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Otto Dessloch (11 June 1889 – 13 May 1977) was a German Luftwaffe general during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany.

Otto Dessloch
Otto Dessloch.jpg
Dessloch in 1944
Born(1889-06-11)11 June 1889
Bamberg, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died13 May 1977(1977-05-13) (aged 87)
Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire (1910-1918)
 Weimar Republic (1918-1933)
 Nazi Germany (1933-1945)
Service/branchArmy
Luftwaffe
Years of service1910–45
RankLuftwaffe epaulette Generaloberst.svg Generaloberst
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

CareerEdit

Dessloch was born in Bamberg, he joined the Bavarian Army in 1910 and served during World War I.[1] After the German defeat, he joined the right-wing Freikorps forces of Franz von Epp, fighting against the Bavarian Soviet Republic. From 1921, he served as an intelligence officer in the German Reichswehr. In the course of German re-armament, he attended the secret Lipetsk fighter-pilot school in 1926–27. Dessloch took part in the fast build-up of the Luftwaffe after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, from 1 December 1934 as commander of a Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (flight training school). From 1935 he served as commander of two Luftwaffe wings.

During World War II he commanded a Luftflotte 2 corps from 3 October 1939 and was appointed Major general and commander of the 6th flight division on 1 January. He provided air support to the Wehrmacht Army Group B in the 1940 Battle of France and from 1941 commanded Luftwaffe units on the Eastern Front. Promoted to General der Flakartillerie on 1 January 1942, he served as a commander on the southern Eastern Front and in the Caucasus Mountains. On 11 June 1943 Dessloch succeeded Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen as commander-in-chief of Luftflotte 4 in the rank of Colonel general.

When in the summer 1944 the Western Front collapsed, Dessloch was appointed commander of Luftflotte 3 by Hermann Göring to replace dismissed Hugo Sperrle. After Paris was liberated by the Allied forces, Dessloch commanded an air unit that, in retaliation, bombed the city destroying civilian targets and killing 200 French civilians on September 1944.[2] The attack was carried out on Hitler's personal order. From September he again served as commander of Luftflotte 4 until he succeeded Robert Ritter von Greim as head of Luftflotte 6 during the last days of the war. Dessloch was interned by the Allies until 1948.

According to the Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel, Otto Dessloch was a war criminal.[3] He died in Munich in 1977.

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Summary of Dessloch World war I service December 1914-November 1918.Accessed 5 November 2018
  2. ^ Mitcham 2007, pp. 185–195.
  3. ^ Yad Vashem Photo Archive, Germany, War criminal Otto Dessloch
  4. ^ a b c d Thomas & Wegmann 1991, p. 100.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 159.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 82.

BibliographyEdit

  • 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 Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. Jr. (2007). Retreat to the Reich. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1991). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil V: Die Flugabwehrtruppen 1: A–K [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part V: The Air Defense Troops 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1153-2.
Military offices
Preceded by
none
Commander of Kampfgeschwader 155
1 April 1936 – 1 February 1938
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Wilhelm Süssmann
Preceded by
none
Commander of II. Flakkorps
30 October 1939 – 31 March 1942
Succeeded by
General der Flakartillerie Job Odebrecht
Preceded by
Generalfeldmarschall Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
Commander of Luftflotte 4
4 September 1943 – 17 February 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Alexander Holle
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Alexander Holle
Commander of Luftflotte 4
28 September 1944 – 21 April 1945
Succeeded by
redesignated to Luftwaffenkommando 4
Preceded by
Generalfeldmarschall Robert Ritter von Greim
Commander of Luftflotte 6
27 April 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
disbanded