1908: Hitler’s Commando Otto Skorzeny Born

1908: Hitler’s Commando Otto Skorzeny Born
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Otto Skorzeny as commander of the SS unit "Friedenthal (by Bundesarchiv, Bild 101III-Alber-183-25 / Alber, Kurt / CC-BY-SA. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 12 June 1908
  • Otto Skorzeny grew to be 192 centimeters tall. In his youth he was interested in fencing, which gave him the large scar on the left side of his face. The impressive scar was his trademark, and together with his height made him a great propaganda icon.

On this day, one of the best known members of the German special forces – Otto Skorzeny – was born.

He was born in Vienna, in a family of Polish origin, which is evident from his Slavic surname. He grew up during the Great Depression, and he once said that the shortage was such that he had never tasted real butter. However, it is interesting that Otto grew to be 192 centimeters tall. In his youth he was interested in fencing, which gave him the large scar on the left side of his face. The impressive scar was his trademark, and together with his height made him a great propaganda icon.

Skorzeny’s ventures in the special forces are numerous enough for a whole series of articles. Let us mention only the liberation of Benito Mussolini from captivity at Gran Sasso, the kidnapping of Hungarian statesman Miklos Horthy’s son, planning a capture of Josip Broz Tito, coordinating Nazi attempts of the incursion into Iran etc.

Within the Waffen-SS, Skorzeny held the rank of Obersturmbannführer, equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant) in the Wehrmacht. He died in 1975, at the age of 67. His adventures during the war and afterwards, would require several films for a screen adaptation.

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