Adolf Strauß

From Metapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Adolf Strauß
Adolf Kurt Ernst Strauß (1).png
Birth name Adolf Kurt Ernst Strauß
Birth date 6 September 1879(1879-09-06)
Place of birth Schermcke, Kreis Wanzleben, Regierungsbezirk Magdeburg, Province of Saxony, German Empire
Death date 20 March 1973 (aged 93)
Place of death Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch War and service flag of Prussia (1895–1918).png Prussian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1898–1945
Rank Generaloberst shoulder boards.jpg Generaloberst
Commands held 9th Army
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations ∞ 1921 Hanna von Schröder

Adolf Kurt Ernst Strauß (sometimes also Strauss; 6 September 1879 – 20 March 1973) was a German officer, finally Generaloberst, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and from 30 May 1940 to 15 January 1942 commander-in-chief of the 9th Army of the Wehrmacht in World War II.

Military career (chronology)

Adolf Kurt Ernst Strauss.02.jpg
Adolf Kurt Ernst Strauß (2).png
  • Gymnasium in Bernburg
  • Cadet Institute Bensberg
  • Lichterfelde Main Cadet Institute
  • 15 March 1898 Joined the 2. Unter-Elsässisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 137, Hagenau
  • October 1898 to June 1899 Commanded to the Hersfeld War School
  • 1 May 1901, Commanded to Train Battalion 15, Strasbourg (Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen)
  • 22 April 1902 Transferred to the reserve officers of the Infantry Regiment No. 137
  • 27 January 1904 Assigned to the 3rd Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 71, Erfurt
  • 27 January 1905 Re-employed (once again an active officer) in the Lübeck Infantry Regiment (3rd Hanseatic) No. 162, Lübeck
  • 1906 Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of the Lübeck Infantry Regiment (3rd Hanseatic) No. 162
  • 1 October 1909 Adjutant of the Landwehr District of Lübeck
  • 1 October 1911 to July 1914 Commanded for the three-year course at the War Academy, Berlin
  • 1 August 1914 Company commander in the Lübeck Infantry Regiment (3rd Hanseatic) No. 162
  • 1914 Wounded
  • 1914 Orderly officer at the staff of the 17th Reserve Division
  • 1917 Commander of the II Battalion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment “Hoch- und Deutschmeister” No. 4
  • 1918 Commander of the III. Battalion of the 2nd Upper Rhine Infantry Regiment No. 99
    • it is not known, if he served with the Freikorps before October 1919
  • 1 October 1919 in the Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 18 of the Reichswehr Brigade 9, Schwerin, the Provisional Reichswehr
  • 1 October 1920 Commander of the 8th Company of the 6th Infantry Regiment, Lübeck
    • then at the Training Battalion of the 6th Infantry Regiment, Ratzeburg
  • 1924 With the Commandant's office of the Hammerstein/Bordermark Posen-West Prussia military training area
  • 1 March 1926 Teacher at the Dresden Infantry School
  • 1 August 1928 Commander of the III. (Prussian) Battalion of the 6th Infantry Regiment, Flensburg
  • 1 November 1930 With the staff of the 6th Infantry Regiment, Lübeck
  • 1 October 1932 Commander of the 4th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment, Kolberg
  • 1 September 1934 Inspector of Infantry (In 2)
  • 1 October 1935 Infantry Leader VI, Bremen
  • 15 October 1935 to 1 October 1938 Commander of the 22nd Infantry Division, Bremen
  • 10 November 1938 Commanding General of the II Army Corps, Stettin
    • 10 November 1938 to 31 August 1939 at the same time commander in Military District II, Stettin
    • 11 September to c. end September 1939 Deputy commander-in-chief of the 4th Army for von Kluge, who was ill
  • 30 May 1940 Commander-in-chief of the 9th Army
    • 21 December to 29 December 1940 Leave granted; represented by General der Kavallerie Günther von Pogrell
    • 6 Februray to 9 March 1941 Leave granted; represented by General der Artillerie Walter Heitz
    • 15 January 1942 Strauß called von Kluge (Army Group Center) in Smolensk in the evening and asked for a longer leave home in order to recover (Leader Reserve OKH)
    • 17 January 1942 Departure for home in the morning via the Army Group near Smolensk
  • 26 May 1944 Reserve military hospital Baden-Baden (Teillazarett Bühlerhöhe)
  • 14 July 1944 Discharge from hospital, limited military use
  • 5 August 1944 Standby to carry out a special task (expansion of the eastern fortress "Ostwall")
  • 17 January 1945 Commandant “East Fortress Area”[1]
The Polish general Leopold Cehak at the handover of Modlin Fortress to General Adolf Strauß (II. Armee-Korps) on 29 September 1939 (Poland Campaign)

9th Army

Generaloberst Adolf Strauß with the Knight's Cross (right) during a meeting with a captain studying a map on 27 June 1941
Adolf's older brother Generalmajor z. V. Heinrich Strauß (1877–1963)

After commanding the II Army Corps during the Poland Campaign in 1939, General der Infanterie Strauß succeeded Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz as commander-in-chief of the 9th Army on 30 May 1940. This army, formed on 15 May 1940 by renaming the staff of the Commander-in-Chief East, and had been held in Army High Command Reserve during the first phase of the Western Campaign. During the second phase of the campaign, the 9th Army was moved up north of Soissons and given the task of protecting the left flank of Army Group B (Generaloberst Fedor von Bock) against French counterattack. Following the German breakthrough, Strauß’ 9th Army advanced east of Paris and deep into Burgundy to the Armistice Line. Strauß was promoted to Generaloberst on 19 July 1940 (number 10 in seniority) in recognition of his service during the campaign.

