Karl von Le Suire

Karl Hans Maximilian von Le Suire (8 November 1898 – 18 June 1954) was a German general during World War II who commanded the XXXXIX Mountain Corps. He was responsible for the Massacre of Kalavryta, in Greece.

Karl von Le Suire
Born8 November 1898
Unterwössen, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died18 June 1954(1954-06-18) (aged 55)
POW camp at Stalingrad, RSFSR, USSR
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchArmy (Wehrmacht)
Years of service1916–45
RankGeneral der Gebirgstruppe
Commands held46th Infantry Division
117th Jäger Division
XXIV Panzer Corps
XXXXIX Mountain Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Life and careerEdit

Karl von Le Suire was born on 8 November 1898 in Unterwössen in Upper Bavaria. After entering the German Army in December 1916, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Bavarian infantry and served on the Western Front. He continued in the army after 1918.[1]

Von Le Suire held a number of staff appointments in the early part of World War II, including Chief of Staff of Gebirgs Corps Norway. He was then given command of the 99th Gebirgsjager Regiment. This was followed by command of the 46th Infantry Division in February 1943 and the Balkans-based 117th Jäger Division in May 1943.[1]

In November 1943, while commanded by von Le Suire, the 117th Jäger Division began a mission named Unternehmen Kalavryta (Operation Kalavryta), intending to encircle Greek guerrilla fighters in the mountainous area surrounding Kalavryta. During the operations, some German soldiers were killed and 77 of them, who were taken prisoners, were executed by the Greek guerrillas. On 10 December 1943 von Le Suire signed the order for the German division to "level the locations Mazeika and Kalavryta". In total, more than 1,200 civilians were killed during the reprisal operations. About 1,000 houses were looted and burned and more than 2,000 sheep and other large domestic animals were seized by the Germans. The event is known as the Massacre of Kalavryta.[2]

From August 1944 von Le Suire commanded the XXXXIX Mountain Corps,[1] and was still in command when he surrendered to Soviet troops in May 1945. He died in Soviet captivity on 18 June 1954 in a prisoner of war camp at Stalingrad.[3][4]

Awards and decorationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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 Branche] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Lucas, James (1980). Alpine Elite: German Mountain Troops of World War II. Jane's Publishing. ISBN 0531037134.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1994). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil VI: Die Gebirgstruppe Band 2: L–Z [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part VI: The Mountain Troops Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2430-3.
  • Varlow, Andy (1998). Just Another Man: A Story of the Nazi Massacre of Kalavryta. Frog Ltd. ISBN 1-883319-72-2.


  1. ^ a b c Lucas 1980, p. 217.
  2. ^ Varlow 1998, p. Passim.
  3. ^ a b Fellgiebel 2000, p. 339.
  4. ^ a b c Thomas & Wegmann 1994, p. 35.
  5. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Arthur Hauffe
Commander of 46. Infanterie-Division
13 February 1943 – 27 February 1943
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Arthur Hauffe
Preceded by
Previously 717. Infanterie-Division
Commander of 117. Jäger Division
1 May 1943 – 10 July 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant August Wittmann
Preceded by
General der Artillerie Walter Hartmann
Commander of XXXXIX. Gebirgskorps
5 August 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by