Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli
|Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli|
Generalfeldmarschall Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli
12 February 1856|
Ancona, Papal States now Ancona, Italy
|Died||9 December 1941
Troppau, Reichsgau Sudetenland, Nazi Germany now Opava, Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic
|Buried at||Opava Municipal Cemetery|
|Allegiance|| Austria-Hungary (to 1918)
Czechoslovakia (to 1938)
Nazi Germany (1938-1941)
|Years of service||1875–1918|
|Commands held||1st Army Corps
Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army
Army Group Böhm-Ermolli
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Pour le Mérite|
Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli (12 February 1856 – 9 December 1941) was an Austrian general during World War I who rose to the rank of field marshal in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He was the head of the Second Army and fought mainly on the front of Galicia during the entire conflict. On 30 October 1940, Böhm-Ermolli was made a German Generalfeldmarschall.
Eduard Böhm was born in the Italian city of Ancona where his father served with a small representative detachment of the Austro-Hungarian army. His father, Georg Böhm (1813–1893), had as a sergeant won a battlefield commission for bravery after the battle of Novara in 1849, been promoted to the rank of major upon his retirement in 1877. He was elevated to hereditary nobility in September 1885. In June 1885, he received permission to attach his wife's (Maria Josepha Ermolli) maiden name to his family name, and hence the family was known as "von Böhm-Ermolli".
Böhm-Ermolli was trained at the cadet academy in St. Pölten and the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt and entered the service on 1 September 1875 as a lieutenant in the dragoons. He served in a variety of line and staff positions, steadily rose through the ranks, being promoted to General of the Cavalry on 1 May 1912 and appointed commanding general of the 1st Army Corps in Kraków.
At the start of World War I, Böhm-Ermolli was given command of the Austrian 2nd Army, which was intended for action on the Serbian front. After the Russian Empire mobilised, the 2nd Army was diverted to the Russian front, where it reinforced the armies of Austria's German ally.
In September 1915 he also became commander of the Army Group Böhm-Ermolli which included the German South Army besides his own Second Army.
He then settled in his home town of Troppau in Austrian Silesia, which became part of Czechoslovakia in 1919, and the government of Czechoslovakia paid him his pension and honored him as a General 1st Class in the reserve. In 1928 he became an "Army General" of Czechoslovakia, even though he never served in the Czechoslovak army.
When the Sudetenland, the predominantly German settled regions along the fringes of Czechoslovakia, was annexed to Nazi Germany in 1938, he became a German subject and received an honorary promotion to Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army. In addition, he was appointed honorary colonel-in-chief of Infantry Regiment 28 in his hometown of Troppau (Opava). When he died in December 1941, he was accorded a state funeral with full military honors in Vienna.
Decorations and awards
- Commander of the Military Order of Maria Theresa
- Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold
- Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
- Military Merit Cross, 1st class
- Star of Honour of the Decoration for Services to the Red Cross
- Oak Leaves to the Pour le Mérite
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- Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.