Theresian Military Academy

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Theresian Military Academy
Theresianische Militaerakademie Wappen ueber Eingang-DSC 6508w.jpg
Motto A.E.I.O.U.
Type Military academy
Established 14 December 1751
Kommandant Brigadier Mag. Gerhard Herke
Location Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria, Austria

The Theresian Military Academy (German: Theresianische Militärakademie, TherMilAk) is a military academy in Austria founded in 1751, where the Austrian Armed Forces train their officers. The academy is located in the castle of Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria.


The Theresian Military Academy is one of the oldest military academy in the world (the oldest is the Military Academy of Modena),[1] and was founded on 14 December 1751 by Maria Theresa of Austria who gave the first commander of the Academy, Fieldmarshal Leopold Josef Graf Daun (Lord Daun), the order "Mach er mir tüchtige Officier und rechtschaffene Männer daraus" ("Make me hard working officers and honest men"). Per year the Academy accepted 100 noblemen and 100 commoners to start their education there.[2] In 1771 Fieldmarshal Lieutenant Hannig published the official studying plan and in 1775 Maria Theresa published the Academy Rules. At this time it took 11 years to complete the Academy but step by step it was shortened to 3 years.

Main building of the Theresian Military Academy

The Styrian Prince Erzherzog Johann (Archduke John) was the principal Headmaster of the academy for 44 years (1805–1849).[citation needed]

In the First Republic (1918–1938) the academy was located in Enns untll 1934 and then again in the castle of Wiener Neustadt. A very remarkable event in the time between Austrofascism and the Anschluss (Occupation of Austria by Nazi Germany) was that Lieutenant General Rudolf Towarek (Commander of the TherMilAk between 1933 and 1938) prevented the Wehrmacht from entering the castle for several days. This was the only military resistance made by Austrians against the occupation by Nazi Germany. GenLt Towarek wasn't punished for this action; he was, however, retired while retaining the right to wear the Austrian uniform after his retirement which was highly unusual in those days.[citation needed]

After the Anschluss the Wehrmacht installed a war school for non-commissioned officers at the castle of Wiener Neustadt. The first commander of this school was Erwin Rommel. At this time the Germans erected a new building next to the castle, which is now known as Fort Daun, in which the Military High School of Austria is located.[3]

After World War II and the Austrian State Treaty which was signed in 1955 the demolished castle was rebuilt and in 1958 the military academy was again located in Wiener Neustadt after a short intermezzo (1955–1958) in Enns.[4]

The TherMilAk today[edit]

The current commanding officer - CO (German: Kommandant - Kdt) of the TherMilAk is Brigadier Mag. Gerhard Herke.[5]

From 1997-2008 the TherMilAk was a 4-year college which can also be attended by civilian students and finishes with a master's degree in military leadership. In 2008 it was changed into a 3-year curriculum, graduating with a bachelor's degree. In 2003 the first four women completed the academy.[6] Since 1959 more than 3,600 young officers have been educated at the Theresian Military Academy.[7]

TherMilAk commanders (selection)[edit]

Below there is a selection of the commanders of the TherMilAk.

name rank CO remark
Guido Novak von Arienti Feldmaschall-Leutnant 1917–1919 last imperial (kaiserlicher) commander and adge-group godfather of the 2010 graduates
Rudolf Towarek Generalmajor 1934–1938
Erwin Rommel[8] Oberst 1938–1939 June 22, 1942 appointed to Generalfeldmaschall

Second Republic[edit]

name rank CO remark
Erwin Starkl Major 1955–1956 35th CO
Josef Heck Oberst 1957–1959 Oberst dhmD; 36th CO
Erich Watzek Generalmajor 1959–1971 37th CO
Alois Nitsch Generalmajor 1972–1980 38th CO
Johann Philipp Divisionär 1980–1984 39th CO
Adolf-Erwin Felber Divisionär 1985–1999 40th CO
Karl-Heinz Fitzal Divisionär 1999–2003 41st CO
Norbert Sinn Generalmajor 2003–2013 42nd CO
Gerhard Herke Brigadier 2013–.... 43rd CO

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Fitzal, Karl-Heinz [Editor] : 250 Jahre Offiziersausbildung  : Wr. Neustadt  : Theresan. Militärakad. , 2002
  2. ^ , Feb. 2009
  3. ^ Allmayer-Beck, Johann Christoph : Militärakademie - Kriegsschule - Fahnenjunkerschule  : Wiener Neustadt 1938 - 1945 : Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung , 2006
  4. ^ , Feb. 2009
  5. ^ , Nov. 2013
  6. ^ , Feb. 2009
  7. ^ Feb.2009
  8. ^ Siehe zu diesem Abschnitt: Ralf Georg Reuth: Erwin Rommel. Des Führers General. Piper, München 1987, ISBN 3-492-15222-8, S. 14–27; David Fraser: Rommel. Die Biographie. Siedler, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-88680-559-X, S. 86–115; Maurice Philip Remy: Mythos Rommel. List, München 2002, ISBN 3-471-78572-8, S. 31–43; Das Deutsche Heer, Gliederung, Standorte, Stellenbesetzung am 3. Januar 1939, Bad Nauheim 1953.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°48′35″N 16°14′44″E / 47.80972°N 16.24556°E / 47.80972; 16.24556