Prince Josef Wenzel von Liechtenstein

Reigned: 1712-1718, 1732-1745 and 1748-1772

Born 1696, Died 1772.

Picture of Prince Josef Wenzel von LiechtensteinJosef Wenzel enjoyed the range of talents characteristic of a Baroque aristocrat to a high degree He combined the qualities of a courtier with political savvy and demonstrated a strong talent for war tactics and organisation.

From 1716 to 1718, he fought against the Turks, rising to the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel, and over the course of the Polish war of succession he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Field Marshal. From 1735 to 1740, Joseph Wenzel undertook diplomatic missions and represented the Emperor as an emissary and ambassador in Berlin and Paris.

In 1739, the Prince, who had been awarded the Golden Fleece, was appointed General of the Cavalry; in 1744, he received general directorship of the artillery in recognition of his skills; and finally, in 1745, he received the Supreme Command of the Austrian army in Italy.

Joseph Wenzel secured a place in military history primarily through his efficient technical and personnel reorganisation of the Austrian artillery, which he made into the powerful instrument of the Imperial army. As a sign of great esteem, he was assigned the honourable duty by the Emperor in 1760 to bring home the bride of Archduke Joseph from Parma.

In 1764, he appeared for a last time as the splendid "principal commissioner" at the election and coronation of Emperor Joseph II in Frankfurt and subsequently received the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Stephan.

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