Otto Skorzeny (12 June 1908 – 5 July 1975) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he was chosen as the field commander to carry out the 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’ language, uniforms, and customs. At the end of the war, Skorzeny was involved with the Werwolf guerrilla movement and the ODESSA network where he would serve as Spanish coordinator.
Although he was 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 to Spain.
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