Who's Who - Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli
Field Marshal Eduard Freiherr von Bohm-Ermolli (1856-1941) was born on 12 February 1856 in Ancona, Italy. His father was a non commissioned officer who gained a commission during the battle of Novara. His father was ennobled following his retirement from the service in 1885.
Eduard von Bohm-Ermolli attended the cadet school in Sankt Polten followed by the Maria Theresa Military Academy at Wiener-Neustadt. He received a commission to the 4th Dragoons regiment in 1875.
In 1878 he attended the General Staff course at the War School and then served as staff officer on the staff of 21st Infanterie-Brigade at Lemberg. In 1896 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and given command of Ulanen-regiment 3.
The ensuing years saw him steadily advance through the ranks with commands over 16th Cavalry Brigade (1901), a Cavalry Division at Krakow (1905), the 12th Infantry Division (April 1909) and finally I Corps, achieving the rank of General der Kavallerie.
The start of the First World War saw Bohm-Ermolli given command of 2nd Army which was originally intended for the Serbian front. However owing to Austria's miscalculation of the speed of Russian mobilisation, 2nd Army was diverted to the Eastern Front where, together with German forces, it was able to stop the Russian onslaught.
In 1915 2nd Army was send to the Carpathians to relieve the besieged fortress of Przemysl but ultimately failed to save the fortress, which fell in Russian hands. On 22 June 1915 his troops recaptured Lemberg. He commanded 2nd Army for the rest of the war while at the same time being in command of "Army Group Bohm-Ermolli" after the Brusilov offensive.
He occupied the Ukraine in March 1918 after which his Army group was dissolved at Odessa. He was promoted Generaloberst on 1 May 1916 and Feldmarschall on 31 January 1918. In 1917 he was made a Baron.
Upon the collapse of the Austrian-Hungarian empire Bohm-Ermolli retired to his estate at Troppau which became part of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian government granted him a pension and created him General 1st Class in the reserve and in 1928 to Army General.
When the Sudetenland was annexed by the Third Reich he became a German and was made a Brevet Generalfeldmarschall of the German army. He was appointed honorary colonel-in-chief of Infanterie Regiment 28 in his hometown of Troppau.
Eduard Freiherr von Bohm-Ermolli died on 9 December 1941 and was afforded a state funeral with full military honours in Vienna.
Contributed by Frederik Dewaele
A Runner was a soldier who carried messages by hand.
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