Otto Paetsch

Otto Paetsch

Paetsch (on left) with Heinz Harmel and Karl-Heinz Euling (right) in February 1945.
Born 3 August 1909
Rheinhausen, Germany
Died 16 March 1945 (1945-03-17) (aged 35)
Altdamm, Stettin
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen SS
Years of service 1931–45
Rank Standartenführer
Unit SS Division Wiking
10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oakleaves

Otto Paetsch (3 August 1909 – 16 March 1945) was a Standartenführer (Colonel) in the Waffen SS who was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves during World War II.


Born in 1909, Paetsch volunteered for the SS in 1931 and was posted to the Germania Regiment. After the Battle of France the Germania Regiment was used as the basis of a new SS division Wiking, which from June 1941 fought in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union. In April 1942, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold for bravery. From June 1944 he led his regiment in Normandy, and took part in the breakout from the Falaise Pocket) for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross. In the autumn of 1944 he fought at Arnhem (Operation Market Garden) against the British 1st Airborne Division, then in early 1945 in Lower Alsace and in early 1945 was involved in the fighting in Pomerania, where on 16 March 1945 at Altdamm, he was fatally wounded. For the successful fighting at the Hagenau bridgehead and at Stettin he was awarded a posthumous award of the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross in May 1945 and promoted to Standartenführer (Colonel).




  1. 1 2 Thomas 1998, p. 139.
  2. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 342.
  3. 1 2 Scherzer 2007, p. 581.


  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • 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. 
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