Hermann von Colard

Hermann von Colard was born at Stanislau (Galicia) on the 11th of February 1857 as the son of an Hauptmann. This old noble family had originally moved to Austria from France during the 30 years war and should properly have been addressed as "de Colard". However this style was not continued in any of the papers from the late 18th century onwards and the official papers then on show "von Colard". The family did not however, appear in the Gotha Handbooks until 1919. In August 1907 he applied for permission to convert this old French nobility into an Austrian patent which was granted by a decree dated the 12th of November 1908. After attending the Militär-Collegium at St. Pölten Hermann von Colard entered the military academy at Wiener Neustadt in 1872. In the autumn of 1876 he was transferred as a Leutnant to infantry regiment number 10 where he received his promotion to Oberleutnant on the 1st of May 1881. After successfully graduating from the Kriegsschule in Vienna he was attached to the general staff corps at brigade level on the 1st of May 1883. On the 1st of October 1886 Hermann von Colard was transferred as a general staff officer to the 11th corps command where he received his promotion to Hauptmann 1st class in the general staff corps on the 1st of November of the same year. On the 11th of February 1888 he married at Lemberg Paula Oesterreicher from Czernowitz (born 8th September 1867) with whom he had a daughter, Alexia Maria Rosa born on the 10th of March 1889 at Lemberg, and a son, Guido Hermann Maria born on the 18th of June 1894 at Sarajevo. From the 1st of May 1889 to the 1st of November 1891 Hermann von Colard was assigned to the railway department of the general staff corps at Vienna followed by a mandatory tour of duty with the troops at infantry regiment number 100 at Cracow. On the 1st of February 1893 he was again assigned for general staff duty, this time with the 15th corps command at Sarajevo. At this post he received his promotions to Major on the 1st of May 1893 and to Oberstleutnant on the 1st of November 1895 both with "Rang 1" which signified he held  the highest seniority on those days. For the manner in which he carried out his duties at Sarajevo he was honored with the award of the Military Merit Cross and further transferred for troop duty with infantry regiment number 24 at Lemberg in April 1897. On the 1st of November 1898 Hermann von Colard was promoted to Oberst (with seniority from the 14th of December) and took over command of his regiment. As a purely administrative measure he was transferred from the general staff corps to the infantry.

GM von Colard pictured wearing his KCVOOn the 18th of October 1902 his achievements as a regimental commander were honored with the award of the 3rd class of the Order of the Iron Crown. On the 31st of March 1905 Oberst Hermann von Colard assumed command of the 6th infantry brigade at Salzburg followed by his promotion to Generalmajor on the 1st of May of the same year. On the 16th of October 1908 he was appointed commander of the 24th infantry division at Przemysl. On the occasion of the crown jubilee of Kaiser Franz Joseph several foreign monarchs and senior royals visited Austria. Among these was the Prince of Wales who visited the famous fortress of Przemysl and awarded the neck badge with breast star (knight commander) of the British Royal Victorian Order (K.C.V.O.) to Generalmajor von Colard on the 17th of April 1909. He received his promotion to Feldmarschall-Leutnant on the 1st of May 1909 and was again honored for his achievements as a commander with the knight's cross of the Order of Leopold on the 15th of September 1910. On the 20th of May 1911 Hermann von Colard was appointed commander of the fortress of Przemysl, a prestigious but quiet post and his already excellent career was further crowned by his honorary promotion to General der Infanterie (mit Titel und Charakter) on the 2nd of November 1913. As is often the case, plans then had to be changed: The young divisional commander Hermann Kusmanek failed during the manouvres of 1913 which temporarily put a hold on his upward career and precluded his taking over the command of a corps. The ministry had to find another appointment for him and it was consequently decided that Kusmanek should take over the command of the fortress of Przemysl while General von Colard should become president of the Oberste Militär-Gerichtshof (Supreme Military Court). Hermann von Colard took up this prestigious appointment a few weeks before his scheduled retirement on the 30th of January 1914.

Once again fate took its course. The outbreak of the war stopped his retirement as all able Generals were needed with the troops and so Hermann von Colard remained at his post. On the 1st of September 1914 his honorary promotion to General der Infanterie was turned into a substantive one with seniority of the 22nd of August 1914 and his efforts were honored with the award of the title of Geheimer Rat on the same day. On the 11th of July 1915 he was relieved from his post and transferred to the status of "außer Dienst" but not permanently retired because with effect of the 1st of August 1915 he was appointed governor of Galicia - "Statthalter in Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien mit dem Großherzogtume Krakau" as was the correct full title. For his more than 40 years of excellent service he was honored with the award of the grand cross of the Order of Franz Joseph on the 13th of September 1915. General Hermann von Colard now applied for the raising of his rank within the nobility to that of Freiherr. However before this could be effected he suddenly died on the 8th of April 1916 at the age of only 59. In May 1917 Kaiser Karl granted the rank of Freiherr/Freifrau to his widow and his daughter and son, who had meanwhile attained the rank of Oberleutnant in dragoon regiment number 10.

Back to Miscellaneous Biographies