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Graf von Huyn
|Karl Georg, Graf von Huyn was born on 18 November 1857, in Vienna. He was the son of a general, and his brother was made Archbishop of Prague in 1916. Huyn was ordered to command the XVII. Corps as it was being formed in August 1914. Following a less than brilliant tour of duty on the Eastern Front in summer and autumn 1914, Huyn was dismissed from duty concurrently with four other commanders, among them GdK Rudolf Brudermann and GdI Artur Giesl. He was replaced in the XVII. Corps by FML Karl Kritek.
The following timeline summarizes Huyn's military career:
1875 attended Military College of St. Pölten
1879 joined 2nd Dragoon Regiment as a lieutenant
1880 transferred to Uhlans (no regiment listed)
1883 graduated from Kriegschule (doesn't say which)
1884 Promoted to Oberleutnant
1887 Promoted to Hauptmann, attached to General Staff
1892 Military Attaché in Bucharest
1893 Chief of Staff to a Cavalry Division in Krakau
Apr 1899 Commands Uhlan Regiment 2 until Jul 1904
May 1899 Promoted to Oberst
Jul 1904 Commands 17. Cavalry Brigade until Apr 1905
Apr 1905 Commands 10 Cavalry Brigade until Apr 1907
Nov 1905 Promoted to Generalmajor
Apr 1907 Commands 17. Cavalry Brigade until Apr 1909
Apr 1909 Commands 7. Cavalry Division until Nov 1911
May 1910 Promoted to Feldmarschalleutnant
Nov 1911 Commands 12. Infantry Division until Oct 1912
Oct 1912 Inspector General of the Cavalry until Aug 1914
May 1914 Promoted to General der Kavallerie
Aug 1914 Commands XVII. Corps until Sep 1914
Oct 1914 Unfit for Service until Mar 1917
Mar 1917 Governor of Crownland of Galicia until Nov 1918
May 1917 Promoted to Generaloberst
After two and a half years of retirement, Huyn was called to replace Diller as Governor of the Kingdom of Galicia-Lodomeria, as the latter had been called to the Governorship of Austrian-occupied Poland at Lublin, owing to Diller's good reputation among the Poles of the Empire. His regime was concerned with maintaining a workable civil administration in reconquered Galicia on the one hand, and rebuilding the devastated infrastructure on the other.
Karl Georg von Huyn died on 21 February 1938, in Rottenbuch bei Bozen in the South Tirol
|Orders of Battle: Volhynian Front, August 1914
Immediately following the declaration of war against Russia
IV. Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Moritz Ritter von Auffenberg
XVII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav. Graf Huyn
XIX. inf. div., Feldmlt. Lukas
|Choosing the Successor: Civil War in Eastern Galicia
When Huyn came to the governorship of Galicia, he was faced with the ever increasing independence of the Poles, which, as a dedicated servant of the Crown, he did not appreciate. Prior to 1910, the Austrian Empire was often nicknamed the "Polish Empire" because many Poles were appointed to prominent positions in the Imperial cabinet. After 1910, things had altered thanks to strong Russian propaganda, and the unquestioned loyalty of the Polish delegates in the Reichsrat could not be taken for granted. Their clamour for greater civil autonomy was threatening the largest and most important province in the Empire, and the military leaders were not pleased.
When the Russians invaded in 1914, they immediately proclaimed the annexation of Eastern Galicia to the Russian Empire, and its propaganda had the Ruthenian people singing for joy. Thus, when the Austro-German offensive of 1915 swept the Russians out of Eastern Galicia, the countermeasures taken by the returning authorities was very strict, indeed. Now, Huyn came into the governorship in 1917, two years later, but he had learned a lot from observing the political situation there. His rule was a continuation of the suspicions of his predecessor, and he authorised the arrests and imprisonment of many Poles on charges of espionage. Still, the Poles demanded ever more freedom of action, particularly against the Ruthenes, whom they considered traitors to both the Empire and themselves for apparently embracing the Russian occupiers. In truth, the Ruthenes who withstood the constantly moving armies of both sides were aloof to their politics, and stood aside while the shifting administrators proclaimed what was good for them.
Huyn's position vis a vis the Poles became acute in March 1918, after the Ukrainian Rada signed a peace treaty with Austria-Hungary. A rumour circulated that the Austrians had promised to erect a separate Ruthenian crownland after the war, that the Polish administrators in Galicia would be reduced, and that the Kholm (Chelm) district in southeastern Congress Poland would be awarded to the Ukrainian state. All of this was untrue, but the Poles were whipped into a fury, and considered Huyn an enemy of the Poles and a destroyer of Polish national unity. The Polish delegates in the Lemberg diet went into complete opposition to him, as did the delegates in Vienna. Huyn was outraged by this show of defiance. His civil administration, composed almost entirely of Poles, acted independently of his orders, and the military was called on to force the civil servants to comply. Such were things during the last months of the war.
With the declaration of the Polish deputies for the new state of Poland, the Poles of Eastern Galicia took matters into their own hands. On 28 October 1918, the bizarrely named "Commission of Liquidation" attempted to seize government posts throughout Lemberg, Grodek, Tarnopol, and other towns, and administer them in the name of Poland. This was not too difficult, as the entire civil service in Galicia was controlled by the Poles. However, Graf Huyn decided instead to turn over the functions of government and the all-important armories to Jevgeni Petrushevich (1863-1940), who was head of the Ukrainian National Council in Lemberg (Lvov) from 1 November 1918 until 22 January 1919.
Petrushevich declared the independence of the "Western Ukrainian Republic" on 30 October. The Poles and Ruthenes broke out into violence, and Huyn beat a hasty retreat to Vienna with the rest of the Austrian forces passing out of the Ukraine and Roumania at wars' end. One can only assume that Huyn personally decided on granting the Ruthenes independence as revenge against the Poles, whom he was well-disposed toward until the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
Petrushevich was in control of Lemberg only until 5 November 1918, for the Polish army moved fast to secure their claims. The Western Ukrainian army took positions along the former Russian trenches strecthing west of Tarnopol, and this town was their provisional capital until March 1919, when the whole force declared itself for the Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Petrushevich had fled from Lemberg to Vienna, where he campaigned for the cause of the Ruthenes to the Entente leaders assembling in Paris. At first, he accepted the idea of union between the Ruthenes of Eastern Galicia and the Ukrainians, but later denounced it as the fortunes of Petlyura's directorate declined. Not that the scheme was entirely feasible, for there was (and still is) friction between the Uniate Catholics of Eastern Galicia and the Eastern Orthodox of the rest of the Ukraine.
Later in 1919, Petlyura himself dropped all claims to Eastern Galicia, as his own territory was reduced to the fortress of Kamienets Podolski on the Dniester river, not far from the Zbrucz. His alliance with Marshal Josef Pilsudski in autumn 1919 ended the independence of all Ukrainian movements. Meanwhile, the Entente had given the Ruthenes some advantages, suggesting that the whole territory be an autonomous entity even while under Polish occupation. A plebiscite date was set for 5 years from the Paris Peace conference in June 1919, and later amended to 25 years thereafter. However, the Poles declared a de jure annexation of the territory in 1923, around the same time the Wilno region was annexed in the north of Poland, and the matter did not arise again.