Ferdinand Ritter Goglia von Zlota Lipa

Ferdinand Goglia was born on the 13th of September 1855 in Budapest as the son of a Major. He attended and graduated from the Cadet institutes in Marburg and Eisenstadt and then the technical military academy in Vienna before being commissioned as a Leutnant in the Laibach based field artillery regiment number 12 on the 1st of September1875. He took part in the occupation of Bosnia in 1878 as a member of ammunition column 3/XII and then attended the senior artillery course and artillery school of gunnery from 1879 to 1881 from both of which he graduated with "good success". He was promoted Oberleutnant on the1st May 1881 and served with corps artillery regiment number 13 from 1st of May 1885 being further promoted to Hauptmann on the 1st of May 1889. From the 1st of January 1894 he was with divisional artillery regiment number 13 and was promoted to Major exactly two years later on the 1st of January 1896. Promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1st of May 1900 he had in the meantime been attached as an instructor to the school of gunnery detachment of the field artillery. He assumed command of divisional artillery regiment number 16 on the 18th of September 1900 followed by his promotion to Oberst on the 1st of May 1904. He undertook a second regimental command, that of corps artillery regiment number 2 from the 24th of April 1906 and was awarded both the Military Merit Cross in 1900 and the Order of Iron Crown 3rd Class in 1907 for his outstanding achievements as an instructor and regimental commander.

He was appointed as the commandant of the school of gunnery detachment of the field artillery on the 11th of December 1907 and as commandant of the school of gunnery on the 15th of April 1910. Goglia was instrumental in exploring and was receptive to new ideas and concepts in his new post. He was promoted to Generalmajor on the 1st of May 1910 and appointed president of the technical military committee on the 28th of September 1912. He received his promotion to Feldmarschall-Leutnant on the 1st of May 1913 and was awarded the Knights' Cross of the Order of Leopold for his successful tour as the commandant of the school of gunnery. 

With the outbreak of the First World War Goglia was initially assigned to a fortress command in the rear. It was considered unusual at the time in the Austro-Hungarian army for a senior artillery officer to command formations of other arms. Consequently the general found himself in August 1914 when eventually offered a field appointment that of only a small field artillery brigade within Generalmajor Albert Schmidt von Georgenegg's 43rd Landwehr infantry division, a general junior in rank to himself! At the end of August Goglia commanded his brigade in the border battles in the vicinity of Rarancze and the two battles near Lemberg. When the 43rd Landwehr infantry division was moved North into Russian-Poland he saw further action at Ivangorod and at Kielce. At Kielce he was transferred to the command of the artillery brigade of the 12th infantry division which he led in static fighting.

Recognized for his ability and leadership he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown 2nd Class and the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class and at last offered a command commensurate to his rank, he was appointed on the 3rd of December 1914 as the divisional commander of the 33rd infantry division of 5th corps, the first sole artillerist to command an infantry division. He commanded this division for only five and a half months before achieving another first - that of an artillerist achieving a corps command. He commanded the 33rd division in the successful defensive battle around Kraków and then the pursuit up to and over the river Nida. In January he and the division were in the Carpathian mountains in the deserted and impassable sector between the Zemplin saddle and the Uszok pass. He took part in the successful advance of the 5th corps to the upper San, the fighting around Ustrzyki grn, Smolnik and Wolosate and the difficult defensive fighting in the desolate conditions of this part of the mountains.

Goglia pictured a FML sometime in 1916. Picture courtesy of Karl Pollak

He participated in the Gorlice-Tarnów offensive and the pursuit to the Striwiaz, a tributary of the Dniester. The the short operational pause on the Striwiaz in May 1915 he was temporarily entrusted with the command of the 5th corps, succeeding Feldzeugmeister Paul Puhallo von Brlog. His permanent appointment was confirmed shortly afterwards and in June he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown 1st Class for "his victorious leadership of a corps". Under Goglia's command the 5th corps crossed the Dniester, the Wereszyca, the Szcerek, took Mikolajow and threw the enemy behind the Zlota Lipa. Here the enemy managed to temporarily stabilize their positions. However after careful preparation Goglia's corps broke into the Russian positions at Gologary in three days fighting and forced them back over the Reich's border. For this accomplishment Goglia was raised to the nobility as a Ritter or Knight and took the predicate "von Zlota Lipa". Here between Podkamien and Lopuszno his corps, now reduced to divisional strength, maintained it's positions against repeated Russian attacks throughout September and October 1915.

During the Brussilow offensive of 1916 Goglia's corps managed to maintain their positions both sides of Lopuszno but were compelled to retire in view of the position of neighboring units to the North and the South. The corps withdrew first to the position on the River Ikwa and finally in July to the Graberka position where they managed to stabilize the front and repulse all further further Russian attacks. For his leadership during this period Goglia was awarded the 1st Class of the Order of Leopold and the Prussian Order of the Crown with Star and was promoted to Feldzeugmeister on the 14th of November 1916. 1917 saw further successful fighting with little change to the overall situation and in December 1917 Goglia was appointed as General Inspector of the artillery but returned to the front during the unsuccessful Piave offensive in July 1918 to command the 24th corps in the Montello sector. After a month at this new command, Goglia who for much of the war had willingly served under more junior colleagues was promoted to the command of Army Group Belluno which was at the focal point of the Italian attacks. Goglia commanded the nine division strong group until the final defeat of Vittoria Veneto in late October.

Following the collapse of the Monarchy the Feldzeugmeister retired on the 31st of December 1918 and died in Vienna on the 17th of September 1941.

Back to Miscellaneous Biographies