|SS-Obergruppenführer Josef Sepp Dietrich|
ϟϟ-Oberst-Gruppenführer Generaloberst der Waffen-SS Dietrich
Josef “Sepp” Dietrich was born on May 28 1892 in the province of Swabia. At the age of nineteen he joined the Bavarian Army in October 1911. After the outbreak of World War I he was sent to the 6th Bavarian Reserve Field Artillery Regiment. He saw action in the first year of the war and had been wounded twice by early 1915. In 1918 Dietrich was transferred to one of the first tank units developed by the German Army in World War I, the Bavarian Assault Tank Detachment 13, and served as a gunner. Dietrich joined the Bavarian Landespolizei after the war, reaching the rank of captain by 1924. He took leave from active police service after he volunteered to fight with the Freikorps Oberland against Polish irregular forces. In 1920 Poland sought to seize control of the German province of Upper Silesia, with had been ceded to Poland by the Versailles Treaty. The hardened combat veterans of the Freikorps Oberland were sent to Upper Silesia to help defend the province from the Polish troops. In 1927 he joined the Nazi Party and shortly thereafter, the SS. From 1934 until 1939 Dietrich commanded Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and oversaw an expansion and change in mission for the formation. Deitrich led his young Waffen-SS troops into Poland in September 1939 and later he scored a huge personal coup when he received the surrender of the entire Greek Army. In fact, he negotiated the entire surrender and extended very generous terms to the Greek officers, who were allowed to keep their sidearms and return home as well. On June 22 1941 Dietrich led an experienced Leibstandarte SS as a reinforced regiment into the Soviet Union, where it saw the most savage fighting in history. For more information on the Leibstandarte SS published within the Stabswache de Euros - use the search function on this site. SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer Generaloberst of the Waffen-SS Josef "Sepp" Dietrich surrendered to members of the U.S. 36th Infantry Division and entered what would be a long period of captivity. He was eventually imprisoned at Dachau nad charged with war crimes associated with the Malmedy massacre. He received a life time sentence and was incarcerated in Landsberg prison. By 1948 his health began to deteriorate due to circulatory from the hard years in the Soviet Union and the poor conditions in the prison. He was released in 1959 and rejoined his family for the last years of his life. In April 1966, the old soldier of the Leibstandarte SS and holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds died of a heart attack at his home in Ludwigsburg at age 73. His funeral was attended by seven thousand of his wartime Waffen-SS comrades. He was eulogized by former SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS Wilhelm Bittrich. Credit: George Nipe and Remy Spezzano: Platz der Leibstandarte. Image: Commander of the Leibstandarte SS SS-Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich on the Berghof terrace. The Berghof was Adolf Hitler's home near Berchtesgaden in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps. Commons: Bundesarchiv.