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Franz Xavier Vincenz Karl Freiherr von Schönaich
Franz Xavier Vincenz Karl von Schönaich was born on 27 February 1844.  He took part in the both the Danish War of 1864 and the Seven Weeks' War of 1866 as a junior officer.  Oberleutnant Franz Schönaich became the chief of staff to the V. Corps in October 1884, replacing Obst Emil Ritter von Arbter.  He held this position for three years, until he was succeeded by Oberleutnant Julius Latscher in 1887.  Later, FML Schönaich became commander of the IX. Corps, taking over from FZM Hugo Edler von Klobus in December 1902.  Schönaich remained there until March 1905, when he was replaced by his comrade FML Julius Latscher von Lauendorf.

On 11 March 1905, Schönaich became chief of the Austrian Landwehr, a position he held for only a year.  His most notable achievement was being the Imperial Minister of war from 1906 until 1911, until he was replaced by
Moritz Freiherr von Auffenberg owing to disagreements between Schönaich and his fellow officers, most notably chief of staff Franz Conrad, who described Schönaich as being weak and too good natured toward the Magyars.  Actually, cutting loose Schönaich was apparently a deal made between Kaiser Franz Josef and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The latter wanted Schönaich out because of Conrad's and others' opposition, but Franz Josef wanted Conrad dismissed in return.  Thus, the Kaiser took the opportunity to dismiss Conrad when the Italo-Turkish War broke out a few days after Schönaich's dismissal.

After his dismissal, Schönaich became head of the military Widows and Orphans Fund, which was a charity organisation under the umbrella of the War Ministry.  It became an important institution once World War I began, as millions were made widows and orphans thanks to the cruel death toll the Empire suffered.  He held this position until his death.

Franz von Schönaich died in Vienna on 28 January 1916.

GWS, 3/02
Schönaich later in life, as Imperial War Minister