Operation Otto

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Operation Otto was the code name for the German plan to occupy Austria during the Anschluss in 1938. [1] It was named after the crown prince of Austria-Hungary at the time, Otto von Habsburg.[2]

The Germans also used Operation Otto as the code name in 1940 for their original war game, in which they planned on invading the Soviet Union. Due to a lack of foresight, the wargame proved mildly erroneous, and spurred what would later become, Operation Barbarossa. In the wargame, the German plan estimated 240 destroyed Soviet divisions, with only 60 remaining. With such an overwhelming margin of victory, the wargame was not completed, under the assumption that the Soviet Union could never recover. During Operation Barbarossa, the Germans in reality destroyed 248 divisions, but due to the Soviet mobilization, there were 220 divisions remaining, far more than the expected 60.[3][4][5] Hitler, being haunted by the fate of Napoleon (who had taken Moscow but failed to destroy the Russian Army), altered the plan by placing less emphasis on the capturing of Moscow. The new plan was code named Operation Barbarossa.[6]


  1. ^ John Toland Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, Anchor Books, 1976. Sections 12.1, 15.1. ISBN 0-385-42053-6.
  2. ^ "Archduke Otto von Habsburg". The Telegraph. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  3. ^ [1] Toward a History-Based Doctrine for Wargaming, by Lt Col Matthew B. Caffrey Jr
  4. ^ "Operation Barbarossa." Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, The Gale Group, Inc. 
  5. ^ "Battle for Russia" (Documentary), PBS, 1994.
  6. ^ "Battle for Russia" (Documentary), PBS, 1994.