Lanjus von Wellenburg, Karl Ludwig Count

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Lanjus von Wellenburg, Karl Ludwig Count

Austrian General Feldwachtmeister (1759-67), Feldmarshall Lieutenant (1767-80)

Knight Cross of the Maria Theresia Order

born ????, Croatia, Habsburg Domain

died March 22, 1780, Vienna, Austria, Habsburg Domain

Description

Karl Ludwig's family originally came from Franconia. As early as 1619, a Georg Lanjus is mentioned as councillor in Würzburg. Later on, the family moved to Croatia. Franz Joachim Valentin Baron Lanjus was general-auditor in Peterwardein and died 1739. He had two sons with Anna Theresia Countess Thurn: Franz Joseph and Karl Ludwig. Both reached the rank of general in the Austrian Army.

Karl Ludwig's date of birth is not known. As a young man he joined the Austrian Army and first served in the Save militia (Saveströmer, from 1753 Peterwardeiner Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment, under Jahnus von Eberstädt).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1744, Lanjus fought with this regiment in Southern Bohemia. In October, FML Ghilányi tried with a few squadrons of his hussars , Paul Anton Esterházy Hussars and 1 battalion of Peterwardeiner to cut the Prussian supply lines. On October 9, this detachment attacked the Prussian rearguard under Colonel Zieten. The Austrians managed to destroy some ships on the Moldau River (present-day Vltava/CZ) transporting 40,000 bread loaves, but suffered heavy losses. The same year, Lanjus obtained the rank of captain and led small detachments operating in Southern Bohemia.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Lanjus' regiment (Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner Grenzer) was sent to Bohemia and participated in operations in Silesia.

On April 15 1757, Karl Ludwig and his brother, Franz Joseph (since 1760 commander of Erzherzog Leopold Cuirassiers), received the title of “Reichsgraf” with the surname “Wellenburg” (sometimes written as “Wällenburg”). On August 13, Jahnus von Eberstädt at the head of 4,000 Grenzers (including one battalion of Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner Grenzer) defeated a Prussian detachment under General von Kreytzen in the Combat of Landshut. At that time, Karl Ludwig was already ranking as lieutenant-colonel. From October 26 to November 14, he was present at the siege and capture of Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica/PL).

In May 1758, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, Lanjus surprised the Prussian garrison of Arnoltice, dispersed it and captured a big magazine. Some days later, he destroyed a Prussian convoy near Bílčice. On July 7 near the village of Německá Loděnice, he set up an ambush for an incoming Prussian convoy escorted a detachment (Frei-Infanterie le Noble and Frei-Infanterie Salenmon)under Colonel le Noble . The Prussians were informed and took another road. But, on their return on June 8, Lanjus attacked le Noble who posted his troops on a hill. The Grenzers attacked his positions at the point of the bayonet and drove them back. After this action, Lanjus was appointed colonel and commander of the Slavonisch-Peterwardeiner Grenzer.

In August 1759, Lanjus arrived in front of Grünberg (present-day Zielona Gora/PL) occupied by the Prussians. He summoned the garrison to surrender but the commander tried to escape. Lanjus informed General Beck who sent some troops who intercepted the Prussians and took all of them prisoners. On September 12, the Prussian General Le Grand sent a detachment of 800 men and 200 hussars towards Heřmanovice in Moravia to capture the small detachment led by Lanjus. The Prussian infantry took position in the defile near Písečná while the hussars marched through Jeseník (both villages in Moravia). When Lanjus received intelligence of the manoeuvres of the Prussians, he immediately concentrated his infantry and attacked them at Písečná, capturing 100 men, 2 guns and many carriages. Le Grand retired to Nysa with the rest of his troops.

As per a decree dated June 27 1763, Lanjus was appointed General Feldwachtmeister (GFWM retroactively to May 26 1759). On November 11 of the same year, for his achievements, Lanjus received the Knight Cross of the Maria Theresa Order during the ninth promotion of this military order.

On May 1 1773, Lanjus was promoted to Feldmarshall Lieutenant (FML, again retroactively to May 28 1767).

Karl Ludwig Lanjus died in Vienna on March 22 1780. He was not married and had no successor.

His brother Franz Josef Lanjus received on March 25 1758 the Indigénat in Bohemia, served in the cavalry and reached the rank of General Feldwachtmeister. In 1761 he bought the estate of Osečany near Příbram/CZ and restored the castle. He died in 1781. His widow sold the estate to Gabriele von Mayersbach in 1795.

References

Wurzbach, C. v.: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthum Österreich, Víenna 1857 fil. 15 pp. 128-129

Hirtenfeld, Dr.: Der Militär-Maria-Theresien-Orden und seine Mitglieder, Vienna 1857 pp. 194-196

Siebmachers Wappenbuch, Böhmischer Adel, p. 141

Schlag, G.: Unser Leben und Blut für die Königin, Eisenstadt, 1999

Zum Säcular-Gedächtniss von 1758 – Der Feldzug in Mähren, Frankfurt, 1858

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der k. und k. Wehrmacht, file I. page 288ff.

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article