József Alvinczi

József Alvinczi

"Freiherr" Joseph Alvinczi von Borberek, or József Alvinczi de Borberek (Alvintzy) (February 1, 1735—September 25, 1810) was a soldier in the Habsburg Army and a Field Marshal of the Austrian Empire.


Early career

An ethnic Magyar, he was born in Transylvania in a place now called Vinţu de Jos ("Alvinc" or "Alwintz"), and spent his boyhood in the household of "Graf" Franz Gyulai before joining his regiment as a "Fähnrich" aged 14. By 1753 he had risen to "Hauptmann".

During the Seven Years' War, Alvinczy distinguished himself leading a Grenadier company in the battles of Torgau and Teplitz, where his courageous leadership won him a promotion to second Major. At the end of the war he worked extensively on the implementation of Franz Moritz von Lacy's new regulations throughout the army.

War of Succession, Turkish War, and the Netherlands campaign

Promoted to "Oberst" commanding the 19th Infantry Regiment 19 in 1774, he led his men during the War of the Bavarian Succession, where he took the "Böhmertor" and captured the Prussian Commander Prince Hessen-Philippstal, a feat which won Alvinczy promotion to Major General and award of the "Militär-Maria Theresien-Orden" (MTO).

Alvinczy fought under Ernst Gideon Freiherr von Laudon in the Ottoman War of 1787, but did not accomplish his mission of capturing Belgrade. After a short period instructing the future Emperor, Archduke Francis, he returned to command his regiment. Promoted to "Feldmarschalleutnant", he was transferred to the Austrian Netherlands in 1790 to suppres the United States of Belgium, until a fall from his horse forced him to retire.

Neerwinden, Fleurus, Charleroi

Upon the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1792, Alvinczy commanded a Division, steading his demoralised men at a key stage of the victorious battle of Neerwinden in 1793, leading his men forward to capture the village; for this expolit he was awarded the Commanders Cross of the MTO. He took command of an Auxiliary army which supported the British under the Duke of York and Albany, fighting at Landrecy and in the Battle of Fleurus, before being wounded at Mariolles.

On his recovery and promotion to "Feldzeugmeister", Alvinczy advised the William VI of Orange in the successful relief of Charleroi in June 1793, losing two horses under him in the process, and earning the reward of the Grand cross of the MTO. Briefly commander of the Army of the Upper Rhine, he was recalled to Vienna to serve on the "Hofkriegsrat" in 1795.

Italian campaign and later assignments

In late 1796 he took over command of the army that was fighting Napoleon Bonaparte in the north of the Italian Peninsula. After organising the Tyrolean militia to face the threat of the , he was tasked with relieving troops in the siege of Mantua. Alvinczy's army was largely composed of new recruits with few experienced officers, but he won small victories at first Caldiero and then Bassano del Grappa before defeat at Arcole (November 15-17, 1796).

Despite deteriorating health, he regrouped and tried again, suffering a final defeat in the battle of Rivoli of January 14 1797. He was then given the position of military governor of Hungary, and promoted Field Marshal in 1808, dying two years later in Buda.

See also

*Peter Quasdanovich
*Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser
*Paul Davidovich


*Constantin von Wurzbach, "Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, 1856-91", vol I, p. 22.
* [http://www.historydata.com/biographies/alvinczy.html Joseph Alvinczy]

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