Otto Wohler

Otto Wohler

German officer, participant in the First and Second World Wars, infantry general
Date of Birth: 12.07.1894
Country: Germany

Biography of Otto Wöhler

Otto Wöhler was a German officer and participant in both World Wars. He was born on July 17, 1894, in a family headed by the head of a rural community, Heinrich Wöhler. Unfortunately, Otto's mother passed away in 1895, and he was raised without her.

In February 1913, Otto joined the 167th (1st Upper-Alsace) Infantry Regiment as a candidate officer. On May 20, 1914, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Throughout his military career, Otto commanded various units, starting with an infantry platoon and later a company. In November 1918, he served as the deputy commander of his regiment and distinguished himself multiple times in battle, earning five orders and being wounded three times.

After the war, Otto remained in the army and served as the adjutant to the commander of the 22nd Reichswehr Infantry Regiment in Kassel. In 1926, he underwent training at the General Staff Officer Courses. By 1938, he had reached the rank of colonel and became an officer at the General Staff of the German Army Academy in Berlin.

In August 1939, Otto was appointed as the Chief of Operations for the 14th Army under Wilhelm List. He participated in the Polish Campaign at the beginning of World War II. From December 1939, he became the Chief of Staff for the 17th Army Corps and took part in the French Campaign. In October 1940, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff for the 11th Army.

Starting from June 22, 1941, Otto was involved in the war against the Soviet Union in Ukraine and Crimea. In April 1942, he became the Chief of Staff for Army Group Center, and in April 1943, he took command of the 1st Army Corps on the northern sector of the Eastern Front. In August 1943, he was appointed as the commander of the 8th Army, which fought in Ukraine. In 1944, he participated in defensive battles in Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, and Hungary. From December 1944, he became the commander of Army Group South.

On April 7, 1945, Otto was transferred to the reserve command due to the dissolution of Army Group South. After Germany's surrender, he was captured by American forces. During the 12th American Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, he was found guilty of collaboration with the Einsatzgruppen while serving as the Chief of Staff for the 11th Army and sentenced to eight years of imprisonment on October 28, 1948.

After his release from prison in January 1951, Otto resided in his hometown. He passed away on February 5, 1987, at the age of 92 in Burgwedel. In his will, he bequeathed a portion of his estate to a social institution to provide assistance to those in need. He was buried next to the grave of his son, Hert, who was a cadet at the Naval Academy and died in 1944 on a ship in the Gulf of Finland.