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Gran Sasso raid

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

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tors (first to Ponza, then to La Maddalena, both small
islands in the Tyrrhenian sea), 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 massif, high in the Apennine Mountains. On 12 September 1943, Skorzeny joined the
team of Fallschirmjäger to rescue Mussolini in a highrisk glider mission. The commandos landed their DFS
230 gliders on the mountain; only one crashed, causing
minor injuries. 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 General Fernando Soleti of Polizia, 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]

Overview

On the night between 24 and 25 July 1943, a few weeks
after the Allied invasion of Sicily and bombing of Rome,
the Italian Grand Council of Fascism voted a motion of no
confidence (Ordine del Giorno Grandi) against Mussolini.
On the same day, the king replaced him with Marshal
Pietro Badoglio[1] and had him arrested.[2]

Campo Imperatore Hotel in 1943

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
Campo Imperatore in 2008
Heinkel He 111 on to Vienna, where Mussolini stayed
Mussolini was being transported around Italy by his cap- overnight at the Hotel Imperial and was given a hero’s wel1

1 November 1943. 2 Aftermath The Campo Imperatore Hotel still exists.1943. G. After a pro-SS propaganda coup at the behest of SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. V. right in front of the cameras. The Storch involved in rescuing Mussolini bore the radio code letters. General der Fallschirmtruppe. b. all Fallschirmjäger (German air force paratroop) officers./Fsch. Flugzeugführer beim K. 01. The hotel maintains Mussolini’s bedroom just as it was when he left it. Flieger-Korps [LL-Korps] • Skorzeny.11.) Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. Mussolini was made leader of the Italian Social Republic (a German puppet state consisting of the German-occupied portion of Italy). that rescued Mussolini. The most of them were awarded the Iron Cross (EK I or EK II). The operation on the ground at Campo Imperatore was in fact led by First Lieutenant Baron Georg Freiherr von Berlepsch. V. K. Chef 1.Jäg. 27 September 1943 (305. b. Heinrich. d. he received a promotion to Sturmbannführer. Oberleutnant. . Skorzeny and his Special Forces (SSSonderverband z.Btl] . commanded by Major Otto-Harald Mors and under orders from General Kurt Student. Leutnant (Kr.09. The Friedenthaler of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt were for the Waffen-SS what the Brandenburgers were for that led to his “most dangerous man in Europe” image. Friedenthal • Gerlach.09. Elimar./Fsch.1943. G. SS-Hauptsturmführer d. Kdr I. four were awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and nine were awarded the German Cross in Gold. Kdr SS-Sonderverband z.2 German Cross in Gold (9) • Freiherr von Berlepsch. Kurt. XI. Winston Churchill himself described the mission as “one of great daring”. G. or Stammkennzeichen.Jäg.1 Knight’s Cross (4) • Student. 13. Georg. the Wehrmacht and Abwehr. EL/Oak Leaves).O./LL-Geschw 1 Mussolini leaving the Hotel The operation granted a rare late-war public relations opportunity to Hermann Göring.09. Flieger-Korps [pilot Fieseler Storch (Fi 156)] • Meyer. Hauptmann. 19.Jäg-Lehr.[7] 3 Awards Almost all of the members of the operation received an award. XI./Fsch.2 3 AWARDS come. Major I.. of “SJ + LL”[6] in motion picture coverage of the rescue. the award of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and fame 3. with the same furnishings.1943.Rgt 7 [Fsch. Otto-Harald. 17. “Friedenthal”) of the Waffen-SS Berlin celebration of the troops under the command of Skorzeny were granted the majority of the credit for the operation. 3.1943. Otto. III. Otto Skorzeny gained a large amount of success from this mission. but Skorzeny stewarded the Italian leader first into Rome and eventually into Berlin.Rgt 7 [1..Btl] • Mors. R.JägLehr.

then flown on to Vienna (where he stayed overnight at the Hotel Imperial) and given a hero’s welcome. Hans. d. Marco (2001). 01. V. 18 May 2014.09. Robert (2010). Unteroffizier. ISBN 88-04-48860-3. Feldwebel. Hitler’s Raid to Save Mussolini. Axis Europa Inc (1991). Le Scie (in Italian).1943. d.]/LLGeschw 1 • Neitzel. Retrieved 26 November 2012. Liberate il Duce. Williamson (2007). Friedenthal 4 See also • SS-Jagdverband Mitte • Brandenburgers • Waffen-SS foreign volunteers and conscripts 5 References [1] Whittam.1943. Osprey Raid Series #9.]/LL-Geschw 1 • Lohrmann. Pearson Longman. 26 September 1943.1943.Rottenführer.09. 26. John (2005). V. source B0001 has this wrong as SU+LL [5] Mussolini was first flown by Captain Heinrich Gerlach from Campo Imperatore in a Luftwaffe Fieseler Fi 156 Storch liaison aircraft. [4] “stamm Sx+xx”. ISBN 978-1-84603-462-6 • Antonio Munoz: Forgotten Legions: Obscure Combat Formations of the Waffen-SS. Robert.Nr. Luftwaffe Experten Message Board. 15 September 1943.11. SJ+LL — Fieseler — Fi156C3/Trop — W. Retrieved 22 May 2014.]/LL-Geschw 1 • Thielmann. 12. Johannes. Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. Rescuing Mussolini – Gran Sasso 1943. The Guardian (London). Oscar.1943. LEMB. 31 March 2011. “In bed with Mussolini”. Heiner. [2] Annussek. • Patricelli. ISBN 978-0739408179 7 External links • Unique Photos Uncovered: Mussolini’s Rescue from Gran Sasso in September 1943 . G. 26. ed. SSUnterscharführer. 12. Flieger-Korps [Verbandsführer/flight leader] • Heidenreich. Oberfeldwebel. pp.09.3 • Langguth. Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. Fallschirmjager at the Gran Sasso: The Liberation of Mussolini by the German Parachutist on the 12th September 1943. ISBN 978-0-306-81396-2. The LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project. SS-Sonderverband z. [3] D. Greg (2005). [7] Kington. Manchester University Press. Staffelkapitän 12. Oberleutnant. Pilot eines Lastenseglers i. Hauptmann. Ic XI. 6 Further reading • Gonzalez Lopez. SS-Sonderverband z. Osprey Publishing. Gerhard. Retrieved 22 October 2011.[III. Mondadori. 12. 1918-53.[III. The Age of the Dictators: A Study of the European Dictatorships. • Forczyk.]/LL-Geschw 1 • Neelmeyer. Da Capo Press. [6] “The LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project -"S” Codes (stkz-Sx+xx)". Gustav.1268 — used on the liberation of Mussolini. Fascist Italy.Nr. 26. Tom.1268 — W. 15 September 1943. Friedenthal • Holzer.[III. b. 440–.[III. b. d. ISBN 978-0-582-50580-3. Hans. SS. ISBN 0-7190-4004-3.

