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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.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. He was promoted to Feldmarschal-Leutnant on January 1, 1794 and also became proprietor (inhaber) of the Hussar Regiment # 32.
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 is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.
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.
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 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.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 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.
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.
Count Heinrich von Bellegarde, Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia, of a noble Savoyard family, was born in Saxony, joined the Saxon army and later entered Habsburg military service, where he became a general officer during in the Habsburg border wars, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He became a Generalfeldmarschall and statesman.
Dagobert Sigismund, Count von Wurmser was an Austrian field marshal during the French Revolutionary Wars. Although he fought in the Seven Years' War, the War of the Bavarian Succession, and mounted several successful campaigns in the Rhineland in the initial years of the French Revolutionary Wars, he is probably most remembered for his unsuccessful operations against Napoleon Bonaparte during the 1796 campaign in Italy.
Michael von Kienmayer was an Austrian general. Kienmayer joined the army of Habsburg Austria and fought against the Kingdom of Prussia and Ottoman Turkey. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he continued to make his reputation in the cavalry and became a general officer. In the War of the Second Coalition and the Napoleonic Wars he commanded both divisions and corps. He was appointed Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian cavalry regiment in 1802 and held this honor until his death. Later he was the governor of Galicia, Transylvania, and Moravia.
Jean Gabriel Marchand, 1st Count Marchand went from being an attorney to a company commander in the army of the First French Republic in 1791. He fought almost exclusively in Italy throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and served on the staffs of a number of generals. He participated in Napoleon Bonaparte's celebrated 1796-1797 Italian campaign. In 1799, he was with army commander Barthélemy Catherine Joubert when that general was killed at Novi. Promoted to general officer soon after, he transferred to the Rhine theater in 1800.
Peter Karl Ott von Bátorkéz joined the Austrian army and fought in the wars against the Kingdom of Prussia, Ottoman Turkey, and the First French Republic in the last half of the 18th century. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he rose in rank to general officer and twice campaigned against the army of Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He played a key role in the Marengo campaign in 1800. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian Hussar regiment from 1801 to 1809.
Henri Christian Michel de Stengel joined the French royal army, rapidly rose to general officer rank during the French Revolutionary Wars, and was mortally wounded in Italian campaign while serving in General Napoleon Bonaparte's army.
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló joined the Austrian army in 1756 and fought the Prussians, Ottoman Turks, and French during a long military career. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he fought in several campaigns. He commanded a division in the 1796-1797 Italian campaign against the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian Uhlan regiment from 1792 to 1797 and a Hussar regiment from 1797 to 1801.
Jean-Baptiste Cervoni became a general officer in the French army during the French Revolutionary Wars and was killed in action in 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars.
Baron Josef Philipp Vukassovich was a Croatian soldier who joined the army of Habsburg Monarchy and fought against both Ottoman Empire and the First French Republic. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he commanded a brigade in the 1796–1797 Italian campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte. He led a division during the Napoleonic Wars and received a fatal wound in action.
Johann Sigismund Graf von Riesch joined the army of Habsburg Austria as a cavalry officer and, during his career, fought against the Kingdom of Prussia, Ottoman Turkey, Revolutionary France, and Napoleon's French Empire. He became a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and held important commands during the War of the Second Coalition. He displayed a talent for leading cavalry formations, but proved less capable when given corps-sized commands. During the 1805 Ulm Campaign in the Napoleonic Wars, the French badly defeated his corps and forced it to surrender soon afterward. From 1806 to his death in 1821, he was the Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian cavalry regiment.
Franz Freiherr von Werneck, born 13 October 1748 – died 17 January 1806, enlisted in the army of Habsburg Austria and fought in the Austro-Turkish War, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars. He enjoyed a distinguished career until 1797, when he lost a battle and was dismissed as punishment. He was only reinstated in 1805. In that year he surrendered his command and was later brought up on charges. He died while awaiting a court-martial.
