Rudolf Ritter Metz von Spondalunga
Rudolf Wendelin Adolf Edler von Metz was born on the 11th of May 1861 at Budweis as one of seven children of Major Alexander von Metz and Wilhelmine Frederike Grünwald. Alexander von Metz who as an half brigade commander had especially distinguished himself during the defence of the South Tyrol in 1866, rose to the rank of Generalmajor and died on the 16th of March 1889 in Vienna.¹ Rudolf von Metz entered the Military Academy at Wiener-Neustadt in 1876 from which he graduated as a Lieutenant in 1879 and was then assigned to Infantry Regiment Number 32. He was promoted to Oberlieutenant on the 1st of November 1884 and to Hauptmann 2. Classe on the 1st of May 1891. After serving some 24 years with Infantry Regiment Number 32, he was promoted to Major on the 1st November 1903 and assumed command of the 1st Battalion of Infantry Regiment Number 68 at Budapest. On the 1st of June 1905 he was appointed commanding officer of Feldjägerbataillon Nr. 23 followed by his promotion to Oberstleutnant (seniority number 35) on the 1st of May 1908. He remained in command of FJB 23 until assuming command of Infanterieregiment Erherzog Franz Ferdinand Nr.19 at Tolmein in November 1911 having been promoted to Oberst on the 1st of May (seniority of the 29th of May that year). On the 15th of November 1913 (promulgated by Decree of the 26th of February 1914) he was raised within the nobility to the rank of Ritter taking the predicate "Metz Ritter von Spondalunga" after the location of his father's victory at Spondalunga on the 11th of July 1866.² Having already been awarded the Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) in 1901 he was awarded the Military Merit Cross on the 24th of September 1909 and the Commander's Cross 2nd Class of the Saxon Order of Albrecht on the 9th of May 1914.
His first marriage to Adele Auguste Maria Miller, the daughter of a naval captain had produced one son - Rudolf August Viktor (1890-1923) an Hauptmann in the Hungarian Landwehr - and a granddaughter Marta Elisabeth born 22nd of August 1922.
In August 1914 the four battalion strong Infantry Regiment 19 was
subordinated to Generalmajor Konrad von Essler’s 65th Infantry
Brigade in the 33rd Infantry Division of Feldmarschalleutnant Karl
Edler von Rebracha which in turn was part of Feldzeugmeister Paul Puhallo
von Brlog’s V Corps in General der Kavallerie Viktor Dankl’s
1st Army. In the opening weeks of the war von Metz commanded his
regiment during the struggle on the northern flank of Austria-Hungary’s effort
against the forces of Imperial Russia including the early success at Krasnik and
the fighting around the River Vistula in
As part of the VI Corps, Generalmajor von Metz’s Brigade was given the
mission at the commencement of the major Austro-German offensive – the
Gorlice-Tarnów offensive on
Generalmajor von Metz continued to distinguish himself throughout the
following days and weeks of the offensive with further successes along the axis
of the Neu Sandez-Sanok railway line at Biecz on the 4th of May and
Jedlicze on the 7th of May. By the 14th of May his brigade
was at Jaroslau and by the 24th/25th of May at Wietlin and
Lazy east of Jaroslau. On the 27th he took Hruszowice and on the 28th
was at Kalników north east of Przemysl. Throughout the offensive he had through
his leadership and determination contributed in no small measure to the success
of the operation and had played a prominent role in the taking of Jaroslau. Remaining on the Russian front, in September 1916 he was
given command of the 11th Infantry Division with a promotion to
Feldmarschalleutnant on the 26th of February 1918. Following the end of the war
in November 1918 he chose
Rudolf Ritter Metz von Spondalunga received the coveted Knight’s Cross
of the Military Order of Maria Theresia at the post-war 186th
The Commander's Cross of the Order of Leopold with War Decoration and Swords,
the Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with War Decoration and Swords, the Order of the
Iron Crown 2nd Class with War Decoration and Swords, the Knight's
Cross of the Order of Leopold with War Decoration and Swords and the Military Merit Cross
3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords. As can be seen from his portrait above
he was also the recipient of both the 1st and 2nd Class of the Prussian Iron
The Commander's Cross of the Order of Leopold with War Decoration and Swords, the Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with War Decoration and Swords, the Order of the Iron Crown 2nd Class with War Decoration and Swords, the Knight's Cross of the Order of Leopold with War Decoration and Swords and the Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords. As can be seen from his portrait above he was also the recipient of both the 1st and 2nd Class of the Prussian Iron Cross.
¹. Die Theresianische Militär-Akademie zu Wiener-Neustadt und Ihre Zöglinge by Johann Svoboda.
². Österreichs Kämpfe im Jahre 1866, Verlag des k.k. Generalstabes, Vienna 1869.
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