AUSTRIA – POSTCARD – ARCHDUKE EUGEN
This is a postcard of Archduke Eugen Ferdinand Pius Bernhard Felix Maria of Austria-Teschen (1863-1954). He began his military career in 1877. During his early military career, he served in the Tyrolean Kaiserjäger-Regiment and in a Husaren-Regiment. After completing a rigid military education, he was posted to the Austrian General staff. Then he was posted to Infanterie-Regiment Nr 13, first as a Bataillon Commander, and then as the Regimental Commander. From this, he was promoted to a Brigade, and later, a Division Commander. In 1900, he was promoted to General der Kavallerie (equal to a U.S. Lieutenant General) of the Austrian XIV. ArmeeKorps. (Some say that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was increasingly jealous of him). Eugen retired from the army in 1911, at the age of forty-eight.
After Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in 1914 and WW I’s ensuing outbreak, Eugen returned to command the 5. Armee. He was promoted to Generaloberst in May 1915, and commanded all Austrian troops from the Swiss border to the Adriatic. In March 1916, he was officially placed in charge of an Armeegruppe known as Herresgruppen-Kommando Erzherzog Eugen. He assumed command of the 3. Armee and 11. Armee in the Spring of 1916. He was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall in November 1916. [Please remember that a generalfeldmarschall’s rank was not given out lightly or in any great numbers in either the German or the Austrian Army].
Archduke Eugen was released from active duty in December 1917 at Kaiser Karl’s behest. After the armistice with Russia, fewer military commanders were needed on the Western Front. He lived a quiet life after WW I, spending a great deal of time in Switzerland. He died in Austria at the age of ninety-one, a very popular man. During WW I, he received more than seven high-level Austrian decorations. He also received more than twenty decorations from Austria’s allies. Among them was Germany’s Orden Pour le Mérite in 1916, and the Orden Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves in 1917.
The postcard shows Eugen in a nonmilitary uniform. It was not mailed.