He was born on the 11th of February 1871 in Pilsen, Bohemia. Following his graduation from the Theresian military academy at Wiener-Neustadt, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in Feldjägerbataillon Nr.9 on the 18th of August 1891.
By April 1910, he was appointed as chief of staff of the 36th infantry division at Agram. On the 1st of May 1912, he was assigned as commander of the Feldjägerbataillon Nr. 8.
With the outbreak of the First World War, Oberstleutnant von Preanfeld’s Feldjägerbataillon Nr. 8 was mobilized as part of 12th infantry brigade, 6th infantry division. He took part in the fighting around Lemberg in late August 1914 and was wounded by Russian shrapnel. Following his recovery, on the 22nd of April 1915, he was assigned as a liaison officer with the German 11th army of Generaloberst August von Mackensen for the forthcoming Gorlice-Tarnów offensive.
In August 1916 he was appointed commander of 180th infantry brigade and led this brigade until the 30th of September 1918. Promoted Generalmajor on the 15th of December 1918 he retired as a Feldmarschalleutnant and died on the 31st of July 1957 in Vienna.