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 VISION 20/20

A man of steel unlike no-one I ever met: Walter Lukesch

Hauptmann ( Captain ) Walter Lukesch was a soldier, a real soldier.

In memory of Hauptmann ( Captain ) Walter Lukesch, Bruck an der Leitha, Lower Austria, Austria


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptmann

This article, in similar form, was first published in

I dedicate this article to the man who turned our bodies into physical powerhouses back in 1975.


Man of steel Walter Lukesch


The man whose name is well known in military circles back in our home country Austria.

Herr Hauptmann, later promoted to Major, lived his life a disciplined soldier.

A colleague and I experienced him firsthand in his private life as well.


Our accommodation was centered in the same quarters as Captain Lukesch.

The daily routine at the time was always the same, come rain or shine :

He woke up before dawn and started a great morning run through the woods behind our garrison.


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptman

Like a wild deer that requires a free range, uphill, downhill, through the forest, he would drive each day of the year for one hour at dawn.

Sharp at 0700 h he entered the Officer’s Mess, ordering a glass of hot ‘Typhoo’ black tea, consuming his black rye bread with Butter and jam.

At 0745 h he then left the Officer’s clubhouse.


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptmann

With his quick steps, it took a mere 5 minutes of walk to reach his recruits.


Everyone by now was standing in link and row, awaiting his arrival.

It was like that throughout the year.

In Winter like in Summer, he would walk stark naked to the shower room, before setting off for duty.


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptmann


By the time we had concluded basic training, we were all powerhouses ourselves, and ready to set off for a 1h run each morning.

Exercise done regularly turn into an addiction.


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptmann Maj. Puchner, Lt. Lindner, Lt. Kaiser

Lost contact

I had lost touch with Hauptmann Lukesch ( Captain ) for over 40 years.

When I searched his name on the web, I came across a Walter Lukesch, who now was advising the local Boys scouts.

Old age had caught up on him

And I was astonished to see him with a protruding belly.

He was in his 70 s by now, and I began to wonder how a man of such caliber had suddenly become a person with a protruding pot-belly.

Nothing stays the same

I concluded that nothing in life remains the same, situations change constantly.

Even our Captain had to realize this.

Failed meeting

I had planned to meet him in his hometown, called a few times, without success.

The first article in ezines

Several years later, after publishing my first article, I went on to make another attempt. It was not meant to happen.

News of his death had reached me

By doing so, I found that Hauptmann Walter Lukesch had passed on in 2014.

With extreme sadness, I received the news from the local Parish.

His death a reminder

Now in my years of age, I realize even more so, that life is as brief and minimal only.

We think of what fame, wealth, strength, the power to achieve things in life.

But if we don’t succeed in our quest, does it matter?

We end up the same

For we all end up the same way one day.

May you rest in peace, Hauptmann Walter Lukesch, a man of steel you were.

This is an excerpt of our daily routine of which our Captain was part.

We write the year 1975


April 10th, 1975, Kaisersteinbruch Garrison, Austria


Man of steel Walter Lukesch Hauptmann : blue quarry

The daily routine at garrison Kaisersteinbruch

0600 a.m., a sharp call: Tagwache!

Everyone’s up in a second, though some tried to procrastinate.

15 min later, the last sleepers were thrown out of their beds.

Getting ready for duty

All rushed: Morning toilet, fetching breakfast by the corporals of day, 07.30 we were prepared.

When we stand in rank and file, the captain appeared.

The captain was a sportsman

He had returned from his daily 1 hour run in the woods of the Blue quarry, the Emperor’s quarry.

Once granites were broken here to construct the famous Vienna ‘ Ringstrasse ‘ (during Austria’s feudal period).

Stern face, forceful appearance

When he appeared, the company was quiet.

With his serious expression, the man of steel.

He didn’t demand more than he could deliver himself. The problem – it was a lot more than anyone could imagine.

Unseen strength and endurance from the man made of steel

No other person have I ever saw who had a more iron will of discipline, and a massive amount of stamina.

Morning Salute

One shout, plain and unambiguous, comes out from 140 recruits simultaneously: “Good morning, Herr Hauptmann !”

When he started to run ( the second time the same morning), we all followed like a herd of goats. The more we panted, the more he got agile.

Stamina and more stamina

Never ending strength, bearlike, supernatural, in brief, a real soldier.

After 1 hour, we were already exhausted, the daily astronautic exercises started.

Astronaut’s training exercises

12 x 12 standard Astronaut’s exercises. Completely drained we make it through this morning.

With every day that passed, our stamina improved, our bodies got harder and more durable.

With each muscle sore, we had been turned into physical powerhouses.

He leads the company to the ‘Pannonian plains,’ marching through the night, through forests.

Almost trance-like we follow, he is right ahead of us, knowing each bend and stone in his territory.

Explaining from History how Huns, Mongols, and other enemies invaded these plains in the past.

He exhibits remarkable knowledge of history in his quest to make us better soldiers.

Trained by Walter Lukesch, a statement that carries weight in our Army’s chronicles.

To follow: ‘ Hauptmann Walter Lukesch, the longest march.’


About the Author:

WordPress Blog Travel;  Thirty years Asia, Africa. Passion for life, adventure, beauty. Tibet, Laos, Thailand, China.

Heinz Rainer at 12:20 AM

Old Article Source: ( now defunct.

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