Karl Edler von Strasser

Karl Strasser was born on the 12th of May 1856 in Vienna as the son of a cavalry captain. His family came from Strasshof in Lower Austria and Strasser always considered this place to be his home town. After attending the cadet institute at Eisenstadt he studied at the Theresia military academy from 1871 to 1875 from which he was commissioned into infantry regiment number 61. As a component of Feldmarschall-Leutnant Graf Szapary's 20th Infantry Division the 61st Infantry regiment participated in the occupation of Bosnia in 1878 losing some 259 casualties. Strasser as a battalion adjutant took part in all the major engagements of his regiment including the fighting near Dolnja Tuzla on the 9th and 10th of August, near Gracaniea on the 13th of August, Stanic on the 16th and near Doboj on the 19th, 21st, 23rd and 30th of August. On account of outstanding bravery at Stanic he was recommended for the military merit cross with war decoration by his battalion commander Oberstleutnant Franz Morocutti which was duly awarded on the 20th October 1878. Promoted to Oberleutnant on the 1st of November 1880 he was attached to the general staff on the 1st of May 1883 after successfully completing the  course at the war school. Initially assigned to the 24th infantry brigade at Craców he was then transferred to the general staff department of the headquarters of the 15th corps in Sarajevo in October 1886. He was assigned to the military mapping bureau in the Tyrol on the 1st May 1888 having in the meantime been Promoted to Hauptmann (1st class) in the general staff. From May 1889 until October 1890 he completed field service with infantry regiment number 49 as the commander of the 12th company and following that further general staff service with the 5th corps headquarters in Pressburg.

He was appointed the chief of staff of the 35th infantry division at Klausenburg in 1892 in which post he was promoted to Major on the 1st of November of that year. There followed further field service with infantry regiment number 10 and promotion to Oberst in May 1898 with infantry regiment number 80 which he commanded from April 1900 to July 1904. He was awarded the order of the iron crown 3rd class and commanded the 24th infantry brigade as a Generalmajor from July 1904 until October 1908. After 30 years service Strasser was ennobled and took the predicate "Edler von" which was granted on the 29th of January 1907.  From October 1908 until April 1910 he held the post of inspector of fortresses in the Tyrol and was at the same time fortress commandant in Trient. In this position he was promoted to Feldmarschall-Leutnant on the 5th of November 1908 and was awarded the knights cross of the order of Leopold on the 25th of February 1910. In April 1910 he assumed the command of the 18th infantry division however at this time his health began to worsen so that on the 8th of March 1911 he was relieved of his post on health grounds and on the 19th of May he was placed on half-pay status.

Following his retirement on the 23rd of June 1913 he settled in Vienna. At the outbreak of war he nonetheless volunteered for war service and held the post of commandant at the Theresia military academy from the 1st of October 1914 until the 31st of December 1915. At this post he was awarded the officers' service award 2nd class on the1st of September 1915 and by imperial decree of the19th of December 1915 he was awarded the newly created military merit cross 2nd class. This is particularly noteworthy as Karl Edler von Strasser was the sole recipient of this award without the war decoration. Furthermore Strasser would have been justified as the possessor of the military merit cross with war decoration from the campaign of 1878 to put on the war decoration of the 3rd class to his 2nd class order.

Poor health forced him to leave his position again and he returned to his home in Vienna's 6th district where he died on the 26th November 1918.

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