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Austrian artillery in Palestine 1916-1918

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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Currently I'm researching the Austrian k.u.k. Mountain Howitzer Division von Marno named after its first commanding officer Major Adolf Wilhelm von Marno und Eichenhorst / lit. Oakencrest ).

It consisted of two mountain howitzer batteries from two different regiments #4 and # 6: 1/4 and 2/6. Their equipment consisted of merely 8 modern Skoda 100mm Model 1910 pieces that

performed perfectly under desert conditions; later in the war they changed them to Skoda 100 mm field howitzers.

The unit arrived during early 1916 and it's first action was taking part in the 2nd attack on the Suez channel ( Kress von Kressenstein ). Often beeing decisive in battle through its discipline and

high quality gunnery -  but of course not able to turn the tide -  it fought its way back north until the armistice.

My great- uncle served with 2/6 as a Feuerwerker ( maybe translated as staff sergeant ) and reserve platoon leader. For gallantry he was awarded the bronze medal and silver medal 2nd class

( for NCO.s and men ) and the Turkish Star of Gallipoli .

Having survived the melee he sadly died of dysentery on the 19th of January 1919 in the military hospital "Osanoff" at Haidar-Pascha/Constantinople. His remains now rest at Tarabya military


1/4 was commanded by Captain Rudolf Schaffer , 2/6 by Wladislaw Anton Ritter /knight  von Truszkowski. Many soldiers came from the Hungarian part of the k.u.k. Austrian Empire.




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I take it your relation maybe this man ( the only one with the right date I can find?)


Erben Vincent    Fireman (google translation)     KUK Haub.B.2        (1887- died 19-1-19 in the Laz. Skutari) grave at Tarabya Istanbul 

Marshall Ritter von Pomiankowski                1st Gaza - reported 8 to12 Mountain guns     Maj Marno von Eichenhorst  KUK T/CO Capt Ritter Von Truszkowski KIA 26-3-17 Maj Alfons Ritter von Arenstorff (KUK)     1/4th Bty + 2/6th Bty (KUK) (each 6x 10cm Skoda Mountain guns) (1/4 Capt Schaffer & 2/6 Capt Truszkowski KIA 26-3-17 to Lt Lewicki & Lt Kopasz by Nov 1917 (each 6x Skoda 10cm M14 guns) & No 20 (2x10.4cm skoda M15 guns) under Capt Kodar von Thurnwerth Palestine 1917    Motor-Mörser-Batterie No 9 (4x24cm) - Capt Barber & 36th Bty (KUK) (4x15cm How) - Capt Manouschek (at Nov 1915 Gallipoli) (Motor-Mörser-Batterie No 9 split into Kononenbatterie No 20 (2x10.4cm Skoda M15 guns) under Capt Kodar von Thurnwerth to Gaza 2-17 and Motor-Mörser-Batterie No 9 (2x24cm guns) under Lt Filipp to Bulgarian Front Feb 1917 - 1/4th Bty + 2/6th Bty (KUK) shown in Allied reports as Von Marno's Mountain Btys

I record these officers with the 2/6th Bty


Dusil Ladislus    Lt    2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery         KUK
Kopasz    Lt    OC 2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery         KUK replaced Lt Lewicki
Lewicki Johann    Lt    T/OC 2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery         KUK follow death of Truszkowski at 1st Gaza
Neiderleuthner Rudolf     Lt    2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery Kommandant der Munitions Kollone         KUK
Schreiber Markus    Lt    2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery         KUK
Truszkowski Wladislaw Ritter Von    Capt    OC 2/6 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery to T/CO Gebirgshaubitzdivision v. Marno 3-17        KUK replaced Von Marno 3-17 KIA 26-3-17 at 1st Gaza


The 1/4th bty


Krasa Kranz    Lt Dr    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery         KUK
Lovas Franz    Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Marcet Ildefonco     Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Molnar Ludwig     Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Schaffer Rudolf     Capt    OC 1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery to CO Gebirgshaubitzdivision v. Marno 3-17    1915-18    (1882 to ?) to Gebirgshaubitzdivision v. Marno after death of Truszkowski reported Most decorated soldier of KUK
Schlauch Lorenz    Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery Kommandant der Munitions Kollone     1915-18    KUK
Schöffer Oskar     Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Tischer Augustus    Lt    1/4 Mountain Bty KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK


