croÿ (1856–1931), daughter of Rudolf, Duke of Croÿ, and his wife Princess Natalie of Ligne. They had nine children together.
- Maria Christina, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1879–1962), married Prince Manuel of Salm-Salm
- Maria Anna, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1882–1940), married Elias, Duke of Parma
- Maria Henrietta, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1883–1956), married Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingfurst
- Natalie, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1884–1898)
- Stephanie, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1886–1890)
- Gabriele, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1887–1954)
- Isabella, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1888–1973), married Prince Georg of Bavaria
- Maria Alice, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1893–1962), married Baron Friedrich Waldbott von Bassenheim
- Albrecht Franz, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Teschen (1897–1955)
Like most of the princes of the ruling house, Friedrich adopted a military career, and served creditably for many years as commandant of the V. (Pressburg) Corps. Subsequently, commander-in-chief of the Austrian Landwehr (militia) and army inspector, he became, after the murder of the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, inspector-general of the Austro-Hungarian Army.
In World War I, he was —from the dynastic point of view —as grandson of the victor of Aspern, Archduke Charles, and as nephew of the victor of Custoza, Archduke Albert, the predestined head of the armed forces of Austria-Hungary; and on 11 July 1914 Friedrich was appointed supreme commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army by Emperor Franz Joseph I. He thought it his duty to accept this heavy responsibility, but, modestly estimating his own powers, left the actual exercise of the command to his chief-of-staff, Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf. In the performance of ceremonial duties, and as mediator for the settlement of the conflicting demands of the military, civil and allied elements, his services were undeniable. He was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall on 8 December 1914. In February 1917 Emperor Charles himself took over the supreme command; the Archduke, although the Emperor's representative, no longer appeared in the foreground.
Retirement and death
After World War I the governments of Austria and Czechoslovakia confiscated all of Friedrich's properties within their borders. These included his palace in Vienna and his art collection. He retained his properties in Hungary however. In 1929 he won a court case requiring compensation from the Czechoslovak government.
Friedrich died at Ungarisch-Altenburg (Magyaróvár, now Mosonmagyaróvár) in 1936. His death was the biggest royal event for Hungary since the coronation of King Karl in 1916. The funeral and burial in the Pfarrkirche in Mosonmagyaróvár was attended by his nephew, the exiled King of Spain; by numerous archdukes; by all the surviving Austro-Hungarian field marshals; by personal representatives of Hitler; by members of the House of Savoy; by the diplomatic corps; by a son of exiled German Kaiser Wilhelm; by representatives of the governments of Germany, Italy and Austria, and by Hungary's Regent, Miklós Horthy and his wife. There were members of the Hungarian government and delegates of the German and Austrian in attendance as well. Entire battalions of the Royal Hungarian Army were present to pay their last respects to their former Supreme Commander.
|Ancestors of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen|
Decorations and awards
- Austrian honours
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
- Military Merit Cross, 1st class with war decoration
- Gold Military Merit Medal ("Signum Laudis")
- Foreign honours
- Knight of the Order of St. Andrew (Russian Empire)
- Knight of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (Russian Empire)
- Order of St. Anna, 1st class (Russian Empire)
- Grand Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph (Bavaria)
- Knight of the Order of the White Eagle (Russia)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
- Commander 1st Class of the Military Order of St. Henry
- Iron Cross
- Military Merit Cross, 1st class (Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin)
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant (Denmark)
- Heiszler, Vilmos. Photo Habsburg: Frederick Habsburg and his Family. Budapest: Corvina, 1989.
- Jewison, Glenn, and Jörg C. Steiner. "Erzherzog Friedrich" (Austro-Hungarian Land Forces 1848–1918).
- Palmer, Alan. Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph. Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition.
- Stefanovics, Glenn W. "Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl von Österreich-Toskana, Herzog von Teschen"
Media related to Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen at Wikimedia Commons
- Newspaper clippings about Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
Archduke Friedrich, Duke of TeschenBorn: 4 June 1856 Died: 30 December 1936
|Titles of nobility|
| Duke of Teschen
Archduke Albrecht Franz