Wednesday, 24 December 2008

SS Obertsturmbannführer Otto Baum

Otto Baum was born on November 15th 1911 in Stettin bei Hechingen, Hohenzollern. Otto Baum had fairly humble begginings as the son of a Merchant.

Otto Baum went to Agricultural school in Stuttgart, but it was after completing this schooling that Baums life was to change.

In 1934, fresh out of Agricultural school, Baum joined the SS and a year later in 1935 he completed his first classes in SS-Junkerschule Braunschweig, the school for SS officers.

Upon graduating as a SS officer Baum took command as a Zugführer with 5/Germania, this lasted for nearly three years before he became Zugführer with 12.Kompanie in the Regiment "Der Führer" in the year 1938. After a short stint with 12.Kompanie Otto moved to command 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte".

While commanding 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte" Otto Baum with his Kompanie was annexed to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). The LSSAH along with Baum and the 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte" fought in the invasion of Poland in 1939.

In early 1940 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte" along with the rest of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler were moved to the Dutch border ready for the launch of Fall Gelb (Case yellow), the prelude to the invasion of France.

On the day the invasion was launched on the 10th May 1940 the LSSAH with Otto Baum and his 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte" crossed the Dutch border and covered 290km in 5 days. On the 14th May after the Netherlands surrendered 7.Kompanie der SS-"Leibstandarte" became part of the reserve for Army Group B.

In March 1941 Baum became Battalionskommandeur for the "Totenkopf" Division where Baum won the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross after much success.

In 1943 Baum was promoted again, this time to command SS-Pz.-Gren-Regt. 5 "Totenkopf". It was during this command in battles through the first quarter of the year that Baum received his Oakleaves.

In March 1944 Baum had a rest in the reserves before commencing battle again in the June when he commanded the 17.SS-Pz.-Gren-Div. "Götz von Berlichingen" for two months. After this Baum took command of SS Das Reich (DR) after the death of SS-Obertsturmbannführer Christian Tychsen. Baum lead the SS Das Reich division until he was relieved by Lammerding. It was during his command of SS Das Reich that Baum was awarded the Swords.

Otto Baum ended the war commanding the 16.SS-Pz.-Gren-Div "RFSS" with the rank of Obertsturmbannführer.

Otto Baum

Born: Nov. 15, 1911 in Stetten-Hechingen
Died: 1998


Iron Cross 2nd Class: Sept. 12, 1939
Iron Cross 1st Class: June 8, 1940
German Cross in Gold: Dec. 26, 1941
Knights Cross: May 17, 1942
Oakleaves: August 22, 1943 (277)
Swords: September 2, 1944 (95)


Untersturmführer: April 20, 1939
Oberstrumführer: June 1, 1940
Hauptsturmführer: November 9, 1941
Standartenführer: January 30, 1944
Sturmbannführer: April 20, 1944
Oberführer: September 17, 1944
Obertsturmbannführer: April 20, 1945

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