Duke William of Württemberg

William of Württemberg
Wilhelm von Württemberg
2nd Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
18 November 1878  6 April 1881
Appointed by Franz Joseph I of Austria
Preceded by Josip Filipović
Succeeded by Hermann, Freiherr Dahlen von Orlaburg
Personal details
Born (1828-07-20)20 July 1828
Carlsruhe, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 5 November 1896(1896-11-05) (aged 68)
Merano, Tyrol, Austria-Hungary
Profession Soldier

Great Cross of the Order of the Crown

Knights Cross of the Order of Leopold

Order of the Iron Crown

Pour le Mérite

Military service

 Austrian Empire

(until 1867)



Service/branch Austro-Hungarian Army
Years of service 1848-1891
Rank Lieutenant Colonel General

1st Infantry Regiment

Northern Army


27th Infantry Regiment

11th Infantry Division


First Italian War of Independence

Second Italian War of Independence

Austro-Prussian War

Franco-Prussian War

Russo-Turkish war

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

Early life and family

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 career

War service

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 Herzegovina

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 years

In 1883 William was the Commanding General of the XI. Corps in Lemberg. In 1889 he became commander of the 3rd Armeekorps in Graz. Army Corps 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.



Notes and sources

Duke William of Württemberg
Born: 20 July 1828 Died: 5 November 1896
German royalty
Preceded by
Prince William
later became William II
Heir to the Throne of Württemberg
as heir presumptive
6 October 1891 – 5 November 1896
Succeeded by
Duke Nicholas
Political offices
Preceded by
Josip Filipović
Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 November 1878 – 5 April 1881
Succeeded by
Hermann Dahlen
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