Erwin Freiherr Zeidler von Görz

Feldmarschalleutnant Erwin Freiherr Zeidler von GörzErwin Zeidler was born on the 8th February 1865 in Vienna as the son of a Professor. On graduating from secondary school he entered the Vienna Engineer Cadet School from which he was commissioned into the 2nd Engineer Regiment on the 18th of August 1885. A successful Engineer Officer, Zeidler entered the Engineer Staff as a Captain and was employed in various Engineering Staff appointments including service at Cattaro and the South Tyrol. He was promoted to Major on the 1st of May 1901 and Lieutenant Colonel on the 1st November 1905. As a field officer he was an instructor on the Senior Engineer Course at Vienna and was then the Engineer Director in Trebinje and at Sarajevo. His final peacetime appointment was as the Director of Fortifications for Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia within XV Corps Headquarters having been promoted to Colonel on the 29th of October 1909. Promoted to Generalmajor in May 1914 whilst still holding this position he was appointed to command the temporarily assembled 7th Infantry Division in Syrmia at the outbreak of the war and in October the newly formed 16th Mountain Brigade at Han Pijesak for the fighting in Western Serbia and Bosnia. 

From December 1914 until February 1915 he commanded the 48th Infantry Division and then in March wasFML. Zeidler. Picture courtesy of C.R.A.S.G appointed to command the 58th Infantry Division, a predominantly Dalmation manned formation comprising the 4th and 5th Mountain Brigades which as part of the XVI Corps was assigned to the defence of the Görz (Gorizia) bridgehead on the Middle Isonzo after Italy's declaration of War in May 1915. The Division held the sector from Monte Sabotina on the West bank of the Isonzo in the North to the River Wippach (Vipacco) in the South. Zeidler commanded the 58th Division until the summer of 1918 throughout all the battles of the Isonzo against a greatly numerically superior enemy. For his conduct and leadership at Gorizia he was made a Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresia presented at the 180th Promotion on the 17th of August 1917 and raised to an Austrian Barony taking the predicate "von Görz". Following the loss of Görz in the sixth battle of the Isonzo Zeidler continued to command the 58th Infantry Division in the Gorizia sector being promoted to Feldmarschalleutnant on the 24th May 1917 and following the successful 12th battle took part in the pursuit to the Tagliamento and Piave rivers. Following the last Austro-Hungarian offensive on the Southwestern Front on the Piave in June 1918 he handed over command of his Division to Generalmajor Wolf von Monte San Michele in July and was not further employed. With the collapse of the Monarchy Baron Zeidler retired to Villach and was created a brevet General der Infanterie in the German Wehrmacht in 1940. Amongst his orders he held the Order of the Iron Crown 1st Class with War Decoration and Swords,  Knights' Cross  of the Order of Leopold with War Decoration and Swords, Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with War Decoration and Swords, Knights' Cross of the Franz Joseph Order and both the Silver and Bronze Military Merit Medals (Signum Laudis). General der Infanterie Erwin Freiherr Zeidler von Görz died at Villach in January 1945.

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