Gabriel Freiherr von Rodich

Gabriel Rodich was born on the 13th of December 1812 in Verginmost, Croatia in the district of the 1st Banal Border (Grenz) Regiment. At the age of 14 he was enrolled as a regimental cadet in the 54th Infantry Regiment on the 17th of October1826 and simultaneously accepted in the cadet company at Graz. Following an exemplary performance there he was promoted to the rank of Fähnrich on the 1st of January 1831. During1832/1833 he was already partly employed as an instructor at the regimental cadet school and on the 16th of July 1833 he was transferred to the 1st Banal Grenz Regiment where he was commissioned on the 1st of March 1834 as an Unterlieutenant. Initially employed as a battalion adjutant and then as the brigade adjutant to Generals Taborovich, Ritter von Dahlen and Bossard respectively, he was given an accelerated promotion to Oberlieutenant on the1st of October 1840. From 1841 to1843 he was entrusted with the responsibility for the cordon of the 1st Banal Regiment and simultaneously with the instruction of cadets within the regiment. In 1844 he was reappointed as a brigade adjutant to Generalmajor Johann von Kempen.

Promoted to Capitän-Lieutenant on the 1st of July1847 in the 12th deutschbanater Grenz Regiment, he was transferred to the 2nd Banal Grenz Regiment on the 1st of April 1848 and on the 30th of June of the same year to the staff of the Ban of Croatia, Feldzeugmeister Joseph Freiherr von Jellačić. At this post he was employed in the defence organization section and was promoted to Hauptmann on the12th of September 1848. Following the departure of the Croatian-Slavonian army over the River Drau, he was appointed as an assistant to the Ban's adjutant general in whose headquarters' he participated in the campaigns of 1848 and 1849 in Hungary. Promoted to Major on the14th December as a member of the Warasdin-Kreuzer-Grenz-Regiment number 5 he was appointed as the headquarters adjutant at Agram and continued as the assistant to the adjutant general.

During the course of the campaigns of 1848/49 he saw action during 1848 at Pákozd on the 29th of September, Vienna on the 28th of October, Schwechat and Rauchenwart on the 30th of October, Parendorf on the 16th of December and Moor on the 30th of December. In 1849 he was further involved at Tétény on the 3rd of January, Isaszeg on the 6th of April, Pesth-Steinbruch on the11th,16th and 21st of April, the capture of Neusatz on the 12th of June, the engagement at Ó-Becse on the 25th of June and the battle at Hegyes on the 14th of July. He particularly distinguished himself at Pákozd and Hegyes and for his achievements during the fighting in Hungary he received the Knight's Cross of the Leopold Order on the 22nd of September1849 followed by an imperial commendation and the Military Merit Cross . He was appointed the personal adjutant of the Ban on the 9th of August 1849 and as a member of the Ban's staff traveled to Vienna where he presided over the commission responsible for the new draft constitution for the military border. Promoted to Oberstlieutenant on the 24th of December 1849, he was raised to the Austrian nobility as a "Ritter" in November 1850. Ritter von Rodich was promoted to Oberst on the 12th of September1851 in Infantry Regiment Hoch- und Deutschmeister Number 4 and assumed command of Infantry Regiment Graf Jellačić Number 46 on the 27th of November1852.

Ritter von Rodich was promoted to Generalmajor on the 1st of March 1859 and appointed as the brigade commander at Ragusa which on the 10th of April became an independent command for the district of Cattaro. On the 3rd of May he also assumed full civil control of his district. During the war of 1859 against France and Italy he was responsible for defending his strategically important area of command. At the conclusion of hostilities he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown 3rd Class on the 17th of December 1859 and further raised to an Austrian barony on the 8th of March 1860. He remained in Dalmatia until the 21st of November1862 when he was transferred as a brigade commander to the VIII Corps in Italy initially in Vicenza and then at Roviga followed by a further appointment as a brigade commander in Temesvár.

With the outbreak of the war against Prussia and Italy in 1866, Freiherr von Rodich was assigned the Army of the South (Südarmee) at first in the position of an attached Feldmarschall-Lieutenant (still in the rank of Generalmajor) with the headquarters of the V Corps. With the formation of South Army's reserve division, Erzherzog Albrecht appointed him as it's commander and he led the division from the time of the concentration of Südarmee on the left bank of the River Etsch (Adige) until the concentration on the right bank near Verona. He replaced the sick Feldmarschall-Lieutenant Fürst Liechenstein at the head of V Corps on the 23rd of June1866 and as such would command the corps at the victorious second battle of Custozza. For his conduct at Custozza, Freiherr von Rodich was directly awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresia by Kaiser Franz Joseph at the 166th promotion on the 29th of August1866 and on the day after the battle was granted an accelerated promotion to the rank of Feldmarschall-Lieutenant.

Feldmarschall-Lieutenant Freiherr von Rodich was appointed the commander of the 12th Infantry Division at Craców with the simultaneous appointment as military and fortress commandant for that locality. He was appointed the Inhaber or regimental colonel of the 68th Infantry Regiment on the 31st of March 1867 followed by his transfer as the commander of the 16th Infantry Division and military commander at Hermannstadt on the 3rd of January 1869. On the 1st of February 1869 he was appointed a Privy Councillor. On the 11th of December 1869 he was assigned as the provisional commander of the18th Infantry Division and military commander in Dalmatia and took up his post on the 30th. During the month of January 1870 he put down a local rebellion in and pacified the area of Cattaro and was confirmed on the 22nd of August 1870 as the governor of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, commander of the 18th Infantry Division and the military commander in Zara. On the13th of October 1871 he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown 1st Class with the War Decoration of the Third Class in appreciation of his outstanding service in war and peace. Promoted to Feldzeugmeister on the 23rd of April 1873, he was further honoured by His Majesty on the 12th of May 1875 by the award of the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold with the War Decoration to his Knight's Cross.

During the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878, the18th Infantry Division of Feldmarschall-Lieutenant Freiherr von Johanović which took part in operations remained under his command and he received yet another imperial commendation from the Kaiser on the19th of October1878. The general left his post as the governor of Dalmatia on the 12th of November1881 and retired on the1st of December to Vienna. Appointed a lifetime member of the Austrian upper chamber, Feldzeugmeister Gabriel Freiherr von Rodich died on the 21st of May1890 in Vienna.

In addition to the awards mentioned in the text, FZM Freiherr von Rodich also held the following decorations: Grand Cross of the Imperial Russian White Eagle Order, Knight's Cross of the Imperial Russian Saint Anne Order 2nd Class in Diamonds with Swords,  Grand Cross of the Imperial Ottoman Medjidje Order, Knight's Cross of the Constantine Saint Gregory Order of Parma, the princely Montenegrin Order of Danilo1st Class and the honorary citizenship of the cities of Agram and Cattaro.  

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