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Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943) Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis. According to some accounts, what was Mussolini's reply when the paratroopers told him that Adolf Hitler had sent them? More...
zina antoaneta
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 12:55:52 AM

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An assassination attempt on Hitler, an imprisonment by his own government for Mussolini, people did try...
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:24:31 AM

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This Day in History
Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)
In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:24:32 AM

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This Day in History
Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)
In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:08:10 PM

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Gran Sasso raid
Gran Sasso raid
Operation Oak
Part of World War II
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-567-1503A-07, Gran Sasso, Mussolini mit deutschen Fallschirmjägern.jpg
Mussolini rescued by German commandos from his prison in Campo Imperatore on 12 September 1943.
Operational scope Operational
Location Campo Imperatore, Italy
Planned Kurt Student
Planned by Harald Mors
Target Campo Imperatore
Date September 12, 1943
Executed by Fallschirmjäger-Lehr-Bataillon of the 2. Fallschirmjägerdivision, 1/FJR 7; SS-Sonderverband z.b.V. Friedenthal
Outcome Rescue of Benito Mussolini
Casualties None

The Gran Sasso raid refers to Operation Eiche (German for 'Oak'), the rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini by German paratroopers led by Major Otto-Harald Mors and Waffen-SS commandos in September 1943, during World War II. The airborne operation was personally ordered by Adolf Hitler, planned by Major Harald Mors and approved by General Kurt Student.
Overview

On 25 July 1943, a few weeks after the Allied invasion of Sicily and bombing of Rome, the Italian Grand Council of Fascism voted to depose Mussolini and replaced him with Marshal Pietro Badoglio.[1] Mussolini was subsequently arrested on King Victor Emmanuel's orders.[2]
Campo Imperatore Hotel in 1943
Campo Imperatore in 2008

Mussolini was being transported around Italy by his captors, whilst Otto Skorzeny, selected personally by Hitler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner to carry out the mission, was tracking him.

Intercepting a coded Italian radio message, Skorzeny used the reconnaissance provided by the agents and informants of SS-Obersturmbannführer Herbert Kappler to determine that Mussolini was being imprisoned at Campo Imperatore Hotel, a ski resort at Campo Imperatore in Italy's Gran Sasso, high in the Apennine Mountains. On 12 September 1943, Skorzeny joined the team of Fallschirmjäger to rescue Mussolini in a high-risk glider mission. The commandos landed their DFS 230 gliders onto the mountain, only one crashed causing some minor injuries to the passengers. The Fallschirmjäger and Skorzeny's special troopers then overwhelmed Mussolini's captors (200 well-equipped Carabinieri guards) without a single shot being fired, this was also due to the fact that Carabinieri-General Ferdinando (Fernando) Soleti, who flew in with Skorzeny, told them to stand down or be executed for treason. Skorzeny attacked the radio operator and his equipment, then he formally greeted Mussolini with "Duce, the Führer has sent me to set you free!" to which Mussolini replied "I knew that my friend would not forsake me!"[3]
The actual Storch used to rescue Mussolini

Mussolini was first flown from Campo Imperatore in a Luftwaffe Fieseler Fi 156C-3/Trop Storch STOL liaison aircraft, Werknummer (serial number) 1268,[4] initially flown in by Hauptmann Heinrich Gerlach (1912—1993),[5] then taking off with Mussolini and Skorzeny (even though the weight of an extra passenger almost caused the tiny plane to crash) to the military airport of Pratica di Mare (near Rome) then embarked in an Heinkel He 111 on to Vienna, where Mussolini stayed overnight at the Hotel Imperial and was given a hero's welcome. The Storch involved in rescuing Mussolini bore the radio code letters, or Stammkennzeichen, of "SJ + LL"[6] in motion picture coverage of the rescue.

The operation on the ground at Campo Imperatore was in fact led by First Lieutenant Baron Georg Freiherr von Berlepsch, commanded by Major Otto-Harald Mors and under orders from General Kurt Student, all Fallschirmjäger (German Air Force Paratroopers) officers; but Skorzeny stewarded the Italian leader first into Rome and eventually into Berlin, right in front of the cameras. After a pro-SS propaganda coup at the behest of SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, Skorzeny and his Special Forces (SS-Sonderverband z. b. V. "Friedenthal") of the Waffen-SS were granted the majority of the credit for the operation. The "Friedenthaler" of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt were for the Waffen-SS what the Brandenburgers were for the Wehrmacht and Abwehr.
Aftermath
Mussolini leaving the Hotel
Berlin celebration of the troops under the command of Skorzeny that rescued Mussolini.

