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Peter Ferdinand von Österreich-Toskana
Archduke Peter Ferdinand Salvator Karl Ludwig Maria Joseph Leopold Anton Rupert Pius Pancrazwas born on 12 May 1874.  He was the younger brother of Archduke Josef Ferdinand, and his father was Grand Duke Ferdinand Salvatore Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Francesco Lodovico Gonzaga Raffaele Ranerio Gennaro of Tuscany (1835-1908).  He was married to Princess Maria Cristina di Borbon-Two Sicilies (1878-1947) at Cannes on  8 November 1900.  Together, they had four children:  Gottfried (1902-1984), Helena (1903-1924), Georg (1905-1952), and Walburga (1906-1983).

At war's start, Archduke Peter Ferdinand was a FML and in control of the 25. Infantry Division.  This command he held until June 1915 and he surrendered it to GM Josef Poleschenski.  GdI Archduke Peter Ferdinand was granted his own Corps in April 1917.  He led this force successfully until August 1918.  Archduke Peter Ferdinand ended up redesignating his force the V. Corps, succeeding GdI Karl Freiherr von Lukas whose own V. Corps had been disbanded.  He retained this command until the very end of October, when the Corps, falling apart, was taken over by GM Rudolf Müller.  He covered the northern flank of the German XIV. Army during the Caporetto Offensive on 24 October 1917.  He was regarded by his superiors as a competant if unimaginative commander.

GWS, 10/01 [rev. 11/03]

Attention: Visit FEEFHS map room for a Map of Galicia including some of the placenames mentioned here.  Also, see the Map of the Southwestern Theatre including placenames mentioned here, except for Caporetto.  Be sure to open in a separate window to toggle between this page and FEEFHS.
Brandishing Awards
Here, the Archduke presents his soldiers with "der Tapferkeitmedaillen," medals for acts of bravery in battle.
Orders of Battle:  Polish Front, August 1914
IV. Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Moritz Ritter von Auffenberg
II. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
  XXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand

Orders of Battle:  Galician Front, Mid-November 1914

Immediately preceding the battle for Krakau
1. Armee, GdK Viktor Dankl v. Krasnik
     II. Korps, FML
Johann Freiherr v. Kirchbach auf Lauterbach
          2. kav. div., FML
Emil Ritter v. Ziegler
          25. inf. div., FML Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand
          4. inf. div., FML
Rudolf v. Stöger-Steiner

From the beginning of November, desperate preparations were being made west of Germany’s territory of Upper Silesia. The main enemy was Russia’s III. Caucasian Corps, which pushed to within only 5 miles of Upper Silesia.   The 25. division defended a section of the critical Czenstochau-Bendzin railway, which ran parallel to the whole front, and was the most important supply route from Silesia for the entire Austrian 1. Army and Army Group Woyrsch.  The Russians were aware of this and had their Cossack cavalry stage dozens of raids to destroy this track throughout November 1914.  Peter Ferdinand’s forces were centered on the small town of Wlodowice, and the Russians were closer to the railway at this point than any other.  By the end of the month, the Russians could press no closer to Silesia and instead looked to success at Krakau, relieving the Czenstochau sector of the worst pressure.

GWS, 9/04

Orders of Battle:  Polish Front, January 1915

I. Armee, Gen. d. Kav. Dankl
II. Korps, Feldmarschal
Karl von Kirchbach
  XXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand

Orders of Battle:  Eastern Front, May 1915
Immediately preceding the Dunajec offensive
I. Armee, Gen. d. Kav.
Viktor Dankl
   II. Korps, Feldmlt.
Johann Frh. v. Kirchbach
   Chief of Staff, Obst.
Gf. v. Szeptycki
       25. inf. div.,  Feldmlt. Archduke Peter Ferdinand
          49. inf. brig., Genmj. Edl. v. Severus
          50. inf. brig., Genmj. Ritt. v. Bolberitz
          25. field art. brig., Genmj. v. Jemrich

Orders of Battle:  Tirol Front, November 1917

Conrad Group, Feldmarschal Conrad von Hötzendorf
Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand Group, Gen. d. Inf. Erz. Peter Ferdinand
Rayon I, Stilfserjoch, Oberst von Lempruch
Rayon II, Tonale, Oberst Forster

Orders of Battle:  Tirol Front, June 1918

Army Group Conrad, Feldmarchal Conrad von Hötzendorf
X. Armee, Feldmarchal
von Krobatin
Peter Ferdinand Group, Gen. d. Inf. Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand
Rayon I, Oberst von Lempruch
  I. inf. div., Feldmlt. Metzger
  II. Schützen inf. div., Genmj. Lemesic

Orders of Battle:  Tirol Front, October 1918

Army Group Erzherzog Josef, Generaloberst Erzherzog Josef
X. Armee, Feldmarschal
von Krobatin
V. Korps, Erzherzog Peter Ferdinand
  XXII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Müller
Remembering the Conflict, 1934
A gathering of old warriors in front of the Heeresgeschichtes Museum at the Arsenal in Vienna, autumn 1934.  In the foreground is General Wilhelm Zehner, and in the first row, from right to left, sits Major Emil Fey, unknown person, Generaloberst Fürst von Schönburg-Hartenstein, another unknown person, and then the Archduke Peter Ferdinand.  To the extreme left sits Glaise-Horstenau in civilian dress.