Gustav von Myrdacz

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Gustav von Myrdacz
Gustav von Myrdacz.jpg
Born (1874-07-12)July 12, 1874
Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died July 11, 1945(1945-07-11) (aged 70)
Tirana, Albania
Allegiance Austria-Hungary Austro-Hungarian Empire
Albania Royal Army.svg Albanian Kingdom
Rank Division General
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Spouse(s) Ida (née Heller-Fiedler)

Gustav von Myrdacz (born 12 July 1874 in Vienna; died 11 July 1945 in Tirana) was an Austrian noble who was instrumental in organising the Royal Albanian Army from the early 1920s to 1945. He was referred in Albania as Gustav Mirdashi.[1]

Life[edit]

Gustav von Myrdacz was born in Vienna on 11 July 1874 to a German-speaking Silesian noble family. His father, Paul von Myrdacz (4 May 1847-7 July 1930), was born in Konská (Třinec) and pursued a career as a military doctor in the Austria-Hungary army. Little is known of his mother, Emma Zettl. As such Dr Paul von Myrdacz had been involved in the occupation of Bosnia in 1878 and spent some time there in the 1880s.

Gustav von Myrdacz grew up in the multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment of the late Habsburg empire and trained to become a military engineer. He attended high school in Vienna and the Theresian Military Academy (Theresianischen Militärakademie) in Wiener Neustadt and in 1897 was posted to the Habsburg Austrian Military Police Battalion Number 32 in Galicia. Over 1901-03 he attended the military school of the General Staff College (Kriegsschule der Generalstabsakademie) and served in various infantry brigades as a staff officer after 1904. From 1909 he was a tactical instructor at the technical military academy (Technischen Militärakademie) in Mödling.

World War I[edit]

When World War I began in 1914. Von Myrdacz served as an officer in Sarajevo. In December 1915 he was attached to the General Division of the XIX. Corps under General Ignaz Trollmann. Here he helped Austria conquer and occupy Serbia and enter northern Albania to engage Italian soldiers.

From 1 May 1917 Gustav von Myrdacz commanded the border guard battalion IV (Grenzjägerbataillon IV), before becoming the chief of staff to the 14th Infantry Division assigned to the Italian front. Here he participated in the Battles of the Isonzo. In 1918, partly because of his involvement in the occupation of Albania, von Myrdacz was introduced to a young honorary Colonel named Ahmed Zog in Vienna.[2]

On 5 January 1918, von Myrdacz was appointed Colonel in the General Staff Corps (Oberst im Generalstabskorps). From 16 July 1918 he commanded the last offensive of Austria-Hungary in Venetia when he led Infantry Regiment No. 117 on the Tonale Pass in Tyrol. A day after the armistice he was captured and became a prisoner of war in Italy. He was discharged after one year. Returning to republican Austria Gustav von Myrdacz was appointed commander at the State Office of Styria. He was then posted to Graz (where his father had retired) to become Stellvertretender Stadtkommandant (Deputy Militia Commandant).

Albania[edit]

In 1920, von Myrdacz retired from service in Austria at the rank of Brigadier-General and joined the newly formed Albanian army at the invitation of Ahmed Zog. Three years later he accepted a commission to become Chief of Staff. He joined a group of foreign nationals advising the Albanian government under Ahmed Zog including Leon Ghilardi from Dalmatia, and Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Francis Stirling and Major-General Sir Jocelyn Percy from Britain. Most of his duties, beyond training officers and small military formations in basic manoeuvres, involved building "military" roads.[citation needed]

In 1928 the new Fascist regime in Italy tried to increase influence and power within Albania, and General Alberto Pariani was sent as a military "advisor". The Albanian Prime Minister Ahmed Zog sidestepped the Italian Military Mission and appointed himself as Chief of General Staff. (The following year he made himself King of Albania). Colonel Gustav von Myrdacz was immediately entrusted with the same post in the "new" Royal Albanian Army. It suited Zog and the Albanians to have their army trained by a man who had fought against the Italians. When Fascist Italy invaded Albania in April 1939, King Zog The king escapes in Greece, leaving the country without defense. General Myrdaczy and the other high-ranking officers Albanians, were not perceived of attack it of 7 fascist Italy of April 1939. Albania was occupied in three days without to find some resistance. General Myrdaczy withdraws himself in private.

When the Royal Albanian Army was dissolved Gustav von Myrdacz lost his job but chose to stay on in Tirana. Although the Albanian army was not dissolved, Myrdaczy remains to house. Wife died Ida, spouse an Albanian of the Alltuni family. While Myrdaczy was legacy of friendship with Albanian general Prenk Perviizi, from when these seguiv the military studies in Austria. With capotolazioen of Italy 8 september 1943, general Pervizi becomes Minister of the Defense, with vice minister Myrdaczy and Chief of Staff. General Pervizi opposes himself to the Germans and he does not afford to create forces SS in Albania. This cause the breach of the Albanian government with the Germans. General Pervizi joins to the English Mission on mountains. It advises Myrdaczy to go in Austria, but Myrdaczy he decides to remain to Tirana. The power falls in the hands of the Communists. The general is arrested. Although foreign and completely innocent he is condemned to death and shot. A brutal crime against a high milirate personality that had contributed for the good of Albana, honored and respected from all, less the Communists.

Execution[edit]

In September 1944, SS Standartenführer Josef Fitzthum (a fellow Austrian) directly appointed a three-man "control committee" for Tirana including two obscure Albanians and General Gustav von Myrdacz. The following month the Germans evacuated Tirana. The Communist partisans of Enver Hoxha captured and tried him in the Special Court of Spring 1945 as a "pro-Fascist" and "enemy of the people". He was executed in April 1945.[3]

Decorations[edit]

  • Austrian orders
  • Turkish war decoration
  • Grand Cordon of Skanderbeg Order (Order of Skanderbeg)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aliko, Tomor (2007), GENOCIDE ON THE INTELLECTUAL ELITE OF THE ALBANIAN NATION UNDER THE COMMUNIST TERROR (PDF), Tirana: Shtypshkronja "MALUKA", p. 181, retrieved 2013-12-27 
  2. ^ Jason Tomes. King Zog of Albania; Europe's Self-Made Muslim Monarch (2003); ISBN 0-7509-3077-2
  3. ^ Bernd Jürgen Fischer: Albania at War, 1939-1945. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana (1999), p. 234.

Literature[edit]

  • Bernd Jürgen Fischer: Albania at War, 1939-1945. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette 1999; ISBN 1-55753-141-2
  • Anton Wagner, Der Erste Weltering (Herold Verlag, 1993); ISBN 3-901183-04-3
  • H. Schwanke, Zur Gesch. d. österr.-ungar. Militärverw. in Albanien 1916–18 (Vienna, 1982)
  • Janusz Piekalkiewicz, Krieg auf d. Balkan 1940-45 (Munich: Sudwest Verlag, 1984)
  • Nikolaus von Preradovich, Österreichs höhere SS-Fuehrer (1987)
  • M. Schmidt-Neke, Albanien, Geschichtl. Grundlagen, in: Südosteuropa-Hdb. VII, 1993, pages 26-56.

External links[edit]

  • Profile, biographien.ac.at; accessed 18 September 2015.(German)