Rudolf Ritter von Otto

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Rudolf Ritter von Otto (1735 – 7 August 1811) began his military career in the army of the Electorate of Saxony, transferred to the Austrian army and had a distinguished combat record during the Seven Years' War and the French Revolutionary Wars.

Electorate of Saxony State of the Holy Roman Empire, established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate 1356

The Electorate of Saxony was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom.

Habsburg Monarchy former Central European empire (1526–1804)

The Habsburg Monarchy – also Habsburg Empire, Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy – is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1526 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Monarchy was a typical composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal. The war's extent has led some historians to describe it as "World War Zero", similar in scale to other world wars.

Contents

Early career

Born in Weißenfels in the Electorate of Saxony in 1735, Otto joined the Saxon army in 1753 as a cavalryman. In the Seven Years' War he fought at the battles of Kolín and the Breslau in 1757. He was also present at several sieges and skirmishes. He joined an Austrian Freikorps raised by his brother Wilhelm and participated in several successful ambushes and raids in 1760-1762.

Weißenfels Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Weißenfels is the largest town of the Burgenlandkreis district, in southern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the river Saale, approximately 30 km (20 mi) south of Halle.

Battle of Kolín battle

The Battle of Kolín on 18 June 1757 saw 44,000 Austrians under Count von Daun defeat 32,000 Prussians under Frederick the Great during the Third Silesian War. The Prussians lost the battle and nearly 14,000 men, the Austrians lost 8,000 men.

Battle of Breslau (1757) battle

The Battle of Breslau was a battle fought on 22 November 1757 during the Third Silesian War. A Prussian army of 28,000 men fought an Austrian army of 84,000 men. The Prussians held off the Austrian attack, losing 6,000 men to the Austrians 5,000 men. But one day later the Prussians beat a retreat. Breslau's garrison surrendered on 25 November 1757.

Austrian service

At the end of the war he formally entered the Austrian army, joining the Hesse-Darmstadt Dragoon Regiment # 19 as an Oberleutnant. Promoted to captain in 1769 and major in 1777, he transferred to the Graeven Hussar Regiment # 34. Because he improved his new regiment's efficiency, he was rapidly promoted, first to Oberstleutnant in 1783 and Oberst in 1784. In the Austro-Turkish War (1788-1791), he led his regiment in action at Chernivtsi and Cornia. Promoted to General-major in 1788, he continued to distinguish himself against the Turks.

Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Chernivtsi City of regional significance in Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Chernivtsi is a city in western Ukraine, situated on the upper course of the River Prut. Chernivtsi is the administrative center of Chernivtsi Oblast (province) – the northern, Ukrainian part of the historical region of Bukovina. Administratively, Chernivtsi is a city of oblast significance. At the time of the 2001 Ukrainian Census, the population of the city was 240,600. Current population: 295,366 (2015 est.)

In 1793 during the War of the First Coalition, Otto joined the Austrian army in Flanders, serving at the siege of Valenciennes. At the battle of Caesar's Camp on August 7, he commanded an infantry-cavalry brigade in the Count of Clerfayt's column. [1] On September 12, he participated in the cavalry action at Avesnes-le-Sec in which a French force was cut to pieces. On October 30, he led his troops in battle at Marchiennes. [2] He was promoted to Feldmarschal-Leutnant on January 1, 1794 and also became proprietor (inhaber) of the Hussar Regiment # 32.

War of the First Coalition effort to contain Revolutionary France

The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against the French First Republic. Despite the collective strength of these nations compared with France, they were not really allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement. Each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.

Valenciennes Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.

François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt Austrian marshal

François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt, a Walloon, joined the army of the Habsburg Monarchy and soon fought in the Seven Years' War. Later in his military career, he led Austrian troops in the war against Ottoman Turkey. During the French Revolutionary Wars he saw extensive fighting and rose to the rank of Field Marshal.

On April 24, while leading two Austrian and two British cavalry squadrons on a reconnaissance toward Cambrai, Otto encountered a force of French cavalry. At this time, he discovered that Emperor Francis II was nearby with his retinue. Fearing that his sovereign was about to be captured, he resolved to attack the enemy. In the ensuing Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies, Otto's troopers smashed a 7,000-man French division, inflicting 1,200 casualties. [3]

Cambrai Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department and in the Hauts-de-France region of France on the Scheldt river, which is known locally as the Escaut river.

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor also known as Francis I, Emperor of Austria

Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia as Francis I. He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.

In the Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies, fought on 24 April 1794, a small Anglo-Austrian cavalry force routed a vastly more numerous French division during the Flanders Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. Villers-en-Cauchies is 15 km south of Valenciennes.

Two days later, Otto led the main attack in the Duke of York's victory at Beaumont, rolling up the French flank and capturing the French commander René Chapuis. [4] At the Battle of Tourcoing, he led one of York's three columns. Though the Anglo-Austrian army went down to defeat, Otto performed well.

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany British prince

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was the second son of George III, King of the United Kingdom and Hanover, and his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A soldier by profession, from 1764 to 1803 he was Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück in the Holy Roman Empire. From the death of his father in 1820 until his own death in 1827 he was the heir presumptive to his elder brother, George IV, in both the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Hanover.

The Battle of Beaumont-en-Cambresis 26 April 1794 was an action forming part of a multi-pronged attempt to relieve the besieged fortress of Landrecies, during the Flanders Campaign of the French Revolutionary War. The British and Austrians under the Duke of York defeated a French advance northwards from Cambrai commanded by René Chapuis.

René-Bernard Chapuy was a French soldier and general who served in the Caribbean, American War of Independence and Wars of the French Revolution.

Later career

In 1796, Otto declined a command in Italy due to ill-health. He became a member of the Aulic Council and was promoted to full general upon retirement in 1803. He died at his estate near Königgrätz on August 7, 1811.

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References

Footnotes

  1. Smith, p. 51.
  2. Smith, p. 61.
  3. Chandler, p. 465. The author provides details of the battle but incorrectly identifies Otto as Ott.
  4. Smith, p. 75.