Alvinczy, Joseph

Alvinczy portraitb. 1 February 1735, Alvincz

d. 25 September 1810, Ofen

Freiherr Joseph Alvinczy von Borberek (or József Alvinczi Borbereky in the Hungarian spelling) was a Field-Marshal and Grand Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa. An ethnic Hungarian, he was born in Transylvania, which is now part of Romania, at a place now called Vintu de Jos. Alvinczy was the last of his family. He became a soldier at the age of 15. He fought in the Seven Years War as a captain of grenadiers. He later became Colonel of IR 19, and became its "Inhaber" in 1786. He also fought in the War of the Bavarian Succession. He was the future Emperor Francis' military tutor, and instructed him in tactics. Commanded a division under Loudon during the Turkish wars. In 1790 he attacked Liège to bring it to obey its bishop. During the Revolutionary Wars he served in the Netherlands from 1792-4. He was at Neerwinden, where he won the decoration of Commander of the Order of Maria Theresa. At Charleroi he won the Grand Cross of the Order. In 1795 he commanded on the Upper Rhine. In 1796 he took over command of the army in the Tyrol. He fought Bonaparte at Arcole on 15-17 November 1796. He also commanded at Rivoli, 14 January 97. Despite his defeat at Rivoli he was given the position of military governor of Hungary. He was promoted Feldmarschall in 1808. An interesting event from his life, at the time of the war in the Tyrol, is contained in the journal "Oesterreichische Zeitung" 1854 and the Brünner "Omnibus" of 29 June 1854. Source: Wurzbach, C., von. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, 1856-91, vol I, p. 22.

See also Rittersberg, J., Ritter von. Biographien der ausgezeichnetsten verstorbenen und lebenden Feldherrn der k. k. Österreichischen Armée, aus der Epoche der Feldzüge 1788-1821 nebst Abbildungen, 1829, p. 55-66. The entry seems to be taken from an article in the Oesterreichische Militärische Zeitschrift of 1813, and reads very much like Wurzbach. It states that Alvinczy was at Torgau (1760), and the capture of Schweidnitz. He was seriously wounded at Torgau and Teplitz. He became a staff-officer after the war, in Lacy's newly formed staff-corps. He and his regiment captured the Prince of Hessen-Philippstal during the War of the Bavarian Succession. Alvinczi was promoted General-Major, and awarded the Order of Maria Theresa. In 1792-3 he led a division against the French. He was at Neerwinden. Made Commander of the Order of Maria Theresa. In 1794 he led part of the army in the Low Countries. At Charleroi and Fleurus. He was promoted Feldzeugmeister on 21 May 1794. Had been wounded at Landrecies. On 16 June he had 2 horses killed under him on the same day (at Charleroi?). Made Grand Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa. While in winter quarters, Alvinczy commanded the troops positioned between Düsseldorf and Wesel. In 1795 he left to go to Vienna to be a member of the Hofkriegsrath. "Alvinczy was God-fearing, tolerant, and charitable. He loathed pride and servility. Each of his acts bore the character of greatness and nobility of mind. He protected true merit, and if he once bestowed his friendship, it remained unaltered. Being industrious himself, and the most rigorous of all in the fulfilment of any duties, he demanded the same of his subordinates with seriousness and emphasis. His look, which terrified the guilty, fell on the worthy in a friendly and compassionate manner. His praise was reward, his censure was punishment." pp. 65-6.

For another biography, see also Liliencron, R., von and Wegele, F. X. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 1875-1912, vol I, p. 379.

Alvinczy's date of birth is confirmed in Kenyeres, Á. and others. Magyar Életrajzi Lexikon, 1967-81, vol I, p. 27 - but it gives his date of death as NOVEMBER, not September, and the place of birth as Alvinc, not Alvincz. His name is spelt "Alvinczi" in Kempeln, B. Magyar Nemes Családok, 1911-32, vol 1, p.87. No biography in Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, 1899.

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