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Austrian officer with Romanian and Swedish orders


Carol I
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Hmm.. it could be the order of the Sword Commander 1:st class around his neck. That would make sense because it was mainly for generals and higher ranks. But then he left his breast star at home. If it is I have these gentlemen as candidates:

Fischer, Gustav Edler von Poturzyn Gen.-maj awarded in 1919

Straub, Eugen Gen.-maj 1916

Wiktorin, Mauritz Gen.-maj 1935

von Ellenberger, Franz Eduard Gen.-maj 1919

I can't promise that this is all the Austrians awarded, as I haven't got a complete list of awardees. But it narrows it down :)

/Kim

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Thanks Kim.

Hmm.. it could be the order of the Sword Commander 1:st class around his neck. That would make sense because it was mainly for generals and higher ranks. But then he left his breast star at home.

Is there any difference between the Commander badge and the Commander 1st class badge?

If it is I have these gentlemen as candidates:

Fischer, Gustav Edler von Poturzyn Gen.-maj awarded in 1919

Straub, Eugen Gen.-maj 1916

Wiktorin, Mauritz Gen.-maj 1935

von Ellenberger, Franz Eduard Gen.-maj 1919

I can't promise that this is all the Austrians awarded, as I haven't got a complete list of awardees. But it narrows it down :)

It could be posible that he is neither of them as the dress of the lady indicates a much earlier period. Besides, he seems to be wearing the Order of the Star of Romania which I suspect was not displayed around WWI due to Austria and Romania being on the opposite sides of the frontline.

Could it be that he received the Commander's badge of the Swedish Order of the Sword as a colonel?

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This is definitely a circa 1914 photo-- that's why I was trying to see a better image of his medal bar to see if anything there has WW1 War Decorations, or are all peacetime pre-1914 awards-- which is what I suspect. Then the only additional date clue would be whether he has a 1908 Military Jubilee Cross or not.

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No, there's no difference in commander neck badges. But it should have swords between the arms as well as on the top. I don't see that on your pic. Perhaps it's not a order of the Sword at all? Or a very liberal view on how to wear a knights order...

The list I have right now is from 1936 and I suspect that it only lists those alive at the time. So he could have past away and not be on the list. Who knows.

/Kim

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Cropped Medal Area:

The first cross with white arms possibly a neck order hanging from the collar (?) Swedish Order of the Sword :unsure:

Then a Austrian Order of the Iron Crown.

Behind this is a cross, the arms can just be seen peeking from under the previous award

the last medal on the bar seems to have a two colored ribbon evenly divided.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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The list I have right now is from 1936 and I suspect that it only lists those alive at the time. So he could have past away and not be on the list. Who knows.

It could very well be, Kim. Anyhow, thanks for the suggestions.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Could it be that he received the Commander's badge of the Swedish Order of the Sword as a colonel?

This was indeed the case of Gustav Smekal. Apparently he was awarded the Commander's cross of the Swedish Order of the Sword in 1906. He was still listed as a colonel in 1911, but in 1912 he appears as a major general.

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  • 1 month later...

In a list from the Austrian State Archives I have found the following details about the career of Gustav Smekal (16.10.1863 - 28.9.1921):

1.5.1911 (13.5.11) Generalmajor

1.11.1914 (31.10.14) Feldmarschall-Leutnant

1.2.1918 (25.2.18) Feldzeugmeister

1.1.1919 retired

Does anyone know what is the meaning of the double dates quoted above?

As I am not familiar with the Austrian ranks I would also like to ask about the equivalents of the ranks/functions held by him after 1911.

Generalmajor = Major General

Feldmarschall-Leutnant = Lieutenant General ?

Feldzeugmeister = ?

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Feldzeugmeister = Regimental Quartermaster?

its connected with organizing the supplies and movement of the Regiments baggage and equipment.

a Zeug is a train as far as I can remember, so a wagon-train or baggage train, horse drawn wagons to move the units gear.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Feldzeugmeister = Regimental Quartermaster?

its connected with organizing the supplies and movement of the Regiments baggage and equipment.

a Zeug is a train as far as I can remember, so a wagon-train or baggage train, horse drawn wagons to move the units gear.

