Dietrich von Choltitz was a military leader in World War Two. He is now most famous for saving Paris from destruction in 1944. Adolf Hitler preferred to see the city destroyed than in the hands of the Allies, but Choltitz defied the dictator and surrendered the city to the enemy.
Born in 1894 in Silesia, Dietrich von Choltitz fought in World War One and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He stayed in the army after the war and in 1929 earned a further promotion to the rank of captain in a cavalry regiment. Later he was made commander of the Third battalion of the Luftlande-Infanterie Regiment 16, from 1938 as a lieutenant colonel.
Choltitz saw action in the Netherlands during World War Two. His battalion helped occupy Rotterdam in 1940. His leadership during this swift attack earned him the Knight's Cross.
In September 1940, Choltitz became commander of the entire Luftlande-Infanterie Regiment 16, and in 1941 he was promoted to full colonel.
In June 1941, ‘Operation Barbarossa’ - the Nazi invasion of the USSR - was launched. At first the Nazis made rapid gains, but the invasion soon stagnated and the Nazis failed to take the crucial cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad.
See also: General Mark Clark
"General Dietrich von Choltitz". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.
|Name:||Dietrich von Choltitz|
|Birth Date:||9 November 1894, Gräflich Wiese, German Empire|
|Death:||4 November 1966 (aged 71), Baden-Baden, West Germany|
|Selected Military Decorations/Awards||