Karl Koller was born in Glonn, Bavaria, German Empire on 22 February 1898, and he flew in Imperial German Army air fighter squadrons during World War I before being captured by the British in May 1918. Following his release in 1919, he served in the police, and he entered the Luftwaffe in 1935. He served as Chief of Staff for Hugo Sperrle during The Blitz, and he became an assistant to the General Staff in October 1943. On 19 September 1944, Adolf Hitler decided to replace Hermann Goring as Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe, and Koller became the new chief in November 1944. During the Battle of Berlin, Hitler sent Koller to send his remaining planes and airmen to assist in Felix Steiner's relief of Berlin, but Steiner was unable to come to the city's defense with his few remaining troops. Koller was flown to Obersalzberg on 23 April 1945 to inform Goring of Hitler's suicide, and he was arrested at the Berchtesgaden by US Army troops on 7 May 1945. He was imprisoned at Oxford in England until November 1947, and he returned to his hometown of Glonn, where he published his memoirs before dying in 1951 at the age of 53.