Generals and personalities

Serényi and Pokorny, IR 25

The 25th infantry regiment was organized in the central areas of the Upper Lands of Hungary, its command was in Losonc. The regiment was assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade and the 27th Division. They fought on the fronts of Galicia and Bukovina, and from February 1918 on the Italian front in Tyrol. In the June offensive, the division broke through the Brenta valley and reached the Italian lowlands past Belluno, but as the surrounding mountains remained in Italian hands, they had to retreat. Thus, they made their way through the narrow valley twice between the Italian troops firing from the surrounding heights. The division was practically destroyed completely. The detached battalion fought in the 7th Mountain Brigade under no less difficult conditions.

The subject of this post is the titular owners’ persons. On the attached letter seal, we see the portrait of the first owner of the regiment. He was Field Marshal Károly János Serényi, who contributed his wealth to the establishment of the regiment founded in 1672. Although the family had a Hungarian name and origin, this mattered little, as was typical in the Habsburg Empire. In the service of the ruler, the Serényis received estates in German and Moravian territory. Károly János became the president of the Vienna War Council for a while. He distinguished himself at the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, and then at the recapture of Buda in 1686.

The title of titular owner was transferred to various persons as a kind of royal favor. After Serényi’s death, a member of another family received the honorary title. After a while, the owners did not even had to contribute to the financial burden of maintaining the regiments. According to the Kappenabzeichen of the post, the last owner of the 25th regiment was Colonel-General Hermann von Pokorny. In Hungary, his son with the same name is better known, as he held important positions in the Hungarian army between the two world wars.

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