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Bolfrás von Ahnenburg
|Artur Freiherr von Bolfras was born on 16 April 1838 at Sachsenhausen near Frankfurt am Main (today part of Frankfurt). In January 1883, Obst Artur Bolfras von Ahnenburg was named chief of staff for the XIV. Corps, with FZM Franz Graf von Thun und Hohenstein as his commander. Bolfras remained in this position until April 1887. His successor was Oberleutnant Athanasius von Guggenberg zu Riedhofen. FZM Bolfras was a very important military adjutant for his majesty Kaiser Franz Josef. During the war, all communiques from the war ministry of General Krobatin or from the Army High Command headquarters of Archduke Friedrich at Teschen passed through the hands of General Bolfras. The following timeline summarizes Bolfras' military career:
1881 Promoted to Oberst
1883 Promoted to Chief of Staff for the XIV. Corps until 1887
1887 Promoted to Generalmajor
1887 Commands 3. infantry brigade until 1888
1888 Commands 48. infantry bridage until 1889
1889 Chairman of the military chancery until 1917
1889 General Adjutant to Kaiser Franz Josef until 1917
1891 Promoted to Feldmarschalleutnant
1898 Promoted to Feldzeugmeister
1908 Promoted to General der Infanterie
1916 Promoted to Generaloberst
As mentioned, Bolfras was chief of Kaiser Franz Josef's Military Chancery. This was an extremely responsible position, for it was the task of General von Bolfras to submit names to the Kaiser for the highest and most important military appointments. He had a keen perception of men and a quick judge of character. This made him suitable for his job, especially as he was quite intelligent and had impeccable manners. His uniquely bright mind was much appreciated by the Kaiser, who retained him in his service in spite of his advanced age, and most especially in the face of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's open hostility toward Bolfras.
Frankly, the heir to the throne found Bolfras' choices for military appointments to be appalling, and he worked against his advice every step of the way. For example, Bolfras was a nemesis of General Franz Conrad and never ceased to work the Kaiser's opinion against the chief of the general staff. When Franz Josef finally tired of Conrad's bullish insistence of war against Italy in 1911, the chief of the general staff was dismissed and replaced at Bolfras' suggestion by General Blasius Schemua. But the Balkan Wars and the deep implications for the Empire weighed upon the Kaiser, as did Archduke Franz Ferdinand's exhortations, and Conrad was restored--against Bolfras' insistance--in late 1912.
Artur Freiherr von Bolfras died on 19 December 1922 at Baden near Vienna.