The operation granted a rare late-war public relations opportunity to Hermann Göring. Mussolini was made leader of the Italian Social Republic (a German puppet state consisting of the German-occupied portion of Italy). Otto Skorzeny gained a large amount of success from this mission; he received a promotion to Sturmbannführer, the award of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and fame that led to his "most dangerous man in Europe" image. Winston Churchill himself described the mission as "one of great daring."
Awards

Almost all of the members of the operation received an award. The most of them were awarded the Iron Cross (EK I or EK II), four were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and nine were awarded the German Cross in Gold.
Knight's Cross (4)

Student, Kurt, 27 September 1943 (305. EL/Oak Leaves), General der Fallschirmtruppe, K. G. XI. Flieger-Korps [LL-Korps]
Skorzeny, Otto, 13.09.1943, SS-Hauptsturmführer d. R., Kdr SS-Sonderverband z. b. V. Friedenthal
Gerlach, Heinrich, 19.09.1943, Hauptmann, Flugzeugführer beim K. G. XI. Flieger-Korps [pilot Fieseler Storch (Fi 156)]
Meyer, Elimar, 17.09.1943, Leutnant (Kr.O.) Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. d. III./LL-Geschw 1

German Cross in Gold (9)

Freiherr von Berlepsch, Georg, 01 November 1943, Oberleutnant, Chef 1./Fsch.Jäg.Rgt 7 [1./Fsch.Jäg-Lehr.Btl]
Mors, Otto-Harald, 01.11.1943, Major I. G., Kdr I./Fsch.Jäg.Rgt 7 [Fsch.Jäg-Lehr.Btl]
Langguth, Gerhard, 01.11.1943, Hauptmann, Ic XI. Flieger-Korps [Verbandsführer/flight leader]
Heidenreich, Johannes, 26.09.1943, Oberleutnant, Staffelkapitän 12.[III.]/LL-Geschw 1
Neelmeyer, Hans, 26.09.1943, Oberfeldwebel, Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. d. 12.[III.]/LL-Geschw 1
Lohrmann, Heiner, 26.09.1943, Feldwebel, Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. d. 12.[III.]/LL-Geschw 1
Thielmann, Gustav, 26 September 1943, Unteroffizier, Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. d. 12.[III.]/LL-Geschw 1
Neitzel, Robert, 15 September 1943, SS-Unterscharführer, SS-Sonderverband z. b. V. Friedenthal
Holzer, Hans, 15 September 1943, SS- Rottenführer, SS-Sonderverband z. b. V. Friedenthal

See also

SS-Jagdverband Mitte
Brandenburgers

with my pleasure
Articulate Dreamer
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:37:28 PM

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Ironic to recall that when the Axis between Hitler and Mussolini was being fashioned, Hitler on their first encounter in Italy, was stunned by Mussolini's charismatic popularity, the military strength he had mustered, as well as the secure financial status of Italy under him.

Eventually, it was the Fuhrer, who had to rescue Il Duce.

"...hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour"
MelissaMe
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:33:22 PM

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Huh...interesting thought...that der Führer actually had friends???

This is my only now.
monamagda
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‘Scarface’ – The Elite Nazi Commando Who Hitler Sent To Rescue Mussolini

Otto Skorzeny was one of Germany’s finest commandos. An engineer by profession, he tried to volunteer for the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), in the year 1939 but was declined entry due to his age (31 at the time) and unusual height (6.4 feet, or 1.92 meters). He had a scar on his cheek, inflicted during a fencing duel. Due to this wound, he would become known as ‘Scarface.’ He was an Austrian Nazi Party member since 1931 and was a noted figure in the lower and mid-level party structures before the war.



Operation Oak, or the Gran Sasso Raid

In 1943, Skorzeny conducted his most famous action, the kidnapping (or rather the rescue) of then imprisoned Benito Mussolini, the former dictator of Italy. The mission was codenamed Operation Oak.

After success in the North African Theater of War, the Allies landed in Sicily in 1943, and swiftly crushed the Italian Army in a series of victories. The frontline was then settled on the so-called Winter Line, and the Allied advance was held back by the Germans here until the end of the war. Mussolini was overthrown and arrested by the Italian King, Emanuel the Third, in 1943. Hitler wanted him back, so he ordered Skorzeny together with five Luftwaffe agents and three agents selected from the Armed Forces.

Mussolini had first been held on the island of Sardinia, where Skorzeny started to gather intelligence. He was shot down during a reconnaissance mission but managed to bail in time to be saved by a passing Italian destroyer ship, still loyal to the Fascists. After this event, Mussolini was moved to the Campo Imperatore Hotel on the top of the Gran Sasso Mountain.

Together with agents Kurt Student and Harald Mors, Skorzeny devised a daring plan which would be remembered as one of the finest commando operations ever.

The mission was conducted via glider planes which landed on the mountain. The members of the 502nd Paratrooper Division then proceeded to the compound of the Campo Imperatore Hotel. In a rather dashing turn of events, the team, accompanied by the Police General Fernando Soleti, managed to persuade the carabinieri guarding the hotel to surrender their arms.

Skorzeny managed to take hold of a radio and formally greeted the high-level captive with the words: “Duce, the Führer has sent me to set you free!” to which Mussolini replied, “I knew that my friend would not forsake me!”


https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/5-successful-missions_skorzeny-mmm.html

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