Anton Erwin Lux
Anton Erwin Lux was born in Venice on the 23rd of December 1847 as the son of an Oberstleutnant-Auditor (Judge-Advocate Lieutenant Colonel). After graduating from the artillery academy in September 1868 he joined the3rd Field Artillery Regiment as a newly commissioned Unterleutnant. Lux excelled from his earliest youth with a quick intelligence, a critical eye and a talent for drawing coupled with an interest in geography. After a short period of battery service Lux became an instructor in the study of terrain at the non commissioned officers' school and in the same capacity transferred to the fortress artillery. In 1872 he independently drew plans of various fortification installations and training areas in the South Tyrol and was attached to the General Staff the following year.
For the international exhibition in 1873 in Vienna, he created numerous plans and contour maps and was subsequently awarded the progress and merit medal by the international exhibition committee. At the completion of the international exhibition Leutnant Lux was personally awarded the large golden "Viribus Unitis" medal at an audience with the Kaiser in 1874. He boldly used this occasion to petition his commander in chief face to face for permission to be allowed to participate in a German expedition for the exploration of equatorial Africa. Permission was graciously given and Lux embarked for Luanda, the capital of the Portuguese colony of Angola where he participated as a geographer in the 2nd expedition of the German African society.
The Loango expedition was led by the famous African explorer Paul Pogge and the ornithologist Alexander von Homeyer. They led the small daring group of Europeans from Loanda via Pungo Adongo where the now sick von Homeyer had to be left behind, to Muata, Jamvo, the ruler of Kimbundu. With this the expedition had therefore traveled further inland than each of the previous German explorers and was consequently considered a success of the German African Society. Following his return, Lux was sent to Brussels as the Austrian delegate to the conference concerning "the exploration of Central Africa". Following the conference's termination, Lux was promoted to Oberleutnant and assigned as a geography instructor at the military high school at Güns.
For his ability as an instructor at Güns, Lux was commended through a ministerial decree and in 1879 was transferred to the military high school at Eisenstadt in the same capacity. In 1880 at Eisenstadt, then in Hungary, he published his book "from Loanda to Kimbundo, findings of the expedition of 1875-1876" in the German language, a book, which even today is still a thrilling and entertaining read and in the original edition contains numerous illustrations very aptly produced by lux himself. Furthermore, Lux traveled to the Balkans and published his corresponding scientific findings in 1887 "The Balkans peninsula (excluding Greece) - physical and ethnographical descriptions and city pictures", a work is that read with considerably less effort than the title might suggest.
In 1889, the in the meantime promoted to Hauptmann Lux, was assigned back to troop service with the Vienna Fortress Artillery Battalion and from the 1st of January 1891 to Fortress Artillery Regiment Nr.1. He used this time at Vienna to visit the teaching academy for oriental languages and to graduate from the field officers' course. In 1894 as a Major he was head of the supply administration commission at the Arsenal in Vienna and in 1897 head of the training materiel administration commission. For his exceptional merit in regard to the Hungarian Millennium exhibition in Budapest he was once again given a ministerial commendation in 1897. Promoted to Oberstleutnant in May 1898 he assumed command of Fortress Artillery Battalion Number 3 and was simultaneously the fortress artillery director for the fortress installations at Peterwardein. For his achievements in this post he was awarded the Military Merit Cross in November 1898. In April 1900 he took over the command of Fortress Artillery Regiment Number 3 in Przemyśl and as such was promoted to Oberst in 1901. Awarded the Bronze Military Merit Medal in 1903 (Signum Laudis), Oberst Lux retired from the army.
How little the proverbial prophet is recognized in his own land is clearly demonstrated when one sees that after 35 years of exemplary service, Oberst Lux could not earn a single Austrian order, while he, apart from the Saxon Merit Cross for Science and the Arts had been decorated with the following foreign orders: The Knight's Crosses of the Portuguese Order of Christ, the Belgian Order of Leopold, the Spanish Order of Charles III and the Rumanian Order of the Crown, the Commanders' Cross of the Saxon-Weimar House Order of the White Falcon and the Brunswick Order of Henry the Lion as well as the Saxon-Ernestine House Order Grand Cross.
Oberst Anton Erwin Lux died on the 31st of May 1908 in Stockerau.
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