Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny is a hero of mine; a man in the same league as David Stirling and TE Lawrence. He worked for the wrong firm though. The scar came from duelling


Otto in Pommern

Otto Explained By Someone Who Is Not An Admirer
This jogged my memory. Otto Skorzeny was an extremely capable SF operator. I once had to do a project on leadership using a famous personality as an example. They gave us a list of people after my first two choices had already been oversubscribed, I asked if I could choose my own, one not on the list - they ummed and aaah'd, but when I proposed Skorzeny it was accepted. I knew only the basics - e.g. the Mussolini rescue, the Battle of the Bulge, so I did a lot of research (some from source material only available in German), but had the advantage of access to some first class libraries and archives (pre-internet days).

It was a fascinating journey, my admiration for his military achievements grew, but I also found out that he was a diehard Nazi "true believer" with extremely questionable morals and an ability for opportunist self-publicity. From taking part in the para-military op that was played out in the background of the Austrian Anschluss to the defence of the Oder Bridgehead in '45 he was there. In fact it can be argued that he actually managed to prolong the course of the war substantially by this last action and his activity in Hungary in '44.

After getting acquitted at Nuremberg (due to Yeo-Thomas's guilt trip) he went on to work on an Egyptian plan to mount chemical warheads on missiles to target Israel and advised South American fascists on policing and interrogation techniques, eventually dieing of old age in Franco's Spain. His politics were thoroughly reprehensible, but his mind was very unconventional and innovative when it came to warfare.

Apologies if I've strayed a bit from the original topic of this thread.