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    Imperial General's Promotion Document linked to the Von Augustin Family

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    I can't remember the last time I posted something here.

    Hopefully, this old gem will be of interest to those who enjoy researching the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


    A general's promotion document - translation is below.  A real "Prisoner of Zenda" piece dating back to 1901.  
    The document is a good size for display - 29.25in (74cm) wide x 26in (66cm) high.
    The frame is a cheap Ikea job (not for sale) - just to illustrated the document's potential if framed properly.
    I've done some research.  It definitely refers to Generalmajor August, Freiherr (Baron) von Augustin (27.06.1843 - 06.03.1921).  At the time of his promotion (and retirement) he was the Commanding Officer of the Artillery Depot in Vienna.  He was still on the Imperial Generals List during the Great War.
    He was the son of Vincenz, Freiherr (Baron) von Augustin (1780-1859), by his second marriage to Therese Roessler.  This chap, August, had an older half brother - Lieutenant Field Marshal Ferdinand Vincenz von Augustin (1807-1861) - by his father's first marriage (to Therese von Haller).
    Vincenz joined the Austrian army in 1794.  By 1809, he was an officer on the staff of the Quartermaster General - Archduke Karl.  From 1813, he was on the staff of Field Marshal Schwarzenberg.  Under Bernadotte he led the successful taking of Friedrichsort using pioneering technology.  He was responsible for the introduction of rocket weaponry to the Austrian army after close study of the work of William Congreve.  In 1814, Augustin became Head of the War Rocket Establishment and in 1817 he became Commander of the Austrian Army's newly created Rocket Corps, based in Wiener Neustadt (incidentally, where later Messerschmitt 109s were built!).
    In 1822, he was created Baron, in 1831 promoted to Major General and in 1838 to Lieutenant Field Marshal.  After 1848, Privy Councillor and in 1849 General of Artillery and Director General of Artillery.  After the Revolution of 1848, von Augustin submitted a design for the new Imperial (K.K.) Artillery Arsenal and in due course he was also tasked with overseeing the building of it.
    Von Augustin was responsible not only for the introduction of rocket weaponry into the Austrian army but also for the introduction of improved firearms.  In 1825, the Hanoverian army first introduced percussion weapons for operational use.  After 1830, the Austrians began experimenting with this system, bit it wasn't until 1841 that a percussion long arm, designed and improved by von Augustin, was introduced into the Austrian army.
    Unsurprisingly, the chap who was awarded the promotion commission document, August, was, like his father, an artilleryman.  As you can see, the commission document places him in Vienna in 1901 as Commandant of the Artillery Depot - so, a significant, very senior army officer based in the capital of the Empire.
    There is another Augustin who was a Major General at the same time, but he was Karl Ernst Augustin (no "von"), commander of the 37th Infantry Brigade - almost certainly a cousin.  In 1917, he was raised to "Edler" in the Austro-Hungarian peerage, but this is lower in the pecking order than a "von" (a few rungs lower than a Freiherr (Baron), just below a UK knight and above an Esquire!).
    I've shown the document to a local, professional picture framer.  He is confident that any competent framer can iron out the creases so that they will be all but invisible when mounted behind glass.
    Price is £150.00 + £10.00 insured postage.
    We, Franz Joseph I,
    By God’s Grace Emperor of Austria,
    Apolitical King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomenia and Illyricum, Archduke of Austria, Grand Duke of Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Steyr, Carinthia, Carniola, Bukovina, Upper and Lower Silesia, Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia, Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, etc., herewith are graciously pleased to appoint the well-beloved
    August, Baron von Augustin,
    holder of the Imperial Austrian Order of the Crown, Knight, III Class, Commandant and Director of the Artillery Ordnance Depot in Vienna, the Honorary rank of
    Major General
    in consideration of his services to Us and to Our Illustrious Imperial House as mark of Our Highest Favour, following his requested transfer to the Retired List.  Furthermore, We confirm his promotion to the rank of Major General.
    Given in Our Capital and Place of Residence, Vienna, on the twenty fifth day of the month of September, in 1901 – in the Fifty Third Year of Our Reign.
    Major General’s Commission for the Imperial and Royal Commandant and Director of the Artillery Ordnance Depot in Vienna – August, Baron von Augustin.
    Best wishes,
    David Morrison.

    von Augustin document in temporary frame.JPG

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