Karl Georg Reichsgraf von Huyn

Karl Graf Huyn was born in Vienna on the 18th of November 1857. His father was the later Feldzeugmeister Johann Graf Huyn and his mother the lady in waiting Natalie Gräfin von Sarnthein. This old noble family, originated basically from the Netherland's, had sent during the centuries many excellent officers to the Austrian army including two Field marshals. Following this military tradition of his family Karl Graf Huyn entered the Military college at St. Pölten. After passing through the Theresian Military Academy at Wiener Neustadt with "excellent success" he was commissioned as a Leutnant in dragoon regiment number 2 on the 24th of April 1879, shortly followed by his transfer to ulan regiment number 11 on the 1st of January 1880. After successfully attending the Kriegsschule at Vienna (1881-1883) with "good success" he was permanently attached to the general staff corps in which he was employed at Marburg and Lemberg where he received his promotion to Oberleutnant on the 1st of May 1884. On the 1st of May 1887 he was promoted to Hauptmann 1st class. During the following years he was attached to the headquarter of the 2nd corps at Vienna only interrupted by a short tour of duty with the troops in ulan regiment number 6 at Przemysl. In April 1891 he received the knight's cross of the Order of the Lion from the Netherlands. On the 16th of March 1892 he married Ignatia Maria Gräfin Lützow with whom he had two sons.

On the 13th of September 1892 he was appointed military attaché at the k.u.k. embassy in Bucharest where he received his promotion to Major on the 1st of November 1893. On the 26th of November 1893 he was appointed as chief of general staff of the cavalry division at Kraków. Before he left Bucharest he was honored with the award of the commander's cross of the Order Star of Romania. Graf Huyn remained with the cavalry division during the following years only interrupted by short tour of troop duty with dragoon regiment number 2 where he received his promotion to Oberstleutnant on the 1st of May 1896. In April 1899 he assumed command of ulan regiment number 2 shortly followed by his promotion to Oberst on the 1st of May of the same year. His annual evaluations were excellent and especially his gentlemanly behavior and his savoir-vivre impressed his fellow officers as well as his superior commanders. For his performance as a regimental commander he was honored with the award of the 3rd class of the Order of the Iron Crown on the 18th of April 1903. In the same month he received the commander's cross of the Italian Order of Saint Mauritius and Lazarus. Between July 1904 and April 1905 he commanded the 17th cavalry brigade. In April 1905 he assumed command of the 10th cavalry brigade followed by his promotion to Generalmajor on the 1st of November 1905. In April 1907 he was again transferred to the 17th cavalry brigade as their commander. In April 1909 Graf Huyn received his appointment as commander of the 7th cavalry division at Kraków. His commanding officer, General Böhm-Ermolli described him in his evaluation as "skillful and vigorous leader who manags all situations quickly and surely". After the manouvres in 1910 Erzherzog Friedrich praised his skillful leadership of a combined corps. On the 1st of May 1910 he was promoted to Feldmarschall-Leutnant with seniority from the 26th of April 1910 and received the knight's cross of the Order of Leopold on the 28th of February 1911. During his time at Kraków he was honored with the following foreign awards: The 1st class of the Persian Order of the Sun and the Lion (August 1909), the commander's cross with star of the Bulgarian Order of Saint Alexander (August 1909), the Prussian Order of the Crown 1st class (April 1910) and the grand cross of the Order of the Crown of Romania (April 1910).

In November 1911 Feldmarschall-Leutnant Graf Huyn took over command of the 12th infantry division again at Kraków where he received the grand cross of the Saxon-Ernestine House order in April 1912. On the 23rd of October 1912 he took over the important post of General-Kavallerie-Inspektor from General Brudermann and continued the work of his predecessor. For his efforts he was honored with the title of Oberstinhaber (Regimental colonel) of ulan regiment number 12 on the 19th of September 1913 and the title of Geheimer Rat (Privy Councillor) on the 12th February 1914. On the 1st of May 1914 he was promoted to General der Kavallerie with seniority from the 23rd of April 1914. When the war started he was appointed commander of the newly formed 17th corps which was a part of the 4th army of General Auffenberg. In the opinion of his superior commander General Graf Huyn failed during several critical situations during the fighting around Komarów. General Auffenberg demanded his immediate relief from his command which was granted by the superior headquarters. When Graf Huyn asked for a further field command in September 1914 he was placed on half pay and sent on leave to Vienna on the 1st of November 1914. As with General Arthur Giesl Freiherr von Gieslingen the published reason for the extended leave was their bad health which made further employment impossible. But the times changed for General Giesl as well as for Graf Huyn!

General der Kavallerie Karl Graf Huyn was however reactivated in March 1917 by Kaiser Karl and  awarded the Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) on the ribbon of the military merit cross on the 24the of July 1917 for his services in 1914! In Galicia a military governor, General Freiherr von Diller was installed after it's liberation from the Russian troops. Considering Graf Huyn's long time on duty at Kraków and his diplomatic experiences he was the perfect successor for this important post at Lemberg. On the 1st of March 1917 he was appointed Statthalter im Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien mit dem Großherzogtum Krakau (Governor in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Grand Duchy of Kraków). Although he was close with the land and peoples there it was a difficult assignment dealing not only with the military but also with the political and civilian administration. His post included for instance the jobs as president of the Finanz-Landesdirektion (civilian finance administration), director of the Forst und Domänendirektion (forestry and Government estates) and Vorsitzender des Landesschulrates (President of the state schools council) - and all this in a country where the two major peoples, the Poles and the Ruthenes (Ukrainians) attempted to dominate the other. On the 1st of May 1917 Graf Huyn was promoted to Generaloberst with seniority from 14th of May 1917 and he was honored with the award of the 1st class of the War cross for Civil Merit on the 27th of October 1917 (among the 234 winners of this decoration he was the sole active officer) and finally with the Grand cross of the Order of the Iron Crown with war decoration on the 22nd of December 1917.

After the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, two new states, the Ukraine and Belarus, came into being. The Ruthenian population, who fought in their Legion on the side of Austria-Hungary for the freedom of the Ukraine, dreamed now of  uniting Galicia with the new state. This caused serious troubles with the Polish population, who similarly fought in their Legion on the side of Austria-Hungary for the freedom of Poland because they planned a union  with Poland and dreamed of a "Greater Poland". Considering the growing problems between the ethnic groups the power of the central administration in the hands of Generaloberst Graf Huyn dwindled. On the 28th of October 1918 some radical politicians created the so-called "Liquidierungskommission" to take over command of the administration in Galicia and the parts of Silesia where mainly Poles lived to unite them with Poland. They immediately came in great conflict with the so-called Ukrainischer Nationalrat of the Ruthenian ethnic group. On the 30th of October 1918 the Galician Landtag proclaimed the union with Poland while the k.k. Statthalter Graf Huyn handed over Eastern Galicia including Lemberg to the Ukrainian Nationalrat of the Ruthenes. His fatal decision caused the bloody conflicts between these ethnic groups during the following years.

After the war, Generaloberst Graf Huyn was retired on the 1st of December 1918 by the authorities of the new republic.  He retired to Gmunden (Upper Austria) where he lived a private life, probably pondering his former actions. Generaloberst Karl Graf Huyn died on the 12th of February 1938 at Rottenbuch near Bozen.

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