Josef Wenzel (Liechtenstein)

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Josef Wenzel of Liechtenstein
Statue in the Army History Museum .

Josef Wenzel Lorenz (born August 9, 1696 in Prague , † February 10, 1772 in Vienna ) was Imperial Field Marshal and from 1712 to 1718 and 1748–1772 the 4th Prince of Liechtenstein . From 1732 to 1745 he was guardian of the 7th Prince Johann Nepomuk Karl .


He was the son of Imperial Field Marshal Philipp Erasmus von Liechtenstein (1664–1704), a grandson of Gundaker von Liechtenstein and his wife, Princess Christine Theresia von Löwenstein-Wertheim (1665–1730), sister of Maximilian Karl von Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort , the first prince from this sideline of the Wittelsbach family .

One of his tutors was the linguist Johann Balthasar Antesperg (1682–1765). Josef Wenzel had many talents that were characteristic of a baroque prince at that time. He was both a good court man in administration and a skilled war strategist and organizer. From 1716 to 1718 he fought with the rank of lieutenant colonel in Prince Eugene's army against the Turks ( Venetian-Austrian Turkish War ); in the War of the Polish Succession he was finally promoted to field marshal lieutenant (May 1734). Josef worked as a diplomat for Emperor Charles VI from 1735–1740 . especially as envoy at the Prussian court in Berlin and ambassador at the French court in Paris .

In 1739 Josef Wenzel received the Order of the Golden Fleece and was also appointed General of the Cavalry in 1739 . Since he was a better war tactician than a politician, he was additionally given the post of general director of the artillery in 1744 and finally in 1745 as field marshal the high command of the Austrian army in Italy by the new Emperor Franz I. On June 16, 1746, he was able to take a French - Beat the Spanish coalition under Marshal Maillebois in the battle of Piacenza and free the Duchy of Parma.

In his function as general director, the prince made military history by making the Austrian artillery the most powerful instrument of the imperial army and by being prepared to contribute a considerable part of the necessary financial resources from his own assets. In 1753 he was appointed general commanding officer in Hungary .

Because of the special appreciation he was given in 1760, at the request of Maria Theresa, he was commissioned to fetch the bride of Archduke Joseph (later Emperor Joseph II ) from Parma ( Isabella of Bourbon-Parma ). His last major political appearance was in 1764, when he acted as principal commissioner for the election and coronation of Joseph II in Frankfurt am Main and was then presented with the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen .

Joseph Wenzel was married to Anna Maria von Liechtenstein (a daughter of Anton Florian and widowed Countess Thun) from 1718 . His grave is in the crypt of the House of Liechtenstein in Vranov (Moravia).


Through the imperial resolution of Franz Joseph I of February 28, 1863, Josef Wenzel Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein was included in the list of the "most famous warlords and generals of Austria worthy of perpetual emulation" , in whose honor and memory there is also a life-size statue in the Feldherrenhalle of the then newly established Imperial and Royal Court Weapons Museum (today: Army History Museum Vienna) was built. The statue was created in 1868 by the sculptor Vincenz Pilz (1816–1896) from Carrara marble and was dedicated by Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein . The Army History Museum also houses a portrait bust of Field Marshal Liechtenstein by the hand of the famous sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt .


Web links

Commons : Josef Wenzel  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Genealogical page on Prince Josef Wenzel I.
  2. Joseph Wenzel Fürst Liechtenstein, kk Feldmarschall, Biographie ( Memento of the original from April 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at, accessed on October 18, 2016 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck : The Army History Museum Vienna. The museum and its representative rooms . Kiesel Verlag, Salzburg 1981, ISBN 3-7023-0113-5 , p. 34
  4. Ilse Krumpöck: The images in the Army History Museum. Vienna 2004, p. 120 f.
predecessor Office successor
Johann Adam Andreas Prince of Liechtenstein
Anton Florian
Josef Johann Adam Prince of Liechtenstein
(as guardian of Johann Nepomuk Karl)

Johann Nepomuk Karl
Johann Nepomuk Karl Prince of Liechtenstein
Franz Josef I.