Otto Skorzeny (12 June 1908 – 5 July 1975) was an Obersturmbannführer in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he commanded a rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from captivity. Skorzeny was also the leader of Operation Greif, in which German soldiers were to infiltrate through enemy lines, using their opponents' uniforms and customs. At the end of the war, Skorzeny was part of the Werwolf guerrilla movement.
Although charged with breaching the 1907 Hague Convention in relation with Operation Greif, the Dachau Military Tribunal acquitted Skorzeny after the war. Skorzeny fled from his holding prison in 1948, first to France, and then Spain. A German court de-Nazi-fied him in 1952.
Otto Skorzeny in Worldwar
Otto Skorzeny (1908-1944) was a Colonel in the German SS. He became something of a legend when the Race invaded Earth. He went on several missions, many death-defying, to frustrate the Race's war effort. These included a joint raid with the Soviet NKVD to recover radioactive plutonium from a destroyed Lizard starship; a battle in Croatia in which he bested and killed Drefsab, the chief of the Conquest Fleet's intelligence; the rescue of Benito Mussolini from the Race's clutches; the capture of a lizard tank in Besançon; and an undercover mission to destroy a munitions factory in occupied France. On many of these missions Skorzeny worked closely with Panzer colonel Heinrich Jäger.
After a cease-fire was called in 1944, and peace talks began in Cairo, Skorzeny, (on Adolf Hitler's orders) smuggled an atomic bomb into Lodz, Poland to destroy the city and disrupt the newfound, fragile peace between the Race and the human powers. He was narrowly prevented from doing so by Jäger, Mordechai Anielewicz and Ludmila Gorbunova. Skorzeny failed to detonate the bomb and was killed on this mission - but not before exposing his three opponents to nerve gas. Gorbunova was permanently crippled by her exposure and Jäger's life-span was shortened.
With the bomb-plot halted, Germany had no choice but to recognize Poland as one of the Race Colonies on Tosev 3.
- References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work, for additional minor references.
- Clarence Potter, a fictional character in Southern Victory, who is based on an amalgamation of several historical figures, including Skorzeny.