Albert of Saxony

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Albert (full name: Frederick Augustus Albert Anton Ferdinand Joseph Karl Maria Baptist Nepomuk Wilhelm Xaver Georg Fidelis) (Dresden, 23 April 1828 – Schloss Sibyllenort (Szczodre), 19 June 1902) was a King of Saxony and a member of the House of Wettin.

He was the eldest son of Prince John, (who succeeded his brother Frederick Augustus II on the Saxon throne as King John in 1854) by his wife Amalie Auguste of Bavaria.

Albert had a successful military career leading Saxon troops which participated in the First War of Schleswig, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War. His reign as king was largely uneventful.



Military career

Albert's education, as usual with German princes, concentrated to a great extent on military matters, but he attended lectures at the University of Bonn. His first experience of warfare came in 1849, when he served as a captain in the First War of Schleswig against Denmark.

When the Austro-Prussian War broke out in 1866, Albert then Crown Prince (German: Kronprinz), took up the command of the Saxon forces opposing the Prussian Army of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia. No attempt was made to defend Saxony; the Saxons fell back into Bohemia and effected a junction with the Austrians. They took a prominent part in the battles by which the Prussians forced the line of the Jizera and in the Battle of Jičín. The Crown Prince, however, succeeded in effecting the retreat in good order, and in the decisive Battle of Königgratz (3 July 1866) he held the extreme left of the Austrian position. The Saxons maintained their post with great tenacity, but were involved in the disastrous defeat of their allies.

During these operations the Crown Prince won the reputation of a thorough soldier; after peace was made and Saxony had entered the North German Confederation, he gained the command of the Saxon army, which had now become the XII army corps of the North German army, and in this position carried out the necessary re-organisation. He proved a firm adherent of the Prussian alliance. On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 he again commanded the Saxons, who were included in the 2nd army under Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, his old opponent. At the Battle of Gravelotte, they formed the extreme left of the German army, and with the Prussian Guard carried out the attack on St Privat, the final and decisive action in the battle.

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