Theresian Military Academy

The Theresian Military Academy (German: Theresianische Militärakademie, TherMilAk) is a military academy in Austria, where the Austrian Armed Forces train their officers. Founded in 1751, the academy is located in the castle of Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria.

Theresian Military Academy
MottoA.E.I.O.U.
TypeMilitary academy
Established14 December 1751
KommandantGeneralmajor Mag. Karl Pronhagl
Location,
Lower Austria
,
Austria
Websitebmlv.gv.at

History

The Theresian Military Academy (known as the Theresianum) is one of the oldest military academies in the world (the oldest is the Military Academy of Modena).[1] It was founded on 14 December 1751 by Maria Theresa of Austria, who gave the first commander of the Academy, Field marshal Leopold Joseph von Daun (Count Daun), the order Mach er mir tüchtige Officier und rechtschaffene Männer daraus ("Make me hard working officers and honest men").

Per year, the Academy accepted 100 noblemen and 100 commoners to start their education there.[2] In 1771, Fieldmarshal Lieutenant Hannig published the official studying plan, and in 1775, Maria Theresa published the Academy Rules. At this time, it took 11 years to complete the Academy, but step by step, it was shortened to 3 years.

The Styrian Prince Erzherzog Johann (Archduke John) was the principal headmaster of the academy for 44 years (1805–1849).

During the First Republic (1918–1938), the academy was located in Enns until 1934, and then again in the castle of Wiener Neustadt. A very remarkable event in the time between Austrofascism and the Anschluss (Occupation of Austria by Nazi Germany) was that Lieutenant General Rudolf Towarek (Commander of the TherMilAk between 1933 and 1938) prevented the Wehrmacht from entering the castle for several days. This was the only military resistance made by Austrians against the occupation by Nazi Germany. GenLt Towarek wasn't punished for this action; he was, however, retired while retaining the right to wear the Austrian uniform after his retirement, which was highly unusual in those days.

After the Anschluss, the Wehrmacht installed a war school for non-commissioned officers at the castle of Wiener Neustadt. The first commander of this school was Erwin Rommel. At this time, the Germans erected a new building next to the castle, which is now known as Fort Daun, in which the Military High School of Austria is located.[3]

After World War II and the Austrian State Treaty which was signed in 1955, the demolished castle was rebuilt. In 1958, the military academy was again located in Wiener Neustadt after a short intermezzo (1955–1958) in Enns.[4]

The TherMilAk today

The current Commanding Officer - CO (German: Kommandant - Kdt) of the TherMilAk is Generalmajor Mag. Karl Pronhagl.

From 1997-2008, the TherMilAk was a 4-year college which could also be attended by civilian students and finished with a master's degree in military leadership. In 2008, it was changed into a 3-year curriculum, graduating with a bachelor's degree. In 2003, the first four women completed the academy.[5] Since 1959, more than 3,600 young officers have been educated at the Theresian Military Academy.[6] Since 2000, each of the incoming cadet classes have been given the title of Kaiserjäger (Royal Rifles), to honor the memory of the brave national light infantrymen who served Austria with distinction during the Imperial period.

TherMilAk commanders (selection)

Below there is a selection of the commanders of the TherMilAk.

namerankCOremark
Guido Novak von ArientiFeldmarschall-Leutnant1917–1919 last imperial (kaiserlicher) commander and adge-group godfather of the 2010 graduates
Rudolf TowarekGeneralmajor1934–1938
Erwin Rommel[7]Oberst1938–1939June 22, 1942: appointed to Generalfeldmarschall

Second Republic

namerankCOremark
Erwin StarklMajor1955–195635th CO
Josef HeckOberst1957–1959Oberst dhmD; 36th CO
Erich WatzekGeneralmajor1959–197137th CO
Alois NitschGeneralmajor1972–198038th CO
Johann PhilippDivisionär1980–198439th CO
Adolf-Erwin FelberDivisionär1985–199940th CO
Karl-Heinz FitzalDivisionär1999–200341st CO
Norbert SinnGeneralmajor2003–201342nd CO
Gerhard HerkeBrigadier2013–201643rd CO
Karl PronhaglGeneralmajor2016–today44rd CO

See also

Notes and references

  1. Fitzal, Karl-Heinz [Editor] : 250 Jahre Offiziersausbildung  : Wr. Neustadt  : Theresan. Militärakad. , 2002
  2. http://www.bmlv.gv.at/karriere/offizier/geschichte.shtml , Feb. 2009
  3. Allmayer-Beck, Johann Christoph : Militärakademie - Kriegsschule - Fahnenjunkerschule  : Wiener Neustadt 1938 - 1945 : Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung , 2006
  4. http://www.bmlv.gv.at/karriere/offizier/geschichte.shtml , Feb. 2009
  5. http://www.bmlv.gv.at/karriere/offizier/geschichte.shtml , Feb. 2009
  6. http://www.tr-wiking.at/haupt.php?seite=geschichte_milak.htm Feb.2009
  7. Siehe zu diesem Abschnitt: Ralf Georg Reuth: Erwin Rommel. Des Führers General. Piper, München 1987, ISBN 3-492-15222-8, S. 14–27; David Fraser: Rommel. Die Biographie. Siedler, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-88680-559-X, S. 86–115; Maurice Philip Remy: Mythos Rommel. List, München 2002, ISBN 3-471-78572-8, S. 31–43; Das Deutsche Heer, Gliederung, Standorte, Stellenbesetzung am 3. Januar 1939, Bad Nauheim 1953.

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