Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Generaloberst Eduard Dietl in a Studio Portrait

Generaloberst Eduard Dietl (21 July 1890 - 23 June 1944) in a studio portrait made in 1943 by Walter Frentz. He was a son of a finance professional, and also a World War I veteran. As a Leutnant (Second Lieutenant) and a company commander, he distinguished himself in leadership and bravery. During the interwar years, he became a member of the Nazi party, and was a key figure of the Nazi party in Münich. As the war broke out in Europe, Dietl led the 3. Gebirgs-Division during the invasion of Poland, then led the same unit in the invasion of Norway. For his achievements in Poland and Norway, Dietl became the first man to be awarded Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross) on 19 Jul 1940. On the same date, he was also promoted to the rank of General der Gebirgstruppe. Dietl was well-liked by his men, who affectionally nicknamed him "Buffel", or "Buffalo", for his tough personality. In June 1941, he was placed in command of Operation Silver Fox which targeted Russian ports and railroads east of Finland. The operation saw initial success, but the invasion forces very quickly became burdened by the harsh and unfamiliar terrain, and became stagnant by September 1941. He was named the commander of all German forces in the Finland theater in Januari 1942. Dietl died in a plane crash in Slovenia in June 1944.


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