The Baron probably joined the army in around 1742, because by the first time he was mentioned in dispatches in 1743 he had risen to the rank of Hauptpferdsauger. It has to be said that the mention was not an honourable one.
It tells us that the Baron spent 30 days in “Der Schlammer” for spit-roasting a dachshund with the commanding officer of his regiment, the Duke of Vienna. In some respects, he was lucky; buggering a dog in wartime was a minor offence, whereas the Duke, who was at the other end of the festivities, was found guilty of “receiving oral favour from a creature less than 2 feet tall,” and was therefore sentenced to death. He was publicly hacked to bits with a machete in the town square of Salzburg on March 9th of that year.
As an attractive man in prison, the Baron soon became used as currency, an experience he later described as “f***ing awful.”
The Baron on his release was returned to his unit, with a reduction in rank to Untersheiβeträger. He fought in several campaigns and earned some distinction. Sadly, however, one mistake was to erase it all and lead to his court-martial.
The habit of wearing fancy wigs was not one that was congruent with the effective targeting of the fairer sex, especially after a carafe or three of Leibfraumilch. The Baron made the mistake of suggesting to a young maiden that she should meet him that very night in his lodgings with a lubricated banana and a friend. The “young maiden” turned out to be Wilhelm von Schmutzaffe, only son of General Otto von Schmutzaffe, Commander-In-Chief of the Austrian forces.
The fact that Wilhelm actually took him up on the offer couldn’t have helped.