Sunday, April 3, 2016

Generaloberst Otto Dessloch


Otto Dessloch/Deßloch (11 June 1889 – 13 May 1977) was born at Bamberg, the son of a forester. After completing his secondary education he joined the Bavarian Army at Saargemünd and achieved the rank of Leutnant in 1912. Severely wounded in the first weeks of World War I, he retrained to become a member of the German Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte) and in 1916 joined the Royal Bavarian Jagdstaffel 16 hunting group on the Western Front. Taken prisoner following an emergency landing in neutral Switzerland, he was released after several months and from 1917 served as a squadron leader of Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17.

After the German defeat, he joined the right-wing Freikorps forces of Franz Ritter von Epp, fighting against the Bavarian Soviet Republic. As German flight operations were closed down according to the terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Dessloch had to retrain again and from 1921 served as an intelligence officer in the German Reichswehr holding the rank of Rittmeister, later also as garrison commander in Ansbach. In the course of German re-armament, he attended the secret Lipetsk fighter-pilot school in 1926–27. Having returned to Germany, he became a staff officer of the 7th (Bavarian) Reichswehr infantry division and achieved the rank of Major in 1932. Dessloch took part in the fast build-up of the Luftwaffe after the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, from 1 December 1934 as commander of a flight training school in Cottbus. From 1935 he served as Commodore of two Luftwaffe wings (Kampfgeschwader), from 1936 in the rank of Oberst (Colonel).

When World War II broke, he commanded the 6. Flieger-Division and provided air support to the Wehrmacht Heeresgruppe B (Army Group B) in the 1940 Battle of France and from 1941 commanded Luftwaffe units on the Eastern Front. Promoted to General der Flieger 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 Generaloberst (Colonel general). When in 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 which avenged the liberation by bombing the city destroying civilian targets and killing 200 French civilians on September 1944. The attack was carried out on Hitler's personal order. Unlike city commandant Dietrich von Choltitz and Army Group B chief-of-staff Hans Speidel, Dessloch obeyed. 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. In captivity as a prisoner-of-war until 1948, Dessloch in his later years devoted himself to equestrian sports.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment