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Leutnant Francisca Scanagatta (born 1. August 1776); Detail from an original of the Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Vienna.

Francisca Scanagatta

She was the first woman (and for long time the only one) to completed the military academy in the 19th century. She obtained the education by fraud instead of her brother. After the revelation of this scandal Emperor Franz II allowed her to get a rent.

In spite of the stern discipline and order, which prevailed during the strict regiment of count Kinsky in the military academy, it succeeded to the young, as a man disguised Francisca to find in place of its brother in the academy admission. At the age of 13 the daughter of a Milan senator came to wiener neustadt and replaced “Franz” in the academy. She finished the school in the academy without doubt of her sex as she didn’t live with the other pupils but in a flat in the city with the doctor Ferdinand Haller.

On the 16th of February 1797 she was discharged as an ensign. No one ever believed that a girl had been educated in an academy.

“Franz” somehow managed to keep his/her real identity as a secret. First in 1800 the family informed the commanding general Michael von Melas about the female ensign in his regiment.

Emperor Franz II gave his approval, after being informed about the happening, that Franziska resigned the ensign-position in aid of her brother Guido. After 1801 she got a Lieutenant-rent of 200 Gulden a year.

In the year 1804 Franziska married Lieutenant Cölestin Spini and became mother of 4 children and died in Milan in 1865.