Albert Freiherr von Koller

Click to enlargeAlbert Koller was born as the son of a senior officer at Prague on the 7th of January 1849. After attending the cadet institute at Marburg he entered the military academy at Wiener Neustadt and was commissioned as a Leutnant in infantry regiment number 42 in 1868. During the following years he was mainly employed as a battalion adjutant and after finishing the Kriegsschule he was attached to the General staff on the 1st of November 1874 shortly followed by his promotion to Oberleutnant on the 1st of May 1875. On the 1st May 1877 he was promoted to Hauptmann im Generalstabskorps (captain in the general staff) and on the 30th of September 1878 appointed to the general staff of the 18th infantry division. During this appointment he took part in the occupation campaign of Bosnia and the Herzegovina and was honored for his efforts during this campaign with the bronze military merit medal (Signum Laudis) with war decoration on the 12th of December 1878. On the 13th of June 1879 he was transferred to the Generalkommando at Sarajevo. His outstanding performance there was recognized by the award of the military merit cross and his transfer to the Militär-Kanzlei (Miltary chancery) of the Kaiser at Vienna on the 25th of April 1880. On the 6th of February 1882 Albert Koller married Marie Magdalena Leopoldine Ofenheim von Ponteuxin and received the permission to use the title "Edler von" because his father Albert, a retired Oberstleutnant had been ennobled on the 9th of February 1883.

Duty at his Majesty's Militär-Kanzlei promoted Koller's general staff career, he was advanced to Major (1st of November 1884), to Oberstleutnant (1st of November 1887) followed by the award of the 3rd class of the Iron Crown Order (11th of October 1888) and finally to Oberst (1st of November 1890). During this 10 years with the Royal Household he was honored with the following foreign awards: the 2nd class of the Prussian Crown Order, the officer's crosses of the order of the Italian crown and the Serbian Takovo Order and the 3rd class of the Persian order of the sun and the lion. When he was transferred to infantry regiment number 91 in February 1891 his duty at the Militär-Kanzlei was recognized by the award of the knight's cross of the Order of Leopold. On the 6th of April 1891 Koller assumed the command of this regiment unexpectedly followed by the appointment to chief of the general staff of the 8th corps at Prague on the 25th of October of the same year. On the 3rd of January 1896 he took over the command of the 47th infantry brigade, additionally receiving the bronze military merit medal (Signum Laudis), followed by the promotion to Generalmajor on the 1st May of the same year. On the 10th of April he assumed command of the 10th infantry brigade. During the year 1900 he received the Großkomtur (Grand Commander) of the Bavarian Military Merit Order on the 28th of July, took over the command of the 11th infantry division on the 11th of August and was promoted to Feldmarschll-Leutnant on the 1st of November - effective 24th of October 1900. For his performance as a divisional commander he was honored with the award of the 2nd class (neck-badge) of the Iron Crown Order on the 27th of March 1905. On the 19th of September 1905 he was appointed to be the Präses der Kommission zur Beurteilung der Stabsoffiziersaspiranten (Chairman of the commission for assessing general staff officer aspirants). In April 1906 he received the grand cross of the Persian order of the sun and the lion.

On the 20th of November 1906 Albert von Koller was appointed to be the commander of the 9th corps and the commanding general at Josefstadt. During the year 1907 he was honored with the titel Geheimer Rat Privy Councillor), the appointment of Oberst-Inhaber of infantry regiment number 94 and the promotion to Feldzeugmeister on the 1st of May 1907. In August 1908 he was awarded the 1st class of the Iron Crown Order followed by the appointment to the command of the 8th corps and commanding general at Prague on the 11th of October 1908. Albert von Koller had now reached the top of his military career, he received the grand cross of the Saxon Albrechts order in February 1909 and was retitled as a  General der Infanterie on the 1st of July 1909. In February 1912 he was ennobled with the title "Freiherr von" and when he asked for his retirement he was again honored by a Handschreiben of the Kaiser reading: " Lieber General der Infanterie Freiherr von Koller! Ihrer Bitte um Übernahme in den Ruhestand Folge gebend, spreche ICH Ihnen in vollster Anerkennung Ihres langjährigen Wirkens, erneuert MEINE Zufriedenheit aus. Wien, am 1. Oktober 1912. FRANZ JOSEPH m.p." So Albert Freiherr von Koller was allowed to wear the silver military merit medal (Signum Laudis) too. During the following years he lived at his flat in Vienna's 1st district and his family castle. Schloß Jaispitz was near a village named Jesovice situated between Brünn and Znaim. When he died at Vienna on the 18th of January 1942 his body was transported to Czechoslovakia and buried there.

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