Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz

General[1] Alfred Candidus Ferdinand, Prince of Windisch-Grätz (German: Alfred Candidus Ferdinand Fürst zu Windisch-Grätz; 11 May 1787 – 21 March 1862), a member of the Bohemian noble Windisch-Graetz family, was a Field Marshal in the Austrian army. He is most noted for his service during the Napoleonic Wars and for his role in suppressing the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire.


Prince Alfred Candidus Ferdinand

zu Windisch-Graetz
Prince Windisch-Graetz in an 1852 lithograph
Born(1787-05-11)11 May 1787
Brussels, Austrian Netherlands
Died21 March 1862(1862-03-21) (aged 74)
Vienna, Austrian Empire
AllegianceFlag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Battles/warsBattle of Leipzig (1813)
Battle of Pákozd (1848)
Battle of Schwechat (1848)
Battle of Komárom (1849)
Battle of Segesvár (1849)
Alfred I
Prince of Windisch-Grätz
Born(1787-05-11)11 May 1787
Brussels, Austrian Netherlands
Died21 March 1862(1862-03-21) (aged 74)
Noble familyWindisch-Graetz
Spouse(s)Princess Eleonore of Schwarzenberg
  • Alfred II de Windisch-Graetz
  • Victorin Leopold Karl Prinz zu Windisch-Grätz
  • Joseph Alois Niclas Fürst Windisch-Grätz
  • Ludwig von Windisch-Graetz
  • August Joseph Nicolaus Windisch-Grätz
FatherJoseph Nicholas of Windisch-Graetz
MotherDuchess Maria Leopoldine Franziska of Arenberg


Originally from Styria, the Windisch-Graetz dynasty had received Inkolat rights of nobility by the Bohemian Crown in 1574. Alfred was born in Brussels, then capital of the Austrian Netherlands, the son of Count Joseph Nicholas of Windisch-Graetz (1744–1802) and his second wife, Duchess Maria Leopoldine Franziska of Arenberg. With the help of his mother's rich dowry, the family took its residence at Tachau (Tachov), the lordship having been purchased by Alfred's father in 1781.

On 15 June 1817 he married Princess Eleonore of Schwarzenberg, daughter of Prince Josef Johann of Schwarzenberg.


He started service in the Habsburg imperial army in 1804. As an Austrian army officer he distinguished himself throughout the wars fought by the Habsburg Monarchy in the 19th century.

Windisch-Grätz participated in all the wars against Napoleon and fought with distinction at the Battle of Leipzig and in the campaign of 1814.[2] In 1833, he was named Lieutenant Field Marshal (made Field Marshal (German: Feldmarschall) in October 1848).


In the years of peace that followed, Windisch-Grätz held commands in Prague, being appointed head of the army in Bohemia in 1840. Having gained a reputation as a champion of energetic measures against revolution, during the Revolutions of 1848 in Habsburg areas he was called upon to suppress the March 1848 insurrection in Vienna. However, finding himself ill-supported by government ministers he resigned from his post.[2]

After returning to Prague, his wife was killed by a stray bullet during the popular uprising.[3] He then showed firmness in quelling an armed outbreak of the Czech separatists (June 1848), declaring martial law throughout Bohemia. Upon the recrudescence of revolt in Vienna he was summoned to head a large army that reduced the city through a formal siege by October 1848.[2]


Appointed to the chief command against the Hungarian revolutionaries under Lajos Kossuth, he gained some early successes and reoccupied Buda and Pest (January 1849), but by his slowness in pursuit he allowed the enemy to rally in superior numbers and to prevent an effective concentration of the Austrian forces.[2]

In April 1849 he was relieved of his command and thereafter rarely appeared again in public life.[2]


(In reference to rebellious constitutionalists) "They do not want to hear about the Grace of God? They will hear the grace of the cannon."


He received the following orders and decorations:[4]



  1. ^ a b Farwell, Byron (2001). The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View (Illustrated ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 450. ISBN 0393047709.
  2. ^ a b c d e   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Windischgrätz, Prince Alfred". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 710.
  3. ^ Reuben J. Rath, The Viennese Revolution of 1848 (New York, 1969), p.261
  4. ^ a b Almanacco di corte. 1858. p. 230.
  5. ^ Bayern (1861). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1861. Landesamt. p. 9.
  6. ^ a b Almanach de la cour: pour l'année ... 1817. l'Académie Imp. des Sciences. 1817. pp. 142, 179.
  7. ^ "Андреевские кавалеры. Наброски к книге" (in Russian).
  8. ^ "Militärischer Maria-Theresien-Orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch des österreichischen Kaiserthumes, 1860, p. 12, retrieved 23 July 2020
  9. ^ a b "Ritter-orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch des österreichischen Kaiserthumes, 1860, pp. 42-43, retrieved 23 July 2020
  10. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Staat Hannover (1860). Hof- und Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Hannover: 1860. Berenberg. pp. 37, 70.
  12. ^ Staat Oldenburg (1862). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg: für ... 1862. Schulze. p. 35.


  • Fürst Windischgrätz. Eine Lebensskizze. Aus den Papieren eines Zeitgenossen der Sturm-Jahre 1848 und 1849 (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1898)