Ernst von Rüchel was a Prussian general who led an army corps in a crushing defeat by Napoleon at the Battle of Jena on 14 October 1806. He commanded troops from the Kingdom of Prussia in several battles during the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793 and 1794. Afterward he held various appointments as a diplomat and a military inspector. In 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars he held an important army command but has been criticized for his actions at Jena. Wounded, he managed to escape the French pursuit, but never commanded troops in combat again.
In the Capitulation of Erfurt on 16 October 1806 a large body of troops from the Kingdom of Prussia under Lieutenant General the Prince of Orange surrendered to Marshal Joachim Murat of France, at the city of Erfurt. The Prussian soldiers were demoralized by their shattering defeat at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt on 14 October and unwilling to put up much resistance. The event occurred during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Erfurt is located on the Gera River about 40 kilometers west of Jena.
Peter, Freiherr von Vécsey or Peter Vécsey de Hernádvécse et Hajnácskeő was an Imperial Austrian military commander of Hungarian descent who took part in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. As a Freiherr (Baron), he was a member of the Austrian landless nobility. He make his mark while leading cavalry units and advanced in rank to become a general officer in 1808. He led an independent brigade during part of the 1809 campaign, and was mortally wounded while leading his troops in battle.
Anne-François-Charles Trelliard or Treillard or Treilhard, born 7 February 1764 – died 14 May 1832, joined the cavalry of the French Royal Army as a cadet gentleman in 1780. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought in Germany and Holland, eventually rising in rank to become a general officer in 1799. He led a corps cavalry brigade at Austerlitz in the 1805 campaign. In the 1806-1807 campaign he fought at Saalfeld, Jena, and Pultusk.
The Battle of Linz-Urfahr on 17 May 1809 saw soldiers from the Austrian Empire fighting against troops from two of Emperor Napoleon's allies, the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Kingdom of Saxony. An Austrian corps led by Feldzeugmeister Johann Kollowrat attacked General of Division Dominique Vandamme's Württembergers who held a fortified bridgehead on the north bank of the Danube opposite the city of Linz. As the combat got underway, Saxons led by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte began reinforcing the defenders. This prompted Kollowrat to order a retreat, which was followed up by Napoleon's German allies.
Vinko Knežević or Vincent Knesevich de Szent-Helena was a Croatian nobleman and general in the Habsburg Monarchy imperial army service. He fought in many battles during the Austro-Turkish War and the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1799 he led a hussar regiment at Cassano, the Trebbia and Novi. He commanded an infantry brigade at Marengo the following year and led Austrian Empire troops in the Tyrol in 1805 and at Graz in 1809. He served in various assignments on the Military Border from 1809 to 1812. From 1802 he lived on his estate Sveta Jelena in former Zala County, modern-day Međimurje County in northern Croatia. By the end of Napoleonic Wars he retired from military service as a General der Kavallerie in 1815. He became Proprietor of a dragoon regiment in 1809 and held that office until his death in 1832.
The Siege of Le Quesnoy saw a force made up of Habsburg Austrians and French Royalists led by François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt lay siege to a Republican French garrison commanded by François Goullus. After two and a half week siege, the French capitulated after suffering heavy losses. The War of the First Coalition operation was fought at Le Quesnoy, located near the border with Belgium about 27 kilometres (17 mi) west of Maubeuge.
Andreas Karaczay de Vályeszáka or Andreas Karaiczay de Wallje Szaka or András Karacsaj de Válje-Szaka served in the Austrian army beginning in the Seven Years' War. In 1788–90, he fought in the Austro-Turkish War at Khotyn, Valea Seacă, Focșani, and Rymnik. In 1789 he was promoted to general officer, appointed Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian cavalry regiment, and became a friend to the famous Russian General Alexander Suvorov. He fought in the French Revolutionary Wars until 1795 when he retired because of "war fatigue". Suvorov recalled him to action in 1799 when he fought at the Trebbia, Alessandria, and Novi. He led the Austrians at Second Novi. After being badly wounded at Stockach in 1800, he retired from his military offices in 1801.