||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (November 2012)|
|Born||25 June 1893
Pleß (today Poland)
|Died||29 April 1971 (aged 77)
|Years of service||1914–18
|Rank||General der Infanterie|
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Otto Lasch (25 June 1893 - 29 April 1971) was a highly decorated General der Infanterie in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the LXIV. Armeekorps. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Life and career
Otto Lasch was born in Pleß (Pszczyna) as son of the high master forester of the Prince of Pless in Silesia. Lasch after graduation took part in World War I in the Jäger-Battalion „Fürst Bismarck“ Nr. 2 in Kulm (Westprussia). After 1918 he joined the police and in 1935 the Wehrmacht. He advanced to the rank of Generalleutnant and functioned as Commandant of Königsberg in East Prussia from November 1944.
Following heavy fighting and surrounding of the city during the Battle of Königsberg by the 36-division strong 3rd Byelorussian Front under Ivan Chernyakhovsky, Lasch, with only badly crippled divisions under his command, decided to surrender the city to the Red Army on 9 April 1945. For this act, Hitler condemned him in absentia and his family to death. His wife and daughters were arrested in Berlin and Denmark. However at the end of the war they were released. Lasch was to remain until 1953 in Soviet labor camp captivity in Workuta, but was released late October 1955, when due to Adenauer's Moscow visit remaining German war prisoners were released. Lasch died in Bonn in 1971.
In 1958 he wrote the book: So fiel Königsberg. Kampf und Untergang von Ostpreußens Hauptstadt about the battle and fall of Königsberg, capital city of East Prussia. 1965 he wrote about the years of his time in Soviet war prison, titled Zuckerbrot und Peitsche.
Awards and decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award, 4th to 1st class
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Eastern Front Medal
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned three times in the Wehrmachtbericht (1 July 1941, 2 July 1942 and 12 April 1945)
- Thomas 1998, p. 13.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
Generalleutnant Friedrich Bayer
|Commander of 217. Infanterie-Division
September 27, 1942 - October 1, 1943
Generalleutnant Walter Poppe
|Commander of LXIV. Armeekorps
August 5, 1944 - November 1, 1944
General der Infanterie Helmut Thumm