Duke William of Württemberg

Duke William of Württemberg (German: Herzog Wilhelm Nikolaus von Württemberg; 20 July 1828 – 5 November 1896) was an Austrian and Württemberg General.


William of Württemberg
Wilhelm von Württemberg
Wilhelm, Herzog von Württemberg, 1878.jpg
2nd Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
18 November 1878 – 6 April 1881
Appointed byFranz Joseph I of Austria
Preceded byJosip Filipović
Succeeded byHermann, Freiherr Dahlen von Orlaburg
Personal details
Born(1828-07-20)20 July 1828
Carlsruhe, Kingdom of Prussia
Died5 November 1896(1896-11-05) (aged 68)
Merano, Tyrol, Austria-Hungary
AwardsGreat Cross of the Order of the Crown
Knights Cross of the Order of Leopold
Order of the Iron Crown
Pour le Mérite
Military service
Allegiance Austrian Empire
(until 1867)
Branch/serviceAustro-Hungarian Army
Years of service1848-1891
RankLieutenant Colonel General
Unit1st Infantry Regiment
Northern Army
Commands27th Infantry Regiment
11th Infantry Division
Battles/warsFirst Italian War of Independence
Second Italian War of Independence

Austro-Prussian War

Franco-Prussian War
Russo-Turkish war

Early life and familyEdit

Duke William was born at Carlsruhe, Kingdom of Prussia (now Pokój, Poland) was the first child of Duke Eugen of Württemberg (1788–1857), (son of Duke Eugen of Württemberg, and Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern) by his second marriage to Princess Helene of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1807–1880), (daughter of Charles Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Countess Amalie of Solms-Baruth). William had three half-siblings by his father's previous marriage with Princess Mathilde of Waldeck and Pyrmont. He was the first member of the House of Württemberg to attend a public high school in Breslau.

Military careerEdit

War serviceEdit

After studying in Geneva, Bonn, he joined in 1848 as a lieutenant in the Austrian Army (Infantry Regiment Kaiser Franz Joseph No. 1 in Vienna). During the First Italian War of Independence (1848–1849) he was wounded several times. In recognition of his bravery, Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz promoted him as captain in the infantry regiment No. 45.

In 1853 he became major, between 1857 and 1859 colonel lieutenant, and colonel and commander of the infantry regiment No. 27 King of the Belgians. He fought also at the Second Italian War of Independence (1859). At the Battle of Magenta, he impressed both his superiors, Major General Wilhelm Ramming and Field Marshal Lieutenant Eduard Clam-Gallas and his opponents. The French generals Gustave Lannes de Montebello and Pierre Louis Charles de Failly mentioned this a few weeks later in a meeting against the Field Marshal Lieutenant Prince of Hesse.

In 1866, he fought at the Austro-Prussian War, William, now major general, his brigade assigned to the Northern Army and fought in the Battles of Königgrätz, Swiepwalde, Blumenau and Bratislava.

After the campaign, he arrived with his brigade to Trieste, in 1869 commander 11th Infantry Division troops in Prague, on 24 October 1869 he was promoted to lieutenant field marshal. At the Franco-Prussian War William fought on the German side against France, and in 1878 at the Russian-Turkish war.

Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit

In 1878, during the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he fought (again on the Austrian side) at Rogelj and Jaice. Due to the excellent performances, Emperor Franz Joseph I appointed him Feldzeugmeister and commanding general of the 18th Army Corps. His task was to submit to the west and bring peace to Bosnia. In 1878 he was commissioned to organize Bosnia and Herzegovina militarily and politically. He served as Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1878 to 1881.

He developed the military and economic interests to be taken into account plan, a large number of communication routes. The school system, especially the militarily organized Knabenpensionat in Sarajevo, developed in the short time, as well as all other branches of administration and justice.

Later yearsEdit

In 1883 William was the commanding general of the XI. Corps in Lemberg. In 1889 he became commander of the 3rd Armeekorps in Graz. In 1891 he retired from the military because of the death of King Charles I of Württemberg and his successor William II had no son, William became the heir presumptive to the throne of Württemberg.

William was Württemberg General of the Infantry à la suite of the Grenadier Regiment "King Karl" (5 Wurttemberg) No. 123 and the Royal Colonel of the Prussian Infantry Regiment of Herwarth Bittenfeld (1st Westphalian) No. 13.

As a member of the House of Württemberg, he was a member of the Estates of Württemberg.


William died unmarried. The consequences of war injuries and a car accident in Italy affected his health. He died during a vacation in Tyrol.




  • thePeerage.com - Wilhelm Herzog von Württemberg
  • The Royal House of Stuart, London, 1969, 1971, 1976, Addington, A. C., Reference: 223
  • L'Allemagne dynastique, Huberty, Giraud, Magdelaine, Reference: II 525
  • R. Zerelik in: Sönke Lorenz, Dieter Mertens, Volker Press (Eds.): The House of Wuerttemberg. A biographical dictionary. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-17-013605-4, S. 370–371.
  • Frank Raberg: Manual of the Württemberg State Parliament from 1815 to 1933. Biographical Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-17-016604-2, p. 1051st
  • Franz Ilwof: Nicolaus Wilhelm, Duke of Württemberg. In General German Biography (ADB). Band 43, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1898, S. 213–218. Volume 43, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1898, p. 213-218.
  • Constantin von Wurzbach : Württemberg, Wilhelm Nicolaus Duke of, In: Biographical Encyclopedia of the Empire Austria, Volume 58 (1889), published by LC Zamarski, Vienna, 1856–1891, p. 253-258


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  2. ^ a b Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1886/7), "Königliche Orden" pp. 21, 51, 55
  3. ^ Württemberg (1854). Königlich-Württembergisches Hof- und Staats-Handbuch: 1854. Guttenberg. p. 63.
  4. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1907), "Königliche Orden" p. 64
  5. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Herzogtums Braunschweig für das Jahr 1897. Braunschweig 1897. Meyer. p. 10
  6. ^ Lehmann, Gustaf (1913). Die Ritter des Ordens pour le mérite 1812–1913 [The Knights of the Order of the Pour le Mérite] (in German). 2. Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn. p. 440.
  7. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtums Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1865), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 20
  8. ^ "Liste des Membres de l'Ordre de Léopold", Almanach Royal Officiel (in French), 1860, p. 49 – via Archives de Bruxelles
  9. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1896), "Großherzogliche Orden" pp. 63, 77
  10. ^ "Ritter-Orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, 1895, pp. 64-65, 68, 80, retrieved 10 July 2020
Duke William of Württemberg
Born: 20 July 1828 Died: 5 November 1896
Political offices
Preceded by
Josip Filipović
Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 November 1878 – 5 April 1881
Succeeded by
Hermann Dahlen