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Olivier, Count of Wallis

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Title: Olivier, Count of Wallis  
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Subject: Switzerland in the Napoleonic era, List of field marshals of the Holy Roman Empire, Battle of Stockach (1799), First Battle of Dego, Battle of Loano, Army of the Danube, Wallis (surname)
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Olivier, Count of Wallis

Not to be confused with George Olivier, count of Wallis.
Oliver Remigius, Count von Wallis
Born (1742-10-01)October 1, 1742
Vienna, Austria
Died July 19, 1799(1799-07-19) (aged 56)
Kloten, Switzerland
Allegiance Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria
Service/branch Colonel-Proprietor (Inhaber), 29th Infantry Regiment (Austria), Wallis Regiment
Years of service 1757(?) – 1799
Rank Feldzeugmeister (General of Infantry)
Vice Director General of Artillery, February 1792 – June 1799
Battles/wars Austro-Turkish War (1787–1791)
French Revolutionary Wars

Oliver Remigius, Count von Wallis Baron von Carrighmain, the scion of a distinguished Irish family in Austrian military service, served in Austria's wars with the Ottoman Empire (1787–1791), and in the French Revolutionary Wars (1791–1800). He died of wounds received in action at the First Battle of Zürich.

Family and youth

Oliver Remigius was born on 1 October 1742 into an Irish emigrant family living in the Habsburg empire. During the 17th century, laws introduced in Ireland limited, and eventually removed, authority from the Catholic aristocracy, preventing Catholics from inheriting land, sitting in Parliament, and holding office. Many immigrated to Central Europe and sought service in the Habsburg military.[1] One ancestor, Richard Wallis, or Walsh, as he had been known in Ireland, emigrated with his family in 1612, and was a colonel in the Habsburg military. He was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. Another ancestor of Oliver Remigius, George Olivier, Count von Wallis (son of Richard), also served in the Habsburg military during the Thirty Years War under Wallenstein.[2]

Wallis and his older brother Michael Johann Ignaz were both intended for military service. As a young man, Wallis entered his father's regiment, the 11th Infantry, and from 1769–1777, he commanded it.[3] On 26 November 1777, he was promoted to major general. In the wars against the Turks (1787–92) he served under Field Marshal Ernst Gideon von Laudon and, later, Count von Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt. In 1787, he was promoted to Lieutenant Field Marshal, and in 1791, as Colonel-Proprietor of the 29th Infantry Regiment,[4] which bore his name until 1802.[5]

French Revolutionary Wars

In the 1792 campaign of the War of the First Coalition, Wallis commanded a mixed division in the corps of Friedrich Wilhelm, Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Kirchberg on the upper Rhine and the Moselle, stationed on the Rhine river between Basel and Strassburg. On 21 May 1794, he received his promotion to Feldzeugmeister, or Field Marshal of Artillery. In late 1795, he was transferred to northern Italy. On 22 November, he assumed command of the Army of Lombardy from Joseph Nikolaus De Vins, on the eve of the Battle of Loano. On 24 November, he lost all his artillery and wagon train in the clash of San Giacomo.[6] In April 1796, he was relieved of his command of the Austrian army in Lombardy by Johann Peter Beaulieu.[7]


  • Major: 1767
  • Lieutenant Colonel: 1768
  • Colonel: 1769
  • Major General: 26 November 1777 (effective 29 April 1777)
  • Lieutenant Field Marshal: 9 October 1787 (effective 4 October 1787)
  • Field Master of Artillery: 21 May 1794 (effective 12 July 1794)

In 1798, Wallis was commanding General of Venetia. The following year, during the War of the Second Coalition, he commanded part of the Habsburg army in Swabia under Archduke Charles. He led the third column in its assault on the French positions in the Austrian victory over General of Division Jordan's Army of the Danube at the Battle of Ostrach on 21 March. A week later, and in the French defeat at Stockach on 25 March, he commanded the right wing. From 14–25 April, while Archduke Charles was indisposed, Wallis assumed command of the main Austrian army quartered on the shore of the Rhine River. A few weeks later, he commanded the reserve in the First Battle of Zürich on 4 June, where General of Division André Masséna, now commanding the Army of the Danube and the Army of Switzerland, was defeated and forced to withdraw across the Limmat river. During the battle, Wallis led five battalions of grenadiers in storming the French positions on Mount Zürich. He was badly wounded, and died five weeks later, on 19 July 1799.[8]


Citations and notes


  • (German) Ebert, Jens-Florian. "Wallis, Olivier Remigus, Count von." Die Österreichischen Generäle 1792–1815. Accessed 26 December 2009.
  • Littell, Eliakim and Robert S. Littell. Littell's living age. Boston, MA: T.H. Carter & Co., 1844-1896. Volume 115 (1872).
  • Smith, Digby. The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill, 1998. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.
  • Smith, Digby. , Robert Burnham, editor in chief. April 2008 version. Accessed 15 December 2009.
  • (German) Stanka, Julius (Major). Geschichte des K. und K. Infanterie-Regimentes Erzherzog Carl No. 13. Wien: im Selbstverlag des Regiments, 1894. Volume 1.
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