Julius Jacob von Haynau


Julius Jacob von Haynau 14 October 1786 – 14 March 1853 was an Austrian general who was prominent in suppressing insurrectionary movements in Italy and Hungary in 1848 and later While a hugely effective military leader, he also gained renown as an aggressive and ruthless commander His soldiers called him the "Habsburg Tiger"; those opponents who suffered from his brutality called him the "Hyena of Brescia" and the "Hangman of Arad"

Contents

  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Marriage and family
  • 3 Military career
    • 31 Role in the revolutions
    • 32 Later years
  • 4 References in popular culture
  • 5 References

Early life and educationedit

Born in Kassel, Julius Jacob von Haynau was the illegitimate son of Rosa Dorothea Ritter,1 and William I 1743-1821, the landgrave later elector of Hesse-Kassel He was born after his father's return with his wife and family to Hesse-Kassel after 20 years in Denmark His father acknowledged this natural son, providing for his education and entry into the military officer corps as a cadet

Marriage and familyedit

After several years of service in the Army, at nearly 22 years of age, on 11 October 1808 Haynau married Thérèse von Weber She was the daughter of Field Marshal Lieutenant Weber Her father was killed in action the next year at the Battle of Aspern-Essling during the Napoleonic Wars

William and Thérèse had more than four decades of marriage together before her death in 1850 She was survived by her husband and only daughter, Clotilde 27 September 1809 – 25 November 1897

Military careeredit

In 1801, Haynau entered the Austrian army as an infantry officer cadet at the age of 15 He gained extensive experience as a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars He was wounded at Wagram in 1809, which the French won in one of their most important battles of the wars

Haynau later distinguished himself during the Austrian operations in Italy in 1813 and 1814 Between 1815 and 1847, Haynau was promoted several times, reaching the rank of field marshal lieutenant

Role in the revolutionsedit

Austrian Medal honouring Haynau in 1849, obverse Austrian Medal honouring Haynau in 1849, reverse Painting by Giuseppe Bezzoli in 1853 depicting Haynau in command of his troops See also: The 13 Martyrs of Arad

Haynau was said to have a violent temper, which led him into trouble with his superiors His support for the monarchy led him to fiercely oppose the revolutionary movements of the mid-nineteenth century

When the revolutionary insurrections of 1848 broke out in Italy, Haynau was selected to command troops to suppress them He fought with success in Italy He became known in this period for the severity with which he suppressed an uprising in Brescia and punished participants A mob in Brescia had massacred invalid Austrian soldiers in the hospital, and von Haynau ordered reprisals Numerous attackers were executed

In June 1849, Haynau was called to Vienna to command a reserve army; he was ordered into the field against the Hungarians during their revolution and finally managed to defeat it with the help of an overwhelming Russian interventionist force, proving an effective but ruthless leader His aggressive strategy may have partly been motivated by his wish to make Austria, rather than Russia, appear as the main victor of the war 2 Indeed, the general questioned the wisdom of inviting the Russians to intervene, as he considered that Austria, with reinforcements from Italy, could have won the war on its own 3

In Hungary as in Italy, Haynau was accused of brutality For instance, he was said to have ordered women whipped who were suspected of sympathizing with the insurgents He also ordered the execution by hanging of the 13 Hungarian rebel generals at Arad on 6 October 1849

Opponents called him the "Hyena of Brescia" and "Hangman of Arad" In admiration, Austrian soldiers referred to him as the "Habsburg Tiger"

Later yearsedit

Plaque in Park Street, Southwark, London, commemorating the "international incident" when two draymen attacked General Haynau

Upon the restoration of peace, Haynau was appointed to high command in Hungary His temper quickly led him into quarrels with the minister of war, and he resigned his command in 1850 In later years, he travelled abroad, including to western Europe and England

His reputation for brutality had spread throughout western Europe In Brussels, Haynau narrowly escaped mob violence In London, he was attacked by some draymen from the Barclay & Perkins brewery who threw mud and dung at him and chased him down the Borough High Street, shouting "Down with the Austrian butcher!" When the Italian revolutionary, Giuseppe Garibaldi, visited England in 1864, he insisted on visiting the brewery to thank the draymen4

References in popular cultureedit

In 1862, during the American Civil War, the Union General Benjamin Butler commanded federal forces occupying New Orleans, Louisiana They struggled with daily insults from the residents He ordered that women showing disrespect toward the Union officers were to be treated as common prostitutes The Confederate General P G T Beauregard referred to Butler as "the Haynau of the North" for his order5 Beauregard did not explain his allusion, believing that his officers were familiar with Haynau's reputation5

G K Chesterton, the English author, later described an event in London in his book The Crimes of England 1916, published during the First World War while Britain and Ireland were at war with Germany:

"When an Austrian general who had flogged women in the conquered provinces appeared in the London streets, some common draymen off a cart behaved with the direct quixotry of Sir Lancelot or Sir Galahad He had beaten women and they beat him They regarded themselves simply as avengers of ladies in distress, breaking the bloody whip of a German bully"6

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 Online-Edition
  2. ^ Nationalism and the crown in liberal Hungary, 1848-1914 2000 ; Alice Freifeld p 90
  3. ^ Nationalism and the crown in liberal Hungary, 1848-1914 2000 ; Alice Freifeld p 90-91
  4. ^ Flanders, Judith July 2014 The Victorian City New York, NY: St Martin's Press p 345 ISBN 978-1-250-04021-3 
  5. ^ a b War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 1, volume 10, page 531 
  6. ^ Chesterton, G K "The Crimes of England" Project Gutenberg 
  • von Schönhals, R 1875 Biographie des K K Feldzeugmeisters Juliis Freiherrn von Haynau Vienna:  
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed 1911 "Haynau, Julius Jacob" Encyclopædia Britannica 13 11th ed Cambridge University Press p 114 

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