The KUK also had two other Batteries


Barber Kamillo    Capt    OC No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK RT Austria sick
Danzosch    Pte    KUK Honvet R. 29 (29th Regt)         (1886 - died 21-2-19) grave at Tarabya Istanbul 
Filipp Engelbert    Lt    automobiile officer 1915 to OC No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery 1916    1915-18    KUK follow split into 9 & 20 Btys
Höpflinger Josef     Lt    No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Jeschek    Lt    No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Klob Josef     Lt    Supply officer No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Lindner     Lt    No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Sitta    Lt    No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK
Széchenyi Gustav Fery     Lt    No 9th Bty Motor-Mörser-Batterie KUK Artillery     1915-18    KUK

This battery was broken into two units


Hoffmann Robert    Capt    KUK No 20th Bty KUK Artillery     1917-18    KUK
Thurnwerth Alexander Kodar von     Capt    OC No 20th Bty KUK Artillery         born Nagybecskerek Hungary replaced Capt Barber KUK

What are you after?





Edited by stevebecker

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In the late 1700s in the British Army, there was a Royal Artillery rank,  Lieutenant-fireworker, a junior officer rank


The Austrian rank of Feuerwerker  may be similar, rather than the Google translation of Fireman.




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Heid the Ba

I have a vague recollection that during the Renaissance "Feuerwerker" was a title in Germanic armies equivalent to master gunner.  In the days when master gunners cast the barrels as well as fired the guns in combat.

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you might find some more data in this small book.



2018-08-10 10.07.31.jpg

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Dear Sirs,

ad Steve Becker: My great - uncle is Feuerwerker Vincenz Erben *24.08.1887 Bohemia  + 19.1.1919 Haidar-Pascha. Dr.Schwake, Curator of Nazareth's military cemetrery

and War Graves Commission gave  me the details where his remians rest. An Austrian friend, member of the fellowship of HGM Vienna ( I'm member of the fellowship of the 

Bavarian Army Museum ) found the cards from the milit. hospital and the further documents.

ad Maureen: the rank is Feuerwerker ( fireman is of course wrong but even came with the War Graves Com. papers );it is a sergeant with office duty. Vinzenz became professional soldier

in 1908. He served with the new Mountain Artillery Regiment Nr. 6 and was transferred with 2/6 to Palestine.

ad equipment: the classified documents do not tell, what kind of howitzers the 1/4 and 2/& used; in late Peter Jung's volume The k.u.k. Desert Warfare I finally found them:

8 Skoda m.h. 10cm M10 + 2 as reserves. Peter Jung himself worked in Austria's National Archive.

In Palestine Vinzenz in addition served as reserve platoon leader.

1/4 and 2/6 were not the only Austrian Artillery units in Palestine but the most mobile ones and often decisive in battle through discipline , gunnery and gallantry.

ad ASSAFX: thank you very much for this reference material.I will check out Fischer's volume

ad Heid the Ba: yes, that is true, but only during the olden days of artillery. Feuerwerker in Austria and Germany had different tasks : the German version was a technical NCO,

the Ausrtian one an office- duty NCO ( Dr.Storz, Bavarian Army Museum )


Currently I'm gathering info on the campaign and try to write a compilation of the battery 2/6 from its starting point for Palestine, Cilli,  until the armistice since info is very scattered.

Thereby I came across the 2nd Battle of Gaza and the clash between PTD's tanks and both batteries being a very unique WWI event: first British tank deployment

in Asia, first and one and only tank losses in Asia and presumably ( Jung )  the one and only Austrian fight against tanks at all in WW I with the result of one direct hit.

Specialized lit., remebrance lit. and archive documents are not matching in some details and I try to find out which battery in fact disabled Nutty and Sir Archibald and which

destroyed War Baby with a direct hit ( at the moment I assume this must have been W.B. ). Two tiny units met on the battlefield. Furthermore one has to check the maps and the gun emplacements and where each single tank was deployed to conclude what is true and what not. 

Herewith a postcard showing his unit in 1913, date stamp Mostar. The only frame we got.


kind regards, Gunther


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James A Pratt III

online is "Austria-Hungary's last War 1914-1918" the Austrian official history there is some info on these units in the volume that deals with 1918 number 7 I believe.

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Hallo James

due to several research topics I just came back to the Palestine campaign lately.

Thank you very much for suggesting the website " Autro-Hungary's last War".

Info on the ( although I have a copy of two reports bought from Kriegsarchiv Wien ) Palestine

campaign is like reassembling a salami: you have to gather piece for piece.

Although the geopolitical impact of the several Eastern Theatres of War was severe it is still

neglected by historians. Some fine works do exist notwithstanding.

Lately I found out that two of my 4th cousin's ancestors fought in the same theatre.

It is a deeply interesting addition to my research.


kind regards,


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