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|Rudolf Ritter von Brudermann was born on 9 January 1851 at Gyöngyös, Hungary. He graduated the Theresian Militärakademie at Wiener Neustadt in 1869. FML Rudolf Ritter von Brudermann succeeded FZM Ferdinand Fiedler in the command of the XI. Corps in November 1905. Brudermann held this command until July 1906, when he surrendered it to FML Karl Graf von Auersperg. In early August 1914, Brudermann was appointed to command the III. Army. Severe reverses in the field necessitated his immediate removal, and this occurred on 4 September. He was replaced by GdK Svetozar Boroevic von Bojna, who took command amidst a fearful retreat.Commander of the ill-fated Austrian III. Army at the outset of WWI. He held the rank of General der Kavallerie. Owing the overwhelming defeats of the III. Army at the Zlota Lipa and Gnila Lipa at the end of August, Brudermann was replaced by the more capable General Boroevic on 4 September 1914. He retired thereafter.
In 1936, Brudermann became an honourary president for the Vereinigung Alt-Neustadt, a knightly organisation for graduates of the Wiener Neustadt Military Academy. Rudolf Ritter von Brudermann died in Vienna in 1941.
|Orders of Battle: Podolian Front, Early August 1914
III. Armee, General der Kavallerie Rudolf Ritter von Brudermann
XI. Korps, Gen. d. Kav. Koloszvary de Koloszvar
XXX. infanterie division Feldmarschalleutnant Kaiser
XIV. Korps, Gen. der Infanterie Erzherzog Josef Ferdinand
III. inf. div., Feldmlt. Roth
VIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Kirchbach
XLIV. Schützen inf. div., Feldmlt. Tschurtschenthaler von Helmheim
Support: XLI. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Nikic
XXIII. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Dämpf
IV. kav. div., Generalmajor von Zaremba
II. kav. div., Feldmlt. von Ziegler
XI. Honved kav. div., Feldmlt. Bissingen
|Question: How do you Stop a Steam Roller? Podolia, August 1914
Brudermann's task was to block any advance by the Russians from their Kiev military guberniya into Eastern Galicia and Bukowina, as such a move would threaten the Austrian invasion of Poland. However, Brudermann's left flank was left seriously weakened by the absence of the Austrian II. Army, then still in transit from the Serbian front. Only the XII. Army Corps under General Kövess was present. Thus, the III. Army was expected to defend the front from Brody to Czernowitz, a sizeable distance for such a small force. To complicate matters, the Austrian IV. Army under General Auffenberg scored a success against the Russians at Komarow in mid-August and requested additional support from the III. Army to help drive the Russian V. Army under General Plehve back on Lublin. In this, General Conrad agreed, and still further weakened Brudermann's defense.
Little known to the Austrians was the fact that the Russians had concentrated their best troops not in Poland but in the Kiev guberniya, and were preparing for an all-out offensive led by one of the best commanders of WWI, General Brussilov of the VIII. Army. To his right was the Russian III. Army under General Russky. Both advanced across the frontier on August 25, 1914. At the Battle of Zlota Lipa (fig. 1), the Russians caved in Brudermann's right flank, and it was forced to retreat behind the Gnila Lipa for a new defense. However, the Battle of Gnila Lipa proved that the overwhelming Russian forces could not be resisted. Conrad called on the III. Army to help defend Lemberg's southern flank, and so Brudermann forcibly marched his army north, away from the nightmare situation on the Gnila Lipa and added his forces to those of the IV. Army.
Meantime, General Böhm-Ermolli had assembled his II. Army on the upper lengths of the Gnila Lipa, and thus covered Brudermann's rear as they retreated to Lemberg; thus, the positions of these two armies were switched strategically. By the beginning of September, the situation was desperate around Lemberg. Conrad's strategy of a one-two punch around both sides of the city--first toward Plehve's V. Army with Auffenberg's decimated IV. Army, and then at Russky's III. Army with Brudermann's almost nonexistent force--was impossible. Considering the condition of the demoralised and defeated troops, it is a sign of the sense of duty of the soldiers and NCOs that such an attack was even attempted. At any rate, Brudermann was dismissed following the failure of the Battle of Lemberg.
|Sketch Map of the Russian Advance from Podolia, late August 1914|
|A photo of General Rudolf von Brudermann taken in 1906.|
|And Rudolf von Brudermann again in his elderly days, specifically 1937.|