Georg Ludwig von Trapp

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Korvettenkapitän Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp (April 4, 1880 – May 30, 1947) was an Austro-Hungarian Navy officer. His exploits at sea during the World War I earned him numerous decorations, including the prestigious Military Order of Maria Theresa.

Later, von Trapp headed the singing family portrayed in the musical The Sound of Music.


Birth and naval career

Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp was born in Zara (Zadar), Dalmatia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in Croatia. His father, Fregattenkapitän August Trapp, was a naval officer who had been elevated to the Austrian nobility in 1876 which entitled him and his descendants to the style of Ritter (Knight) von in the case of male and von in the case of female offspring. August Ritter von Trapp died in 1884, when Georg was four. His mother was Hedwig Wepler. von Trapp's older sister was the Austrian artist Hede von Trapp. His brother, Werner von Trapp, died in World War I in 1915.[1]

In 1894, von Trapp followed in his father's footsteps and entered the Austro-Hungarian Navy, entering the naval academy at Rijeka (Fiume).[1] He graduated four years later and completed two years of follow-on training voyages including a trip to Australia. In 1900 he was assigned to the armored cruiser Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia and was decorated for his performance during the Boxer Rebellion. In 1902 he passed the officer's examination. He was fascinated by submarines, and in 1908 he seized the opportunity to be transferred to the newly-formed U-boot-Waffe. In 1910 he was given command of the newly-constructed U-6, which was christened by Agathe Whitehead, granddaughter of the Englishman Robert Whitehead, inventor of the torpedo.[2] He commanded U-6 until 1913.

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