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Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este (25 April 1781 – 5 November 1850) was the third son of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and of his wife Princess Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, last member and heiress of the House of Este. For much of the Napoleonic Wars he was in command of the Austrian army.: 206
Ferdinand was born at Milan. He attended the military academy in Wiener Neustadt before embarking on a military career. In 1805 in the war of the Third Coalition against France, Ferdinand was commander-in-chief of the Austrian forces with General Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich as his quartermaster general. In October his army was surrounded at Ulm. General Mack surrendered, but Ferdinand managed to escape with 2000 cavalry to Bohemia. There he took command of the Austrian troops and raised the local militia. With a total of 9,000 men he set out for Iglau to distract attention from the Coalition's movements. He succeeded in holding the Bavarian division of Prince Karl Philipp von Wrede in Iglau thereby and preventing it from joining the Battle of Austerlitz.
In 1809 in the war of the Fifth Coalition against France, Ferdinand commanded an Austrian army of 36,000 men. In April he invaded the Duchy of Warsaw hoping to encourage a local uprising against Napoleon (see Polish–Austrian War). But the Poles rallied to Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski. Ferdinand was defeated at the Battle of Raszyn, but managed to occupy Warsaw. In June, however, Ferdinand was compelled to withdraw from Warsaw, and to give up Kraków and Galicia as well.
In 1815 in the war of the Seventh Coalition against France, Ferdinand commanded two divisions of the Austrian Reserve. The following year he was appointed military commander in Hungary.
- Habsburg Monarchy:
- Kingdom of Hanover: Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, 1821
- Kingdom of Prussia: Knight of the Black Eagle, 4 September 1841
- Two Sicilies: Grand Cross of St. Ferdinand and Merit
- Russian Empire:
|Ancestors of Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este|
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- "Ritter-orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch des österreichischen Kaiserthumes, 1848, p. 7, retrieved 1 April 2021
- "A Szent István Rend tagjai", Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für das Königreich Hannover. Berenberg. 1849. p. 55.
- "Von Seiner Majestät dem Könige Friedrich Wilhelm IV. ernannte Ritter", Liste der Ritter des Königlich Preußischen Hohen Ordens vom Schwarzen Adler, 1851, p. 22