This is the diary of a young Austrian army officer who went off as a mercenary to Mexico as part of an ill-judged campaign by the European powers to impose a settlement on Mexico's internal political conflicts and to establish Maximillian as Emperor. Unlike many of his companions, he escaped execution to return to Austria. The diary reveals a sympathetic and appealing character, and sheds light on a disastrous campaign. The translator and editor, Gordon Etherington-Smith, is a descendant of the Pitner family.
Ernest Pitner (Austria)
Country of Publication:
26 November 2020
Preface Introduction Note on the Mexican Background Letters and Diaries Sea Voyage Land of Conflict A Funny Kind of War Success and Sadness rest and Recuperation Mission to the North Disaster Captivity Prelude to Tragedy Final Solution Disengagement Postscript Bibliography Index
Ernest Pitner was born in Vienna in 1838. He enlisted in the Austrian army at the age of 20 and was decorated for bravery after fighting against the French at the battle of Solferino. He volunteered for service under Maximilian in 1864. After his return from Mexico, he joined the Austrian consular corps, seeing service in St Petersberg, Tunis, Warsaw and Barcelona. He died in 1896. Gordon Etherington-Smith was a member of the British Diplomatic Service. He was at the British embassy in Berlin in 1939 when war was declared and subsequently served in Vietnam before and during the American campaign. His research interests included the history of South-east Asia and he studied Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, UK. He sadly passed away in 2007.