Franz Joseph
Emperor of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire


He was awarded the Pour le Mérite with Oakleaves as a gesture of goodwill and as a traditional medal exchange between himself and Kaiser Wilhelm II. There were very few Pour le Mérite awards with Oakleaves given to foreigners during the war.

Emperor Franz Josph has an interesting relationship with Germany and Kaiser Wilhelm I, who was Kaiser Wilhelm II's father. It was Franz Joseph's family members that were murdered, which basically began the First World War, but the intricate developments that led up to the War to end all Wars began much earlier than that. The roots of the politics that built the foundation for the war may possible go back as far as the Napoleonic wars. Most American students study about the American Civil War and the push to go west, but important events that shaped the face of Europe and it's politics happened during the 1800's, and Franz Joseph was one of the major players in that shaping.

If you want to read about an interesting man and the strangeness of his relatives and the politics of the time, then pick up books about Franz Joseph. Here is a quick Interent reference if you are interested in some quick information about him. Franz Joseph







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