Thanks Kevin. I have also found this explanation. Does it mean then that Feldzeugmeister was more of a function or position than a rank?

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My understanding is its an appointment, for an officer, with quite a bit of responsibility,

when on the move he would have to co-ordinate the entire movement of the Regimental items

from the smallest item, the fodder for feeding the baggage train, billets for the officers and men,

when on the move, coordinate the routes taken when on the march, and where required the allotment

of train wagons and carriages to move the Regiment long distances up towards the front lines from Germany.

Again it would depend on where the forward elements of his regiment were in action or based.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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The rank of Feldzeugmeister was that held by all Austro-Hungarian full Generals with the exception of cavalry Generals prior to the late 1908 introduction of the rank of General der Infanterie. Although Gustav Smekal commanded an Infantry regiment (Nr. 49) and higher formations, he was originally commissioned as an artillery officer and elected to use the title Feldzeugmeister on promtion to full General. Generally speaking after 1908 artillery and pioneer Generals still used the title Feldzeugmeister.

Regards

Glenn

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Thank you both. It appears that Feldzeugmeister was both a rank and an appointment. On the other hand, even though the appointment as Regimental Quartermaster implied quite some responsability I think that it did not (always) require general rank competence. So maybe in Smekal's case Feldzeugmeister meant a higher general rank.

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On Wikipedia I have found the following notes.

As the position of a Feldzeugmeister differed by German states an Austrian and Hungarian Feldzeugmeister has a slightly different meaning. The Feldzeugmeister was the second highest rank of the Austrian army placing him between Generalfeldmarschall and Field Marshal.

In the German Army, while a Quartiermeister was a non-commissioned officer in charge of supplies, a Generalquartiermeister did not deal with supplies, but with operational command. He was the most senior officer below an Army's Chief of Staff.

Maybe the latter also applies to Austrian Army.

In spite of inaccuracies of Wikipedia, it appears that Feldzeugmeister was more of a rank than an appointment.

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I think I made a mistake in identifying the modern correspondents of the old Austrian ranks. Maybe this is closer to the truth?

Generalmajor = Brigadier General

Feldmarschall-Leutnant = Major General

Feldzeugmeister = Lieutenant General

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Generalmajor = Major General

Feldmarschall-Leutnant = Lieutenant General

Feldzeugmeister = General (all Generals after 1908 that didn't belong to Infantery and Cavallry)

Brigadier was only a function-title for an officer commanding a brigade. There were NO rank-badges for the brigadier.

haynau

Edited by Josef Rietveld
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Generalmajor = Major General

Feldmarschall-Leutnant = Lieutenant General

Feldzeugmeister = General (all Generals after 1908 that didn't belong to Infantery and Cavallry)

Brigadier was only a function-title for an officer commanding a brigade. There were NO rank-badges for the brigadier.

Thanks Josef for the details on Austrian general ranks.

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The Feldzeugmeister rank's name remembers when in the past, the "Feldt-Zewgg" (as I've read it in an ancient book) or the Feld-Zeug meant the group of artillery batteries and their supplies of ammunitions.

Best wishes,

Elmar Lang

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The Feldzeugmeister rank's name remembers when in the past, the "Feldt-Zewgg" (as I've read it in an ancient book) or the Feld-Zeug meant the group of artillery batteries and their supplies of ammunitions.

Thanks for the etymology of the name of the rank, Elmar.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Can someone help me complete the list of awards?

smekaldecormw4.jpg

On the right:

Order of the Star of Romania (Commander, military)

At the neck:

Swedish Order of the Sword (Commander)

On the left:

1. Order of the Iron Crown

2.

3.

4.

Thanks in advance.

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Here is my take on his medal group:

On the left:

1. Order of the Iron Crown

2. Milit?rverdienstkreuz 3rd Klasse (Military Merit Cross 3rd Class)

3. Milit?rdienstzeichen f?r Offiziere 2nd Klasse (Long Service Cross for Officers 2nd Class)

4. Jubilaums-Hof-Medaille (Court Jubilee medal) Although I am not convinced that I am right about this.

Very hard to tell but it is possible there is another, smaller, medal between the Iron Crown and the Military merit Cross.

I await those with keener eye sight than mine to make the final determination on whether or not there is another ribbon/medal present..

Ian

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