Hugo Obauer Edler von Bannerfeld

Hugo Obauer was born as the son of a Major at Pest on the 18th of May 1836. He entered military education at the military academy of Wiener Neustadt on the 20th of September 1848. After successfully graduating from the academy he was promoted to Unterlieutenant 2nd class in infantry regiment number 39 in the autumn of 1855. From the very start Hugo Obauer was a talented highly intelligent young man and he consequently graduated from the Kriegsschule at Vienna - as one of their youngest students. On the 13th of March 1859 he was promoted to Unterlieutenant 1st class in his regiment followed by his transfer to infantry regiment number 52 as an Oberleutnant a month later on the 13th of April 1859. This however was only an administrative measure due to the fact that this regiment had a vacant post because on the 29th of April 1859 he was transferred to the general staff corps with the rank of Hauptmann 2nd class. However, Obauer's rise in 1859 did not stop there - on the 1st of August 1859 he received his promotion to Hauptmann 1st class in the general staff corps!

Hugo Obauer took part in the war of 1866 in the Northern theatre against Prussia and for his first rate performance during the whole campaign received the Military Merit Cross with war decoration on the 3rd of October 1866. On the 1st of October 1868 Hugo Obauer was appointed an instructor in for tactics at the Genie-Akademie (Engineer Academy) at Klosterbruck. A few days later, on the 19th of October, he married Hermine Albrecht-Gramont with whom he had two sons and a daughter. After his promotion to Major on the 23rd of April 1869 he was appointed chief of the 4th department of the IIIrd Section (Intendance) of the technical and administrative military committee in Vienna on the 16th of October of the same year. On the 26th of April 1871 he was transferred to dragoon regiment number 6 but again only as an administrative measure while holding still his general staff post. As was normal in the general staff corps, Major Obauer was transferred to the dragoon regiment number 4 for troop duty on the 1st of November 1871. Meanwhile his book, written with Emil Ritter von Guttenberg as co-author, "Das Train-, Communications- und Verpflegswesen vom operativen Standpunkte" had become a well-known standard opus in this topic. For their expert work, both authors were honored with the award of the knight's cross of the Order of Franz Joseph on the 27th of January 1872. On the 1st of November 1872 Obauer was transferred as an Oberstleutnant to dragoon regiment number 8 seeing further regimental duty as the deputy regimental commander. The commander of that Bohemian regiment was Leopold Fürst Croy and the Oberst-Inhaber (colonel-proprietor) was Karl Prince of Prussia since 1848. On the occasion that the Prussian Prince visited Prague some senior officers of "his" regiment were decorated with Prussian orders and consequently Oberstleutnant Obauer received the 2nd class of the Prussian Order of the Crown on the 8th of July 1874. Hugo Obauer additionally received his promotion to Oberst with the appointment as regimental commander of dragoon regiment number 13 on the 1st of November 1875. During the same year his father Josef, meanwhile a retired Oberstleutnant, had requested his own elevation to the nobility and his application was granted on the 20th of October 1875. As this nobility was hereditary,  his son was also raised to the nobility with the predicate "Edler von Bannerfeld". Normally Hugo Obauer Edler von Bannerfeld would have held the post of regimental commander for the next three years but a better vacancy appeared and on the 29th of February 1876 Oberst Obauer was appointed chief of the general staff with the General command at Lemberg. This post necessitated several contacts with Russian officers and authorities and led to Oberst Obauer being honored with the award of the Russian Order of Saint Anna 2nd class (10th January 1877) and the 2nd class of the Russian Order of Wladimir (3rd October 1879) during the following years. After four years of excellent performance in this post he assumed command of the 68th infantry brigade on the 31st of August 1880. For his creditable conduct at Lemberg he was honored with the award of the 3rd class of the Order of the Iron Crown on the 28th of September 1880.

On the 1st of May 1881 Hugo Obauer Edler von Bannerfeld received his promotion to Generalmajor. After a remarkably rapid and excellent carreer he was now a young General, only 45 years of age, and a perfect candidate for the highest ranks in the future. Most of his class mates from the Military Academy had mainly, with the exception of Emil David Edler von Rhonfeld, the later full general and governor of Dalmatia, only attained the rank of Major or Oberstleutnant! One can only speculate to which ranks and appointment this most promising candidate for senior and responsible posts in the Austro-Hungarian Land forces would have attained - but this was not his fate. On the 8th of February 1884 Generalmajor Hugo Obauer Edler von Bannerfeld unexpected died, at the early age of only 49, while on active duty at Ungarisch-Weissenkirchen, shortly before his already scheduled promotion to Feldmarschall-Leutnant.

Back to Miscellaneous Biographies