Following the Battle of France, Strauß’ 9th Army moved forward into holding positions between the Somme and the Orne in preparation for Operation “Seelöwe” (Sea Lion)—the planned invasion of Great Britain. The 9th Army was assigned landing zones between Bexhill and Worthing while Generaloberst Ernst Busch’s 16th Army would carry the main assault with landing zones between Folkestone and Hastings. Additionally, Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Reichenau’s 6th Army, concentrated on the Cherbourg peninsula, remained on alert and, if feasible, would land in Lyme Bay between Weymouth and Lyme Regis. After the Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over southern England during the Battle of Britain, Adolf Hitler postponed Operation “Seelöwe” on 17 September 1940. On 12 October 1940, Hitler further postponed the landing, if then feasible, to the spring of 1941. With Hitler's attention firmly turned to his next conquest – the Soviet Union – the landing fleet was dispersed and the armies were released for duty in the east.

The 9th Army later saw action during Operation Barbarossa (22 June 1941) as the northern-most component of Army Group Center (Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock). In January 1942, Strauß asked Hitler to be relieved for “health reasons” and was succeeded as army commander by General der Panzertruppe Walther Model on the 15th of that month. Strauß went into reserve in Lübeck where he lived in virtual retirement. In the autumn of 1944, Strauß was recalled to duty and appointed Commander-in-Chief of Fortress Area East in 1945.


Strauß, 6'1" and 175 lbs, was in British hands as Lübeck was in their zone of control. He was transferred to Britain where he was held in various prisoner of war (POW) camps, including Camp No. 11 at Island Farm, Bridgend and Wales.

  • 3 May 1945 to 19 May 1949: Prisoner of war in British captivity
    • 20 March 1946 Transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from Camp 99 Military Hospital
    • 4 May 1948 Transferred to Camp 231
    • 16 July 1948 The British transferred Strauß back to Germany where he was interned at Munsterlager.
    • 27 August 1948 The British Government announced it's intention to try Generaloberst Strauß together with the Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt, Erich von Manstein and Walther von Brauchitsch for alleged "war crimes".
    • 29 August 1948 Released from Wehrmacht and captivity by the British government
    • 24 September 1948 Transferred to the British Military Hospital No. 94 Hamburg-Barmbeck
    • 5 May 1949 Untenable charges are dropped

The British never tried Strauß and, despite the fact that the Russians demanded his extradition, he was released from captivity on 19 May 1949. The Russians were infuriated and once again demanded his extradition. However, the British denied the demands as did the new government of West Germany (founded on 23 May 1949).

Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 6 August 1941 (Sondermeldung) In fast vierwöchigem Ringen haben die Armeen des Generalfeldmarschalls von Kluge, des Generalobersten Strauß und des Generalobersten Freiherr von Weichs sowie die Panzergruppen unter Generaloberst Guderian und Generaloberst Hoth dem Feinde ungeheuer blutige beigebracht. Rund 310.000 Gefangen vielen hierbei in unsere Hand. 3.205 Panzerkampfwagen, 3.120 Geschütze und unübersehbares sonstiges Kriegsmaterial wurden erbeutet oder vernichtet.[2] (Special Bulletin) In nearly four weeks of struggle, the armies of Field Marshal von Kluge, Colonel-General Strauß and Colonel General Freiherr von Weichs and the Panzer groups under Colonel General Guderian and Hoth have infringed tremendously bloody losses on the enemy. Roughly 310,000 prisoners fell in our hands here. 3,205 armored car, 3,120 guns and incalculable other war materials were captured or destroyed.
Thursday, 7 August 1941 Am Verlauf dieser gewaltigen Schlacht waren die Armeen des Generalfeldmarschalls von Kluge und der Generalobersten Strauß und Freiherr von Weichs, die Panzergruppen der Generalobersten Guderian und Hoth sowie die Luftwaffenverbände der Generale der Flieger Loerzer und Freiherr von Richthofen ruhmreich beteiligt.[3] During the course of this great battle, the armies of Field Marshal von Kluge and the Colonel General Strauß and Freiherr von Weichs, the Panzer groups of Colonel General Guderian and Hoth, and the Luftwaffe detachments of the generals of the aviators Loerzer and Freiherr von Richthofen were involved gloriously.
Saturday, 18 October 1941 (Sondermeldung) An der Durchführung dieser Operationen waren die Armeen des Generalfeldmarschalls von Kluge, der Generalobersten Freiherr von Weichs und Strauß sowie Panzerarmeen der Generalobersten Guderian, Hoth, Hoeppner und des Generals der Panzertruppen Reinhardt beteiligt.[4] (Special Bulletin) In the execution of these operations were involved, the armies of Field Marshal von Kluge, the Colonel Generals Freiherr von Weichs and Strauss as well as tank armies of Colonel General Guderian, Hoth, Hoeppner and General of Panzer Troops Reinhardt.
Sunday, 19 October 1941 An der Durchführung dieser Operationen waren die Armeen des Generalfeldmarschalls von Kluge, der Generalobersten Freiherr von Weichs und Strauß sowie Panzerarmeen der Generalobersten Guderian, Hoth, Hoeppner und des Generals der Panzertruppen Reinhardt beteiligt.[5] In the execution of these operations were involved, the armies of Field Marshal von Kluge, the Colonel Generals Freiherr von Weichs and Strauss as well as tank armies of Colonel General Guderian, Hoth, Hoeppner and General of Panzer Troops Reinhardt.


