Pál Kray


Pál Kray

Baron Pál Kray de Krajova et Topolya ( _de. Paul Freiherr Kray von Krajova und Topola) (February 5, 1735–January 19, 1804) was an Hungarian-Austrian soldier. He was born in Késmárk, Hungary. He was educated in mathematical and other military sciences in Schemmitz and Vienna.

Entering the Austrian army at the age of nineteen, he arrived somewhat rapidly at the grade of major, but it was many years before he had any opportunity of distinguishing himself. In 1784 he suppressed a rising in Transylvania, and in the Turkish wars he took an active part at Porczeny and the Vulcan Pass.

Made major-general in 1790, three years later, he commanded the advance guard of the Allies operating in France. He distinguished himself at Famars, Charleroi, Fleurus, Weissenberg, and, indeed, at almost every encounter with the troops of the French Republic. In the celebrated campaign of 1796, on the Rhine and Danube, he did conspicuous service as a corps commander. At Wetalar, he defeated Kléber, and, at Amberg and Würzburg, he was largely responsible for the victory of the Archduke Charles of Austria. In the following year, he was less successful, being twice defeated on the Lahn and the Mainz.

Kray commanded in Italy in 1799, and reconquered from the French the plain of Lombardy. For his victories of Verona, Mantua, Legnago, and Magnano, he was promoted "Feldzeugmeister" (artillery lieutenant general), and he ended the campaign by further victories at Novi and Fossano. The following year, he commanded on the Rhine against Moreau. As a consequence of the defeats he underwent at Biberach, Messkirch, etc., Kray was driven into Ulm, but by a skilful march round Moreau's flank he succeeded in escaping to Bohemia. He was relieved of his command by the Austrian government in 1800, and passed his remaining years in retirement. He died in Pest, Hungary in 1804.

Kray was one of the best representatives of the old Austrian army. Tied to an obsolete system, and unable, from habit, to realise the changed conditions of warfare, he failed, but his enemies held him in the highest respect as a brave, skilful, and chivalrous opponent. It was he who, at Altenkirchen, cared for the dying Marceau (1796), and the white uniforms of Kray and his staff mingled with the blue of the French in the funeral procession of the young general of the Republic.

References

*1911
* [http://ferenczygen.tripod.com Hungarian Aristocracy]

External links

* [http://www.epoche-napoleon.net/pages/bio/kray.htm Longer biography in German]


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