General connections?

May 4, 2018

A contact on Twitter has kindly promised more information on the Battalion my Austrian grandfather served with in World War 1. In the meantime I decided to see what I could find on the internet, and the answer is not a lot! But there is something, and it has turned up small pieces of information which are tantalising.

 

My grandfather served with the 30th k. und k. Field Battalion which was based at Steyr, which is a city in upper Austria, and the commander was Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Jungl. However, the ethnic composition of the battalion was 70% Ruthenian and 30% various/other. I had to look up ‘Ruthenian’ and it relates to an area of what is now western Ukraine. This makes no sense if the battalion was based in Austria itself. Moreover, the Battalion language was Polish. And the supplementary district and replacement company squad: was based in Stanislau. This is modern-day Ivano-Frankivsk, again, in western Ukraine.

 

Further digging showed that the battalion was based in Brody between 1903 and 1907, and in Lemberg between 1908 and 1911. Again, I had to look up where these places were: Brody is a city in Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine, in the valley of the upper Styr river, and Lemberg is the German name for Lviv (Lwow), also in western Ukraine.

 

And although the battalion was based at Steyr between 1912 and 1914 it seems more than a coincidence that the start of the Styr River is near Brody, so it’s probably got nothing to do with the Austrian city of Steyr after all.

 

Now I know my grandfather served on the eastern front and was injured in Poland. So this really does all seem to tie in. There is quite a family Polish connection in fact, as I know his wife-to-be learnt Polish, and his brother Robert served in Poland too.

 

And here is the most intriguing thing of all. Why was my grandfather serving with this particular battalion? Well, Jungl, the name of the colonel in charge in 1914, isn’t such a common name. And my archives reveal that my grandfather's mother Maria also had the surname of Jungl before she got married, and her brother was called Josef (although known to my grandfather as 'Uncle Pepi'), AND he was a general - one of only 7 non-noble generals in the k. und k. army.


So it seems my grandfather was posted to a battalion in Poland which his uncle was in command of. This resulted in him serving on the eastern front in the First World War. He was injured while serving there and was lucky to survive.

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