Adolf was the son of Oberamtmann (senior district official) and Domänenpächter (domain tenant) Karl Strauß (d. 13 April 1885) and his wife Amalie, née Gutknecht. The family of his father were owners of a sugar factory (Gustav Adolph Strauß & Co.) in Groß Alsleben but also great landholders (e.g. Domain and Chief Forestry Office Schermcke near Oschersleben, Ampfurth near Oschersleben, monastery estate Meyendorf near Wanzleben-Börde, Frose near Quedlinburg and Rittergut Krottorf near Oschersleben). His older brother was Major General at disposal (z. V.) of the Wehrmacht Heinrich Strauß (1877–1963).


In 1921, Captain Strauß married his fiancée Hanna Amalie von Schröder. They would have two children:

    • Ingeborg (b. 1921)
    • Helga (b. 1924)

Nephew (Major d. R.)

Karl Adolph Heinrich Stephan Strauß (b. 10 November 1898 in Eisenach), son of Heinrich Albert Theodor Strauß (1863–1918) and his wife Adele Laurette Amalie Strauß (1875–1928), became a officer in WWI and was Domänenpächter (domain tenant) of Oltschlott near Woldegk in Mecklenburg. He became a reserve officer with the Infanterie-Regiment 48 in 1934/35 and was activated for WWII. From 1940 to 1942, Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain) Strauß served as escort officer, presumably adjutant, to his uncle Generaloberst Adolf Strauß. On 1 May 1942, he was promoted to Major der Reserve and then served as Armee-Wirtschaftsführer in the staff of the 3. Panzer-Armee at the Eastern Front. After war and captivity, Strauß became an employee in the management of the German Federal Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank).

  • ∞ 21 June 1924 in Ballin Charlotte Malwine Erna Margarete (b. 29 November 1899); four children:[6]
    • Karl Heinz Rudolf (b. 12 July 1925 in Ballin)
      • 1943 Abitur in Templin, served as an officer candidate with the Grenadier-Regiment 508, 7 December 1944 near Rozan (Narew river)
    • Manfred Carl Adolf Johann (b. 12 June 1929 in Berlin-Tempelhof), Dr. rer. pol., graduate businessman (Diplom-Kaufmann), market researcher with the company MAGGI GmbH; married (Heide Missy Lucia Anneliese, née Asendorf-Ahsendorf), one son
    • Joachim Heinrich Richard (Manfred's twin; b. 12 June 1929 in Berlin-Tempelhof; d. 27 September 2023 in Meggen, Switzerland), graduate engineer (Diplom-Ingenieur), architect in Lucerne; married (Gertrude "Gerti", née Klemen), three children
    • Stephanie Susanna Charlotte (b. 6 September 1932 in Prenzlau in der Uckermark; d. 5 May 1936 in Berlin)


  • 15.3.1898 Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • July 1901 Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) with Patent from 17.10.1899
  • 16.6.1910 Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
  • 8.10.1914 Hauptmann (Captain)
  • 1.1.1924 Major
  • 1.5.1929 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1.4.1932 Oberst (Colonel)
  • 1.12.1934 Generalmajor (Major General)
  • 1.4.1937 Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General)
  • 10.11.1938 General der Infanterie (General of the Infantry)
  • 19.7.1940 Generaloberst

Awards and decorations

Further reading

  • Walther-Peer Fellgiebel: Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German), Podzun-Pallas, Wölfersheim 2000, ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6
    • English: The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches, expanded edition, 2000


  1. Generaloberst Adolf Strauß (1879–1973)
  2. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 635
  3. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 639
  4. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, pp. 701–702
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 702
  6. Deutsches Geschlechterbuch, 1967, pp. 342 f.
  7. Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres, 1931, p. 114
  8. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 414.