Trenck, Franz, Freiherr von der (fränts frĪˈhĕr fən dĕr trĕngk) [key], 1711–49, Austrian officer and adventurer, b. Reggio di Calabria, Italy. A daring soldier known for his duels and love affairs, he raised at his own expense (1741) a Croatian regiment for Maria Theresa in the War of the Austrian Succession. Its atrocities led to his court-martial (1747) and to his life imprisonment in the notorious Spielberg fortress at Brno (Brünn), where he died. His memoirs, published several decades later, increased Trenck's notorious reputation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.