Runway: 13/31 - 3000x60m - concrete
Strasshof airfield (german: flughafen Strasshof, also known as Luftwaffenstützpunkt/Fliegerhorst Deutsch-Wagram) was an airfield 20 kilometer northeast of Vienna.
The Imperioal Austria-Hungarian armed forces had operated from here during World War I. In 1915, it was founded as a Ausrüstungsflugplatz, a logistics airfield where units received their new aircraft. The following year 3 Fliegerkompanien (Air Companies) were stationed at the airfield: Flik 24, Flik 68 and Flik 101. In 1918 an unknown Bombergruppe was stationed at the field. After the end of the war the airfield was abandoned in 1922.
It was reactivated as an airfield after the "Anschlus" of Austria in 1938. Setup originally as a simple Feldflugplatz (temporary war airfield) of the German Luftwaffe, it was upgraded to an Einsatzhafen (Operating Base) before 1939 and to a proper Fliegerhorst (Air Base) in 1942, complete with its own rail connection to the national rail grid for resupply. In 1943 it received a 3000 meter long concrete runway, although nobody seems to know why a runway of this length was required, as the Luftwaffe's first combat jets (Me262 and Ar234) required only 1200 meters.
In spite of the facilities at the Luftwaffenstützpunkt (Luftwaffe Support Base), it was only used by the Luftkriegsschule 7 (Air War School 7) out of Tulln (today: Langenlebarn) until the final months of World War II. It was then used by the remaining parts of Schlachtgeschwader 9 (Henschel Hs129B) and of II./JG53 (Messerschmidt Bf109G).
On 10 April 1945, Deutsch-Wagram was taken without a fight by the Soviet Red Army. They did not get it undamaged though: the Munitions bunker, Water facilities, Garage and barrackes were blown up or burnt. The runway was blown up by preplanned charges.
Photo taken by the 461 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 26 March 1945, about 6 weeks before VE day. Flying out of Toretta during Mission 203, the 461st was to bomb the Strasshof marshalling yard, located only 1500m north of Fliegerhorst Deutsch-Wagram. Photo rotated to show te proper north. (USAAF/AFHRC via 461st.org)
The Soviets repaired the airfield when the war was over and used it as Strasshof until their withdrawal from Austria in 1954. Amongst others they stationed the 8th Guards Bomber Aviation Division with Petlyakov Pe-2 Peshka (Пешка, or "Pawn") light bombers. On 10 January 1949 they were renamed 177th Guards Bomber Aviation Division (in full: 177th Guards Cherkasskaya Red Banner order of Suvorov Bomber Aviation Division or in Russian: 177-я гвардейская бомбардировочная Черкасская Краснознаменная ордена Суворова авиационная дивизия), getting reequipped with Ilyushin Il-28 (NATO: 'Beagle') light bombers in 1952. The 8th Bomber Division was made up of three Regisments, two of which operated from Strasshoff:
- 160th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment, renamed 674th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment (in full: 674th Guards Vislenskiy Red Banner Bomber Aviation Regiment or in Russian: 674-й гвардейский бомбардировочный Висленский Краснознаменный авиационный полк) in January 1949 and withdrawn to Wien-Aspern in January 1952;
- 162nd Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment, renamed 880th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment (in full: 880th Guards Vislenskiy orders of Suvorov and Bogdan Khmelnitskiy Bomber Aviation Regiment, or in Russian: 880-й гвардейский бомбардировочный Висленский орденов Суворова и Богдана Хмельницкого авиационный полк) in January 1949 and withdrawn to Debrecen in Hungary in Jyly 1953.
After the departure of the Soviets the airfield was abandoned. In the 1970s proposals were made to reopen the airfield as a replacement for Aspern airfield, which closed in 1977. As is so often the case, people living nearby greatly opposed the idea of an airport on their doorstep, forcing recreational flyers to Bad Vöslau on the other bank of the Danube and the other side of Vienna. Only a RC model aircraft association used the airfield in the 21st century. In 2014, it was still possible to find many relics of the former airfield, including the remains of about half the concrete runway, taxitracks and some bunkers.
Strasshof airfield and the remains of what used to be a 3 kilometer long runway in 2003 (Google Earth).
The runway looking East as photographed by Wolfgang Stich in 2010 (Panoramio)
Strasshof in 2014. Slowly but steadily the runway is disappearing as a commercial zone is being set up at what used to be the logistics site of the airfield. (Google Earth).
Some of the information on this airfield was found on Russian websites that made unauthorised use of original research by Karesz (Karoly) Vándor. Karesz has published on several airfields, one of his books (Soviet Air Force in Hungary and Austria) was even published in English. Karesz was kind enough to allow me the continued use of his research on this site. Click on the images below to go to his publisher and museum website for more information.
Book 1 Book 2