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Old 2nd July 2009, 22:11
Tango Echo Dog Tango Echo Dog is offline
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Generalleutnant Karl Koller in July 1944

I had always believed that Koller, head of Luftwaffe Operations, was badly injured in the July Bomb Plot against Hitler, the explosion mortally wounding his friend Korten.
But I have come across reports that on 20 July 1944 he was in Paris, presumably on an inspection tour. The fact that he attended a Fuhrer conference on 8 August barely 20 days after the bomb went off appears to confirm this.
Does anyone have any information about his movements in July before and after the bomb went off and exactly when Goering removed him as Operations chief?
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Old 3rd July 2009, 02:18
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Generalleutnant Karl Koller in July 1944

Karl Koller was Chef d.Lw.-Führungsstab on 20 July 1944. An inspection tour to France or a service visit to Luftflotte 3’s headquarters in Paris around that time would have been perfectly normal as the Luftwaffe tried to assuage the doubts and hostility of the staff of Oberbefehlshaber West and the senior commands under it and assure them that it was doing all that it was capable of in that theater with the assets it had available. Here's a quote taken from AHF: onn July 20th, “Koller was actually in Paris; he threatened von Stülpnagel with having the Luftwaffe troops under his command intervene if the latter did not withdraw his orders for the arrests of SS-, Police and Gestapo officials, as von Kluge had ordered him to.” ( http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=92661 ).

Koller was in Allied custody until December 1947. During that period he was interrogated many, many times, including about his role or non-role in the 20 July incident. These interrogation reports are available at both the U.S. and British National Archives. Further, Koller’s papers and diary are in the David Irving Collection in London. The diary is supposedly in shorthand, but Irving had much of it translated and typed.

After Korten died of his wounds on 25 July, Göring appointed Gen.Lt. Werner Kreipe to take his place. At the same time, Koller was fired (Göring hated him) and and replaced him with Gen.Maj. Eckhardt Christian. Kreipe did not “hit it off” with the Führer because he was no “yes man” and prone to arguing and raising his voice which Hitler would not stand for. Hitler demanded Kreipe’s resignation on 18 September, but he was allowed to continue his job until a suitable replacement could be found. On 1 November (12 November by some accounts) Koller was selected (probably over protests from Göring) but did not take over until 27 November 1944.

The date Koller left his position as Chef d.Lw.-Führungsstab is given in his service records as 31 August 1944. No appointments are shown for September and October, during which Hildebrand (Die Generale der deutschen Luftwaffe) claims he was in the hospital as the result of wounds suffered during the July 20th plot and then in the Führerreserve OKL.

Lacking recent, well-researched, detailed published histories of the July 20th plot, I am afraid this is the best I can do.

Larry
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Old 6th July 2009, 11:30
Tango Echo Dog Tango Echo Dog is offline
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Re: Generalleutnant Karl Koller in July 1944

Larry
Many thanks for your help with a very complex situation.
I suspect that the time-line is this;
20 July Koller with Luftflotte 3
22 or 24 July Korten dies and Koller returns
25 July-2 August Koller is acting chief-of-staff but Goering is in real control (Hitler still recovering so could not counter-balance him). This would partly explain why Fliegerkorps IV (so-called strategic bombing command) was withdrawn (Koller was supporter, Goering was not and fuel shortages provide perfect explanation)
2 August Kreipe appointed
31 August Oberst Eckhard Christian becomes new head of operations and Koller pushed into Fueher's Reserve.
Incidentally, checking Bergstroem's Russian-front book Bagration to Berlin Appendix 1, I was surprised to see the He 177s of KG 1 were not under Meister's Fliegerkorps Iv but under Greim's Luftflotte 6. As the British comedian Max Miller used to obser :"Now, there's a funny thing."
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Old 6th July 2009, 16:04
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Generalleutnant Karl Koller in July 1944

T.E.D. -

Your time-line seems reasonable and likely. It would be interesting to investigate this further and see what Koller said in his diary and in the postwar interrogations. There are a lot of S.I.R. transcripts with K. as a participant, and the events of July 20th and the aftermath was one of favorite subjects for discussion while the leading Generale and Obersten were the guests of His Majesty's government between 1945 and 1948.

L.
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