Wilhelm von Lieder
|Colonel von Lieder in his office at Saint-Marie|
|Born|| 20 June 1895|
|Died|| 17 March 1944 (aged 48)|
Saint-Marie, Nazi-occupied France
|Service/branch|| Austrian Army|
|Years of Service|| 1918 (Austria-Hungary)|
1938-1944 (Nazi Germany)
|Commands Held||3rd Armored Heer Division|
|Battles/Wars|| Operation Faustschlag|
Invasion of Poland
Battle of France
|Portrayed By||Jacob LaCombe|
|“||One more word, and I will have you shot! Or worse, sent to the Russian front! Or maybe both!||”|
–Wilhelm von Lieder, to Fritz Diedrich
Oberst Wilhelm von Lieder was an Austrian-German military officer who served in World War I in the Austro-Hungarian Army, most notably during the Central Powers victory against Soviet Russia during Operation Faustchlag in the Baltics.
Nazi Military ServiceEdit
Following the Central Powers defeat and the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungary, von Lieder went to university for military science and later rejoined the new Austrian army, which was constituted as a defense force with restrictions due to the Treaty of Versailles. With the Nazi movement under Adolf Hitler growing in neighboring Germany, von Lieder among with many other Austrians became avid followers. He was also an advocate and supporter of the Anschluss between Austria and Nazi Germany.
Wilhelm von Lieder now found himself as a colonel in the German Army and was quickly deployed to the Polish invasion in 1939 as the Third Reich began its conquest of Europe. After the invasion, von Lieder was summoned to the newly-formed Western Front to participate in the Battle of France, leading his armored divison all the way to Paris itself. He was later placed in charge of the Nazi garrison in Saint-Marie, a small town along the vital and strategic supply route from Stuttgart to Paris.
Commandant of Saint-MarieEdit
Due to the strategic importance of Saint-Marie, the town saw many French partisan attacks, mostly targetted at the convoys passing through. In one particular incident, a team of three partisans was able to destroy an entire convoy with explosives, an act which led to the deaths of fourteen German soldiers, including SS general Maximilian Reisenweber. Colonel von Lieder blamed this failure on the incompetance of his subordinate Hauptfach Fritz Diedrich, and after insulting Diedrich's supposed Aryan superiority, von Lieder had him shot, although Diedrich survived the encounter.
In 1940, Lieder was informed that the Fuhrer himself, Adolf Hitler, along with Italian leader Benito Mussolini, would be passing through Saint-Marie on their way back to Berlin after visiting the occupied city of Paris. Lieder's Gestapo double agent planted in the French partisan cell under Jean-Claude Marsalles proved instrumental in preventing the Fuhrer's assasination, although Mussolini sustained a small non-fatal wound in the hand from Pierre LeMieux.
Commandant of Stalag 3Edit
In the aftermath of Operation Sepulcher, Lieder was ordered by Berlin and SS officials to construct a new prisoner-of-war camp near Saint-Marie called Stalag 3. In 1944, this camp held Lieutenant Jack Marshall, an American paratrooper attempting to make contact with the Saint-Marie resistance cell. After Marshall's capture, the camp was infiltrated by Pierre LeMieux, and was the site of a daring breakout which led to a midnight firefight. This firefight led to the death of Colonel von Lieder at the hands of his former subordinate Fritz Diedrich, who had since turned his back on the Nazi cause and signed on with LeMieux. Diedrich, in revenge for the shooting that had permanently crippled him, shot his former superior officer several times before blowing up his office with dynamite.