jpg Source: https://upload. Helpful Pixie Bot. Lucifero4._Gran_Sasso. AND LICENSES 8 Text and image sources. Klaus Iezzi and Anonymous: 52 8. Gump Stump. ABot. BreakfastJr. AndyFielding.wikimedia. AlleborgoBot.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3. PbBot.jpg Source: https://upload. resp. the digitalization of the originals as provided by the Digital Image Archive. Doc glasgow.0 de Contributors: This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. Morgan Hauser. Thijs!bot. Original artist: Toni Schneiders • File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-567-1503A-07. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic representation only using the originals (negative and/or positive).wikimedia. the digitalization of the originals as provided by the Digital Image Archive. Technopat. 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Oberiko.org/wiki/Gran_Sasso_raid?oldid=663268003 Contributors: Zippy. Original artist: Schwahn • File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J15420. HerkusMonte.0 . Necessary Evil. Gary. TheGoodBadWorst. DagosNavy. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic representation only using the originals (negative and/or positive). Itai. Maxbe~enwiki.org/wikipedia/ commons/c/c1/Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J15420%2C_Gran_Sasso%2C_Mussolini_vor_Hotel.svg Source: https://upload.org/wikipedia/en/9/99/Question_book-new._Mussolini_vor_Hotel.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 de Contributors: This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. LTCjsladack. Sam Sailor. and licenses 8.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia. Denniss. DexDor. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic representation only using the originals (negative and/or positive). Dl2000. Tim!. resp.dallorto. TheJJJunk.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3. Attilios.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Campo_Imperatore_04% 28RaBoe%29._Gran_Sasso. Ichabod._Hotel_Campo_Imperatore. Hardy1956._Sportpalast.png created by User:Equazcion Original artist: Tkgd2007 8. Dominic. Jll. resp. Threedots dead.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-567-1503A-07%2C_Gran_Sasso%2C_Mussolini_ mit_deutschen_Fallschirmj%C3%A4gern. F-451.4 8 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES. Wood Thrush. Distinctx. CONTRIBUTORS. SmackBot. Lectonar. Ekki01. Luckas-bot. Michael Dorosh. Shem1805.wikipedia. Bruno v._Mussolini_mit_deutschen_Fallschirmjägern.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original artist: ? • File:Question_book-new. Barnej. CmdrObot. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic representation only using the originals (negative and/or positive). Writtenright. Difference engine. • File:Campo_Imperatore_04(RaBoe). Carlson288. Dodo19~enwiki.svg License: Cc-by-sa-3. Rgrg. Steven L Baughman.3 Content license • Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. Based on Image:Question book. Magus732.org/ wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-567-1503C-04%2C_Gran_Sasso%2C_Fieseler_Fi_156_%C2%BBStorch%C2% AB.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3. Kurt Leyman. Doczilla. EmausBot. Alessandro57. Tedcopy. resp.jpg Source: https://upload._Fieseler_Fi_156_»Storch«. JackieBot.wikimedia. Rock4arolla. G. Hyperboreer. Father Goose.wikimedia. FlaBot.org/wikipedia/en/4/4a/Commons-logo. Catsmeat. Ud terrorist. Desertus Sagittarius. KevinOKeeffe.jpg Source: https://upload. Rjwilmsi._Gran_Sasso. GraemeLeggett.0 de Contributors: This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. Willbellum. Capt Jim. The PIPE. resp. Original artist: Toni Schneiders • File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-567-1503C-04._Waffen-SS-Angehörige. JustPhil. The German Federal Archive guarantees an authentic representation only using the originals (negative and/or positive). the digitalization of the originals as provided by the Digital Image Archive.wikimedia.2 Images • File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-567-1503A-05. Michael Zimmermann. $1LENCE D00600D. Escarbot.0 Contributors: selbst fotografiert SP-550 UZ Original artist: Ra Boe • File:Commons-logo. DumZiBoT.1 Text • Gran Sasso raid Source: https://en. Addbot.0 de Contributors: This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. Jmcc150.wikimedia._Gran_Sasso.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3. Stor stark7.