Emerich Freiherr von Kaiffel

Generalmajor Kaiffel 1875Emerich Kaiffel was born as the son of an officer on the 5th of September 1819 at Abralon (Hungary). He entered military education at the early age of 9 with the cadet company at Graz and was transferred to infantry regiment number 16 on the 1st of May 1835 as a cadet. After successfully graduating he received the promotions to Fähnrich (16th February 1836) and to Leutnant (16th March 1842) within the same regiment. From 1845 he was engaged as a brigade adjutant and later as a divisional adjutant shortly followed by his promotion to Oberleutnant on the 10th of December 1847. During the revolutionary wars of 1848/49, Kaiffel took part in all the major engagements of his regiment in Hungary. For his distinguished performance he was promoted to Hauptmann 2nd class on the 20th of April 1849 soon followed by his promotion to Hauptmann 1st class on the 16th of September of the same year. When the Franco-Austrian war began in Italy, Emerich Kaiffel, promoted to Major on the 1st of June 1859, was appointed to form the new 6th battalion of the regiment in Bohemia while his regiment fought with honor as part of the 1st Army Corps at Solferino. As commander of that battalion he received his promotion to Oberstleutnant on the 8th of July 1865. During the war of 1866 the regiment, meanwhile garrisoned at Mainz, became part of the division of Feldmarschall-Leutnant Graf Neipperg in the Northern theatre and he participated  in all the major battles of his regiment. The regiment suffered especially heavy losses during the battle near Aschaffenburg on the 14th of July.

On the 9th of November 1867 Oberstleutnant Kaiffel was promoted to Oberst and took over command of infantry regiment number 7. When the insurrection in Southern Dalmatia broke out in 1869, Oberst Kaiffel and his regiment took a prominent and distinguished role in the suppression of the rebellion. The regiment arrived on the 24th of October 1869 at Cattaro from where they were transported with several vehicles to Risano. While the 2nd and 3rd battalion remained in Risano on security and protection duties, the 1st battalion advanced into the area of the rebellion. They took part in the actions near Ham on the 26th of October, St. Barbara and St.Giorgio on the 2nd of November and on the 3rd expedition into the Krivoscie. For the distinguished way in which he had commanded his regiment during this campaign of the winter 1869/70 Oberst Kaiffel was honored with the award of the 3rd class of the Order of the Iron Crown with war decoration on the 15th of January 1870. In August 1874 Emerich Kaiffel assumed command of the 27th infantry brigade at Pressburg followed by his promotion to Generalmajor on the 1st of May 1875 with seniority from the 22nd of April.

Kaiffel pictured as an Oberst in 1869.On the 13th of October 1877 he was transferred to Peterwardein as commander of the 39th infantry brigade. With this brigade he played an important part in the war of the following year in Bosnia and the Herzegovina. During the battle of Belolovac, Generalmajor Kaiffel successfully commanded the centre and during the capture of Sarajevo the right wing of the Austrian troops. During the latter action his brigade achieved outstanding credit by storming the crest near Trebevic. After the take of Sarajevo Generalmajor Kaiffel was appointed as town major. Holding this post he was able to pacify and reorganize the town in unexpectedly short period of time. On the 22nd of August 1878 he assumed the interim command of the 20th infantry division. For his excellent conduct during the whole campaign and in face of his 50 years of irreproachable service in the army Generalmajor Emerich Kaiffel was honoured with the award of the knight's cross of the Order of Leopold with war decoration on the 21st of October 1878. On the 18th of November 1878 his interim command became permanent and he was additionally appointed as commander of the fortress and the area of Brod.

On the 13th of March 1879 Generalmajor Kaiffel was ennobled with the title of "Ritter von" and on the 26th of October 1879 Emerich Ritter von Kaiffel was promoted to Feldmarschall-Leutnant. For his efforts as commander of the 20th division and the fortress of Brod he received the commendation of the Kaiser on the 23rd of December 1879 which allowed him to later wear the Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) on a red ribbon when this medal was introduced in 1890. On the 21st of February 1880 Feldmarschall-Leutnant Ritter von Kaiffel was appointed Platz-Komandant (town-major) of Vienna. He held this important and prestigious post for the following 11 years receiving a numerous honours and decorations: the grand cross of the Italian Order of the Crown (4th April 1882), the title of Oberstinhaber of infantry regiment number 89 (14th of April 1885), the title of Geheimer Rat (7th November 1886), on the occasion of his 60 year on active service the 1st class of the Order of the Iron Crown with war decoration of the 3rd class on the 13th of October 1887, the 1st class of the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle (8th of January 1889) and the 1st class of the Persian Order of the Sun and the Lion on the 5th of October 1889. After his 72nd birthday and nearly 64 years of active service he tendered his resignation from the post on health grounds which was permitted on the 16th of October 1891. On the 5th of December 1891 he received his final retirement with effect from the 1st of January 1892. For his outstanding performance during his entire service he was promoted to the brevet or honorary rank of Feldzeugmeister (mit Titel und Charakter) with effect from the 5th of December and raised to an Austrian barony with the title of "Freiherr von" with effect from the 21st of December 1891. Feldzeugmeister Emerich Freiherr von Kaiffel died at Vienna on the 6th of December 1892.

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